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Video.Show install experience

November 15, 2007

Last week Tim posted about the new reference sample called Video.Show.  Its very cool sample that allows you to create a user-generated video site within minutes.  It smartly uses Silverlight, Expression Encoder, Silverlight Streaming and is overall a very interesting bit of code.  The source code is available on Codeplex today and it will eventually end up as part of the Software + Services Blueprints Initiative.

One of the features Tim mentions in his post is that it follows the best practices put forth in the Silverlight Installation Experience Guide to handle the first time experience for a user without Silverlight installed.  I’ve talked about preparing for this “yet to install” event before and I wanted to point the approach used in Video.Show.

On the initial load of the site, the user is greeted with the Silverlight badge in the inplaceInstallPrompt mode.  this way the user can install Silverlight as soon as they click the banner rather than being directed away from your page.  You can also see that a background image has been used to give the user a hint at what type of content they may have access to once they complete the install.  Notice the dolphins picture, everybody loves dolphin videos.

Now the interesting part is that page is actually reloading every five seconds running an installAndCreateSilverlight function that comes with the Silverlight Installation Experience Guide.  Once the user clicks the badge the Silverlight runtime is installed while the page is still querying to check for its completion.

And once its complete, the Silverlight application is automatically instantiated and the user can now videos about dolphins or in this case, videos about  a bear and a butterfly.

Very smooth transition for the user and the code is provided for you.  Hopefully we’ll see more applications take advantage of this pattern.

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