Notice – There is no technical content in this issue; this may make you more or less likely to read it.

We’re Back!

Welcome back to Biff’s PDC Newsletter – on hiatus since 2000. Alot has happened since last we shared our whimsy on these pages. The newsletter missed the 2001 PDC due to the…uh…situation…with Plural/Dell/MMA/whatever – turns out that PDC centered on Hailstorm and MyServices, so missing it turned out to be not that big a deal. In 2002, we were hindered by the fact that Microsoft didn’t even have a PDC. The entire newsletter staff took a self-funded trip to DevConnections in the fall of 2002, but such an event didn’t seem to warrant bothering you folks with a newsletter, as it was mostly review. Not this year – in 2003 we will once again test your spam filter! Great new stuff is on the horizon this year and this is the place to hear about it. Of course, you’ll have to wade through all my tiresome ramblings to pick out those nuggets, but that’s part of the fun. When I say “fun,” I mean fun for me, of course - new readers will soon discover that that is the underlying theme of this rag!

Changes

Three years ago, almost all the subscribers were employees of (then) Plural. This year our subscriber base has spread throughout the industry, with 42 subscribers representing 22 different email domains. We’ve even got several subscribers inside of the Microsoft Great White Whale! The newsletter is not just limited to my personal acquaintances, so if you know someone who you think would enjoy these missives just have them drop me line at this address.

Letters – We Get Letters

This is the section of the newsletter where we answer letters from our readers – in 2000 we were blessed with wonderfully entertaining letters that helped make your humble correspondent look good. I encourage everyone to send it the questions and observations again this year. In the meantime, here’s a flashback to 2000:

SH from San Francisco asks - "What is C#? I assume it is pronounced C Sharp"

SH - You are correct, it is pronounced C Sharp (or its harmonic equivalent D Flat). This is a new language introduced by Microsoft for the .NET Platform. It is object oriented and strongly resembles C++. The main differences are-

  • It is built on the Common Language Runtime
  • It compiles to Intermediate Language
  • It has no pointers
  • It has Garbage collection
  • It is not owned by one company, but has been submitted to a governing committee (wait - that's how it is different than Java)
  • Declarations and Implementations are in the same place

Sure it looks like Java and smells like Java, but Microsoft says it is not Java and that is good enough for a newsletter with the journalistic integrity of this one. Supposedly search.microsoft.com has all been reimplemented in C# and is now Beta in Production (whatever that means). MSFT claims it is twice as fast, three times more scalable and exposed as a web service. Thanks and congratulations to SH for reading all the way to the bottom of yesterday's newsletter.

Tomorrow

Sunday is registration and some early background sessions, so we should start previewing some tech content before cranking it up on Monday.

Biff
Founder and Copy Boy, Biff’s PDC Newsletter

PS – Boy, it’s great to be back!

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