This week was the 2004 MVP Summit, where several hundred MVPs for various Microsoft technologies and products descended on Redmond to interact with the various product teams at Microsoft. It was a little hectic organizing things to ensure that the XML MVPs got enough face time but I think everyone was happy with the way things turned out.
On Monday, a number of Microsoft folks and MVPs had dinner at Rikki Rikki, a rather nice sushi restaurant in Kirkland, WA. The geeks in attendance included Tim Ewald, Ted Neward, Don Box, Rory Blyth, Kirk Allen Evans, Drew Marsh, Julia Lerman, Jeff Julian, Sam Gentile, Joshua Allen, Chris Anderson, Arpan Desai, Mark Fussell, DonXML Demsak, Daniel Cazzulino, Aaron Skonnard , Christoph Schittko, Rick Strahl, Joe Fawcett, Peter Provost, Cathi Gero, Michael Rys, Bryant Likes, Jeffrey Richter and a number of others. The dinner was Kirk's idea and Don suggested the place, it was definitely a pleasant evening talking XML geekery. One of the things we talked about was why some of the APIs that were in the PDC preview won't make it to Whidbey such as the XmlAdapter and the XPathChangeNavigator. In retrospect the functionality provided by both APIs was complex to implement yet could be satisfied through other mechanisms.
At the end of the dinner Kirk took a group photograph. Afterwards a couple of us stragglers saw the movie Hellboy which was an entertaining super hero movie although the ending could have been better.
On Wednesday, eight XML MVPs (DonXML Demsak, Joe Fawcett, Daniel Cazzulino, Jeff Julian, Matevz Gacnik, Rolandas Gricius, Bryant Likes, and J. Michael Palermo IV) got to spend a day with the WebData XML team. Shortly after 9 AM there was an hour long open panel discussion with the MVPs on one side and a few dozen members of the WebData XML team on the other with questions flying back and forth. For many members of the team, getting candid feedback from an array of customers with different backgrounds was very illuminating. The rest of the day was filled with presentations and Q & A sessions with the MVPs. They got a preview of what we'll be doing in Whidbey and maybe Orcas in the area of XML tools, XML<->Relational mapping technologies, XQuery and core XML APIs. Since one of the complaints we'd heard was that a number of sessions they'd seen earlier in the week were just rehashed PDC slides I endeavored to ensure that MVPs would see newer content or at least get more in depth information about what we plan to do. Based on the feedback I got they were pleased with the experience.
On Friday, Robert Scoble and Charles Torre swung by my office and interviewed me for Channel 9. I gave them a tour of my office and showed them my budding collection of Spawn action figures and my demotivators hanging on the wall. I'm not sure if I gave a good interview or not but I guess that's part of the charm of Channel 9. I'll post a link to the interview whenever it shows up online.