I hope some of you who are attending MIX were able to attend this talk this morning. If not, here's a short summary of the chat along with some screen shots of the Silverlight Times Reader prototype that was demo'ed during the talk.
- Kevin Gjerstad, Group Program Manager of WPF, walked through some of the history of typography, the problems with reading today on screen, and how WPF aims to address those problems with features like multi-column layout, pagination, dynamic hyphenation, and optimal paragraph.
- Robert Larson, VP of Product Development at the New York Times, walked through the WPF based Times Reader and the business model that they're employing with it. Also, the most exciting part -- at least for me -- was hearing about their user metrics. The most staggering statistic is that there's a average 7x increase in user page views when compared to the web site!
- Warrick Fitzgerald, CTO at LiveTechnology, demonstrated WPF adaptive ads produced from their LiveAdMaker system. This system automates and drastically reduces the cost of producing WPF based ads that adapt to the ad space that they're given in the Times Reader.
- Then Nathan Dunlap, Senior Iteractive Designer at IdentityMine, joined everyone on stage for an open panel Q&A.
One of the demos Kevin showed was a technology prototype using Silverlight to present the New York Times Reader. This prototype was shown on a Mac in Safari but can run on any device and browser Silverlight supports. The prototype uses a server side pre-pagination technique that sends down the content and layout data via XMLHttpRequest from a web server down to a client.
Here are some screen shots of it:
We'd love to get your feedback on this prototype. If you're here at MIX, stop by the sandbox and come find me if you want to take a closer look or chat about it.