Feedback Over

Fri, September 24, 2004, 02:44 PM under Events
Today I presented a feedback session from July's Tech Ed in Amsterdam. At Tech Ed, I mainly followed the Whidbey sessions. My employer sends me to these events on the basis that, upon return, the knowledge is shared with the rest of the group and it does in fact form part of my review. What is great about these debriefings is that in order to prepare the material (slides, demos etc), I get to revisit not just the sessions that I attended at the conference, but also research everything relevant to VS2005 and .NET 2.0. My audience consisted of C++, VB6, C# and VB.NET devs plus managerial types. In case you are in a similar situation (feeding back or just presenting on the same topic), here is the outline I followed.

PART A. 25 introductory slides summarising the various MSFT product roadmaps. This consisted of material straight out of the Tech Ed keynote. As you can imagine, I lost all managerial persons after this.

PART B. 100 slides (plus tons of demos). More on this further below.

PART C. 25 slides on SO/SOA (Helland sessions) and Longhorn. [and the Compact Framework; I am the only CF dev, hence just squeezed in a few slides near the end]

So the main part is the second one (PART B) and the list of its contents follow. I give you some URLs where there is useful info for coalescing into slides and demos. My material came mostly from the Tech Ed DVD and I don't think it is available online anywhere.

1. VS2005 IDE
2. Debugging [1]
3. CLR
4. Language enhancements
5. C#-only enhancements [1]
6. VB-only enhancements [1]
7. C++ [1, 2]
8. BCL
9. WinForms [1]
10. ASP.NET [1]
11. SQL Server 2005 [1]
12. Deployment (ClickOnce) [1]
13. MSBuild [1,2]

Points of most excitement: Generics, refactoring and debugging!

As usual, I showed the TechEd intro clip. Basically a 2-3 minute MTV-style video including scenes from the party and generally showing what "hard work" attendees have at these events :-) If you ask me, I think MS should make these clips widelly available as they form good advertising for the conference. By the way, special thanks to Tim for sorting out some issues I had with the conference DVDs. It is individuals like him that help MSFT's image of a company that cares about the customer.

You know that many have not made the move to managed code yet. Inevitably, the question of which language is best (which should we choose etc) comes up. This has been done to death, but the subject never ceases to come up. I think, against my better judgement, I will blog about C# and VB soon.

Finally, I leave you with a demo I saw Don Box deliver at Tech Ed 2001 (in VB6) and this year (in Word Macro). So, in case you aren't aware of it, here is some VB6 code that always gets a nice reaction:

1. New VB6 "Standard EXE"
2. Project->References. Add:
Common Language Runtime Execuion Engine (mscoree)
Common Language Runtime Library (mscorlib)
3. Double-click on the form to get the Form_Load method (event handler)
4. Type in there the following 5 lines of code and Run->Start

Dim crh As CorRuntimeHost
Dim ad As AppDomain
Dim oh As ObjectHandle
Dim o As Object

5. The IDE breaks so you are in the debugger. View->Immediate Window
6. In the Immediate Window type the following (line by line hitting return, don't just copy/paste)

Set crh = New CorRuntimeHost
crh.CurrentDomain ad
Set oh = ad.CreateInstance("mscorlib", "System.Collections.Stack")
Set o = oh.Unwrap
o.Push "Rocks"
o.Push "NET "
o.Push "."
MsgBox o.Pop & o.Pop & o.Pop

That's it! You've just used a .NET Stack class in VB6 by hosting the runtime.