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2008: Decision Year for RIAs - October 20-22, 2008 San Jose

Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Step by Step
Learn Blend a Lesson at a Time

Being primarily an architect and developer my use of Blend can be very limited at times. I use Blend mostly for prototyping with SketchFlow and I wanted to get a refresher on the functionality I don’t use day to day.

Over the past several months I have been cracking this book open over lunch (when I get a lunch) and going through all the exercises. It has been a very fun exercise.

The book starts out with an introduction to Silverlight and WPF and then has a chapter on the Blend 4 IDE. The book continues with a chapter on Designing an Interface, XAML and C#, Animations and Transformations, Adding Interactivity, Creating Design Assets, Resources, Skinning Controls, Working with Data, Using SketchFlow, and Designer/Developer Collaboration.

Each chapter is a lesson or a set of lessons that introduce you to the topic by creating a hands on experience.

One of the things I really liked was that the book introduced Expression Design 4 in the chapter Creating Design Assets and it touched on it in another chapter. I hardly ever get a chance to work in Expression Design so this was great.

The book does a great job of showing you how to work with sample data. One of the main problems we as developers always face is populating the user interface to see how it will really work when there is no data available on the project. That is no longer a problem with Silverlight and WPF.

One downside is the black and white print. I have started really enjoying the color books being put out on WPF, Silverlight, and Expression Blend. Have this one in black and white did not affect the quality of the lessons, but it would have been better in color.

The code was very well organized and went together well with the book. There were no errors or issues with the code. The thing I liked best about this code was that the author only supplied the base which prepared you for the lesson. That made you do the lesson instead of reading about it and skimming the code. Having to finish the samples added a lot of value to each lesson.

Overall I think the author did a great job of introducing a ton of functionality that is available in Blend 4.

If you are doing anything with Silverlight and WPF you owe it to yourself to get familiar with Blend, and this is the book you should start with.

Microsoft Expression Blend 4 Step by Step (Step By Step (Microsoft))

About Tad Anderson
Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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Introducing at AJAXWorld RIA Conference 2008 West the world's first-ever full, one-day immersive "AJAX Security Bootcamp" - led by one of the world's foremost AJAX security experts and teachers, HP's Billy Hoffman.

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AJAXWorld 2008 West - Tracks

Track 01: Enterprise RIAs
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AJAXWorld Keynotes & Power Panels

2008 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Can We Fix the Web? By Douglas Crockford - by Douglas Crockford
2008 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: 2008: The Year of the RIA - by Anthony Franco
2008 SYS-CON TV Power Panel: The Business Value of RIAs
2008 SYS-CON TV Power Panel: What Lies Beyond AJAX
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Why Web 2.0 for the Enterprise Is Far More Than Just a Facelift - by Ted Farrell
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Fueling the Next Generation Web: A Peek Behind the Green Curtain - by Bob Brewin
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: AJAX in the Balance - by Joe Stagner

AJAXWorld Sessions on SYS-CON.TV

· Bill Scott - Yahoo! UI Library
· David Heinemeier Hansson - AJAX on Rails
· Jesse James Garrett - Elements of User Experience
· Dion Hinchcliffe - Real World AJAX
· Eric Miraglia - Open Source AJAX Development
· Paul Rademacher - Mashing Up Your Web Application
· Adam Sah - Google Gadgets
· Doug Crockford - An Introduction to JavaScript
· David Linthicum - Enterprise Web 2.0
· Patrick Grady - The Imagination & Experience Web

AJAXWorld...All The AJAX Rock Stars in One Spot!

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SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2008 East
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SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2007 West
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2007 West
AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo West
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AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo East
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