Mix 09 starts today! There have been a number of key announcements made at Mix, especially concerning Silverlight 3.0 and Blend 3.0. If you are at all interested in Web and Silverlight development then be sure to check out the "Gu’s" keynote highlights here.
The next releases of Silverlight and Blend have lots of interesting features. I’ll cover them in detail in a future post, but one question that I’m sure is top of mind is how the new version of Silverlight relates to Prism and Helix.
Silverlight 3.0 provides a lot of new features that are nicely complementary to Prism. These new features help with data validation, data forms, navigation and with accessing business entities over the network. Prism focuses on patterns for flexible, modular, loosely coupled, unit-testable applications. These patterns can of course be used in Silverlight 3.0 just as effectively as in 2.0. The combination of Prism and the new Silverlight features provide a very powerful platform for building line of business RIA applications.
We’re planning the next release of Prism which will target Silverlight 3.0 (and WPF 4.0), so we’re beginning to look at how we can evolve Prism to further integrate and complement Silverlight, Blend and WPF. We’re especially looking forward to support the new Silverlight out-of-browser feature(!). So if you have any ideas on what you’d like to see in Prism 3.0, please send them our way!
You’ll also see that Silverlight 3.0 now has some support for navigation! I was part of the team behind the navigation features in Silverlight 3.0 last year before moving to the patterns & practices team. My original design for Silverlight navigation was of course very similar to Helix. The design changed quite a bit since I left that team, specifically so that it is more compatible with WPF’s navigation model. I’ll be posting details on the differences between the two designs, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how to use them together soon.