Continuing from my previous post on learning Silverlight (sorry for the VERY long delay i’ve been very busy lately)…

5 – The tools (cont)
Okay so downloads required were as follows:

  • Silverlight Runtime
  • .NET Framework 3.0
  • Visual Studio Orcas
  • Visual Web Developer 2008 – due to the massive download required i opted for the Express edition of visual studio for now – by all accounts the express edition doesnt allow the Silverlight extensions to be installed… back to downloading vs2008 standard again! NOTE TO MS – make this clearer please
  • Visual Studio 2008 (in the time its taken me to finish this post the beta2 has been released)
  • Silverlight Tools for Orcas
  • Microsoft Silverlight Tools Alpha Refresh for Visual Studio (July 2007)
  • Expression Blend

.NET Framework 3.0
I’ve already installed the runtime so next is .NET Framework 3.0. The .Net installer seems to have improved, although is now a whopping 30 meg which downloads and installs silently after you run the setup, it does however hog resources a little during the install but no system restart required! :). A point to note is that viewing Silverlight web applications does not need the .NET 3.0 Framework to be installed, a subset of the framework is included in the Silverlight runtime. I’m installing it for the use of Expression Blend and VS Orcas.

Expression Blend
Standard install process here, there were options for “custom” or “full” install but I chose “typical” as I’m on a tight budget with regards to the spec of my laptop. I’m sure things will run painfully slow but I’ll just have to put up with it until I get a new machine. Another simple install down, so far so good.

Visual Web Developer 2008
So finally settling on giving this a go with Visual Web Developer 2008. There was a nice online install that basically setup everything for me. I like this sort of install, yeah maybe there are a million and one options i might want to set on install but in the real world if i don’t get these options I dont lose any sleep and am less frustrated with slow installs – start it going, leave it, come back and its done.
– removed due to no support for the Silverlight extensions!

Visual Studio Orcas 2008 beta2
From the downloads, the first step was to run the extractor which extracts all downloads into an installation directory, this took ages just to extract it uses winRAR self-extractor which was a bit annoying in that it has a progress indicator for each file extracted but no indication of overall progress and no indication of how many files there are left. VS 2008 is going to be a bit of a resource hog.
After it had finally extracted I run vs_setup.msi… to be instantly prompted to run setup.exe (I always get that wrong). A familiar Visual Studio setup screen is presented and then a typical visual studio installation process.
That was with Orcas, with VS2008 beta2 I opted to download and install the standard edition which downloaded an ISO image. Using magic ISO I extracted this and had a much quicker experience, although the install did still take a considerable amount of time.

Microsoft Silverlight Tools Alpha Refresh for Visual Studio (July 2007)
A simple to install extension to VS2008 that offers the Silverlight specific features.

And finally that is all that we apparently need.

Overall the setup experience was pretty good, alot of downloading and waiting but no painful unknown errors or crashes so i’m happy with that. A bit of confusion with the new release of vs2008 and no support for Silverlight in the Express editions. Now, finally onto some development and time for another post that might take me months to finish 😛 (hopefully not though).