DevDays 2004 Belgium - Day 2 - One API To Rule Them All

Welcome back! DevDays 2004 Belgium, Day 2 is over, and that also concludes the entire DevDays over here.

The day starts with an opening keynote by David Chappell about The Road to Longhorn.

This dude is amazing, he comes on stage, and as an introduction he starts taking of his jacket, tie and shirt, and what's under that? Our national football shirt, from the Red Devils.

Check the picture for (unclear) details :)

Oh, and he got some red socks as well. ;)

He compared musicians to developers, only developers get better hotels. They travel around the world and play for audiences.

His session was basically about what Longhorn is and will be. I'm very impressed by the 'One API to rule them all', or WinFX :p

The main message was 'write managed code!'. And preferably one of the new languages. Managed C++ is for people who love pain.

There was also a story about where the codename came from. Above Redmond lies Canada, with a ski-resort there that's very loved with MS folks. There are two mountains there, Whistler and Blackcomb. Now you all know what those code-names are for. But then Blackcomb got set back and something got in between, so they returned to their ski-resort and looked around. What is between these two mountains? And they found a bar, called Longhorn. And there it was, it got called after a bar in Canada.

He kinda told in big lines everything of the Longhorn track of that day.

XAML is the next thing in designing UI's. The designer creates a UI in XAML, and gives it to the dev, who wires up the events.

There was also a comparison between Google and Windows. Google searches in about 4 billion pages, and how long does it take to get a result back? Almost instantly. Now, open up your search in Windows.... This has to improve! This is all about WinFS.

I won't make so many different posts about this day, going to summarize them all in here.

First there was Avalon.

It's amazing what you can do with it! Images in buttons, video in buttons, buttons, images, moving buttons in listboxes, checkboxes in buttons, the whole lot. Gradient buttons, disappearing buttons, everything. XAML is great!

The only question I got about this is, if XAML doesn't get compiled, does that mean that everyone who gets an app can change the UI to what he likes? Or does it get compiled in your final product after all?

One thing to remember thou, Avalon gives you all these neat features, but you don't have to use all of them!. There was a demo app of the worst app ever, with moving things, disappearing, resizing, etc.

There were a lot of people again today.

Then was Indigo. It's great to have all communications under one section, webservices, remoting, enterprise services, ... all in Indigo.

I don't have a pic of this, he moved too much ;)

After that was WinFS.

It's amazing what you can do with this. Searching goes so much faster, and with the nice stack based view, which decreases as you enter a query, it's lovely.

Some questions I got on this matter are:

If your drop all your files in a WinFS store and you got only maps like 'Documents', 'Images', etc.. When you drop 2 or more files in there with the same filename (but actually a different image), how will you keep them apart? Now it's easy, they're in a separate folder, but we can't think in terms of folders anymore.

Something else I want to know. If WinFS stores all the meta-data, is there a way to have the browsing way like we have now, with files and folders, but with the power of WinFS? So that during your everyday work you keep using NTFS and the classic way, but when you go to Search, you get everything nicely cataloged.

And last for today was Whidbey.

Strange picture? Yeah :p

This session actually took 25 minutes longer then planned, he kept giving demo's, incredible. We saw some things about Whitehorse, also some of the stuff I saw on day one. A demo of ObjectSpaces, OneClick, Yukon stored procedures and SpaceInvaders in old console style :)

That was DevDays 2004 Belgium. It was a great experience for me. Hope to go to some more of these things.

Here's a decent picture btw:

In a couple of days I'll tell about the goodies. Got to get some sleep first.

You know, this is actually the first time in my life I had to get up so early to take the train. (Excluded from the times I don't sleep) And boy it's cold outside in the morning.

I hope you liked this feedback, I know it might not been very technically detailed, but you can read all about that in the slides which will become available (or are already?). This was more my view as a student going for the first time.

Oh, and I spoke at DevDays as well:

Don't believe me? Well, you're right, I only took a picture ;) It looks nice thou, doesn't it?

Thanks MS for inviting me!