October 28, 2006

Mono Meeting 2006: A Quick Reivew

I am now back in Texas. What a great time I had at the meeting! I did not take any photographic equipment – which is a first. However, thanks to Martin and Rev Fry all of us can enjoy video of the conference.

New and Old Friends

Talk about gratification! I managed to shake hands, eat dinner and in some cases go out drinking with some of my mono community heroes and/or their family members. Some of the folks that I got to see for the first time in the flesh include Jonathan Pryor, Jonathan Chambers, JB Evain, Larry Ewing, Chris Toshok, Aaron Bockover, Ankit Jain and Raja Harinath.

It was great to see and hang out with my great friends Gonzalo, Jackson, Lluis, Paolo, Sebastien, Mike Kestner, Massimiliano, Atsushi, Miguel, Wade, Brady Anderson, Frank Rego, Niel Bornstein, Urs Muff, and of course, Joseph Hill. It was also good to meet again and share some dinners with Dick Porter, Martin Baulig, Ben Maurer, Duncan Mak and a lot of other new friends like Ismael and Andreia.

Some of the folks that I wish would have been able to make it to the meeting include, Kevin Shockey, Todd Berman, Geoff Norton, Peter Johanson, Daniel Morgan, C.J. Adams-Collier, Joe Audette, Matt Gutierrez, Zac Bowling, Calvin Gaisford, Peter Bartok, Jordi Mas and Erik Dasque.

The actual business end of the meeting was a smashing success! Oh my God!, what level of professionalism and technical precision in all of the presentations. It is obvious that we have so much to thank Miguel de Icaza, but it is important to also include Katey McMahon for all her hard work helping with coordinations and execution.

Google sent Christophe Bisciglia, an extraordinary person and a fellow that has now become a personal friend. As if the Summer of Code projects and other contributions to Mono were not enough, Google also wined and dinned about 54 of the conference attendees in a memorable evening at one of the restaurants of the Charles Hotel in Harvard.

The Sessions

As I mentioned before, the quality and content of the sessions was superb. The topics range from the very technical Garbage Collection (GC), Just-In-Time Compilation (JIT), and Mono Security to the highly anticipated MonoDevelop and Stetic. Luminaries like Charlie Poole and members of the MainSoft team also gave talks that help me appreciate the achievements of their products as well as their place within the Mono project.

The presentation that JB Evain from db4objects gave on db4objects, convince me to use it over my original choice of SqlLite as the embedded database on my upcoming external ballistics software project. Joseph Hill did a superb job at whipping out an impromptu Boo demo the night before the official meeting started. In fact, Joseph's demo might have help Aaron touch up the work on a totally cool Boo scripting console that the next version of Banshee will sport!

Sebastien, demonstrated Gendarme and MonoXide, which I immediately put to use when I got back home on various Gtk# apps I have been working on. Paolo went over the new Garbage Collector that he has been working on and his talk brought back memories of Jeffrey Richter discussion of MS .NET garbage collection on an Advance .NET Framework Training I took from Wintellect – although Paolo's talk was more interesting and clearer.

Atsushi Enomoto's talk on Olive surprised me quite a bit because I did not know that he had been working on Indigo and Infocard. The MonoDevelop presentation was the one just before mine. That made it a specially tough act to follow. Lluis had great stuff to show and even when I use MonoDevelop regularly I learned a lot about Stetic. Mike Kestner had a short presentation but did a good job of bringing us up to date and confirmed what I was hoping to hear. Mike is scheduled to return to all things Gtk# soon as his participation on the WindowsForm team draws to a close.

Speaking of WinForms, the new team members were introduced and their presentation was cool and full of surprises. They demoed Paint.NET running on Linux and exercised some of the theming capabilities that they have built for WinForms.

Finally, my Visual Studio for Mono Development session went well. You can see a video of it here.

Conclusion and Aftermath

From my end of things, I will now begin work on re aligning the Gtk# Installer for .NET Framework SDK so that it includes as many of the other separate installers (like the GRE installer for Gecko# and the VSPrj2make installer).

Charlie Poole pointed out that the Visual Studio Add-in featured that I have been calling “Test in Mono” could be misinterpreted as a unit testing or other task associated with Test driven development. Therefore, I will likely rename that feature to “Run in Mono”.

While on that subject, we all agreed that there is a great deal of interest in creating a “Run in Mono on Linux” feature that will take advantage of a virtual copy of Linux running on the same computer as the one hosting Visual Studio and Mono for Windows. This will expand the quality of the testing done on the platforms being targeted by providing instant feedback while adding realism.

The InstallerMaker demonstration was well received. This means that I will indeed continue to try to integrate it into the features of the Visual Studio Add-in.

In the months to come, Novell will take over the release and packaging of the Gtk# Installers for .NET Framework. Wade and I spent most of the day Wednesday going over the functional parts of the Gtk# Installers and reviewing the challenges he may encounter.

There will always be a special place in my heart and thoughts for the Mono Meeting held on March 2004. Having said that, I will tell you that the Mono Meeting of 2006 was a tremendous success and will now be the standard for which other Mono events will be measured.

Posted by martinf at 08:17 PM | Comments (1)

October 22, 2006

The Second Mono Conference

I am down to packing my backpack with my laptop and a few other tech gizmos. Although I am not looking forward to the hassles of air travel, I almost could not sleep as I was filled with anticipation over the coming Mono Meeting. My Mom will drive me to the DFW airport. Gracias Mami!

You see, the first Mono conference held back on March 2004, literally changed my life (and subsequently that of my family). I am honored to be featured among the rest of the folks that will be presenting, but above all, very happy to be attending this event.

Last night, Maria and Monica sat through two back-to-back passes at my presentation. After some constructive criticism, and some minor trimming here and there, we hammered out what I will be showing on Monday.

I only wish Paquito could be here to share this moment with me. Perhaps the Martinez boys (Roger, Cuco, Gabo and Paqui) will be watching from heaven and will be cheering similar to that last scene from Return of the Jedi :-D

Posted by martinf at 04:34 AM | Comments (1)