Pro Silverlight 3 in C# Paperback – Nov 10 2009
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About the Author
Matthew MacDonald is an author, educator, and MCSD developer who has a passion for emerging technologies. He is a regular writer for developer journals such as Inside Visual Basic, ASPToday, and Hardcore Visual Studio .NET, and he's the author of several books about programming with .NET, including User Interfaces in VB .NET: Windows Forms and Custom Controls, The Book of VB .NET, and .NET Distributed Applications. In a dimly remembered past life, he studied English literature and theoretical physics. Send e-mail to him with praise, condemnation, and everything in between, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Customer Reviews
What I like the most is that there are no wasted pages of useless code written all over the place taking half of the book (like in other books I bought in the past).
In most of the chapters you will find snippets and images that will help you ride the wave of Silverlight 3.
The content is right to the point (althought I have only read half of the book) and the first half has been purely graphical (no back-end or RIA services) and gives you all the tools to start creating right away LOB applications using Silverlight (especially if you have pressure from your boss or a tight deadline to meet revamping an old system !).
Do not expect to find content related to Expression blend here (I just found 1 reference to Blend in the 1st half of the book). This is a book to programmers that want to know details about XAML and the code behind, which makes perfectly sense to me.
Right after reading half of it, I was able to create a small eye candy application and host it in Sharepoint 2007 (with many manual steps involved...). If you are planning to make responsive and sexy UIs to extend Sharepoint 2010, then this is an excellent book and with one click in Visual Studio 2010 you get instant satisfaction (since the deployment process of Silverlight 3 to SP 2010 is finally a breeze !).
I am a seasoned ASP.NET 3.5 / C# programmer and I have found a lot of value in this book. I did not read it diagonally, I took the time to read all the pages so far and Matthew is very good in leaving out of scope stuff that makes sense to leave out in order to not waste pages.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I have bought 3 other books on Silverlight 3, and put together they only contain about 1/8 of the value of this book (you can see which ones they are by Googling "Shiny Turds Books that do not Cut the Mustard").
It starts out with an introduction that covers the Visual Studio Silverlight environment. He then gives a short introduction to XAML. The introductions really help those who have no experience get rolling right away.
The author covers every out of the box element in detail (including the DataGrid control and a little on the DataForm control), and includes a nice reference for where the element can be found in the book. He also covers styles and templates, brushes and transforms, shapes and geometries, animation, and layout containers.
The book covers out-of-browser applications, assembly caching, networking, multithreading, isolated storage, browser integration, media and deep zoom, wcf services, the application model, and dependency properties and routed events.
One of the things I like best about the book is it includes a lot of references and material on the Silverlight Toolkit.
The book is very readable for those that like to read cover to cover, but it also makes a great reference.
The downloadable code is very usable and very complete.
This is a must have book for any developer working with Silverlight 3.0.
I loved that the author has a "What's New" sections wherever applicable, that way for people like me who is upgrading their skills from Silverlight 2 can jump to those areas if they are only interested in the new features of Silverlight. As far as the depth, the author has done a very good job of explaining all the important concepts and almost all the controls available out of the box and controls available in Silverlight Toolkit.
What I liked is that the author also mentions the limitations if any or cautions and because I have implemented multiple projects in Silverlight, I can tell that all those tips , cautions and Notes can save you lot of time and frustration. For example, the mouse wheel event only fires in IE and not in other browsers or how to handle exceptions at an application level and how VS handles them when you are in debug mode vs. release mode. Those types of tips are very useful when implementing a feature and when you put the app in productions.
All the new features like Out of Browser, Navigation are discussed. Individual chapters are dedicated to Animation and Sound, Video and Deep Zoom to go deep in these areas which was very useful for me personally.
.NET Ria Services is slightly touched, not in depth as its relatively new which can be slightly disappointing for those who want to learn about it .Data Annotations and Data Validation for the forms and other Data Controls are discussed in depth
I wished the author has talked a little bit more about Rest Services as the web Client has some limitations in areas of REST, Frameworks like Prism and Caliburn and Commonly used design patterns like MVVM and other TDD best practices in context of Silverlight
For that reason, I would say that this book is more suitable for entry level to mid level Silverlight developers. But if you are completely new to Silverlight or just touched few areas in developing Silverlight, I seriously recommend this book to get strong in all core areas of developing Silverlight applications.
I have had this book on order for so long that Amazon actually cancelled my first order.
The PDF (and I am sure the print version) is in full color.
The book is an updated version of MacDonald's Silverlight 2 book - from the PDF it appears to have the same print quality which is superb.
If you want to learn Silverlight 3, this is the book to own - period.
Second, don't expect coverage of Expression Blend for designing applications - there's almost no coverage here. Creating complex animations and styles can be much easier in Blend, so you'd want to get that coverage elsewhere. It certainly helps to understand how things like layout and animations work under the hood, and the book gives a good grounding there.
The most notable and impressive aspects of this book is its applicability to very diverse audiences. Regardless of where you are coming form, this book will guide you to the point where you can create compelling and useful applications.
If you are coming from a WPF background, you will be most interested in which of the WPF features you are accustomed to using you will have to abandon to conform to Silverlight's more restrictive feature set. Fortunately, this book does a good job of pointing out those differences, and explaining how one goes about working around these deficits.
If you are new to Silverlight, Pro Silverlight 3 will deliver a wide and deep base of knowledge to start building your Silverlight 3 applications on. The first several chapters on XAML, Layout, Dependency Properties and Routed Events and Elements introduce the reader to the building blocks of Silverlight applications. A reader experienced in Silverlight 2 or WPF development could probably skip these chapters, noting only the properly distinguished notes on the differences between full WPF and Silverlight.
Throughout the book, MacDonald does an excellent job of noting the differences between Silverlight 2 and Silverlight 3. In terms of the total content of the book, these differences are relatively small, yet the power and freedom in your apps that is afforded by the new features they cover is tremendous. Readers coming from an in-depth knowledge of Silverlight 2 (or those who read his previous book) will find the differences clearly noted at the beginning of each chapter - making it easy to find just the bits you are looking for.
So no matter where you are coming from, Matthew MacDonald's Pro Silverlight 3 in C# will help you develop or grow your Silverlight skill set. This is a must-have book for developing rich internet applications on the .NET framework. I highly recommend it.
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