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New Silverlight Book

April 7, 2010

I was honored last year to be asked to be the Technical Editor/Reviewer for Frank LaVigne’s new Silverlight book “Microsoft Silverlight 4: Business Application Development.”  Cameron Albert also contributed a couple of chapters and is listed as a co-author, but my image below does not show his name.

I’m happy to announce that PACKT Publishing has just released the book!


Buy this Book!

I’m not going to give an official review, since I’m a little biased – but I will say that this book takes a different approach to Silverlight.  This is not another reference book.  Instead, the book guides you through the hands-on development of several applications and shows you how to incorporate typical features as well as some really cool not-so-typical ones.

Of course the book covers entry level material, like introducing XAML and the tools you will want to use.  The book has a fair mix of Visual Studio and Blend.  Within just a few chapters though, you are adding media, interfacing with Bing Maps, using Isolated Storage, etc.  Some of the highlights for me are Data Validation, RIA Services, Charting, and more.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone getting started with Silverlight.  You can find and purchase it on the PACKT website.

Inside the Ropes

This was my first opportunity to be inside the ropes on a book under development and I learned an awful lot along the way.  I mostly learned that writing a book is a serious endeavor and takes a lot of work by a lot of people.  Knowing what I know now, it is kind of amazing to me that any technical books get published in a timely manner.  My hat is off to the published authors in our midst because you have really accomplished something.

I would like to thank Frank for asking me to help with the book, it means a lot to me.  I would also like to thank the great folks at PACKT for nursing me through my first such project and dealing with my performance anxiety.  In the end my part was small: I can only imagine what coordinating the whole process must be like.

My Own Book

Many people have asked me when I plan to write an Expression Blend book.  I know I don’t blog about it much, but I spend a lot of time presenting on Expression Blend and I’m always eager for the chance to introduce it to WPF and Silverlight developers.  It really has been my technical passion the last couple of years – my Twitter tag lists me as a “self-described Blend Evangelist.”  I also have another site devoted to Blend under development, but as always Time is the Enemy.

I have seriously considered writing a book.  Knowing my time issues of the last couple of years, I’ve also had plenty of published friends warning me about the time commitment.  Until now, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, so I haven’t seriously pursued it.  Having worked on this project, however, I truly have an appreciation for the effort involved: it really is a work of heart.

Fortunately, I have some scheduling changes happening soon that will free up some time for me to begin looking at this in earnest.  With that in mind, along with my experiences on Frank’s project, I feel prepared now to begin my own book.  If not prepared, than at least better informed.  If you have any advice or recommendations for a first time author, I’d love to hear from you.  And of course, I will keep you all informed.


In the meantime, congratulation to Frank and Cameron on a unique Silverlight book.

Categories: Book Reviews, Silverlight
  1. April 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Here is a joke for you. There is no point of writing a Silverlight book at this point. The next version will be out by the time the book finally hits the press. It changes so fast that book authors are taking raincheck on pages (buy the book now, download updated pages later).

  2. April 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks Joel, I appreciated your input during the writing process, it was very helpful to have a professional reviewing our work to make sure we delivered a solid book. 🙂

  3. April 15, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Phil – I know what you mean! It’s like when people talk about “Best Practices” for a brand new technology!

    But this will always be an issue with tech books. I may start writing a Blend 4 book now, but by the time it’s finished it will have to be Blend 5!

    Cameron – Glad to have done it, it was a great experience and a great book!

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