What controls do you want in Silverlight v2?

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been pretty busy working on the controls! I want to thank everyone who responded to my previous blog on what controls they want. Here are some of the controls left by my readers:

- DataGrid
- DateTimePicker
- MaskedTextBox
- Databound ListView
- Charting Control
- TreeView
- Layout Controls
- Media Player
- RichTextBox
- FlowDocumentReader

The data left in my blog is very interesting. I'm surprised no one asked for a Button, CheckBox, RadioButton, TextBox..etc. Then again, since we haven't confirmed our initial list of controls. I wonder whether you just expect that to be in the platform.

So.. out of curiosity... I wonder, if you were to list the 10 or 20 controls you expect to be in the platform for the Silverlight v2 release, what would they be? All the controls in WPF? All the controls in Windows Forms? All the controls in ASP.NET?


Comments (46)

  1. Well, a decent grid that’s highly customizable would be very nice. Also a good looking datetime control vista style.

    Grz, Kris.

  2. Hi i really would like to see as many controls as possible. They all help. Yes it may make the download of the plug-in larger but does that really matter! Maybe not for 2.0 but later versions. Also i would like to see more than the canvas to work with….

  3. KAE says:

    List of vital controls(imho):







    Layout (DockPanel, Grid, StackPanel)







  4. Kevin Daly says:

    Yep, I think it’s safe to assume everyone’s assuming TextBox et al. will be included by default.

    Don’t even *think* about not doing that πŸ™‚

  5. SplendidCRM says:

    It is rare when it happens, but it is happening today.  Microsoft.com is not reachable, but sites like this one and asp.net and sliverlight.net are all working fine.  I mention this, 1) because I need to install Silverlight on one of my machines and I cannot, 2) because it seems to point to a design flaw.

    On the silverlight.net site, the main app under "Light up the Web" does not load for 30+ seconds.  It suggests that you must have a connection to Microsoft.com in order to run a Silverlight app, even if the Silverlight control is installed.

    Flash does not have this problem, therefore it is something that must be fixed.  If the Silverlight object is installed, then it should not delay pending a version check, or whatever it is doing.  Also, there needs to be multiple locations from which Silverlight can be downloaded.  Right now, I’m stuck waiting for Microsoft.com to return so that I can continue my development.

  6. Panagiotis Kefalidis says:

    Yes, exactly. Don’t even *think* about it. I believe most people don’t request a Button or a Textbox control, because we believe it’s already there. Most basic controls since Windows 3.1 (although we’re not talking about windows) *should* be there. After all, the more controls you support, the better it will be.

  7. John says:

    I would say having the WPF controls would be a good one because then it would be easier to port apps from Silverlight -> WPF or the other way around.


  8. Oleg says:

    I think schedule control( office07) like will be good.

  9. OT says:

    All WPF controls, because it’s only using a range of layout controls and input controls that we can create usable UI.. Also, since this is your first ‘major’ push in RIA land, you should try and pull all the stops in terms of having a rich control set.. This, also applies because Flash already has numerical advandage with a diverse and mature set of controls, and equally boasts lots of community made controls..


  10. langmuir says:

    are u sure controls will be added that appear in the list.

  11. JJ says:

    Hi Kathy,

     The list u have so far is pretty good. What I would like to see and so would half the world is to host SilverLight in WPF! I want to be able to have this rich content inside my desktop apps that are internet enabled  as well.


  12. Ruben says:

    "Yes" several times here. πŸ™‚ At the very least, it should be better than what HTML provides out of the box.

    And don’t forget: apart from the FlowDocumentReader and RichTextBox controls, there’s not much there in WPF–that’s one of the main complaints against WPF (right after bad performance).

  13. You’ve been kicked (a good thing) – Trackback from DotNetKicks.com

  14. Everything in the AJAX Control Toolkit, pretty please.

  15. Basic controls obviously, All input controls (drop downs, radio button list, etc.) and maybe a grid and a calendar.

    These are must haves and I’d rather have these working perfectly with data binding support than a ton of controls.

    I really like the way the AJAX toolkit evolves all the time with new controls and imporovemnts to existing controls and I’m sure the same will happen with silverlight controls (at least that’s what I think after hearing scott guthrie on the channel 9 interview)

  16. kaanuki says:

    A new media control that givs Silverlight the ability to read WSX Playlist -PLEASE!!!!!!!

  17. Dave says:

    All the WPF controls would be nice. And I personally would like to see a color picker

  18. Justin Taylor says:

    I think as a bare minimum if you expect people (read: developers) to adopt Silverlight it should at the very LEAST have all the controls that ASP.NET has.

  19. Saurabh says:

    How can a framework be compelete without basic controls like Button, textbox, radio buttons etc – unless MS is planning a paradime shift in UI interfaces πŸ™‚

    I think it makes more sense to have all the WPF controls ported rather than the Winforms controls since the point of most silverlight RIA’s is to build new kind of experiences which are made possible by the WPF like controls and layout engines. If we wanted a WinForms look and feel wouldn’t it be better to just use ClickOnce!

  20. Arnaud says:

    *ALL WPF controls* should be available with Silverlight, and 100% compatible with WPF. It was the original purpose of Silverlight, wasn’t it? (WPF/Everywhere…)

    If Silverlight only have a video player and very basic HTML-like controls, why would developers use Silverlight instead of Flash or Flex?!

    Flex has many more controls than WPF (Accordion panel, Charting, state transitions, blur and shadow effects that don’t require special authorizations… and 99.5% already have Flash 9 on their computer)

    How can we defend Silverlight if we don’t know anything?!

    Microsoft must COMMUNICATE about these controls and provide Beta versions! We cannot foresee any project because of this lack of communication. It’s really disappointing…

  21. Pete says:

    There are many great slide shows out there,  but I would like to see a way to rate each picture that is presented to the user. Maybe if you float over the thumb nail a popout with stars on it.  Or maybe something on the main picture.

  22. A file upload control that can be used to enhanced a web browser’s limited upload capabilities would be a very popular control. I recently discovered SWFUpload which uses the enhanced UI if Flash is available and degrades gracefully to built-in browser capabilities if it is not. A Silverlight control that does this and more would be most useful.


  23. Dejan says:

    The validator controls introduced with the 2.0 framework

  24. Damien Guard says:

    Please don’t just reimplement what we already have in WinForms.

    How about a nice ribbon, a combination list/tree view… Anthing to push user interfaces forward not pine for the past.


  25. Jessy Houle says:


    It is always good to see Microsoft reaching out to the community for feedback!  From the above response, I would like to consolidate and add some thoughts.

    A few of the bloggers above alluded to adding controls already available in Web/Windows, and I would like to suggest that ALL .NET 2.0 controls, both Web and Windows should be included within Silverlight v2 (with no overlap, EG: textbox…)

    Also, as Mark Wisecarver has suggested, please add Ajax Toolkit Controls.

    Finally, my two cents…  I would really look at what other vendors have done, for Silverlight, as well as for Web/Windows controls.  Telrik and Developer Express are two good vendors you could pull some ideas from.  Also, you may even want to look at what Flash has to offer.

    In summary, 1) Existing Web/Windows Controls already available, 2) Ajax Toolkit Controls, and 3) Controls like that of other vendors.

    Thank you.

    -Jessy Houle

  26. Adam says:

    I would like to see a suite of controls similar to that of Tibco General Interface. (GI) General Interface is a ‘Rich Internet Application’ framework which has a way of defining standard controls that are extensible. I think that Silverlight would be able to improve upon both the development experience and the technology stack involved, if it provided similar capability.

    The Tibco GI development environment is useful in my opinion as a rapid prototyping tool as well as a way of standardizing on β€˜look-and-feel’, and an acceptable level of functionality (‘richness’). I see a greater potential β€˜Richness’ in Silverlight than could ever be attained in HTML and JavaScript. However, the ease/speed of development in the GI dev environment is compelling.

  27. All the controls in WinForms union all the controls in WPF would be a great start! πŸ™‚

  28. Andrew Norris says:

    All the basics (text boxes, buttons, etc.) go without saying. The intermediate stuff like DataGridViews, TreeViews, Tab Controls, Menus and Context Menus would be really nice, though I’ll build these if I have to. And the fancy stuff, like an Outlook Bar, an extensible toolbar with dockable tools, a flow layout, and docking/floating/thumbtack containers would be really great, but again, I can build these if you don’t.

    Basically, I want to be able to port every part of my WinForms 2.0 app that makes reasonable sense to run on top of the browser with Silverlight, so I need the whole deal, one way or another.

    Thanks for asking. πŸ™‚

  29. Malcolm Jack says:

    Window Control (max / min / close buttons – resizing – drag and move – modal – content of any canvas)

    Rotating cube – each side containing it’s own canvas

    + std controls (buttons, textboxes etc.) + layout controls (dock / stack panels)

  30. Simone says:

    It’s not a control, but a wider request:

    when going in fullscreen mode, a silverlight application cannot receive events from the keyboard. This doesn’t allow the usage of keys (for ex the arrow key) to use the UI of the app.

    I know it’s has been done for security reasons, but this, IMHO, make the fullscreen interface a bit less usable.

    Maybe signing the application and asking the user to grant some more permissions to the app could be a solution to the problem.

  31. Tristan Smith says:

    A numeric up down control would be really handy, only just found it’s not in there yesterday.

  32. There are only two controls that are really absolutely necessary because all others can be built from them:

    1. A Canvas control. The events allow you to do buttons etc., but you need a canvas control to be able to control layout etc.

    2. A Textbox control. (Deals with all of the left-right, right-left weird characters, backspacing etc.  Combos ca nbe made from these (see asp.net 3rd party controls), as can DateTime pickers, et. al.

    However if Microsoft wanted to break it’s mold of horrible controls with horrible UI experiences the following would be also added:

    3. Mask Edit support to the textbox control that supports null.

    4. DateTimePicker that supports null and Vista-like drop down.

    5. Table-Layout control. Best part of WinForms 2.0

    6. Flow-layout control

    7. Grid that allows ANY control to be the editor for a cell, and that the editor can be changed on entry to the specific cell, has footers that can be calculated from an event, headers that can be completely controlled, Display Formats for Header, footer, and Cells different from the edit format of the edit control, and horizontal and veritical align, and word-wrapping and multi-line rows. (anything less than this, and we’ll all need to go get a 3rd party one anyhow, so there is no point in releasing it unless it does all of this)

    8.  Drop down combo that can control "type what you want", "drop down only", and design time list with Values and Text that are different at design time, and of course binding the list.  It would be really great if it allowed us to create our own drop downs and mappings via events for value to display text too.

    9.  List box – See drop down combo for most of it.

    10. Radio control – Should be a list box that can have one or more items, supported at design time, or data bind, and at design time support value and text different. – One Value

    11. Check Control (see Radio Control) — Multiple values.

    12. Ribbon Bar

    All with the standard layout stuff of WPF and we’re set.

    Incidently, these that I take for granted are just DevExpress’ excellent controls πŸ™‚ (or a subset of them).  I’d love to see things like a dynamic layout control like devexpress, or something too.

    Oh ya, and fix the install experience for Silverlight. it’s brutal.  "Click here to install plugin" which results in it immediatye showing a progress bar in that area, and then the control just working once it’s done, is the way it should be. The current way SUCKS.

  33. Mike Miller says:

    It sounds as though the general consensus is that people’s hope for silverlight is that it will bridge the gap (or chasm) that has existed for years between Windows application development and browser based applications.  So, people want it all.  But from a prioritization standpoint I would think:

    1.  The general controls (button, textbox, etc) are a given.  It is hard to do even quasi-serious UI development without these.

    2.  A good XHTML rendering control that can be treated more or less like any other control.  It’s an object that can be clicked, moused over, dragged, etc.

    3.  Providing rich text editing functionality is and has been a horribly frustrating ordeal with very limited return.  Personally, that was the first thing that I thought of when the buzz about Silverlight started.

    4.  A solid treeview control that behaves more like the Windows Forms treeview (as opposed to the ASP.net treeview).

    5.  I don’t know that I would necessarily agree with all of the Ajax control toolkit controls being included (yet) – BUT – I think that the functionality offered by the extender control set is what would be important (i.e.  DynamicPopulate, Hover, ModalPopup)

    There are many more that I could mention, but these are the ones that I really, really, really would like to see.

  34. Veeral Patel says:

    One of the controls I would like to see is the rendering of XPS documents.

  35. Amin kayyali says:

    i vote for all wpf controls πŸ™‚

  36. Tim MIschkin says:

    I hope you will implement a Schedule(e.g. Time Bar) Control

  37. Aaron says:

    Of course, all the standard controls need to be there (buttons, textboxes — think Win32 controls), but I’d like to see the controls that are in ComCTL32.ocx represented in some way — and things like the RichTextBox. These controls have been around for EVER on Windows, and it would be a shame for them not to be available in Silverlight 2.0.

    If you provide the fundamentals, the community and other companies can build on them. So, if you had to cut things, just create the building blocks for us (like the ASP.NET AJAX extender controls built by the community).

    I don’t know if it would be possible to build a RichTextBox control for example given the current state of Silverlight.

  38. Chris says:

    An accordion control would be fantastic!  Thanks!

  39. Archangel says:

    A mini-"form-like" panel control would be very useful – allowing other controls to be contained within in like a Windows form it could be moved/dragged around the browser canvas like a window on the desktop – would make for some very slick enterprise and/or portal type applications

  40. Green says:

    I want a control to test to see if my code complis with standard. Opps, sorry, we are talking about Microsoft (vendor-lock-in). I mean, I want a button that can automatically bring my silverlight-enhanced webpages on each browser (IE, Safari etc) on my machine rather than me manually having to bring up the page. This so that I can preview my work on these browsers during development.

  41. clark says:

    A customizable Ribbon, that would be cool!

  42. Mischi says:

    A WebBrowser Control would be nice πŸ™‚

  43. Lexapro. says:

    Lexapro. Lexapro weight loss. Lexapro generic.

  44. Valium. says:

    Valium side effects. Valium causing depression. Valium and internet. Side effects of valium. Valium.

  45. Manish says:

    Please first provide DateTime Picker. Its very basic control which we need almost in every applications. We have calendar control and date picker but we need datetime picker and due to this I’m struggling at my project due to this.

Skip to main content