Rob Howard’s VTdotNET presentation

In February (’05) we had Rob Howard scheduled to speak at VTdotNET as an INETA speaker, and we were very excited. Even with a snowstorm, there were a lot of people planning to come. Unfortunately, the snowstorm prevented Rob from getting to Vermont …. he got stuck in Chicago at the airport waiting for his flight to take him to Vermont. The plane was delayed so many hours that we finally decided to cancel the meeting and Rob got on a plane back home to Texas. The Vermont bound plane did not arrive in Burlington until after 8:00 pm.

But he still wanted to come (and we still wanted him to!), so we scheduled Rob again and that meeting was last night – and it was worth the wait!

Rob did a presentation on ASP.NET 2.0 Tips & Tricks. He had a list of 10 cool things you can do with ASP.NET 2.0, but also talked about others that he was using in the code samples, such as master pages and the fact that VS no longer boggles your HTML formatting. Talks like these are great. Sure I can find the info elsewhere, but I am busy and focusing on many things at once, so having this stuff spoon fed to me is almost a necessity. One thing that makes a session great is not just showing how, but also explaining why, which Rob did regarding each of his 10.

Of the list, the one item that is the most intriguing to me is the cross page postback. I have had to do an enormous amount of trickery to move inkdata around in a web application as the ink data is client side data and I want to do things with it on the server side and have to do things like expose it in a hidden field, grab it in the server side code of another page from the page.request object then stuff it into a session and have my way with it. Pre-RTM,  I was having problems with ink on the web in VS2005, but will now be able to explore the possibility of simplifying moving the data around with the cross page postback. I still have the problem of the ink data being on the client side, not the server side, but with some additional tools at my disposal, I may be able to come up with a better solution.

Rob’s talk was great. As he said, he was only able to skip a stone across the surface of the goodies in ASP.NET 2.0, but it’s a fantastic start for people to be able to take advantage of the new release. The power of getting this information out in front of people is expressed well by Dave Burke, who said in a blog post this morningbecause of Rob’s presentation the fear of potential problems in migrating my primary development machine from Beta 2.0 to the RTM has been lessened by the anticipation of using VS2005 exclusively.”

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