Oh, yes, PDC was the shiznit. We learned about the Pillars of Longhorn:
- Lornhorn - It's ALPHA, but it's real. Feel free to peruse the SDK. There's 3 years of work into in, and 3 more to go
- Avalon - An even bigger leap forward for the Windows Graphics Subsystem than the introduction of DirectX. XAML will play a big role not only in WinForms, but look for a XAML to ASP.NET renderer as well. Here's a link to my Avalon article at .NET Developer Journal. I'll post a much more in depth article with code samples soon, but here's what Charles Petzold says. Some folks were expecting SVG to play a larger role and Werner explains why it's not the end of the world. The library of congress-sized namespaces in .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1 got nothing on the namespaces coming up.
- Aero - The look and feel catches up to Mac OS X, and introduces some interesting twists, such as Common Dialogs for People.
- Indigo - To protect your current investment, stick with ASMX and you won't go wrong. Don Box says Objects are baked. They're done, you use them, be happy. Use objects interally in your apps, but start getting your head around the differences between explicitly working with a remote object and sending a messsage. Messaging doesn't equal RPC. Boundaries between applications are explicit. Share schema, not type. Benjamin Mitchell has some great notes from Omri's talk.
Interesting note, Gudge says DIME is dead, but Soap with Attachments and SOAP/MTOM live on, so don't be sad.
- Generics - Generics aren't exactly templates, just as delegates aren't exactly function pointers. But, close enough. Be aware of the differences between syntaxes on C# and VB.NET.
- Serialization - Think about Contracts and Message Passing. Repeat: Share schema, not type.
- ADO.NET 2.0 - is a lot more “database independant“ and a DBProviderFactory pattern makes it even more clear.
- WinFS - NTFS still has many good years under it (although a better defragmenter couldn't hurt) but WinFS adds a new world of Metadata to Documents and Settings. WinFS's System.Storage will let us query metadata on our content with SQL, OLEDB, COM, or managed APIs. It is truly the base of the pyramid.
- Speech - Ya, speech. We saw parts of this at PDC, but expect speech recognition to play a bigger role when we have 4 and 6 Ghz systems. :)
- Migration - It may be early to plan for deploying Longhorn, but it's not too early to be aware of certain migration strategies.
What's in store for PDC 2004/5? - Don't fool yourself, the next PDC will also be “The Longhorn PDC,“ except you'll see your feedback folded into much improved Beta bits. Remember, this was a preview, there's still great things being done with .NET 1.0, 1.1 and soon Whidbey (.NET 2.0).
Monday, back to reality, and I'm back to coding some great .NET Framework 1.1 libraries to support some of the world's largest banks (and interop'ing with some VB6 libraries! Oy, the glamour!) :)