Archive for the ‘Smartasses’ Category

MIX essentials

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

A few weeks ago, the 24th of april to be exact, the Softelligent development team went to MIX essentials in Louvain-la-Neuve. The MIX essentials events are a slimmed down version of the American MIX 08 events and give an overview of what was handled on the American mainland. Luc Vandevelde was the main host and introduced the foreign and not so foreign speakers.

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The event consisted of 2 tracks, one focused on development and the other on “men in suits” topics. We followed the development track which gave an introduction to Silverlight and MSN Live services and how to integrate them in your own applications.

The final keynote speaker was “Steve B” as he calls him self. The current CEO of Microsoft shared his view on IT in general and spent almost half of his time answering questions from the audience. Literally everyone was hanging on his lips, mister Ballmer is a very charismatic person. Although he didn’t perform his signature monkey dance, despite someone mentioning it during a question.

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The event itself was ok, Silverlight looks pretty awesome, especially the Deep Zoom functionality. But nothing groundbraking was shown, seeing and hearing Steve B on the other hand was worth the trip anyway. I’ll probably never see someone who is richer for the rest of my life.

Heroes happen {here}

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

“Developers! Developers! Developers!” These words, made famous by an over-excited Steve Ballmer, are starting to live their own life. Microsoft is even dedicating an event to the developers. Besides launching Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008, they are putting the developers in the spotlight. Because they are making the applications & programs that keep the world from crumbling down and grinding to a halt. The heroes are the developers (and not only the men in suits who sell what we make, according to Microsoft)

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First product we saw was Windows Server 2008. I think the biggest change is the fact that instead of everything being on by default, now everything is turned off. Every component can be configured as needed, if you need a webserver you only need to install and configure that part you can even drop the interface and work only with the system from a console. An other big improvement being introduced is a very advanced and easy to use virtualisation interface which allows you to get a new server running in no time, easy deploy the same configuration on several systems, analyse your entire farm for point of failurers. For more information you can visit this article on Tom’s Hardware or the homepage on the Microsoft site.

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Next up we visited three development sessions. One session quickly went over the new features in Visual Studio 2008, nothing new here. I think the best feature being introduced is being able to target different versions of the framework from one IDE, but everyone knew that already.

The other session was an introduction to the new web development features. Most of the time went to the integration with Ajax and some new tools, like a CSS tool to check how a certain item gets its layout and a new split view to view the markup and design at the same time.

The last session, and the best one we think, was about developing applications for Windows Vista and Office. The Microsoft Synch framework was thrown in aswell. I must say I was quite impressed. WPF really allows us Windows developers to create those nice looking applications that in the past were only available to web developers. Our own AdventureWorks application will definitaly have a frontend using this technology. For more information here’s a link to the VS 2008 homepage.

This pretty much sums it up, we all had a great time and some tasty muffins.

Yannick, Lemmy & Benny

And we’re off

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

It took us some time but we’re finally up and running. After comparing several blog engines we decided to go for BlogEngine.Net, it was the only one that worked out of the box.

Happy reading!

The Smartass team