Tag Archives: Sirius

Sirius 2.0 – FAQ

It is getting more exciting as we get more responses and feedback on our Sirius 2.0 Showcase which launched earlier this week. I noticed that there have been several questions on some Sirius 2.0 design aspects in the forum, so I decided to write a quick explanation in this post.

What is the size of Sirius 2.0 showcase?

The Sirius 2.0 showcase itself is a Silverlight 2.0 application package with 6.5 MB size. That’s why we made a nicer preloader so users don’t get bored while waiting for the download. This Showcase is designed to explore all Silverlight functions, and combining it with scenarios that made possibly with our upcoming UI components.

Almost 2/3 of the Showcase’s content is images, such as those used for FishEye and CoverFlow samples. If those images are stripped out, the Showcase package is only something about 600 KB.

One nice thing about Silverlight application is that it can take advantage of browser caching mechanism. Although your application might be a bit large in size (but try to make it affordable such as below 10 MB), it still can stand out by caching it to user’s browser. As the results, the application will load in matter of seconds on the subsequent request (no more download). This is in fact very good, and in some degree, even better than HTML concept (where it has to download a lot of different resources, eg, javascripts, images, css).

Sirius 2.0 is designed with this caching architecture. So, you can see that subsequent visits will load the application in only several seconds. And thus, this resolves the usability and initial download issue.

How much will Sirius 2.0 Components add to my XAP application?

Our UI components are designed with best componentizing practice and fully optimized for performance. That translates to unbelievably small size of assemblies. Sirius 2.0 components will add only around 300+ KB to your XAP application package. Note: Please don’t misread it as 3MB 🙂

This is certainly fantastic. Even the Javascript version of our previous WebAqua already exceeded 500 KB in size, while this new version is only something around 300 KB, plus double the features.

How to consume and use Sirius 2.0 Components? (aka, Getting Started)

First of all, get yourself a copy of 2008 R2 Beta. If you haven’t aware of the beta, read the news here.

After you’ve done with the installation, straight go to the 2008 R2 program group, and expand WebAqua 2.0. If you would like to open the sample in Blend, right click on the Silverlight Samples item, point to Open With menu, and choose Expression Blendl. See following screenshot.

When you open the sample for the first time, the references to the Aqua assemblies are missing (in this beta), so let’s get it fixed by re-referencing it. Follow the steps below:

  • Remove both ISNet.Silverlight.dll and ISNet.Silverlight.WebAqua.dll from the reference.
  • Add Reference “ISNet.Silverlight.dll” from C:\Program Files\Intersoft Solutions Beta\WebUI.NET Framework 3.0\Bin
  • Add Reference “ISNet.Silverlight.WebAqua.dll” from C:\Program Files\Intersoft Solutions Beta\WebAqua.NET 2.0\Bin

Now we should be all set. Pay attention on the Project tab which is usually docked at right side. Expand the Samples folder, and here you go. For the first start, you can try WebCoverFlow, FirstExperience.xaml. See following screenshot.

Explore the control by selecting the control instance in the Object panel. Then, switch to Properties tab, and scroll down to bottom then expand Miscellaneous group. In Blend June preview, all custom properties are still located in Miscellanous group, however, Microsoft’s ScottGu has promised us that this is going to be fixed in the next preview of Blend.

When you’ve done testing or configuring a sample, just hit F5 to preview it in browser. We’ve made a nice Sample Explorer so that you can explore the samples conveniently. You should see something as shown in the following.

There is an annoying known issue in Blend Designer (although it doesn’t happen in VS 2008), that is the relative images which pointed to upper level of the sample (eg, “../../Images/Button.png”) will not show up properly in the control. Microsoft Silverlight team has acknowledged that as a bug. At the meantime, if you want to try out the controls in Blend, try to have the images inside the subfolder of your sample. (eg, “Images/Button.png”).

Please feel free to ask should you have further questions, and I will add it to the FAQ in this post.

All the best,