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InfoQ Homepage News Silverlight 2 Got Tools (RC1) for Visual Studio 2008 SP1

Silverlight 2 Got Tools (RC1) for Visual Studio 2008 SP1

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Microsoft has released Tools (RC1) for Visual Studio 2008 SP1  for Silverlight 2. Among other features, the tools include Visual Basic and C# project templates, intellisense and code generators for XAML, XAML design preview, debugging, and integration with Expression Blend 2.

Silverlight 2, which was recently released, is accompanied by a set of tools necessary for developing Silverlight applications. The simplest way to install all Tools is to download and install the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 add-on (works also with Visual Web Developer 2008 Express SP1) which will install the following:

  • Silverlight 2 developer runtime
  • Silverlight 2 SDK
  • KB956453 for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and/or KB956485 for Visual Web Developer 2008 Express with SP1
  • Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and/or Silverlight Tools for Visual Web Developer 2008 Express with SP1

The Tools package will also include the following features:

  • Visual Basic and C# Project templates
  • Intellisense and code generators for XAML
  • XAML design preview
  • Debugging of Silverlight applications
  • Remote debugging of Silverlight applications for Mac
  • Web reference support
  • WCF Templates
  • Team Build and command line build support
  • Integration with Expression Blend

An important feature of the Silverlight 2 Tools is integration with Expression Blend 2, and it is available to Blend users via a service pack. Expression Blend 2 SP1 unlocks two Silverlight features: control skinning and the Visual State Manager. S. Somasegar, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, explains the features:

Control skinning gives designers the ability to visually customize controls to enable them to exactly fit the function they play within an application.  The Visual State Manager gives a flexible and visual way to control precisely how each element of a control will behave and look in a given state. Whether an element in a control snaps into position or glides, moves in a linear fashion or with inertia, the designer has the freedom to quickly and accurately experiment with different interactions before finely tuning and finalizing the user experience of the application.

Regarding the Tools' version, RC1, Wolf Schmidt explained why it is not RTM:

The reason for this has to do with the intended servicing model for the add-in, so that the Silverlight tools themselves can be serviced per the current Tools team plan of record. Versioning the Tools as "RTM" would have dictated a particular servicing model that wouldn't have been as flexible.

Silverlight 2 Tools needs Visual Studio 2008 with SP1 with the Visual Web Developer feature or
Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008 Express with SP1.

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