Various pieces of news

Personal, Silverlight, Technical stuff, Website, Work
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Now that the book is finished writing, reality is catching up with me and I am finally able to work on the backlog of ideas and projects that has accumulated in the last months. Time to give an update of stuff I do or will do soon.

Silverlight 2 Unleashed status

On my side, the work is done and I delivered my copy to the editor. We had a small bunch of last minute corrections when Silverlight 2 RC0 made it to the web, and I am happy the good people at Sams gave me some time to clean up a few kinks. I think we’re in pretty good shape now. It was not too bad, but it’s even better now :)

On Silverlight side, as all of you know by now, Silverlight 2 RC0 was released for developers, which can mean only one thing: We’re coming very close to the release date. Most changes to Silverlight now will be bug corrections, and the interfaces should not change any more. Stay tuned for new about that.

One funny thing I noticed as I was surfing Amazon is that people who bought Jesse Liberty‘s Silverlight book also bought my book and… Death Magnetic by Metallica! My kind of people, digging Silverlight and banging heads as they code :)

Also bought my book and Metallica's Death Magnetic

On my blog

Some of you reported that my posts were duplicated in the RSS feed. I am not sure what the problem is and I contacted GWB‘s support team about it. Waiting to hear from them. I did something that might have corrected the problem though: I am now burning the feed through Feedburner. It’s one of those things I wanted to do for a really long time, but couldn’t afford because of too much to do. That’s done now. Thanks to the amazing work of the team at GWB, you shouldn’t need to change anything to your settings, the old feed is redirected to the new one automatically. Just in case you need it, the new feed is at

I decided to review all my Silverlight posts and to deliver updated code where needed. In the very worst case where updated information doesn’t exist (because things changed too much between the post and now), I will add a warning box to the post. With my blog being pretty well visited through Google, I’d like things to be very clear about what is old and what is current. I already selected all the posts that need updates, and will post the updates gradually.

With more free time now, I will be able to resume blogging on a more regular schedule, yay!

On my site

My site got some heat lately because (and I am the first to admit it) it’s not really representing the quintessence of technology anymore. In clear, it’s time for a face lift. Because I am painfully aware of my limits as a designer, I decided to partner with a talented person with very artistic skill, and she will provide guidance and help me with this work. I am really happy that she accepted, because I am sure that I will really learn a lot in the process. This will also allow me to try some new technology (such as ASP.NET MVC) as well as some not-so-new technology which today became a must-learn (jQuery and al). Actually, my presence on the web changed a lot since I started blogging. Before that, my site was the main point of entry to my own world wide web. Since then, my blog really became the major point of entry, with the site being a repository of source code, more “in depth” articles, various resources and archives. I want to simplfy the navigation and make it much slicker than it is now. I also want to have a better way to track what’s downloaded, but without disrupting the user experience. And finally I want to be able to control my markup completely and to use a better URL mechanism, which of course talks for the ASP.NET MVC. It will be really nice doing some web development again for a while.

RIA podcast hosted by Josh Holmes and Mike Labriola

I met Josh Holmes face to face for the first time at MIX08 but I had been following his work for quite some time before that. Josh is a great guy. I really like his take on RIA development and the world of software in general. I love the way he keeps a cool head even in heated discussions. And it’s really nice to hang out with him as I was able to find out last Thursday. Josh was in town on a tour of Europe (I think he said 7 countries, what a cool job) and stopped by at Microsoft Switzerland for a briefing about Silverlight in front of a small panel of Microsoft partners. The talk was really nice and we went to dinner after that and exchanged war stories with Atif Aziz (also a really good guy and the president of the .NET User Group of Switzerland (which we really want to animate more soon, so stay posted too).

After the dinner, Josh invited me to talk on his new podcast about RIAs, called Wire Side Chat, that he hosts together with Mike Labriola, an Adobe Expert. I think that having a Microsoft evangelist and an Adobe expert talk about RIAs is really a great idea, and I was delighted to take part to that experience. It was really a great 20 minutes (the podcast is kept short on purpose, and the 20 minutes are timed), and I loved that experience. Mike is a really nice guy to talk to (unfortunately he was not on site, based that he is in Chicago, but we had crystal clear audio over Skype). Overall it was really cool. The podcast will be posted at the WireSideChat site in a few weeks, and I will of course report here when it’s done.

By the way, Atif also talked to Josh, not about RIA but about his experience with Python. It’s a really entertaining 20 minutes and was posted on the “hacker” site of Wire Side Chat.

My next project

On the private development side, I’ve been starting a new project that I have been thinking about for more than a year now. It’s a revamp of my old PhotoAlbum, which has served me well but really needs a whole new engine and UI. In this project, I will also work with a lot of new technologies, and I already have a good idea of where I want it to go. This will be a great project, with lots of components that I will develop and integrate gradually. The very first component I am working on now is a Script Engine, able to decode and execute actions coming from different sources (a URL query string, an XML file, or a web wervice). I need that component as the first stone in direction of a multi file upload tool I want to develop with a Silverlight front end. I know that other Silverlight file uploaders are available, but I have a very clear idea of where I want this one to go, and I think it should be fun developing it. It willnot be strictly tied to the PhotoAlbum, and will be available as a separate install for those of you who are interested to use it. More on this later.

I will post more information about the PhotoAlbum later. I already have a list of requirements that I want to implement, and that should be my pet project for quite a long time. I started working on the very first version of the PhotoAlbum really long ago, and this will be V3 (V2 was really just a clean up of V1, which was working with a Java applet querying the list of pictures on the web server, fun times). As usual when I develop, I want to use this as a showcase and a way to learn new technologies.

Next trips

PDC 08

I still have one big trip in front of me before I leave Siemens, and this will be a roundtrip across the USA, with Los Angeles CA where I will be attending the Professional Developer Conference 2008, and Princeton NJ where I will be involved for the last time in a design workshop for the big project I have been working on since 2006.

PDC will be great, I am sure, and will be packed with information. I will arrive in LA on the 25th of October, and will attend the pre-conference on the 26th. Expect some live blogging there, which lots of readers enjoyed, if I believe the feedback after MIX. I plan to repeat the same experience. The conference itself will be so packed with sessions that it’s almost discouraging, but as usual at a Microsoft conference we will be able to catch up using video archives after the sessions, so it’s all good. I will stay a little longer in LA and leave on the 2nd of November to Princeton NJ, and then on the 6th to Switzerland.

I should be really busy at PDC but I always find time to meet old and new friends. Keep in touch and notify me if you are there!

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