It's been an interesting couple of days for me, as I've meet some developers in both business meeting setting and via social setting (aka WebJam).
In my chats with these developers, they all seem very keen to learn more about Silverlight but have hesitations on it that range from "Isn't it bleeding edge?" to "It looks good but I'm not a .NET developer".
- I'm not a .NET developer, so I guess Silverlight isn't for me.
- What does Silverlight do differently to Flash
Lots, none and some. Wrong question, what does Silverlight do for you going forward and if you are a .NET developer it compliments your skill set (removing the need to learn new tooling & languages together. Expression Studio isn't that bad of an effort to be honest, as it took me 2 days of playing and I got it).
If you are a budding Flash Developer and are looking for a reason to take it on as an extra piece to your portfolio, do so with that in mind. It's another hammer for your tool kit, another piece of clay to sculpt with and so on. It approaches things differently to Adobe Flash, but that is because the roadmap beyond its release has different visions of where RIA is likely to go thus Microsoft's approach. Rich Web, Rich Client & Rich Device is your mantra.
- How do I combine ASP.NET AJAX with Silverlight then?
That's easy, you create a Project Solution in Visual Studio Orcas, you nominate ASP.NET Futures (with AJAX Toolkit installed) as your chosen template. You then create a Silverlight Project within the same solution.
Now comes the really hard part.
You then right click on the ASP.NET AJAX Futures project and hit the "Add Silverlight Link" to this project.
Congratulations you've just linked the two projects together and every time you make changes to your Silverlight project, it will reflect into your ASP.NET AJAX Futures project. "Look mah, no hands".
- What would you tell me that's cool about Silverlight?
Honestly, so far I've found (even after today) the Brush Fills to be the sexiest thing in this round of releases. I like it for it's simplicity and allow me to demonstrate
<Rectangle> <Rectangle.Fill> <Image Source="myimage.jpg"/> </Rectangle.Fill> </Rectangle>
I'll post more of these leading up to ReMIX as it amazes me some of the questions being asked (hey you don't know what you don't know, no harm, no foul) and if these are all that are stopping folks from having a go, then consider it greenlight time hehe.