Silverlight Firestarter 2010 keynote

Summary

  • Silverlight 5 coming out end of next year (2011).
  • Silverlight 5 will have lots of performance improvements
  • Some new features that brings it closer to WPF
  • XAML debugging
  • Profiling tools for CPU & memory. looking forward to that
  • They say “Media applications” way too many times in the first 15 minutes to try and emphasise that that is the focus of Silverlight
  • WAY too many similar apps shown and reshown from different companies, their own spin on a “Silverlight Line of Business application with interactive charts”.
  • Lots of nice new 3D accelerated capabilities that were played down. In my opinion THIS should have been the target of the keynote/Silverlight. This is something that HTML5 doesn’t do so well yet.

Scott Gu on stage

Shipped Silverlight4 7 months ago.
Lots of media based websites have been media based applications

Going to demonstrate 2 apps
1st is from SAP. “SAP by design”
Gu shows a video clip of SAP demonstrating the app
Silverlight gives them a “lot more interactivity”
Using it to visualise reports.
interactive charts

Is just a loooong video clip of a standard Silverlight Line of Business app.
“if I click on print, I get to client side printing
Really nothing exciting here at all, wondering why they are showing this demo clip 2mins into the keynote
Only reason is because it was SAP who released it, trying to show that big companies are supporting it.

Shows a 2nd video vlip
This time it is the Facebook silverlight app from PDC
Telerik has taken the PDC demo and has created a real app with it.
http://facedeck.telerik.com

Silverlight is the platform for Windows Phone 7
Showing the IMDB application
More than 3,000 applications have been uploaded to the WP7 marketplace

Going to talk about the future of Silverlight
There has been a lot of angst in the community lately
Silverlight does have a future, and we are going to show it.

We live in a very connected world. There are many device that can connect to the internt.
They are going to be supporting in HTML5 so that devlopers can target lots of platforms.
They are also going to be supporting Silverlight
And supporting WPF

The 3 of them give them a robust tool offering.
Today is focusing on the future of Silverlight.

Announcing Silverlight 5
It is a major release.
It is focused on enabling media applications..
They are using the community voting site to help prioritise which features should be in Silverlight 5.
going to show how it creates rich media applications
Hardware media decode
Can stream HD 1080p video on a netbook now (if they have a GPU)
New feature called “trickplay”, allows you to play media back at different speeds (1.2x for example to help watch sessions faster)
Better power management features (nicer to batteries).

Silverlight 5 allows remote controls to control any Silverlight media player.
IIS Media Services 4.0, lets you smooth stream to Silverlight, iPad, iPhone, WP7
“low latency live streaming”
He mentions the world “media” about 15 times in 2 minutes. I guess that is the niche for Silverlight.

Chris comes on stage to demonstrate Live smooth streaming

Opens expression encoder
(save yourself time, just read Scott Hanselmann’s blog post )
http://www.hanselman.com/blog/StreamingLiveOrOnDemandVideoFromIIS7ToIOSDevicesIPhoneiPadAndSilverlightClients.aspx

Scott Gu back on stage
Can stream media to many devices
Announcing Azure support for IIS media services
Silverlight has a great developer platform

Dayforce CEO on stage
Dayforce go into companies to organise labour
Allows employees to view their timecards, etc.
Shows a silverlight app that looks like outlook calendar
Employee can specify what their availability is
Managers can see forecasts.
Another LONG demo of a standard Silverlight Line of Business application that has interactive grid & graphs.

Scott gu back on stage

Lots of new things in SL5 to help developers

  • Lots of improvements in Data binding
  • Data binding debugging (you can actually step through your code)
  • Markup extensions for MVVM
  • Implicit data templates
  • dataContextChanged event

WCF & ria support

  • WS-Trust support
  • Low latency networking (for trading, etc)
  • MVVM friendly datasource!!
  • end to end support for complex types
  • Windows Azure support (table storage support)

 

John papa comes on stage
Demonstrating databinding & debugging
Some of the new features help MVVM patterns

Going to shoe his top 5 features to help develoeprs

Feature 1
Shows a demo, has “layout transtions”
Now just 3 lines of xaml to define animations that slide in and out
<LoadTransition StartXOffset StartOpacity Time to animate
So it can fade in from a side.

Feature 2
RelativeSourceFromAncestor
The standard problem where you set the datacontext to a book or a customer, but you have a dropdown that needs to display a list of items from somewhere else, like categories. Save you needing to do the datacontextproxy hack
<{Binding RelativeSource, AncestorType=Categories

Feature 3
Custom markup extensions
Change your xaml to do anything you want
If you have a list of categories, if you click on one, you want it to load of the books in the other panel. He didn’t use commanding.
He has a event handler for SelectedItemChanged Event in the codebehind.
He wants to remove it, so now he can invoke any method from any class from any event in xaml now
Makes it more similar to WPF

Feature 4
If you have an app and you want to change things on the fly across the entire app
Such as you want to change the theme on the fly
Top right of the app he has theme colours, he clicks on it and the theme changes instantly
Binding & style setters feature.
He has a style called “accent blocks”
Usually he would set “fill” to a colour
Now you can say to set the fill colour to be a binding to an object. So if you update that object, the entire app updates

Feature 5
This is his #1 feature
You look at the xaml and you don’t know whats wrong with it
Now you can set breakpoints inside your xaml
Because everything is happening in bindings, made it hard to debug in Silverlight4.
He looks at the xaml, it looks correct, so he sets a breakpoint in the xaml
It hits the breakpoint in xaml

Scott Gu back on stage

Text & printing improvements

  • “Text clarity” improvements.
  • Multicolumn text flow features
  • Character tracking and leading
  • Full opentype support
  • Vector postscript printing api

Silverlight pivot. They moved the pivot team into the Silverlight team
Pivot will now be built into Silverlight 5

Angela Wise comes on stage

Does a demo on pivotviewer (Sidenote: Ko lin Chang and I did a usergroup talk on Pivotviewer and how to dynamically create pivot collections with Azure the othe rmonth, we will upload it soon)
Silverlight Pivot viewer shows you many many items (in this case, showing coffee shops that someone owns).
Has deep zoom to zoom into each item.
Each item has metadata, so you can sort, arrange, group them. Allows you to visualise data easier
A current problem is wanting to do dynamic pivot collections.

She hits ebay API and creates pivots on the fly, shiny
Developer customisation is big priority for them this time.

You can modify how the pivot apps look now.

Scott Bu back on stage

Graphics improvements

  • Immediate mode graphics api
  • Gpu accelerated 3D
  • Fluid transitions?

2 people from Archetype come on stage

Showing an app that use the low level 3d api
Shows a 3d earty spinning around. Has a cloud layer moving around on top
Has mountains, etc.

2nd app
Medical app
Clicks on a patient
Brings up a 3D model of Scott Gu “the patient”
High quality 3D model, VERY smooth

Very impressive 3d graphics

Scott Gu back on stage
Silverlight 4 had new Out of Browser features
In silverlight 5

  • Multiple window support
  • P/Invoke
  • Enterprise group policy support

Village health guy comes on stage

“they create apps”
“we have created big apps”
“lots of big people use them”
Created a prototype in Silverlight 5

ANOTHER standard Silverlight “Line of Business” application with interactive graphs.
Charts
They wrote a win32 app that lets them interact with a piece of hardware through the Silverlight app.

Scott gu back on stage
Test & perf tools

  • Automated UI testing
  • Improved profiling support for
    • Memory
    • CPU
    • Thread contention

John papa back on stage

Coded UI tests for Silverlight 5
In a silverlight app, he clicks in the search box and searches for a book.
Now he wants to automate that
In Visual studio he adds a new reference
Creates a test method
Clicks record
He searches for the book again, but he made a mistake, he searched for the wrong term first.
He continues on, re-searches, then stops the test.
He can remove the steps that he doesn’t want in the final test (his mistake).
Then he says what the end of the test should assert
So he clicks on the part of the screen that has the book details, it brings up a property window for that textbox, and he says what the properties should be set to at the end of a test

Scott Gu back on stage

They focus a lot on Silverlight performance

Silverlight 5 has

  • Faster statup
  • Hardware acceleration in IE9
  • 64bit support!! (well, so that it can be hosted in 64bit browsers)

Someone from SQL BI team comes on stage

A new tool called crescent
It is used to create reports that run on SQL Server
It looks a lot like the Sql reporting services client tool
It looks a lot nicer than the existing tool,
Generates and displaying the report data as he is building the report. In 30seconds he has a nice very cool report
Lots of very nice new features over the existing too. A LOT more interactive and live
This was a really really nice example of a Silverlight application

Scott gu back on stage
End of 2011 for Silverlight 5 release
1st 1/2 of 2011 for Silverlight 5 beta

By David Burela

2 thoughts on “Silverlight Firestarter 2010 keynote

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