I am back to a sweltering east coast after a trip back to Ireland, where the weather was unusually warm, sunny and generally resplendent full of summer color. The ability to head back to where I grew up seems to allow me to catch my breath, and take stock.
At the mid-way point in the calendar year its good to look back and see whether some of the predictions and expectations from January have taken hold. Particularily impressive was my former alma mater, Trinity College (see left and my flickr images) It remains an oasis of academia and care free student life in a city that has grown out of any recognition that I had when I was an under-grad.
With as much flying that I've done, it is the perfect opportunity to get a few thoughts done on paper. The following are some notes I made at 30,000'
So to that end, it seems like a good point to list out what turned out as I expected, and some of the surprises over the past six months:
* LINQ, Entities Data Model, E-SQL and WinFS now all fall under the guise of ADO.NET. Microsoft's ambitions and goals for ADO.NET vNext are clearly placing the .NET platform as the development platform for the future.
* A refreshing sense of openness and engagement with the community at large as we prepare for the next wave of .NET standards is encouraging. While the true debate has only just begun, I think there is a general spirit of getting this release right for all developers.
* TechEd 2006: My first Microsoft event left me breathless and very impressed. It was missing however some of the abundant JavaOne like collaborative community and sense of spirit. Certainly this was a much more commercial show that what I had experienced at my previous 8 JavaOne's.
* Our Connect for ADO.NET Providers reached 3.0 version with two releases and I'm very proud of this release.
* Java EE 5.0 shipped to much fan fare at JavaOne 2006. Not to be outdone, opinions are already circulating decrying the death of the EE platform, some of which can be attributed to the growth of SOA. I'm not sure I agree, but much will depend on the adoption curve of the latest EE standard and what is in store for Java EE 6.0 and Java SE 7.0. Perhaps an answer to LINQ, we shall see...
* Java SE 6.0 edges ever closer to GA. My perspective is that things look reasonably stable enough to expect a GA late this year.
* A surprise on the Java SDK front - introducing JavaDB into the stack very late in the development cycle seems to have upset some people, while delighted others. Personally, I believe developers will enjoy a JDBC 4.0 compliant database immediately at their disposal, however some of the conversations that propose to have distributed embedded database aps seem disingenuous at best.
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