MIX07 has come and gone, and I can hardly wait until MIX08. It was great to see some of those old "conference friends" that I only get to see at events like this. The event also allowed me the opportunity to meet many more new contacts! Thanks to everybody that took the time to stop, chat, and share your expertise.
If you have been following the news from the event, you will know that the announcements were simply stunning. The buzz generated by Silverlight was unreal. To hear so many experts in the industry talking about how this changes the web was surreal. There is no doubt that Microsoft has a RIA (Rich Internet Application) strategy and they are executing it with skill. Look out web!
Ya, ya.. It's great that it runs on a Mac. Yes to be clear, the Silverlight .Net CLR now runs cross browser/cross platform on the Mac. What I find most impressive however is how they have brought so many of these new technologies together in one "developer ecosystem". That's the part that I really think the nay sayers don't get, is what that means to be able to develop the server, desktop (tablet, umpc), client (web, mobile device.. ) all using the same tools, the same languages. It's about productivity, scalability, and reliability.
As a developer that has been investing heavily in learning the new world of WPF, WCF, and AJAX, this has been a great validation that those efforts are worth while.
As for Mix.....
My absolute favorite session was the very last session of the conference, Kevin Moore's XD009 - Windows Presentation Foundation for Developers (Part 2 of the talk that Rob Relyea started which is darn good too!) (Video of the session is available here) We hear so much about designers these days, and developer designer work flow, you wonder if the role of the developer is getting lost. Well Kevin clearly shows why "Developers Still Matter". First, I need to say that there are few things more exciting than hearing somebody present on a topic they are truly passionate about. For Kevin, WPF is obviously more than just a job. His session shows how developers can create code to work for better for designers (or developers) working with it from XAML, but also goes on to show how much further a developer can take things. Kevin has updated his "Bag of Tricks" samples which continue to be one of the best reference samples out there for WPF.
Also on the last day, a conference just would not be complete without hearing Don Box. Steve Maine and Don Box held court to a packed house for their "Navigating the Programmable Web" talk, a deep dive into "GET". (Why does Don always need a "code monkey"? Can't he type?) The showed some coolness with the new UriTemplate class that at the time was soon to be released, but has now been released as part of the new Biztalk SDK (That apparently isn't only about Biztalk). To remain cool and in the spirit of MIX, they did code their demo using a WPF app. (But didn't use WPF to host their WCF service. Slackers!
Other highlights were the sessions by Robby Ingebretsen and the Identity Mine crew (If you do WPF, Blendables are a must see!), Scott Stanfield from Vertigo and their Family.Show reference app, and last but not least on my favorites list was Sam George in his Ink on the Web using Silverlight talk. Way cool!
If you didn't make MIX07, or did and couldn't attend all of the sessions you wanted to, the videos are all online at http://sessions.visitmix.com