I'm really happy with this latest CTP, it took a lot of hard work and there's a lot of great features in there. But although most people will remember it as the PDC CTP, I'll always remember it as Peter Ostertag's last CTP.
Peter, longtime Avalon member and dev on the parser, passed away this summer as a result of a bicycling accident. He was great to work with, and fun to be around. I never got tired of his crazy trail running stories. One fairly typical story -- he was 17 miles into a 25 mile run through the mountains, when the trail became completely snow covered. He didn't want to turn around and backtrack 17 miles, and he saw some footprints in the snow off in the distance, so he figured he would just push through the snow for awhile. Well, he pushed through, post holing through the snow, once falling in up to his armpits, and finally made it to those footprints -- which he then realized were marmot tracks, not human footprints! The thing that always amazed me about this is this wasn't isolated incident -- he did this sort thing all the time. He always enjoyed himself outdoors; I always wished I was a better runner so I could go with him on more of these adventures.
At work, Peter was with Avalon from the very start, and for the last two years he made the parser work, an amazingly complicated piece of code held to a very high standard because it's used by pretty much every Avalon program. In this most recent CTP, he removed the LoadBaml api, added support for S0 validation, and implemented an extensible xmlns-assembly mapping mechanism. Peter worked fast and was someone you could always count on, if he said it would be done on Friday, it would be done Friday; he was one of the people who made the Element Services team shine.
Peter, we miss you.