Ends in High Note - Tech.Ed 2008 Day 2

2nd day at Tech.Ed and it was actually not bad -- I guess I am well on my way of getting brain washed. Got out of the house at around 8am this morning, and saw Cherry on the bus on the way to the city. She thought I was early (I normally arrive work 9:15-9:30am), but I was in fact late for the first session!

Silverlight 2 for Developers

I was 10 minutes late when I got there. "Silvelight 2 for developers" Hmm sounds interesting. It was about techniques in building de-coupled Silverlight 2 application in C# (btw, Silverlight 2 wasn't even out yet). As someone who (1) does not know C# (2) not much idea about .NET runtime (3) have never built a Silverlight app before (4) blogged until 1am in the previous morning, I struggled to keep myself awake. Great techniques, but would be more useful if I am actually a C# developer. Next!

Silverlight for Mobile Apps

Then I went to "Introducing Silverlight for mobile applications" and actually got more usability advice than the usability session from yesterday. Amit and Neil are good presenters. As of Silverlight for mobile, I don't think it is even ready (not until a version that can run managed code anyway). Meanwhile, there are already Flash Lite and J2ME. Next!

Reactive Programming

Reactive Programming is the title of the session I went along next. However, instead of explaining the programming paradigm and digging deep into language design, we went straight to C#, WPF, INotifyPropertyChange and all their voodoo magic. Actually the entire presentation is pretty much implementation specific, which certainly makes it less interesting than just discussing the languages themselves and maybe imperative vs. functional reactive programming. Next!

Layout Engine in Internet Explorer 8

After lunch I went to "Cross-Browser layout with MS IE 8". Argh. Now I appreciate my browsers more (and they are not Internet Explorer).

Microsoft's Application Platform in the Clouds

Then "Extending the Application Platform with Cloud Services". Does that excite you, solution architects? Surely it does! Until the presenter revealed that the presentation is going to be exclusively about BizTalk and SQLServer Data Service. So we looked at the code example to call BizTalk -- I think you can pretty much build the same service bus thing with Amazon SQS or a high-available XMPP server. SQLServer Data Service (SSDS) has nothing to do with SQL, but a big tuple bag of key/value pairs with LINQ-like querying syntax. Just like Amazon SimpleDB or Google BigTable. Next!

IronPython and Other .NET Dynamic Languages

The final show today was the highlight -- "Pumping Iron: Dynamic Languages on .NET" where Harry Pierson talked about the benefit of dynamic typing languages and why they are useful to .NET users. Great presentation, and great arguments on why the lack of compile time checking is NOT really an issue. IronPython was used in the code example, which is something I am a bit familiar with. There will be a F# talk tomorrow (Microsoft's O'Caml implementation for .NET) -- looking forward to that.