For the last couple of meetings of the Silverlight UK User Group (both October 2011 and March 2012), I alluded to the fact that Silverlight was slipping behind the corporate firewall. Coupled with the strategic shift from Microsoft with respect to preferring a plugin-less browser environment for it’s Windows8 line-up and it’s no wonder that fewer and fewer consumer websites are using Silverlight.

Silverlight remains to be the web delivery mechanism of choice to the financial sector, since it is easier to build and maintain highly dynamic, data-visualisation UIs that boast a better performance / threading model than running HTML / CSS / JavaScript applications in a browser. However due to the secretive and proprietary nature of these applications, there is nobody willing to demo or talk about them in any useful depth.

BBC Testcard_F[1]With Silverlight’s evolution beyond browser plug and Windows Phone, the focus is starting to shift towards Windows8 and WinRT. The momentum is slowly building, but many people are reserving judgement over Microsoft’s strategy for yet another framework. This means that the once vibrant pool of speakers to talk about Silverlight has steadily dried up over the last 6 months. In fact this predicament started to show itself since the our meeting in October 2011.

I guess the Silverlight UK User Group [SLUGUK] has had a pretty decent run since April 2008 and has always stayed apace with the countless product announcements and conference news. SLUGUK has contributed to the London developer community and managed to run alongside other generalist and specialist groups such as the London .NET User Group [DNUG], the Canary Wharf User Group [CWDNUG] and the Windows Phone 7 User Group [WPUG] and I would whole-heartedly recommend that you attend or support those groups too. Overlap with these groups was never a concern but I don’t want to be regurgitating material for the sake of holding a meeting.

SLUGUK Reset button?Despite an enthusiastic number of members asking when the next SLUGUK will be… I don’t know; for now. The future of this user group is not to be written off, but I’m going to declare the SLUGUK is on holiday for the forthcoming summer and aims to return when the roadmap to Windows8 becomes clear. I imagine that the Silverlight UK User Group will evolve into a new subject group, that can will embrace browser plugin, desktop, phone and tablet alike, but until then, stay tuned.

 

I would like to thank the continual support of Microsoft, EMC and the members of SLUGUK, throughout the years. It was always motivating to know that SLUGUK played an important part in the education and community aspects of developer life. That’s why when SLUGUK returns, it returns for the right reasons.


avatar_meetupSLUGUK was getting bogged down in an unhealthy mix of inflexible blogs blog engines, spreadsheets and emails, when it came to the business of managing events. So SLUGUK moved to something a bit more fancy at meetup.com where we wanted to spring clean our mailing lists. So although we’re in a period of hiatus, the meetup.com site is still up and running.

Many members of the Silverlight UK User Group are on twitter, thus both myself and Michelle use it as our primary method of getting the relevant community or technology news out to the masses. So follow us if you like or take a look at the twitter hashtag we adopted, so that all the Silverlight UK User Group related stuff is neatly huddled together:


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