DevExpress Newsletter 26, Message from the CTO: Silverlight 2. No, 3. Er, 4.

22 April 2010

Silverlight seems to be the quite the super-chrysalis of the Microsoft platform space. In version 1, it was all about media. Playing video streams and the like. Then moments later, popping out of its pupa, came version 2 (note, I may be misremembering the length of time between v1 and v2) and suddenly you could write C# applications to run against a cut-down CLR in the Silverlight sandbox.

Then scant days later came version 3, another metamorphosis -- my memory still failing me as to the actual length of time -- with more functionality supported out of the (sand)box and some mumblings of even having Silverlight applications working outside the browser.

Finally, last week, we got Silverlight 4 in our hands and, furthermore, in the hands of our instance of VS2010. This time the transformation was complete and I dare say future versions won't be quite so ground-breaking. Application developers got

- Printing support
- Full set of controls
- Better localization, including RTL
- CLR supports same compliled code to run on desktop and in browser
- Enhanced data binding
- Great support for design within VS2010
- The ability to write desktop sandboxed applications

Applications got

- Richer multimedia, including better run-time streaming support
- Video and audio recording
- Multitouch support
- Better support for 'desktop model' user interaction, including animation support
- Sandboxes

To go along with this metamorphosis of Silverlight 4 into a WPF-lite (I certainly do remember an early version of Silverlight beng known as WPF/E), we're reassessing our support for what I may call "XAML platforms" by refactoring our codebase for Silverlight and WPF into one common library called XPF (for eXpress Presentation Framework). You'll see the first results of this with our v2010 vol 1 release.

You could say that we've got our own chrysalis happening with our XPF controls.

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