This edition of the DevDays was totally in the light of XAML, WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), WCP (Windows Communication Foundation) and last but not least: Silverlight. The last few editions where always about new technology, this year Microsoft tried to listen to the community.  With the result that they also put in some sessions on todays technology and how to make good use of it. Think AJAX, Asynchronous ASP.Net Pages and Web Services.

In the Keynote we saw Scott Guthrie who showed us Silverlight and Microsoft Expression.
We saw an application called: 'Top Banana', which is a video editing application in the browser. It is impressive technology, I know we already have Flash, but Silverlight integrates the .NET framework and supports ASP.NET AJAX. I don't know if you ever worked with Flash and .NET (through remoting and actionscript), than I think you can appreciate this integration.

I saw a lot of WPF and WCF. I see the advantages a lot can be daone declarative through XAML.
In WPF the UI (User Interface) can be made in XAML and a lot can be nested (a button can contain a movie, or a listbox etc.). Your own objects can be accessed in XAML if you addd your own namespace in the root element of the XAML Document:
xmlns:u="clr-namespace:NAMESPACE"
If you want to try you can use 'Visual Studio ORCAS', which in the future will be 'Visual studio 2008', but if you want to use a more 'drag and drop' approach building a UI, use 'Blend'. If you really want to know more go here: http://wpf.netfx3.com/. Animations are supported in XAML, this means declaritive animations! Databinding support, WPF supports databinding.


XBAP
I heard about XAML Browser Applications(XBAPs), are WPF applications you can run in the browser, these apps are deployed using the 'Click once' deployment technique.
The advantages are:

  • Are not installed  
     – No Start Menu or Add/Remove Programs presence  
     – Use ClickOnce for deployment  
  • Run in the browser  
     – Familiarity of web browsing  
  • Are “online only” apps  
     – Require access to the  
     deployment location  
     – Always latest version  
  • Run in a security sandbox  
     – Have no security or installation prompt  


These Devdays, I became a great fan of Mark miller, he works with Devexpress and I think Coderush is an app he worked on.
He is a great performer with something to tell, this guy keeps your interest the whole session. The first day I attended his 'Rockin' & Rollin' with WCF and WPF' session, he built an Airhockey client-server App with WPF and WCF. He showed a lot about how this app is built and he also entertained the audience real well. The second day the last session I attended was Mark Miller's 'The Science of a Great UI' session. He really had a big audience, a lot of people wanted to see this session. Unless the blue screen of death it was a interesting and entertaining session.
I had a great time.


Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...