THROUGH THE YEARS, there have been numerous technologies and programming methodologies invented for the sole purpose of enhancing the end user experience of a website. What started out as static content pages in HTML quickly morphed into dynamic pages powered by technologies like ASP.NET. With these dynamic pages, developers could finally put together actual applications on the Web; soon, with additional enhancements like AJAX, full line-of-business applications were moving from the desktop to the Web. One common problem with these existing technologies, however, was their reliance on browser-specific JavaScript code. All too often, it became commonplace to design a page for one browser, only to have that same code fail miserably when viewed by another browser. Sure, with enough hard work and some strange hacks and tweaks, most of these problems could be resolved. Still, these Web-based applications just never seemed to feel as responsive and slick as their desktop counterparts. This is where a technology such as Silverlight comes into the picture.

Although the first major version of Silverlight did not offer much in the way of application development, it did not take long for Silverlight 2 to provide developers with the means to create Web-based applications in .NET code without worrying about browser specifics. As an added bonus, Silverlight also came with rich user interface functionality, such as smooth animations and video support. As good as Silverlight 2 was at ...

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