This is part of a transcription of my notes from Microsoft’s recent BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA, minus anything that might be considered Red Gate confidential. Thus, they’re somewhat unstructured, sometimes ramble off-topic, and often contain dodgy grammar. My own commentary and observations will generally be italicised so you can easily distinguish it from the reporting on what actually happened. Much has already been said about this conference, and about Windows 8, but I hope you find these useful. Please feel free to comment or ask questions and I’ll be happy to answer them as best I can.
Antoine Leblond is Senior Vice President, Windows Web Services at Microsoft Corporation.
Interaction with Windows in the Metro environment is via the Windows Runtime APIs, or WinRT. Microsoft provide a unified toolset for developing Metro apps that allow you to pick the languages and technologies you want to use, which means you can bring forward and develop your existing skills, rather than have to learn a whole new technology afresh.
(It was at this point I suddenly realised how annoying Steven Sinofsky’s habit of interrupting other presenters must be to them. I wanted to wedgie the guy and toss him off the stage into the front row of developers to stave off the possibility of a worse rampage later on.)
He also turned a primitive app into a full touch photo picker app, which he automatically integrated with Socialite by implementing the “share” contract, allowing him to share back photos via the charm – photo uploading occurs asynchronously so the app remains responsive.
Showed Expression Blend 5, which can now work with HTML 5 & CSS, as well as XAML. It works in exactly the same way for both, so it’s easy for existing Blend users to work with apps developed with HTML/CSS rather than XAML.
In the HTML version of the demo app the app bar at the bottom (swipe up or down from either bottom or top edge to bring up) is implemented as a
There’s a new HTML “grid” that can be used for layout to implement a tiled app – this might be a Microsoft extension since the CSS has a load of MS specific properties:
There are similar properties in the code for the canvas object as well. It felt a bit like “Welcome back old Microsoft of my youth, where have you been this past decade?”
I was generally impressed: it seems like it’s possible to be very productive with the new tooling and extensions.