Sunday, March 30, 2008

We told you so!

Last December, we at IdentityMine did a Silverlight 1.0 training at Mumbai and Bangalore in which we had a wonderful audience - a total of more than 50 from various companies around India participating. Though the training was primarily on Silverlight, we also covered some 'then-WPF-only concepts' like Styles, Templates and Data Binding.

While most of the feedback was very positive, I still remember a few questioning the rationale behind including these "WPF concepts" in a Silverlight training session. Of course, the reason was, as we mentioned during the course, that these concepts would be included in Silverlight 2 later. And included they are! I'm sure they now realize that they have had a great sneak peek into these important concepts months ahead of the Silverlight 2 Beta release.

We told you so!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Silverlight Spy - 'Snoop for Silverlight'

Those who have worked in depth with WPF know what a valuable tool Snoop is. It allows you to see the visual tree of a WPF application, change values, track events and much more! Just the other day I was thinking how good it would be if we had a 'Snoop for Silverlight'.

I recently discovered Silverlight Spy, which does just that. You can snoop into the visual tree of any Silverlight 2 application. Before you install it, make sure you have installed the pre-requisites, escpecially the web browser control that it needs to stream the web content.

Happy spying!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

No Triggers in Silverlight 2 Beta!

Being a WPF developer, I have been hoping that the Silverlight model would resemble WPF closely. After all, Silverlight is supposed to be a 'subset' of WPF (remember the code name for Silverlight was WPF/E - 'WPF Everywhere').

Now that Silverlight 2 Beta is out, I have been looking at it very closely. As expected a lot of features are common to WPF - styles, templates, databinding etc. But what on earth happened to triggers? Triggers are missing! C'mon Microsoft don't tell us there are no triggers in Silverlight. I'm hoping that triggers will arrive before the final release of Silverlight.

By the way, let me clarify that when I say that there are no triggers in Silverlight 2 Beta 1 what I mean is no triggers where they matter most - in styles, control templates and data templates. The FrameworkElement class does have a trigger collection, but that is not very useful is it, without triggers in styles and templates?

Update: For a full discussion on the differences between the WPF and Silverlight 2 model, see this post.

Also enjoy this geeky duel on the new Silverlight templating model (sans triggers) between two of my esteemed colleagues at IdentityMine - Robby Ingebretsen and Dr. WPF.

Joining the Bandwagon!

Finally... I decided to blog!

I plan to blog on my experiences with WPF and Silverlight, technologies that I currently work on and ones that I have come to love. I work with IdentityMine at their Kochi office in India, and that means that I've had plenty of opportunities to do a lot of interesting work with these technologies. I have been working with WPF for over two years and Silverlight for about a year. Recently, I was also privileged do some corporate training in WPF and Silverlight for other software firms in India, and that was an experience I really enjoyed.

Hope you enjoy reading my blog!