Silverlight 2 in Action



Silverlight 2 in Action

This book will give you a solid start in using Silverlight, taking you from beginner to intermediate level. It provides the basic code snippets you need to get your Silverlight application up and running quickly, and it even comes with a key for downloading a free copy of the e-book. I recommend Silverlight 2 in Action for anyone trying to get up to speed on Silverlight, or for those stuck trying to figure out how to use one of Silverlight s features.


The first chapter discusses Silverlight in general, giving data on market share, as well as supported operating systems and browsers. This chapter describes how Silverlight helps separate programming logic from presentation. The chapter closes with an introduction to Expression Blend, the Microsoft development environment for creating Silverlight applications. The second chapter gets you started with Silverlight, beginning with the functionality in the Silverlight.js, creating Silverlight plug-ins and objects, and explaining how Silverlight interacts with the HTML DOM. This chapter also introduces event handling in Silverlight, and closes with information on calling .NET managed code from JavaScript, calling JavaScript from managed .NET code, and using JavaScript to communicate between Silverlight applications, which are normally isolated from each other.


Chapter three concentrates on layout and text, touching on the canvas control (mainly as it applies to text layout) before diving in to text and text layout, including the StackPanel and covering a lot of detail on the Grid layout control, before going into the same detail on working with text. Chapter four covers the user interface, starting with the basics, key presses and mouse handling, drag and drop, text selection, and secure text entry (passwords). This chapter then covers buttons and hyperlink buttons before moving to more complex controls like ListBox, ComboBox, TabControl, Calendar, and DatePicker. The chapter continues with dialogs and popups, and closes with the Ink canvas.


Chapter five does a stellar job of covering the ins and outs of data binding, starting with binding syntax and modes, connecting data to different properties of controls, and converting bound data by processing data from the data source before it is passed to the control s property. This chapter continues with data templates and using the DataGrid control, and ends with an introduction to LINQ.


Chapter six covers networking and communications, starting with security, then covers specific technologies, including SOAP, REST, POX (Plain Old XML), JSON, RSS, WCF (including error handing and duplex communication), and Sockets.


Chapter seven discusses managing digital media, including audio, video, maintaining playlists on the server and client, and working with protected content, and ends with an introduction to Deep Zoom. Chapter eight demonstrates how to use graphics. Campbell and Stockton do a good job of demonstrating the usual graphics capabilities, such as shapes, brushes (including video brushes), gradients (linear and radial), and transforms. The authors close this chapter with the section titled Blending It Together, wherein they show how to combine different graphics capabilities together in the Expression Blend IDE. Chapter nine provides a nice explanation of timelines and storyboards, and how they work to create animations. This chapter covers the concepts involved, as well as the details of how to use them in Silverlight.


Chapter ten covers using resources, including external resource files, as well as how to embed files in Silverlight assemblies, give elements style, create reusable control templates, and use the VisualStateManager.


Chapter eleven covers the Silverlight runtime environment, including details on using .NET isolated storage for storing data on local hard drives, threading, and handling large downloads. Campbell and Stockton do a good job of explaining these technologies, and their use in Silverlight, in a way that is helpful to those new to their use. This chapter and the chapter on animation are real gems; they won t teach those familiar with the technologies anything new, but they will provide newcomers with a clear and useful introduction. The chapter closes with a short overview of the DLR (Dynamic Language Runtime), which is a new set of extensions to the .NET CLR (Common Language Runtime) on which all .NET programs are based.


Campbell and Stockton wrap up the book with chapter twelve, wherein they demonstrate custom controls, Web site navigation, splash screens, and packaging a deployment.


I recommend this book for anyone getting started with Silverlight, or for those working with Silverlight at the intermediate level.


Dennis Hayes



Title: Silverlight 2 in Action

Authors: Chad A. Campbell and John Stockton

Publisher: Manning

ISBN: 978-1933988429

Web Site:

Price: US$44.99

Page Count: 425



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