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miss the days of devdays?  me too.  my team is trying to bring a little of that spark back!  on my team has organized a full-day of developer and architect goodness.  we'll be hosting two events, one in the phoenix, arizona metro area and one in the denver, colorado metro area.  here's the gist:

keynote: microsoft patterns and practices is being shipped in to talk about what they've produced and the logic behind it!

developer track:

    • exposing and consuming data using the microsoft stack (): take a look at the ado.net entity framework, linq and the ado.net data services (project 'astoria').
    • office as a developer platform (tim heuer): didn't know you could easily write office applications using managed code?  let me show you how easy it is and what visual studio 2008 has done to enable this and make it even easier.
    • what is new in visual basic 9 (): that's right.  beth massi -- if you are a vb'er, you've no doubt heard the name from the vb team.  we convinced her that she needed to be a part of this and she agreed!  come learn from beth all the new goodness that is VB9: xml literals, object initializers, anonymous types, extension methods, lambda expressions and some wicked intellisense improvements!

architect track:

    • why user experience matters: face it, developers are not good at defining user interfaces and thus it is often an aspect that is left out.  let's discuss the reason this needs to change and how attention to the user experience affects application adoption.
    • agile development at microsoft: the team from patterns and practices will discuss how they have fully adopted agile methods in their development team and their learnings over the years.
    • the Windows Live platform: think windows live is just virtual earth?  think again!  come hear about the services available to you as service-based building blocks that microsoft has exposed for your use!

this is going to be a great day and a must-see event.  it is completely free to attend.  come hang out with us.  we will also have a couple of surprises throughout the day and some fun stuff to show as well.

register for your event today:



do not miss out on this opportunity to hear from some locals as well as some people we are dragging out from redmond and the product teams!

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one of the things interactive developers sometimes (especially with new technologies like silverlight, flex, etc.) have to worry about is 'what if the end user doesn't have XYZ installed?' -- something that is likely going to be a question when implementing something so new like .

in silverlight, if the user doesn't have the plugin installed, they are presented with a 'get silverlight' badge.  it really doesn't explain much about *what* silverlight is, or what they'd be missing (i.e., interactive, rich content) if they don't install it.  to me, the default badge doesn't pass the mother-in-law factor test.  i first wrote about some ideas when the plugin came out (some of which are not valid anymore given the updated EULA).

well, now the product team has come out with a whitepaper on guidance of optimizing the silverlight install experience.  the whitepaper (some samples included) documents the various install methods (well, okay 2 install methods) and ways about making the experience to the end user be more seamless, namely ensuring the integrity of your site/brand are kept in tact.

one of the really good examples of this that i've seen is the WWE site.  if you don't have the plugin installed, they've done a really good job maintaining the integrity of the WWE brand while at the same time explaining the premium content they are trying to deliver and why you would want to install the plugin for their site.  the whitepaper explains similar guidance, is about 19 pages and like i mentioned: includes samples.  hopefully this will be a good resource to you all.  if you are working on a silverlight application, or extending your website to provide a richer experience, you need to be aware of this.

i hope this becomes a best practice to all!  you can download it here.