Silverlight 2 – Complaints from a Designer’s Perspective

October 28, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I apologize, but I’ve been having a lot of fun messing with Silverlight lately.

Things got a little less fun though when they released Silverlight 2.  While I’m a fan of Silverlight, I’m not a fan of how they released it.  Number one, they released it early.  Now ordinarily that would be a fabulous thing.  But it’s not backward compatible.  And they disabled the ability to download Silverlight 2 Beta 2.  So if you’ve labored (like we did) to make a lovely Silverlight app in beta 2 and then get less than 24 hours notice that you need to upgrade… well it’s a little frustrating. 

Anyway, on to my other rants.

  1. They changed the Portable User Interface font.  Which means that all text which used it (which is everything as a default) will look different and have different line space than before (more line space).  Had to resize everything.
  2. It messed with my animation.  I had a lovely image slideshow and it changed the positioning, throwing it off and making it "jog" at the end.  And that is so not cool.
  3. Blend is slower than dirt.  The storyboard interaction is ridiculous.  Moving from one frame to the next takes 3-5 SECONDS.
  4. Removed Text wrapping (and other text elements) from HyperlinkButtons.  So this forced me to add TextBlocks to all my HyperlinkButtons.  This is a minor rant, but still.
  5. If you have a page that hosts several other user controls, you’ll get an error in Blend if any of the user controls references "HtmlPage" in its Loaded event.  Basically, what happens is the Blend UI actually calls that Loaded event, and since the Blend UI is obviously not an HtmlPage, it gets confused and throws an error.

So, I’ve finished my rant for the moment.  I still believe Silverlight is excellent.  But it needs to go to its room and think about what it did and not come out until it’s ready to apologize.

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