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Silverlight 5 Announcement

I was glad to see Scott Guthrie’s blog post Announcing Silverlight 5 posted last Thursday.

If you have read my recent posts you know there are many points of Silverlight that have disappointed me. As someone that only has 64-bit computers, believes in TDD (Test Driven Development), and appreciates the MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) pattern, Silverlight seems weak. With my perspective in mind I’ll highlight some points from Scott’s blog post that really caught my eye.

  • Under the Application Development section he mentions Databinding and MVVM including the phrase “provide better Silverlight/WPF feature convergence”. Clearly something I’m interested in.
  • WCF and RIA Services – They don’t mention it explicitly, but I do hope they fix some of the code generation issues and the fact that the generated code is not part of the project, thus if you check your code in by default it will not build on your TFS (Team Foundation Server) build machine! I discuss this at length in my post “Getting Silverlight 4 Business Application to Run on TFS Build Server”.
  • Testing Tools – While they are adding automated UI Testing support I hope they improve the testability of Silverlight in a TFS environment.
  • 64-bit – Finally, under performance they mention support for 64-bit browsers. I hope that means that Silverlight will support AnyCPU and will again build more easily in a TFS environment. In his keynote, Scott stated, “We are introducing a 64-bit Silverlight runtime for the first time.”

I did watch Scott’s keynote about the Future of Silverlight. I thought the decoding on the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit). Since his keynote was 1 hours long, I really wanted to speed it up like I do with most videos in Windows Media Player. The ability to adjust playback speed will be available in 5. John Papa talked through some nice features as well – I think it’s best you watch him rather than have me summarize here. I can say I have encountered some of the problems for which he described new solutions. I will say that some of the features in Silverlight 5 will make my project go much smoother.

I got called away, so I didn’t finish watching the video, but I’m looking forward to Silverlight 5. I just hope that now we are making smaller changes between releases. When I tried to switch in the past it at times felt like a re-write. (I never did anything very serious… so it was no big deal. Going forward this will impact me greatly.)

At about 1 hour 20 minutes into the video there is a demo of PivotViewer. WOW… that shows lots of promise.

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