Monday, 15 October 2007

Silverlight Controls rant

I just responded to a question on Silverlighters, and i figured i should publish my answer here too (it related to Silverlight controls).

The control providers are not really providing a useful set of controls at the moment. If you do use their controls you are likely to be locked into their technology (and unfortunately provided styles).

The main reason for this is that Silverlight at the moment doesn't include the standard set of controls that you would expect to build applications (Textbox etc), and get with WPF. The reason they haven't really provided these controls is that the plumbing for layout management (StackPanel, Grids etc) Databinding and Control Templating haven't been done. These features really need to be in place before MS will provide these standard controls. I believe that we will start to see a bunch of controls at the end of this year (based on what Scott Guthrie said at Mix UK), therefore I don't think you have to wait too long.

There are lots of things to get to grips with in Silverlight and if you are just playing, I would look at these fundamentals first ( as a great set of quickstarts). If you are really needing to get on with building applications and wish to use the standard controls in the future, I would consider Dave Relyea's controls (, as they should have a smaller migration path when the standard controls are released).

If you don't care and just want some controls and start developing: have a good set of free controls (same sort of controls as you get with WinForms), i believe they use the trick of interacting with HtmlControls (which is the current recommended practise for Textboxes etc). also have some pretty controls

I would ignore Telerik (for just now) as they don't seem to offer much beyond what you get already in Silverlight.

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