Two guys at Microsoft that I'll be meeting in a couple of weeks have done a great blogcast over at "The Signal". In this cast they remove what I call the "fog of war" away from not just Expression Web but Microsoft's focus overall on design.

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Here's the actual blogcast (I think podcast is stupid title these days as really audio's are mostly becoming blogs)


The Signal Episode 8: Erik Saltwell, PHP, and Wordpress

My running notes:

  • Wordpress why do Micrsoftee's use it. I've used it and I'm sure many others will use it. PHP competes with ASP.NET, but in reality we also make IIS7 + Fast CGI which has a strong focus on helping PHP solutions run on our stack. We have many pieces to our overall story as corporation and are quite complex at times!
  • Expression Web + PHP. Did you listen to Erik mention something about Expression Web and PHP .. hmmmm...In Expression Web 2.0 we will have PHP support (check out Wayne Smith's blog). I've used it to customize my demo WordPress Blog to make it look like this blog and it's very easy and the CSS/XHTML side of it is great.
  • Spiderking Blog's blog - http://spiderking.com/
  • Designers vs Developers. It's a complex story to tell as there are many faces associated to designers. I've broken the designer vs developer discussion when it comes to RIA into four basic categories (to help me simply frame my approach to various audiences). The truth is it's a gradient and at one end there is designer the other developer, where folks sit varies).

    You can read my views on this here:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2007/08/07/ria-just-whom-really-builds-them.aspx

    riaproducer_puzzler
  • Web Standards isn't about hating Microsoft. I think Nishant put out a great message that people don't dislike Microsoft for being Microsoft, they do at times criticise our approach around Web standards simply out of concern. They want to ensure standards or code that they write are semantically marked up correctly but more importantly the editor(s) don't abuse their intent.
  • It's about markup. Erik puts the Expression Web vs Visual Studio for example in the right perspective. Expression Web is focused on the folks whom spend a lot of their attention to write really high quality markup. We also don't just focus on .NET camp but also the PHP camp when it comes to Expression Web.
  • One Secret for MIX08. I pity any whom can't attend, but expect a Expression Web secret.. now to make sure when I meet with Nishant in a few weeks he coughs up the secret..
  • Expression Web reacts to PHP. Inteli-sense technology will react to the version of PHP that is installed. This is pretty cool, as it essentially gives you a reflection. It also renders the live preview of PHP includes so if you are a WordPress fan, it will allow you to focus your energy of designing your blog vs trial/error approach. It's almost as if you're putting lipstick on the face of WordPress without touching the code - all live via design view. 
  • MIX08 watch Nishant build out a Wordpress template. Nishant will show you how to design and code a WordPress template from end to end (plugins included) all via Expression Web 2.0.
  • MIX08 isn't about Microsoft 100%. I must confess last year I did see a mix of technologies in the room. This year is also going to have a good pedigree of technologies in the room. If you're expecting the Microsoft kool-aid to flow pure at MIX08 then this may not be the conference for you.
  • We talk to customers. Not just Erik & Nishant but evangelists in the field also talk with customers. As an evangelist I gather feedback, distil it and shoot it around to various folks so that the next round of software release I don't have to duck and weave a repeated question. It's called self-preservation..oh yeah and evolving the customers needs in product ;) heh.

Well done guys, probably the best blogcast I've heard this month.. now to listen to my next one (i have 18 from around the web to get through today as I work).