At PDC last month, many people were surprised when Scott Guthrie announced the release of the Silverlight 4 beta for developers during his day 2 keynote. He showed off some of the new programming features in several cool-looking demos. Many of the controls and features represent basic functionality missing from the first three releases –- a printing API, mouse wheel, Webcam and microphone support. But there is a lot more that is worth exploring.
The Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2010 beta 2, released in November, revamps the SL designer surface, facilitates drag and drop databinding, and introduces numerous controls. Microsoft's Tim Heuer offers a comprehensive overview of what's new in SL4.
On Wednesday, Guthrie provided a link to the SL4 source code and the VS project files for the PhotoBooth, Barcode Scanner, HTML Puzzle and Rich NotePad demos. He also offered brief explanations of the keynote demos on his blog.
Early adopters take note: Component vendor Telerik released the preview of its RadControls for SL4 to subscribers this week.
SL4 requires VS2010 beta 2 or Visual Web Developer Express 2010 beta 2 and the Silverlight Tools for VS2010. SL4 Tools includes WCF RIA Services (formerly .NET RIA Services). Expression Blend for the .NET 4 Preview is also available for download.
If you are already using the SL3 SDK, the build that comes with the VS2010 beta 2 tooling, SL3 SDK 3.0.40818, may not install. Microsoft program manager Amy Dullard offers a workaround in her blog:
SL3 was released in July and it's hard to believe that SL4, expected in the first half of 2010, is close at hand. When the SL4 beta for developers only (no runtime and no Go-Live license) arrived in mid November, Paul from Minneapolis was excited about the new technology but wondered about the different approaches of WCF and Silverlight:
"When I heard ScottGu announce the new SL 4 features, it was everything I asked for -- and more -- after SL 3 was released. I wanted the security sandbox loosened and now we have that with Trusted OOB SL 4 apps. We have printing, Webcam, audio. Now us architects have a busy season through the holidays getting ready for the release….My only reservation now is that the WCF team and Silverlight team seem to be in dichotomy. SL team guidance pushes towards building services that don't separate interface from implementation. Please SL team ... take some SOA guidance from the WCF team. We need to scale!"
The February 2010 cover story in Visual Studio Magazine offers a deep dive into SL4. We want to hear from you. Express your thoughts on the Silverlight and Microsoft's rapid speed delivery below or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Kathleen Richards on 12/17/2009 at 12:54 PM