Day Two

by Sander Gerz September 30, 2005 14:56

So today was the day of exec speeches. Actually based on last year's feedback, they decided to limit the exec talks to only half a day. The afternoon was reserved for more technology related sessions. The event is under NDA and during the morning we weren't even allowed to have any recording device with us. To be honest, I wouldn't know what I should have recorded anyway. Maybe it was the mildly humorous movie staring BillG. Steve Ballmer's talk was energetic as was to be expected (I wonder about his blood pressure sometimes). Kevin Johnson had a talk about customer feedback including another movie on an employee program where the developers really feel the customers pain. His request/response on MVP feedback was a bit dissappointing ('we hear you...'). Jim Allchin did a nice walk around Windows Vista showing off the newest features. Basically it was the same as at the PDC.

In the afternoon, S. Somasegar showed the line up for developer tools, telling about plans on Orcas, the version after Whidbey. It suprised me that there was very little mention on the strategy or featureset for this version. In my opinion, Orcas will mostly have features that were killed during the development of Whidbey, aka VS.NET 2005. The notion that you need dual or perhaps triple design/development tracks and not dedicate all available resources on just the next release is beginning to take shape. I do hope they will have some resources left to work on 2005 issues when they arise. Don Box and Dharma Shukla demoed Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF), the replacement for ... Powerpoint. At least, that's how they used it. WWF is cool technology were we've only seen the surface.

In the evening we had a chance to chat a bit with the product teams, though I hope we get to do more of that on day three. I made a comment, backed by others standing around the new Expressions tools, on the lack of obvious integration with VS.NET.  I don't need to have it coupled strictly with VS.NET, but a similiar UI would make it a lot simpler to have developers work together with UI designers using the Expression tools. And I know quite a few developers that do everything from UI design to backend implementation. It's like with the System Designer tools in VS.NET 2005. In order to communicate with other people in the IT lifecycle, you need a common model. The Graphic, Interactive and Web designer seem to lack that in relation to the developer tools.     

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Day one

by Sander Gerz September 29, 2005 14:50

Registration was on the schedule for today. Oh, I forgot to take a picture of the bag. Well, it's not worth taking a picture anyway. It's more solid than the plastic bag we had last year. It's nice to see a lot of people I know again. Of course, the French contingent can't be missed. It's always fun with these guys. The regional dinner was.. ok. I met up with Tim Dawson, from the UK, who created some really cool Windows Forms controls to check out at his website. I recently wrote an article on ClickOnce deployment, and I hope that client applications, not web, will be used more. With ClickOnce, deployment is less of an issue for a lot of scenarios where people now decide to get extra complex in doing it with ASP.NET. I offered Tim to write a review on his controls.

The photo gallery has been updated a bit with latest pictures, though not that many.

One message to the event managers, which they probably got already: 'what's up with the transportation???' We waited more than an hour (some even longer) for a bus to take us the regional dinner, and 45 minutes for a bus to take us back. We were lucky to find any leftovers. It appears they subcontracted to diffent bus companies, and while the company for the North-American MVPs had loads of buses, the EMEA region had ... none, at least it seemed that way. A very friendly bus driver was kind enough to take us to Bellevue, even though she wasn't hired to do this. She kept explaining it was ... 'the other company'. I do think she kind of liked to pick on the competetion here, but she was right.

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Arrived and first impressions

by Sander Gerz September 28, 2005 21:13

So I made to Seattle. Actually, the trip was quite uneventful. No delays, no lost luggage (that figures because I only had my backpack). This morning I went strolling around the city, looking for a place to have some breakfast. And, coincidence or not, I meet Michiel. So while chewing on a croissant (how very Seattleish), we talk about the days to come. For him, some of the days will be different than others, but that's for him to blog about.

Looking at the weather forecast, I decide 1) I packed a little too light, so I was in need of additional clothing and 2) if there's any time to take some pictures of the city, this is it. The coming days will be mostly rain, which is not uncommon for the area as you may know. So here are those pictures. If you read this post later than... right now... ;-) there will be more pictures than just the city (at least I hope).

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Almost on my way...

by Sander Gerz September 26, 2005 19:57
To the annual MVP summit, that is. Some pictures from last year, to get me in the right mindset. Or these, mostly from the city of Seattle, actually more from the surrounding water. Anyway, using Nix's checklist, well, at least part of it, I guess I'm al set. Let's hope not everything is under NDA.

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VB.NET has more than C#

by Sander Gerz September 17, 2005 20:54

Here are two slides showing what's to come for VB.NET and C# (courtesy of Rédo).

C#3 Innovations

Visual Basic: Future Directions in Language Innovation

See the difference? So, does this mean there's more innovation in VB.NET than in C#, or... is it that VB.NET has to catch up? That's for you to decide.

I'm just trying to get my head around all this new lingo: extension methods, relaxed delegates, anonymous arrays, lambda expressions...

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.NET

Interactive designer for XAML

by Sander Gerz September 15, 2005 09:23

When Microsoft showed off XAML as there user interface language for next generation (say, Vista) applications two years ago, it also showed the cumbersome way in which they we're demoing the manipulation of XAML. Because XAML is XML it can be done using notepad. In fact, at the PDC 2003, using a text editor was the only way. Most people gathered that this could be a great opportunity for companies like Adobe and Macromedia (now the same) to create tools that would fill the gap between a designer and a developer. Well, Microsoft wouldn't be itself if it didn't have something up its sleeve as well.

So now they introduce the Microsoft Expression family of products, with the Interactive Designer as the tool to use for creating XAML based user interaction. Also the Graphic Designer lets you create XAML files. And this tool, codename Acrylic, is now also available for download.

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Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate

by Sander Gerz September 14, 2005 14:44

Perhaps I missed the announcement through all the PDC buzz, but it appears the Release Candidate for Visual Studio .NET 2005 is available for MSDN subscribers.

Unfortunately “This RC is NOT covered by the Beta 2 Go-Live license and cannot be used for production deployments of customer applications”.  

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.NET

What'll be new in VB.NET 9.0

by Sander Gerz September 14, 2005 10:56

While we even don't have our hands on the actual 8.0 release of VB.NET (or C#) we're already teased with features that are introduced in version 9.0. This overview mainly focuses on the use of LINQ (Language INtegrated Query) in VB.NET, but also addresses the way in which support for these new language patterns are implemented by means of extension methods Anders Hejlsbergand closures. Unfortunately, “...Because extension methods are intended mostly for library designers, Visual Basic does not offer direct language syntax support for declaring them...”.

For a video explanation of LINQ, check this page at Channel9.

 

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Surely, not the only one

by Sander Gerz September 13, 2005 20:19

This post that is, that links to the new WinFX Developer Center. WinFX is the set op managed APIs that will be the core of the new OS, aka “Vista“. It follows the lines of Win16, Win32 and now WinFX. Your free to download the Microsoft® WinFX™ Software Development Kit.

 

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Spending a week in Hartford, CT

by Sander Gerz September 05, 2005 10:58

And why would you want to go there? Well, not for the magnificent scenery. Not that it's not a pleasant city. It's just that there isn't a lot to do over there. Except for me, because I spent most of the time in an office building discussing Intercept Studio with some Aussies (Darren and James, great guys from Express Software) and the people at AVIcode. Intercept Studio allows you to monitor .NET applications for exceptions and performance... without adding instrumention to the code. That'll save me quite some time. Not only in creating all types of logging code, but also in discussing issues with the operations department.

For those who use MOM 2005, you are in luck, since there's a free management pack that you can install.

We did have time to visit New York on thursday. Pictures will be added to the gallery shortly.

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