Customer Reviews for

Pro Silverlight 3 in C#

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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  • Posted June 30, 2010

    A Deep Reference that Reads like a Blog

    Matthew MacDonald is a name I look for in software development books, and this is the third one of his books that I would rate as best I've found on its topic.

    I'm using Pro Silverlight 3 in C# as a deep reference for two Silverlight projects I'm working on. I had learned the basics of Silverlight 2 at user group and training events, but needed to refresh my knowledge and extend it to version 3 features. Also, I wanted to be able to look up specific topics as I encountered a need for a particular functionality. Pro Silverlight 3 in C# was the only book I needed to accomplish al of this.

    A detailed and well-organized table of contents let me pick out several chapters I started out with for review. Each chapter includes a "What's New" tip box at the beginning that allows the experienced reader to focus immediately on what sections present features added in version 3. And between the table of contents and index, I was always reading what I needed within seconds of turning to the book.

    The book is enhanced with many Notes and Tips sections, and appropriately focuses on the essentials. In many ways, it reads like a series of blogs.

    This book is for experienced programmers, but Silverlight beginners can still consider it. Simply start with the introduction, then a first chapter, that go from a basic description of what Silverlight is, all the way to coding and deploying a barebones Silverlight web app that prepares the reader for implementing the features discussed throughout the book. The coverage is comprehensive, even including data binding topics for data-driven web apps.

    For beginning to advanced learners, the book's color-coded sample code and screen illustrations are very useful visual aids that speed learning. And the code from the book that I've tried has always worked!

    Note that developers who want a visual design experience for Silverlight will need to use the new Visual Studio 2010, since VS 2008 omitted this. Or try out Microsoft's separate Expression Blend product, which is outside the scope of this book. MacDonald explains the differences in his Introduction.

    I will definitely upgrade to MacDonald's next version for Silverlight 4, when it is published.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    One Stop Shopping for Silverlight Programming

    I have purchased several books on Silverlight before this one and none of them had the comprehensive nature of this book. I also have to applaud its clarity and usefullness. Once you get beyond the usual explanation of controls and shapes, you will need to find behind the scenes information about the proper use of pages and frames in navigation and how to transwfer information between pages. Other books lack this informational glue and short of depenidng on information scattered throughout the internet you will find it all here.

    This is not to say that this book contains informtion of every aspect of Silverlight, however it is the best single collection that I have found in the last two years. You will still have to experiment with your own custom designs. But, the core of what you need to do is detailed right here.

    I am redesigning three websites using Silverlight right now using the examples and information from this book. I am able to bring 30 years of programming experience to this area of programming and the results are spectacular. I looked into ASP and PHP for several years, but foud the results to be lifeless and mostly boring. Silverlight gives the webpage both animated lifelike behavior and allows an artistic presentation of the website data.

    As far as I'm concerned, this book is the best place to start.

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  • Posted February 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Silverlight 3 in C#

    This book is not for beginners, if you are looking for a beginners book I would recommend Apress Beginning Silverlight 3. Now back to the Pro Silverlight 3 in C#, I have read a couple of books but this book is different. The book is very detailed when it talks about Silverlight it also has lots of references to the Silverlight toolkit. If you are new to Silverlight this book will deliver deep knowledge to start building Silverlight applications. You will master Silverlight from the ground up and no Silverlight experience is required. You will have a solid understanding of the complete Silverlight platform. I used to develop flash sites but when Silverlight came out it opened my eyes to a whole new world. I recommend looking into Rick Barraza's blog to see what you can do with Silverlight. There you will see samples and code on Silverlight. For this book you can download the code from Apress and they also have an ebook available don't forget the book is in color!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2009

    Very good book that covers all the core topics of Silverlight 3 and its new features

    It's very easy to say that " I loved reading Pro Silverlight 3 in C#
    book and worth my time and money". The book is very easy to read. All the chapters are arranged systematically, that way it's easy for readers at every level. It starts with explaining the history of Silverlight and slowly introduces all the basic concepts necessary to develop Silverlight applications.

    I loved that the author has a "What's New" sections wherever applicable, that way for people like me who is upgrading their skills from Silverlight 2 can jump to those areas if they are only interested in the new features of Silverlight. As far as the depth, the author has done a very good job of explaining all the important concepts and almost all the controls available out of the box and controls available in Silverlight Toolkit.

    What I liked is that the author also mentions the limitations if any or cautions and because I have implemented multiple projects in Silverlight, I can tell that all those tips , cautions and Notes can save you lot of time and frustration. For example, the mouse wheel event only fires in IE and not in other browsers or how to handle exceptions at an application level and how VS handles them when you are in debug mode vs. release mode. Those types of tips are very useful when implementing a feature and when you put the app in productions.

    All the new features like Out of Browser, Navigation are discussed. Individual chapters are dedicated to Animation and Sound, Video and Deep Zoom to go deep in these areas which was very useful for me personally.

    .NET Ria Services is slightly touched, not in depth as its relatively new which can be slightly disappointing for those who want to learn about it .Data Annotations and Data Validation for the forms and other Data Controls are discussed in depth.

    I wished the author has talked a little bit more about Rest Services as the web Client has some limitations in areas of REST, Frameworks like Prism and Caliburn and Commonly used design patterns like MVVM and other TDD best practices in context of Silverlight.

    For that reason, I would say that this book is more suitable for entry level to mid level Silverlight developers. But if you are completely new to Silverlight or just touched few areas in developing Silverlight, I seriously recommend this book to get strong in all core areas of developing Silverlight applications.

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  • Posted November 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Pro Silverlight 3 in C# by Matthew Macdonald

    I can honestly say that Matthew Macdonald and Apress have created a book that covers almost every aspect of Silverlight 3 in C#. I had not used Silverlight before and was not sure whether this book would be aimed at beginners.

    After reading the first few chapters I found that I not only understood the design philosophy of Silverlight but I was also able to get my hands dirty and create my first Silverlight application. I quickly started to learn about the fundamentals of Silverlight and start to learn about XAML which is a markup language used to instantiate .NET objects. Further on I learnt about layouts, events, elements, models and navigation. There is also a very good reference into shapes, animation, video and sound. As you progress deeper into the book you find that it helps you understand the more intrinsic parts of Silverlight such as template, controls, data binding and isolated storage.

    I really like the way the author has managed to create concise and simple to understand examples throughout the book. Sometimes programming books shows examples that can confuse the reader and you are forced to read the text many times to understand it. However this book does not fall into that trap and I found myself actually understanding and thoroughly enjoying this book.

    One of my favourite parts is the data binding chapter. It takes you through simple two way data binding data and shows off the validation features of Silverlight 3. Again with simple real day to day examples this chapter shows of the power of data binding in Silverlight.

    Overall the book took me through all the concepts of Silverlight and it has become an invaluable resource that I use on a day to day basis overall I would rate this book 9.5/10

    I can truthfully say that I can recommend this book 100%

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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