Mucking around with Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1

First of all let me say that I’m pretty geeked about Silverlight 2.0 for a number of reasons.  The first is that I’ve always been amazed at the production quality of flash based sites over the years but the whole idea of learning ActionScript made me queasy.  Secondly, because of the isolated nature of the silverlight object you don’t have to worry about browser inconsistencies cough css cough javascript document object model.  I also like how nicely it integrates into Visual Studio and the fact that it is finally compatible with the C# language.  I’ve been using a beta version of Blend 2.5 for a few weeks now and in general I’m pretty happy with it.

Now I’ve never been a big Design View guy in Visual Studio, mainly because of how it has the tendency of seriously screwing with any markup formatting that you have painstakingly tried to keep consistent. With blend however I actually enjoy using the designer!  It could just be because of the fact that there is no intellisense support yet without importing your solution into Visual Studio, which they made pretty darn simple thankfully (right click solution -> open in visual studio). 

Think you want to try your hand at hand writing your own xaml you say?  Good luck, since any shape not of a primitive nature (circle, square, etc) will make your eyes bleed with complexity.

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  In all honesty, it’s not all that bad once you understand how the different tags nest within each other.  More often than not, whenever I’m in a bind I’ll switch over to blend design view and with a few clicks it will insert the needed tags for me, and if I’m not mistaken even attempt to optimize the xaml markup!

I’ll be posting more about Blend and Silverlight once I get Live Writer setup on my laptop.

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