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TechEd 2007 Day 1

Written by Alcides Fonseca at 1194339182


TechEd started today with a keynote by S. Somasegar, Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division of Microsoft. He focused that in the next year, MS will focus on getting designers and developers working together. Another good thing they want to work on is the community. He wanted every developer that asks a question on the forums to have a question in matters of hours of two day maximum. Good news in this area: Microsoft is launching a wiki for users to contribute for documentation and a code gallery so you can share your code samples. Looks like Redmond has been learning from opensource’s documentation.

He also talked about technologies starting with the Visual Studio 2008 that, apart from features like LINQ, includes built-in support for AJAX and Javascript as well (intellisense!) and it is possible to debug it on both Firefox and IE. Other thing it was cool to see was WPF 3D stuff running inside Microsoft Office that might be useful for a lot of companies.

It was shown a video showing that Microsoft is using Visual Studio 2008 tools to build the release of visual Studio itself. They showed like it was some fantastic and innovating step, but perl6 and pypy are examples of that (at least!). However it was a good prove that it worked with a large company like Microsoft, so it was a kind of test.

Regarding partners (to which the event is targeting), they are allowing them to see the source code of the Visual Studio IDE (with a non disclosure agreement) and allowing them to develop using VS to non-Microsoft platforms (Mono?). I wonder when will this come to the general public…

Dan Fernandez did this awesome demos of the power of Visual Studio! First he opened the IDE with World of Warcraft inside it, then he visually added a dialog and then he coded in LUA and guess what? Visual Studio had intellisense for that language! He then played some WoW to test what he had coded. And afterwards he even opened emails and blogs inside WoW, so you don’t have to leave it!

Moments after, when targeting the enthusiastic users, he revealed the VS support for Popfly, including a special explorer that allows you to drag and drop your Popfly project and even your friends’. And by the way, Popfly is sooo mcuh cooler than Y! pipes! Mainly because it’s silverlighted.

Together Developer and Designer

The session starting by knowing the differences between the work of a developer and of a designer. Only about 5% of the audience was a designer, but it’s nice they’re coming up to this kind of events. They showed us their project: the French Euronews player that looked nice indeed! They showed us then the 5 possible scenarios for developing a simple video player concept. There were a lot of solutions to get the Expression Design design and the Visual Studio code together. The “Integrator” used was Blend and they showed us a lot of techniques. From the “quick and dirty” button on top with opacity 0, to templates and brushes they showed a lot possible solutions, the advantages and disadvantages. For me it’s pretty clear that this is a area not yet mature and I hope to see Expression 2 and VS 10 working perfectly fine!

Building Great Web Experiences with Silverlight 1.0

Silverlight 1.0 has no managed code yet, so everything must be created using declarative language XAML and event handlers with Javascript. Well the session was pretty much the basics of this. Creating a rectangle in XAML and giving it some live with transforms and mouse events. The presenter was quite nice, but the content of the session was too superficial. I also had the idea that everything he did, I could do with javascript + canvas element in HTML. The advantage of Silverlight that is the video and multimedia wasn’t shown.