Day of .NET Recap

Yesterday was the second Day of .NET in Ann Arbor, and it enjoyed it just as much as the first. Dan and I drove up together again this year exchanging stories and deciding how every software project would work well if they just did things the way we thought they should. Friday night we met with Michael Eaton and exchanged war stories for a couple hours.

The event was again held at Washtenaw Community College, which is a very nice facility for this type of event. My only complaint is that a couple of the presentation rooms felt like they were about 90 degrees and it seemed there was nothing to be done about it.

The first session I attended on Saturday was Jeff Blankenburg speaking on Google APIs. He talked about Google maps, checkout, and calendar. The presentation was not specific to .NET; most of the presented code was JavaScript or plain HTML. I haven't looked much at the Google APIs. I was surprised how easy it looked to put a map on your site and control the appearance, and even attach to events. Having done a fair amount of e-commerce sites over the last couple of years, I was definitely interested in seeing a little about Google checkout. It looks absolutely fantastic if you want to do something fairly simple and sell a product or two. But it also sounds like you could do integrate much of it via web services to do something that is custom to your site. I enjoyed the presentation.

The next presentation I attended was Dustin Campbell talking about Hardcore Reflection. In his presentation, I learned about the differences between reflection in the 1.0/1.1 framework and the 2.0 framework and how they have improved the performance in .NET 2.0 by not caching so eagerly and actually allowing items to be unloaded after they're used for reflection. He described some of the new reflection features in 2.0, such as being able to load an assembly for reflection only. As a sample of using reflection and some of the new features, he showed an application similar to Lutz Roeder's Reflector. The last part of his talk was a primer on IL leading up to a discussion of using the new DynamicMethod class. I've used a little bit of reflection over the years, but I was not aware of the improvements in the 2.0 framework. Dustin provided a great overview of these differences and some solid ideas of how to use reflection.

Unfortunately, I missed both of Mark Miller's presentations. During his first one, I was preparing for my presentation, and his second presentation was opposite mine.

For the final session of the day, I attended Brian Prince's session on Hands-On Agile Practices. I had previously seen him give this presentation at the Cincinnati .NET User Group, but it was a good review. Sounds like they have a good handle on building software. It's good to think that someone out there is doing things well.

I also checked out vendor session from Developer Express and Red Gate Software. I liked the vendor sessions. It's good to get a look at the latest versions of products. And I think it's appropriate to give the sponsors a chance to show off their products.

I thoroughly enjoyed the second Day of .NET and I look forward to next year.

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