WEB09 – ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Challenge

This is the first of a few posts that I am making on WEB09 in Auckland and the 'Expression For Art’s Sake’ event that we held in Wellington this month. I have over 30GB of raw video to process so it will take some time to get the stories out.

After previously mentioning that he didn’t like vendor conflict (along with throwing out a few opinions of his own) Andrew Hedges somewhat surprisingly suggested to John Ballinger that he should “pit” Adobe against Microsoft in a challenge. I must admit I’m kind of glad he did. There is nothing more challenging and rewarding than building something under pressure in the shortest of possible timeframes!

Two hours before the end of WEB09 John approached Ryan, Andrew and Paul from Adobe as well as Tim and Arturo from Microsoft to build an application from scratch to pick the winner for the WEB09 closing prize draw, below is a video I created documenting the challenge and presentations. The screen is a bit obscured so I will update the video when John releases the “official” WEB09 videos next month.

For those on a variable connection I have encoded the video for Silverlight using smooth streaming check it out at http://tr.im/smoothchallenge

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You can also check it out below on Vimeo as a comparison.

The Great WEB09 'Wheel of Fortune' Challenge (download link bottom right of the page)

I got the guys to promise to release their code in the video and Arturo followed up and confirmed that it is OK for me to link to it in this blog post. It goes without saying that this code is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights it is demoware and should be treated as such. The application was built using the beta of Silverlight 3 and an early “buggy” beta of a circular control panel first shown at MIX09. That said there is nothing in this project that couldn’t have been done with Silverlight 2.

There is no “go live” for Silverlight 3 yet so what I’m going to do next is for “informational/ testing purposes only”. If you are a developer and happen to have either the  Silverlight 3 Beta - Windows Developer Runtime or the Silverlight 3 Beta - Mac Developer Runtime installed pop over to http://mo.bility.co.nz/WEB09/ to look at a running version of the solution.

  1. Click the host character to bring up a file open prompt

  2. Select a Text File that has a different name on each line

  3. Click ‘Pick a Winner’

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Like I’ve said before a healthy amount of cross pollination helps spark innovation

I had a conversation over dinner about working for Microsoft and attending a conference like foo I likened it to playing a game of sport... We play hard against our competition and we play to win, while others in the crowd fight with each other about who has the better team. After the game we socialise with each other are in amid of each others top players and share a common interest which is the love for the game.

I love getting to know the Adobe guys at events like WEB09 and Web On The Piste over the last couple of years. Andrews’ WEB09 session on After Effects and Sound Booth made me really want to get my hands on a copy of CS4 Master Suite to use as part of my video production process!

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Ryan and Tim at dinner in Wellington after WEB09.

Update - Tim has also blogged about his experiences and a minute by minute timeline of the challenge

Update 2 - Ben Waggoner has commented on the smooth streaming video

Comments (4)

  1. I’ve just returned this past week from a trip to New Zealand with Arturo Toledo . We were invited to

  2. Thank you for submitting this cool story – Trackback from DotNetShoutout

  3. Jared says:

    That smooth streaming is nice!

  4. So, this is irrationally exciting for me; what’s perhaps the first UGC (user-generated content) in Smooth

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