Mike Swanson

September, 2005

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    PDC05 Show Off Videos Posted


    Thanks to everyone who submitted a video for our first-ever Show Off event at PDC05. We had 25 total submissions, and we had time to show 22 of them at Thursday night's 2-hour event. You can find all of the submitted videos on Channel 9 under the showoff tag. Please leave comments and feedback for each video so we know what to look for next time.

    Interestingly enough, because we came up with the idea so late in the game, we were never able to announce Show Off to all of the PDC05 attendees. It wasn't printed in the PDC05 program guide, and it wasn't mentioned until just before the keynote on day 3. We were able to announce it using the Scarab plasma monitors that were scattered throughout the Los Angeles Convention Center, and I think that helped a lot. It was through blogging, podcasts, and .NET Rocks! that we were able to get the word out. We always intended this to be a community event, and the power of community helped make it a success. Thank you!

    We were pleasantly surprised to see a nearly-full room of attendees, with some of them standing in the back. The energy was high, and there was a great show of support and applause at the end of each video. Based on the survey feedback, all but one of the completed surveys voted "thumbs up" for a future Show Off event. The clear feedback is that we need to do this again.

    Although we didn't give out any awards, I do have a personal favorite that I believe embodies exactly what I had envisioned when we came up with this concept. Bar Code Blitz, by Lorin Thwaits, Lawrence Grant, E.W. Lloyd, and Andrew Holliday is brilliant. It has a bit of humor, a good setup, and creates a very cool (and useful) tool in under 5 minutes. The rapid typing effect combined with excellent voiceover work keeps the video moving, but it's never so fast that you can't follow what's going on.

    Thomas Lewis and I tried to come up with as few rules and guidelines as possible, because we didn't want to limit the creativity of the submitters. But, we wanted to convey what type of video we were looking for. In the end, the litmus test for a good video seems to boil down to: "is this something that you'd pull your fellow developer into your office to watch?" For videos that have a heavy commercial/promotional aspect to them, the answer to this question is probably "no." For videos that make you say "wow," they clearly fit the bill.

    I've rambled on a bit longer than I had planned, but if you have any comments, suggestions, or feedback about the videos, the Show Off concept, or what you'd like to see more of in the future, I encourage you to leave feedback or send me e-mail. Thanks!

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Illustrator to XAML Plug-In Updated for September 2005 CTP


    I've updated my Adobe Illustrator to WPF ("Avalon")/XAML Export Plug-In to be compatible with the recently-released WinFX September 2005 CTP. The fill rule syntax has been modified to work with the new format, and clipping paths are now exported using the abbreviated path syntax which makes for slightly smaller XAML files. Otherwise, I haven't made any other major changes.

    There are some improvements that I'd like to make to the plug-in, and now that the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2005 is over, I may actually have some time. If you have any comments, feedback, or suggestions, please send me e-mail.

    As before, if you create something cool with the plug-in that others would be interested in, please take a moment to upload it to the Channel 9 Sandbox.


  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Attend the PDC05 Show Off Event Tonight!


    If you're in Los Angeles at the PDC, be sure to attend the Show Off event tonight in room 411 (the theater) from 9:00pm - 11:00pm. We have two hours of community-submitted content that we hope you're going to love. We also have a very limited set of cool t-shirts that are first-come, first-serve. Please stop by and show your support so we can do this kind of event again. See you tonight!

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Last Week for PDC05 Show Off Submissions


    Whether or not you're attending the upcoming Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2005, we'd love to see you submit a short video for our Show Off event. It's a great way to demonstrate what can be accomplished when you pair a great developer or development team with our platform and some third-party tools. We're not looking for Hollywood-quality productions (although we certainly won't turn them away). Grab a friend and a video camera, and just have them capture you talking about your software, tip, technique...whatever. Add some music, if you're so inclined. Be creative.

    We've already received quite a few submissions, but there's still room for more. And remember, we hope to put all of them up on Channel 9 after the event, so that the rest of the world can see them.

    So, shoot your five-minute-or-less WMV video and submit it via this Channel 9 post. You have until 5:00pm Pacific this Thursday, September 8th. This is gonna be cool!

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