This was probably one of the better VDNUG meetings I had been to ... I'm glad I got there early enough for some pizza as more than the usual amount of geeks rocked up tonight ;-)
I was also happy to hear that they are going to start a Silverlight Users Group with the first meeting to be held on 27th November - WOOT! After getting into Silverlight a bit more during the Devsta 08 competition I'm pretty keen to continue to develop my skills further.
Jonas Folleso gave a great presentation about Silverlight, demonstrating his DiveLog application. What was so good about the presentation besides the great slides and flawless code demos was the fact that this was a very well thought out and well designed "real world" application which dealt with Designer collaboration issues (which he does well considering his girlfriend is a designer), Unit testing, and browser issues (navigation, printing, SOA, etc), converting Silverlight to WPF application.
In summary he covered the following;
using forms authentication and custom membership providers to implement secure web services.
using Expression Blend and how a developer can be more helpful to the designer - using Mocking to provide dummy data to the design surface.
showed examples of data binding, using INotifyPropertyChanged, ObservableCollections, IValueConvertors and DataContexts.
showed a great example of design implementing Command pattern to minimize the amount of code in the code behind file
demonstrated the built in Silverlight unit testing capabilities which run in the browser
It was the best end to end Silverlight presentation I've seen and we look forward to more from Jonas. Download the source code from his site check it out for yourself.
NOTE: The presentation was streamed, but i'm not sure if it was recorded. Will post link when it becomes available.
John Li brought in his custom built surface computer to demonstrate some multi-touch applications and discuss possibilities of other useful applications. His surface computer was put together after several prototypes and end up costing him (or his employer) around $6000 - not bad, but not great if you wanted to knock one together yourself - although John reckons he could put one together in a week ... he might have a good little business there.
He demonstrated the usual applications;
Photo manipulation - resizing, rotating, etc (although he realised he needed a close all button ;-)
Map Navigation - including data from Virtual Earth and Google Maps. What was impressive here was the overlaying functionality
High density multi-scale images (read Deep Zoom-able images) - with some cool architectural drawings and demonstrated the overlaying technology again - showing drawings from different levels intersecting with each other.
Video manipulation - similar to the photo app - but showed how you could have multiple users working together on the same surface to put together a film clip.
His general point was how 'natural' multi-touch applications translate well to surface technology. Overall very interesting as always - I was kind of hoping to see some code but I guess the Surface SDK will be coming out soon after the PDC (Professional Developers Conference).