19 November 2009
We’ve decided to include, free of charge, application library cache support in the November 2009 release of the Silverlight Toolkit for Microsoft Silverlight 3 and also a preview supporting the new Silverlight 4 Beta. One of the many ways that we continue to deliver high-value in our open source set of goodies for Silverlight developers.
Kidding aside, yes, you can finally enable library caching when using the latest release. Since our installations are always side-by-side friendly, you should get this support immediately after installing the latest release that pairs with your Silverlight development environment.
Note that the Out of Browser feature of Silverlight is unavailable for your application if you use this feature, since key libraries need to be contained inside your Out of Browser Xap file.
Previously available only by blog, the application library cache files sit alongside the control, feature, and theme binaries for the Silverlight Toolkit and enable the Silverlight SDK to package up those components separately, improving application download and startup time in some situation for application users starting the second time they use your app.
Here’s a simple application with a chart, you can see that the .Xap file weighs in around 345 KB:
After enabling the application library cache support, check it out:
The core .Xap is now 41 KB. Of course, there are no time savings on the first download: all those other .Zip files with the extensions are downloaded as well. But if you update your .Xap file, you likely do not need to refresh the .Zip files with the cached libraries. So your users only download the new 41 KB on next visit after a change, instead of hundreds of kilobytes.
In retrospect, I admit that it’s quite embarrassing that we didn’t offer application library caching support right off-the-bat alongside the Silverlight 3 release. Having limited time and resources to deliver for each release, we’re not always able to get it all done.
Keep letting us know what you want us to work on by voicing your opinion on our blogs and by voting on the CodePlex Work Item Tracker (it tracks both feature requests and bugs).
The Silverlight Toolkit is a collection of Silverlight controls, components and utilities that help make Silverlight development a little easier, more fun, and add value outside the regular Silverlight release cycle.
The sixth release of the Silverlight Toolkit, the November 2009 release targets Silverlight 3. There is also a release available that targets the new Silverlight 4 Beta for developers.
Resources of note:
Hope you enjoy our new release!
Jeff Wilcox is a Principal Software Engineer at Microsoft in the Open Source Programs Office, helping Microsoft scale to 15,000+ engineers using, contributing to and releasing open source.