Spatacoli

Silverlight 2 Beta 2: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

RTW for Silverlight is still off in the near future. The RC0 build of Silverlight is mainly for developers, but you have a very important web site launching in 22 languages over the next couple of weeks. The ad campaign can’t wait for the RTW of Silverlight 2. What on Earth are you to do?

Well as I see it you really have a few options.

0) Wait for RTW to switch to a newer build. This is option 0 because it isn’t really an option. You really do need to be out there testing your beta 2 applications on RC0 to ensure that you get all the updates cleaned up. This way when RTW is launched you just “flip the switch” and you have gotten rid of all of those nasty pre-release bits once and for all.

1) Leave beta 2 on your main development machine and setup the RC0 bits on a separate virtual machine or computer. For me I have the RC0 bits on my laptop and the beta 2 bits on my main development machine, but a virtual machine would work just as well.

2) Switch back and forth between beta 2 and RC0 by using the tried and true “Add/Remove Programs” control panel applet. If you go with this option you need to remove several things. I think Vista shines here because you can use the search box to help find these components. First search for “Silverlight” and you should find three things to remove: “Silverlight 2 SDK”, “Silverlight Tools Visual Studio 2008 SP1 - ENU” and “Silverlight”. Then you should search for and remove the pre-release version of Blend (that’s Blend 2.5 if you have the Beta 2 bits installed and Blend 2 SP1 if you have the RC0 bits installed).

The last step of option 2 is the difficult one. When you install the Silverlight Chainer it also installs a patch to Visual Studio. To find this in the Add Remove Programs control panel applet show updates if you are in XP or click on View Installed Updates if you are in Vista. Then look for (or search in Vista) the update with the KB#: KB956453 and remove that. Then you are clean and ready for a reinstall of which ever version you need at that moment.

Personally I think this is a lot of work. That’s why I’m glad that I have plenty of virtual machines and extra hardware that I can have several machines running different bits of stuff.

Oh, one last thing I should point out. Until Silverlight 2 ships, any site created with Silverlight 2 Beta 2 will fail to run with Silverlight 2 RC0 installed. The SilverSpine sites I’ve created all have a very rich HTML site to fall back on so I just disable Silverlight and I can surf the web without worrying about the Silverlight 2 RC0 incompatibility with Silverlight 2 Beta 2.