Silverlight 4 in Action Book Review
|Finally someone has given Matthew MacDonald some competition when it comes to Silverlight books. This book is a great read.|
The book starts with an introduction to Silverlight and XAML and then digs into the application model and browser integration.
Below are the book's chapters-
The application model and the plug-in
Integrating with the browser
Integrating with the desktop
Rendering, layout, and transforming
Controls and UserControls
Data controls: DataGrid and DataForm
Networking and communications
Navigation and dialogs
Structuring and testing with the MVVM/ViewModel pattern
WCF RIA Services
Graphics and effects
Displaying and capturing media
Working with bitmap images
Animation and behaviors
Resources, styles, and control templates
Creating panels and controls
The install experience and preloaders
There are also an appendix on how to install the database used throughout the book's examples.
The book does a great job introducing MVVM, RIA Services, and inversion of control. The MVVM chapter is one of the best resources I have come across for someone to learn about the pattern.
The threading coverage using SynchronizationContext is great. It is the first book I have seen use it instead of the Dispatcher.
The author’s style of writing is clear and the book is an enjoyable read. If the author detours to a sidebar story, it is done in such a way that it adds enjoyment to the reading and value to the topic at hand. I have read a ton of books lately where I find that not to be the case. The sidebar stories are distracting and tend to annoy me. An example in this book is the beginning of the MVVM chapter when the author tells about his experience teaching the pattern. It set the stage for the chapter's logical flow.
The accompanying code is very well organized and usable. The author really did a good job of breaking the code down per Listing allowing you to open the examples at different stages instead of just the end result.
The only thing I would have like to have seen more material on Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF).
A very cool thing is that you get with your purchase is a free ebook with your purchase. Not a 45 day trail to view it online, an actual downloadable ebook, which is great for finding all the places a given topic is covered, and fast.
All in all I highly recommend this book to anyone doing Silverlight development. It is a must have addition to any Silverlight developer’s book shelf.