Archive for December, 2007

2007 was a busy year for me.  I spent a lot of time with WPF and Silverlight which was a lot of fun.  I traveled all over the globe and met a lot of fascinating people at conferences and training events.   I consulted with companies building cool WPF/Silverlight applications and had prolonged discussions with their teams on the pros and cons of WPF development.

I gathered some stats of my travels and work for 2007.   It’s probably boring to everyone but me, but I’ll have a record of what and where I went for the year.  It certain looks more impressive when collated in one place :>.


Do you like to travel?  I do, at least once I get to the destination. Traveling is mind expanding and I love meeting people and seeing the new scenery. Spending time in airports however is not fun.  Here is the list of the airports that I inhabited during the year.

  • Seattle WA
  • Portland OR
  • Eugene OR
  • San Francisco CA
  • San Jose CA (5)
  • Boston MA
  • Detroit MI
  • Chicago IL
  • Cleveland OH
  • St. Louis MO
  • Houston TX
  • Minneapolis MN
  • Sioux Falls SD
  • Philadelphia (2)
  • Denver CO  (2)
  • New York
  • Newark NJ (3)
  • Orlando  FL
  • West Palm FL
  • Atlanta GA
  • Las Vegas NV (3)
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Hyderabad, India
  • Mazatlan Mexico

Cities visited

Cities that I stayed in a least one night in addition to the cities already listed.

  • Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Paris, France
  • Rochester, NY
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Bend, OR
  • Susanville, CA
  • Placerville, CA
  • Ft. Collins, CO
  • Effingham, Il
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Newark, NJ
  • Stuart, FL


I had a flight canceled in Chicago last winter.   I had to take the overnight train to Rochester NY. 

  • Chicago to NY

Missed flights or cancellations

Travel is glamorous only in retrospect – Paul Theroux

If you travel enough you run into trouble.  Whether it’s with the hotel, your cab driver, the car rental agency or your airline you will encounter difficulties.   Some of the flight cancellations that aggravated me this year.

  • Chicago to Rochester NY
  • Rochester NY  to Chicago
  • Seattle to St Louis
  • Cleveland to Houston


User Groups

I met a lot of people this year at user group meetings.  It’s exciting to see how many developers are interested in .NET, WPF and Silverlight. I can’t wait to see what we create with these new technologies. 
Here are the meetings I attended this year.  I was on the speaker roster at most of them.  Others I attended just to meet the local members while I was in town. 



I went to ten conferences this year.

Mix07, MVP Summit, VSLive San Francisco, VSLive Orlando, VSLive Las Vegas, DevExpress TechSummit, Devscovery NY, Devscovery Denver, Devscovery Seattle, SDC Papendal, The Netherlands.


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Jeff Prosise is on DotNet Rocks this week.  Jeff has been immersed in Silverlight development for most of 2007.   Whether you believe that Silverlight is a the next big web UI or are looking at it with a skeptics eye I think you’ll want to listen to the show.  Carl Franklin, Richard Campbell and Jeff all have excellent insights into the shifting world of web development.

Some quotes from the show:

RC: Do you think that Silverlight is that radical a shift?

JP: I think it more than radical, I really do.


JP: It’s bye-bye HTML and hello vector graphics.


JP: To me, one of the most frustrating limitations in building browser based apps has always been that I can’t ‘paint’ directly into the browser window.  What I can do is submit an HTTP request to a web server to go grab an image, and it can be a dynamically generated image.  But at the end of the day it’s like: getting a graphic to appear in a web page is like walking out your front door, walking to the corner store and back down the alley just to get to your back door.  With Silverlight we finally have control, we can draw into that browser window and that’s huge.


JP: We’re more dependent than ever on designers and I think the success of Silverlight and of WPF depends not only on there being a lot of passionate coders but a lot of passionate artsy folks as well.  And I don’t think that critical mass is there yet. I don’t think we’re close to it on the design side.

Listen to the show.


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Microsoft is constantly shipping products. Some products, like SQL Server 2005, had dependencies on other products and needed to wait for the other team to finish their code. SQL Server had to wait for the Visual Studio team to finish for example.  Sometimes Microsoft releases the software in staggered waves. . VS 2005 shipped with .NET 2.0.  A year later .NET 3.0 shipped.  VS 2005 didn’t know how to code WPF projects so Microsoft had to release a patch.

The same problem is cropping up this year with Silverlight and Visual Studio 2008. Beware trying to create a Silverlight application with Visual Studio 2008 (RTM) You’ll see the following message.

“Package Load Failure

Package ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Silverlight.SLPackage, Microsoft.VisualStudio.Silverlight, Version=,…”

At least you will if you have the old version of Silverlight 1.1 Tools Alpha installed.

Get the latest  Silverlight 1.1 Tools Alpha for Visual Studio 2008 and you should be alright.

Warning: I had to uninstall the previous version first.

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Microsoft released Visual Studio 2008 a couple weeks ago.  If you’ve got an MSDN subscription you can download your copy and start coding.  If you don’t have an MSDN subscription you have several options.

  • Install one of the free Express versions
  • Install 90 day trial version of VS 2008 Pro
  • Wait for the the  DVDs to hit your local computer store
  • Attend a local ‘InstallFest’ and get a free license for VS2008 Pro

I heard about the Microsoft InstallFest from friends around the US.  Apparently Microsoft is sending teams of evangelists to your local user group.  If you bring your laptop to the user group meeting they will install a free copy of Visual Studio 2008 on your computer.

Catch me at one of these locations

I just so happens that I’ll be at a few of these InstallFests at these user groups in the December.

Central New Jersey .NET User’s Group

December 13th, 2007

Next week I’m giving a WPF data-binding talk in New Jersey.  The InstallFest guys will be there.

From Ed Blankenship;

Our local Microsoft evangelists are going to be attending this meeting and will be installing free VS 2008 Pro licenses to anyone bringing their laptop. 

NJ.NET – Central New Jersey .NET User’s Group




December 13th, 2007


.NET Developer Association – Redmond WA

December 17th, 2007

Other groups

Find out if the event is coming to your neighborhood.

Pre registration is required and some meetings are already sold out.

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