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Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Goodies

Pete Brown - 03 June 2008

Announced at Tech Ed today: Silverlight 2 Beta 2 is coming this week, right on time according to the information from the MIX08 sessions (Beta 1 plus 1q = this week).

There are tons of new things in Silverlight 2 Beta 2, but here are a few of the ones I find interesting.

  • Cross-domain changes to Sockets. Sockets now support a server opt-in model similar to that used by WCF. I'll post more about this later.
  • WCF Duplex Communications. Eugene Osovetsky blogged about this a bit ago. Expect to see some additional information from him on this topic. I'm looking forward to playing around with this feature and using it not only for chat-type applications, for for pushing notifications to business applications. Currently, this is a little harder to get your arms around, so look to Eugene and likely a post from me (I plan to use it in the TechFest application) to help clear it up.
  • TextWrapping in textbox. Yay! Sure, Beta 1 was a beta, but I really did miss textwrapping in a textbox. I'm glad that has been addressed in Beta 2.
  • TabControl which is a request I've heard often. It's always interesting to see how many applications make use of this even in somewhat obscure ways. A great addition to the control set.
  • Updates to Improve WPF Compatibility. One of my favorite things about Silverlight is the goal of having a strict subset of WPF functionality. I love Silverlight, but I also love WPF. Being able to easily move back and forth between the two is a wonderful thing. This is also a big selling point with customers: one team, two platforms, one primary skillset.

There are some other neat features that I haven't played with yet, like the updates to Deep Zoom, the Visual State Manager for controls, LINQ to JSON, and ADO.NET Data Services. For the last, expect to see some great info from ADOGuy.

Note that this is the version that the Bejing Olympics and the DNC will both use for online content. Along those same lines, Beta 2 comes with a commercial go-live license so you can.

Along with Silverlight 2 Beta 2, you'll find a new preview of Expression Blend 2.5 and a new version of Deep Zoom Composer. Lots of goodies to keep you busy doing something other than mowing the lawn this summer :)

Now that there is a go-live for Silverlight 2 Beta 2, I expect to see lots of new applications launched.

posted by Pete Brown on Tuesday, June 3, 2008
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18 comments for “Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Goodies”

  1. johnnystocksays:
    Thanks for the tidbits on Beta 2. I'm looking forward to seeing details as they are available (I'll probably post a few myself once I have access to the bits) :).

    I must truly be a geek since this is like Christmas to me :), well Mix was Christmas, this is a birthday.
  2. Fallon Masseysays:
    I'm a bit concerned that you mentioned a textbox, and NOTHING about a rich text control. Without rich text, there are several application types that are severly crippled.
  3. Fallon Masseysays:
    Yes I've seen it, and while it's functional, it leaves a lot to be desired.

    I was hoping for a text control that would at a minimum take html and render it, and at best, provide IBeam selection at runtime.

    We can't be that competitive with Flash, let alone Flex without the one of the major food groups of media, which is composed of Video, Text, Graphics and Audio(VTGA).

    We will still do applications for SilverLight, but taking text from users will be somewhat limited.
  4. Pete Brownsays:

    Definitely. Microsoft simply doesn't have the resources to create every useful control, so just as they have been with all the other developer platforms, third parties are going to be key to filling out the ecosystem for Silverlight.
  5. Fallon Masseysays:
    Chris Vickerson,

    Thanks, they do have a really nice set of controls. I noticed their DataGrid still suffers horrible scrolling of many records, but Beta 2 should fix that performance problem.
  6. Andysays:
    In answer to my own question i just came across:


    This helped me to get my head around the requirements but will certainly take some thinking to apply...
  7. Rodney Reidsays:

    I'm with you on the Christmas/Birthday feeling.

    The hardest part of Silverlight 2 for me isn't developing for it, it's explaining to other people the leaps and bounds it makes over plain old html/js apps/flash/java and why I'm so excited about it.

    Deep Zoom (via Vertigo's work with it on the Hard Rock Cafe memorabilia site) helped a bit in that respect. Yet there's still no 'killer-application' -- the wow of AJAX / Web 2.0 wasn't easily explained until Google Maps went into beta.

    I'm hoping MSNBC has done great work on the upcoming '08 Olympics website that uses it.
  8. Christoph Hussesays:

    Why would you need HTML rendering in a Silverlight world??? But of course it would be possible to output HTML and use limited HTML as input, but I don't see any advantage of this. You may use the richtextbox in readonly mode to display binary serialized text. It is also possible to serialize very custom controls which would be impossible using HTML. Keep in mind that the editor supports serialization/deserialization of ANY control. Would be a little bit funny to realize in HTML. And even if you do, it could only be rendered by this very RichTextEdit so you could use the binary serialization in first place...

    Of course the component is not ready yet.
  9. Fallon Masseysays:
    @Chris Husse:
    Chris, I said at a MINIMUM Html, obviously I would prefer XAML, but you know the problems there. Without a XamlWriter, the I/O story is incomplete.

    Your solution of binary serialization is a horrible story for the real world. In the real world, we never sit at a screen and type text into a control on the screen.

    Resources are delivered in a variety of formats that, today, can ALL be converted into HTML! SilverLight has a terrible text story right now, despite the very hard work you've done with your control.

    I commend your effort, but MS needs to either deliver a text engine for SL, or XamlWriter to let guys like you deliver a more complete solution.

    Just my opinion.

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1 trackback for “Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Goodies”

  1. Helensays:
    Следуя последним новостям с TechEd - Silverlight 2 Beta 2 должен выйти на этой неделе с GoLive лицензией.