Author: Matthew MacDonald
Publisher: Apress, 2010
Aimed at: .NET developers moving to Silverlight
Pros: Clear explanations and valuable insights, enhanced by use of color
Cons: A heavyweight volume
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
This is the update of Matthew MacDonald's Pro Siverlight 3 in C# which I rated as a 5-star book when I reviewed it last year. It has been updated to cover Silverlight 4 and What's New boxes help upgraders identify changes.
As with the previous edition you get the impression that the author has worked with Silverlight 4 and this gives the reader confidence in the advice he provides.
There is only one additional chapter (the final one, Chapter 21: Out-of-Browser Applications) and even this isn't completely new as it includes some content that was previusly in Chapter 6: The Application Model. This chapter also discusses the new option for elevated trust applications and the features it introduces into Silverlight such as custom widow chrome, direct file access and COM support.
Otherwise the new material is distributed through the book. For example, Chapter 4: Dependency Properties and Routed Events has a new section on the Command Model which explains how this new features provides flexibility in the way you structure your code. Information on the RichTextBox is incorportated in Chapter 5: Elements and Chapter 16: Data Binding reflects a number of important changes.
Features that contributed to the success of the previous edition continue to do so - including good use of color in code as well as in screenshots. The book is well structured and enhanced by comprehensive contents pages index.
The bottom line of the review also remains the same:
If you are or want to work with Silverlight then this is a book you need unless you are an expert and even then there are likely to be comments, examples and asides that are valuable. Highly recommended.