Mix:UK 07: Keynote

As it happens my badge got lost and arrived late, so I missed the Conchango bits, so straight on with Windows Live Services.

New code to be released tomorrow on codeplex: AdventureWorks. Provides storage and streaming of your Silverlight content.

Windows Live login control was shiped a few weeks ago [EDIT: That's the login experience that is used on the new hotmail]. .

Upload of videos is queued on MSMQ, send to Expresion Video Encoder that transcode it to the correct media format, and streams the resulting Windows Media Video content anywhere the user wants. Audio works the same way.

Photos and friend lists can be imported through spaces.

All the code from QuickApps is on codeplex.

Demo built on QuickApps.

From Sentient. Gathering of running data: The TrackMe application. Looking at friends uploading content, getting alerts whenever new content is available. Social tol on a map like application. Sign in to the tool. By linking the identity between Windows Live and TrackMe gives access to the contact list. All is done through XML [EDIT: Mind blogging, XML in this day and age?].

Deo obviously uses Live Earth for map data. From a contact within that application, using a Messenger control you can initiate a live discussion. [EDIT: Live Messenger control shows the beta logo, maybe the next refresh of 8.5?]

Silverlight videos can be geo-tagged and viewed on the correct place.

They were able to bootstrap their help with the QuickApps demos.

ScottGu arrives. .net was either IIS / asp.net for te web, or desktop with Windows Forms, and Office, as well of course as WPF.Now there's a new category for RIA & media with Silverlight. But all these are using the .net environment, one set of tools, one set of APIs, and whichever language you want. You can leverage your developer skills and the designers can too.

When you integrate with a designer, you go through an initial design, the developer tries to integrate the changes and the CSS / HTML is then done by the designer again. But it doesn't always work very smoothly. Often the tools do't integrate very well, so you have to make compromises.

With Expression Studio the aim is to provide integrate tools that work on the same code, same file formats, which makes collaboration better: Visual Studio for developers, Expression studio for designers.

Blend, Web, Design and Media: the 4 components of the Expression family.

Where's the innovation? Web developer space. Later this year, asp.net gets a new version with .net 3.5 (orcas): AJAX support in the box, LINQ support, and ListView, pure CSS data output. Visual Studio 2008 also comes with new features: Javascript code completion, and debugging support. Design and source view can be shown in split view, as well as richer CSS editor. [EDIT: They finally replaced the IE engine by the... frontpage one! As it happens its better at providing CSS rendering than IE in a few scenarios].

To show this capability, Paul Curtis for EasyJet showing something for EasyJet Holidays.

For the easyet Holidays website, they use the AJAX Image control. Below there's details for the holiday, using AJAX. Everything was done with AJAX Toolkit with Whidbey.

To find your preferred hotel, uses AJAX to provide code completion.To book a holiday for Milan, click find a holiday: At the top you can refine the search by using ajax. The right side of the application *should* be using Virtual Earth. It's production code. But it doesn't work... "Its live code, so users have the exact same problems as we speak". It works. pinpoints hotels on a map. Click on a name, map zooms on it. Birds Eye view available. Star rating for hotels. Each hotel can be atted to a short list, just like a scratch pad. Using a cookie, it saves the list of hotels and can be chosen later.

[Screenshots available at http://blogs.msdn.com/angus_logan/, cool!]

WPF 3.5 updates: LINQ support, FireFox support. and VS Orcas brings Visual Studio designer (Cider), good workflow with Expression.

Silverlight is a cross-browser and cross-platform: IE, Safari, Firefox, Windows and MacOS from Microsoft, and MoonLight from Novell (and the mono team, kudos to Miguel and his team). Mobile devices will be supported in the future.

You can use either the .net programming model or the javascript model. It includes a slimmed down version of the real CLR and a reduced surface library only in 5 megs.

It's the way to build Media Experiences and new applications called RIA: Rich Internet Applications. Brings some richness from the desktop on the browser.

One of the core scenarios is Videos. It includes codecs VC-1, WMV and MP3, can be streamed from any web server, or use a free windows media server for optimized content. Supports HD high quality video from the browser. Much higher quality for a fraction of the cost.

Demo to build Silverlight 1.0 and Expression Studio.

Demo. Expression Media grabs all the files being used and tag them. Supports more than a 100 formats. Can step through photoshop layers from within the application. The quick search lets you filter.

The video plays in the thumbnail too. Take the video, use Expression Encoder. It's not a video editing package. It's a preparation tool to release it after using Final Cut. You can put markers that get stored in an XML file.

The tool can encode bits for the application and check the quality as you go.

The video is showing an iPhone...

You can generate the output with code and buttons. If you're not happy with the result, as it's a project, you can go back and edit it and for example change it with Expression Blend.

You can modify things in Expression Design and export it to Silverlight, and open it in Expression Blend. Through XAML both tools show the same thing. You can then export that content back into the player that was created earlier. You can move the video around in Expression Blend and does a curvy thing around the video and clips around the edge of the video. This is all still XAML.

Some animation can be added. With other packages, there's no timeline. In Blend you only get the timeline when you use it. You create a new timeline, can move it around the screen. Change the scale starting very small and transparent on the timeline. [EDIT: hates quick stuff done the demo way for a designer, not enough time spent on it!]

The nice thing is you can take the project and move it back into Media Encoder, and create it as a template file. The next time a video gets encoded, it will be wrapped in the template you created.

Demo shows a video split in 70 pieces in real time by silverlight.

Real application built for the government, Ben Stirling and Lee Atkinson from Twofour.

Need for more immersive expereince to stream their windows media files. Didn't want to have to re-encode everything. Video of Nelson Mandella and Gordon Brown [EDIT: typical government i suppose].

You can bookmark videos, move them around the screen, and click on a video to play it. Videos can be played across platforms, which is needed for governments. Windows Format SDK and Windows Media Services are leveraged.

From a developer point of view, Silverlight reuses your current skills. By using the same tools, the Live TV platform already built works out of the box.

[EDIT: As I find the demo fairly boring so far, I'm playing around with the USB key given by conchango. It contains the latest Blendables and a copy of the conchango web site, plus the conchango mix reader] 

All this is already shipping today. The programming model for silverlight can be programmed two ways. First, Javascript in existing pages. It's lightweight, easy to get started, and blends silverlight very well with AJAX. In 1.1, .net is included, across platforms. Can use any .net language. It includes a WPF based model like in the desktop.

Why use .net in the browser? You can use any language you want: VB, CSharp, Ruby, Pascal, or any of the 65 supproted languages. It provides a high performance runtime, up to a thousands times faster than javascript. You can use very rich UI controls, graphics and media. Silverlight 1.1 will have a whole suite of controls. You can program against the HTML DOM too. You can have very strong networking support all the way to TCP/IP. And Data can be integrated very easily.

dot net solutions, Dan Scott. Software + Services and Silverlight. Scrum master, definition of what is scrum.

Scrum project wall: One column has backlog, a sprint column, and a column for tasks (Scrum backlog?). They want to do a virtual version of the SCRUM wall. It's a represetation of the normal SCRUM wall.

Pop out a bit from the backlog into a sprint. Each backlog can have a complexity level. Several applications are synchronized across several browser sessions. There is no direct channels between browsers. Using software+services, the data is pushed back and forward. It is just like indirect push for emaisl on on Windows phones.

Accounting: Software for accountants, about 19,000. In the taxation ream, accountants are using the software to do the tax returns and send them over the internet. One of the big issues is integrating the tax returns in such a way that users can interact with them.

Normal form is a pd format. [EDIT: Can they really get me to be interested in tax returns? Oh dear!] Print the acrobat file through the XPS printer, and opens in Internet Explorer. It's all XAML (XPS is XML Paper Specification, based on XAML).

A WPF application lets you import an XPS form (the same one from the Acrobat document). From there metadata can be added to where the fields are. You select a field, give it a key, which data type it is, and when switching to viewing mode it is now an editable column.

You have to tweak the XAML as XPS is only a subset. The form is now usable in a Silverlight application. A Python script is attached to modifications in a field. The code can be changed dynamically from the phone, refresh the browser page, it downloads the script again which is executed against the DLR.

The use of silverlight gives a clean separation between the content of the form and the form itself. Because the script is only a text file, the script can be modified and end users could change the interaction of fields through a GUI. [EDIT: I heard that before...]

Silverlight lets reuse existing skills in the web world, and narrowing the gap between desktop and browser.

Today: Silverlight 1.0 Expression Studio, Encoder 1.0. Silverlight 1.1 Alpha is shipping too, preview of Siverlight 1.1 Tools for Visual Studio 2008.

Later this year, .net 3.5 is shipping with visual studio 2008.

Next year, Silverlight 1.1, Expression Studio 2, and visual studio 2..0 tool support for Silverlight 1.1.

Links for the community: http://www.asp.net for asp.net, http://www.windowsclient.net for any client technology like WPF, and Silverlight on http://www.silverlight.net

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