Boy is Tim one fun and entertaining and smart guy! If you are familiar with the Iron Chef, you will understand Tim’s tales about doing the Iron Developer at a Bill Gates keynote. We had a blast last night with him as the Vermont.NET presenter (thanks to the fact that he is an INETA speaker, we were able to get him to come all the way to Vermont). Tim talked to us about the broad topic of Smart Clients, continuously inviting us to debate with him about the definition over a beer after the meeting!
This was based on his upcoming (and well travelled but ever-evolving) TechEd 2004 talk “Architecting and Building Smart Client Applications with .NET”. Because it is a broad topic, there are many approaches one can take in presenting on it, and this talk was not only a great overview, but dug into particular details in a way that I was also able to learn a lot of new things.
For example, I have struggled on occasion (and then just given up so I can move on with development) with “oh it’s SO EASY NOW” deployment in .net win apps. Early on I bought into the “deploy/install” from the webserver” flag waving and gave up after countless hours of not being able to get the app.config file to install on particular machines. Now the true method is to install via MSI or other normal means and then update from the webserver. I still haven’t been using that in my thankfully small enough that I can still get away with it – clients. Recently I thought I would just take a look at the Application Update Block and quickly discovered that I was going to have to spend some serious time with it before I could use it. (yeah yeah, click once NEXT year! 🙂 ). These events are not so great for one’s ego. So I was very happy to have Tim confirm that a) webserver install was in fact half-baked for anything with complexity to it and b) the App Updater Block was not for the faint of heart. So I will go back to the AppUpdaterComponent that has been around for quite a while, which he showed us (and I missed at DevDays since I was presenting in the Webtrack). It’s one of those things that, having seen in live, in action, made the difference for me.
Anyway, Tim was great fun, quite entertaining and we learned a lot. After the meeting a bunch of us, including blogger Dave Burke, took Tim and his wife, Kelly, to one of the local breweries to “sample” some of their beers and great English pub fare.
And we had three completely new people at the meeting last night. I always love that!
Tim is on his way to Ft. Lauderdale for another INETA speaking engagement tonight at the Gold Coast Users Group.