I have been waiting for Silverlight for quite some time. I began writing professional-grade web applications in 1999. Immediately, I became frustrated with the “good-enough” mindset that seasoned web developers had adopted and users have endured. This mentality arose from the limitations of HTML and the complexities involved in delivering applications over the internet. I didn’t want to fall into this mindset; I wasn’t going to be content with “good-enough.” I wanted to make my applications stand apart, and I wanted to deliver a true user experience.
Around 2001–2002, I took a Flash course as an elective at Purdue University. Over the course of the class, I learned a great deal about Flash. In fact, I was really excited about Flash’s potential. In the end though, I felt that Flash was just a tool. I felt that the long-term viability of Flash was limited due to the nonstandard ActionScript language. Being a software engineer, I was in search of a platform, not a tool. That’s when I realized I would have to wait for something more powerful.
In 2006, during Microsoft’s MIX conference, I heard about WPF/E. WPF/E excited me because it was a subset of the powerful Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). Knowing of the power of WPF and of WPF/E’s cross-platform goals, I decided to heavily focus on WPF until WPF/E matured. Eventually, WPF/E was renamed Silver-light; it continued to impress and inspire me. This inspiration led me to maintain a blog and, most recently, write this book.