Right on the tail of Silverlight 2 RTW comes another very high-quality book that's completely up to date. Not only is Silverlight 2 Unleashed, by friend and fellow MVP Laurent Bugnion feature-complete, it's printed in full color! All of the Blend and other illustrations look exactly as they do in the product; all the code samples are in color. The book itself is a pleasure to read; it has those nice colored tabs printed at the right edge of each chapter's pages, making it much easier to find where you want to be reading.
But what will really strike you about Silverlight 2 Unleashed is the way it is organized into 24 concise, well - defined chapters:
2 Understanding XAML - covers namespaces, Canvas, properties, SilverlightPad, KaXAML, brushes, scenes, and more.
3 Playing with XAML Transforms and Animations - Transforming visuals, RotateTransform, TranslateTransform, ScaleTransform, SkewTransform, MatrixTransform, Composing Transforms,Basic Animation,Animation Elements and more.
4 Expression Blend - Most of what you need to know to "get to first base" with Blend.
5 Using Media - Colors, Transparency Channel, opacity, vector graphics, media, laying out applications, pictures, video, controlling sound and video, writing with media.
6 Blending a Little More - Transforms, opacity masks, paths, splines, shapes, clipping and more.
7 Deploying to a Web Page - Test pages, attributes, parameters, deploying, detecting Silverlight, XAP and referencing XAP on another server, and a lot about deployment.
9 Understanding .NET - Visual Studio 2008, Intellisense, and basic programming concepts.
10 Progressing with .NET - Objects, namespaces, visibility, properties, inheritance, event handlers, storing data.
11 Progressing with Animations - Blend, properties, easing, synchronizing, storyboard, point animation, and much more.
12 Encoding Videos with Expression Encoder - the complete tutorial to get you up to speed with video.
13 Progressing with Videos -- Streaming, publishing, overlays, script commands and a lot more.
15 Digging into Silverlight Elements - Class Hierarchy, Dependency Object, UIElement, FrameworkElement, Canvas, StackPanel, Grid, ScrollViewer, Popups - the works.
16 Digging Deeper into Silverlight Elements -Controls, styling, fonts, dragging, and more about controls.
17 Using Resources, Styling, and Templating - Collections, interfaces, ResourceDictionary, styling controls, property setters, thumbnails, embedding fonts, and templating.
18 Data Binding and Using Data Controls - Data objects, notifying, converting, binding, Data Sources, more.
19 Creating User Controls and Custom Controls - feature complete treatment of how to create, customize and use UserControls with Silverlight.
20 Taking Silverlight 2 One Step Further -More about controls and templating, and some more advanced concepts.
22 Connecting to the Web - media, requests, LINQ, WCF, connectivity.
23 Placing Cross-domain Requests and Handling Exceptions - All about how to do it with plenty of real-world examples and code.
24 Silverlight: Continuing the Journey - Lots more about controls, Media Player, installation, Test framework.
In sum, this is a really great Silverlight book that is progressive in nature, well-organized, and very feature complete. If you are just starting out with Silverlight, or even if you are more advanced, the book will not disappoint you. The book comes with a copious amount of downloadable source code and a free 45 day subscription to the online Safari edition. It has a sticker price of $49.99 US, but you can find it at discounters such as bookpool.com for as little as $31.95.
Dr. Dotnetsky says, "If you want to get into Silverlight, you need to buy this book. You'll thank me later". Nice job, Laurent.