Silverlight Introduction
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by anjaiah keesari
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Silverlight Releases

Silverlight 1.0

This is the first release of Silverlight technology in 2007. There are lot of releases happened in initial stage of Silverlight technology, however later at end of the year 2007 final release of version 1.0 got released. Originally this release was called WPF/E, which stands for Windows Presentation Foundation/ Everywhere. This release consists of the core presentation framework, which is responsible for UI, interactivity and user input, basic UI controls, graphics and animation, media playback and DOM integration.

The Major drawback of this release is not supporting managed code, which means you can’t use .NET supported programming languages for manipulating GUI elements. This was managed by scripting programming languages like Java Script (Only interpretation no compilation), which is hard for non Java Script programmers.

Applications are written either completely in XAML or in a mix of XAML and JavaScript with DOM (Document Object Model) to manipulate the user interface. Since there is no managed code there is no compilation required only JavaScript is interpreted on the client (browser)

A Silverlight application starts by invoking the Silverlight control from the HTML page, which then loads up a XAML file. The XAML file contains a Canvas object, which acts as placeholder for other elements. Silverlight provides various geometrical primitives like lines, ellipses and other shapes, to elements like text, images, and media etc.

Silverlight 2.0

After Silverlight 1.0 there are preview releases to fix bugs from initial release and improved performance issues then released Silverlight 2.0 in March 2008. We can consider this is the first release of the Silverlight for start application development because of lot limitations in Silverlight 1.0 and was not ready for developing applications efficiently. This is the exciting release to the developers, which supports managed code, living in the .NET world without managed code is very difficulty (actually not possible ). Silverlight 2.0 supports .NET programming languages like C#, VB.NET to write business logic or manipulate UI Elements at client side. Silverlight 2.0 is based on .NET Framework 3.5.

 You can have a code behind file for every XAML (.xaml) file like ASP.NET (.aspx) pages to handle the business logic. It can be used to programmatically manipulate both the Silverlight application and the HTML page which hosts the Silverlight control. The XAML markup as well as the code, is compiled into .NET assemblies which are then compressed using ZIP and stored in a .xap file.

In this release Silverlight came up with own library, which is subset of .NET framework’s Base Class Library this included controls, components, support of web services and LINQ API features. It is also provides security, not to access Silverlight platform API from outside the world.

Features of Silverlight 2.0

1.    Rich base class library: - This is a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework. It supports Collection, Reflection, Regular Expressions, String Handling, Data Access, LINQ etc…

2.    Powerful built-in controls: - These include verity of controls like:

·         Extensible control base classes

·         Common controls: Textbox, Checkbox, Radiobutton, TabControl, Slider, ScrollViewer, ProgressBar, Calendar etc…

·         Layout controls: Grid, StackPanel etc…

·         Data controls:DataGrid, etc…

3.    Advanced skinning and templating support: - This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of an application.

4.    Deep zoom: - which allows users to zoom into, or out of, an image (or a collage of images), with smooth transitions, using the mouse wheel.

5.    Networking support:- Out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services, enabling users to create applications that easily integrate with existing back-end systems.

6.    Programming Languages:- including Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby, making it easier for developers already familiar with one of these languages to repurpose their existing skill sets.

7.    Cross-platform and cross-browser support: - This includes support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Firefox, Safari and Windows Internet Explorer.

8.    Security: - Silverlight CoreCLR uses an attribute-based security model, as opposed to the Code Access Security (CAS) model of the desktop version of .NET Framework.

Silverlight 3

Silverlight version 3.0 was release in July 9, 2009, which is an extension to Silverlight 2.0 and mainly provides improvements in graphics capabilities, media management, application development areas (additional controls, enhanced binding support, and out-of-browser functionality), and integration in the designers' Expression Blend 3 tools.

Features of Silverlight 3

Improved graphics capabilities to support a richer and more interactive user interface

·         Support for 3D graphics

·         Animation

·         Pixel Shaders

·         Theme application support

·         Enhanced control-skinning

·         Improved text rendering

·         Bitmap APIs

Enhanced media management supporting high-quality and secured multimedia streaming

·         Support for new media formats

·         IIS Media Services

·         Silverlight DRM for media streaming

Empowers developers to develop data-rich and media-rich interactive RIAs.

·         New networking APIs (new offline APIs Out-of-Browser functionality )

·         Silverlight 3 SDK

·         New FormsXAML controls

·         New DataManipulationXAML controls

·         New ContentXAML controls

·         Other user interface framework improvements

·         Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Silverlight 4.0

Silverlight version 4.0 beta was release on November 18, 2009, at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft Corp.

Features of Silverlight 4.0 Beta


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