Announcement: Silverlight DevCamp

October 13, 2007

Silverlight

I’ve (mostly) enjoyed the stuff that I’ve done in WPF but I haven’t had a chance to dig into Silverlight quite yet so I’m really excited that we’re hosting a FREE Silverlight DevCamp on November 10th. Given the recent announcements and the fact that it’s cross-browser and cross-platform, I really believe there are some things coming out of Redmond that show they’re listening. Now it’s up to us to figure out the best ways to use them. In case you’ve not heard about Silverlight, here’s the standard pitch:

Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET-based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the web. It offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby and integrates with existing web applications. Even more, Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality and rich multimedia to all major browsers running on Mac OS, Windows and soon to be on Linux as well.

So join us for an all day event on Saturday, November 10th and get your learn on. We’ll have experienced developers to help answer any questions you might have and to show off a few of the cooler bits of the technology. We’re even going to build our own applications to compete for prizes. Bring your laptop, bring your ideas and let’s see what shakes out.

Details:
Event ID: 1032353469
November 10, 2007 from 8am to 8pm
Improving Enterprises
15950 Dallas Parkway
Suite 500
Dallas, TX 75248
Register on Microsoft World Wide Events

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Iota – WPF Twitter Client…

May 8, 2007

I’ve been working with Windows Presentation Foundation for a little while now and while I’m certainly no expert, I seem to be getting better. This is an attempt to marry it with Twitter, a recent addiction of mine. Here’s a couple of early screenshots so you can see how it (and I) progressed. It’s by no means done and I’m hoping that a few folks out there might give me a hand but you can check it out here.

Screenshot

Iota Screenshot - Beta 1


Dallas Code Camp 2007…

April 10, 2007

It’s looking like everything is set for Dallas Code Camp 2007: Microsoft Campus in Irving on April 21st and the agenda is officially released. And I’ll be talking on the DevExpress products, CodeRush and Refactor! Pro. I was originally slated to give an expanded version of my Windows Presentation Foundation and XAML talk from the Dallas .NET User Group but since Ed Blankenship is coming all the way from NJ and has a pretty cool announcement, I’m deferring to him. I’m pretty excited about the productivity talk and hope that all goes well – if you’re in the area, it will certainly be worth your time.


Ready for a New(d) Day…

February 22, 2007

Ok, so the title is juvenile and I know it but I just couldn’t help myself. All joking aside, yesterday’s Microsoft launch event was a great time. There was plenty of content showing off what is probably the biggest launch in Microsoft history. Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 headlined the show but the .Net 3.0 sessions were where my interests lie.

Yes, I know Vista’s great looking and all but I have yet to really get into it – mostly because running it in a VM means you don’t get the “wow” expereience (read: Aero/Glass) but here’s my take on thing thus far. Sidebar widgets don’t do much for me since I have Yahoo Widget Engine (nee: Konfabulator) and it’s works ok. The search to launch on the start button seems like a nice feature to have baked into the OS but I have Google Desktop and SlickRun so I’m doing most of that already. Those were the two main features that I got from the demos and maybe I’ve missed something but that’s not a good enough reason to drop my cash for an upgrade. We’ll see how this progresses.

So on to the good stuff – .Net 3.0. So let’s not quibble about why it’s 3.0 versus 2.5 since it really is just dropped on top of the 2.0 framework let’s get to what’s cool. Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is basically providing a unified way to utilize previously disparate protocols – WS-*/WSE, Web Services, .Net Remoting, et al. while hosting them in a variety of processes so that you’re no longer tied to IIS. Very nice. I like to think of this as similar to the data access portion of the applications.

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) provides a framework for creating workflows within your applications without having to roll your own every time as well as the ability to put workflow into your interface. We’ve all had to do this at some point or another, since all applications have this to some degree but now it’s significantly easier and standardized. I tend to think of this as a piece of the business logic for the applications.

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is the big one. WCF and WF are “nice” but they lack the visual impact of WPF. In the past few years, the web movement has come a long way in getting the message out about separation of presentation and content (I’ve you’ve missed this, I recommend you go read Designing With Web Standards by Jeffery Zeldman IMMEDIATELY). By keeping the CSS and the XHTML separate we’re able to manage change much easier and a re-tooling of the “look and feel” doesn’t (generally) require changes to the underlying data. This lesson has apparently been learned in Redmond and so they’ve given us – XAML. I’m not going to get into it since I’m giving a presentation on it at the Dallas .Net User Group on March 8th so you can come see that or just wait until I post on it but it’s really a vast improvement.

These events are so much fun and I really enjoy getting to meet and see various people, in addition to the nice swag as we don’t always have faces to put with the names that float around our communities. Speaking of “community” – Caleb was wondering about with his camera taping for CommunityCast.tv so I’ll put a link up here once he gets it edited and up on the site. And I told him I would put a link in for my t-shirt so here it is: yp != mp (and a few others I’ve made for fun).