Back from ASP.NET Connections in Orlando, which sounds glamourous, but was a quick 4 day trip with me stepping outside of the hotel on only a couple of occasions. The trip out was good, despite a delay in Chicago, but I did get to spend several enjoyable hours in the bar, talking to some people who’d been there for about 6 hours, due to a dead plane. My arrival in Orlando, at 12:30am (that’s just after midnight), meant that the taxi queue was minimal and was timed to perfection, as I shared a cab with Brian Dawson, PM on the Data team, who was speaking on the Entity Data Framework.
Sunday was helping out in the pre-conf ASP.NET workshop; this is a “bring your own laptop” affair, hosted by Paul Litwin and Stephen Walther, but Alex & I were providing additional support during the exercises. Monday was all day prepping and the first talk was on Tuesday – mapping; it was OK, not as good as I wanted; I’ve some ideas I’d like to put in to practice if I get a chance to do that talk again. After that was the IE7 talk, which was good. The final talk was on Wednesday, on CSS, which was great; I really onjoyed that talk and would love to do it again at the next conference; the session was full, which shows there’s a big demand for developers who need to learn CSS. In fact I’d like to do two CSS talks, adding a more advanced one; or even a half day workshop on CSS. I might propose that for next time.
What was particularly interesting about the CSS talk was asking how many people use tables for layout and for forms; the response was almost all attendees doing so. This really does show that developers either don’t get how easy some CSS is, or they don’t have the time or possibility to implement it, or that they simply don’t know there’s another solution. I know that using tables isn’t the worst crime you can commit, but it’s generally an easy way to improve web sites. I’m really keen on trying to push CSS to the ASP.NET developer community, who are stuck in Visual Studio, using it’s design tools that just don’t create good, CSS based code. Sure, the CSS Adapters help, but again, people just aren’t aware that they are available.
I’ve posted the slides and sample code on my samples page.