Ioan Lazarciuc's Weblog I program, therefore I exist.

28Jul/105

Debugging Silverlight Sidebar Gadgets from Visual Studio

Ever since I started working with Windows Sidebar gadgets I’ve been debugging them the same way: enabling script debugging in the IE options (for JavaScript based gadgets) and then using the “Attach to Process” command from Visual Studio.

When I created a template (posts here and here) that speeds up development of Silverlight Sidebar gadgets, I wanted to offer the smoothest development experience possible. Ironically, that in itself has been a very bumpy ride. The last hurdle I had to cross was to provide the familiar debug experience (F5).

9Apr/1051

Update for Silverlight Sidebar Gadget Project Template

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on fixing a number of bugs signalled about the Silverlight Gadget Template I created a while ago. I’ve had to work around some strange issues and try everything I could to make the gadget development experience as pleasant as possible. I’d like to thank Kiran Bachu for his valuable support in finding bugs and testing the gadget template.

Version 1.8 of the gadget is released for the following Visual Studio/Silverlight version combinations:

2Aug/0861

Creating a Vista Sidebar Gadget Using Microsoft Silverlight

Introduction

Some while ago I did a post on how to create a Vista Sidebar gadget using JavaScript. I also mentioned that I tried to create the gadget using XBAP or Silverlight, but due to the limitations in those technologies at that time, I decided that I had to give up on too much of the Sidebar gadget specific functionality (flyouts, cross domain data retrieval).

More than 6 months have passed since then and now I am pleased to announce that I've changed my opinion regarding Silverlight Sidebar gadgets. Due to the fact that the Silverlight technology has matured a lot (version 2.0 beta 2 is now available), Sidebar gadgets can be developed using this technology, without sacrificing any Sidebar gadget specific functionality. This is due to the fact that there is full interoperability between Silverlight and the JavaScript code. Also, cross domain calls are now allowed in Silverlight, so retrieving data is no longer an issue. Furthermore, it has been greatly enhanced due to the fact that one can consume WCF services using Silverlight.