Silverlight 2.0 Beta coming soon … (with Rich Controls)

I have been quiet on my blog since my Tech Ed trips and the Acropolis annoucement. Some of you may wonder what I am working on next. As we start rolling some of the core Acropolis ideas into future frameworks, we need to make sure that the future framework itself is a productive and successful framework.

Today, Scott Guthrie (my VP) annouced the Silverlight 2.0 release. In his annoucement, he mentioned:

"Rich Controls: Silverlight will deliver a rich set of controls that make building Rich Internet Applications much easier.  The next Silverlight preview release will add support for core form controls (textbox, checkbox, radiobutton, etc), built-in layout management controls (StackPanel, Grid, etc), common functionality controls (TabControl, Slider, ScrollViewer, ProgressBar, etc) and data manipulation controls (DataGrid, etc)."

If you were familiar with what I was working on in Acropolis, it should come at no surprise that I will be working on the set of Rich Controls for Silverlight now. 🙂 I hope to take the customer feedback we got from Acropolis, along with learnings in the AJAX framework and deliver some awesome controls.

In coming months, I hope to be able to share some of my experience in designing, building and shipping these controls with my loyal readers! I bet some of you can already guess which controls I'll be owning. 🙂

Out of curiosity...  What are the top controls do you want to see in Silverlight?

Comments (15)

  1. Matt says:

    I fast data grid would be nice

  2. Dany Laporte says:

    Please also add a DateTime Picker and a MaskTextBox! I miss so much those controls in WPF!! 🙂

  3. Rob says:

    Just look at the core WPF controls and you will get a good idea of what is needed.  Additionally, a date picker would be nice (while you’re at it, go ahead and add that to WPF too).  Don’t try and create controls that are too high level (like some of the pieces in Acropolis).  These things have no place in a RIA framework and will add unnecessary bloat to the download.

  4. Joe Wood says:

    Hi Kathy!

    Great news yesterday.  I’m interested in Scott’s mention of a DataGrid, which isn’t included in WPF 3.5.  I’m also interested in how different the WPF controls will be to Silverlight.  Will it be the same source with parts removed (like right-mouse click support etc) – or a new set of controls completely?

    I’m also interested in what the story is around CollectionView and other databinding support classes.  What integration will there be with Linq?  Will there ever be a DataView for LINQ to Objects that offers persistent live sorting, grouping etc…

  5. Roger Larsen says:

    My biggest gripe with SL 1.1 has been resizing issues. Assume you have a menu on the left and a content pane in the center, with a header and a footer. You have to write all the resizing code manually to get this to behave properly. It’s not hard, it’s just tedious.

    I actually found it kind of fun to build all the controls I needed from scratch.

    The one control I enjoyed playing with in WPF was the templated databound list view. You can basically make it look like anything you want.

    The question I am asking my self is; what type of controls and APIs are needed to make this an enterprise solution, and not just end up as a “toy” UI. I would love to use SL professionally.

    These are the controls I have missed the most:

    – Template data bound listview

    – Charting controls (pie / bar / line ++, I hope since you acquired Dundas that we are going to see some really nice SL chart controls)

    – Layout controls for resizing

    – Treeview

    – Media player capable of mpeg1, mpeg2, h264 

    Thanks for all the great work, this is truly exiting times.

    Roger Larsen

  6. Pierre says:


    Will the controls support Templating and styling like in WPF?

  7. Dany Laporte says:

    What about the hosting control? In WPF, we have Window and Page, or even any controls. Currently, in Silverlight, we are forced to use a Canvas. Is is possible to use the same xaml code for WPF and for Silverlight?

  8. Tim says:

    A RichTextBox control would be huge for both developers and Silverlight’s future. Huge for developers like myself because we need it in our apps. So many apps today need to allow users to input simple formating in their text and this could be a real show stopper for trying to use the Silverlight 2.0 platform. I know it will/would be for us.

    And huge for the platform’s future because it will promote rich text being stored in xaml instead of html. The more chunks of content out there stored in xaml, the more popular Silverlight as a platform will be. Imagine you were writing a web page that needed to display a bunch of content stored in xaml. You’d have to use Silverlight (or .NET) at the moment. Seemingly simple decisions like whether or not to support the RichTextBox control in Silverlight 2.0 could directly impact it’s future as a platform and I hope MS is doing some serious strategic planning when they make these decisions. The battle for dominant programming language and therefore dominant OS is a real one again today and MS isn’t guaranteed a seat at the table 10 years from now if they’re not smart about stuff like this.

    Please help developers like me keep using your stuff.

  9. Will Hansen says:

    The FlowDocumentReader would really open up a whole bunch of cool new content-based website posibilities.  That’s my vote.  

  10. Chris says:

    I’ll second that request for a RichTextBox.  Would also ilike to see a Treeview.

  11. Hi,

    I am missing very much a viewbox for resizing and viewport3D for 3D animation. To make real cool apps (and beat flash) you need to be able to make 3D animation with image/videobrushes!

    But I guess that will be part in silverlight 4.0 🙁

  12. Mike Miller says:

    I’m posting a little late in the game, so I’m not sure if you’re still checking it – but just in case…

    1.  The ability to easily display an XHTML string.  

    2.  A rich text editor that outputs XHTML (XAML as an option would be OK too, but I am particularly interested in XTHML).  If it does only output XAML, there should be a solid XAML to XHTML converter available on the server.  Of course, that would kind of leave the non users out in the cold.

    3.  A tree view control that displays more like the Windows Forms treeview (as opposed to the treeview).  

  13. Paul says:

    One of things I want to implement on my current project is a news viewer reading RSS feeds from BBC News and various Newspapers;

    However to read the XML from what will be a different domain; for text news I have to use a webservice; call that from the Silverlight application; which does seem to overcomplicate things.

    For video I’m still working on a solution but Silverlight prevents the use of video (again read from an RSS feed) from a different domain. Now getting rid of that restriction would be really good

  14. James Greene says:

    I’d definitely like to see the FlowDocumentReader in Silverlight 2.0.

  15. Jay Doggett says:

    Add my vote to the FlowDocument control tally.

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