ReMIX ReVisit’ed

As already blurg-blogged, the Melbourne dose of reMIX happened last week (Thursday).  This was essentially billed as a Microsoft Silverlight love-fest, with the IIS-7 and IE-8 stuff also.

Some awesome demo’s, and lots of Deep Zoom (and here) on show, including a demo of the awesome Hard Rock Cafe memorabilia site, and even presenters using Deep Zoom in place of Microsoft PowerPoint (looked kinda cool).

First session of the day was the Keynote, with guest speakers a plenty.  Richard Lord from the ABC TV demo’ed a Silverlight streaming video site created by HYRO, using advertising overlays, and RSS tickers .  He termed the Silverlight world as “programmable rich media” – we saw some more of the “code” later in the day.

The main guest speaker was Mark Pesce, introduced as a futurist and one of the pioneers of VRML – and a keen advocate of twitter.

Click here to see the keynote – thanks to Angus Logan.

Also – same video is here.

Click here to read a textual version of Mark Pesce’s keynote.

He relayed some stories of being “HyperConnected”, including a twitter’er who was having problems with ComCast, and twittered his frustration.  He received a phone call only 30 minutes later, as there were support engineers monitoring the twitter channels.

And, the recent EarthQuake in China was reported exclusively via twitter – I’d actually been blogged & surfing, and saw comments on Twitter also – but nothing mentioned on the news websites, or TV.

His point was that “connection is king”, more so than content.   Very much a Web 2.0 view of things.   One other web application he displayed & discussed was Wikipedia – with over three million articles in just five years – and the de facto standard for knowledge these days – more so Encyclopedia Britannica, for instance.

He even has his own Wikipedia page – click here to view.

After a quick morning tea break, there were the split sessions – with both TECHNICAL and CREATIVE tracks.

Here’s a few key points as noted during the various sessions :

New Possibilities with Microsoft Silverlight 2

Jonas Folleso from Norway demostrated a Silverlight 2 application to show Twitter “cards”.  Was good to see lots of the pieces put together, including animation, styling, data binding and integrating to Twitter and Flickr.  Click here to see his demo application, and to download the source code also.

Jose Fajardo from Cynergy Systems showed the new Deep Zoom functionality that has morphed from SeaDragon.  He showed the Hard Rock Cafe site some more, and showed how easy it was to create a deep zoomable interface, using Deep Zoom Composer.

He also (passionately) showed how a newspaper website like The Age could beneift from having Deep Zoom images – very subtle and effective use of the technology.  Not bad for what he could achieve in a self-imposed timeframe of only 1/2 an hour to create.   The other cool one was the collaborative aspects using Silverlight “sockets”, such as sharing azoom of an X-Ray, for example, from technicians on the other side of the globe.

Introducing Microsoft Expression Studio 2

Tim Adlin Design Evangelist from Microsoft seemed to fumble a little during a run-through and demo of all the pieces in Expressions Studio 2 (in the show bag at the end of the day).

He showed the following :

  • Media 2 – for managing and editing images – and to publish to FTP/HTML
  • Design 2 – for editing of photos & images, like Paint.NET.  He showed adding of borders and effects, and then saved out as a “slice”
  • Blend 2 – the main piece for bringing it all together, to do controls, animations and so forth.
  • Web 2 – a nice web page designer, like a SharePoint Designer, or FrontPage
  • Encoder 2 – didn’t actually get to see in action.

Windows Live Platform

Angus Logan is the Technical Product Manager for Windows Live Platform.  He started out his blog with a quick twitter comment “doing a demo”, which prompted for some twitter heckling from those in the room (including me !)

He’s VERY passionate about the LIVE platform, and detailed the consumer focused bits of Windows Live.   And a lot about the developer aspects, espcially with regard to authentication, SSO and “passport” accounts.

There was also an overview of a Live mash-up of sorts, including Live Messenger, Virtual Earth, and Live Search.  Bronwyn Zande from Soul Solutions used the Australian Small Business Portal as a demo site for this.

Next up – John O’Brien (also from Soul Solutions) showed some Virtual Earth bits & pieces.  There are a number of new tools/controls – including some drag & drop ASP.NET web controls.

This would’ve saved me days on the recent Thats Melbourne website, by just setting some properties and client side extenders.

Click here to see some more about this – can’t wait till these controls are available !    This was probably one of the highlights for the day, for me !

Building an integrated media experience in SIlverlight

The guys from HYRO showed through a lot of their project & demo for ABC TV, with a lot (LOT) of custom JavaScipt, much of which is now redundant within Silverlight 2.   I actually skipped out of the first 1/2 of the session, to discuss Virtual Earth with Bronwyn and John.


Building Rich Internet Application using Silverlight 2

Philip Beadle from Readify showed through a Silverlight application within Visual Studio 2008, using a fictitious Duke Nukem vs Chuck Norris punch-up with attendees invited to use thier mobile to navigate to a web page, and lodge kicks, punch and so forth (WTF !?).

Theere was much code to be had, including retrieving data from a web service, and also XML+LINQ to eventually display within a SIlverlight page.

Using Microsoft Silverlight for Creating Rich Mobile User Experiences

The last session of the day looked like it might have been a flop, with the original presenter cancelling at the last moment.   But, Micheal Kordahi, Shane Morris and Dave Lemphers put together a great session.

Firstly, Shane did an overview of the business aspects to mobile development, and some considerations when approaching such design.   Not just “small form”, but that should design for mobile “people” – rather than mobile “devices”.

Micheal did a demo within a Windows Mobile device, connecting to a webpage/site located on his laptop.   He created a “mouse gesture” interface, which much humour, and applause from the crowd.   A great “fun” prezzo to end the day.

There are some great posts & articles out there, from reMIX :

Thanks to all involved – see you next year !


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