Philippe Truche’s Blog

28 October 2008

PDC08 – Day 1 Recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Philippe Truche @ 3:37

Quite a few sessions were offered throughout the day.  I picked a few based on my interests, and wanted to share my take on some of my favorite sessions today (Monday 27 October 2008).

  • Scott Henselman’s session (TL49 Microsoft .NET Framework: Overview and Applications for Babies).   This session was based on a set of demos centered around the BabySmash application; it ties into the current food court offerings of the .NET framework, and also included some elements of upcoming .NET 4.0 features.  OK – so what was so likeable about Scott’s delivery?  Well, he is used to speaking to audiences; after all, he hosts the Henselminutes podcast.  The other thing I really liked: he comes from the point of view that he is a develop who knows C#, but he is not an expert on Silverlight 2, the MS surface, or WPF for that matter.  And it is with this premise that he makes a convincing point that these technologies are not that hard to pick up.  Granted, he had some “insider” help.  Still, I could not help but think that he was rather convincing and effectively acting as an evangelist.  Great demos tying in a number of technologies, from WPF to Silverlight, and yes, even the Surface with its touch capabilities.  Thanks a bunch, Scott.
  • Phil Haack on the ASP.NET MVC framework, with a segment on StackOverflow.com by Jeff Atwood (PC21 ASP.NET MVC: A New Framework for Building Web Applications).  This was a real good session too.  I have to admit I had not gotten a chance to look into ASP.NET MVC much, and this session filled my knowledge gap in no time.  I came to appreciate the ASP.NET MVC framework as another food vendor in the cafeteria; yes, it does not intend to replace the web form model, it only intends on providing an alternative model.  Effectively, this is an additional tool in the toolbox.  Use the Phillips head when you need a Phillips head.
    • Here is what I liked about it:
      • The developer has to know how HTTP works.  Not a bad thing in my book.  I have seen too many developers make mistakes in web forms because of their lack of understanding of HTTP.
      • It is naturally “search engine optimized” because of its alignment on REST principles.
      • Developers have to embrace HTML and in fact have complete control over the HTML being emitted.  I think Phil Haack’s analogy about transmissions is not bad at all.  Think of web forms as an automatic transmission, and think of ASP.NET MVC as a manual transmission.  Not a bad analogy indeed.
    • Here is where I think it falls short today:
    • Lack of support for bi-directional data binding.  In my experience, developers spend too much time pushing data into the UI and coding the events for the changes made to the data by the user.  Better bi-directional data binding is needed.  So it’s not there in ASP.NET MVC, but it is there in ASP.NET 2.0 and is also there in Spring.net.  As far as I understood during the session, however, bi-directional data binding is planned in future versions of the ASP.NET MVC framework.

Well, that’s it for day 1.

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