Silverlight in Seventy Seven Slides ( yes, I know ;-) )

Back in the old days, I used to do a lot more in-person talks/sessions for developers and one of the things that myself and colleagues would discuss is whether a topic was well developed enough to warrant a;

What Is?

session or a;

What’s New With?


That is – was the technology new enough that people still needed to start from scratch or was it well enough advanced that you bore most people by explaining the core concepts yet again by doing what I’ve heard described as a;

First the Earth cooled…”

kind of session.

The reality of turning up at a company or a user group or a conference is that it’s rare that someone gives you time to do both an introduction to the basics alongside coverage of recent additions to a technology. If you decide to try and do both in the space of the 45,60,75,90 minute slot that someone’s given you then you invariably end up talking at a very high level and the attendees feel that you’ve cheated them in some way by only managing to say “IIS is a web server and there’s some new features in the latest version” if IIS happened to be the topic.

Anyway, enough rambling – the point of this post is to say that I think that Silverlight has gone from a “What Is?” status to a “What’s New With?” status.

Silverlight has become “a world” 🙂 Note – I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, it’s not at all but;

  • When Silverlight 1.0 arrived, I went out and delivered developer sessions called “What’s Silverlight?” and that was easy enough although I had to scratch myself from time to time when I tried to write Javascript as it’s a foreign language to me.
  • When Silverlight 2.0 arrived, I did the same and it was a much bigger landscape but it was still manageable.
  • Along came version 3.0 and I did the same thing but it was getting to be a big topic to talk about “start to finish” in less than (say) 2 hours.

With Silverlight 4 being out in the wilds in beta form, I think it’s increasingly difficult to go from nowhere to version 4.0 in a short period of time whilst managing to get any depth into the discussion and it’s not purely about what Microsoft ships as Silverlight. There’s also things like;

  • Blend
  • SketchFlow
  • The Toolkit
  • Various patterns & frameworks that people are using.

I’ve just spent a few hours consolidating my “What Is Silverlight?” slide-deck to try and update it for Silverlight 4 and also to flesh it out a little with a few more details in some places and in order to be a little more complete in others. This meant bringing in various other info that I’ve shared before ( one, two, three, four & five ).

I ended up with 77 slides 🙂

Now, whilst I don’t share some people’s “slides are evil” viewpoint, I usually avoid having way too many slides on a topic or slides that have much more than a diagram and a bit of text on them.

So, having put together my 77 slides on Silverlight, I’m not sure that I’ll ever deliver them to anybody 🙂 I think the phrase “death by PowerPoint” might go from being a joke to a reality if I tried to get people to sit through this slide-deck.

So, I thought I’d share it here. Feel free to borrow slides from my slide-deck (or other slide-decks that I’ve made) if they are of use to you in explaining Silverlight to someone. Equally, feel free to point out mistakes in the slides by mailing/commenting as I’ll certainly use some/all of them in different talks in the future so having my mistakes fixed would be a definite win for me 🙂

I tried to make this particular set of slides a little more “explorable” by putting them into a DeepZoom image as below but be aware that some of the slides have animations and I haven’t “flattened” out the animations in the DeepZoom so that makes some of the slides look a bit odd but here’s the player that DeepZoom Composer emitted for me;

Get Microsoft Silverlight

so it might be better to download the full file and press F5 and do it that way. The PPTX file ( wrapped in a ZIP to keep my webserver happy ) is available for download. ( warning – it’s enormous! )

Either way, enjoy 🙂

Oh, and I already know I missed out accessibility.

and I just realised there’s the Silverlight Media Framework.

See what I mean?