For those of you who do not want to grab the Visual Studio 2008 beta and/or wait for the release, I have created a Silverlight Project Template for Visual Studio 2005. This template makes it possible to develop Silverlight solutions under Visual Studio 2005. Grab the installer here if you can’t wait, or read on for further information.
In case you are not familiar with Silverlight, here’s the short version: Silverlight is Microsoft’s new cross-browser, cross-platform plugin for creating rich interactive applications. Silverlight implements a subset of the .NET runtime and Windows Presentation Foundation in particular. Cross-platform means Windows and Mac OS X, so there is no Linux support yet, but the Mono project are working on their own implementation of Silverlight, dubbed Moonlight.
What I find particularly interesting is that Silverlight implements a new runtime platform known as the DLR, which makes it possible to use (and blend) dynamic languages such as Python, Ruby, and Jscript when creating Silverlight applications. More generally, the DLR is a runtime for dynamic languages of any kind, which makes it one of the most interesting recent additions to the programming universe.
Longing to fiddle with Silverlight, I came across documentation on how to create Silverlight assemblies in Visual Studio 2005 written by Michael Schwarz, and created the project template based on that.
To ease the task of creating Silverlight projects, the template includes a wizard which asks for the path to your Silverlight installation, and remembers it for the future if it is correct. No further input is needed.
Note that debugging Silverlight assemblies is not possible under Visual Studio 2005, to my knowledge. If I am wrong, let me know, and I will try to add support for out-of-the-box debugging when launching the project from Visual Studio 2005. For now, you will have to point your browser to the
Default.html file included in each project.