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well, i'm a little late to the game on the summaries -- drewby and hollywood were blogging fiends this time around...

you can read the summary from their sides here (drew) and here (dave).

a few of the attendees were blogging it as well:

  • : start here and work your way current -- some good note taking/insight.  John also quite possibly got the "youtube" moment of the 3 days and actually did capture it on camera.  apparently the event bus got in a bit of a fender-bender (and that being a ratio of a charter bus fender to that of an import sedan fender)...and got video of the offender (no pun intended) yelling at the bus driver...classic.
  • Jason Gillmore
  • - who was installing Vista RC1 on his macbook during one session
  • and others...

the first day, the softies decided to hang in the lunch room because the other split of the room was a bit crowded and we didn't want to add to that -- so we could only hear what was going on unless we went next door.  it was a bit of a shame because we couldn't hear the questions/comments being discussed, only the presenter.  i initially thought that the session given by anders was not received well, but a straw poll that evening showed that one hitting high marks...guess being in the room mattered :-).

the second day was great, IMO.  wayne smith of the expression team talked/demo'd and showed off some of the standards-based development features.  i think it was received well and there was some pretty good interaction and suggestions.  i particularly liked wayne's comment about getting lorum ipsum into the spell checker dictionaries so it doesn't always show the autocorrect lines ;-).

don box came in and spent the first few moments gathering feedback.  perhaps the highlight of the sessions was when one attendee (mike ho of ) said windows should be free (in jest of course, but maybe not really) and don responded...er...um...eloquently.  it was all fun, and everyone laughed...it is what makes don don.  he was there with steve maine and richard turner and talked about messaging (windows communication foundation) and identity (cardspaces).  both showed some great information and demos.  they took a moment to get feedback on the next version and asked "how do we get an 'A' from you guys for the next version?"  some ideas were json as a wire format, rss/atom as a data format; http-centric programming model, deep integration with atlas.

jim hugunin came in to talk about the ironpython project.  i think this was received well -- there were a lot of questions...not necessarily about python, etc., but the ability to run dynamic languages (and run them well as jim pointed out) and other languages on .NET.  one thing that was very interesting was that the audience (primarily php gurus/authors/speakers/etc.) indicated that the phalanger guys may not be going about it in a way the general php community would like.  they wished they'd show themselves on broader php mailing lists and get more collaboration.  jim indicated he'd try to help with that and definitely agreed that the wrong implementation on .net is not the way to go -- it sounded like news to him, but admittedly he said he wasn't a php guy, and was depending on the phalanger team's expertise and direction.  i personally hope this collaboration gets resolved so that phalanger can be another great example of .net.  josh knowles kept pounding questions about other dynamic language support (ahem, ruby) and was met with long, dramatic pauses.  he kept pressing and said that is microsoft helped support a community like they did with phalanger/ironpython that it might go over well.  jim took some great feedback from the group.

i had to leave when dave massey of the IE team started and also missed any wrap-up discussions, which was a shame, but had to get back for a family emergency earlier than planned.

some other highlights were the discussions around codeplex and some realization that codeplex *isn't* trying to be better than sourceforge (i'll argue 'yet'), but that it's a great place for people to start and leverages some of our platform technologies on the backend (team system).

it was a great couple of days and i hope there is some open communication with the group.

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i'm always amazed at how cogniscent i am of things when i travel.  as i sit here on the plane i wonder why the heck the flight attendants still refer to it as a lavatory.  i mean, i get it of course, with regard to the avaiation terms (just like when i'm diving it is port/startboard as opposed to the left/right).  but, for real, can't we just say bathroom/restroom?  heck i'll even take water closet.

i think at home i'm going to start saying lavatory and just see how my family and neighbors react.

excuse me tim, where's the bathroom?

oh you mean the lavatory, it's over there.

yeah, it sounds stupid.  can we please update our use of terms?

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i only use gmail as a shell for webmail...mainly because i thinkthought their spam filter was awesome.  giving credit where credit is due, it is good, i generally find only relevant mail in my inbox.

but i've been getting a TON of russion spam lately.  why on earth does it not recognize that as spam?  why can't i input a setting (like outlook) that says anything with these languages are spam?  but okay, i can maybe get past that -- but since i go through every russian spam message, select it and click the "report spam" button that gmail provides, i would think it would recognize a pattern.

nope.  damn you gmail...figure it out.

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i'm in redmond the rest of this week for the 'microsoft web dev technology' summit.  similar in nature to mts, however much more web developer specific (hence the name).  there are about 25 people here from various non-msft technology worlds, mostly php (with a hint of java/rails/css).

john bland is here and had this first comment regarding some of the microsoft people he's met:

All of them were cool. I honestly thought they’d be ultra techie or something but, well…some are techie but none ultra, most of them are very open to other worlds, etc. So far, it is a pretty coo experience.

some others that are here are: , , , .

it should be a good few days of content and conversation -- i'll do my best to post the good stuff...

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i just got done watching podtech's video of the acrobat 8 demonstration from rick brown


i was frustrated that the only video format was quicktime...a far cry from scoble's days at channel9 offering various formats.  i have to ask myself if he wasn't editing/producing on a mac these days if he'd be disgruntled about a singular format as well -- i always pegged him for a crusader of options -- podtech gives me only one experience...and it just so happens to be the one i hate.  i don't have podtech though -- just quicktime.  in order to view a MOV file i have to download the quicktime player, which i think is badware.  the "player" is really an app that installs a system tray, startup program, monitors background updates by default (without asking me if i want it to), etc. -- just not a friendly app (do a search on live.com or google for qttask.exe and you'll see others that hate it).  why can't it be just a plugin like flash?


but i digress...

anyhow, i watched with anticipation of something incredibly cool with acrobat.  at the end of the show (which was great widescreen quality btw aside from my complaints above -- i ended up watching it on my mac), i just let out a 'huh' as the roadmap of acrobat confused me.  maybe it is because i view acrobat as an app for the pdf format -- creation (acrobat pro) and consumption (acrobat reader).  now, i think their reader is bloatware compared to using (which has a v2 out btw), but i've always admired the pro version for creating pdf documents, adding better security, and enabling pdf docs as forms.  but the video demonstrates features that start to confuse me.

probably the largest is the collaboration aspect.  at the end of the video rick brown demonstrates the collaboration service.  think webex, livemeeting, whatever your online collab service of choice is.  that's right, fire up acrobat and start an online meeting.  huh?!  isn't that the tool i use for pdf documents?  i don't think i'm alone when that is my knee-jerk reaction.  maybe collab has been in acrobat for a while and i just didn't know about it -- but that's the point isn't it?  rick talks about using the collab to annotate/review documents (other features in the v8 product), but i really can' t help myself but think that most companies won't use it for that.  don't most organizations use acrobat to "finalize" their document?  they'd likely have it in some word processing (word, openoffice) format and do document reviews using that format combined with existing collab infrastructures (i.e., sharepoint, documentum, etc.).  then the finalization may involve a portable format, hence pdf.  maybe i'm way off here?  i just simply haven't seen customers using acrobat/pdf for any other purpose but forms and finalization/portability of documents...and that's across a wide spectrum of large/med/small customers over the course of the past 10 years.

will big organization see acrobat as a collaboration tool for documents (thus putting more reliance on pdf as the primary format, not just the final format)?

the other thing that i think bothered me was the form creation demonstration.  while i think it was very cool, i think there was something that was glazed over.  now, i must admit that microsoft generally has great features that rely on other products...let's get that out in the open.  but rick demonstrated the forms functionality and another adobe product opened up (a designer which name escapes me).  so now the pdf form creator has to use two tools? 

i'm just generally confused at the roadmap of acrobat as a product.  i see it as becoming what i think ipod is becoming -- something it wasn't designed for...and will be too many features when someone wants the simple features.

some of the features were things that office has had since v2003.  content redaction? word has it.  xml-based form creation? infopath has it.  i'm not complaining, i think when best practices are used from other vendors it is a compliment in disguise.  apple seems to think microsoft "copies" -- they might come off more friendly if they note that they've identified some best practices in usability that others are leveraging.  i could go on that for a while (yeah, spotlight is cool and live search in vista is awesome because of it i think; but time machine?  we've had volume shadow copy for a while -- it just never had a sexy name or cool UI to use...and btw, time machine is very cool branding).

maybe i'll 'get it' soon enough -- but ask yourself.  the last 100 times you interacted with a pdf, was it more than reading and filling out a form?  for me the answer is defiantly no.