Sunday, March 23, 2008

Silverlight Lessons Learned

After a shotgun week of Silverlight 2.0, I thought I would share a few lessons learned.

Blank page

If you get a blank page after uploading your xap file, make sure that NETWORK SERVICE is in the security accounts.

XAP File

XAP is the only file that needs to be moved typically. As you do your code updates, just move the XAP file into place.

Dynamic XAML

Dynamic XAML requires a namespace attribute now:

<Grid xmlns="">

Timing Issues

There seems to be a timing issue in Silverlight that is causing an event to get triggered before the data streams down from a site. This still requires investigation.

Visual Studio 2008 and Silverlight Debugging

For some reason, if a serious Silverlight error occurs, debugging will be disabled in the web application. This may make it seem like events are not firing when they are, just that the debugger is broken. Right-click properties on the web application --> Start Options --> Debuggers --> Check Silverlight


Overall, I love XAML and Silverlight. It was absolutely incredible to work with but it took a lot of time due to minimla information on the web right now. Hopefully, this post will help some other folks out.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Microsoft Silverlight

I have been in Vegas all week at the Microsoft MIX08 conference for the rollout of Silverlight 2.0. It is so revolutionary that it really got me thinking. That and SAS Global Forum made me mull a few thoughts:

1. Silverlight is going to revolutionize the world. Bold statement, I know.However, what I saw, as a web developer, absolutely stunned me. If you don't believe me, see what NBC will do with the Olympics. 2200 hours of hi-def video, 4 channels per user, VOD, and just much, much more.

However, check this out for something live now:

Data visualization and BI will move toward Silverlight. SAS should move there as well. as quickly as possible. SAS should be a leader here and not follow the inevitable.

2. Microsoft is innovating at an amazing pace. Windows Server 2008, Silverlight, Surface, Vista, IE8, IIS7, and on and on. Meanwhile we await a .07 release from SAS that is languishing once again. Basic project management: reduce scope, increase budget, adjust timeframes...hmmm, it seems like the only option at SAS is the latter and I honestly don't understand it. Hopefully, SAS Global Forum will provide some answers.

3. Silverlight controls are being released open source. Office formats are now open, the .NET source code has been released open source. I think SAS can learn from this and realize that money can be made without keeping everything tight to the vest.

4. Integration Technologies should be bundled with Base. All of this new technology requires it so why, as a customer, do I have to have a separate line item? Put SAS/IntrNet in that category as well. Why does web enablement cost extra from SAS. Pay more and realize it is 2008 and web enablement is part of Base SAS.

5. Microsoft actively encourages blogging even if it is critical of the company. People should be trusted and I have found most use discretion, especially if they are employees. Blogging and active user participation helps sell the company message and actively engages the user community. A once a year conference is not enough in today's fast-paced world. SAS Forums are fine, SAS-L operates via 'birdies' but wouldn't it be great to have blogs from Paul, Vince, Chris, Eric, etc. out in the wild? Open and free, give and take, user comments...

As a SAS advocate, user, former employee, and partner, I am asking for change. More openness, more releases, more interaction. Simple stuff that is doable today.

SAS throwing RPC error

If you are doing code in C#  and get this error when creating a LanguageService: The RPC server is unavailable. (Exception from HRESULT:...