Oh my goodness. What a week that was!
Here's how I thought I would do my first summary. Links to videos, discussions of sessions I either went to or tried to go to (more on that in a moment) along with my tweets from the ground, as it were.
My first real tweet Tuesday morning (8:37 California time) was announcing that my PluralSight C++ Fundamentals course had gone live. Then the keynote started. Here are my tweets and retweets along with the time into the keynote I said them:
- 6 minutes: #bldwin totally dominating my stream SS doing a good intro to lean back computing
- 37 minutes: RT @dseven WinRT API'S are natively built into Windows and built to reflect in different languages - C/C++ and .NET. #bldwin
- 42 minutes: Starting at 8PM today, Seattle time, you can download all of the code that attendees at BUILD received. t.co/nuTuwga
- 43 minutes: RT @wkrwk Did anyone notice the UI during the VSE 11 demo is the classic Windows UI? #bldwin
- 48 minutes: #bldwin VS vNext demo is breaking twitter = no hope of following it all
- 50 minutes: RT @andrewbrust Expression Blend is still Grey on Black. It could use a little "fast and fluid," frankly. #bldwin
- 51 minutes: Store menu in VS?? #bldwin #wholenewworld
- 58 minutes: RT @rhundhausen Desktop (#x86) apps can be listed in the #windows8 store as well #bldwin
- 61 minutes: RT @ayus :))) RT @timheuer The Red Shirt is dominant even when not present. #bldwin @scottgu
- 79 minutes, @EdgarSanchez retweeted @rickasaurus asking "I'm interested in hearing more about this new GPU offloading API. Any links? #bldwin" and I answered "Check my blog as the week goes on for GPU stuff"
- 80 minutes: RT @marypcbuk Sinofsky: that gaming PC looks like ice. Angiulo: more like lava, it converts 700w of power to 4.7 teraflops like 3,500 Cray XMPs #bldwinPlatform for Metro style apps
- 87 minutes: RT @Pete_Brown Dude just cracked open a laptop on stage and showed the electronics. Can't beat that #bldwin #geek
- 100 minutes: RT @andrewbrust When will we admit Sinofsky's doing a great job? He's working hard, not just presiding. #bldwin
- 120 minutes: RT @ronnipedersen If you have an iPad, don't watch the build keynote… It'll make you feel like you have bought a C64 #bldwin
- 127 minutes: RT @jonbrasted It is a great day to be a Windows developer. #bldwin #trbbuild
The download surprised me, I didn't think it would be ready for people to try on any old hardware. And the hardware demo was very very good. And sure, I was on instant messenger back to the office saying "it's official" when the rumour was finally confirmed that we were getting tablets. But mostly, I really liked what I saw and wanted to know more, which is what keynotes are all about.
After eating something completely unmemorable, I found my way to the overflow room, always a little more casual and a good place to find "the cool kids". I had already met a number of old friends in the huge keynote session and before it, but here were more. I'll just give you the links to the Big Picture sessions. They are all very good.
- 8 traits of great Metro style apps - a truly excellent session by a presenter who cares deeply about the topic. I tweeted a lot less during this one because it required more active listening.
- Platform for Metro style apps - another very good session during which I just retweeted some other people's "Hey, this stuff is C++" reactions and a link to the session planner app for the phone, which I used heavily.
By this time people were starting to "get it" (including me) and the excitement level was rising. Here's just what I retweeted:
- @coridrew #bldWin is really, really, really making me want to //BUILD/ Windows apps #BestConferenceNameEver #WhoKnew
- @briannoyes Add ref from js project to C++ library - really empasizes this is running native #bldwin
- +@fignewtron iPad limited in many ways to consumption - Windows 8 is production and consumption on many devices. Sales numbers decide winner. #bldwin
- @mcakins Wow, the silence from Apple's camp is deafening! Windows rocks once more! Its 1995 all over again! #bldwin
One more session: Tools for building Metro style apps - I was getting tired at this point. It was a lot to take in. People were lined up the length of the convention centre for tablets. I knew there were enough for all of us, so I went back to my room to edit my pointers module for the PluralSight course so it could "tack on" to the end of the published course. While videos rendered, I had a little back and forth on Twitter with people who had noticed how much fun I was having, and others who were playing with their tablets already. I slipped out to pickup the tablet about 7:30 but didn't open it till the module was done. Then:
- 10:48 pm: got major piece of work done ... yielding to temptation ... tablet here i come #bldwin
- 10:57 pm: How's that for fast setup? Everything's installed.... Trying visual studio next
- 11:11 pm: Just wrote a Win8 C++ app on the tablet with touch keyboard. Built and ran first time. #winning
That's right, I didn't even set up the bluetooth keyboard. People cite Visual Studio as an app you couldn't possibly use with touch. I wouldn't want to do it all day, but I did it! Then I played a bit more.
Day 2 started with another whole keynote
. C++ was front and centre here. Some tweets:
- 17 minutes: RT @seesharp 3D graphics debugging at the pixel level in DirectX. Unreal. #bldwin
- 33 minutes: RT @bgervin killer strategy for MS to help developers make HTML apps for iOS and Android #bldwin
- 34 minutes: RT @tpdorsey RT @EisenbergEffect […] in C++, you can write your own WinRT library, which when built, can be used by C++, C#, VB and JS.
- 34 minutes: RT @jmorrill This new COM and C++ version is not _anything_ like what you think it is. From what I can tell so far...effing amazing!!!!
- 49 minutes: Loved it RT @MichaelDesmond Zander shows off the new image editor in VS11 as he works on a C++ DirectX game.
- 54 minutes: RT @shycohen Moving a VHD while the machine is running is cool. Moving a live VHD is even cooler! :) Will enable amazing things in the future. #bldwin
- 82 minutes: most tattoos ever in an MS keynote
- 95 minutes: RT @seesharp WOAH. Did not expect Steve Ballmer today. Everyone was starting to leave already. Woah! #bldwin
- 97 minutes: RT @carafone 500,000 downloads of #win8 already! #bldwin
- 98 minutes: RT @LACanuck And #Win8 was downloaded 500K times in 12 hrs RT @mashable: RIM Has Sold Just 490,000 PlayBooks - on.mash.to/nEu0dU #bldwin
- 102 minutes: That's what these keynotes were missing! Turns out it's a great time to be a developer. I was worrying, no-one had told me yet #bldwin
- 105 minutes: I've been paid to program since 1979. Keynotes tell me at least once a year it's a great time to be a developer. And they're right. #bldwin
Then it was time for simultaneous breakouts, and that meant choices. You can search the sessions list
as well as I can. The C++ ones
are not to be missed. These are happy people who are delighted to tell us what's been going on, and they're proud of it, too. At 3:13 I tweeted "Went quiet because i am massively engaged with C++ content in packed rooms. Small break between sessions to say "wow!" #bldwin #happycamper
". The remainder of the afternoon was super confusing. People were jumping to conclusions, correcting each other, having opinions about the death of this that and the other. Because C++/Cx (the language extension you use to call WinRT) looks a lot like C++/CLI, people thought it was managed, but it's not, it's all native code and C++ Metro apps get a perf boost from that. The understanding that something amazing and powerful still has COM at the core began to grow. People were reporting trying to use Windows 8 gestures on their iPads and on nontouch screens, showing that the team has made some very intuitive choices. One tweet of mine I want to repeat: "Big props to Aleš Holeček for joining in the Q&A in the last C++ talk of the day when the questions got really Windows-y. Impressed. #bldwin
". Even if you're not a C++ developer, download that session
and watch the Q & A.
Day 3 started with being turned away from a C++ session
, and so going to a different C++ session
that was on at the same time. Several people from the C++ team made the trip with me, giving me a chance to tell them how impressive all this was. Meanwhile on mailing lists, people who weren't onsite and were 12 - 24 hours behind as they waited for session videos to go live were echoing the confusion and dismay of yesterday. It was hard to be patient with them. It's going to make sense, I wanted to tell them. Just hang in there! I took a small break from sessions to watch (and help with) the C++ part of Channel 9 Live (I am still waiting for links to the recording, because I couldn't hear everything they said and I want to) and then to Herb's second talk
- again the room jammed full and dozens turned away, Don Box (who had earlier reminded us COM is still love) blurting out his admiration for Herb as a speaker and the great content, and the terrific line, "We protect against Murphy, not Machiavelli
". What a time to be a C++ developer!
Day 4 kicked off with kind words from Daniel
and a chance to hand out paper copies of the whitepaper I recently blogged. I got some quiet time with various smart people who told me their thoughts on all this. I'm still synthesizing it all. I also was downloading videos like a mad thing. I came home with 22 hours of video to watch and since then have grabbed another 15 or so. Some people began to realize they had over-reacted. Some excellent blogs began to appear - Doug Seven,
for example, had several sensible things to say.
And then it was time to go. Glenn Ferrie tweeted "Writing C++ in the airport #bldwin #WinRT
" and that summed up the week for me. I have a lot of watching, coding, thinking, reading and talking to do so I can establish what all this means. But hey, why not join me? It's a great time to be a developer!