Is it time to open source Silverlight?

Call to action: Vote on User Voice for Silverlight to be open sourced http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/5042512-open-source-silverlight 

For all intents and purposes Microsoft now views Silverlight as “Done”. While it is no longer in active development it is still being “supported” through to 2021 (source).
In today’s age of the “modern public web” with a variety of devices, Silverlight’s purpose no longer stands.

However there is still a section of the .Net community that would like to see further development done on the Silverlight framework. It has a nice collection of portable technologies allows it a small niche in the desktop environment. A quick look at some common request lists brings up the following stats:

Rather than letting Silverlight decay in a locked up source control in the Microsoft vaults, I call on them to instead release it into the hands of the community to see what they can build with it. Microsoft may no longer have a long term vision for it, but the community itself may find ways to extend it in ways Microsoft didn’t envision.
Earlier this year Microsoft open sourced RIA Services on Outer Curve http://www.outercurve.org/Galleries/ASPNETOpenSourceGallery/OpenRIAServices, it would be great to see this extended to the entire Silverlight framework.

We’ve seen what can happen with amazing technologies when they are released into the wild. e.g ID software released the Quake 1 source code to the community, it has since been extended greatly and ported to a variety of platforms. A version was even created for Silverlight http://www.innoveware.com/ql3/QuakeLight.html. Which makes sense as XNA running on Silverlight was a popular technology for students.

I’ve used games as examples of ways to extend it as that is what hobbyists usually latch onto first. But there are equal reasons why people still using it on internal LoB applications would want to continue to extend the core framework, e.g:

Silverlight still has a nice portable core of useful technologies, now is the time to start asking the question if it is time to Open Source it rather than let it mothball. There may be uses in the community for it now, in another 2-3 years its usefulness in the community would be lost. This also may be a great point to release Silverlight to the community.
Microsoft, let the community know if there is a way we can assist in making this happen.

By David Burela

Community report – XDDN Melbourne April

Ian Randal (@kiwipom) spoke at the XDDN Melbourne April meeting.

He lightly touched on what IoC is, in the context of how Caliburn.Micro uses it. He then went on to show some demos of  Caliburn.Micro. He demonstrated how a XAML page can be created which binds to a ViewModel, without requiring any “UI glue code” to stick it all together. It made for a simple application that had a higher percentage of the code being business logic, rather than scaffolding.

A recording of the talk can be found below

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/41073059/]
https://vimeo.com/41073059/

By David Burela

XDDN around Australia

To try and streamline the XDDN groups around Australia, I have been working with the organisers of the other cities to create a few central locations for everything.
For those unfamiliar with XDDN, it is a usergroup I run that focuses on UX, Design and Development on Microsoft UI platforms. Such as Win8, WinPhone7, HTML5, etc.

The main reason for moving everything to Meetup is that it allows everyone to easily see upcoming events and get automatically notified when new events are created.
Having XDDN on Meetup.com also supports my other goals of getting more people involved with their local development communities. Joining the groups will allow you to easily find other local groups that you may want to attend, such as Agile or Alt.Net groups.
Please join the group for your city, as the old event sites (such as EventBrite) will be slowly decommissioned over the next few weeks.

My first book has been published Azure & Silverlight integration

It is with GREAT pride and pleasure that I am able to finally announce that my first book has been published and is available to be purchased right now!

Microsoft Silverlight 5 and Windows Azure Enterprise Integration details how enterprise Silverlight applications can be written to take advantage of the key features of Windows Azure to create scalable applications.

It is available as as eBook,  in print format and is available on the Kindle, Nook, etc.  It can be purchased from the following websites:

By David Burela

XDDN Melbourne – April meeting

This month I have organised for Ian Randall (@Kiwipom) to talk at the April XDDN meeting.

I have also created a new twitter account @XDDN_AU from which I will be tweeting all of the sessions for Melbourne, Sydney & Perth. Be sure to follow it.

Register here: http://xddn-melbourne-april2012.eventbrite.com/

Learn about creating great MVVM applications with LESS CODE. Ian Randall will be demonstrating how to use Caliburn.Micro to create cleaner XAML based applications. These techniques will work with WinRT (Windows 8), Silverlight, Windows Phone 7 and WPF.
Caliburn.Micro can be downloaded at http://caliburnmicro.codeplex.com/

Time: 5:30 pm networking & pizza.
6:00 pm presentations start.

Caliburn.Micro – Ian Randall

Caliburn.Micro (http://caliburnmicro.codeplex.com/) is more than just an MVVM library, it’s a client application framework that works every bit as hard for your app that a web framework does: Logging, composition, binding, and much, much more.
This session will cover getting started with Caliburn.Micro and give practical demonstrations of Convention Over Configuration, Actions, Screens & Conductors and will go a bit deeper under the covers (if we get time).

Ian Randall is a software developer for Datacom in Auckland and a XAML geek on the internets. He helps to run the Metro Meetup in Auckland and just spent the last 6 months putting on ‘codemania’ (http://codemania.co.nz). He is currently trying to catch a breath…
He loves Melbourne, partly for the friendly Victorian people, but mostly for @aeoth’s legendary chocolate brownies.

By David Burela

I’m speaking at the Melbourne March XDDN

I’m speaking at Melbourne XDDN this month. With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview released, now is the perfect time to reexamine Windows 8. Below are the meeting details:

Register here: http://xddn-melbourne-march2012.eventbrite.com/
Date: Wed 21st March
Time: 5:30 networking & pizza. 6pm presentations start

A tour around Windows 8 – David Burela
Windows 8 has been announced to the public and is being branded as “Windows reimagined”. This introductory session will show some of the new features coming with Windows 8.
A touch first interface, user account syncing via the cloud, “charms”, app to app data sharing, and the ability to use a picture password to log into windows will all be demonstrated.

Getting started with Windows 8 development – David Burela
So you’ve heard that Windows 8 has a new way of applications known as “Metro styled immersive apps”, but what does this actually mean? What is WinRT? Is Microsoft really making developers use HTML5 to create desktop apps? What about your previous investments in Silverlight?
Join David Burela as he helps clarify what the new programming model is and what impact it will have on you. Explanations of WinRT and how to create basic applications will be shown.

By David Burela

I’m speaking at the Melbourne September XDDN

I’m speaking at the Melbourne XDDN this month. Now that Windows 8 and the WinRT programming model has been released, it makes sense to focus on them. Below are the meeting details:

Register here: http://sddn-sep-2011.eventbrite.com/
Date: Tue 27 Sep
Time: 5:30 networking & pizza. 6pm presentations start

A tour around Windows 8 – David Burela
Windows 8 has been announced to the public and is being branded as “Windows reimagined”. This introductory session will show some of the new features coming with Windows 8.
A touch first interface, user account syncing via the cloud, “charms”, app to app data sharing, and the ability to use a picture password to log into windows will all be demonstrated.

Getting started with Windows 8 development – David Burela
So you’ve heard that Windows 8 has a new way of applications known as “Metro styled immersive apps”, but what does this actually mean? What is WinRT? Is Microsoft really making developers use HTML5 to create desktop apps? What about your previous investments in Silverlight?
Join David Burela as he helps clarify what the new programming model is and what impact it will have on you. Explanations of WinRT and how to create basic applications will be shown.

By David Burela