# Tuesday, 05 July 2011

A few weeks ago I was in the Telerik cafeteria at our world headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a colleague walked up to me and asked: "Is Silverlight dead?" I replied: "No, but it has seen better days."

Since Silverlight's absence from last year's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Redmond, WA, the infamous "our strategy has shifted" comment made by Microsoft Server and Tools Division President Bob Muglia, Scott Guthrie's move out of DevDiv, and the recent reorg of the XAML team, the community has been in an uproar assuming that Silverlight is dead. So the community has voted, Silverlight is dead and HTML5+JavaScript is the future.

First a few words on HTML5 + JavaScript

Many people in the IT industry assume that HTML5+JS is the future of software development. While it would be easy to say HTML5+JS is the absolute future of software development, HTML5+JS still has its limits coming from its roots as a rendering platform with some scripting, communication attached. While I feel HTML5/JS will be huge and have a place in every developer’s toolkit (just as HTML4+JS (AJAX) does), to build true LOB applications, you will need more power, just as you do today.

HTML5+JS is finding its sweet spot with media, interactive content apps on the web (think Google Maps) and cross platform apps for mobile devices. While Microsoft is fully embracing HTML5+JS, I can never see them making it their main development strategy; Microsoft would never cede its development strategy to a standards body or a 3rd party. Realizing this, Microsoft is going to have a development platform that embraces and extends HTML5+JS, just like .NET/ASP embraced and extended HTML5+AJAX.

I think that all of the recent focus on HTML5+JS by Microsoft is to hook the non-Microsoft developers who know nothing about Silverlight or .NET on the Windows 8 Tablet and get them building apps to compete against Android and iOS. I believe that what will evolve is that for the developer ecosystem is that HTML5+JS will primarily be used for building "apps" on the Tablet, but not for "real" line of business applications on the Web, “native” Windows, and XBox. 

Is Silverlight Dead?

I will admit, when Steven Sinofsky and Co were showing off the new Windows 8 operating system and all of the HTML5+JavaScript developer hooks, I was tempted to join in the "Silverlight is dead" chorus. After some deep thought, I realized that rather than killing off Silverlight, Microsoft may have something else in store for us. If you read in-between the lines and take with a grain of salt what the blogs say, it is possible to draw some conclusions about the future of XAML and Silverlight. 

One popular blog talks about a new native user interface library, DirectUI, that builds on top of the native Direct2D and DirectWrite APIs that were introduced with Windows 7. According to the blog, a new platform code named "Jupiter" is part of Windows 8 and is a "Native XAML" runtime that runs on top of DirectUI.

If the blog about the Native XAML and DirectUI/Jupiter project is true, then re-org of the XAML team makes complete sense. In case you missed the leaked news, the XAML runtime team at Microsoft is moving to join the Windows team, the XAML runtime team for Windows Phone 7, Xbox, and browser plug-ins is moving to the Windows Phone 7 team, and the XAML tools team will remain in the Microsoft developer tools division. 

To me, this looks like Microsoft doubling down on its XAML strategy, not abandoning it. By putting the XAML runtime team under Windows, Microsoft is making XAML part of the core operating system. This is huge. Anything included as part of the Core OS is treated as royalty inside of Microsoft. It also means that any XAML based application (either in WPF or Silverlight) will run natively as part of Windows, opening up the door to even faster performance.  (History buffs may recall that this was the original vision of XAML, aka Project Avalon, that was presented at PDC 2003. Better late than never? ;))

The Future: Native XAML

I see XAML as a native part of Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, Windows Phone 7, and Xbox- the common thread that unifies development for the Microsoft stack, even more so than .NET (which does not fully run on all of these platforms) If HTML5 gets fragmented, as it surely will, I can one day even see a native, hardware accelerated runtime of XAML being released for the Mac (there already sort of is one), Android, iOS, and maybe even Linux sometime in the future. 

Notice that I have not been saying "Silverlight" or "WPF,” but instead “XAML.” It is more than possible that WPF and Silverlight will merge into "Silverlight+" or something like that, but XAML is the star. Since the XAML runtime has moved to Windows core and is no longer part of .NET, a "Silverlight" app that is deployed on the web, can run natively on Windows and take advantage of the local system and hardware, blurring the difference between WPF and Silverlight. It’s a natural evolution since the WPF and Silverlight teams at Microsoft were really one big team at this point. 

Since the Silverlight brand is popular and has a cool name (something Microsoft never seems to do), I have a feeling that Microsoft will leverage the Silverlight brand when releasing "Jupiter". I expect to see one native XAML runtime and development environment ship as part of Windows 8, effectively merging WPF and Silverlight. 

I don't see Silverlight as being dead, but rather reborn bigger and better. Instead of being its funeral, the Build Conference will be Silverlight and XAML's graduation party.

At Telerik, we are also going to double down on our XAML strategy. Since the beginning, we have always had only one XAML team with one XAML code base, so our WPF and Silverlight share the exact same codebase and our Windows Phone 7 tools are a subset of that codebase. We see Native XAML as a massive opportunity and will continue to support our XAML tools now and in the future. We’ve recently released a beta of our XAML controls that features a Persistence Framework and DataServiceDataSource as well as some spectacular Data Visualization controls. Our XAML tools, including Windows Phone 7, will ship the Q2 release later this month. We have our Q3 release scheduled later this year which should include some great new charting capabilities, new DataSource controls, and a ZIP compression library.

We will continue to make improvements to our XAML tools, including our Windows Phone 7 controls and our Facebook application, telerik fdeck, built on top of WPF and look forward to Native XAML’s long future.

posted on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 09:29:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [7] Trackback
# Friday, 01 July 2011

As most of you know I do a lot of speaking in the Middle East. Many people, including my Mother tell me that I should not go to the Middle East since it is “dangerous.” Someone forwarded this to me, it was a session I did in December 2007 for the Cairo, Egypt .NET User Group. I did almost die right before the meeting, but not to terrorists. Winking smile Fast forward to 9:50 for the story. Enjoy!

posted on Friday, 01 July 2011 16:42:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Monday, 06 June 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011 
What's new in ASP .NET MVC 3.0

Subject: You must register athttps://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=155683 in order to be admitted to the building and attend. 

Whether you are contemplating adding ASP .NET MVC to your toolbox or have already been using ASP .NET MVC 1 or 2, there is something for you in this session. John will present the major new features in ASP .NET MVC 3, which include the Razor -based views, sessionless controllers, new SEO enhancements, new helper methods and Dependency Injection enhancements to name a few. In addition, John will illustrate how to incorporate IIS Express into your development efforts. Time will be allocated for general questions you may have regarding Visual Studio, general development topics, etc.
 


Speaker: John Petersen

John Petersen has been developing software for 20 years, starting with dBase, Clipper and FoxBase + thereafter, migrating to FoxPro and Visual FoxPro and Visual Basic. Other areas of concentration include Oracle and SQL Server - versions 6-2008. John is the Philadelphia Microsoft Practice Director for CEI America (www.ceiamerica.com), a Microsoft Gold Partner. From 1995 to 2001, he was a Microsoft Visual FoxPro MVP. Today, his emphasis is on ASP MVC .NET applications. He is a current Microsoft ASP .NET MVP. In 1999, he wrote the definitive whitepaper on ADO for VFP Developers. In 2002, he wrote the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Databases for Que Publishing. John was a co-author of Visual FoxPro Enterprise Development from Prima Publishing with Rod Paddock, Ron Talmadge and Eric Ranft. He was also a co-author of Visual Basic Web Development from Prima Publishing with Rod Paddock and Richard Campbell. In 2004, John graduated from the Rutgers University School of Law with a Juris Doctor Degree. He passed the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar exams and was in private practice for several years.


Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011 

Time: Reception 6:00 PM , Program 6:15 PM 

Location:  Microsoft , 1290 Avenue of the Americas (the AXA building - bet. 51st/52nd Sts.) , 6th floor
Directions: B/D/F/V to 47th-50th Sts./Rockefeller Ctr
1 to 50th St./Bway
N/R/W to 49th St./7th Ave.

posted on Monday, 06 June 2011 15:49:21 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 03 June 2011

They Keynote on Kanban I did at both the PMI day and ITCamp in Romania as well as the TechEd North America breakout session is available on slideshare. Enjoy!

posted on Friday, 03 June 2011 00:02:42 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, 13 May 2011

Next week I will be headed to Atlanta, Georgia, for my 10th TechEd North America, and my 21st TechEd of my career worldwide. I will be doing three breakout sessions this week, all on the agile methodologies.

There are over 200 sessions at TechEd, however, my Agile Estimation session, so popular last year at TechEd Berlin, will be live streamed, so if you can’t join me in Atlanta, join me on the live stream, it will be fun. Here are all of my sessions.

DPR202 | Agile Estimation (Live Streamed)

Breakout Session | 200 - Intermediate | Development Practices & Architecture

Speaker(s): Stephen Forte

Tuesday, May 17 | 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM | Room: C305

 

DPR306 | The Agile Buffet

Breakout Session | 300 - Advanced | Development Practices & Architecture

Speaker(s): Joel Semeniuk (This is listed at Joel’s session, but we are doing it together)

Wednesday, May 18 | 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM | Room: B309

 

DPR203 | Yes, We Kanban!

Breakout Session | 200 - Intermediate | Development Practices & Architecture

Speaker(s): Stephen Forte (This is listed as my session, but Joel is doing it with me)

Thursday, May 19 | 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM | Room: B309

posted on Friday, 13 May 2011 09:17:59 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 12 May 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Building N-Tier Applications With Entity Framework 4

Subject:
You must register at https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=155176 in order to be admitted to the building and attend.
The first version of the Entity Framework (EF) did not support entity objects detached from the object context, making it difficult or impossible to use EF in any serious n-tier application. The situation is vastly improved with the release of .NET 4 and the new Entity Framework, which supports a number of strategies that enable and simplify n-tier development. In this demo-packed session, Lenni will show you how to work with EF in disconnected and service-oriented architectures. You’ll see a number of scenarios up close, along with the code that makes it work. We’ll begin with simple cases of attaching disconnected objects to the context, and then move on to richer scenarios involving basic WCF services, and higher-level abstractions with WCF Data Services and WCF RIA Services. You’ll also learn how to create POCOs (plain old CLR objects) and Self-Tracking Entities using the specialized T4 templates now available in Visual Studio 2010. Attend this talk, and learn how to build n-tier applications with Entity Framework 4 today!

Speaker:
Leonard Lobel, Sleek Technologies
Leonard Lobel is the chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of Sleek Technologies, Inc., a New York–based development shop with an early adopter philosophy toward new technologies. He is also a principal consultant at Tallan, a Microsoft National Systems Integrator. Programming since 1979, Lenni specializes in Microsoft-based solutions, with experience that spans a variety of business domains, including publishing, financial, wholesale/retail, health care, and e-commerce. Lenni has served as chief architect and lead developer for various organizations, ranging from small shops to high-profile clients. He is also a consultant, trainer, and a frequent speaker at local usergroup meetings, VSLive, SQL PASS, and other industry conferences. Lenni is also lead author in the new MS Press book "Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2008". He can be reached at lenni.lobel@tallan.com.

Date:
Thursday, May 19, 2011

Time:
Reception 6:00 PM , Program 6:15 PM

Location:
Microsoft , 1290 Avenue of the Americas (the AXA building - bet. 51st/52nd Sts.) , 6th floor

Directions:
B/D/F/V to 47th-50th Sts./Rockefeller Ctr
1 to 50th St./Bway
N/R/W to 49th St./7th Ave.

posted on Thursday, 12 May 2011 08:50:58 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 22 April 2011

Yesterday Joel and I did our “Agile Buffet Table” session at GIDS in Bangalore, India.

We talked about XP, Scrum, and Kanban and how you can build your own methodology by mixing and matching the features from each of these agile brands. We had *great* audience interaction, the best I have ever had in India. We wrapped up the session by opening Excel and designing a unique process with the audience. Our exit was also very funny, there was no break between sessions(!), so the next speakers came in and were ready to start when we ended. So I impersonated the next speaker, very agile. Winking smile

The slides are available here (via slideshare.) In addition we talked about a lot and have recommended the following resources:

Also had some books to take a look at, they came up at various points in the discussion, check out any one of them:

posted on Friday, 22 April 2011 22:54:04 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Thursday, 14 April 2011

Next week I will be speaking at the 4th Great Indian Developer Summit (GIDS) in Bangalore, India. I have spoken at the last three GIDS and really enjoy the “ninja” speaking style: 50 minute sessions! So my technical sessions will be all code/demo, no slides, only the “please fill out the evaluation” slide at the end. Here are my sessions:

Tuesday April 19th, .NET day:

  • Building RESTful Applications with the Open Data Protocol (no slides!)
  • Agile Estimation (ok, slides for this one)
  • Enhancing Developer Productivity across the Entire Stack (Telerik vendor session, NO SLIDES, no marketing, just code!)

Wednesday April 20th, Web day:

  • Introduction to WCF RIA Services for Silverlight 4 Developers (no slides!)

Friday April 22nd, Seminar day:

  • The Agile Buffet Table (with Joel) Ok, this session will have slides, but last year it was standing room only, we got in trouble with a fire hazard, so get there early.

Visit Telerik, get free goodies, win stuff and come to our party!

GIDS is four years old and Telerik has been at each and every GIDS since its inception. On .NET day (Tuesday), we are handing out some great free goodies at our booth, so make sure you stop by before the keynotes before it gets mobbed. (Last year our Tee shirts were in such demand, the booth got knocked over in a rush!) Also look in your conference bag for some other great goodies.

We have some great prizes, but another reason to come visit our booth is that in partnership with Pluralsight, we are throwing a great party on Tuesday night. (If you went to our party last year, you know what I am talking about!) Swing by our booth for a demo, some goodies, and tickets to our party. Space is limited, so come by early!!!

See you in Bangalore. Bring your umbrella, hopefully the monsoon is not as bad as last year. Winking smile

posted on Thursday, 14 April 2011 08:47:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback