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Living Can Kill You

Mix07 wrap-up

Finally made it back to Toronto after a case of mistaken departure and a very bumpy takeoff.

Mix07 was, for me, even with the heavy presence of Microsoft-marketing, a worthwhile conference. Well-run, with a great mix of sessions, I learned more than I expected, and was even re-inspired by a number of the things I saw.

The social networking I did (real-world only — I finally activated my long dormant Twitter account and used it like mad) was limited to a few in-between session talks and, really, only the first night out. Unfortunately, I was too tired to attend the BarCamp/Facebook party, which seemed to have been the best of the after-session events. That being said, during the final lunch, I had a very POSH time with Molly, Tantek as well as IE’ Chris Wilson and Pete LePage among others.

Big take-away: Microsoft is working hard to be as open as it can be. Although many critics of Silverlight are knocking it for being a Flash-clone, it really seems to be poised more as a Web 2.0 (read JavaScript + CSS + Ajax) alternative — and one ideally suited for those currently using the .NET platform.

Working for a company not using .NET, though, there still seems to be some benefit ’ especially when it comes to something like the “Reader” software and simple cross-platform video.

One last little tidbit: a few years ago, Microsoft actually proposed conditional comments for CSS like they’ve already done with HTML and JavaScript. This is something I’ve long wanted (as it would end all the “* html”-type hacks), but now know I probably will never see. The proposal was soundly rejected by those working with the CSS standard out of fear that it would encourage bad behaviour and break the Web. For those following the HTML5 working group debates, this may all sound quite familiar.