Silverlight 5 boasts a wealth of sexy new features, including a full-blown, hardware-accelerated 3D graphics API, support for custom markup extensions, multiple-window support in trusted out-of-browser apps, and the ability to run trusted applications in the browser (with sufficient permissions, of course). Post-beta, even more features will be added, such as support for invoking native operating system services using P/Invoke. But some of the most significant new features of the platform threaten to fly under the radar because they don’t lend themselves to glitzy demos. Among those features is a subtle but welcome change to Silverlight 5’s internal threading architecture.
That change is the introduction of a composition thread – a trick borrowed from Silverlight for Windows Phone. In Silverlight 4, the UI thread is responsible for virtually everything that matters: processing user input, rendering output, running animations, and more. As a result, long-running loops on the UI thread – something that developers must avoid at all costs – have debilitating effects. For example, if you’re running an animation and enter a 5-second for loop on the UI thread, the animation pauses for 5 seconds. That’s because Silverlight can’t do two things at once on a single thread, and while you’re executing code on the UI thread, Silverlight can’t use it to render changes to the visual tree, run animations, and so on.
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Post Contributed by: Kunal Chowdhury
Kunal is the Site Admin and Contributor of Silverlight-Zone. He is a Software Engineer, Microsoft Silverlight MVP, Code Project Mentor and a Code Project MVP. He is also an active Author in SilverlightShow.net and a speaker in various community events. He works on Microsoft Platform and very passionate about Silverlight technology. He started his career in 2007 and achieved various awards during his professional life.
He shares his findings in his personal blog: http://www.kunal-chowdhury.com and he also tweets at: @kunal2383.