The long awaited beta of Silverlight 5 is finally here and the timing could not be any better. This is another major release with a lot of significant improvements. In addition to the expected improvements to video playback and UI, Microsoft has made significant improvements under the hood. Starting with 64 bit support. As we have a lot of customers hosting their Silverlight applications with us, I’ve outlined a few other improvements below that I believe are important to you.
- Debugging support now allows breakpoints to be set on a binding, so you can step through binding failures. This addresses one of the most common issues our hosting customers run into. The intentional decoupling from the View and the Models themselves had made the process of troubleshooting issues complicated. Hosting a Silverlight 5 application will be much easier now.
- The DataContextChanged event is being introduced. Markup extensions allow code to be run at XAML parse time for both properties and event handlers, enabling cutting-edge MVVM support.
- Reduced network latency by using a background thread for networking. This is a fantastic improvement. Especially for those that initiated network calls to a hosting provider in their button click events. Doing so would lock up the UI until the network call was completed even when using Asynchronous methods.
– Michael Ossou