Microsoft Silver Light Technical Details
Since Silverlight functions with a subset of XAML, or the eXtensible Application Markup Language, many have said that this is the epicenter of the Windows Presentation. Developers have the option of utilizing Visual Studio to construct the Silverlight content.
In addition to this, there is a fresh VC-1 encoder program kit which can be used for development. Microsoft has stated that it is willing to port Silverlight to Adobe Flash, despite the fact that these two tools are direct competitors. In addition to this, it is working with Nokia to port Silverlight to their line of cell phones.
One good example of this is the S60, which uses the Symbian OS. Because Nokia has a huge market share over the cell phone market, Microsoft has decided to port Silverlight to the Nokia 40 Series, as well as Internet tablet tools.
While Microsoft also stated that it would make Silverlight available for a wide variety of browsers, it does not seem that the Nokia S60 browser is included. However, there is no doubt that this browser will soon be added to the Silverlight list of platforms.
One interesting feature is that the Silverlight browser plug-in is available for free, much like the Flash plug-in that is offered by Adobe. Because it makes use of a highly flexible programming model, Silverlight offers support for VB, C#, IronRuby, and AJAX.
This interactive media tool can easily be integrated with web applications which already exist, and through the use of Visual or Expression Studio, both developers as well as designers can work together in a much more effective manner. By using the skills which they have developed today, both developers and designers can use Silverlight to enhance the web, making it more interactive for users.
For companies and entrepreneurs, Microsoft Silverlight can be combined with high definition video, Deep Zoom technology, and .NET in order to provide an experience which is truly spellbinding. With the release of Silverlight 2, Microsoft offers a new framework which makes it easier to produce web applications which are rich.
The UI framework offers developers and designers high end graphics along with an animation engine, and it also provides support for layout management, data-binding, and the skinning of templates.
Like the original Silverlight release, Silverlight 2 is also compatible with the complete spectrum of the .NET framework, and gives developers the ability to re-use their code and content to create web applications which can be used on numerous browser platforms, along with Windows applications. The release of Beta 2 also showcases improvements for reporting and error handling, along with accessibility support and standard performance. More compatibility is also offered with WPF.
Silverlight Rich Controls
The release of Silverlight 2 also introduced a collection of controls which are built in, and these controls allow developers as well as designers to rapidly construct applications. Form controls which are included with Silverlight are RadioButton and CheckBox, and it also features management panels which are built in such as StackPanel.
Another important tool which can be found in Silverlight are the functionality controls, and good examples of these include Calendar, Slider, and the ScrollViewer. The ability for developers and designers to manipulate data is a must, so Microsoft has included controls such as ListBox and DataGrid to be used for this purpose.
The controls which are built into Silverlight allow for an intricate control templating structure, and this allows developers to work closely with designers to construct solutions which are well polished. Beta 2 also introduces Visual State Manager, a templating model that allows templating to be accomplished easier with the controls. Text wrapping and scrollbars are available for TextBox, and Autosize and Reorder has been added to the DataGrid. Instead of being packaged inside the application, the controls have now been placed within the runtime. Another important aspect of Silverlight is its support for networking.
The second release of Silverlight saw a dramatic increase in networking capability. Out of the box support is offered for POX, RSS, and SOAP, along with the basic HTTP services. It also allows for multiple domain network access, which means that the Silverlight clients can gain direct access to the data and resources which are available on the web. Built in sockets are also available for the support of networking.
When it comes to .NET APIs within Silverlight, one thing that you should keep in mind is that they are compatible with the entire .NET framework. Beta 2 offers a number of advanced threading capabilities, and these include ADO.NET data services and SOAP.
The need for both data handling along with networking is critical, and Silverlight provides a great deal of support in this area. Despite this, one piece of technology which many find to be quite fascinating is Deep Zoom. This is a new technology available in Silverlight 2 Beta which gives users the ability to visualize images on the web in a manner that they have never done in the past.
The zooming and panning tool is based on high end technology from Microsoft, and raises the standard when it comes to how images should be viewed. For those who develop with Silverlight, the Deep Zoom image is basic since it can function like other images in Silverlight, and can be altered with basic Silverlight tools like Storyboards.
With the introduction of Beta 2, a fresh file format based on XML has been created which works with the Deep Zoom images, and it also functions with the MultiScaleTileSource which allows for the existing databases to make use of the Deep Zoom tool. Additionally, an enhanced event notification for the Zoom/pan tool has been added to Beta 2.
When many people first become familiar with Silverlight, one of the first questions they raise is in regards to the browsers it supports. Silverlight supports every major browser which is featured on the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.
Microsoft has spent a great deal of time considering the difference which exist among the different platforms, and is designing Silverlight to cater to them. The most important goal for Silverlight is to ensure consistency among Internet Explorer, Firefox, and the other browsers it supports. Microsoft has also announced plans to extend Silverlight support on the Linux OS through a business deal with Novell.
When it comes to the distribution of Silverlight, one thing that developers and designers should keep in mind is that Microsoft has designed this tool for many potential applications. Therefore, internal clients of Microsoft along with global third parties can benefit through the use of this tool.
Some of the customers who use Silverlight include the NBA, BMW, and ET online, and with this large and prominent portfolio of customers, Silverlight usage is expected to be picked up and adopted by customers all over the world.
Because Silverlight is designed to offer high fidelity on numerous system configurations, many of its features such as HD video will require developers and designers to use newer computers. As of this writing, Microsoft has not yet released the exact system requirements which are necessary for seamlessly using this tool.