Every other blog has already announced the arrival of Channel 9, so I won’t go into much detail. But, think of it as an experiment by Microsoft to foster frank and open discussion with the developer community. You’ll probably learn about the future direction of some of our products, and we hope to get some good feedback and suggestions from you. The first item in the doctrine sums it up:
Channel 9 is all about the conversation. Channel 9 should inspire Microsoft and our customers to talk in an honest and human voice. Channel 9 is not a marketing tool, not a PR tool, not a lead generation tool.
The User Interface Process (UIP) Application Block - Version 2 was recently released to MSDN on April 9th. UIP v2 is the next version of one of the most popular application blocks created by our Patterns & Practices group. This block is a reusable code component that builds on the capabilities of the Microsoft .NET Framework to help you separate your business logic code from the user interface. The UIP Application Block is based on the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern. You can use the block to write complex user interface navigation and workflow processes that can be reused in multiple scenarios and extended as your application evolves. The Application Block includes:
· Support for Smart Client Applications, including state persistence using isolated storage
· New views supported: hosted controls, wizards, and floating windows
· A number of fixes and enhancements to V1.
Can’t wait for the rich user interface in Longhorn? In the meantime, check out SphereXP. I haven’t downloaded it, but the videos and screenshots look interesting.
This looks like the start of some good higher-level architectural guidance in the form of a journal:
Microsoft Architect's Journal - a platform where authoritative software architects from all corners of Microsoft's architect community will discuss the connection between opportunities once out of reach and the solutions that now make them possible. It will be a platform for thought leadership on a wide range of subjects on enterprise application architecture, design and development.
Seems like another good opportunity to plug our Patterns & Practices group too. They’ve produced some very good material.
A nice article on Measuring API Usability in a recent issue of Dr. Dobbs. Thanks to Brad Abrams for getting permission to make this article available online.