Geeks With Blogs

Michael Crump Microsoft MVP, INETA Community Champion and XAML Advocate.


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I wanted to talk for a minute about the author, Victor Gaudioso. I met Victor on Twitter earlier this year and ever since meeting him, I’ve seen how involved he is in the Silverlight/Blend community. He has always been willing to help or share knowledge of Blend with anyone – including me. I recently read a blog post about someone that went to one of his book signings and did not win anything. Victor found out that this person was disappointed and sent him a free year subscription to MSDN Ultimate. That story blew me away as I started to see how benevolent Victor is. With that said, hopefully you will realize that this book was written by someone passionate about the technology – not someone who wanted to make a buck.

The first few chapters walks you through setting your development environment to begin developing Silverlight applications with Blend/VS2010. He walks you through downloading the tools manually instead of relying on the Web Platform Installer. This definitely helps the user understand each component. By the end of the first chapter you have been inside of Blend 4, VS2010 and C# code. The next few chapters he digs deeper into Blend 4 with a complete description of the Blend 4 toolbar, objects and timeline panel to the properties and resource panel. One of the most important things to grasp is the Blend 4 Toolbar and Victor lays it out nicely. He also spends a fair amount of time going over the Layout controls such as the Grid, Canvas and StackPanel.

The book goes into the most important fundamental concepts of OOP programming (encapsulation, polymorphism and inheritance). He also devotes time to classes and interfaces. I am glad he spends time going over this as the book targets a wide audience and even if your a designer it helps to know the basics.

This book is a hands on book, so you will actually spend a lot of time inside Blend/VS while reading the book. You will build many applications from scratch like a newton cradle, media player and webcam applications.  Victor also walks you though creating a custom behavior that shows just how easy it is to add custom functionality into your Silverlight Applications.

He also has a chapter dedicated to the widely talked about MVVM pattern. The book finishes up with the new features of Silverlight 4. He walks you though creating an Out-of Browser application with elevated trust to making Silverlight talk to an Office Application. He also goes over the new printing features, the clipboard and Network authentication.

Overall, it is a great book that covers a lot of material. I am happy that he dedicated a chapter to MVVM and SketchFlow as new developers need to obtain an understanding of both of those. I thought it was a nice touch that after each chapter he gives you several links to free videos that will help strengthen your knowledge of the topic material. He also provides his personal email address for readers to contact him directly. That’s a lot of extra support to help you though any parts that may confuse you. I definitely recommend you read this book and give Victor a shout on Twitter.

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Posted on Saturday, October 16, 2010 11:01 AM Silverlight | Back to top

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