I was at the MSDN Developer Conference in Boston today.  It was my first developer conference of any type and was pretty interesting.  At first I was a bit taken back by the whole evangalist tone but I guess that's to be expected at that sort of event.  The attendence was larger than I thought it would be.  300 people I'm guessing??  I suspect the average age was 25-35 years old.  The ratio of guys to girls was probably 20 to 1... at least.  It was tough to guage the vibe of the event.  Unfortunately I had to go back to work after lunch.

The keynote was largely focused on Microsoft's new Azure services.  Azure is thier cloud computing platform and seems pretty cool.  I think they envision it competing with Amazon's EC2.  I also attended a session on ASP.net/jQuery.

WinterjQuery is an open source javascript library that has quickly become extremely popular due to its concise nature.  With jQuery, you can write 5 lines of code which would be 25 lines in plain javascript.  Check it out if your doing any sort of web development.  I can honestly say that jQuery makes writing javascript refreshingly simple, if not fun.

If you haven't heard yet, jQuery is officially being supported by Microsoft, even shipping it with Visual Studio  This is interesting primarily because it is open source.  Chris Bowen, a "developer evangelist covering the Northeast US", promised to our faces that Microsoft will _not_ 1) fork jQuery, and 2) embrace, extend, and extinguish jQuery.  Microsoft says they will contribute to jQuery though.

I hope that we were not lied to.  Call me a skeptic but can't you see a scenario, where five years from now, there's some feature that they just absolutely need but jQuery doesn't want to add?  Browser compatibility comes to mind.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

If you want to kill a few minutes (or about 60), I was first introduced to jQuery by a video link I found on Slashdot last year some time.  The video is of a 12-year-old kid named Dmitri who gives a presentation about jQuery at a Google event.  The presentation is, on one hand, painful.  Dmitri is obviously not a polished speaker.  However, if you can make it throught the um's and ah's, the content is dead on and its neat to see such a young guy weild jQuery like a grizzled veteran.  He's pretty good with the DOM as well.  Here's the link.

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