Hi everybody !!!
As many of you probably already know, Microsoft released today Silverlight 2. This is the final public release version(RTM) and after many months of playing with betas and updates to those betas, finally we have a public RTM version. I believe that Sivlerlight is going to become a great platform for developing next generation RIA applications, and since I'm a .NET architect and developer, Silverlight is a dream technology to start playing with design and interface elements that can make our applications to look cool and actually attract web users all around the world !!! That's right, forget about ugly standard winforms, webforms or awful controls !!!!
Anyway, I know that a few guys have already started to blog about this release and the new cool features and plans for Silverlight, including some good news that are going to be unveiled to the public during PDC 2008, but I still think it is a good idea to do my own contribution and put together some interesting articles and news about this release that will help you to get up to speed on this new final version.
First of all, be sure to visit the MS Silverlight site to get the most recent tools for developing Silverlight 2 applications. You will need the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and also the Blend 2 SP1 (it seems like MS is getting rid of the dot versioning !! - Blend 2 SP1 instead of Blend 2.5). You will get the service packs for VS and Blend, the new Silverlight 2 templates for Visual Studio and the updated Silverlight 2 SDK. Check out any tutorial or video that might interest you on their site.
Next, check out this cool blog posts regarding new features like the Unit Testing framework which for all top developers, is a great tool to make sure we can test our applications before releasing them into production environments. Here's a short post from Shawn Burke which will serve you as an introduction. You can also check this post from Jeff Wilcox with more detailed info. Make sure to take notes about it and get your hands wet with this framework. You can also find more information at the MSDN site.
Finally, keep track of Scott Guthrie's blog, since you will find the most recent news about Silverlight and many other products and technologies and you will be able to get more info and help from this blog on how to architect and develop your Silverlight 2 applications. This is the specific post regarding Silverlight 2 release.
Another great step on the Silverlight 2 road map is that it seems that there's is a new extended group in Microsoft that will be focusing on creating and delivering Silverlight controls (part of the "Silverlight Control Pack" announced today). There is the rumor of a first round of controls being released during PDC 2008. A list of possible controls is:
This is great news !!! This will make our life so much easier. I have been working on an emulation of a TreeView like control (post to come on that) although, if a real TreeView control is going to be released shortly you might prefer to wait for it than take a look at my code :-)
Ok, so be sure to keep track of all the latest news regarding Silverlight and keep track of the post to come on my blog.
Happy Silverlight !!!