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InfoQ Homepage News Sneak Preview of Silverlight 2

Sneak Preview of Silverlight 2

Scott Guthrie provides a first look at Silverlight 2, and announces that the first public beta will be available shortly.

The new Silverlight version is a browser plug-in technology that "includes a cross-platform, cross-browser version of the .NET Framework, and enables a rich .NET development platform that runs in the browser". Silverlight 1.0 supports a JavaScript and AJAX programming model, only.

According to Scott the first public beta will include the following features:

  • WPF UI Framework: Silverlight 2 includes a rich WPF-based UI framework that makes building rich Web applications much easier.  In includes a powerful graphics and animation engine, as well as rich support for higher-level UI capabilities like controls, layout management, data-binding, styles, and template skinning.  [...]
  • Rich Controls: Silverlight 2 includes a rich set of built-in controls that developers and designers can use to quickly build applications.  This upcoming Beta1 release includes core form controls (TextBox, CheckBox, RadioButton, etc), built-in layout management panels (StackPanel, Grid, Panel, etc), common functionality controls (Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar, DatePicker, etc), and data manipulation controls (DataGrid, ListBox, etc).  [...]
  • Rich Networking Support: Silverlight 2 includes rich networking support.  It includes out of the box support for calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS, and standard HTTP services.  It supports cross domain network access (enabling Silverlight clients to directly access resources and data from resources on the web).  Beta1 also includes built-in sockets networking support.

  • Rich Base Class Library: Silverlight 2 includes a rich .NET base class library of functionality (collections, IO, generics, threading, globalization, XML, local storage, etc).  It includes rich APIs that enable HTML DOM/JavaScript integration with .NET code.  It also includes LINQ and LINQ to XML library support (enabling easy transformation and querying of data), as well as local data caching and storage support.  The .NET APIs in Silverlight are a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework.

No pre-installed .NET Framework is required in order to run Silverlight applications. The download "includes everything necessary to enable all the above features". Silverlight supports Mac OS and Windows and will run in the major browsers: IE, Firefox, and Safari. Microsoft will also provide tool support for Visual Studio and the Microsoft Expression Suite.

Scott Guthrie has additionally provided step by step tutorials, which should help getting started with Silverlight 2. He claims that the "entire application is implemented in about 35 lines of C# code and 75 lines of XAML page/user-control markup" and "only uses controls and libraries built-into Silverlight".

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