welcome to mts part 8 :-)
well, day 2 was filled with a bunch of stuff. here’s some highlights…
what is wpf? it’s the uncool name for avalon. there are reasons behind the naming that don box explained to us and it actually made me appreciate it a little bit more…but let’s be real — it still doesn’t zing.
the wpf team showed some really cool stuff with wpf and various aspects of the model, etc. to me, i’m still struggling finding the core ROI business value behind bubbly buttons, gradients, etc. i certainly can appreciate the technology being a geek, but the business consultant in me is still (along with our customers i think) trying to understand the value-add to the technology outside of flashy ui.
one business value i see is the wpf/e strategy. wpf/e (e=everywhere) is our strategy for bringing the wpf infrastructure to the browser and to “other” browsers (read: safari, mozilla/firefox). yes, that’s right. there was even a bit more information that wasn’t given clearly at mix but alluded to today. look at jeff brand’s post for some insight there. i think wpf/e is a message that needs to be cleared up, and brought to the masses — it is an interesting take on bringing richer clients to cross-platform environments.
ScottGu cometh, and leaveth his mark
first, please understand that the web (and namely asp.net) is my passion. i love it. i can’t get enough of it. i wish i could get paid for just sitting down and coding asp.net concepts all day long. i’m having a new baby boy soon and i think i may name him “provider” i love it so much.
now, remember, this audience isn’t the typical msft audience. so while we may have seen scott present this topic before, it was new to some that may not have been exposed to mix, teched, pdc, asp connections, etc. scott opened up the visual web developer express (free), used sql server express (free) and started walking through the the IDE/framework creating an asp.net application on the fly, with input from the audience. then scott showed some of the atlas magic that the team has been working on. then he showed even more atlas energy sauce when he showed the atlas control toolkit that was released…oh…about 15 minutes before he walked in the door. then he dropped the bomb about the atlas control toolkit being shared source under the ms-pl. you bet that got questions…and positive response. he mentioned that we’ll be putting the control toolkit on an environment that will enable open source collaboration on the toolkit to grow and adapt to all technologies. (arg, i wish i could share more about this “environment” — uber cool.)
then bill staples came and showed iis7. have you heard iis7 is modular? one monolithic dll turned into 40 modular components and you use what you want? yeah, that’s just stealing from apache. well, stealing is a very harsh word. i really think microsoft (we did this with ie7) is taking a step back and saying, ‘okay, we get it, we were wrong in some areas’ and implementing best practices. modular pipeline is a best practice that people like and want — we listened (it may have taken some time) and implemented. bill showed php running on iis7 using asp.net forms authentication and roles. pretty cool.
so that begged the question from the audience…(paraphrasing):
audience: so visual web developer is free?
audience: asp.net is free?
scott: with windows, yes
audience: sql server express is free?
audience: atlas is free and the control toolkit is free?
audience: and atlas/control toolkit can be used on other platforms? why would we even use yours then if we can get all the magic with your tools and run on php/linux?
scott (massive paraphrasing here, but you get the gist): well, we’d love for you to use our stack, but yes it can. at the end of the day if our stack isn’t showing value (and we think that the asp.net 2.0 version and efforts around atlas do show value), then we shouldn’t be in business
you get the drift. it was a good exchange. i love scott’s demeanor. he doesn’t come across with any agenda. it was almost that the audience member was waiting to do an “a-ha! gotcha!” but there wasn’t an opportunity.
later that night, the same audience member continued his amazement (and we further educated him on some other areas) and he stated (again, paraphrasing) that microsoft technologies should be considered when building a new web 2.0 site — something he said he couldn’t believe 3 weeks ago…his perception has changed. is he going to go out and build his company on asp.net, probably not immediately ;-)
it was a great exchange of information.
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