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Visual Studio 2008, DotNetNuke, and Wrox in Vegas

by Jim Minatel

I'm writing this on the way back from the DevConnections conference in Las Vegas. This is a conference that just keeps getting better every year. With major tracks for ASP.NET, Visual Studio, and SharePoint, as well as a co-located new OpenForce DotNetNuke conference, the Microsoft developers among the 5000 attendees could not have left disappointed.

The week kicked off with news from Barcelona Monday morning that Visual Studio 2008 would release on schedule and be available to MSDN subscription customers by the end of November. For Scott Guthrie, Brian Goldfarb, and all of the more than 1,000 developers at Microsoft who worked on this release, this has to be a great response to Microsoft critics who complain about constant product release date ships. More importantly though, hopefully this will be the first of many release dates that hold, giving Microsoft shops more confidence and ability to depend on release dates in their own planning.

In addition to the Visual Studio 2008 release announcements, most attendees got a first look at some bleeding edge technology coming soon from Microsoft. In the ASP.NET space, Eilon Lipton and Scott Hanselman introduced the audience to a new MVC (model view controller) framework for ASP.NET. This project takes a cue from the popularity of similar frameworks for languages popular in the open source community. SharePoint developers got their first exposure to Microsoft's new Search Server 2008 and the free Search Server 2008 Express. As important as search is becoming in enterprises who are sometimes struggling to expose the data and documents to employees in a relevant way, we expect this to become another important development tool for business.

It's been a busy month for Wrox too. In the last few weeks, we've published more new books than I can list here, but you'll find them elsewhere in the newsletter. A couple of particular ones I'd like to highlight are Beginning DotNetNuke Skinning and Design. With the huge success of the DotNetNuke OpenForce conference, we see continued explosive growth in this most successful Microsoft Open Source project and are committed to several other upcoming new books for DotNetNuke. This book also represents the first book with Shaun Walker, the creator of DotNetNuke, in his new role as Wrox DotNetNuke Series Editor.

I'm also excited to see our Professional SlickEdit book available. We know that the official language vendor IDEs aren't used by everyone, and we're happy to have a book for developers using this flexible third-party "text editor for programmers." I hope it's just the first of several books coming soon that are outside what you might think of as traditional Wrox books.

Of course, we've published a couple of new Wrox Blox as well. Outside of Microsoft tools and technologies, there's the new "Introduction to Google Gears: Creating Off-Line Applications with Pre-built Components." And in a different genre, we've got "Create Amazing User Interfaces with WPF, C#, and XAML in .NET 3.0." While WPF and XAML are officially more than a few months old now and therefore don't fit the "hot" new model for most Wrox Blox, we just keep getting so many requests for "where can I learn more about WPF" that we saw the need for this Wrox Blox, which takes a little different and more focused approach to WPF than what we've seen in books so far.