Tuesday, 11 September 2007

MIX:UK Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of MIX:UK 2007 and it couldn't of been better.
The day started of with a brilliant keynote, presented by a large numbe of people it gave a brilliant overview of what MIX is all about. Starting off by wowing the audiance with brilliant footage of silverlight in action. The keynote was made up of a number of demos from Microsoft employees and companys who use Microsoft technologies to develop great solutions.
There was a demo on how to build a silverlight media player application, using expression blend which took under five minutes to get a stunning end peice with rich animated graphics.

After the footnote and a short break, Scott Guthrie went on to explain silverlight development in much more detail, starting with the basics of how to use XAML to create a brilliant GUI by using different shapes and effects. The main thing that struck me in the design and creation of the GUI was how similar it was to creating SVG with XML. Once Scott had got the basics done with the GUI he went on to show us some more advanced techniques such as using transform matricies to transform and rotate buttons and shapes. Also connecting Silverlight to the users local machine to use folders from there pc was really interesting. This presentation has really given me the silverlight bug, and once I download VS 2008 beta (as Express dosn't support SL) I will get progamming and designing some small applications.

The next presentation was all about harnessing the power of Windows Live apps in your own web sites so using such things as Virtual Earth to create websites such as Track Me and another sports tracking system which allows uses to track there excercise by using a GPS device which is then synced with a map to show the route that the user has run on a map. There was also talk about a Silverlight hosting system where you can get up to 4Gb of FREE storage for your silverlight videos and applications. When you upload your apps you are then given a section of JavaScript that you can copy and paste into your own web site for free video hosting. For more information on using Windows Live apps on your web sites have a look at http://dev.live.com/.

Throught the day we managed to get a number of interviews and am really looking forwards to an interview with Scott Guthrie on the second day of MIX.

The day ended with a final show down between the people attending the event fighting for the crown of Guitar Hero. I think this was a billiant competition with all competetors putting on a great show. The winners ended up bagging themselves a great graphics tablet and also means I will now start training my Guitar Hero skills for the next MS event that I go to.

Overall the first day was a great experience and I can't wait for what they have in store for us in the second day of MIX. There is a number of talks on Orcas and the .NET 3.5 framework that I am particularly looking forwards to not to mention whatever tricks they have up their sleeves.

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