My Experience in TechEd Europe 2001 and 2012

I participated again to Microsoft TechEd after 11 years. Last time I was at TechEd it was in Barcelona back in 2001 where Microsoft presented .NET platform, SharePoint, XML/WebServices strategy and a lot of technologies that routed my path as web technologist working on Enterprise web solutions in Microsoft world. “This is the XML era,” like Gates boldly proclaimed back in the day.

I remember being very impressed about XML, C# and XSLT back in 2001.  There were also things that I did not like. Such as SharePoint which I thought it was useless and against “Web” and therefore wrong (I still think that way about SharePoint). I also did not like ASP.NET WebForms, I loved it concept of controls and code behind but it felt very limited when looking as frontend developer. That thing was generating HTML for me!  But I understand why it was designed that way. Back in the day as there was many Windows developers ready to build web sites. But for me and other web developers moving to .NET it felt really a limitation. Though, pretty much everything else on 2001 conference was fantastic! But no more old memories, let me tell you about TechEd 2012.

So what had changed in 11 years. For one is that there was a lot less “coding” and much more architecture and platform sessions. I think they have moved development more to MiX and other events which unfortunally is not in Europe.

Overall, TechEd was nice experience but I wont go there next year. I might go there again in some time in future but as a web developer TechEd was too much about infrastructure, cloud and servers (which is important too) and too little about the coding. But when there will be new Windows Server 2015 or Azure 2.0 I probably subscribe in again.

Azure

Azure was everywhere, it is the biggest effort that Microsoft is doing since .NET 1.0 to get developers in their platform on cloud and I think it might work out for them. New Azure is very nice, even company I am working at have everything already in cloud I still could see I might as well try out Azure on some point. The user interface of Azure is nice a simple, much more appealing than EC2 and others that I have been playing with. But I think Azure needs to come down in price quite a lot before I will move there. However, if you are just starting to move cloud Azure might be more appealing than Amazon. I believe Azure, Amazon and Google will have interesting battle on this field. I am really looking forward coming years on cloud computing. In Cloud winners are developers and losers are hosting companies.

SignalR

I joined to couple of sessions of SignalR and it is fantastic. I really love it. It is something I will definitely going to use in somewhere in the future.

Visual Studio 2012 CSS and JavaScript Engine

The new Visual Studio incorporates the JavaScript engine used in IE 10. This parser significantly improves the accuracy of JavaScript parsing resulting in improved design time JavaScript feedback. It supports Go To Definition, Function overloads, Bracket matching, Outlining, Smart indenting, XML documentation comments. Now writing JavaScript in VS is almost as writing C# :)

CSS engine on the editor is great as well. It supports now vendor specifc attributes and small snippets like color picker. If you are working with VS this video is worth  of checking out: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2012/DEV302

Also, now VS has updates to definitions so every now and then you get automated updates for new vendor CSS attributes etc.

Windows 8

Even working closely in Microsoft world, I am going to stick with MacBook Air but I hear and hope Windows 9 will be great. :)

Other notes

Microsoft guys seems to like GIT, I did not see single demo with any other source control, not even TFS. Cool!

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Future Of Interaction video

Productivity Future Vision (2011) by Microsoft Office Team

After watching the video I had two things in my mind.

  1. 1. Microsoft is really betting and moving somewhere with their Metro UI.
  2. 2. There is a lot of touch gestures involved in their future.

Like I wrote previously my ramblings on Metro UI. I am really liking Metro UI and where Microsoft vision on the Metro design is heading. The video above is really showing how typography and chromeless UI can make feel friendly, seemless and responsive but there is still something missing on Metro UI. I am not sure what it is that I am missing. Perhaps pictures under class panel is not enough for us? We should feel them like everything else we feel on our 3 dimensional world that we call it reality. Our hands can do a lot more than just multi-touch with our tip of fingers.

I just read awesome blog post A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design who had exactly same thoughts with me on touch interfaces. Although, his post goes a lot deeper on the analysis of it.

Challenge for the future of computing really isn’t how to make pictures behind class interactive. It is without the doubt 3D and ability to feel the objects, but it will take years before someone breaks that puzzle.

I hope Microsoft R&D is working their ass off to bring Kinect and Touch together.

 

Microsoft UK training video's with David Brentt from Office

This was hilarious. :D Here are two faux training videos for Microsoft UK employees featuring Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant in their roles from the BBC version of The Office.

Part one

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9076288729387457440&ei=lxb8Sd7WG4Se2wLR9PVk[/googlevideo]

Part two

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=959125392868390030&ei=txf8SavMK4Te2wKRluxb[/googlevideo]

in Uncategorized | 64 Words

Customize VS.NET 2008

I started to use color themes in VS.NET 2005 (after reading Hanselman post about it) and I really liked more dark color than default white. It is somehow easier for eye, imho.

Anyhooooow here are couple of links for pimping Visual Studio 2008. I found many intresting posts from Norwegian developers (I don’t know how I end up to click around Norwegian blog roll) Some intresing stuff I haven’t personally tried yet AnkhSVN – Adds Subversion Source Control Management features to Visual Studio. Open source / free.

Chech out more at Lars Wilhelmsen post Pimp my Visual Studio (2008) also this and this post is worth of checking out if you are intrested to see different apps that may help your daily coding/testing.

in Uncategorized | 121 Words

jQuery IntelliSense support in VS

I was hoping that it would happen but I never believed that Microsoft would involved themselves in OpenSource library. But luckily I was wrong. ScottGu writes:

I’m excited today to announce that Microsoft will be shipping jQuery with Visual Studio going forward.  We will distribute the jQuery JavaScript library as-is, and will not be forking or changing the source from the main jQuery branch.  The files will continue to use and ship under the existing jQuery MIT license.

It seems that Microsoft is really starting to turn their ship towards Open Source, it is great to see that they did choose best technology for developers.

Why cant it just tell which program?

This is so annoying in always in Windows.

—————————
Error Renaming File or Folder
—————————
Cannot rename Readme.txt: It is being used by another person or program.

Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.
—————————
OK
—————————

Why cant it just tell which user or program is using this file?

Volta

Damn you Microsoft! How I am suppose to keep up with all this cool stuff you realize (heh, funny typo) release?

Volta

This one I had missed somehow but while I bump to it via some Rails article. Microsoft Labs has announced a new project called Volta that looks like GWT for .NET. But Volta seems to be more advanced than GWT since it uses .NET enviroment to generate JavaScript directly from its preferred programming language. But Volta is really about developing an application and deciding later where the code executes. That’s very ambitious. It looks very appealing for a developer that doesn’t fancy JavaScript. Though, I am not really seeing a big picture on this for example how does Volta fit to MVC, Silverlight and AJAX.NET.

Thanks to Google and Firefox, the browser is the platform and if you are a .NET developer, keep an eye on Volta, it is certainly a keystone of Microsoft web strategy.

in Uncategorized | 159 Words

Is XSLT dead in Microsoft world?

Back in 2001 I was in TechEd Barcelona where Microsoft unveiled Sharepoint and .NET 1.o. I remember like yesterday when Don Box was demoing WebServices from bathtub (SOAP) and coding c# from MacBook in Microsoft event!.

Anyway, after seeing Microsoft’s plan for following years I decided fully focus on Microsoft Technology. I saw first SharePoint which I think sucked. WebServices weren’t interesting either it just felt a bit too hairy for doing simple things. But what I loved was the whole concept of ASP.NET, C# and XML. After seeing XSLT in action I knew this is going to be my language, and it was. Well at least until now. XSLT is really great for templating websites, I gone through many tempalting engines but nothing beats good old XML/XSLT transformations. It is simple and fast. Well, it can get complex sometimes but usually when XSLT gets complex it means you are doing something wrong. Then it’s time to stop and think. Maybe, this is faster in code-behind or perhaps maybe it’s a good idea to write XSL -helper in code-behind for this.

I have to say, I have never come comfortable building sites from .NET controls basically because it was producing bad html markup-up and I don’t have full control how to build html on it but Microsoft has made it better over the time and nowadays it even produces valid mark-up. But still, I have to compile a DLL when making small updates. This is where XSLT rocks!

Because of this, I have waited (.NET 1.1)… and I have waited (.NET 2.0-3.5)… but there hasn’t been XSLT 2.0. Recently I read blog post in XML.com from M. David Peterson I am quoting him who quotes Microsoft XML Team’s WebLog : Chris Lovett Interview

“As for XSLT 2.0 – we’ve heard from customers and understand the improvements in XSLT 2.0 over XSLT 1.0, but right now we’re in the middle of a big strategic investment in LINQ and EDM for the future of the data programming platform which we think will create major improvements in programming against all types of data.”

DAMN!

Bad news for me… Now with all MVC/LINQ/WEB2.0 stuff… Isn’t XML cool anymore?

in XSLT | 374 Words

Microsoft explorers a multi-touch interface technology

Microsoft Research Lab has done some cool work on “Microsoft Surface” -product. Based on multi-touch concept where they explore ideas how this could impact on future interface design. Worth of checking out.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/nnumOOu6JKc" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

See more PopularMechanics there is a whole article and another video about it.

Update: Microsoft released Microsoft Surface website.

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