Features of Silverlight Client-Side Coding in Web Development


Silverlight represents a web application framework explicitly configured for client-side coding, offering a thorough set of rich internet application options. These include support for multimedia, graphics, animations and interactivity bundled into a single runtime environment. Codenamed WPF / E (Windows Presentation Foundation / Everywhere), Silverlight shares the XAML presentation layer with WPF, thus obtaining a technical versatility in building rich user interfaces.

One of the foremost reasons for web development in Silverlight is a consideration of client-server round trip time, which would be extremely reduced, since the majority of user interface process requests are done on the client-side. This translates into faster web page responses, smaller loading times, and an overall improved user experience. Due to the compiled execution integrated in the.NET framework, Silverlight executes the high performance.NET code within the browser, at a speed of 250 time faster than interpreted Javascript.

What Silverlight brings in addition to the newer client-side technologies is a rich framework library of native classes used for developing browser-based apps. This framework library includes a subset of the complete.NET server-side framework class library, thus allowing developers to re-use existing skills and knowledge. By including support for a WPF user interface programming model, Silverlight enables developers to program an UI with managed code or event handlers, supporting the ability to define and use encapsulated UI controls that are built with any managed.NET language.

Basically speaking, Silverlight works on a built-in CLR engine that delivers a high performance execution environment for the web browser. By using the same core CLR engine from the.NET framework, it delivers the same type-system, garbage collector and JIT code generation engine used by current.NET code users. In this way, developers can write.NET code that runs the same in Silverlight, ASP.NE and WinForms / WPF apps, without ulterior modifications to the code.

Regarding server limits, Silverlight does not require ASP.NET to be used on the backend web server, meaning that it can be used, for example, with PHP on Linux. It can also be easily integrated on the client and ASP.NET together on the server. The Silverlight plugin can also use standard ASP.NET application services, such as memberships, profiles, etc., while being able to call WCF or ASMX web services hosted within ASP.NET.

Another advantage in working with Silverlight is that it is created on a retained mode graphics system, much like WPF, and it integrates multimedia, graphics and interactivity into a single runtime. Other than the fact that it works with XAML, which can be used for marking vector graphics and animations, Silverlight is also scriptable with Javascript. Due to these foundations, the text content made with Silverlight is more findable and indexable by search engines than the one created with Flash, because it is not compiled, but represented as text. The advantage works in the favor of webmasters alike, in terms of search engine optimization (SEO).


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