Like most days, this one started mid (ok, late) morning. Lunch was consumed with a discussion about a “goose” being in the “oven”. I still have no idea of what that was all about and, in the end, I’m not sure I want to know.
The afternoon was filled with sessions. One that I found particularly interesting was given by Jon Rauschenberger from Clarity Consulting. Clarity is building a framework that will allow VB.NET developers to easily build windows forms that will interoperate with VB 6.0. Clarity plans to make this product available for free to the VB developer market when it is complete. Many of the people I associate with professionally have been in the .NET world long enough that we lose sight of the fact that there is still a lot of VB 6.0 development happening out there.
When the conference day ended I took the shuttle over to the hotel to drop off my backpack and change for the attendee party at Fenway Park. From what I heard the people who took the shuttles directly to the party got a full police escort which included road and intersection closures. I assume the police figured getting thousands of people from the conference center to Fenway was going to be such a traffic nightmare that is was better to get it over a quickly as possible.
The attendee party itself was fantastic. As a baseball fan, just getting to go to Fenway Park is a treat but having the run of the park was incredible. I was so busy walking around and seeing the sights that I missed most of the focal part of the evening, a concert by the band Train. I did catch their last couple songs plus the encore which were excellent. My Flickr account has a few photos of the event but I uploaded a bunch more to my MSN space, they can be found at http://shrinkster.com/fz8.
The last day of a big conference like this is always kind of a bummer, you continually have a sense that it’s just about over.
I took in a couple sessions, one on building “good looking” user interfaces with WPF and one on using REST, RSS and POX with WCF. The best part of the latter talk was that the speaker, Clemens Vasters, showed off newtellivision, an application he’d built using the technologies discussed in the talk plus Media Center.
“newtellivision is a framework and application for accessing live streaming television remotely. The use-case I had in mind building this is quite simple and is closely related to my current (and the new) job and the perspective of moving to the U.S. some time later this year: I want access to my local, German TV channels whenever I am traveling and I also want access to those channels when I’ve moved to Seattle. That’s most important for two types of programs: sports and news. I care a lot more about Bundesliga football than for Major League baseball.”
I also sat in on Paul Ballard’s BOF entitled “Can AJAX/Atlas Do This? Comparing AJAX and Smart Client User Experiences”. I’ve spoken out on my feelings on this topic before and I was vocal about it at the BOF as well. The primary argument against smart clients still seems to be deployment. Not the deployment of the smart client applications themselves but the deployment of the .NET Framework. Many people there indicated that process to get the approval to install a new version of the framework and then to actually do the deployment can take several months. At least I see a steady growth in awareness that smart clients are a viable choice again and a push from developers to get to be able to use them in the enterprise.
Like all days, the last day of the conference ended with a couple pints. This time at Cheers, or at least that bar that is below the sign that the TV show made famous.