Monthly Archives: March 2010

Windows Phone 7 and Silverlight – Details Revealed

In the opening keynote of MIX 10 Scott Guthrie confirmed the rumour spreading the past weeks: the supported development platform for the Windos 7 Phone Series is Silverlight and XNA. For those – like myself – who were prepared for this news there were still quite some surprises in the details:

  • Unlike Windws CE  where the phone CLR was a reduced version of the .NET CLR the Windows Phone 7 will support the full Silverlight framework. As Scott Guthrie said: “This isn’t Silverlight lite. This isn’t Silverlight different. This is Silverlight.
  • ScottGu demoed the development environment – it is very similar to Visual Studio with a built-in emulator that supports multi-touch
  • The development tools for Windows Phone 7 are free! Download them from here. The Windows Phone Developer Tools include Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, Windows Phone Emulator, Silverlight for Windows Phone and XNA Game Studio 4.0 CTP
  • The Windows Phone 7 ships with an extended Silverlight 3 runtime and  supports DeepZoom as well. ScottGu also announced that Silverlight 4 ships with a Pivot control – a great data visualization tool. We’ll have to wait to use Pivot on the Windows Phone 7 though until the runtime is upgraded to Silverlight 4 unfortunately.
  • The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace will be a global application catalog, not restricted by regional content restrictions. Developers will receive 70% of the price for apps and games.
  • Partners who have had early access to the Windows Phone 7 development tools showed off their great applications. This included:
    • A news application demo (video)
    • eBay who’ve built a cool out-of-browser lister application in just 8 weeks
    • A prototype Netflix application
    • Shazam‘s Silverlight app
    • Graphic.ly‘s comic reader using DeepZoom
    • A Major League Soccer application using push notification (video)
    • A Marionette application where ScottGu made fun of Steve Ballmer (video)
    • The Seesmic Desktop application – the entire Seesmic platform has been ported to Silverlight!
    • Demo of the Foursquare application (video)

So if these details have made you interested read a more detailed summarry of the keynote or just go and download the Windows Phone 7 development toolkit!

Slides and code for the presentation “An Introduction to Silverlight”

On yesterday’s Scot Alt.NET meeting I held a presentation (An Introduction to Silverlight) that was aimed at providing an overview of Silverlight and looking at some of it’s most important features. Thanks to the about 30 people who’ve attended and given feedback, I hope you’ve found it useful. For those who have missed out I’ll be writing up some follow up blog posts on the same topic.

Slides & code

The slides and code of the talk are available for download:

Cool Silverlight applications

Some interesting links worth looking at (the ones I couldn’t show at the end of the presentation):

Brief summary of the talk

The structure of the talk was the following:
Read More…

Using fonts in Silverlight: evaluating the options

Silverlight gives the developer the possibility of completely customizing the developed application in all aspects. Defining fonts used for displaying text is no exception. However there are multiple ways on how to go ahead with specifying fonts to use, this article attempts to summarize the options.

In Silverlight, using fonts can be done in three ways:

  • Built-in fonts
    Silverlight can use a limited number of “built-in” fonts to display text such as Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman and a couple of more. The list is limited and it’s also worth noting that Silverlight can only use these fonts if they are installed on the client machine as the runtime does not ship with any fonts.
  • Embedded custom fonts
    Custom font files can be embedded in Silverlight applications and then shipped within the xap files. This option makes sure that the font will be rendered as wanted regardless of wether the font is installed on the client machine or not.
  • Streamed (dynamically downloaded) custom fonts
    The problem with embedding fonts in Silverlight is that it increases the xap size. If a font is only needed in certain cases the font file can be dynamically loaded from a remote location making the initial download time faster.

For details on how to implement the above use cases and some sample applications with source code check out my blog post on the Scott Logic website: Using built-in, embedded and streamed fonts in Silverlight.

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