If you're an HDi developer who spends anytime reading this blog or the MSDN forum, you've probably noticed that I've mentioned Silverlight more than a couple of times recently. Silverlight is, of course, Microsoft's platform for delivering rich interactive applications and media experiences for the web. The final presentation to the user is somewhat similar to Flash, but the development experience is much more focused on allowing designers work like designers, developers work like developers, and to collaborate more effectively. Silverlight is based off of the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) which is a graphics API for Windows applications and was originally called WPF/E (/E = everywhere).
Because of the similaries between Silverlight 1.0 and HDi, I thought the most logical thing for me to do was to turn one of my HDi samples into a Silverlight application. One of the very first HDi samples I published on this blog was a sliding puzzle, so I thought it fitting to make it my first Silverlight application.
Some adjustments needed to be made, of course. HDi allowed for screen capture, but Silverlight doesn't (to the best of my knowledge). So I took out all the screen capture code and hard coded an image. Silverlight 1.0 doesn't have templating (2.0 does, though), so the XAML nodes are all hard coded. The XAML can be modified on the fly with script, so that approach is an option. Though, I wanted to stay as true to the original script file as possible, so I didn't add that.
To modify the markup in HDi, you'd call node.style.setProperty, but in Silverlight, the correct call is node.setValue. And while you would call animateProperty or using a timing block in the markup in HDi, animation is done in Silverlight using storyboards which are declared in the XAML.
And, again, in keeping with the original script, this puzzle uses up/down/left/right buttons just like the HDi version. This puzzle could be updated to support a mouse.
My attempt at a Silverlight 1.0 version of the sliding puzzle is attached at the end of this blog. Warning! This is my first real Silverlight app, so from what I can tell, it works. I can't say whether or not this is the best way to implement such a puzzle with Silverlight. But here it is for your review.
A brief overview of what you'll find in this project....
- Silverlight.js is part of the SDK. I made no modifications to this file.
- Page.xaml is the markup file with all the UI elements
- Page.xaml.js was generated by Blend. Most of the code for Page.xaml should go in here, but because I already had the code in another file, I just added hooks in here for my key event listener.
- Main.js is where all my puzzle code is
If you're ready to start doing Silverlight development, there are a couple of tools you will need. First, download the Expressions Blend 2.5 March Preview. If you're a Visual Studio user, you should also download the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 (includes the runtime and SDK). You can alternatively download the Silverlight SDK and samples separately from the VS tool.
I'm going to continue working on converting some HDi projects I have to Silverlight 1.0 and then 2.0 and hope to post those projects here in the near future. In the meantime, If you're interested in playing around with some Silverlight samples (1.0 and 2.0), check out http://silverlight.net/Learn/