Yesterday the second Belgian Community Day took place in Keerbergen. I joined in a bit later due to some meetings at the office but it was still more than worth it. Nine Belgian User Groups joined in this year to organize a day “For the Community, By the Community”. I would like to thank all the people involved into getting this organized, I know it was a lot of work these last months. Special thanks to Ilse and Gill as they really made sure eveything was running.
When I got there, halfway during the event, 4 sessions were underway. I decided to join in Riemer Grootjans’ session on XNA game development. It was a great session going over the most important elements to start doing game development. Not (yet) having done any game development myself I was amazed to learn how everything built in 3D is done by drawing triangles! Check out Riemer’s fantastic tutorials Riemer has on his website. This will get you started in no time.
What’s more, Riemer is releasing his first book on XNA development on the 30th of June 2008 and showed us lots of samples from the book. The book is titled “XNA 2.0 Game Programming Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach” and is being released by Apress.
Congratulations on this Riemer, I’m going to get one as soon as possible!
If you want to join other game developers or just game lovers in Belgium, be sure to keep an eye on the new XNA User Group (XNABUG) meetings.
After Riemer’s session I actually tried to check out more than one session so I saw some new stuff on SQL Server 2008, a debate between Joris and Ilse on Exchange Public Folders and Sharepoit (can’t wait to see the full video of that one :-), and Gill’s Deep Dive on Silverlight 2. Several sessions were recorded so you can expect them online on Chopsticks anytime soon. I’m sorry I missed out Kurt Claeys’ session on ADO.NET Entity Framework, I heard it was very good.
It was nice talking to all of you during dinner. Great work and already looking forward with next year. I hear you have some new ideas…
There are now 3 new recordings available on Chopsticks by our Regional Director Gregory Renard.
The recordings are all on new features of Visual Basic 2008, are available in French and follow the series “10 minutes avec votre RD” that Gregory launched earlier this year.
Last Wednesday Yves Goeleven presented the MSDN evening session on Team Foundation Server branching and merging patterns. During the introduction Yves explains the main groups of problems that you encounter in the development environment, and how to identify the needs in to your own specific case. Depending on the needs you will lean towards one of the other patterns that is presented during the session.
Yves has 10 different scenarios for branching and merging practices: going from least complex to the more complex setup and teams (team sizes up to 1000). Every scenario comes with a demo so it gives you a practical example. The recording has been split up in three smaller parts (total is 2 hours):
The powerpoint presentation can be found on Yves’ blog.
Thanks Yves for the great presentation, and Tom for putting the recordings online so quickly.
The MSDN evening session from last week has been recorded and can be watched online on our Chopsticks platform. In this session, Martijn Beenes, coming specially from the Netherlands for this session, explains how to use the installer tools, MSI's, WiX toolset (Windows Installer XML), and shows how to create a fully customized Windows installer packages using WiX.
View the session online: http://www.microsoft.com/belux/msdn/nl/chopsticks/default.aspx?id=455 (you will need to login for this as it's premium content).
Together with the recording you can also find the PowerPoint presentation by clicking the Resources tab.
Martijn, thanks for the great session, we hope to see you again in Belgium in the future.
During the opening keynote at TechEd Orlando last Tuesday, Soma announced the availability of Silverlight 2 Beta 2. As from now you can find the different downloads related to Silverlight 2 Beta 2. The best place to start is reading Scott Guthrie's post on the beta 2 release. As always, he gives a clear overview of what is new with some very interesting samples.
Links to main Silverlight 2 Beta 2 downloads
New and improved features
Go live license: there is now a commercial Go-live license for Silverlight 2 Beta 2. Hey, if NBC is going live on this version for the Olympics why shouldn't you?
Data: LINQ-to-JSON, ADO.NET Data Services support (Astoria) and other enhancements to make data handling easier. theADOGuy has a good post on Silverlight 2 and Astoria.
Networking: I'm glad there is now support for duplex communications (“push” from server to Silverlight client, yes, yes, yes! this one was a much requested feature), improved cross domain support and security enhancements and upload support for WebClient.
Rich controls: TabControl (new in Beta 2, check out Tim's post on this), wrapping and scrolling for the TextControl, and a new templating model called Visual State Manager (VSM) that allows for easier templating for controls. Check Christian Schormann's post for an introduction to VSM.
Deep zoom: there is now an XML-based file format for Deep Zoom image tiles, as well as a new MultiScaleTileSource that enables existing tile databases to utilize Deep Zoom. This means you will have to re-generate your Deep Zoom projects and adapt some of the code in the Silverlight implementation.
If you are interested in reading about other announcements that were made during the TechEd keynote, Gill has some details.
Prism is the codename for the new guidance for Composite Application development for WPF. This is not an update to CAB (Composite UI Application Block), it delivers a new set of assets and guidance for developing new Composite WPF applications. As it is not based on previous smart client offerings it is really optimized for WPF and gives a simplified approach that is more easily adoptable. Prism includes a reference implementation, reusable library code and pattern guidance.
I've been reading on Prism and collected a few URLs that should get you started on Prism. Please note that this is still not in beta, drop 6 is currently available for download from the CodePlex site.
If you are wondering whether Prism is a replacement for Acropolis (which has been delayed), it's not really the same thing. Acropolis is still undergoing and will be folded into future versions of the .NET platform. "Prism" focuses only on a subset of what Acropolis was aiming to provide.
There is one thing I don't like though, hope the team comes up with a nicer logo :-) sorry guys, really not my thing.