June 2010 - Posts

If you are using Silverlight controls from the Telerik suite, you’re going to love this.

Telerik provide a new free tool to help reduce the size of your Silverlight xap. The Telerik Assembly Minifier can be found here:
http://minifier.telerik.com/

From the website: “Telerik Assembly Minifier is a tool that lets you extract only the controls’ classes and resources you need to use in your application development, thus significantly reducing the size of the assemblies. Using the Assembly Minifier you will achieve significantly better loading time when the Silverlight XAP files containing the minified (optimized) assemblies are to be loaded on the client side.”

Note: this apply to Telerik assemblies only (for now).


I decided to give it a try and create a fresh new Silverlight 4 app then insert a Telerik GridView in a page. VS automatically adds reference to these assemblies:

  • Telerik.Windows.Data.dll
  • Telerik.Windows.Controls.Input.dll
  • Telerik.Windows.Controls.GridView.dll
  • Telerik.Windows.Controls.dll

That’s 645KB (compressed) added in your xap file, ouch!

Now let’s add a CoverFlow and a Scheduler controls in my app. This adds 2 more assemblies in the resulting xap:

  • Telerik.Windows.Controls.Scheduler.dll
  • Telerik.Windows.Controls.Navigation.dll

That’s an additional 413KB in the xap.


At that point my xap file is 1.2MB, and my app is quite empty, most of the size is coming from the Telerik assemblies. Great features comes with a price, right ?

Now let’s try the Assembly Minifier tool.
Go to http://minifier.telerik.com/ and upload the Telerik assemblies used in your app.

Then I select the controls to be extracted (GridView, CoverFlow and Scheduler here):

 

Now I can click on the “Extract” button to download the compressed assemblies and reference them in my app (I removed the originals first).

After recompiling my xap is now 845KB, that’s 32% off.

So finally for my very specific test (empty Silverlight 4 app with 3 Telerik controls: GridView, CoverFlow and Scheduler) I get this result:

 xap file size

Before

After

1.2MB

845KB

 

[32% gain]

Overall this is good, as always Telerik innovate in new tools and it’s nice to see them answering concern like xap files size. But to me the whole process to manually choose your controls and manually upload and manually replace dll is totally inefficient for now. The tool is still beta (and free!) so I do not complain, I just hope to see more features and a better integration in VS later. In a perfect world a VS add-in would do the job automatically when I build in release mode.

 

Note the tool is working properly, but the way to replace your dll in VS is not (always grab the old replaced dll). You can find some tips to fix it but it is definitely painful for now. Hope VS will provide an easier way to handle this in the future, or maybe Telerik to create a VS addin or something... 
Waiting for that you’ll find great help here:
http://www.telerik.com/community/forums/silverlight/assembly-minifier.aspx

 

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Jesse LibertyThis is our last attempt to get Jesse Liberty at the Montreal User Group (and there won’t be any take 4 as this is the very last meeting of the season), so we cross fingers that everything will be fine this time!
RunAtServer Consulting is the proud sponsor of this event.

  • What: Silverlight 4, MVVM and Test-Driven Development
  • When: June 16, 2010 at 6:15pm.
  • Where: UQAM, Room DS-R520, 320 Sainte-Catherine East, H2X 1L7, http://www.uqam.ca/campus/pavillons/ds.htm.
  • Price: Free for members of the User Group, 5$ for anyone else.

As you may know Expression Blend 4 has shipped!

It is still part of Expression Studio, which now comes in 2 “flavors”:

  • Expression Studio 4 Ultimate
    • Expression Blend
    • SketchFlow
    • Expression Web + SuperPreview
    • Expression Encoder
    • Expression Design
  • Expression Studio 4 Web Professional
    • Expression Web + SuperPreview
    • Expression Encoder
    • Expression Design

So the version you want for Silverlight is Expression Studio 4 Ultimate (because you can’t buy Expression Blend alone).

Expression Blend is an awesome tool but might be difficult to approach at first, specially for people coming from Visual Studio… this tool target designers so it can takes time for a developer to get comfortable enough.

Good news is the availability of a free “Blend Fundamentals Training” which contains plenty of resources to help you master Expression Blend in 5 days:
http://www.microsoft.com/expression/resources/BlendTraining/

 

Also don’t forget the .toolbox:
http://www.microsoft.com/design/toolbox/
This Microsoft website contains courses and tutorials to help you learn UI Design for Silverlight with Expression Blend.

Posted by pluginbaby | with no comments

silverlight training montreal

Silverlight Training Montreal Get an awesome Silverlight training this Summer!

The Silverlight Tour has a new class in Montreal, and provide top Silverlight 4 content!!!

>> This course will be taught in English <<

  • What: Silverlight training
  • When: July 19-22 (4 days)
  • Where: Montreal, Qc
  • Registration/info: http://www.runatserver.com/SilverlightTraining.aspx

     
    Also note that we offer a free license of Telerik's RadControls for Silverlight to every attendee ($999 value)!!
    For more information on RadControls, visit:
    http://www.telerik.com/products/silverlight.aspx
    Telerik_Logo 

     

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