Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Review: John Stockton Silverlight 2.0 Presentation

Last night I got to the Cleveland C#/VB.NET SIG to hear John Stockton talk about Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1. Although this beta has only been out a few weeks, John has already written a couple of apps in it, which he demonstrated. The first demo was based on a POC John had written for an actual client in about 10 days. It took an XML file containing a description of a telephone switching system, and it drew a two-dimensional picture of the system. Drawing the picture seemed straitforward enough (they're just boxes stacked in racks), but each box was animated to display its specs when touched with the mouse. The second demo was an early iteration of the web page that will display events at Cleveland Day of .NET. I was a bit disturbed by that one because it said John and I would be the only presenters. (Fear not, that will change!)

Though he freely admits that he's still learning, John's experience playing with Silverlight 2.0 beta 1 from its day of release has made him already one of the world's top experts. I admired his willingness to get right to work with it, and he made it seem approachable to the rest of us.

I still have a lot of questions about how ready Silverlight is for prime time. (How's the security? How's it deal with latency, concurrency, message brokering? Is the cross-platform cross-browser story real? How far can you really get away from Javascript?) And of course a lot of that approachability we perceived is because it's .NET and we're .NET developers. But the fastest way to the answers is to try the stuff out, as John has done.

After the meeting a gang of 16 or so escaped to Winking Lizard, which appears to be a strong tradition with this SIG, although we're doing much more of it now in that other Cleveland .NET SIG that I chair. I enjoyed meeting new .NET developers as well as catching up with Sam and some Twitterati.

Overall a very enjoyable and informative geek night out.

1 comment:

John Stockton said...

Thanks for the very kind review. I'm glad you thought the presentation went well, I have some things to work on but overall I agree.

Also, thanks for the compliment, I'm not sure if I count as "one of the world's top experts" yet but it's nice to think so :).