Earlier today I followed Soma’s link to the updated Visual Studio Express pages. Soma gave emphasis that the “approach was to add Silverlight without making it look like we just dropped something new into our existing site without any thought“. Hmmm, could have fooled me 😉
The first thing I noticed (other than having to allow the AgControl Class addon) was with the new site I have to wait for silverlight data to be downloaded. And that is slow. But why do I have to wait ? Seems all that is really being brought down is a series of about 10 slide shows. Sure to the naive they look pretty because the screen shots are on angles, but it’s also incredibly useless. You can’t even navigate through those slides. It’s like it was designed to wow the bosses inside on the corporate network as they sit back and watch the slide show. As far as end user goes, it sucks. Why the hell should I have to wait for (and pay for the bandwidth used by) a useless bunch of slides ? What ever happened to *asynchronous* fetching of data ?
And the big problem for users is they don’t know if they are able to get the same content without Silverlight. Was there any real gain to the user ? Or did it force the user to wait, and in fact make navigation more awkward (such as when you go forward and then go back, you have to sit and wait through the slide show again depending on which slide was relevant to you).
What scares me is that Soma is proud of this usage of SilverLight. I guess that means he must have just sat back and watched the slide-show over the corporate intranet 🙁