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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, December 7, 2009
This book, with updated Silverlight 3 coverage, came as timely help for my work on digital media applications. I like the recipes approach, especially for this rapidly evolving framework, providing practical solutions to problems encountered during applications development. You can communicate directly with the authors through their blogs as well. Good reference with plenty of useful code samples!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Pragmatic Silverlight Reference, August 29, 2010
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This review is from: Silverlight Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (Expert's Voice in Silverlight) (Paperback)
If you're a busy developer who has experience in .NET and want to add to your book collection one great Silverlight resource this book should be the one. The format of this book is "how do you do something?" followed by a concise, pragmatic walk-through to demonstrate "exactly how to do it." So many books and online resources water down their content by trying to explain things in a grand vision; this resource takes a totally different approach. Most of the chapters focus on exactly one problem that would take a day of research and web searching to do, yet actually 10-15 minutes of code or Blend usage to actually do.

Each chapter of this book covers a high-level topic but is broken into individual (re: not one huge, monolithic application you lose track of halfway through) recipes. The topics range from solving problems experienced by the brand new Silverlight developer, like "How to create a new Silverlight project" or "How to run Silverlight on a Mac or Linux computer" to those more complex like "Accessing JSON data (or communicating with Sockets or SOAP) via Silverlight."

An entire chapter is dedicated to line-of-business application development with Silverlight. As browser-based enterprise applications require more GUI richness Silverlight will increase in demand, and I've found so many books decline to focus or pay a lot of attention to the "boring old" LOB application development cycles. Not this text, it demystifies RIA and REST, XAML databinding, and a host of other problems in LOB applications and does so in a concise, no-nonsense manner.

The final chapters cover in this no-nonsense style the features Silverlight offers for multimedia needs by covering how to play and stream media via Silverlight. Some of these examples cover the ins and outs of using IIS 7.0's streaming features to make video playback as smooth as possible, offering a full lifecycle approach, from client-to-web server.

If you're about to embark into the exciting world of Silverlight 4.0 this could be the best resource around. The wealth of information in terms of the topics covered and the pragmatic approach to just answering the questions in a concise manner make this an important resource for the Silverlight developer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good - for those who need more advanced content., July 13, 2010
Book review - "Silverlight Recipes - A problem-solution approach, by Jit Ghosh and Rob Cameron. ISBN-13: 978-1-4302-2435-8

Hi, I was excited to get this book for review from the programmers user group I belong to, because it deals with Silverlight. I had previously read some very basic Silverlight books, while they were useful, they were also a little too basic in many respects.
While this book is still based on Silverlight 3.0, (Silverlight 4.0 just came out, but there are hardly any books in print yet on the subject) it still proved a very worthwhile read for me.
It has about 990 pages of invaluable Silverlight programming information!
One of the neat features about this book is; it's not your standard textbook like material, each chapter in the book focuses on a specific area of Silverlight programming and uses what they call "recipes". Recipes, in this books context are basically full-blown working code examples that show how to solve particular programming problems with Silverlight.
Each recipe has 4 sections.
1. Problem - A short description of what problem the recipe is trying to solve programmatically.
2. Solution - A short explanation of what the solution for the recipe will be.
3. How it Works - A more detailed explanation showing the details of the programming solution
4. The Code - Real-life working Silverlight projects that solve the recipe's intent.
So, each recipe has a consistent format and you can look at the table of contents to find each type of recipe you want to experiment with!, then simply go to the source code and load it up in your Visual Studio environment.
Here is a list of the chapters, so you can get an idea of what types of recipes are within the chapters.
Chapter 1 - A quick tour of Silverlight development
Chapter 2 - Application Design and Programming Model
Chapter 3 - Developing User Experiences
Chapter 4 - Data Binding
Chapter 5 - Controls
Chapter 6 - Browser Integration
Chapter 7 - Networking and Web Service Integration
Chapter 8 - Integrating Rich Media
Chapter 9 - Building LOB (line of business applications)
I like this type of format (Recipes), because if one was to study each recipe, he or she can become well versed on the different types of programming problems one would be expected to know how to solve with Silverlight programming.
I also think that the use of Silverlight will take off because it has become a viable technology to use when writing business applications. ASP.NET, WINFORMS, WPF, JAVA clients, PHP websites, JSP websites, AJAX technologies all have a new competitor to building very rich business applications and its name is Silverlight, so I think learning Silverlight is a "must" for any serious .net programmer.
Don't forget that Silverlight is very well suited for animations, media content (such as video streaming) as well as game programming, not to mention the new features such as RIA services which make building business applications (database retrievals/updates etc.) much more powerful with Silverlight than in versions 1 and 2.
I really like Silverlight and plan to study all I can with the technology so I can master this, it can become a worthy tool for a programmer to have in his or her arsenal.
This book is highly recommended, in fact I was giving a Silverlight demo at my work (a large IT shop in Southern California) and this book helped me understand how to solve certain problems for my demo (for example master / detail XAML with a datagrid control).
I feel this book is handy to have at your side as you find yourself needing to solve problems with Silverlight programming. This book is probably not your beginner level book, it assumes you have some knowledge of Silverlight, so maybe first read a beginning Silverlight book and then you can move up to this one.
Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The latest step in the Silverlight Recipes series, January 22, 2011
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This review is from: Silverlight Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (Expert's Voice in Silverlight) (Paperback)
I have been working with Silverlight for more than two years now and this book is the most comprehensive collection of fast acting recipes yet. It is well organized, thourough, and well sequenced. I find that it is quite helpful both in giving me a fast answer to those difficult solutions that are just beyond my imagination and in explaining how to develop the solution. The numerous examples of how to supply a complex solution using Expression Blend are just one example of this. If I were teaching Silverlight, this is one of two books that I would have the students buy. The other is "Pro Silverlight 4 in C#". Between these two, a real capability to design and deliver Silverlight can be formed.

There is some reuse of previous examples from former books, but it is minimal, and each previously used example has been expanded to give additional depth. I have coverd a winding route since Silverlight 2 in learning how to program this product well. I have designed three websites using Silverlight, one brand new and two others as upgrades from ASP designs. I have as much interest in going back to the limitations of ASP as I would in giving up my WPF programs and going back to Windows Forms. I got stuck designing a flipping page feature for several months that this book resolved in a few hours.

If you are serious in building sophisticated and capable websites, then this is the book for you. I have saved weeks of time in dead end experimentation by using this book and I can't imagine you want to wast this valuable resource either. So, get this book and become an instant expert. I am giving it my highest recommendation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference for Silverlight developers, August 1, 2010
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This review is from: Silverlight Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (Expert's Voice in Silverlight) (Paperback)
I enjoyed reading this book from various aspects--it contains clear and concise information that helps me to jump start on each topic, the book offers plenty of code samples that I can use in my project, and some parts of this book has interesting topics that it has been a question mark in my mind occasionally but only this book has offered some answers to it--e.g. how to create out of browser Silverlight applications. It appears both authors have put in a lot of efforts and development hours to write this book so it is a good investment of time to read and learn from it.

What I don't like about this book is not something about the book content itself, it is the Table of Content section at the front of the book. For each topic, there are four sections: problem, solution, how it works, and the code. So the Table of Content repeats each topic with these four sections. This layout not only extends the Table of Content to about 20 pages, but also make finding topics a page-turning, somewhat a difficult process. Whenever a Table of Content section is more than 10 pages, its usefulness weaken. Perhaps a book layout & usability experts can offer better insight on this.
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