Thursday, July 23, 2009

Silverlight: What is CoreCLR?

Do you know what is CoreCLR? If not then keep reading this article, if yes then do contribute to help others understand it better.

CoreCLR is a scaled version of the original CLR that has been encapsulated within Silverlight2, Don't you think its amazing? Well i find it very interesting, with access to BCL (Base Class Libraries) you can write classic applications using Silverlight2 and now Sliverlight3 coming in with lot more new features.

Silverlight2/CoreCLR includes:

- BCL (though not complete but enough to help you write medium to complex level applications, I'll go in to its details in some other post)
- JIT ( just in time compiler)
- GC ( Garbage collector)

What are the benefits of CoreCLR?

- You have the access to the limited BCL, you can write code in C# or any other .NET language and it will run it User web browser.
- CoreCLR works for non-windows platforms also e.g MAC OS, see below figure. It uses PAL (Platform Adaptation Layer), an API written for different platforms.

Figure taken from MSDN article

- With Silverligt CoreCLR, you can manipulate DOM within C# codebehind of Silevrlight XAML page, or vise versa i.e. using C# objects in JavaScript.
- The good thing about CoreCLR is that its compatible with the original CLR because the designer of CoreCLR have kept the execution engine and virtual machine same.
- You can easily customize the existing code written for original CLR to fit for the CoreCLR but with few changes.
- CoreCLR run side by side with the desktop CLR, that too is a big advantage.
- One of the other great things with CoreCLR is that the Silverlight team has been able to keep the size of the setup in a reasonable range, so that the user don't have to wait that long.

With CoreCLR coming in to picture, its more easy for the .NET developers to write applications in Silverlight instead of using Flash and taking advantage of Action Script in Flash. They need not to learn anything new, they can take advantage of their existing C# or VB.NET skills for writing Silverlight applications business logic.

CoreCLR Web Resources:

- A must read article from MSDN on CoreCLR:
- An interesting Video from Microsoft TechNet 09 about Silverlight2/ CLR, a must see:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Silverlight Ideas: Making a silverlight application run out of web browser

Here I'm getting started with Sliverlight, learning the architecture, looking at demos,and sample applications.

I come across the details of running a silvelight application, out of IE and to make it a separate application running right from your desktop, just like a Flash application, it will be useful for a completely offloaded application like a single player game, or an online application that can also work in offline and syncroznie stuff when Internet become available.

Here are the details of how to make a Silvelight application to run out of IE.

- Open the Silevrlight Project settings, Right click the project, click on the properties, here you are:

- Click the checkbox, "Enable running application out of the browser", it will enable the settings and will allow a user to run it out of browser.
- You can click on "Out of Browser Settings" button for more customization, like window title, shortcut name, width and height of the window e.t.c. You can even customize the application shortcut icon and that too for different sizes.

- Now the client will see another option i.e "Install on this computer", when he will right click a Silverlight application from within the web browser.

- If you will click on this option it will ask for further details, like "Start Menu", and "Desktop", once done it will install the application.

- Now you are all set to run the application from your desktop or start menu, depending upon the option you selected while installing it.

- You can also remove the application from your desktop if you want to, for that you need to right click when the application is open and selects the "Remove Application" option.

I really liked this idea and the level of customization provided by sliverlight!

Friday, July 17, 2009

PTCL Broadband, not proving to be a wise decision

I got PTCL broadband for home a 1MB link; I thought that it's a good choice at a reasonable cost, due to their student package. Not to mention the hassle of getting it installed at my place it took me a complete month, around 50 reminder calls to their call-centre, with follow-ups to the exchange directly, and the final warning of cancelling my order, it worked though :).

While I was in Pakistan and planning to leave for UK, it worked very fine for couple of weeks and I really loved the speed, but for last couple of weeks it has been a big mess for my family, they come online we start talking and then what happens DSL goes down, they come online again and what now DSL is down again. We hardly talk due to this online/offline thing.

Hats off to their customer service, we have been launching complaints again and again but nothing so far! I wish PTCL as a company can improve their customer service, since now they are not publically owned, if it continues to happen ppl will start looking for alternatives, which I already had!