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Professional Visual Basic® 2008 by Bill Sheldon, Kent Sharkey, Bill Evjen, Billy Hollis

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Chapter 21. Silverlight Development

One of the newer technologies out there is Silverlight 1.0, which was released in September of 2007. At the time of this writing, Silverlight 1.0 is the only production release of the product. However, Silverlight 2.0 will be released in the first half of 2008.

Silverlight is a lightweight browser plug-in from Microsoft that, much like Adobe's Flash, will allow for greater fluidity in your applications, thereby providing a rich user experience like no other in ASP.NET. The base of Silverlight is XAML — a new markup language for creating applications by Microsoft, such as WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) applications.

You can build Silverlight applications using Microsoft's new Expression Blend IDE, as well as the new Visual Studio 2008. This chapter looks at the basics of Silverlight and how to build a Silverlight application.

Looking at Silverlight

Silverlight is not tied to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It cannot be. If an application is going to work on the Web, then it has to work in a multitude of browsers. For this reason, Silverlight is a cross-browser platform for the applications you build. It is a standalone environment and has no dependency for items, such as the .NET Framework, on the client machine.

However, even though you are using XAML to build your Silverlight applications, you're not required to have the .NET Framework 3.0 or 3.5 on the client. Instead, the XAML is loaded into the browser and run in the context of the Silverlight ...

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