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Review: Silverlight 1.0
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by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Introduction

Silverlight is a new technology launched by Microsoft in 2007. Developers initially learned it with the help of online articles and samples created by the product team. As the technology became familiar, many developers began to write books with the help of leading publishers. Silverlight 1.0 by Wrox provides a comprehensive overview of the technology in less than 7 chapters and 3 appendixes.

Inside the book

Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction to Silverlight. The authors examine the installation of plug-in, SDK and the tools required to build applications. Chapters 2 and 3 examine the creation of Silverlight applications using XAML and Expression Blend 2. I feel chapter 3 will be a bonus for developers as it will help them to learn Silverlight with the help of a GUI tool. An interesting point to note is that the authors have discussed the concepts in a step-by-step manner with lot of colored screenshots.

While chapter 4 helps you to create applications with JavaScript and XAML, the next chapter examines the development of ASP.NET applications using Silverlight. These chapters are highly code intensive and will be helpful only if you have a strong understanding of Silverlight, JavaScript and ASP.NET Ajax. Chapter 6 provides a short coverage regarding the relationship of Silverlight and Common Language Runtime with the help of helpful diagrams. The authors also point out a brief snapshot of one of the upcoming Silverlight 1.1 application.

The final chapter demonstrates the creation of video player by using some of the core features. I feel it will be highly useful for advanced developers. Written by a team of highly experienced developers, the book concludes with a reference documentation of Silverlight object and XAML. Each reference starts with a short description followed by the related properties, methods and events in tabular format. I would suggest the author to provide relevant sample source codes for each reference since it will benefit developers to quickly implement them on their applications.

The authors have worked hard to produce a nice documentation of Silverlight in a short span of time. They have not only given equal importance to the usage of GUI based tools such as Expression Blend, but also provided good code oriented chapters. I would like to see the usage of databases and web services in the next edition of the book. Beginners will find it easy to grasp the concepts due to the lucid writing style.

Conclusion

From my point of view, the book is a must have companion for developers who wish to learn Silverlight. I cannot say the total time required to finish the book as it depends upon the ability of each developer.

About the Reviewer

Anand Narayanaswamy (Microsoft MVP and Chief Technical Editor, ASPAlliance.com) is the author of Community Server Quickly.

About the Book

Title

Silverlight 1.0

   

Author

Devin Rader, Jason Beres, J. Ambrose Little, and Grant Hinkson

Publisher

Wrox

ISBN - 13

978-0-470-22840-1

Edition

October 2007

Pages

288

Price

US $39.99

Rating

****

 



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