Welcome to MikeHerman.net

Hi, I'm Mike

Welcome to my website.   I blog about things I come across working with Silverlight.   Check out my Gallery to see my designs and Labs for some technical Silverlight goodness.

In case you're wondering "What is Silverlight?"

When I tell people I'm a Silverlight programmer, I still get asked 'What is Silverlight?' So here goes: Simply put, Silverlight is a browser plugin. Wikipedia says its "similar to ... Adobe Flash" -- its a new way to bring content to the web. It is cross-platform compatible (works on Windows, Firefox, Chrome, Linux, Mac OS X, Windows Phone 7). While one major use for Silverlight is streaming video (used by the Olympics, Netflix, etc.), it can also do much more -- it brings the power to deliver desktop-style applications through your browser. As a plug-in, Silverlight allows web technology to evolve at a faster rate. And Silverlight is free and only takes a minute to install.

Why Do I Like Silverlight? (For developers)

Making custom websites is hard. Not only do you have to actually provide useful content, if you'd like to create a cool / engaging UI, you'll have to get dirty with CSS. And dealing with CSS is hacking. I'd really rather be doing something else other than worrying about browser rendering differences. Even simple, common tasks, like the well-known 3-column layout and rounded buttons with a hover state are more difficult to implement (and understand someone else's implementation) than they should be.  And there will still be users running IE6 in 2030. Then there's JavaScript: it has some great language features, but personally, I like the productivity brought about by strong typing and just a single "null", "true", and "false".

Now I know there is a time and place for everything. Traditional web development is great if you must have the widest reach (iPad, most phones) or if you are taking on a framework for a common problem, like blogging. If you don't have those restrictions, and you want to give a Web 3.0 user experience (whatever that means to you) consider Silverlight. Silverlight gives you a powerful, cross-browser-consistant platform to target. Hopefully, some of my work shows the power of what you can do. Enjoy.