Back in NOLA for DevConnections. Managed to munge my travel arrangements -- booked the hotel from Tue-Sun, but the flights from Mon-Sat. Ah, well, I'm here, it's hot (and humid), and I didn't pack any short pants. It just never occurred to me. Redmond has been in the teens lately (Celcius, sorry -- 50s and low 60s F) and my brain just didn't register that I was going into the soup pot that is New Orleans in May.
Conference didn't really start until 7pm keynote, so I hung out with Bill and Brian for the day. Checked out the National D-Day Museum. I have to say I had slight mixed feelings about it. Much of the museum are simply photos (so you spend a lot of time reading), however, the short video/audio reminiscences are chilling. They have a number of stations for these, and they include a number of them from German and Japanese soldiers as well as Allied troops. The sacrifices made by those 18-20 year olds is staggering. Check it out next time you visit (with all the conferences seemingly moving to New Orleans, you should have a chance).
Keynote time - ScottGu was amazing (when isn't he?) He showed a "Day in the life of ASP.NET" -- a cradle to grave listing of live, public ASP.NET sites showing how you can be touched by ASP.NET from birth (can't remember exactly, but I think it was http://www.northfultonregional.com/CWSContent/northfultonregional/default.aspx) through buying a pet (http://www.dogfancy.com/dogfancy/default.aspx) to dying (http://www.obituaries.com/default.aspx). As well as many others, about 25 sites all together. A clever way of showing the breadth of ASP.NET sites. I'll have to steal it for the Dev Center.
Seeing as how it wasn't an NDA event... ;) Scott also showed "a taste" of 2.0. One of the goals of 2.0 is to reduce the amount of code you'd have to write by 71% from 1.1. Not from ASP, nor JSP, but from 2003. He set out to prove this by creating a Filterable, sortable paged, editable DataGrid, populated it with data from pubs. All in 0 lines of code. Perhaps soon the question I hear the most ("So, should I program in ASP.NET or VB.NET") may become a reality. We live in fun times. Details to come. Look to http://www.asp.net and the upcoming Web Developer Center on MSDN for details as Prometheus steals the fire.
Part 2 of the keynote was SQL Server. Not much new -- TPC-C benchmarks, other app benchmarks. A taste of Yukon. One item he (John Eng) touched on was appropriate. Many people hear the Yukon message ("You can create stored procedures in any managed language") and think you have to. T-SQL will still be there, and will still be the best way to do much of your work. Think of the managed hooks as being an incredibly easy way of creating Extended Stored Procedures -- to so those things that T-SQL doesn't do well. Things like number crunching, looping over the data, etc. John showed a sproc for calculating a rating value out of a table of telemetry data. It required a lot of mathematical calculations, parsing of the data, etc. etc. By putting it in the database, it's closer to the data, therefore faster.
I finished off the day by meeting The Man himself. I tech edited his book, but we had never physically crossed paths before. He's all that and more, but do him a favour when you meet him -- ask him about something other than Remoting. I'm worried he may so the path of Mark Hammill, Jonathan Frakes and others -- typecast as "The Remoting Guy". He's dangerously sharp thoughout the Framework.
I really have to learn to stop suffering from hero worship sometime... ;)