tech ed day five

i had to wait until the last day of tech ed to experience a speaker that has such a cult following that he can get away with holding is talk from a bathtub on stage. of course i’m talking don box here.

besides being a great speaker don is known for soap co-authorship and sitting on the xml schema working group. don spoke at length about how massive the transition from traditional win style programming to .net will be. in his view it compares only to the change from DOS to windows nt.

besides cracking jokes all the time don showed how the move to richer metadata in the type system transfers the intent of a programmers code better than current approaches do. in his words, understanding the matrix helps you to understand the clr. there is an (idealized) world inside the clr, and tough reality beneath. much as there has been a distinction between userland and kernel mode, don argues that adding another layer of abstraction will help to get better results. while it is certainly true that higher levels of abstraction give you more leverage, you cannot avoid to wonder how layers upon layers of cruft (.net was basically bolted onto com implementation-wise to maintain compatibility with the installed base) make for a stable system…