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  • The Bardakist

    Silverligth 2 beta 2 is available today

    • 3 Comments

    As announced earlier this week in TechEd, Silverlight 2 Beta 2 is available today. Silverlight 2 Beta 2 has many new features and enhancement over beta 1. These include the following:

     

    ·         UI Framework: Beta 2 includes improvements in animation support, error handling and reporting, automation and accessibility support, keyboard input support, and general performance.  This release also provides more compatibility between Silverlight and WPF.

     

    ·         Rich Controls: Beta 2 includes a new templating model called Visual State Manager that allows for easier templating for controls. Other features include the introduction of TabControl, text wrapping and scrollbars for TextBox, and for DataGrid additions include Autosize, Reorder, Sort, performance increases and more.  Controls are now in the runtime instead of packaged with the application.

     

    ·         Networking Support: Beta 2 includes improved Cross Domain support and security enhancements, upload support for WebClient, and duplex communications (“push” from server to Silverlight client).

     

    ·         Rich Base Class Library: Beta 2 includes improved threading abilities, LINQ-to-JSON, ADO.NET Data Services support, better support for SOAP, and various other improvements to make networking and data handling easier.

     

    ·         Deep Zoom: Beta 2 introduces a new XML-based file format for Deep Zoom image tiles, as well as a new MultiScaleTileSource that enables existing tile databases to utilize Deep Zoom. Better notification for sub-images enter the view is another improvement in Silverlight 2 Beta 2.

     

    Silverlight 2 will be availble on download center and on http://microsoft.com/silverlight

  • The Bardakist

    MSN Toolbar is live and kicking

    • 0 Comments

    A team of trail blaziers from MSN released last week the new MSN toolbar. This is the first commercial native Win32 application that uses Silverlight as its rendering engine. The chose Silverlight because of two reasons:

    1. Small memory footprint: MSN toolbar is a browser plug in that needs to have a small memory footprint (mainly because new instances of it are running while the browser is open). Silverlight small footprint enabled that.
    2. Rendring online content: the toolbar is used to render up-to date content and Silverlight provides the right architecture to deliver that.

    Try it today on http://toolbar.msn.com/Overview.aspx?loc=en-us

    MSN Toolbar

     To the customer, the toolbar provides a simple way to be up to date on today's news. It is also enhances the search experience.

    Download and Enjoy.

    PS. the toolbar is compatible with Silverlight 1.0 and with Silverlight 2 beta 2 (and forward).

  • The Bardakist

    Installing Silverlight became much easier OR Piotr is a hero

    • 0 Comments

    If you recall, until now when you installed Silverlight using the SDK Silverlight.js file, you could refresh the IE to view the content but needed to restart Firefox and Safari.

    Well, thanks to Piotr from our setup team, things have changed dramatically.

    You HAVE to read his blog post on this. It is simple and will make your customers happy.

     

     

  • The Bardakist

    New Microsoft.com video portal available

    • 1 Comments

    Video is becoming more and more relevant format to convey information these days. Microsoft released today a new beta video portal that is a single repository of videos that Microsoft creates for various purposes (marketing, education, training and more). You can search and embedd videos in your blog like this one:

    You can expect to see much more video content spread in Microsoft portal to help our customers.

    The portal is using the MSN Video hosting service in the back-end and obviously uses Silverlight for the video presentation.

    Enjoy.

  • The Bardakist

    Tafiti is now powered by more Windows Live services

    • 0 Comments
    At MIX we released an update to the Tafiti projects that integrates more Windows Live services in it (specifically, presence and P2P messenger APIs that allow one to share search favorites with buddies). You can find the new Tafiti site here: http://tafiti.mslivelabs.com/Default.aspx. This site shows how WL Messenger APIs can allow sites to encourage interaction with peers. Find the project page on Code Plex here
  • The Bardakist

    The Microsoft Video Portal will soon be heading your way

    • 1 Comments

    With some much content available in a video form, and the popularity of the video medium with both consumers and enterprise customers, we identified a need to consolidate the vast amount of video content we have in our network and make it available (and searchable, and embeddeble) to our customers. The MS.COM team stepped up and created a new portal that will be powered by Silverlight and will allow you to search, experience, embedd and email video content on http://preview.microsoft.com/video/ (which later will become http://microsoft.com/video ). An initial view of the site was available during the MIX 08 conference and you can expect to see it going live again in April (I will update you with specific date once it is available). The creation of this makes one think about the viability of creating a searchable media site for corporations. We already released a blue print for such a design with the video.show project.

  • The Bardakist

    Jumper movie trailer site is available in Silverlight. More to come.

    • 0 Comments

    We have been working with our freinds in FOX to start a serier of hosting movie mini-sites that are powered by Silverlight.

     Jumper (starting playing in US theaters today) is the first one.

    The actual content is hosted on our beloved Silverligth Streaming service (it is Valentine's day today afterall)

    The page is localized to several markets.

    Enjoy (and expect future movie mini-sites to have more functionality with Windows Live Services). It will be an exciting year.

  • The Bardakist

    Share your love for Valentine's day with Silverlight

    • 3 Comments

    What would be a better way of sharing your love other than using a free Silverlight customizable Valentine's day card?

    The Silverlight and Windows Live teams collaborated on creating such a card as can be experienced here:

    Note that the card was implemented in a way that allows universal use of it. You can use any language to compose your message. This is done by overlaying HTML DIV on top of the Silverlight UI.

    Enjoy and remember to send your own card on time, Valentine's day is Feb 14th

     

  • The Bardakist

    Good news: Silverlight is available on WSUS starting from today

    • 2 Comments

    Many IT managers and system administrators are using WSUS to update their enterprise networks.

    Well, we have some good news for you folks:

    Starting from today, you can obtain Silverlight for Windows XPSP2 and Windows Server 2003 from WSUS. This blog has more details:

    http://blogs.technet.com/wsus/archive/2008/01/21/new-product-family-silverlight-coming-tuesday-1-22-08.aspx

    In parallel Silverlight is also available for Microsoft Update customers that run XPSP2 and Windows Server 2003. This blog has more details:

    http://blogs.technet.com/mu/archive/2008/01/18/new-product-family-and-update-silverlight-available-to-wsus-mu-and-mu-catalog.aspx

    Going forward Silverlight will also be offered to Windows Vista customers, we do not have time table yet for that.

    This is another step in making Silverligth broadly available.

    Barak

  • The Bardakist

    We released "Tafiti" Search Visualization (w/source code)

    • 3 Comments

    In December we released the source code for "Tafiti". A search visualization app that uses Live Search in the background and Silverlight on the front end to render search results in a compelling way. Tafiti is the first example we had for a dynamic application that renders temporal service data using Silverlight. We expect this area of synamic application to evolve and offer users more compelling experiences with their online services.

     Tafiti

    Now is your chance to look at the guts of this app and think how you can use this wizdom to create your own application.

     

  • The Bardakist

    Israeli food report

    • 2 Comments

    As some of you know, during most of Dec I spent some time with my family in Israel. Since some of you asked me, I hereby provide a short report of the food you can experience in Israel. Starting from the foods in the markets to the restaurants. I also added rating (****: good , *****: super)

    1.  Shook Hakarmel and Nachlat Biniamin in Tel Aviv (****): this is a nice and busy open market where you can find everything. I especially like to drink fresh pomegranate juice in one of the shops that offer it in the season.

    2. Machne Yehuda and Azura in Jerusalem (*****): This is the open market of Jerusalem with its special tastes and smells. Inside it there is a hidden small restaurant called Azura that serves traditional food that is cooked on petrol burners. They select food that is fresh, cook it and sell until they run out. We had rice, beans, meatballs and musakka.

    3. Falafel Yad Eliyahu (***): Falafel is one of Israel's (and the middle east) traditional foods. I liked to stop by the Falafel hut in Yad Eliyahu next to the Nokia basketball arena and have a pita bread with Falafel and some cold non alcoholic black beer.

    4. Gam ve Gam restaurant in Rosh Hain (****): This is a traditional Yemenite restaurant where I used to eat when I worked in Goman in Rosh Hain. They are several young brothers who manage the restaurant and serve traditional food. The Cow Leg soup is especially yummy.

    5. Barabunya restaurant Tel Aviv (Ben Yehuda St) (****): This is one of the seafood restaurant that start with serving mazzet salads and then bring a nice fresh fish grilled.

    6. Jako (Hetzel st. Tel aviv) (****): Another excellent and typical seafood restaurant.

    7. Ben Ezra Hadayag in Atlit (****): Atlit is a fisherman small city near Haifa and you can find nice fresh fish and salads in this restaurent.

    8. NG Bar, Tel Aviv (****): good quality meat and wine at this renovated historic part of Tel Aviv.

    9. Susanna, tel aviv (*****): an excellent small restaurant near the susan Dalal dancing center in Tel Aviv. Don't miss the Haraima, Bamya and the Kube Soup.

    10. Herbert Samual (****): nice and fancy restaurent near the Carmel market in tel aviv. The design of the restaurant has 3 floors. The kitchen is on the top one and you can look at the food being prepared.

    11. Toto restaurent (*****): a stylish Italian restaurant with a very creative chef. Enjoy the gnocchi and seafood.

    When you visit Israel, feel free to use this info.

     Happy New 2008

    Barak

     

  • The Bardakist

    Happy New Year from the Silverlight team

    • 1 Comments
    During the weekend and with the help of some Wunderman/VML people and Tiffany our web lady, we managed to retrofit the holiday greeting card as a Happy New Year card. It is available at: http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/HappyNewYear2008/default.html. Please share it with your freinds.
  • The Bardakist

    Gizmox and bridging the gap between Windows Forms developmnent and Silverlight/Ajax style applications

    • 2 Comments

    During my last visit to Israel I had the pleasure of meeting an interesting company that is called Gizmox.

    Gizmox logo

    Gizmox had developed an application UI framework that bridges veteran practices of building enterprise applications (using WinForms) with web 2.0 style application delivery (AJAX style). The idea behind their solution is that the WinForm application style can be sub classed to have a class that separates the UI implementation (and optimizes the communication between the UI and the application logic) from the UI logic. The result is that one can develop a Windows Forms style application and the WebGui class underneath emits an ASP.NET application that maintains states and conencts a JavaScript based UI to the application UI logic that runs on the server. The result is a modern Web 2.0 style application that was developed with the Windows Forms UI paradigm. Note that the application is an ASP.NET application and can be extended in a standard way. The technology is licensed under an LGPL license and already in use by large enterprise customers (SAP is using it for their labs application). 

    Feel fee to explore a little more of the workflow in their web site: http://www.gizmox.com/About/GuidedTour/QuickStarts/tabid/297/Default.aspx 

    The next generation of this technology will be using Silverlight to achieve a more powerful UI for this new type of rich interactive applications. Once it is ready, I will cover it again.

    Until next time...

     

  • The Bardakist

    Happy Holidays

    • 1 Comments

     

    I spent the last month traveling, visiting the UK and my home country, Israel. Sun was abundant and thus my spirit is high.

    Beyond some vacation and very close ancounters with Alpakas and Lamas (images will follow) I had the pleasure to meet some design firms that are already doing great things with Silverlight and some startup companies that are lookign into harnessing what Silvelright can do to the innovation they want to bring (more details about these in my next blog).

     But now it is time to relax and enjoy the holiday season. It is my pleasure to introduce some jems that you can share with freinds:

    1. http://www.wunderfulholidays.com/ - design your own gengerbread and share it.

    2. http://www.seasonal-greetings.com/ - view a pencil drawn London

    3. http://www.onlinespotlight.no/en/Christmas07/ - from the MSDN norway team

    4. And my favorite: http://www.mason-zimbler.com/festivegreetings/  - absolutly a contender to the next eurovision song contest

     Until next time.

     

  • The Bardakist

    MSN delivers Election Central with Silverlight

    • 2 Comments

     

    The Podium ’08 -- (http://election.msn.com/podium08.aspx) is Live on the MSN US Election Portal.

     

    This is just the first of many innovations MSN (one of the largest online sited in the world) will deliver on Silverlight.

     

    I had the pleasure of working with the MSN team on this and although this site looks simplistic, it actually encapsulate some innovative approaches to online application delivery (that leverage the Silverlight architecture):

    • The site is actually template driven, MSN integrated Silverlight into its publishing system and thus it can create template driven applications; the editors are just updating meta data in Infopath xml files and the application markup is generated by the publishing system accordingly.
    • The architecture of the application is an example of Software plus Services approach that uses Windows Live Search behind a modern user experience.
    •  Search  visualization and rendering of service generated dynamic content is an area that Microsoft is trailblazing (please take a look at http://www.tafiti.com which is another exploration of search visualization).

    Barak

  • The Bardakist

    On the Surface

    • 1 Comments

    Microsoft.com today shipped is second brand campaign that is based on Silverlight.

    This time the Microsoft Surface team campaign is powered by Silverlight.

    Hurry up and view this over the weekend here: http://www.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx 

    Once it expires I will update the blog with an alternative link. 

    Enjoy.

     

  • The Bardakist

    Under the Surface

    • 1 Comments

    This week Microsot revealed Microsoft Surface. A new computer platform that is based on Windows Vista and WPF that enables users to grab data with their hands, interact with physical objects that are positioned on the surface using natual gestures and touch.

    You may ask, what is the connection with Silverlight? well, WPF and Silvelright share the same XAML based presentation markup. And shortly after Surface was released, a Silverlight sample that shows a similar interface was posted here.

    Finally it is fare to note that the Microsoft Surface site is not implemented yet on Silvelright (due to the fact that Silverlightis not released yet). 

      

     

  • The Bardakist

    The amazing story about timing and the Silverlight sites

    • 2 Comments

    (MIX 2007, Las Vegas) It was a busy day yesterday (Apr 30). With the exciting keyote by Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie (see the video here: http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/video.aspx) and with 5 new external web sites that needed to go online (http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight , www.silverlight.net , http://msdn.microsoft.com/silverlight, the Silverlight documentation on MSDN at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb188743.aspx and the hosted Silverlight SDK documentation ar http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb188266.aspx and 1 internal one for Microsoft's intranet.

    The momentum around Silverlight is great and I could hear the buzz for every person I interacted with here in Vegas.

    It took a lot of coordination and effort of many good people in our web operations, designs agencies (Both Ascentium and Avenue A Razorfish and other Microsoft groups to get this going and I was still perplexed that the second Scott mentioned our web presence in his keynote, the servers went live.

    I am thankful to all the people that helped with this.

    Now we can get back to the day to day process of updating the content to help the world build better web experiences with Silverlight.

     

  • The Bardakist

    Experience the Silverlight brand with desktop wall papers and DreameScenes.

    • 0 Comments

    We got a lot of positive feedback on the Silverlight brand and wanted to give something back to our customers.  

    Anyone who likes the brand can enjoy an exciting Silverlight wallpaper available to download from the download page of the Microsoft Silverlight web site.

    For those of our customers who are running Windows Vista Ultimate, we created something even more special... Windows DreamScenes.

    Those will also be available from our download page tomorrow but for those who can not wait, you can look at them here:

    Download: Microsoft Silverlight “Dusk” DreamScene (Standard)
    Download: Microsoft Silverlight “Dusk” DreamScene (Widescreen)

    If you want to watch how they look like, you can read all about them in the Windows Vista blog.

    Enjoy. 

     

  • The Bardakist

    The story about Silverlight and aghost.js

    • 5 Comments

    Microsoft Silverlight Logo 

    As many of you already noticed, the official name for "WPF/E" is out there, it is Microsoft Silverlight. We are very happy to have something that is easy to remember like Silverlight instead the former code name. Note that if you have the Feb CTP version of Silverlight (Windows or Mac) installed, the site will look slightly different than the way it looks like if you do not have it installed (specifically the online video playback as well as samples are displayed with Silverlight installed).

    Now that the brand is out, it is time to solve the old speculation on the source of the name aghost.js. Although we knew the name Silverlight for some time, we could not use it on the actual product. However, the product team came up with a clever idea to have the name already inside the product without actually saying it. Ag is the chemical sign for Silver; hence aghost is the hosting environment for Silverlight.

    Let me know if any of you made the connection.

    Happy times.

     Barak

     

  • The Bardakist

    Internet Explorer Develoepr Toolbar is worth a spin

    • 1 Comments

    A new beta of the develoepr toolbar for Internet Explorer was released on Jan 12 2007.

    The Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar provides several features for exploring and understanding Web pages. These features enable you to:

    • Explore and modify the document object model (DOM) of a Web page.
    • Locate and select specific elements on a Web page through a variety of techniques.
    • Selectively disable Internet Explorer settings.
    • View HTML object class names, ID's, and details such as link paths, tab index values, and access keys.
    • Outline tables, table cells, images, or selected tags.
    • Validate HTML, CSS, WAI, and RSS Web feed links.
    • Display image dimensions, file sizes, path information, and alternate (ALT) text.
    • Immediately resize the browser window to a new resolution.
    • Selectively clear the browser cache and saved cookies. Choose from all objects or those associated with a given domain.
    • Choose direct links to W3C specification references, the Internet Explorer team weblog (blog), and other resources.
    • Display a fully featured design ruler to help accurately align and measure objects on your pages.
    • Find the style rules used to set specific style values on an element.
    • View the formatted and syntax colored source of HTML and CSS.

    The Developer Toolbar can be pinned to the Internet Explorer browser window or floated separately. This Beta 3 version of the toolbar contains functionality and stability enhancements over previous versions, including:

    • Style Tracer: Right mouse click on a style value for an element and select Style Tracer to find the style rule that is effecting that value.
    • CSS Selector Matches: View a report of all style rules set and how many times they are used on the current page.
    • View Source: View the formatted and syntax colored source of the original page, currently rendered page, element or element with the styles that are effecting it.

    Give it a spin. Download and install today.

  • The Bardakist

    Getting ready for the new year with a refreshed "WPF/E" SDK

    • 7 Comments

    North Pole Image

    Our SDK team just announced that the "WPF/E" SDK was refreshed today on the "WPF/E" Dev Center and MSDN Library. 

    The WPF/E SDK refresh includes:

    -       Updated SDK docs

    -       Updated QuickStart (which uses "WPF/E" for navigation!)

    -       Visual Studio Template support for Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1

    See the new content at:

     “WPF/E” (codename) Software Development Kit (SDK) Community Technology Preview (Dec 2006)

     "WPF/E" on MSDN Library

     In addition, the QuickStart is now available at the following publicly-accessible Web location:

    http://wpfesdk.members.winisp.net/quickstart/

     

    Barak


     

  • The Bardakist

    Season's greetings from the "WPF/E" team

    • 1 Comments

    Hello Readers,

     With the spirit of the holidays, some designers we work with have created some nice greeting cards using "WPF/E". The first card I want to share with you is this one by Michael Höhn from Futurecom in Switzerland:

    Greeting Card

    This card is customizable by the URL and you can customize it using this simple configuration page.

    Send some "WPF/E" love to your freinds today.

    I will follow up with more cards soon.

    Barak

  • The Bardakist

    The hidden secret of the "WPF/E" SDK - QuickStart

    • 15 Comments

    Readers,

     I wanted to share somethign that many designers and developers miss when they install the “WPF/E” CTP SDK Download" . It is the Quickstart. The Quickstart is a step by step guide to "WPF/E" that uses very simple live examples. Try it out. Let me know if it is useful (images blow are not clickable). And best of all the team posted the quickstart at: http://wpfesdk.members.winisp.net/quickstart/

    Quickstart menu  Quickstart

  • The Bardakist

    Refugee in Seattle that enjoys what the community is doing...

    • 1 Comments

    Readers,

    It has been almost a week since a big wind storm hit the pacific northwest and my family is staying in an alternative house since our house is still without power (with sub freezing night tempratures). At least no trees ended on our roof. Well, now that we have some place warm to be, I could spend some more time looking at what people are doing with "WPF/E" and I wanted to talk about a sample on Mike Taulty blog that shows 12 videos playing and animating concurrently. Although it is simple we can learn two things about what you can do with "WPF/E":

    1. "WPF/E" codec implementation is quite efficient. I do not have the best performing laptop and even though this is an early CTP, playback looks good.

    2. Video (as represented from a Media element) is an integral part of xaml and the resulting experience. No more video islands.

    12 videos playing

    What do you think?

     Barak

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