Irregular Injection of Opinion
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 Friday, 25 January 2008
MIXing it up in the year 2008
So it's only 6 weeks to MIX08 and I'm really looking forward to getting there.

We (Intergen) will be announcing an Open Source (nice BSD licence not nasty GPL!) Silverlight application while we're up at MIX. Can't say much more about it yet except to say taht it shows that you can do some pretty heavy lifting in Silverlight.

I'm looking forward to what should be a new major release of Silverlight and some other exciting announcements.

Most of all this year I'm looking forward to hitting mainly Business Decision Maker sessions at MIX.
These are the hidden gems of the MIX conference for me. I've got enough hookups within Microsoft to be across most of the technology stuff before it's announced this broadly, but, the BDM sessions at MIX offer great value for me and particularly in the ideas that I can bring back to New Zealand to discuss with my customers and colleagues.

If you're heading over to MIX from New Zealand or Aus I look forward to catching up with you...\

I think the early birds finish end of Jan @

Mix06|Friday, 25 January 2008 22:07:45 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 01 May 2007
Mix 07 my best MSFT event ever.

So I'm pretty sure that this is the best MS event I've ever been to. 2nd place would be Mix from last year.

I've been to such a variety of sessions and I love the fact that there are non technical Busines Decsision Maker Sessions. I just got out of a great one where I sat next to Ade from TVNZ. It was a mixture of people from Coke Digital Strategy, ABC and Sandisk talking about online advertising and market perceptions thereof. Probably the best session yet- well worth downloading.

I've been to the MySpace sesion where they talked about how they scale out across almost 10,000 machines.

I've seen enough technology releases with Silerlight to excite me but not enough to bore me.

It's a great atmosphere with lots of non-MSFT traditional attendees here- lots of Mac Books around the place.

I'll definitely be back next year if they'll have me.



To show you ow kick ass this event is... Todays keynote has a roundtable and they have people as diverse as Andrew Rashbass who is the publisher of The Economist! Kick ass!

.NET | Mix06|Tuesday, 01 May 2007 22:58:38 UTC|Comments [1]|    

More Details on Silverlight Streaming - Cost

Silverlight Streaming
4GB Free Storage

Free unlimited streaming for 1r up to 700kbps

Free up to 1 million minutes/month at launch

There are also new commercial terms around Live Contacts and Live Spaces Photos

Spaces Photos/Contacts.
< 1mil users / month = free
> 1mil users / month = $.025 per user per year

.NET | Mix06|Tuesday, 01 May 2007 15:59:31 UTC|Comments [1]|    

A good graphical overview of Silverlight

BradA linked to this

It's a nice High Res poster image that provides the overview of Silverlight

.NET | Mix06|Tuesday, 01 May 2007 00:05:00 UTC|Comments [1]|    

 Monday, 30 April 2007
MIX07 Keynote

OK... so here comes my Mix07 Keynote recap.

A few BIG announcements

1.       Silverlight as of beta 1 (released today with a Go Live License) has .NET framework support. This support is cross browser (IE and Firefox) and cross platform (Safari on the Mac). This is huge.

2.       Microsoft announced Silverlight Streaming. . This allows developers to store up to 4GB of sub 10 minute videos and associated Silverlight applications into the Microsoft supported Content Distribution Network (think Akamai). This is FREE!

3.       Microsoft announced IronRuby for .NET. This will compile down to IL like anything else and the Dynamic Language IL will run on both Mac and PC inside Silverlight. ScottGu did a great demo with everything happening on the mac. From writing XAML to writing Ruby code. Compilation happening inside Silverlight.

4.       Expression Studio shipped today... I’m coming back to NZ with a special commemorative copy- the Expression team had 1500 completely unique designs put together for the boxes J


Here is some more detail gleamed from the Keynote and some other connections within DevDiv@ Microsoft.

Sililverlight Beta 1 incl Go Live. Final release will ship this summer.

 Silverlight includes cross platform .NET in the browser. Uses the same CLR that ships with full framework-  it has the same JIT, GC and type-system that you have with desktop .NET apps today.  It means that it loads and can run the same compiled assemblies that are used with the .NET Framework today- subject to it not quite having the full framework at its disposal- i.e. som namespaces are missing.

Seeing performance of up to 1000 times faster than Javascript- showed a great Demo with a Chess AI algorithm compared in Javascript and C#. 8 to 20 times faster than ActionScript.

Silverlight includes a subset of WPF from desktop.

Silverlight supports HTML DOM Integration- you can use any .NET language to build AJAX stuff rather than having to use Javascript. So basically you can wire up VB/C#/Ruby/Python event handlers to HTML elements like you would do with Javascript.

We FINALLY have debugging of browser code to rival (read spank the pants off) Mozilla....Not only is there support for running CLR stuff on the Mac.... Also support for debugging applications on the mac- you can remotely attach the debugger to the Macintosh over the network and step through the code!

Still a little unclear on the SOAP support. I know it doesn’t support WS* or WCF. I didn’t thnk it supported soap (only REST/POX/JSON) but I’m still digging on whether it will support  SOAP.

Silverlight has full LINQ (it includes System.Core so it will support all the .NET 3.5 stuff in that) support and an offline data cache.

Silverlight plugn is a 4MB download. Install is a 2 second task.

While not announced they showed a version of Silverlight running on Windows Mobile- may well see this announced @ MEDC later this week.... I’m trying to find out more about this RIGHT NOW. If it is true then I have a great application to put together right now.

There is no Audio or Video capture in Silverlight v1.

There is currently lack of support for a number of key WPF features... These sould be available and baked into the final version.... Definitely missing are: databinding, layout manager, styles and templating.

Codec support includes WMV, MP3, VC-1 and H263 video. Silverlight will NOT support additional Codecs that users might have installed.


.NET | Mix06|Monday, 30 April 2007 19:09:52 UTC|Comments [1]|    

 Saturday, 28 April 2007
Tune Here for Silverlight News

So y'all know that MSFTs FlashKiller is called Silverlight...


You don't know quite how cool it's actually going to be. I know.... but if I told you I'd have to kill you.

So. Come Monday the Kimono Shall Be Opened @ the Mix Keynote.

I shall be blogging live and telling you all about it.... suffice to say.... YOU WILL HAVE KITTENS!


Just found out more great stuff.... Tommorows announcements will cover not only developer platform but some all new developer service offerings....

.NET | Mix06 | Vista|Saturday, 28 April 2007 23:50:36 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Monday, 16 April 2007
Mix Build Up is Starting - MS Launch the Silverlight name for WPF/E

So WPF/E has a new name.


Install is under 2MB.

Currently not supporting .NET languages but I'd expect to see that change pretty quickly.

“Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web. Silverlight integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight media capabilities include fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality audio and video to all major browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Windows Internet Explorer running on the Macintosh or on Microsoft Windows. By using Microsoft Expression Studio and Microsoft Visual Studio, designers and developers can collaborate more effectively by using the skills they have today to light up the Web of tomorrow.”

The biggest thing for me in the whole Expression push from Microsoft is in closing the chasm between designers and developers. Yes, there have always been people who sit pretty well in between, but round tripping betwen creative and development types has always been a really hard problem. With WPF I think they've come pretty close to cracking this nut.

I'll be sure to be posting more on this Live From Mix in a couple of weeks.... I'm gonna try and use my time at Mix to get back into bloging :-)

.NET | Mix06|Monday, 16 April 2007 20:08:01 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Wednesday, 26 April 2006
It's The Platform Stupid

So we had a great couple of lunchtime sessions at CodeCamp last weekend. I ws one of the presenters for both.

On Saturday I was with fellow RD Jeremy Boyd and Microsoft Architect Advisor (aka Evangelist) Mark Carrol. We were discussing the future of software development.

On Sunday it was a discussion on the business of software with Mauricio Freitas from Geekzone and Rod Drury from Aftermail.

Anyway, Tim Haines has blogged about some of what was said I herewith is my reply :-) (Read that post first if you've not already)

I'm am positive that I didn't say anything about Vista/Live specifically... we have it Video'd so we can find out. But I probably did misinterpret Rod supporting the Live/Vista wave of stuff if I said the words Vista and/or Live in my reply to Rod then I'll buy Tim lunch!). That said. I stand by my sentiments I think they are important and I think they are important for reasons that I really reinforced on Sat. Basically success in the software business is easier to achieve (for smaller scale businesses especially) if you build out on top of someone elses platform.

If we think of a quick history of computing.... the real success of the PC and Microsoft came about because of a few things:

  1. IBM and Intel provided a ubiquitous and fairly open hardware platform.
  2. Windows provided a platform for a whole ecosystem to build up on. ISVs fed of the uiquity of Windows and Windows was successful because everybody needed it to run their chosen applications- from Word to Autocad to Matlab.
  3. Some of the ISVs formed Platform type ecologies themselves- think of 3DS Max, Autocad. Think of Aftermail even, it is an application based on top of an application that runs on Windows that runs on IBM Compatible hardware.

Then along came the internet. The internet is a platform. My submission is that in terms of the layers we see above, the internet is far more of an IBM hardware platform than a plugin supporting 3D application.

No one owns the internet, no one dominates the internet to the extent of anything above. But, I don't think that it's stupid to reflect on this historical context a bit when we talk about future possibilities and platform plays.

So for example if you want to play in the e-commerce sandpit then you could build directly on the internet as your platform- say making a turnkey shopping app, or, you could build on top of another persons internet platform, say building tools to support business on eBay or TradeMe.

We're never going to have a Windows equivalent on the internet. No matter how hard Microsoft, Google and Yahoo try it's just not going to happen. The primary reasons being that a) no one vendor has a critical mas of market share and; b) It's too easy to build stuff on the internet without leveraging another platform (try writing stuff to run o Windows PCs without an OS... you need a Windows or a Linux  make it a realistic proposition).

They way I see it there is a fundamental rule for all this 'future' web stuff:

Your application has to be a platform. It has to be a platform for others to build on top of from a business perspective foremost. And to achieve that business platform it's likely that you'll need to have your application setup as a platform in the technological sense to some degree as well. If you can support an ecosystem ontop of your application it will flourish.

Now where does this leave us with the whole discussion around Live is a platform play, make no doubt about it- frankly it's about time. Does anyone remember Hailstorm? If that hadn't been sunk by the usual 'big corporate paranoia' that goes on do you thin we'd been all excitied about this Web 2.0 thing now? Or would it have happened a couple of years ago?

I want to be able to build applications that leverage my personal data, I'm less concerned with privay than I am with imersing myself in a decently chunky technological soup that makes my life better. The key problems in my life today are that I have too much information to digest, too many things todo and frnakly too many opinions on too many things to be able to express them, do them and read them in the time I have available. I couldn't give a crap if it's Microsoft or Google or Yahoo or whoever that drives the next platform but someone has to step up to the plate and do it and be able to do it without wails of 'multinational this' and 'big corporate that'.

I'm baffled as to how a shareable web hosted calendar type application (as we would have had with Hailstorm) was wrong when MSFT proposed it in 2001 but is the best thing since tinned beer now that Google have jumped on top of it. I reiterate- no one is going to dominate the internet.

.NET | Mix06|Wednesday, 26 April 2006 22:23:25 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Tuesday, 21 March 2006
IN The Belfiore Keynote Now

WPF will be supported on Media Center AND will be remoted out to XBox 360 and other Media Center Extenders.

Lot's of exciting new changes for MCE Vista- but none that have not been announced already.

So to recap- two ways of extending MCE

1. Media Center UI Langauge of sme sort (what MCE team use to buildtheir UI)

2. WPF

Showed MCE RSS Client Platform Sample- will be available as surce in SDK. Lot's of 3D. Think it's using the MCE UI language-but looks just like WPF- i.e. gratuitous Video projected on 3D surfaces.

Showed Electric Red Nascar portal. Uses WPF- very rich. Very cool. One of the best WPF demos so far. Lots of Video.

Have a ListView demo... where the List View Items are full figure driver cut outs! Yee Haaa! [I have a photo of the screen which I will try to post later]

.NET | Mix06 | Toy Box|Tuesday, 21 March 2006 18:18:32 UTC|Comments [0]|    

Spark @ Mix Session

They're now havinga session for we mortals who were not invited to SPARK to tell us about what they discussed...

Was designed to examine the future of architecture (Past 2 years, next 3 years)

How do we integrate Web 2.0 with SOA? What are the conflicts?
How do we take the rapid dev, rapid change nature into corporate dev?

Talking about differences between consumer space and enterprise space.

.NET | Mix06|Tuesday, 21 March 2006 00:47:03 UTC|Comments [0]|    

First Day @ Mix

So I'm about 1/2 way through he first day @ Mix.

Highlights thus far have been the session on stuff. Funnily enough I've meen luke warm on this for a while and as having ust that conversation with some other kiwis last week.

But, it's looking like it'll have great potential- great stuff to be done with MSN Messenger especially- I need to port my WF sample to use MSN Bos real soon.

Downsides thus fa have been not a lot more detail on WF- still getting Max and the Northface demos trotted out... which are all like sooo last year.  guess we'll have to do some realy cool stuff soon to show it off!

Currently in the WPF/E project below are some random notes.


Subset of WPF
CTP Q3 200
RTW First Haf 2007
Uses Javascript and Markup
Looks VERY ikely that they'll suport at least Safari and Mozilla (supports Netscape plugin model)
Will support 'object tag' type tag packaginng including compiled .NET IL code
Device support late 2007
Plugin currently 200k no dependency on WinFX
Also suports displaying a special WPF/E file tye

Showed some of the Northwave content
- THe rotatig jacket model

So I'm about 1/2 way through he first day @ Mix.

Highlights thus far have been the session on stuff. Funnily enough I've meen luke warm on this for a while and as having ust that conversation with some other kiwis last week.

But, it's looking like it'll have great potential- great stuff to be done with MSN Messenger especially- I need to port my WF sample to use MSN Bos real soon.

Downsides thus fa have been not a lot more detail on WF- still getting Max and the Northface demos trotted out... which are all like sooo last year.  guess we'll have to do some realy cool stuff soon to show it off!

Currently in the WPF/E project below are some random notes.


Subset of WPF
CTP Q3 200
RTW First Haf 2007
Uses Javascript and Markup
Looks VERY ikely that they'll suport at least Safari and Mozilla (supports Netscape plugin model)
Will support 'applet' tpe tag packacng including compiled .NET IL code

Gave WPF/E Demo (using NorthFace Content)

-Rotating Jacket  (using a DHTML slider and avascript to talk to XAML ject)
- The breathable jacket animation
-Video player

Firefox not smoke and mirrors- showed a demo of it running in Mozilla and on Safari!

- Are prepared t make WPF/E available to ship with Firefox
- Are commited to there being a Linux version of WPF/E 

[Another Update]
- Yes that does mean IL code running on Mac and Linux (obviously not the whole framework though)
- More to be announced @ the keyote tommorow (Tue AM PST)

.NET | Mix06|Tuesday, 21 March 2006 00:02:51 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Thursday, 09 March 2006
Want to find out something from Mix?

So I'm going to Mix and there aren't many others that I'm aware of from NZ going.

So- I'm keen to see if anyone want to find anything in particular out? Want a particular question asked? Burning to find something out and think it will be covered?

Here is my schedule thus far. If you have a special interest in something post in the comments and I'll keep and eye out for you and blog about it- obviously I can only post about non NDA stuff, but, I'll do my best to find out as much as I can tell you about from the horses mouth.

Schedule For Chris Auld

Monday, March 20

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM  
NGW050 The Windows Live Platform: Build Applications That Have Access to 400 Million Address Books, and 13 Billion Contacts!   Palazzo Ballroom E-L    
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM  
NGW008 Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF): The Opportunity for WPF Applications in the Browser and Beyond   Ballroom O/P    
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM  
BTB035 Extending Your Experience to Mobile Devices   Ballroom A/B    
NGW046 Running a Megasite on Microsoft Technologies   Ballroom O/P    

Tuesday, March 21

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM  
BTB025 Developing Interactive Applications Using Windows Live Robots, Activities, and Alerts   Ballroom M/N    
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM  
DIS003 Today's Identity Crisis, and the Identity Metasystem   Ballroom O/P    
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM  
NGW036 A First Look at Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E): a Cross-Platform subset of WPF   Ballroom A/B    
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM  
BTB029 The Digital Home: Designing for the Ten-Foot User Interface   Palazzo Ballroom E-L    
NGW026 IIS7 As a Developer Platform   Ballroom O/P    

Wednesday, March 22

8:30 AM - 9:45 AM  
NGW034 From “Username and Password” to "InfoCard"   Ballroom M/N    
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM  
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM  

.NET | Mix06|Thursday, 09 March 2006 01:10:33 UTC|Comments [0]|    

 Friday, 17 February 2006
Mixng It Up In Vegas Baby.... YEAH!

So I'm just about fully confirmed for my Trip to MIX06. If you have been on another planet recently you may have missed out on learning that MIX is a conference about the next generation of the Web. MSFT are sponsoring/organising it, but it's gonna be really different to most other MS cons from what I can see.

I'm going there with anoter NZ ISV who I'm doing some architecture and strategy consulting with at the moment. We're going to hit the Game Developers Conference in San Jose on the ame trip so it's gonna be a CRAZY week.

There is a good that sets out some of the things that are going to be covered @ MIX.

It's kinda exciting for me because I've kind of eschewed 'the web' for the past few years and I've focused on Smart Clients. Funnily enough I wrot some of the first bits of published work on the sort of tenology that is now know as AJAX/ATLAS etc... (see my chapters in Practical XML For The Web)


I know I'm sure as hell looking orward to being part of the conversation.... be sure to keep a look out for my red shoes in Vegas. Come and say hi!

Oh... I'll be in Singapore the following week (Vista stuff)... so keep an eye out for the Red Shoes there too.....Gonna be some serious bum in a plane seat time put in over those to weeks!

.NET | Travel | Mix06|Friday, 17 February 2006 05:34:02 UTC|Comments [0]|