Yesterday I decided to install everything I needed to start building Silverlight apps so I could see what it’s all about first hand. This post is an account of my first day experience being a Flash Developer and not knowing Visual Studio or any Microsoft Programming Language. I come from a Multimedia background so I was never really exposed to C# or C++ ever. If Microsoft is really serious about trying to get Flash Developers on board I think they are going to have to cater to people like me and not just their developer base.
Â 9am – Installing
10am – Quickstarts
Started going through some of the quickstarts on the website. Going through the Event Handling one and went through creating a button. I created a TextBlock but couldn’t figure out how to set the font color. So I decided to open up the documentation and go through the language reference to see if I could figure it out, but I find out that the reference isn’t in the documentation. So I go through the Object Browser, this link will help you set that up, but it doesn’t give you any documentation there. So I continued on with the tutorials. I figured a good thing to do would be to start tracing objects and properties so I got Karl to show me how to use the Debugger. When I tried to debug for the first time it gave me a weird error saying it couldn’t find the file. The problem was that I had my project in a folder that had a space in the name. So make sure when building your apps that it goes into a directory without a space in it. Finally a project built. But no debug window. Apparently if you already have Firefox open and you debug it will run the app but not connect the debbuger. Time to save this post and continue writing in IE. Ok starting to feel a little more comfortable. I was able to figure out how to set the font color finally and was able to capture events. I have to say though my very little Flex experience is coming in handy with XAML.
Figured out that the replacement for x and y properties is Top and Left.
1130am – 2pm – Lunch and meetings
Ok back on track. Â Went through the quickstarts on creating Custom Components. It went pretty well expect if you are building the files from scratch it doesn’t go over some of the things you need to make it work. So be sure to always check out the source code of their examples if something isn’t working. Also learned some new syntax. So I think I need to get a book or something to start learning some C# code.
Finally found some decent documentation on some of the Silverlight objects. I can’t help but feel that this should be called out a lot more then it is on the site. Or during the first couple of quickstarts have a note. “To learn more about the TextBlock object click here”. I figured out how to load an image in. It was pretty straightÂ forward, but for some reason I couldn’t load one from our server. It’s probablyÂ a security thing. Going to look into that.
The rest of the day I spent just going through the Video Sample and installing Expressions Blend. I have to say considering my lack of C# knowledge is extremely low my first day was a success. My first impression is pretty good. Obviously I haven’t tried to do anything really crazy yet so I’ll save the Flash vs Silverlight comparisons until I actually make something. Better documentation and a better step by step guide for total newbies would be great. But again you have to remember it’s in Alpha so we just need to have some patience.