.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Changes

   With the release of the new Service Pack 1 for the .NET Framework 3.5 several changes were made on several levels of the framework, and previously I talked about the changes that were made on the WPF scope, but much more as been done, and things like the CLR were changed as Kevin Frie wrote on the CLRCodeGeneration blog.

   Other person like the C# MVP Patrick Smacchia made a much deeper look and explained graphically where the changes were made and posted it on his blog, and this was a very interesting result to see.

   Another change was that now the .Net Framework 3.5 with the Service Pack 1 allows managed code to be launched from a network share, and this will be a big change for all of those that were used to have a executable on a server and then all the client machines were to run that executable. Vance Morison as the full story about this on this post. This didn’t work but now it does. Great. My question is, “Why is this needed in the current work and architecture?” but because it was a huge request, Microsoft eared it and fixed it. It’s Great to be eared .

   And so we know great changes are being made and very importantly changes that came from feedback provided from those who use the technology. Excellent.

Training for ASP.NET Virtual Earth Control

    For all of those that develop or would like to develop ASP.NET solutions with integration of Virtual Earth using the new ASP.NET control here is the link for a very interesting series of videos and samples about how to use the ASP.NET Virtual Earth control.

    Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to know more about this control that brings a easy way to develop ASP.NET solutions with integration of Virtual Earth.

Windows Presentation Foundation Major Release 3

   With the release of the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 the WPF suffered the third major release of it’s short history.

   This major areas that were affected were:

  • Deployment

     Now instead of needing the full framework installation it was made a lightweight version in order to run only this technology, and  this is called the Client Profile. This lightweight version that consumes 25 MB includes the following:

  • CLR (bases of the .NET Framework)
  • Click Once (Used in the installation of the WPF applications)
  • Windows Forms (Runtime used to run the Windows Forms solutions that can be held also inside WPF applications using WindowsFormsHost class)
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (Runtime used to run the WPF solutions that can also be held inside Windows Forms Applications using the ElementHost class)
  • Windows Communication Foundation (Runtime used to run and consume WCF services that are normally used by Windows and WPF applications)
  • Graphics

     This versions includes powerful enhancements on the WPF graphics primarily on the 3D scope in controls like UIElement3D and Viewport2DVisual3D (that is responsible for making 2D object viewable in 3D).

     Also brings the HLSL shaders with the ShaderEffect class, that are entirely implemented on the GPU level, which makes it a lot faster, in case you have the Pixel Shader 2.0 support on your hardware).

    Another class that was also enhanced was the WritableBitmap class that now enables a very efficient image manipulation, by giving the ability to provide bitmap images mapped in the system memory that will give us the ability to change it on runtime and have the effects immediately on the screen. 

  • Performance

    Changes to the cold start on the application that are now improved in 45% depending on the application size.

    Virtualization optimizations such as in TreeView, columns that can now be virtualized and that will enable a better and easier creation of DataGrid controls.

  • New Controls

     The much asked Datagrid control is now part of the WPF controls that are made available, but that will be released after the .net 3.5 SP1 release.

     The Office Ribbon control is also part of the new WPF controls and will also be released after the .net 3.5 SP1 release as the DataGrid Control.

      A Rich functionality WebBrowser Control, that in the previous versions worked via a Frame Element, and now will permit javacript and other funcionalities that exist on the normal browsers, and also will provide the ability for WPF applications to host Silverlight contents.

  • Other Enhancements

     Support for String formatting on the databinding of text without having to implement the IValueConverter interface.

     Extended support for the XBAP for the Firefox by providing the ClickOnce native support inside it.

     Improvements in the WPF Designer of the Visual Studio 2008 solving some problems that existed with the rendering of elements majorly when they were based on other custom controls.

     There’s a change that needs to be made on the Blend 2.5 Preview in order to solve some of this problems and that can be downloaded here.

  • Integration

     Improved DirectX integration by having the D3DImage class that enabled the developer to overlay or blend the Direct3D contents with the WPF contents.

In conclusion, all great stuff for those who develop using this powerful Microsoft Technology called WPF that changed the main community site to the WindowsClient.net/WPF.

For more information’s check the following links:

Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 RTM

   It’s already available the Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 with SP1 RTM version, as the Beta version of the SP1 of Visual Studio 2008 is no longer supported.

   Install it and begin playing with the new VS2008 SP1 and Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2.

   Update: In case of problems with the installation, please check this forum entry that explains the problem and how to solve it.

Import 3D Objects into Virtual Earth

    With the aquisition of Caligari by Microsoft in February 2008, it was made available a free tool, named TrueSpace that was placed for download completely for free. This will allow the development of solutions using Virtual Earth in his 3D version. This was without any doubt one of the greater drawbacks of developing with Virtual Earth, but now this is all solved as Chris Pendleton the Virtual Earth Team Evangelist announced on his blog and were he explains how to do each of the steps. have fun with this new and very interesting feature made available for Virtual Earth.