For those of you watching the agenda for MIX09, the announcement of Silverlight 3 probably didn’t come as a huge surprise. However, I bet hardly anyone expected the enormous number of new features that have been announced for Silverlight 3. Here are just a few of the new features along with links to my posts covering them:
Core Application Platform Features
- Offline and Out of Browser Support
- New RIA Business Applications Framework (this is the realization of the stuff Jamie Cool demonstrated at the PDC and I’ve been showing at various locations in the Mid-Atlantic area). This includes navigation, data validation, rules, service plumbing, data binding, forms, and more. This is one of the biggest parts of the new Silverlight 3 release, and you can be sure that I and others will be talking about it more.
- UI Element to element binding
- New Raw Media Stream Source for Audio and Video
- H.264 Video
Graphics and Animation
- Perspective transformations / 3D
- Bitmap API for creating bitmaps pixel-by-pixel and for rendering parts of the control tree to a bitmap
- Pixel Shaders for almost any effect you can think of, including blurs and drop shadows
- Hardware acceleration and caching including performing the final blit of content on the GPU, as well as allowing for cached composition where a part of the visual tree is rendered to a bitmap for performance
- Custom Easing / tweening
Styling and Themes
- Cascaded/based-on styles
- Resettable styles (no more restriction on setting styles only once!)
- Merged resource dictionaries
There’s much more including networking enhancements, text enhancements, compression, deep zoom and more.
Kudos to the Silverlight team for getting such an amazing amount of functionality out and ready for Beta for MIX09. I’m also super impressed with the effort they put into engaging members of the community to solicit feedback, evaluate features and test the various builds leading up to 3.