Friday, September 16, 2005

Day 1: channel9 guy takes a walk on the walk of fame

Tuesday after all the PDC sessions where over we took the evening of and the channel9 guy to the walk of fame. We thought since he probally hasn't been there before he might want to see that touristic attraction ...

... And infact he was pretty excited about going there. Especially since he got to see the star of his number one idol ...

... I think he had a great time (notice the smile on his face). For us it was a little bit stressy since he forced us to take tons of pictures in fron of all sorst of sights.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Day -1: The Art of Building a Reusable Class Library

Te first precon session at Day -2 (2 days before the PDC actually started) ".NET Framework 2.0 - The Smart Client Perspective" with Rockford Lhotka and Billy Hollis was not quite my session. I am not too deep into this smart client development and also I still suffered from that jetlag a little bit. But still they covered ClickOnce in great detail. I have always wanted to have a look at it and also I was able to ask the question I have always wanted to ask: Why does Visual Studio's new class designer not support UML. The answer I got from Mr. Lhotka was something like that not all features of the designer have their representation in the UML standard, so not all that can be done in the class designer can be expressed via UML. Hence it would not make sense to support UML.
So that session hat its moments ...

The precon session of the next day was much more of my taste. It was "The Art of Building a Reusable Class Library". The famous Brad Abrams and Krzysztof Cwalina (I bet he is from Poland originally) did a very interesting (and entertaining) session on how to develop class libraries "correctly".

In the past Microsoft has spent some effort to provide us with design guidlines to develop good reusable classes libraries. I try to stick to them as much as I can and as it makes sense and fxcop has become a good friend of mine.
Brad and Krzysztof mainly took us on a long ride through those guidelines (I counted 93 slides). At the beginning every attendee was handed out a free copy out their new book "Framework Design Guidelines" and it looks like they covered pretty much everything in their session that is in that book. Of course I did not forget to have my book signed by the two authors.

They kicked of the session by mentioning four "Keys of Framework Design:

  • The Power od Sameness
  • Framework Design Matters
  • Tools for Communication
  • The Pit of Sucess"

My Favorite ones were the first and the last one. "The power of sameness" means that you should provide the users of you classes with patterns, typenames, idioms etc. that they are used to. They should be able to use your classes almost intuitively without having to read the docs first. Brad did a very entertaining comparision to driving a car. Due to the power of sameness one does not need to read the manual to drive a car, even if it is a type of car that he has never driven before. This is a main reason why design guidelines are good. If all the different class libraries follow the same guidlines the developer will be able to take them for a ride without having to learn too much about them first.

"The pit of sucess" my secound favorite key is directly reltated to that. Your Framework should be designed in way that using it is like falling into a pit (rather than climbing a mountain). You should "make the simple things simple and the hard things possible" so your users "fall into sucess" automatically.

Allthough I came to L.A. for the WPF story, I must say that this session was one of my favorites, also because we had the whole day to get into to topic real deep and talk about it in great detail and because Brad and Krzysztof (I thank good for copy&paste !) really managed to get the topic across in a very fun and entertaining way. Only one session was more entertaining (but less informative ! ): " PRS334 Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon") + Windows Communications Foundation ("Indigo") = Magic " by Chris Sells and Doug Purdy. They really did hellofa comedyshow there.

Tags: PDC05

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I fell in love with the channel9 area

As it turns out the channel9 area at the PDC is a really cool place to hang out. It has already become my favorite place to relax. Allthough its beanbags are very comfortable they can not outperform those big black rockingchairs. I even managed to fall asleep in it once.

Peter (right) and I (left) were the first ones who checked out the channel9 area. In the background they are still building the booths of the expo hall. It was day -2 (1st precon day) early in the morning.

As it turned out later we didn't get much rest in those beanbags. As soon as precon was over and PDC started. There was not a free minute. There were so many people too meet, Microsofties to question, sessions to attend and so on.

Tags: PDC05

Sunday, September 11, 2005

blogging with the jetlag

Yes! I have found my way to L.A. It really was an awful flight. If I may give you an advice: Dont fly with Air India ! You'll get to see cheap Bollywood movies without a break on old faded monitors, the flight attendees look at you as if you were a criminal (if they show up at all - I was offered two drinks during the 11h flight) and the Boing 747 interior made me feel like I am in the 70ies (with the exception that it probally looked much less used and "worn out" back then).

It is 6 a.m. now and I am lying in my kingsize bed in my 60 square meter room in the Wilshire Grand and can not sleep anymore - jetlag at its best!

Arriving at the hotel room really made me forget about the flight. Microsoft sure knows how to make their "disciples" happy! The room is hughe, it has an awsome view, two bathrooms (I really needed that !) and when I got here there was a big fruit and cheese plate waiting for me. But the best thing, there is free WLAN throughout the entire hotel. So I can stay on msn messenger whereever I go :) As it turns out Casey's "room" is even crazier, it has a grand piano. Check out his blog for some stunning pics.

Infact I am writing this blogentry using my new Windows Mobile 5 reallysmartphone T-Mobile MDA Pro (aka HTC Universial). I talked about this cool gadget purchase on channel9 see some pics here Peter has his room right next to me and in 3 hours we will be meeting for continental breakfast an then we are off to precon "the smart client perspective".
Stay tuned folks !

Tags: PDC05

Saturday, September 03, 2005

My Schedule for the PDC

I have finally chosen what sessions I will be attending at the PDC. As I said I will concentrate on presentation(WPF) and WinFX/win32 interop. I don't know about the BoF sessions yet beacuse they have not yet been elected. I will add them as soon as I know. So here is my schedule:

Sunday, September 11
9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Continental Breakfast
10:00 AM - 5:45 PM
PreCon: .NET Framework 2.0: The Smart Client Perspective - Billy Hollis, Rocky Lhotka

Monday, September 12
9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Continental Breakfast
10:00 AM - 5:45 PM
PreCon: Framework Design Guidelines: The Art of Building a Reusable Class Library - Brad Abrams, Krzysztof Cwalina
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Birds of a Feather

Tuesday, September 13
7:45 AM - 8:30 AM
Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
FUNL02 Lap around the WinFX and Win32 SDKs [515 AB] - Brent Rector
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
FUN200 Windows Vista: Taking Advantage of Windows Vista in Your Application [Hall EF] - Chris Jones
2:45 PM - 4:00 PM
PRS200 - Choosing the Right Presentation Technology: Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"), Windows Forms, ASP.NET, IE, and More [Hall EF] - Michael Wallent
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM
PRS305 - Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): A Lap around the Windows Presentation Foundation [Hall EF] - Rob Relyea
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Expo Hall Reception
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Birds of a Feather

Wednesday, September 14
7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - 10:30 PM
General Session
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
PRS317 - Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Beautiful Code, Beautiful Design - Applications Your Designers Can Work With [Hall F] - Robert Ingebretsen
12:30 PM - 1:15 PM
FUNL04 - Tips & Tricks: Writing Performant Managed Code [Hall E] - Rico Mariani
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
PRS309 - Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Overview of Windows Vista Graphics [502 AB] - Pablo Fernicola
3:15 PM - 4:30 PM
PRS311 - Direct 3D Part 1: Utilizing the Maximum Power of the GPU in Your Graphic-Intensive Windows Vista ("Longhorn") Application [406 AB] - Rudolph Balaz
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM
PRS313 - Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Integrating with Your Win32/MFC Application [409 AB] - Nick Kramer
7:00 AM - 11:30 PM
Attendee Party – Universal Studios

Thursday, September 15
7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
General Session
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
ILL02 - Enhancing Your Win32 Application for Windows Vista [Labs] - Ahsan Kabir, Bob Arnson
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
TLN213 - Future Directions for Building Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon") Interfaces [502 AB] - Peter Faraday
1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
FUNL05 - Tips & Tricks: Common Memory Management Pitfalls and Profiling for Managed Applications [Hall E] - Rico Mariani
2:15 PM - 3:30 PM
PRS223 - Getting Users to Fall in Love with Your Software: 2005 Edition [Hall F] - Hillel Cooperman
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
PRS325 - Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Advanced Graphics (Part 1)—2D, 3D and Text [515 AB] - Kam VedBrat
5:15 PM - 6:30 PM
FUN318 - Windows Vista: Using Win32/WinFX Integration to Light-Up on Windows Vista: A Case Study [Petree Hall] - Adam Nathan
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Ask the Experts
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Birds of a Feather

Friday, September 16
7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
PRS330 - Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Creating Rich Content Experiences in Your Applications [402 AB] - Filipe Fortes
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
PRS431 - Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Building Custom Controls [402 AB] - Kevin Moore
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
PRSL03 - Ten Amazing Ways to Speech-Enable Your Application [502 AB] - Phillip Schmid, Robert Brown
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
PRS435 - Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Going Under the Hood to Understand the Architecture [403 AB] - Chris Anderson, Greg Schechter, Jeff Bogdan

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I will be staying at Wilshire Grand

Micheal made it official now: I will be staying at the Wilshire Grand. I already booked my fight too. I will be arriving at LAX at 16:35 (10th) with Air India (*scratching my head*). I'll leave 16th evening so I won't have to pay for another night myself.

My fellow contestwinner Peter Jausovec will be staying at the same hotel and will arrive at the same time as me (party is preassigned). The third companion in our little winnergang Casey Chesnut is staying at Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

ZMan (Andy Dunn) will be attending the PDC too and he proposed a really hot and interesting BOF session about (Managed) DirectX:
DirectX - Graphics and Games
How does DirectX fit into the world of Windows Graphics Framework (Avalon) and Vista (Longhorn)? What about DirectX.Next? Can you really write games in managed code? Do you have a problem you need to ask about? Come and talk about the past, present and future of DirectX both managed and native.
I strongly recommend this session and you should definitely all vote for it. I will be there, Casey will be there and of course the incredible ZMan. Three reasons why that session will really rock ! Vote now !