Author: Ashish Ghoda
Publisher: Apress, 2010
Aimed at: Suits non-beginner who wants advanced topics
Pros: If you can get past the beginning some good content
Cons: The start is overlong, small text size
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
This is a book that gets better as it gets more advanced - so perhaps in needs a different title and some pruning
My first reaction to this book was that it was terrible and I almost gave up on it.
Part One of the book is an introduction to Silverlight and the simple verdict is that it should be cut or condensed in any future editions. It starts off with some very obvious and unnecessary relisting of the documentation and its continual use of the term "line of business" LOB made it feel like a rehash of the manual wrapped up in management speak so that it sounded different. There really isn't any point in going over each of the standard controls unless you are going to explain how they are use or add something to what the manual says. The overall impression of the book isn't helped by the tiny font and a layout that makes it look very tough to read.
Then I made it to Part Two, Content Integration and the author started to tell me things that were useful and not blindingly obvious. The sections on sound and video where very useful, as were the chapters on network communications and working with data.
Part Three on extending the user experience was also worth reading. Simple and direct explanations of drag-and-drop, right click popup menus, mouse wheel handling and advanced XAML were all welcome. Chapters on styles and templates and graphics in general were also good and to the point.
Part Four on advanced Silverlight is even better - assuming that you want to know about the topics covered. These include navigation, SEO, out of browser, threading, WCF, dynamic languages and security.The final part is on testing debugging and deployment.
This is a book that gets better the more advanced the topic it deals with. As such it isn't really an introductory book and isn't suitable for the beginner. If you can ignore the first few chapters, the difficult-to-read presentation and the use of the term LoB, then it's not bad and a useful addition to your Silverlight library.
However, if I had to pick just one Silverlight book it wouldn't be this one.