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Silverlighting... Ramblings on Silverlight and occasionally WPF

Some commonly asked questions about Silverlight. These aren't deep, but are often asked by beginners.

What is Silverlight?

Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform software  framework to create Rich Internet Applications (RIA) that can be embedded in Web pages.

What is meant by RIA?

RIA stands for Rich Internet Applications, which are Web applications with rich user interfaces including media elements such as audio, video and so forth. You can think of them as being similar to powerful and rich desktop applications except that RIA applications are Web based.

What are the other RIA technologies besides Silverlight?

Adobe Flex, Java FX, Adobe Flash are some of the other RIA technologies besides Silverlight.

Which language is Silverlight developed in?

It was developed using a combination of C# and C++.

How many versions of Silverlight exist?

In April 2010, Silverlight 4 was launched, and is the latest version. Older versions include Silverlight 1, 2, and 3.

Who is using Silverlight?

Silverlight is being adopted all across the world by numerous organizations and businesses. Most recently, MSN Brazil used Silverlight for live streaming the World cup matches. Yahoo! Japan, NBC, Continental Airlines, NASA, Indian Premier League, Portugal Telecom, Swisscom, and National Instruments are some of the organizations currently using Silverlight to enhance their businesses.


I don't want to use Internet Explorer to test or view Silverlight applications while developing them. Can I use Firefox or Google Chrome?

Yes, you can. As a developer, you have the option of setting up a default browser through Visual Web Developer/Visual Studio 2010 IDE.

Can I write the program logic for Silverlight applications in a language other than C#?

Yes, as long as it is a .NET supported language, you can use it. For example, you can use IronRuby to write the code.

What are Deep Zoom and Deep Zoom Composer?

Deep Zoom is a technology in Silverlight that allows users to view images on the Web like they never have before. It provides smooth in-place zooming and panning. Deep Zoom Composer is a tool that allows preparing of images for use with the Deep Zoom feature in Silverlight.

Can I consume WCF and ASP.NET Web Services in Silverlight?

Yes, you can.

What kind of video formats does Silverlight run by default?

Silverlight can run *.WMV and *.MP4 (MPEG-4) video formats by default.

What are .NET RIA Services?

Microsoft .NET RIA Services helps to simplify the n-tier application pattern by combining the ASP.NET and Silverlight platforms. The RIA Services provides a pattern using which you can write application logic that can run on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, changes and custom operations. It also provides support for data validation, authentication and roles by integrating with Silverlight components on the client and ASP.NET on the middle tier.

Posted on Thursday, July 1, 2010 8:35 AM Silverlight | Back to top

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