Atlas keynote at ApacheCon Europe


It looks like you're presenting at ApacheCon Wow – thanks to everyone who attended my Atlas presentation at ApacheCon Europe today.  I was overwhelmed by the full house and the warm reception.  And it was kinda cool to be the Microsoft guy running Apache and PHP on his laptop 🙂


Here are my slides (zipped .ppt)


I started with a brief Introduction to ASP.NET 2.0 and finished building a webpage with ASP.NET using the free Visual Web Developer Express and SQL Server 2005 Express.  I wanted to show how ASP.NET 2.0 is all about standards compliance (XHTML, CSS, accessibility), and how easily it lets you work with useful abstractions (membership, roles, personalization, data access via a middle tier, etc.).  I was using the ASP.NET web server that’s built into Visual Studio (because I’m running Apache on my local machine, natch!).


Then we launched into demos with Server-Side Atlas, and used the server-side technique to AJAX-enable the ASP.NET page we’d just built.  The example was the summary page from my Mosaic Art By Siofra site.  Perhaps I didn’t stress it enough – I wrote exactly 0 lines of Javascript code for that site, I just integrated controls with AJAX superpowers from the Atlas Control Toolkit (an open source project which has Microsoft full-time employees dedicated to it).  I know that the coolest AJAX bits of that site are on the admin page – I should make those available for you to play with (but untether them from the database to keep Siofra’s mosaics safe). 🙂 


Then I jumped over to PHP and Apache, where, with thanks to Shanku Niyogi’s PHP/Atlas bridge and his great demo,  I did some Client-Side Atlas, and also re-developed some of the same concepts in PHP (including client-side AutoComplete and the broswer compatibility layer).  Start at Shanku’s blog for more on using Atlas from PHP.


Finally, as a postscript, I wanted to show Ray Ozzie’s really cool SSE (Simple Sharing Extensions) and Live Clipboard concept, both of which are licensed under the Creative Commons Public Domain License.  Check out Nikhil’s Mix06 slides and demo and even watch his Mix06 presentation to learn more.


I hope the presentation offered you a glimpse at what Microsoft is accomplishing with Atlas, and how we’re seeking to embrace open standards, and empower developers to build richer, more interactive and (importantly) cross-browser web applications. 


Yes, Atlas and the Atlas Control Toolkit are tightly integrated with ASP.NET, but you can do great work with them from PHP/ASP/JSP or any other server-side technology of your choice.  Atlas and the Control Toolkit are works in progress, but I can say from personal experience (not being a javascript guru myself) that the Community Tech Preview is definitely worth evaluating.  Hit the forums to ask questions and please let me know how you get on.


[Update: Currently, the only way to obtain the client-side bits of Atlas is through the Atlas .msi distribution.  If you are not running Windows, you can extract the .msi file using WINE (or equivalent).]


Again, my thanks for such a warm welcome.  I look forward to meeting more of you and attending more of the conference today and tomorrow.

Comments (5)

  1. goatmaster 3000 says:

    dude, that clippy balloon is awesome!!

  2. Paul Watson says:

    I nearly laughed tea through my nose when I saw that clippy balloon.

    Sounds like a good talk, Rob. Brave man but it seems like you pulled it off.

  3. Phil Wilson says:

    Just for everyone else – it was very funny in person too and Rob’s presentation was really good.

    Nice to see you finally got the SSE right as well 🙂

  4. Last Wednesday I gave a presentation to SkyNet , the University of Limerick Computer Society. About 30

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