(Apparently our internet access went out while I was compiling this email … thank goodness for my Helio! :D)
I have to hand it to the IPSA crew, they put together a fine event. (So impressed was I, that I submitted my fees and application for membership last night.) I was happy to see Mojo Denbow and Jeremy Flint there, along with many others I recognized from their blogs. I’m sure there were probably more whom I’ve read, but have not yet met. I fully plan on attending more events and meeting more people. :) (Though I’ll definitely take more business cards with me!)
Rather light and much more entertaining than the Microsoft-sponsored events I’ve attended in the past, I found Mr. Turnure’s presentation to be very enlightening and chocked full of information and resources. The only thing I would suggest as an improvement would be perhaps providing handouts for those of us who aren’t the greatest of note takers (like myself). :)
He covered a lot of ground, but here are the basics (based on what I did manage to jot down):
Silverlight is cross-browser and cross-platform, available as a plugin. (think flash) From what I saw, it allows you to easily achieve a rich user-friendly media experience and I can easily see this redefining both web development and web design in years to come. (I can hardly believe it’s a Microsoft product! ROFL) It can be used to develop applications for both web and desktop technologies, making it a versatile tool if taken in the right direction.
Versions and ETAs
Version 1.1 is currently in alpha and is what I’d call the “everything package”. Due out sometime next year, it’s around 4.5 mb download, and works with the upcoming Visual Studio 2008 as an add-in (despite what might be claimed otherwise out there on the net). This is also the version that will support multi-threading.
Microsoft has a new development/design suite of applications coming out soon called Expression Suite. Expression Blend, being one of these available in that suite, is a XAML editor used in developing Silverlight applications. For the time being, it is a free download on the Microsoft Expression website: www.microsoft.com/expression
Those familiar to Macromedia/Adobe products may find Expression Blend akin to Flex or Flash. However, using the XAML format will allow web designers and developers alike to streamline collaboration.
Expression’s other suite products include Expression Web (think Dreamweaver), Expression Design (Illustrator and Fireworks) and Expression Media (Premier).
Silverlight treats video as a “paintable entity”, meaning that you can literally put it anywhere, on any object. Doing this can allow you to expand applications using videos and similar media by giving them DVD-like overlays and function, except on a new level. It can integrate with existing AJAX frameworks.
Supported formats are Smpte-standard VC1 (up to HD, 720p), WMV and MP3. Though a bit limited, IMO, I’m told that there will be a media encoder available “soon” which will make moving to one of the supported formats easier, with little hassle. Silverlight is also capable of live streaming and on-demand, giving RealMedia Networks a proverbial run for their money.
Microsoft is also offering a free on-demand streaming service. For more information on that, check out silverlight.live.com
For More Information
Slides and demo information that were used in this presentation can be seen on Scott Guthrie’s blog at weblogs.asp.net/scottgu
For more information on Silverlight, also check out www.silverlight.net