PDC2008 Day 0 consisted mostly of reacclimitizing myself to the LA Convention Center and a six hour session on Silverlight from Jeff Prosise (pronounced like precise, but with a pro at the start instead). I learned a lot of things that really explained some of the goofy corner-case problems I ran into. I'll be doing some posts this weekend summarizing all of what I learned this week.
Day 1 was strange from beginning to end. During the Windows Azure keynote, I was seated next to a transvestite Dutch reporter who was wearing fishnet stockings. Stranger things have happened.
First session was supposed to be a deep dive into the IE8 layout engine, but it ended up being more of a design pattern overview. Fascinating, but generally useless talk.
Next was the Expression Blend Tips & Tricks course, of which two tips were excellent, one didn't work in the demo, and then time ran out. That said, there was one wonderful tip. If inside Blend you are getting broken XAML (Blend can't render this blah blah) and the exception you are getting isn't giving you any information, close the XAML form, open the project in Visual Studio from Blend, attach Visual Studio to Blend, and reopen the XAML in Blend. The exception that is thrown will be caught by Visual Studio and have significantly more information. If you are using things like HtmlPage in your Silverlight code-behind that don't exist within Blend, this will help out.
Next was the ASP.NET 4.0 Roadmap and it was great hearing how about 80% of the existing pain points are going bye-bye, although it sounds like some of the cures will be worse than the disease (like the caching system redo).
From there I headed to the expo floor to try to get a lot of information from vendors I am going to have to be dealing with over the next six months. Ektron let me know that 7.5.4 is on track for the end of November and should fix the nested application issue. ComponentOne has their lighter ASP.NET components coming out around the same time.
Finally ended the day with the Framework Design Guidelines class. It was good hearing that most of the plans I had for our site code revamp matched up with the guidelines, but after hearing the talk, I'm going to be rewriting some parts because their explanations really explained why I shouldn't do things the way I was going to do them.
Well, better go. I'm sitting about eight rows back from the stage at keynote #2 of 4 and I'm afraid that the Dutch transvestite is stalking me now.