Chris Bowen's Blog

Development Practices, Tools, Technology, and Community

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The Roadshow Comes to New Hampshire on 12/18!

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    Roadshow Breaking news!  We've been able to arrange a visit to New Hampshire for the Winter Northeast Roadshow!  We'll be spending the day at Daniel Webster College on December 18th, talking about jQuery & ASP.NET, Workflow, WPF, Silverlight, WCF, and a bunch more:

    Register here!

    Northeast Roadshow, December 18th

    Daniel Webster College
    Collings Auditorium
    20 University Place
    Nashua, NH 03063

    Jim and I ask that if you're switching to NH from another location, please cancel your other registration (via the My Events page).  Thanks!

    Many thanks to Genevieve Baudin and Daniel Webster College for arranging to host us!  We're looking forward to adding New Hampshire into the Roadshow tour!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Hartford Code Camp 2 on June 13 – Call for Speakers/Sponsors

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    CTDOTNET-New After a very successful first Hartford Code Camp last year, SB Chatterjee (MVP for Groove) and the CT .NET User Group are bringing another Camp to the Hartford, CT area!

    Join CT area developers for Hartford Code Camp 2 on June 13 from 9AM-5PM

    Hold the date as registration will be coming later, but the Calls for Speakers and Sponsors are open, so consider helping to make this a great event!

    CTDOTNET Second CodeCamp - Hartford CT (Saturday June 13th 9AM-5PM)

    To be held at New Horizons Computer Learning Center (Bloomfield CT).

    A code camp is a FREE, community-driven, all-day event for developers. Speakers are local or regional developers. Topics are based on community interest. Sessions are original and feature a heavy technical focus (no marketing fluff). We will follow the Spirit of the Codecamp Manifesto as described here -
    http://www.thedevcommunity.org/codecamps/manifesto.aspx

    We are seeking talented .NET developers to make a presentation or two at the Second Hartford CodeCamp on June 13th (Saturday). If you have ever wanted fame (& perhaps fortune) - this is your opportunity! We are giving away prizes for presenters (judged by evals from attendees).

    Each session should be about 90mins in duration and the content should be on developer topics that would be of interest to attending developers. Just about anything in .NET and other Microsoft technologies!

    Choose a .NET topic of interest and send a brief abstract or outline, your developer experience, expected audience level, etc or any other questions to ctdotnet@gmail.com

    We will be following a similar format as our First CodeCamp.

    Our thanks to New Horizons Computer Learning Center for sponsoring our event.

    Thanks to SB and the CT .NET User Group!  Looking forward to another great Camp.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Expression Web and Blend Available to MSDN Subscribers

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    A common question I receive when discussing the Expression products is whether there are plans for availability to MSDN subscribers.  I'm glad to pass along word of Soma's announcement that Expression Web is available (and Expression Blend will be available) to all MSDN Premium subscribers:

    "Based on this feedback, I am pleased to say that we will be making Expression Web available starting today to all MSDN Premium subscribers.  We will also make Expression Blend available to MSDN Premium subscribers shortly after the Expression Studio release later in Q2 2007.   Expression Blend and Expression Web are intended to help creative professionals collaborate with developers to create rich user experiences for the Web, Windows Vista applications and beyond, which means we need to make sure both tools are readily available to our developer community."

    Scott Guthrie has posted further details about this announcement as well.

    Keep that feedback coming.  As you can see, it can make a difference!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    XAMLFest Boston 5/27 – 5/28… and Online

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    xamlfest_thumb XAMLFest events are a great (and free) way to learn about Silverlight and WPF through a combination of presentations and instructor-led hands-on lab work. 

    XAMLFest Boston is coming to the NERD facility (One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA) on May 27th & 28th, and will be the last XAMLFest in the northeast this fiscal year.

    John Pelak has the full details via the ISV Developer Community Blog:

    This event, like past ones, is already filling up and will reach capacity, so act quickly if you know you can attend!

    XAMLFest Online

    Because this event series has been so popular, filling up each time, the team is taking XAMLFests to the web to help reach more designers and developers.

    XAMLFest Online will be held June 1-5, featuring a syllabus with two live sessions each day supplemented with recorded content.

    Bruce Kyle has the details at:

    Enjoy becoming XAMLized!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    C# Day Returns on September 13th

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    Michael de la Maza is returning to Waltham, MA to run a 3rd "C# Day" event.  Previous C# Days have been great opportunities for attendees to become familiar with the C# language using an approach quite different from standard lecture-focused events.

    Here's a description from the C# Day home page:

    "Join us for a relaxed, no cost introduction to C# programming. By engaging in participatory activities, you will learn some of the most common and powerful features of the C# language. This day is not lecture-based. There will be fewer than 60 minutes of lecture material -- almost all of the time will be spent on participant-guided activities. Everyone who attends will learn what interests them at their own pace in a relaxed, tension-free environment with an experienced C# developer and trainer available to answer questions."
    Here's a summary post from the first C# Day event in June.

    RSVPs are required, so please head to http://learn2learn2program.com for more details and to register.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    C# Day Goes Virtual on December 8th in Second Life

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    Why should we keep all the fun for ourselves here in New England?  Michael de la Maza is taking his successful C# Day series to the virtual world of Second Life!

    I've blogged about Microsoft and Second Life before, but now we'll have one of our own northeast volunteers running an event in association with the Second Life .NET Users Group on Visual Studio Island.

    Full details are at http://www.sldnug.net/CSharpDay.aspx, and the event runs from 9:00 - 4:00 (SLT = Second Life Time = Pacific Standard Time = PST) on the lower level of Visual Studio Island.  Here's the agenda:

    9:00am - 9:30am - Ice breakers
    9:30am - 10:00am - C# Language Discovery
    10:00am - 11:00am - C# Language Cocktail Party
    11:00am - 11:30am - Knowledge organization and self-reflection
    11:30am - 12:00pm - Starting a new project in Visual Studio/C# Express
    12:00pm - 1:00pm - Lunch
    1:00pm - 1:45pm - C# Program Discovery
    1:45pm - 2:45pm - C# Program Cocktail Party
    2:45pm - 3:15pm - Knowledge organization and self-reflection
    3:15pm - 4:00pm - InnerWorkings

    The great part is you don't have to travel to participate in this C# Day.  Just install the software (check the event site for details) and log in.  Nobody has to know you're in your PJs.

    You can get to Visual Studio Island by searching for "Visual Studio Island" in-world.

    If the virtual world isn't to your liking, Michael will be running the next "real world" C# Day in January of February.  Keep your eye on this blog or the C# Day site for details.

    See you in Second Life!

    -Chris

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  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Jim O'Neil Blogs!

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    Jim_ONeil_100 If you’ve been to our Roadshow or some of the Heroes Happen Here events, you’ve had a chance to meet my new Northeast colleague, Jim O’Neil.

    Well, Jim has just entered the ranks of Microsoft bloggers and now you can find an additional local source of information on his new blog.  His will definitely be a blog that’s subscription-worthy!

    While you're adding subscriptions, here's a way to meet the rest of our local evangelism team.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    September Roadshow - Summary and Content

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    RoadshowBanner

    Thanks to everyone who came out for the various stops on our September Roadshow!  We had a blast as always touring through New England and upstate New York.

    Roadshow Content

    As promised, we've assembled the "visually stunning" slides, "world-class" code, and other resources from the sessions and have made them available for download. 

    This time, we're putting the beta of Windows Live SkyDrive through its paces.  SkyDrive is a new Live service where you can post your own content (currently up to 500 MB) to private, shared, or public folders accessible over the web.

    You can access the September Roadshow content at:

    http://cid-7e4046472a1cd934.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Bob%20|0%20Chris%20Roadshow%20-%20Sep%202007

    Roadshow Facebook Group

    As we mentioned during the events, we're experimenting with Facebook to see how well it could be leveraged for professional community support.  So, we've create a "Bob & Chris MSDN Roadshow" group and welcome all northeast Roadshow attendees to join!

    The group is growing well, with the idea that attendees can interact with other attendees across the northeast, have access to shared content and discussions, and post ideas for future Roadshows and other events in the region.

    Have a look and feel free to throw a friend invitation to us as well!

    Chris Bowen's Facebook profile

    The Next Roadshow...

    We're looking toward the first two weeks of December to return to our road warrior ways.  Keep an eye on our blogs for details as we determine dates and locations.

     

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Speaking on ASP.NET MVC 1.0 – August 19, Waltham, MA

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    MVC I’ll be diving into ASP.NET MVC 1.0 with the New England ASP.NET Professionals User Group this Wednesday in Waltham, MA:

    When: August 19th, 2009 at 6:15PM

    Where: Microsoft Offices - Waltham

    Speaker: Chris Bowen of Microsoft

     

    ASP.NET Model View Controller (MVC)

    Released earlier this year, ASP.NET MVC 1.0 presents a new option for developing web applications. Bringing to ASP.NET the benefits of the Model View Controller pattern, ASP.NET MVC builds on core ASP.NET services to support control over HTML and URLs, clean separation of concerns, testability, flexibility, and more. In this session, we'll take a brief look at the main concepts behind MVC, but focus primarily on diving into code and looking at ways to implement various concepts using ASP.NET MVC 1.0 and Visual Studio.

    All are welcome.

     

    BTW, If you attended one of my Roadshow sessions on MVC, we’ll have more time at this meeting, so I plan to delve more deeply into the coding side.

     

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    New Group! The Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group

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    PowerShell Good news for those of you who like to express yourselves in concise, yet powerful ways…

    The Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group has just been formed for the Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse areas and focuses on ways to learn and utilize Windows PowerShell for administration and development.

    Join organizers (and PowerShell MVPs) Joel Bennett and Jeffery Hicks for the group’s first meeting (from the event’s flyer):

    Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group
    September 9, 6:00 PM

    New Horizons
    50 Methodist Hill Drive, Suite 50
    Rochester, NY 14623

    Please join us as we kick off the Upstate NY PowerShell Users Group, serving IT Professionals from Central and Upstate New York interested in learning more about PowerShell . Meetings will likely be held in Rochester and Syracuse but please help us figure it all out by attending our first meeting.

    Please RSVP to upnypug@gmail.com

    For those of you in the area, it should be a great way to connect and learn about making life easier by using PowerShell!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Boston XNA Developer Group Wednesday

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    bostonxna

    Just a  reminder that the Boston XNA Developer Group will be having a meeting at its usual day/time (fourth Wednesday of the month), tomorrow, May 28th at 6:00 at the Microsoft office in Waltham, MA.

    Michael Cummings will be presenting.  The content level is still introductory, so if you're new to XNA, please do stop by!

    Head to the group's site for resources and information.

    -Chris 

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Albany Geek Gathering on September 24th

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    Attendees of the developer track of the "Heroes Happen Here" launch event in Albany know that Bob, Jim, and I discovered the Albany Pump Station on our visit and decided we must return again - soon.

    AlbanyPumpStationWell, since we've added a stop in the Albany area to our Fall Northeast Roadshow, what better way to celebrate than to gather there after the Roadshow?

    • Albany Geek Gathering - Roadshow Edition
    • 9/24/2008 - 5:00 PM till whenever...
    • Albany Pump Station
    • 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany, NY
    • [1-Click Directions]

    Nothing formal - Jim and I will be there grabbing some food and maybe a wee dram o' beer.

    Swing by if you can!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Professional Developers Conference (PDC) Update

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    PDC09Bling_BeforeAfter_240 The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is November 17-19 in Los Angeles, and will be one of the best ways to get your fill of the latest developer tech:

    I went last year (and just confirmed I can make it again this year) and it’s several intense days of conversations and content.  You can get an idea of what’s in store by reviewing the session recordings from PDC 2008, available for free.

    Birds of a Feather Sessions

    The Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions are a great way to connect with other attendees and build from each others’ experiences. ("What is a Birds-of-a-Feather Session?")  A number of BOF sessions will be selected and scheduled throughout PDC.

    Though some sessions have been scheduled, it’s not too late to propose a session idea of your own!  Submissions are open through tomorrow (Friday 10/30) at 5PM PDT.

    You can also follow BOF on Twitter.

    Free Pre-Conference Windows 7 Bootcamp

    The day before PDC (11/16) is an opportunity to attend a number of excellent paid pre-conference workshops on a variety of topics.

    Win7You can also sign up for a free Windows 7 Developer Boot Camp that’s open to everyone (not just people attending PDC.)

    Other Goings On

    $300 Discount Ends Friday, 10/30

    There’s a tiny window remaining to register for PDC with a $300 discount.  Make sure you register by the end of Friday, 10/30.

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    MIX08 Registration Open and Site Updated

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    blings_9_25_b[1]Thanks to a heads-up from Brad, I took a look at the newly updated MIX08 website.  I like the site design - simple and easy to navigate, but with some nice effects.

    MIX08 will be at The Venetian in Las Vegas on March 5-7 and registration is now open.  Keynotes from Ballmer and Guthrie, solid sessions, party at Tao, and of course Vegas itself == good conference.

    It's usually a pretty tough event for Microsoft staff to attend, but I'll keep my fingers crossed...

    -Chris

    Technorati tags: ,

     x[1]

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Boston XNA July 23rd Meeting on 2D Role Playing Game Development

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    bostonxna 

    The Boston XNA Developers Group is an open user group for anyone interested in learning about game development with the .NET-based XNA framework.  Attendance is open and everyone is welcome, including students and parents with their programming-interested children.

    RPG Starter KitTomorrow night (July 23rd at 6:00 in Waltham), we're kicking off a multiple month look at the 2D Role Playing Game starter kit that's freely available from the XNA Creators Club site.  We'll look at some of the approaches and practices used by the initial version of the game, then walk through adding a few new extensions to the game.

    We'll keep this topic going as all or part of each meeting going forward, encouraging anyone in the group to add new features and to give an informal show-and-tell of the new feature and how it was done.

    Who knows what kind of magic we'll have created after a few months?

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Code Camps in Albany, NY and Stamford, CT Coming Soon

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    Next Saturday (November 7th) will bring two more Code Camps to the northeast, one in Albany, NY and the other in Stamford, CT. 

    Code Camps are free, community events for connecting with and learning from fellow developers. If you can make it to one of these, it will be a day well spent!

    Tech Valley Code Camp 2009

    TechValleyCC2Back after last year’s first event, Tech Valley Code Camp 2009 will be hosted at SUNY Albany and is organized by the Tech Valley .NET Users Group

        Tech Valley Code Camp 2009
        November 7, 9 AM – 3 PM
        SUNY, Albany, NY
        http://www.techvalleycodecamp.com

    Register today to attend and while you’re at it, why not throw caution to the wind and volunteer to share your interests in a session as well?

    Fairfield/Westchester Code Camp 2009

    For those of you in the southern CT area, Fairfield/Westchester Code camp returns for a 2009 edition, organized by the Fairfield/Westchester .NET User Group.

        Fairfield/Westchester Code Camp 2009
        November 7, 8 AM – 6 PM
        UConn, Stamford, CT
        http://fairfieldwestchester.net/Code-Camp.aspx

    Hats off to the community for putting these events together!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Free Resources and Training on MSDev.com

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    msdev-homeThough specifically geared toward developers at ISVs*, the newly updated MSDev.com site has great content useful for any developer and is worth checking out.

    From the ISV Developer Community blog announcement:

    You will find web seminars, virtual events, live events on .NET Framework, business development, cloud computing, Exchange, Expression, high performance computing, Hyper-V, Internet Explorer, IIS, Dynamics, Office System, VSTO, SharePoint, Next Web, Web UI, Silverlight, SQL Server, Azure, Windows, Visual Studio, and much more.

    msdevlogoYou'll find unfettered, friction free access to rich media learning content for Microsoft-based solution developers and non-Microsoft based developers.  In additon, the site provides developer training focused on value added partners (VAPs).

    The phrase “friction free” is key, there’s no need to log in to view resources (though you can if you wish) – just easy access to the content you need.

    Start with a search and take a look.

    -Chris

    * Independent Software Vendors

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    Roadshow Update - Portland and Manchester

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    Two more stops made and one more to go on the first tour of Bob & Chris' MSDN Roadshow! 

    Portland, ME

    We visited the Portland, ME area and had a great audience brave the should-never-get-this-cold cold to come to the MESDA facility in Westbrook.

    [Again, thanks to Bob for being Mr. Photographer!]

    We're returning with the Roadshow in May, but I'll be back in the area on April 5th at 1:30 to speak with the Maine Developer Network user group in Augusta on WCF and again on April 12th to speak with the Maine Bytes User Group on WPF in Portland.

    Manchester, NH

    Two days later we were in Manchester, NH.  First of all, we had an amazing turnout.  The turnout was so amazing that we couldn't fit in the room!  If you weren't there, you missed out on Bob and I performing what we're now calling the ol' "Manchester Swap".  We had an overflow room where we each took turns repeating our sessions from the main room.

    [Our Manchester Zune winner, Jason Hull!]

    Rest assured that we won't be in the same facility for our next visit to New Hampshire.  Knowing how many of you are interested in attending, we'll find another place with plenty of room.

    Thank you all for being good sports about the unusual logistics!

    Session Follow-up

    Some additional details from the week's questions and discussions:

    Roadshow Content

    We're still working on a permanent home for the Roadshow materials and information, but we've gathered our content from the current tour and you can now download the presentations as a ZIP from the ArcStreamEast.net site.

    Next Stop

    We'll be visiting the Microsoft Offices in Farmington, CT on Tuesday (3/20) for our last stop until May.  Registration is actually "sold out" for the event and have been taking waitlist registrations!

    -Chris

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    The New Hampshire .NET User Group is Back!

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    Pat Tormey, who runs the New Hampshire .NET User Group, just sent word that the group has a new site and new plans:

    We're Re-Grouping New Hamphire DotNet User Group at our new site and we could use some advice from you.

    Could you drop in at http://www.nhdn.com and tell us where you'd like to meet, what evening works best for you, and what technology piques your interest these days.

    Then please register at www.nhdn.com for New Hamphire DotNet User Group. And stay tuned for our Grand Launch of VS 2008, SQL 2008 and Windows 2008.

    So check out the group's site and cast your vote to help determine the direction the group will take!

    -Chris

    P.S.  Pat also mentioned that he's created a series of Smart Client videos:

    I've also posted a whole series of SmartClient Videos at http://nhdn.com/DNN/VSVideoTraining/tabid/72/Default.aspx

    These videos were developed for http://windowsclient.net/ and there are dozens more free video training session with both VB and C# source code there.

    And if you want to hear more on this from Pat in person, check out his "WinForms and Smart Client Development" talk at Code Camp!

  • Chris Bowen's Blog

    XamlFest Boston: Come As You Are, Leave Xamlized

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    WPF Are you excited about the WPF but concerned about the learning curve?  Have you seen Silverlight but don’t know where to get started?  Or are you curious about how tools like Visual Studio and Expression Blend help designers and developers work together to deliver great user experiences? If so, join us at XamlFest!

    XamlFest is a two day interactive event where you’ll learn about the platforms the tools and processes used to deliver differentiated user experiences. It’s a chance for you to mingle with UX minded Microsoft folks as well as industry leading design integrators.  It’s also an opportunity to pick up a free copy of Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio 2 for you attendance.

    Each XamlFest day will start with interactive sessions by Microsoft and our design partners, followed by a free lunch and a chance to network, have some fun and win prizes. Each afternoon will be geared toward assisted development with instructor-led walkthroughs, or, better yet, come with your own project in mind and we’ll help kick start your very own proof of concept!

    PLEASE NOTE:  Each attendee will need a laptop to take part in the assisted development sessions.

    Dates

    Thursday & Friday December 11th and 12th.

    Venue

    Microsoft Technology Center

    890 Winter Street Suite 100

    Waltham, MA 02451

    [Directions]

    Agenda

    Date Time Topic
    Thursday, 12/11 9:00 AM Introduction to WPF, Xaml, Expression Blend
      10:30 AM Break
      10:45 AM Building Visually Rich Applications: The role of the Integrator in building designable applications
      12:00 PM Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
      1:00 PM Instructor-led WPF walkthrough and assisted development
      3:00 PM Assisted Development
      5:00 PM End of Day 1
    Friday, 12/12 9:00 AM Introduction to Silverlight, Data Binding, LINQ
      10:30 AM Break
      10:45 AM

    Platform Centric Design Best Practices: Creating WPF and Silverlight XAML for Web and Local Client Solutions

      12:00 Lunch, Mingle, Prizes
      1:00 Instructor-led Silverlight walkthrough and assisted development
      3:00 Assisted development
      5:00 XamlFest Ends

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. What if I don’t have Visual Studio?

    A. No problem, every attendee leaves with Visual Studio 2008 Pro!

    Q. What if I don’t have Expression Blend?

    A. Again, no problem! Everyone leaves with Expression Studio 2.

    Q. What if I don’t have an idea for a starter project?

    A. We’d like you to leave with something personal, but if nothing comes to mind that’s OK too. It’s the main reason we’re planning a few guided sessions where you can fallow along with us. These sessions should take no more than two hours, so if something sparks your interest you’ll still have time left for assisted development.

    Q. What if I don’t have a laptop?

    A. You can still participate in the training in the mornings and lunch, but assisted development in the afternoon is a harder problem to solve. We have no problem with people pairing up, so you might want to check with friends or co-workers to see if they’re interested.

    Q. Can I just come for the training and skip assisted development?

    A. XamlFest is about empowering designers and developers to deliver great user experiences and we believe a key component is hands-on assisted development. If you are unable to participate in the afternoon sessions please wait until the day before the event to register. This will give others the opportunity to sign up first, and if there’s still space available you’re welcome to join us.

    XamlFest -- Come as you are, leave Xamlized.

    Registration

    Space is extremely limited, so we ask that you please register only if you fully expect to be able to attend.  Register by contacting xamlfest-boston@live.com.

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