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Silverlight 1.0 Paperback – Oct 29 2007
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From the Back Cover
Silverlight—the hot new web technology based on the powerful WPF graphics platform that ships with Windows Vista—is the web developer's choice for creating cross-platform interactive applications that work in multiple browsers. This one-of-a-kindreference shows you, with full-color illustrations, how to create rich interactive apps with Silverlight.
What you will learn from this book
- Easy ways to incorporate graphics, animation, audio, and video into Internet applications
Methods for creating rich media apps that run on Windows® and Mac®, as well as in Internet Explorer, Firefox®, and Safari
Ways to integrate Silverlight within existing HTML pages, web sites, and ASP.NET applications
How to handle data access in Silverlight applications using AJAX
Who this book is for
This book is for professional web developers who want to take advantage of Silverlight's capabilities to create rich interactive applications.
"[This book] makes a great companion for anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of Silverlight without wading through the reference material in the SDK. If you're looking for a trustworthy guide to show you how Silverlight can light up your web applications, you'll find this book a great starting point."
—Tim Sneath, Group Manager for Client Platform Evangelism, Microsoft Corporation
About the Author
Devin Rader is a Product Manager on the Infragistics Web Client team, responsible for leading the creation of Infragistics ASP.NET and Silverlight products. Devin is also an active proponent and member of the .NET developer community, being a co-founder of the St. Louis .NET User Group, an active member of the New Jersey .NET User Group, a former board member of the International .NET Association (INETA), and a regular speaker at user groups. He is also a contributing author on the Wrox title Professional ASP.NET 2.0 and a technical editor for several other Wrox publications and has written columns for ASP.NET Pro magazine, as well as .NET technology articles for MSDN Online. You can find more of Devin’s musings at www.geekswithblogs.com/devin.
Jason Beres is the Director of Product Management for Infragistics, the world's leading publisher of presentation layer tools. Jason is also one of the founders of Florida .NET User Groups, he is founder of the New Jersey .NET User Group, he is a Visual Basic .NET MVP, he is on the INETA Speakers Bureau, and he is on the INETA Board of Directors. Jason is the author of several books on .NET development, an international speaker, and a frequent columnist for several .NET publications. He also keeps very active in the .NET community.
J. Ambrose Little is the User Experience and Guidance group lead at Infragistics. He is a Microsoft Solutions Architect MVP, an ASPInsider, author of numerous articles, co-author of Professional ADO.NET 2 and ASP.NET 2.0 MVP Hacks and Tips from Wrox, and he has spoken at various user groups, events, and conferences. He’s been designing and developing web sites and applications professionally for more than 8 years.
Grant Hinkson is Director of Visual Design at Infragistics, a software company specializing in reusable interface components and application design. He is passionate about design, usability, and technology and is rewarded by working with a team of people who share similar passions. He loves both design and development and thrives in the worlds of Silverlight and WPF, where he gets to exercise both sides of his brain. Grant has been involved with both WPF and Silverlight since their pre-Beta days, working with Expression Blend when it was affectionately known by its codename Sparkle. Grant is author of the Fireworks to XAML Exporter, is a frequent contributor to Adobe’s Developer Center site, and has spoken at major industry design events.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Three points I liked:
1. The authors did a good job of explaining the relationship among the various developer tools you can use to implement Silverlight apps (Visual Studio 2005 & 2008, Expression Blend, and plain 'ole Notepad).
3. I initially dismissed the full-color code/screen shots as gimmicky--especially in the first chapter when someone got trigger-happy with almost five pages screen shots showing you nothing more than how to download Silverlight and the SDK--but beyond that, it was actually quite helpful. The color source code makes it exactly like Visual Studio, so you can immediately grab the key points.
What would have made this book perfect is to show more best practices and lessons learned. A book that DOES have those extras--despite Silverlight's state of infancy--is Silverlight 1.0 Unleashed. I recommend that book over this Wrox counterpart if you are a developer. If you are in a non-developer role (account manager, sales, etc.), this Wrox book does a better job of conceptually explaining Silverlight, how to sell others on it, etc.
I have to say that I got the book, and I couldn't stop to read. This is one of those books that you will like to have on your side has a reference when you are working on any Silverlight project.
After this book I gain more interest for the XAML, WPF that Microsoft has been doing with the new version of .NET framework ( .NET 3.5).
My only complaint is that the price-point does not match the book. I expected a much thicker volume at this price. Thankfully purchasing from Amazon gives you a much cheaper price.
One thing that immediately strikes you about this book is that it is in color. With the subject matter at hand I think that this decision was a very good one after all it is would be very difficult to show off the power of Silverlight and to get some of the examples showing correctly with just grey scale.
For a Wrox book this one is fairly small weighing in at just 288 pages, however you will find everything you need to know to get you started using Silverlight in this book. It does not cover everything in detail and therefore I would consider it to be a "starter" book. One that you will pick up to get the basics of the technology, know how it works and how to do use it quickly and easily.
Silverlight 1.0 is built atop a cut-down version of XAML, Microsoft's graphical language that is used mainly in desktop applications and was introduced with Microsoft .Net 3.0.
The book starts with an explanation of what Silverlight is. It does mention the "forthcoming" Silverlight 1.1 stack which is what was recently released as Silverlight 2.0. The book continues by giving a quick overview of the tools that you can use to build a Silverlight application, where to get the SDK and runtime, some examples of it's uses then gives a quick breakdown of default Silverlight application that is used in Visual Studio.
The next chapter gives a brief introduction to XAML and some of the various elements that Silverlight makes use of. There are plenty of examples given and some visual tricks thrown in for those of us that are not graphically inclined (I definitely include myself in this department). There is enough in this chapter to give you the basics for building your own Silverlight application including animations, video and basic shapes and transforms.
With the introduction of XAML, Microsoft released a tool specifically for designing applications using this language, Microsoft Expression Blend. Chapter 3 deals with how you use blend to create your XAML files and how to incorporate these into your Visual Studio project. One of the benefits of Expression Blend is that you can hand off the design aspect of the project to a graphical designer on your team and the resulting code fits very neatly in with Visual Studio so that developers don't need to worry about this aspect. Again this is a quick introduction to Expression Blend and it does not go into depth of every option that Expression Blend offers but gives you enough that you can get started and build projects.
A quick introduction to Silverlight 1.1 is given however this has now been superseded with Silverlight 2.0 and some of the features have changed since Silverlight 1.1 so the small chapter on this is not really relevant anymore.
Finally the authors give you a full blown Silverlight Video application and explain it works. The previous chapters in this book give you enough information to create applications such as this and Video was mainly the target for Silverlight 1.0, therefore this example is great for showing what you can create and the potential power of Silverlight 1.0.
Although this book is really a brief introduction to Silverlight 1.0, the authors explain the concepts well and give you enough information to get you going, creating your own Silverlight applications. As mentioned, this book is targeted towards people who are interested in learning Silverlight and not an in-depth desktop reference for those who are already using it. The easy to understand explanations mixed with the full color graphics and code markup makes this an excellent book for those who are wanting to get their feet with with Microsoft Silverlight. The main downfall of this book being the very recent release of Silverlight 2.0, although the concepts learned in this book are just as relevant for Silverlight 2.0 as they are for Silverlight 1.0.
If you are a Silverlight developer and want to start creating great Silverlight applications, pick up this book and you will be well on your way. Written well in a beautiful new package, this is a great introduction to get up and running TO-DAY!!
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