I'm working with the very talented Corrina Barber who has created several sets of skins for Silverlight controls. The skins are elegant, but not over the top, styles that can be applied to Silverlight controls. Corrina has been gracious enough to help customize a set of styles for the controls in my upcoming book "Data Access with Silverlight 2". They will be freely available with the downloadable code for the book and from the book's web site at www.silverlight2data.com , which I will be setting up in the near future (right now it just points to my same site at www.johnpapa.net).
The focus of my book is on data access with Silverlight (yeah, pretty obvious from the title) ... it is not on how to make a variety of styles, storyboards and animations. But that does not mean the samples have to be ugly. In fact, there are some very good reasons to make examples that use elegant styles in the book (without giving away too much too early). The styles themselves can involve data binding using markup extensions as I will show in some examples.
So my dilemma was whether to explain all about styles and how to create them, which can be very involved and consume an entire book, or to stick to the focus of the book ... building data driven line of business applications with Silverlight with concepts like REST, WCF, LINQ, etc. I decided on the latter with the compromise of using some elegant yet simple predefined styles.
Here is an example of a basic control layout using one of Corrina's styles (the ones in the book are still in process, but this gives you an idea of what I mean):
Anyway ... while reading a book it often bothers me if the book tries to accomplish everything. usually that results in it covering a lot, yet not in enough detail to really make a difference. Instead I want to to give readers exactly what I promise in depth and in detail. This also allows me to jump into the main topics very early. But that does not mean I can't slip a few bonuses in like this one, too :)