|Seattle in late Fall|
I spent the week before last wondering around the Microsoft campus talking to the .NET team and various Program and Product Managers. Redmond campus is beautiful but Seattle can be a little grey and wet. Here's a strange thing: I have a friend from Australia who has just spent 8 weeks travelling around Europe and North America. Even though Europe has experienced the biggest floods in 50 years, my friend saw no rain - there was literally a hole in the clouds that followed him around. He comes to Toronto and instead of bleak, grey rainy icy days we get sunshine. Up to Montreal and the snow stops and again, sunshine. And back home in Australia? Torrential rain and floods. Our hometown has had only 3 days in the last month where it hasn't rained. So when he tells me he will be in Seattle the same week I don't bother packing the umbrella - even though it's winter and scant weeks ago Seattle was under water. He's a mystery, but he makes travelling a whole lot more convenient. Thanks Alan - love your work.
|A frosty start to the morning.|
So Seattle was lovely. Crisp, frosty mornings and brisk sunny days with light winds. Admittedly the days were shorter than I'm used to, and walking around at night froze your lips so conversations rapidly degraded to a point where you felt like a couple of post-op dental patients waiting for your lips to slide back over to the correct part of your face - but it was fun. I even got to act like a Canadian for a bit. People would comment that since I'd just flown in from Canada that the 28F mornings would be warm compared to the obviously frigid weather on the east coast. I could nonchalantly offer that if I'd known it was going to be so warm I would have bought my my shorts and sandals, when in fact I was surreptitiously checking my ears in case they had frozen solid and fallen off somewhere between the hotel and campus. I was freezing! Even so I can, with complete equanimity say I miss cold Seattle - especially since I'll be heading back home to Oz in a week. Alan has already arrived back home and I hear the weather has miraculously turned clear and sunny.
So what's the big news this week? Well, nothing really huge, just incremental titbits on the continuing .NET theme. The .NET SDK and Visual Studio.NET are now in beta (and I’m sure many of you have now downloaded these), with beta 2 due sometime in March. They are working on getting final versions as soon as possible with a summer release the most likely date. Visual Studio.NET beta 1 is a massive improvement on the PDC release bits (I think the change file is 9Mb!). It's a lot more stable and you can actually do real things, instead of being forced to stick to the tried and tested demos. Even so, you'll still find problems with the beta. It still crashes sometimes, it's still a little slow in places, and some of the APIs will also change, but some of the pop-up error messages are pretty amusing. Remember - it's a beta! If there were no problems with it then it would have already been released.
A lot of names are changing. WinForms are now Windows Forms (due to a pesky little name conflict with another company) and this name will again change soon. ASP+ is now ASP.NET, ADO+ is now ADO.NET, and GDI+ is still GDI+. I predict it will soon be GDI.NET. Remember - you heard that first here! Some namespaces have changed between PDC and beta 1, and will again change between beta 1 and beta 2.
|Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here|
I'll try and put my sketchy notes into some semblance of order. Many of my notes are filled with strange snippets like "Grilled cheez!!" and "Steal all the mouse balls at MS and hold them to ransom. Mwahaha!". There was some long days and the coffee in Seattle is a tad stronger than I'm used to...
The Microsoft Guys.