Have You Been to the MSDN Site Lately?

Have you been to the MSDN site lately?
I ask because I know that personally when I need to lookup something information related
to my development efforts I’ll just search for it, often getting a mix of hits, instead
of heading right the “the source” for much of this info. Admittedly, in the past some
information had been hard to find on site, but if you haven’t checked it our recently,
the MSDN website has undergone some changes.


A quick glance at the site shows a much cleaner looking design, with what seems to
be much better organized information. For a fun comparison, here’s what the site looked
like a few years ago.


Below the main menu, the site is dividing into three “portals” separating content
by Platforms, Tasks, and News.


The Platforms page provides some overview information and easy access to dive further
into Desktop, Web, Cloud, and Phone development areas.


For other areas, a quick click on the “All
Developer Centers and Hubs
” link takes you to a nice site map for all of the major
areas. As you continue to drill into topic areas, the trend of better organized information
continues, pulling together a variety of documents, videos, links to articles, and
other great sources of information.

Microsoft Build Windows Conference and Windows 8

Recently at the D9 conference Microsoft demonstrated then next version of Windows.

“Windows 8 is a reimagining of Windows, from the chip to the interface. A Windows
8-based PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from touch-only small screens
through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse. ”

In the demos, Microsoft showed off a some of the new interface and features. This
video shows off some of it.

Microsoft also officialy announced a new conference this September called Build
where they will be sharing much more information with developers regarding
Windows 8. In fact, most requests for additional details about Win 8 generates a “learn
more a Build” response.

Since these announcements there has been a lot of speculation by individuals on what
this means for current technologies and future development.  While I’ve heard
some very interesting interpretations by people, I’ve also heard some things that
I feel are completely inaccurate.  However not knowing all of the details myself,
I’m not in a position to say what is accurate or not, but would encourage everybody
be cautious about what they hear and read based on this early information, and of
course…. “Learn more from Build”`

patterns & practices: Project Silk

A team from Microsoft Patterns & Practices have been working to create guidance
for building “Modern Web Applications” in conjunction with an advisory group of individuals
from the developer community.

“Project Silk provides guidance for building cross-browser web applications
with a focus on client-side interactivity. These applications take advantage of the
latest web standards like HTML5, CSS3 and ECMAScript 5 along with modern web technologies
such as jQuery, Internet Explorer 9, and ASP.NET MVC3.”

To achieve this, the team is creating a reference application to give them a real
world example to build and provide a sample to learn from.

The sample application and related guidance documentation are currently available
at http://silk.codeplex.com and
are free to download. The latest update was June 3rd, 2010 with Drop 10, and updates
will continue to be made as the project continues.

I will be posting more on some specifics of the code and guidance, but wanted to share
this initial post.