March 31, 2008

Thoughts on Silverlight

So, I guess you could say I've seen the light regarding Silverlight. Tonight's FSDNUG meeting with Chris Koenig has revealed to me a few reasons why Silverlight can be a better choice than Flash, especially depending on the environment you already have in place. Before I go further, I should note that I'm specifically referring to Silverlight 2.0, which is still just in Beta 1 right now.

  • Developers already familiar with C# or VB .NET don't need to learn a completely new set of tools. (see: learning curve of Flash/ActionScript)
  • It's even simpler if you're familiar with the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), as Silverlight is a specific subset of that feature set/framework.
  • It can coexist with Flash in a page.
  • Tools to set apart GUI Design from the rest of the development. Even though Silverlight will never see the light of day where I work, WPF probably will in a few restricted areas and these tools will work for that as well. Though, much to the chagrin of most of the developers they've talked to, they don't implement source control yet.
Silverlight's not without its downsides though. It appears that talking back and forth between the browser and the Silverlight app still has to go through some rather lengthy calls back and forth to the page's Javascript.

In other news, I won a license for ReSharper, which I plan to put into heavy use at work as soon as I set it up and figure out how to use it. I know some particularly nasty looking pieces of code that should look nicer once I get the refactoring tool after it.

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On Surprises...

If you look at my profile, you'll see my 25th birthday is coming up. Hooray for reduced insurance prices!

Anyways, my parents came up this weekend. The same weekend that one of my friends was arranging a get-together to play some Super Smash Bros. Brawl (SSBB) and grill some burgers. Unbeknownst to me, this was all actually the cover for a surprise birthday party, including NES-controller-shaped cake, courtesy of my sister (I'll have to get some pics from someone who had a camera). Thanks for the party everybody! Although, we should definitely get together sometime just for Brawl.

In other news, it appears that GameStop is going to attempt to solve my PS3 SNAFU by shipping me what I ordered. Hopefully they get it right this time, otherwise I'm gonna tell'em to just accept the return and buy a 60Gb PS3 off of the Amazon Marketplace.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to attend tonight's second (my first, should I go), meeting of the Fort Smith .NET User Group (FSDNUG). I don't think I'll ever use Silverlight at my current job, but it should interesting to see what Microsoft plans for their Flash-like framework.

Before that though, I'm going to try and get through the month of November in Persona 3 (only 23 days before the FES expansion comes out).

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