In anticipation of the brand new Q1 2012 release, we were hard at work behind the scenes ensuring that the forthcoming releases of the RadControls for Silverlight and RadControls for WPF were chock full of new goodies for all the developers out there.  But we've also been working on a few other little gems, including a brand new website as well as an update to our support lifecycle and approach to developing the RadControls for Silverlight and RadControls for WPF.  Read on for more...

WPF - Streamlined Content and a Metro Makeover

One of the huge efforts we have been hard at work on is a complete revamp of the RadControls for WPF website! As you may have noticed, we already did this for the RadControls for Silverlight product page and have gotten tons of positive feedback on how it makes content easier to find, provides a better picture of what each individual control can add to your application, and on top of all that, looks clean, refined, and Metro-tastic! Here’s a before and after look at the WPF section of the site:

Before:

Old WPF Site

After:

Looking pretty sweet, right? Let us know what you think about the changes and anything else we can do to make the browsing experience even better.

Support Lifecycles

Another thing that we have had our thinking caps on about is how to continue supporting the previous versions of Silverlight and WPF now that Silverlight 5 has shipped and WPF 4.5 is on the horizon. While we would like to continue offering support for previous versions until the end of time, this is unrealistic for a few reasons.

First of all, WPF 4 introduced some important new features that we didn’t have in WPF 3.5, my favorite of which being the VisualStateManager that we all know and love in Silverlight. Maintaining a codebase between SL4/5 and WPF3.5/4 means we have to include two separate implementations of how our styles and templates work, which makes every theme take that much more time to implement and test, not to mention the support headache of trying to maneuver the same types of customizations across these different implementations.

Beyond this, there are distinct advantages from a component vendor’s perspective to utilizing the latest version of the framework. We can make better, higher-performance controls by utilizing the latest and greatest features found in Silverlight 5 and WPF 4. If we don’t stop making new controls for the older frameworks, there will be noticeable differences in both functionality and performance, meaning that GanttView for WPF3.5 would not be nearly as high performance of a control as GanttView for WPF4.0. And when it comes down to it, we’re dedicated to bringing you the best, most responsive, highest performance controls on the market, so we need to adjust as the frameworks do to continue delivering more than expected to our customers.

So check out the brand new Silverlight and WPF

support lifecycles and be sure to plan your projects appropriately! We’re not dropping support for Silverlight 4 or WPF 3.5 entirely yet, so you can continue to receive bug fixes and minor improvements in those suites for a little while to come, but for new development we’re focusing on what the new frameworks can offer. As a developer you should strive to do the same, taking advantage of the latest and greatest to make the best applications possible.

Don’t Miss It!!

In case you missed the greatness that was Q1 2012 webinar week - don't worry!  All of our webinars are available on-demand from Telerik TV.  But we'll do you one better, head over to the Webinars page (you should have this bookmarked already, FYI) and we've got links to all of the Q1 2012 webinars available, no searching required!

After you've checked out the recorded webinars, feel free to tune into our new XAMLflix campaign to accelerate your learning of RadControls for Silverlight and WPF suites.  We just finished our Q1 2012 release marathon and are returning to our regularly scheduled posts every Thursday.



About the Author

Evan Hutnick

works as a Developer Evangelist for Telerik specializing in Silverlight and WPF in addition to being a Microsoft MVP for Silverlight. After years as a development enthusiast in .Net technologies, he has been able to excel in XAML development helping to provide samples and expertise in these cutting edge technologies. You can find him on Twitter @EvanHutnick.

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