I attended 2 lectures today: one on RESTful web services (how to switch from SOAP and other heavy web services protocols to REST), and the other on extending Visual Studio.
The second lecture had some eye-opening samples on how VS can be extended - even in the current version. Several things we can do today:
- Download (or develop and upload) extensions from the Visual Studio Gallery.
- Build scripts and automation into VS, using DTE.
- Distribute applications that look like the VS UI, using VS Shell.
- The Start Page can be configured and reprogrammed.
- Extensions can be developed and distributed by just copying assemblies around.
- You can even manipulate the way VS shows code, or comments - the sky's the limit.
I actually got to the airport ahead of schedule and managed to catch an earlier flight home. I just received an email from Microsoft informing me that all lectures and material have been uploaded to MicrosoftPDC.com - go check them out. I was also invited to next year's PDC (November 17th '09 - mark your calendars).
- Many people were blogging and twittering from the show. Some just typing, others snapping pictures or filming. All in all, I assume many people around the world got the news in near real-time. The internet is amazing.
- There were far less presenters this year (did I hear someone in the crowd say "recession"?). I couldn't understand the business models of some of the presenters - why put so much money in designing UI controls that Microsoft provides for free?
- Over the last 2 years, in Tech-Ed and in online education videos, developers and presenters used Windows XP and 2003 to demo. No more. This time ALL presenters used Vista (or 7) on their presentation machines. Guess Microsoft finally started forcing people to eat their own dog food (although one Microsoft developer I spoke to confessed that internally they are using proprietary bug tracking system and source control system, rather than using VSTS and SourceSafe, like they want us to).