Playing with Silverlight on the Mac

So I’m here at my mom’s house and we’re writing our first Silverlight 1.1 application with Visual Basic. I have a Lenovo laptop running Vista and Virtual PC 2007 and she has a MacBook Pro. I was heading over today for dinner so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out all this cool stuff that was announced at MIX. (If you have 2+ hours to spare, I recommend watching the Keynote.)

What you need to get started with Silverlight is outlined here. I installed a VPC with Orcas Beta 1, the Orcas Silverlight tools and the Expression Blend 2 May Preview. I then attempted to create my first cool application in Blend and Visual Basic. Blend is actually pretty easy to get around — I have a lot to learn and play with still of course, but just doing some simple text rendering and animation took about 5 minutes. What’s really cool is that when you save the XAML in Blend and flip back to VS, it detects the file change just like any other external file change and you can reload into the editor. Since Visual Studio does not have a Silverlight designer yet you have to use the Blend 2 May Preview to design the XAML right now. (Note: You need to have the Blend 2 May Preview to design the Silverlight 1.1 apps, the RTM of Blend won’t cut it.)

Here’s my first Hello World page being designed in Blend. I set up a simple animation that moves the text from one part of the screen to the next and then grows and shrinks the text size.  

When I save my changes in Blend, I just load them into VS when I flip back to the IDE.

I then wrote some VERY simple code (no laughing, it’s my first attempt here) to start the Timeline when the page loads and then when the Textbox1 is clicked, I change the text to “This is cool” and the color to blue.

Okay, so next I got the VPC onto the home network and set up a virtual directory to my Silverlight project called SilverlightProject1. The virtual directory and html launch page is needed to launch the client application, but the Silverlight assembly actually runs on the client not the server. Then on my Vista host OS and on my mom’s MacBook we installed the Silverlight 1.1 Alpha runtime for the PC and the Mac respectively. Next we navigated to my SilverlightProject1 virtual directory and the exact same experience was displayed in our browsers! Yes, my Visual Basic code runs on the Mac! Here’s the proof:

I’ve attached the Silverlight project to this post if you want to check it out (be nice, it’s my first one). I’m really really excited about digging into this. I’ve always loved graphic design and I definately love Visual Basic so I’ll keep posting my adventures into Silverlight… let’s hope my next application is a little more exciting, but I couldn’t be more excited about this rich, smart, cross-platform, cross-browser development environment with Visual Basic!