Category Archives: MIX07

MIX07 – Silverlight Community

Need some help getting your head around Silverlight? Check out That’s a full blown community site that has samples, screencasts, forums and a whole lot more. It’s amazing how much content there is out there already.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m pretty geeked about Silverlight and am looking forward to being able to factor it into every browser based application that I work on to see where and when it fits.

Billy Hollis calls HTML the COBOL of the web. There’s a lot of truth to that to be honest. CSS helps. AJAX helps more but you really can’t get to a Rich Internet Application (RIA) with these technologies. Silverlight is Microsoft’s answer to that RIA gap.

Some quick facts about Silverlight:

720P HD Video that is downloaded with the Silverlight runtime

Has a .NET Runtime that downloads with it with a subset of of the Base Class Libraries

Silverlight has fantastic streaming support that integrates well with our new Silverlight Streaming offering. More news coming soon.

It runs on Windows, Mac, mobile platforms and more!


Technorati tags: ,

MIX07 – Dynamic Languages

I’m sitting in the back of a Dynamic Languages session by John Lam and Jim Hugunin called “Just Glue it! Ruby and the DLR in Silverlight”. John Lam was a recent hire (January) to Microsoft. Prior to this he was working the Ruby CLR. Jim Hugunin is an architect on the CLR focused on DLR (Dynamic Language Runtime). He joined Microsoft specifically to work on Iron Python and make sure that the CLR was one of the best platform for dynamic languages such as Python.

They are showing a ton of very cool stuff. They are doing all of their programming in TextMate on a Mac. The samples so far have been in JavaScript, Ruby, Python and even Dynamic VB.

I recommend that you check out this session on the site when the recording gets up there. They do a fantastic job showing the power and ease of dev as well as poking a lot of fun at each other.

What’s a lot of fun is the interplay between all of the different languages. For example, they created a library in C# that they could pull in and leverage from Ruby and a JavaScript lib that was doing some 3D work that they pulled in and did some quick and easy work.

Link to Visit MIX07


Technorati tags: , , , ,

MIX07 – Silverlight to support Ruby and Python

I know that I already mentioned this – but I thought I’d call it out specifically as it was part of a much larger post.

Silverlight 1.1 Alpha supports Ruby and Python on the client side so people can write their RIA (Rich Internet Applications) in their own language. If you have not looked at dynamic languages – you should. There’s a lot of power there. Obviously, with power comes danger. I’ll be blogging more about Dynamic Languages later.

I ran into David Laribee who wrote about MIX07: Silverlight, IronRuby, and Dynamic Languages. He’s really geeked about Iron Ruby.


Technorati tags: , ,

MIX07 Keynote – Information Overload

BTW – long post! Too many announcements!

I’m just out of the MIX07 keynote featuring Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie (Yes I find it a lot of fun that the top guys at Microsoft on the technology side blog about what they are doing). I’m still trying to get my head around what I just heard. They have far exceeded my wildest expectations.

First – the client demos were sweet!

Neil Hunt of Netflix got on stage with some guys from Razorfish and demoed the great rich media and interactive video support in Silverlight. One of the cool things is that it was completely integrated into the back-end Netflix site for ratings, ordering and so on, has a chat app inside, collaborative movie watching where two people can watch the same movie from different parts of the world and it will keep them in sync and let them IM during the movie. That was cool and Netflix is a fantastic backer as they are very demanding on their systems and need the highest quality experience for their clients.

CBS got up and showed how they are integrating pro media with community contributed media tied to that pro media so that they can all of the sudden get content and points of view from an amazing number of sources instead of just their one camera guy.

Top Banana – I was already blown away when this section of the keynote came up. It’s one of the first managed applications with Silverlight and written with XAML and C# in Expression Studio, VS.NET and more. It’s a full blown video editor written in Silverlight. Wait – video editing in the browser? This is really blurring the line between desktop and web application. It’s only 50 kilobytes worth of payload to do all of the video editing. Yes – that’s 50k worth of code that’s downloaded. It does film stripping, frame by frame stepping, cutting, mixing, merging and everything that I could do with video. The did all of this in a month. are doing a ton with Silverlight as well. It has integrated overlays so you can watch the full screen video with overlays of your fantasy teams, pitch counts and more. It even ran on a phone! It’s a great experience and I’d love to talk more about it but I’m numb at this point with all the cool stuff.

Second – the Silverlight Beta (the cross-platform plug-in formerly known as WPF/e) is going to have much richer support for JavaScript and AJAX. That we expected and needed.

Third – there had been a lot of rumors and speculation about the next bit of business and that is that the Silverlight 1.1 Alpha is going to have the same exact CLR as the desktop version that allows you to leverage your existing .NET skills in VB.NET or C# to build RIA (Rich Internet Applications). Read that again slowly though. You will be able to write .NET to run in the browser on the client side of one of these RIA’s. In other words – you’ll be able to run .NET on a Mac in a Safari browser! That includes LINQ and the whole ball of wax! That just put Silverlight RIA’s in reach of any dev shops that are currently doing WPF with C# of VB.NET. And we are going to have support for Silverlight in VS.NET Orcas with a free download called the Silverlight Tools Alpha so we have proper tooling for the developers.

Fourth – The tooling is amazing. Expression Blend can export to XAML directly for Silverlight. That means that I’m not nearly as constricted by the limited number of controls and such that are available for Silverlight compared to WPF. It also manages and writes out all of your timelines, media integration, graphics work and so on. Expression Media does a great job of managing and encoding all of your videos. Expression Web has an AJAX Silverlight drop-in bit that can just drop in an RIA inside an existing application through drag and drop. As mentioned, VS.NET Orcas has support for development.

* Big point here * – Cross-Platform Debugging so you can do live debugging across the network to actually debug on the code that’s running on the Mac. You have access to the memory, objects, single stepping code and the whole nine yards! That’s amazing and it truly enables cross platform development!

* Another big point * – all of the tools from a SOAP perspective

Fifth – the Silverlight Streaming,  a companion service for Silverlight makes it easier for developers and designers to deliver and scale rich media as part of their Silverlight applications. Silverlight Streaming is a storage and video delivery service that will enable developers and designers to upload their application to Silverlight Streaming and then deliver this application to any website globally. Silverlight Streaming will provide 4GB of free storage as well as unlimited outbound streaming at 700 Kbps. For the first year, the service will be free. As the service moves out of beta it will be offered as part of the overall WL Platform offer, with continued 4GB free storage and free streaming up to 1 million minutes of streaming per site per month. Once a website goes over the 1 million minutes of streaming threshold, the site will have the option to take ads and revenue share or pay a small fee to help cover MSFT costs. Check out for more on this!

Fifth – and this one came out of the blue for me. The CLR will have full support for the DLR (Dynamic Language Runtime) including Iron Ruby, Iron Python and Managed JScript! Yes, you read that right – I had to ask for clarification when I heard about this too. You will be able to write your applications in C# or Vb.NET or Ruby or Python or Managed JScript! Sweet! That just put WPF and Silverlight (since it’s running the exact same CLR) in reach of any shop who knows XML so that they can write XAML and does programming. 🙂 I’m not saying that there won’t be a learning curve, but HOLY COW you can write Ruby to run in the browser on the client side of your application! For those of you who haven’t looked at Ruby and Python, you really need to take some time to delve into those languages and figure out some of the power and flexibility that dynamic languages bring to the table.

Sixth – Silverlight for Mobile!

Windows Presentation Foundation in Real World Development by Eric Burke

I’m out at MIX and got to met Eric Burke. Eric Burke is the lead developer on the WPF version of the Yahoo Messenger. It was fantastic! I was wearing a Visual Studio sweatshirt when I was getting on the plane in Detroit headed out out to Las Vegas. Eric spotted that and asked if I was going to MIX. We ended up hanging out a good part of the day. It turns out that he works remotely from Michigan for his team in Sunnyvale, CA. They have been working on a WPF version of the Yahoo Messenger for about 9 months now and have been knee deep in .NET 3.0. It’s been fun listening to the evolution of the application and the workflow with the design firm. He talked about how it’s been a fun and interesting ride.

I’m looking forward to seeing his presentations tomorrow and Wednesday. One’s called Windows Presentation Foundation in Real World Development. I did a small podcast recording with him that I’ll post in the next couple of days. He’s got a blogroll of a ton of blogs that he watches for .NET and WPF (Eric’s Blogroll) but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to get his pick of the top 3… 🙂


One other quick and interesting note – all of the sessions, including Eric’s, will be up on the web site for the general public in raw form 24 hours fter the session.


Technorati tags: ,