Silverlight 2 Beta 2
Posted by petermcg on June 10, 2008
After a Beta 1 public release that lasted approx three months, Silverlight 2 has now moved on to Beta 2. This is the first release of Silverlight 2 that has a commercial go-live license, removing another potential obstacle in the decision to adopt the technology for new development.
Plenty of blogs have an overview of the changes here, here, here and here for a start! Some highlights that I will pick out are that we can ultimately expect over 100 controls for Silverlight, all of which will have built-in support for Control Templates and Visual State Manager customisation.
The Visual State Manager (VSM) is a way to visually manipulate the ‘Parts Model’ of a control and is supported by Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview. This is the different visual states and the transition between those states a control allows a designer to modify or completely customize with the guarantee that the logic of the control will not be adversely affected. The VSM is a feature new to Silverlight 2 that is not currently in WPF; in order to maintain upwards compatibility between the two, WPF will be getting the VSM later this year more than likely with .NET 3.5 SP1.
An ongoing area of particular interest to me (and this blog) will be the the Networking Improvements, the support for Duplex Communication (Server Push) has made it into Beta 2 with the System.ServiceModel.PollingDuplex.dll assembly amongst others. Two copies of this assembly come with the Beta 2 SDK, one copy under the %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SDKs\Silverlight\v2.0\Libraries\Client folder and another under the uncharacteristically named ‘Evaluation’ folder at %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SDKs\Silverlight\v2.0\Libraries\Server, so maybe this support only just made it in…
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