Thursday, November 19, 2009

PDC Day 3

PDC Day 3 was kicked off with the keynote that began with a focus on how devs can use the new features in Windows 7 to maximize the use experience, and emphasized that devs need to learn new ways to code to take advantage of parallel processing and built in capabilities to shunt processing to video cards and other areas of the system.  A lot of this talk was above my head, but I guess that’s the point.  It can’t stay that way.

Scott Guthrie launched Silverlight 4 BETA on stage, and though his demo had some technical issues, there was a collective gasp and cheer from the crowd during his demo of a built in capability of Silverlight to make a jig-saw puzzle of a video.  Pretty freaking amazing.  Scott Hanselman demoed new OData services and ties to SL4.  Simple demo, but there’s a lot there some programmers might take for granted that was really hard if not impossible just a few months ago.

The last segment was on Sharepoint 2010 and Office 2010.  Truth be told, I almost walked out, since I was scarred for life by my brief experienced with Sharepoint 2003.  But I stayed, and was glad I did.  They’ve really gone back and fixed the Visual Studio integration and everything from debugging to deployments just works.  I’m ready to give Sharepoint another chance, and with a little work, I think I will soon consider it a viable platform for solutions for my clients.

The first session of the day was on Windows Identity Foundation, formerly named Geneva.  I’ve spent a lot of time working in Geneva, but it was good to level my knowledge and get a refresher.  I don’t know how Vittorio will come across on video, but in person, he was fantastic. 

I briefly sat in on a lunch session for ASP.NET MVC – Share Your Stories From the Trenches.  Good session with everyone putting their experiences out there.  I was pretty proud to know that our approach is pretty damn close to spot on, with one exception.  Never put an ‘if’ statement in a view.  Factor that out into your ViewModel.  If you have to put a null check in to determine whether or not to show something, add a bool to your view model and bind the isVisible property of the control or group to that.  Great advice.

ADO.NET Data Service:  What’s new with the RESTful Data Services Framework.    First off, ADO.NET Data services has been renamed to WCF Data Services (Pablo pointed that out in his talk).  Pablo is a very fast talker, and covers a lot of ground very quickly.  He lost me at first by using JQuery to attach to a web service, but showed some very cool features out during the demo.  Be prepared to watch this a few times to see it all.  There’s one hell of a lot of power there, but it’s pretty intimidating.

Enabling Single Sign On to Windows Applications:  This one moved fast, and even less than 24 hours after it, I can’t say I remember much.  But as soon as I have a project with an ADFS 2.0 server in place, I’m going to go back and watch this one again.

Rest Services Security in Windows Azure using the Access Control Service:  Justin Smith is a very passionate speaker about this topic and a great guy.  Unfortunately, a lot has changed in ACS since last year, but it doesn’t look much more mature that it did a year ago.  They’re launching another CTP, which is understandable as the first one didn’t quite cut it.  There’s also a management change going on with ACS with the architect of WIF taking over the group.  I suspect that they’re 6-12 months out from a release that’s usable, which is also unfortunate, because this is a really critical piece of the puzzle.

At Ask the Experts, I spent a lot of my time with the Azure Team.  Anu, Steve and Vikram are all great guys.  Anu remembered working on some of my bugs from the early days of the CTP, and we talked for quite a while. 

What I find amazing is how accessible Microsoft has made all these guys this week.  I know that while I’m gone, the work doesn’t stop coming in, and I can’t imagine what they’ve got going on, yet they took the time to let me bring up my laptop to look at code to try to figure out a bug I’ve been working on for a few months. 

Anyway, on to Day 4.

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