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Silverlight 5’s New and Improved Threading Architecture

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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...(Read whole news on source site)

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