DevDays 2007

Last week was the biggest Microsoft developer event in the Netherlands, the DevDays 2007. It was a two day event with a lot of sessions (50+) presented by some of the greatest names in the world of software development like Scott Guthrie, Dino Esposito and Ingo Rammer, to only name a few. Together with this event there was also the ReMIX, which added another 15+ sessions. Unfortunately it was only possible to follow 9 of the sessions plus the keynote, making it very hard to choose…

One of the biggest things during this event was the presentation of
Silverlight, the cross-browser and cross-platform .NET plug-in for Rich Interactive Applications (RIAs) on the web. Scott Guthrie presented it during the keynote and in two full sessions on the second day, explaining  what is in it now and what is planned for the near future. What I’ve seen from Silverlight (former WPF/E) until now is really incredible! Especially the demo of the project TopBanana, a video editing tool from entirely built with Silverlight. At this moment Silverlight is at the 1.0 beta / 1.1 alpha stage and is cross-browser and cross-platform only for Windows and Mac, a version for Linux is planned by the Mono project. According to Scott it is not recommended to start a business project with Silverlight at this moment however. You’ll be missing a lot of controls that you might expect out-of-the-box but which are just not in yet. They will definitely be included though with next releases later this year.

Another main thing of the event where the topics surrounding the .NET Framework 3.0. Many very interesting sessions covered the various aspects around WPF, WCF and WF. The demonstration of the air-hockey game by Mark Miller was real fun. He build this game where two instances of the application can connect with each other using WCF to play. The user interface of the application was built with WPF.

Of course sessions about the new .NET Framework 3.5 and the new Visual Studio Orcas (VS 2008) where not missing. The new VS2008 will include some great new features like multi-target support (.NET 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5), built in ASP.NET AJAX, improved and new designers like a split-screen HTML designer and the new CSS manager, improved javascript debugging and javascript IntelliSense (very handy). And not to forget, LINQ. The major new language feature of the 3.5 framework, making it possible to query various datasources in one unified way.

More information about the event including the slides of all the presentations can be found here.