XAML Fest – A Review

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I don’t like giving bad reviews, but when I sent my email in RSVPing a chair at an event called, “XAMLFest” I was expecting to have so much XAML that I’d feel as if I was being assaulted with confetti thrown everywhere – XAML confetti.  Unfortunately, that’s not what we(myself and the other attendees) got.  Instead, we experienced a whole lot of WPF and Silverlight, and I’d gauge about 1/3 of the entire thing was XAML, and most of that third was in the second day.  So for those who did not return after the disheartening first day, they missed out on the bulk of the XAML related content.

If you’re interested in more details, please read on:

Yesterday evening was the ending of the 2 day event, XAML Fest.

This 2 day event boasted through its name a full 2 days of XAML in concentrated form.  After personally attending this event, I’d like to propose a change to the name to “WPF Fest” or something to that effect.

The first day primarily focussed on the model of M-V-VM.  There are links all over the web regarding this, so if you’re curious about this, a google search will guide you in the right direction.  The first day we were knee-deep in c# between the constructors, creating multiple new classes which referenced each other, and having these tie into 5 lines of XAML.  By the end of this day, I was thoroughly frustrated.  Not that I don’t enjoy more information, alternative ideals, and learning more C#, but I’m at this point wondering why this thing is being called “XAMLFest”.  I will mention that towards the end of day 1, there was a bit more touched upon by way of walking us through the interface of Expression Blend and the construct of XAML files.

The second day was Silverlight centered and in as much, quite a lot paralleled the first day, however, there was a considerable level of XAML done in comparison to the first day, including the integration of our silverlight application with a 3rd party control called Blacklight, which is a very nice set of controls made available for download on Codeplex that really were pretty awesome.

After lunch, we dove a lot deeper into the workings of expression blend, customizing buttons and other controls which come with expression blend.  We challenged the blend presentor with questions that he wasn’t exactly comfortable with, but showed us regardless.  The interaction and enjoyment from those in the room definitely escalated during this part of the event, and from there on that tone continued to the end.

So at least it ended with a bang.

I would like to mention that it was definitely worth attending.  There were a few things that I discovered I was doing (as usual) the more difficult way.  Now I have a bit of restructuring to do in a way of preserving the integrety and bringing down pageload time – 2 things that I am always trying to improve upon.

If I were to letter-grade this event, I’d give it a C+

Sitting at XamlFest

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Hey all,

I’m sitting among 45ish people with laptops open and people eating goodies offered to all attending – at microsoft.

The “show” is about to begin.  I’ll be sure to blog about my opinions – have no fear 😛

Notes – 1pm – Day 1: What does XAML say to you?  To me, its design.  User Interface.  Easy to implement markup backing for UI.  So far – the first half of day 1 has been overview of what can be done with WPF and c# w/ it hooked into some very basic XAML.  The crowd that’s here are primarily code-monkeys, so this is certainly targeting the primary audience, but from a designer’s perspective, even one who straddles code a little, the design aspects have been side-comment in mention.

XamlFest – 2 day training

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The most recent group meeting with the Seattle Developer / Designer Interaction group was great – I think one of the most fun that we’ve had so far.

One of those attending was development Evangelist, Mithun Dhar, who mentioned to us the 2 upcoming XamlFest training events occuring next month.

I can’t help myself – 2 days of uninturupted training and colaboration with others who are interested in development and design working in WPF and Silverlight?

My email has been sent in to RSVP a spot – especially w/ mention that there are only 50 seats available!

Ok, so if you’re visiting and interested as well, here are a few links with information:



The skinny that you’ll find there is this:

Redmond & Portland both are hosts to XamlFest in the Pacific Northwest.  There are other areas that have these events as well, but I’m just going to talk about the 2 which are close to my home.  The Redmond, Washington one is the 16th and 17th (Monday and Tuesday) of February, and Portland, Oregon one is on the 19th and the 20th (Thursday and Friday).

If you wish to join, RSVP asap – seating is limited and I mean quite limited. 

The email addresses are fairly obvious which is for which, so I’m going to just list them both below:



All who attend will obtain a copy of Expression Studio and Visual Studio 2008 Pro.