Philly.Net hosted its second Center City meeting on April 11 at Structured Hosting. Just like the last meeting in NJ, we had a capacity crowd again. I think these new meetings/venues are a success! If you missed the meeting (or if you need some details) here is my synopsis. Thanks again to Dani and Mike for setting it up.
And don’t forget our next meeting is April 18 at SEI in Oaks, Pa. See the Philly.Net site for more details.
Note: I’ll add the slides and content to this post as soon as I get them from the presenters.
Presenter: Jason Beres, Infragistics
Topic: Understanding ASP.NET AJAX and the AJAX Control Toolkit
Jason and Infragistics were kind enough to provide 3 licenses for Infragistics Net Advantage (I think this is valued at $995, sweet!) as door prizes. Thanks Jason!
Presenter: Walt Ritscher, ScandiaSoft
Topic: WPF — Microsoft’s Magnificent New Graphics Engine
Walt was in town from Washington State for a few days and offered to stop by and do a presentation for us. Check out his blog WPF Wonderland to learn all about Windows Presentation Foundation. The stuff he showed off is not easy to put into words but the demo’s were very cool. Here is my attempt at summarizing what he talked about. Sorry Walt if I’ve I’m not accurate. I learned a lot tonight, even if I can’t explain it correctly!
With WPF we will have the ability to create applications that look drastically and dramatically different then before. He listed some of the benefits and concepts of WPF: The Compositing Engine, Graphics Processor Unit, Drawing (animations are faster), DWM-Desktop Windows Manager (with Vista, applications don’t render the graphics, the DWM does it for them). With WPF you have only 1 windows handle, no refreshes, no paint events, and you can layer controls. You get much better graphics (faster, vector based drawing, opacity masking). WPF provides a model for templates and styles so that all controls are now style-able, sort of like CSS for windows. He showed us how to use XamlPad (download it here) to quickly and easily create controls with features that would have been difficult or impossible up until now. He even created a button with a checkbox inside it!
He ended a few cool demos including how to create a “cloth” (this can’t be explained, it had to be seen) with text and a 3-D scatter chart in WPF. This presentations had lots of “oohs” and “ahhs”.
This was a great presentation and one thing is clear, we all have a lot of learning to do!