The SDC 2009 conference is over. It is the biggest annual developer conference in the Netherlands with 2 days full of session in 9 parallel tracks and international speakers. This year SDN Conference was also hosting the official Dutch Windows 7 launch event for Developers from Microsoft. On Monday evening a keynote took place, followed by 2 timeslots from which you could select specific Windows 7 sessions. Microsoft in the Netherlands - represented by some of the former Borland employees - has announced developer competition for the most interesting Windows 7 applications using touch, rich animation, sensor and location, taskbar and ribbon. It would be really cool to write such an application in Delphi 2010 as there is already great support for many of the cutting-edge features in Windows 7, like Task Dialog and glassing (D2007), Ribbon controls (D2009), Touch, Multitouch and Gesturing (D2010). All Windows 7 API are exposed via native interfaces (that’s what Delphi is using directly) and there is also an additional .NET layer provided for building Windows applications in managed code (http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/WindowsAPICodePack).
On Delphi track for the first time we had a great guest - Barry Kelly, Delphi R&D compiler engineer - who talked about new RTTI enhancements (check out "rtti.pas" unit in your Delphi 2010 installation) and experimental Delphi garbage collector called "TFreezer". He, he… That was a good fun!
I’ve also followed Marco Cantu sessions on threading and Windows 7 development in Delphi 2010 and Cary Jensen session on 9 techniques for thread and process synchronization. Very, very interesting. Cary and Marco are extremally popular Delphi speakers and they are looking to organize another round of Delphi Developer Days next year. If you REALLY want them to come to your city - just shout:-)
From my personal point of view the most interesting sessions were by Hadi Hariri. Hadi is very popular and knowledgeable Delphi programmer who in the past worked on Intraweb and Indy components. The first session by Hadi that I have attended was a replacement session where he presented "Introduction to jQuery". I was always interested in jQuery and it was very informative session with lots of additional useful comments on technology. Basically you do not need any server side technology to have great looking web pages that take advantage of the locally available processing horse power and properly use AJAX (or AJAJ, as there is JSON instead of XML).
The next two sessions from Hadi were on Delphi Prism ASP.NET MVC development. Hadi explained why he does not like abstractions of WebForms and why MVC approach is so much better. The ASP.NET MVC architecture is basically Ruby on Rails framework recreated in the ASP.NET. One of the corner stones of Ruby on Rails is "convention over configuration" and this is really powerful. The idea is that you start from a complete web application with proper structure and all unit tests in place. It is easier to modify than starting from scratch.
Hadi, Marco and other speakers very often were comparing different web architectures to WebBroker that is there in Delphi since at least Delphi 5. Back than 10 years ago WebBroker was a little bit too much into the future, but now all the concepts of WebBroker architecture are absolutely relevant. Maybe it is an idea to do what Microsoft did with Ruby on Rails - replicate RoR on our own Delphi WebBroker architecture?