Yesterday was the last day of the MVP Summit. Yes, that was yesterday. I have not had the time, or the energy rather, to post an entry right after closing time. The whole day was filled with info on the new features of Whidbey, especially concerning the Visual Basic IDE and language. That's what I opted for when asked what sessions I would like to do on Wednesday. There were also sessions on ASP.NET, C# etc. But you can be one at one place at a time and since most of my current work involves VB, this was the best option.,
The VB team went out of their way to improve interaction with the MVPs which is good. They want to make sure that MVPs are more involved in making VB a better, no the best language for .NET development. Which is a pretty difficult thing to do if you want to attract people coming from VB5/6, newbies, and hard-core developers that have been using VB.NET since Beta 1. One thing that makes VB stand out is productivity. To make sure that you can be 2 to 4 times more productive with VB than with C# is the challenge that the VB team has taken up, and by the looks of it, they may well achieve that with VS Whidbey. For instance, there's a new 'My' namespace that exposes a lot of classes and methods to get quick access to resources on the local computer (network, drives, sound). The only issue I see is that all this will create 3, 5 or more solutions to tackle a single problem. That may confuse a lot of people, that will create discussion on what is the best practice and in my opinion, we don't need a discussion like that. If you want to be productive, you don't need 5 options and figure out for yourself which of these options is the 'right thing to do'.
So the VB team has a lot to do when it comes to documentation, presenting best practices, quick answers to common problems. And that's where the MVPs come in. The question was how many attendees at this session were willing to contribute to create content for the VB section on MSDN. Naturally a lot of MVPs raised their hand (including me), but I hope there's an uncomplicated way to submit content or rather, a way that is not time consuming, because we are all busy. Looking at the codesnippet section on DevTips.NET not a lot of people are contributing. Why is that? If you have an answer, please tell me.
Anyway, it was good to hear the VB product team reach out and try to increase interaction with us. Even if most of the featureset in Whidbey is now frozen, it may prove useful for the version after that and at least optimize the features that are included in Whidbey (partial classes, generics, code refactoring, etc. (I can't remember the complete featurelist)).
By no means is the MVP summit the only way to interact with Microsoft. I've written down quite some e-mail addresses, and reorganizations aside, hope to chat one-on-one with people from the team.
As I said, that was yesterday. Today I'm taking the time to look around in Seattle and I hope to take a boat tour. New pictures will follow.