MIX07: Social Mixing

I bumped into Anders Hejlsberg in the speaker's lounge this afternoon just before my 4:30 presentation.  He was at Mix to talk about LINQ, and probably on hand to provide Silverlight air cover.  He asked how things were going now that I had a full year under my belt at Microsoft.  My reply was to show him the WL Contacts control and Spaces control in the 30 second elevator pitch.  He was curious about the cross-domain communication trick we've developed.  We both had to head off to our respective sessions, so I'll have to follow up with him on that.

Speaking of which - keep an eye out for the June issue of the The Architecture Journal 12 #6.  I've written up some notes on secure client-side cross-domain communication using the iframe URL technique, it's weaknesses, and how we've addressed them in our Windows Live Contacts and Spaces controls.

After our dev live session (The 30 Minute Social Application, with Lynn Ayers and Koji Kato), I bumped into Chuck Jazdzewski in the hallway.  Chuck wasn't presenting a session at MIX, but was on deck to field questions about XAML designer work that he's been working on in the Visual Studio group (applicable to Silverlight, I believe). I was trying to keep up with my team to get in on the dinner plans, and he was trying to do the same with his team, so we hardly had time for a score of words before we lost our respective dinner groups. S'ok, I have lunch with him in Redmond every month or two.

Hardly 20 seconds after seeing Chuck, I bumped into Miguel de Icaza outside the speaker lounge.  Man, this place is crawling with power hitters.  I met Miguel at the first non-Microsoft .NET development conference (.NET ONE) in November 2001 in Frankfurt.  It was a somewhat smallish event, so we speakers ended up spending most of the time talking to each other between sessions, over dinner, etc.  Miguel was there for Mono, of course, and I was there to make the first public presentation of Delphi for the .NET platform. (a very early alpha compiler, but it was enough to show IL codegen and compile a writeln app)

Miguel was of course orbited by all manner of fans and friends, so we said hello and made a mental note to try to hook up again later to catch up.

In the speaker lounge, I mentioned to my devlive coworker Galo Corvera how cool it was to see Miguel at MIX.  Galo's response:  "Miguel de Icaza?  THE Miguel de Icaza?  WOW!"  So naturally, I dragged Galo out into the hallway and introduced him to Miguel.  Though Miguel protests loudly, there is no escaping the fact that he is an icon within the open source community in general, and nothing short of a cult hero in the software development community of his homeland, Mexico.  Galo was gobsmacked.  Ah, such fun.  :P

John Lam of Ruby on Rails fame was spotted at dinner just outside the Venetian conference center.  Said hello to Julia Lerman on the escalator between floors.  (She's already checking out ink support in Silverlight!Donovan West caught in passing.

Last but not least, I was pleased to see Yousef El Dardiry in the audience at our session this afternoon.  Yousef recently made MVP recently, finally.  He's won or placed in just about every coding contest Microsoft has come up with for the past two years, but he's been excluded from MVP recognition due to age minimums required by the MVP non-disclosure agreement.  Well, his birthday was a month or so ago, so he now has his long-deserved MVP badge.  Congrats Yousef!

Tomorrow morning, Brian Arbogast (Windows Live Developer Platform VP) will kick off day 2 with a mini-keynote rolling out new unified terms of use and cost-at-scale across all the Windows Live service offerings.  I call it a mini-keynote because it's actually a breakout session alongside other sessions, but it's in the keynote room and is expected to draw a capacity crowd.  Anyone wanting to build a business on Windows Live services will want to be there.

After that, the buzz is building about the "secret session" that isn't listed on any of the printed schedules, nor on the billboard at the room entrance.  We unequivocally cannot confirm or deny that it may or may not be scheduled at 11:45 in room Lando 4204, entitled "Windows Live Data services" and presented by the devlive team's king of privacy paranoia, Yaron Goland.  We deny any involvement in annotating the room signage with a sharpie of unknown origin. 

The session is real, but it was withheld from the printed matter to avoid showing our hand too early.  It is actually listed in the online schedule.  I can't tell you about it (yet), but it should be a knockout session.  Maybe not quite as sexy as spinning video cube Silverlight eye candy, but I'm sure it'll get a rise out of the true data diehards who manage to actually find this session.

What am I going to do after MIX?  Take a little break, build a few thousand feet of steel pipe fencing at the homestead, and then perhaps get cozy with Silverlight to see how it can be used to assist and accelerate our JavaScript web controls under the hood.  I doubt we'll take the hit to rewrite the Contacts or Spaces control in Silverlight, but it seems very likely that one of our next web controls might be built first in Silverlight.