We have announced that Silverlight 2 Beta 1, will be released during the first 3 months of this year (that is, any day now) with a go-live license. It is important to keep in mind that this will be a beta product, and that 1.0 will be a release product, but you can bet that there will be a lot of interest in Silverlight 2 because it is… well.. fantastic. And filled with great stuff. (And is the proximate cause for my ending 12 years as an independent contract programmer and becoming a Microsoft employee!)
So, as you can guess, like lots of folks in and out of Microsoft, I'm busy ramping up a huge amount of material have ready as soon as Silverlight 2 is released (though I promise not to neglect Silverlight 1.0). And, like lost of folks, I've found that there is a lot to learn.
I'm asked at least once a day how developers can start learning 2.0 even before they get their hands on the bits. Or the documentation. Well, I can in fact tell you, without getting fired, if I word it very carefully.
Silverlight uses XAML and while we've not announced the complete set of controls that will be implemented in Silverlight 2.0, if you review Scott's blog post again you'll find that we hae said that there will be layout manager support, two way databinding support, control template and skinning support along wth textbox, checkbox, radiobutton, StackPanel, Grid, TabControl., Slider, rich networking support, generics, isolated storage,
That turns out to be a lot of information about what to look for in Silverlight 2 (though not necessarily in Beta 1), and all of that is a subset of what is already well documented in WPF. So if you are eager to get going, you can hit the books today with a good book on WPF. Here are three I think are particularly good:
by Chris Sells, Ian Griffiths
|Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed (WPF) (Unleashed)
by Adam Nathan
|Essential Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) (Microsoft .NET Development Series)
by Chris Anderson
For example; let's say that in reviewing Scott's article you decide you'd like to get a head start on understanding how controls are going to work. No one can promise which controls will be in the beta, nor that they'll be precisely as they are in WPF, but I'm willing to go on record saying that spending the time reading chapter 5 in the Sells/Griffiths book would be time well spent, as would be true with the other 2 books.
I'm sorry this ran a bit late today and I hop you find it a helpful start.