Archive for the ‘Silverlight’ Category

I’d like to encourage everyone to support this project, it’d be a wonderful and powerful tool for indies: ExEn: XNA for iPhone, Android and Silverlight

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SilverLight DevCamp Nugget #4

One of the gotchas I pointed out earlier was that Validation and Intellisense doesn’t work right for XAML files. A related trap that took me quite a while to figure out is the WPF Designer in Visual Studio 2005 doesn’t understand SilverLight XML! I had to right click my XAML file and tell it to open with the XML Editor in order to make all the errors go away. Even then it still complains about the “x:name” attribute. This is what I think they meant. All quirks, I hope, God willing, will go away with Visual Studio 2008, Glory be to Digital Lord Gates.

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SilverLight DevCamp Nugget #3

An interesting question is how pop-up blockers and such interact with SilverLight. I personally had troubles with AVG freaking out when I was installing the SilverLight SDK. I finally got it to install correctly after I disable the “Resident shield.” I then promptly turned it back on only to have it mess up the creation of a SilverLight project. So at this point AVG gets turned off any time I’m dealing with SilverLight.

For now protection software makers’ are playing catching up and are slowly becoming aware of SilverLight. I’d wager that pop-ups will be a problem for about a year, so plan accordingly.

When Pete Brown was building the Carbon Calculator pop-up blockers where a big concern. His solution was to use a page redirect and query strings. The crux of the problem is if a blocker comes up, then the user has to enable pop-ups, which causes the page to refreshed, thereby zapping all the data!

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SilverLight DevCamp Nugget #2

Here are several gotchas I learned about at SilverLight DevCamp DC. You might not even understand what some of these are talking about, but hopefully by the end of this series you will.

  • Keyboard input doesn’t work right for fullscreen mode
  • Blend’s Media encoding fails sometimes
  • You need to deploy debug (.pdb) files in order for Firefox to work
  • You need to save the root element passed during the onload event so you can do a find controls with it later
  • Validation and intellisense don’t work right in xaml files
  • Attached properties don’t show-up in intellisense
  • Do not start animations in the constructor
  • No design time support for UserControls in Blend

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SilverLight DevCamp DC Nugget #1

This weekend I hauled myself down to DC to attend the SilverLight DevCamp DC.  I learned quite a few things so I’ve decided, instead of one really long post about it all I’d do a series of quick posts about the things I learned.

I’d like to send a big THANK YOU to Frank La Vigne for organizing this event and recognize all the speakers because they did this as volenteers:

Apparently I came the furthest for the event and so was given a free copy of the just released SilverLight 1.0 Unleashed.  I was quite happy because it was a book I was thinking about getting.  If that wasn’t surprise enough the book is filled with bright colors!

SilverLight DevCamp DC Nuggest #1

The first nugget I’ll share is that a Windows Mobile version of SilverLight is in the works.  Apparently there was a working demo at MIX07 and I found a video of the presentation by MLB.com, the mobile part is right at the end.

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Is SilverLight a new gaming platform?

Even though I’m not done I’ve decided to post my research so far onSilverLight. I’ve tried to find working examples for everything and cross-reference everything as much as I can. I apologize for the link happy post, but I want you to be able to get the info from the horse’s mouth and judge for yourself. First I’ll give you the executive summary. If you want more details follow the related link below.

Executive Summary

SilverLight allows you to deploy vector graphics and media rich applications through the browser unto Windows and Mac. Essentially it is a stripped down (currently 1 meg download for 1.0, 4 megs for 1.1) version of the .Net framework that runs in a browser (IE, Firefox, Safari and more planned.) It will allow games to switch to fullscreen mode, collect keyboard and mouse input, play videos and music seamlessly and save to a special sandbox area of the client.

The graphics are described in a new html like language called XAML which has a complex event system that allows the graphics to respond to changes in the game data. Think of a GUI layer that is responsible for itself, making changes to the way it looks based on user input and changes inside the game world.

One important thing to note is that search engines will be able to see the XAML. SilverLight should be viewed as a new API for the web. It isn’t just a way to embed games and videos on an html page. It will become a complete replacement for ASP.NET and HTML. Entire website will be made with XAML and run by SilverLight.

Is SilverLight a new gaming platform? Yes

User Experience

Blue Rose Games‘ Dr. Popper – Seemless Fullscreen Mode, look for button with arrow in the top right of the game frame

Terralever‘s Zero Gravity

  • Load bar while the game sets itself up
  • Video transition to game canvas
  • Seamless music , you can’t tell when the loop repeats and the sound FX are on queue
  • Website navigation – imagine gamers easily looking at online manual, jumping to order game, and popping into the community forums effortlessly.

Netika‘s GOA WinForms – Incredible clone of the Windows/Office look and controls. You just have to go see them to believe.

Infragistics‘ has a tech demo – rich user controls stepping beyond the current windows forms look

Technical

Tim Sneath’s post Introducing Microsoft Silverlight – “The first release that we’re shipping later this summer is about a megabyte in size, then we’re going to ship the next release, we’re calling it 1.1, is going to be about 3 to 4 megabytes in size.”

Scot Hanselman’s post Putting Mix, Silverlight, the CoreCLR and the DLR into context – “The Mac version of Silverlight is a Universal Binary and runs the same code and renders the XAML exactly the same on the Mac as it does on Windows.”

Steve C. Orr’s Introduction to SilverLight – “Silverlight’s team has a long term secret goal of keeping the download size under 5MB. Shhhh! Don’t tell anybody!”

Rafe Needleman ‘s What is Silverlight, really? – “search engines, like Google, can scan XAML”

Danny Thorpe , MIX07: Extending the Browser Programming Model with Silverlight – “Silverlight running in different browsers on the same machine will use the same isostorage area on the machine.”

The .NET Show: Silverlight (Transcript)

Misc

The Tater Salad Blog has the best firsthand account of using SilverLight to make games I’ve come across so far: Silverlight Game Development Post Mortem

Joel on Software recently wrote a post titled Strategy Letter VI although he doesn’t mention SilverLight and might not even be thinking about it I definitely think SilverLight could be the “second coming of Microsoft Windows.”

Microsoft is providing free streaming with up to 4 GB for SilverLight

Resources

How to compile using Visual Studio 2005 instead of Orcas

Silverlight Project Template for Visual Studio 2005

Chris Bowden’s List of SilverLight Games

List of 50 SilverLight Applications

Dave Relyea’s Blog : Silverlight 1.1 Alpha Layout System and Controls Framework

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