Beginning Silverlight 3

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Overview

Silverlight design tools have important differences compared to those used to create Ajax and JavaScript functionality. Robert Lair takes you on a tour of all the tools, including Microsoft Expression Design, which plays an important part in creating Silverlight assets; Microsoft Expression Blend, which is used to build user interaction for Silverlight elements; and Microsoft Visual Studio, which manages the interaction between designers and developers, providing the coding ...

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Overview

Silverlight design tools have important differences compared to those used to create Ajax and JavaScript functionality. Robert Lair takes you on a tour of all the tools, including Microsoft Expression Design, which plays an important part in creating Silverlight assets; Microsoft Expression Blend, which is used to build user interaction for Silverlight elements; and Microsoft Visual Studio, which manages the interaction between designers and developers, providing the coding environment for "nuts and bolts" wiring.

Once you've mastered the basics, you'll move on to gaining a more in-depth knowledge of some of the groundbreaking new features of the Silverlight technology.

The growing popularity of Web 2.0 applications is increasing user expectations for high-quality web site design, presentation, and functionality. It was into this climate that Microsoft released Silverlight 3, the third iteration of its cross-browser web presentation technology and the second to ride on top of the .NET platform. Beginning Sliverlight 3 brings you to the cutting-edge of Web 2.0 application design and includes plenty of practical guidance to get you started straightaway.

What you’ll learn

  • Discover the tools needed for Silverlight 3 development, the roles each plays, and how they interact to produce a seamless result
  • Understand the fundamental concepts and techniques that lie at the heart of every successful Silverlight application and how to apply them to your own projects
  • Explore the features and coding practices new to Silverlight 3 that set it apart from other web-development tools


Who this book is for

This book is for anyone with an interest in web development. A basic familiarity with web development and simple C# coding is useful, but by no means a requirement. This book will teach you everything that you need to know.

While this is not a design-oriented text, Beginning Silverlight 3 approaches the subject in an open manner, showing how applications are put together across the developer-designer divide so that you are well equipped to work seamlessly with your colleagues (or indeed perform both roles with the aid of a suitable design text).

Table of Contents

  1. Welcome to Silverlight 3
  2. Introduction to Visual Studio 2008
  3. Layout Management in Silverlight 3
  4. Silverlight 3 Controls
  5. Data Binding and Silverlight List Controls
  6. Data Access and Networking
  7. Navigation Framework
  8. Local Storage in Silverlight
  9. Introduction to Expression Blend
  10. Styling in Silverlight
  11. Transformations and Animation
  12. Custom Controls
  13. Deployment


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430223771
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Edition description: 2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 17.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Lair is the president and chief executive officer of Intensity Software, Inc. and has been working with Microsoft .NET technologies since prior to its initial release in 2000. Among his accomplishments, Robert was on the team that created the original ASP.NET sample application IBuySpy, used to demonstrate the power of ASP.NET. Robert is an active speaker and writer in the development community.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 31, 2010

    Yes! You should read this book

    Beginning Silverlight 3 by Robert Lair

    Yes, we are all aware that Silverlight 4 has been out for a few months now, but a good book deserves a proper review anyway, right? That's what Apress' Beginning Silverlight 3 by Robert Lair has ended up being for me-a good book. Not over-the-top good or outstanding, but good.

    I have the benefit of reviewing this book as a beginner, unlike so many others who already possess a background in programming and web design. My experience is limited to a few courses taken in college that, well, just don't really cut it in the real programming world as I'm coming to find out.

    Mr. Lair presents Silverlight 3 in a form that is fit for a beginner indeed. His examples are fairly straight forward with explanations of concepts that are frequently accompanied by diagrams that further enhance the text. What slightly prohibits this book's accessibility to a beginner with absolutely no background in programming is that he makes assumptions as to what the reader's knowledge base is. A glaring example is the "Try It Out: JavaScript IntelliSense and Debugging" section in chapter two. He gives you a debugging example and after which has you hit F5 to run it. Well, I did that.multiple times. My default browser would open, but no "Hello World" example. After about 10 minutes of fiddling, I remembered from a class that you have to build your solution. Little steps like that may seem trivial to some, but obviously important to true beginners like myself.

    I would still recommend this book for beginners despite the few quirks. Chapters 5 and 9 covering data binding and Expression Blend, respectively, were exceptional chapters that clarified many questions in this reviewer's mind. Just be sure to have a friend with some Visual Studio experience on hand to help you with those annoying little quirks that keep you from completing examples.

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

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    Book Review for Beginning Silverlight 3

    Beginning Silverlight 3 by Robert Lair is truly a "Beginner" book on Silverlight and is where I am right now. Silverlight may be an intimidating and complex subject to a beginner. This book is a great way to start learning Silverlight and overcome any anxiety you may have in regard to learning it. You will easily learn Silverlight with this book. Silverlight has come a long ways since its first version (1.0), which was very basic and had only two controls available, the Rectangle and the TextBlock. It may be advisable that you have some basic C# knowledge. Make sure you set up your examples in a folder, like "\Beginning Silverlight 3\Ch3\", etc. You may want to refer to these examples later.

    If you are a Silverlight, or XAML, beginner, you should implement the examples step by step, chapter by chapter, in order to truly benefit from this book. I found that there were some things not covered in the book which I had to learn on my own, such as the fact that in order to use the Silverlight 3.0 tools, I had to uninstall Silverlight 1.0 and 2.0 first, and then install Silverlight 3. The book starts off extremely simple, with an introduction to Visual Studio 2008 in Chapter 2 and then proceeds on to layout controls in Chapter 3, where you learn how to create layout panels, i.e., Grids, WrapPanels, StackPanels, DockPanels, and other types of layout tools in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 is where the meat of the book starts, with the use of Silverlight user input controls, i.e., TextBox, RadioButton, CheckBox, etc. The book also instructs you on how to use extended controls, by adding" xmlns" declarations at the beginning of, for example, the page called MainPage.XAML.

    Robert Lair is careful in that he literally walks the user step by step through the Silverlight development process. For example, he makes sure that you know how to add "using statements" at the top of the code-behind pages, in this case, the .cs pages, for namespace referencing. This is common C# knowledge, but Robert is making sure that the new Silverlight developer is also getting all of the basics to be successful.

    Chapter 5 covers Data Binding and Silverlight List Controls. Data Access and Networking is covered in Chapter 6; this is an important chapter. For example, this quote on page 137 from the book: "The most common mechanism to access data from a Silverlight application is through web services, typically a WCF service." Silverlight applications can access data using ADO.NET Data Services, direct server connecting via TCP sockets, and out-of-the-box support for JSON, as well as RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0 syndication feed formats. Chapter 9 covers the use of Expression Blend, if you'd like to work with your XAML visually.

    There is a lot more to this book, which I have not covered in this review. I highly recommend this book for the Silverlight Beginner.

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  • Posted January 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Beginning Silverlight 3

    Beginning Silverlight 3 by Robert Lair, learn to build Silverlight applications quickly and easily. Robert is a published author of many books and magazine articles. Technologies in which Robert specializes include: Silverlight, mainframe modernization to .NET, ASP.NET custom application development. This book is for beginners only it will take through step-by-step walk-through tutorials and some hands on training. I really did not know how to use expression blend and that is used throughout this book. If you are a flash person you will go through this book easily. My favorite chapter is five because I have been looking so long for an explanation on data binding using Silverlight controls, well this chapter explains it all to me and there are hands on training on it. Another good chapter is six that goes through data access and networking, I am a fulltime developer and that is the kind of stuff I look for. Over all it is a great book.

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