PDC 2008: Day 4

November 1st, 2008

In fact PDC already ended. I was just too tired to blog anything because PDC was a very exhausting event 🙂

There was no keynote on the forth day of PDC, nor exhibitions. Most attendees were attracted by symposium.  However, I did not want to attend symposium this year.  According to my prior experience, most stuffs talked in the symposium would realize several years later (if realized) and the implementation typically changed a lot.  I went to several break out sessions instead.  The one about the future of CLR 4.0 was very interesting.  Basically, CLR 4.0 is heading towards three directions: better working together with existing code, greater performance for installation and runtime, more support for debugging and code quality improvement.  These factors composed my biggest troubles when I worked on C# programs four years ago, and finally Microsoft took a look at the ground and worked on solving these headaches.

I had also found something interesting about XAML.  I thought XAML was for UI and WPF programming, however, it could do much more than that.  Currently Microsoft is extending XAML to Workflow Foundation and Open Document Formats.  As I mentioned before, Microsoft will be able to create a 4GL that is capable of generating web applications if they could integrate the C# compiler service with the UML modeling in Visual Studio 2010.  The new modeling language, Oslo, and extended XAML for WF were apparantly created for this strategy.  Microsoft not only wants to create a web app 4GL, it wants to create 4GL for Windows Azure web apps!

The last session I attended was about how to create efficient background service under Windows 7.  Microsoft offered a new start type, Trigger-Start, for services.  Currently many programs existed in the form of background service because they needed to capture certain events (for example, plugging a USB device).  If these services were changed to Trigger-Start, system memory and threads are conserved for most of the time.  According to my experience in Symantec, this worked very well.  However, the programmers of these services would need to change their code, which will take years to be popular after the shipping of Windows 7.

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