[Rich] So here we are outside, is it third base?, no its third place, third space
[Laurence] I'm a third base man
[Rich] [Laughs] And i'm joined by Laurence Moroney
[Laurence] How's it going?
[Rich] Yeah, its pretty good thanks, I think the atmosphere has been fantastic
[Laurence] It always is at MIX week that's why we do it in Vegas, we like people to be a little bit more relaxed, and just hang out and we are in this beautiful environment here in the Venetian and its like posh without being too stuffy and just having a good time
[Rich] That's very good, so for the benefit of the listeners, they all know who I am, tell us who you are and what you do...
[Laurence] I dont know who you are?
[Rich] I'm just a guy who turns up at all these events.
[Laurence] That's a good job to have, so my name is Laurence, Laurence Moroney, I'm one of the guys who works on the Silverlight Team in Microsoft and I work for what we call a Developer Platform Evangelism - DPE group , which is a pretty big mouthfull that basically means I'm one of them guys who talks a lot about Silverlight and enjoys talking about it and I'm the author of a couple of books on Silverlight with MSPress, I think I wrote one with APress as well and I'm here to day at MIX to see how the world is reacting to all our hard work on Silverlight 3. How's it been going?
[Rich] I think it's been really good, I was privvy being one of the Silverlight Insiders, knowing this stuff upfront, but I think the atmosphere here was great there was a lot of good twitters going on, I like the little screen with all the twitter feeds going down.
[Laurence] Isn't that great.
[Rich] I actually played a joke on my colleague who's here but, I don't wether he saw it and I just said... "Mike I'm down the front and p.s. your secrets safe with me but I think $200 for 30 minutes is a bit too much to pay". there was kind of a laugh in the Keynote room as it appeared and dropped down the screen.
[Laurence] I did one at PDC , and we had the same thing running at PDC , and I just put a tweet up there that said why is everybody 'BullTwitting' and I sort of got the same kind of laugh. and so I think I invented the term BullTwitting.
[Rich] a new one there
[Laurence] Absolutely jsut dont tell the tweeter guys or the twitter guys.
[Rich] So what do you spend most of your time doing, talking about DPE , talking about Silverlight. We have the DPE in the UK is it the same kind of thing in the US?
[Laurence] it's a little different...DPE in the US is the same but I'm the corporate DPE so like I'm in the centre of the mothership that I'm out to support the regional DPE's. So we have regional DPE guys in the US like on the East Coast, on the West Coast and various big cities with regional DPE guys in the UK and in Ireland and places like that. My job is really to support them to feed the eco system, to give them the information they need so that they can support you. in addition to that I run things such as some of the early adopter stuff and if you guys got a chance to look at the keynote, we streamed it online on visit mix and some of the early adopters, some of the guys of the rolling stones magazine that was shown and KEXP radio that I hold their hands and, I hold the design agencies hands and just make sure they get what they need to be able to build it.
[Rich] did you help them with the Playboy magazine aswell?
[Laurence] I did actually, it was really good and would you believe I actually came up with the correct name for the Playboy one, but unfortunately they cannot use it, I said a name of a product should reflect what the product is used for... dont you agree?
[Laurence] So I said this product should be called a Model View Controller
[Laurence] but unfortunately we had a product called that already, so they just ended up calling it something else, but that's exactly what it is a model view controller. I have a touch screen laptop so I did all the testing to make sure all the touch worked properly, and any touching that you do with the models on Playboy or anything like that, youll see it works perfectly thanks to my hard work.
[Rich] well have to get some people to look at that...
[Laurence] Yes it's on playboy.covertocover.com One thing that was very interesting that came out of that actually was I shared it with some friends after it went live, some male friends and some female friends and the one piece of feedback I got back from everybody, other than I read it for the articles, was the fact that when you take a look at it becasue its like issues from the mid 50's up until the mid 90's or the mid naughties...
[Rich] quite literally
[Laurence] quite literally, and everybody who took a look at it and played with it and loved it came back back to me and said its amazing how you see how this stuff has evolved...like you read the one from the 1950s and its such a different paradigm from the one from the 90s.. I dont know if its because colour printing is cheaper now than it was back then..
[Rich] did they have the Madonna one?
[Laurence] I dont know...
[Rich] Madonna did one I think back in the 80s.. I dont know why i'd remember something like that, perhaps I should edit that bit out..
[Laurence] They will have it because they have every single one, but the free one you can go on and play with now its got about 55 copies, it's probably 1 copy per year, but there's gonna be a subscription based one coming later and that will have everything and the nice thing about it is that your credit card won't actually say that it's Playboy.
[Rich] right lets talk about Silverlight 3 then... that's the area your predominantly focusing on isn't it? its been mainly the Keynote on the first day about Silverlight 3 because there is so much stuff coming.. what are your highlights?
[Laurence] Oh boy. theres so many..i'd say the first personal highlight would be the fact that we got so much out so quickly. I was sharing with some people who were sat in the conference room not long before the release of Silverlight 2 and we were planning what we going to put into Silverlight 3 and we were looking at schedules and time tables and things like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years..and people needing a break after Silverlight 2 we thought were not gonna have anything. but because we had built the platform already by having Silverlight 2 we were able to intergrate so quickly and there is so much good stuff in there. So I think my personal favourite. I got like 3 personal favourites. 1 of them is the out-of-browser stuff. KEXP did a fantastic job of that and that's a personal favourite because its the sort of thing we thought would be impossible but turned out to be doable. i really love the perspective transform. Theres a lot of gratuitous overuse of perspective transform. If you read my book youll see some extremely gratuitous use of it with my friend the bull in Area 51. I told you that story yeah?
[Rich] Yeah it was on your blog..you went for a drive and found yourself near Area 51.
[Laurence] I actually went looking for it. So I found the place where you can go safely and not be arrested or shot and with binoculars go check out the place and I'm crawling around wearing a red jacket and with my binoculars and this bloody great big bull turns up...but you'll see it in the book so, and then the other one is the fact that we have added H264 video codec support which made me very happy because i'll be honest..a lot of my focus on projects have been on the Far East. You'll probably notice that on MIX I'm helping all the Asian talks sessions and that kind of stuff and I've worked a lot with folks in the Far East. and if youve never been to Japan or Korea, you can't understand how big H264 is over there.
[Rich] Right ok
[Laurence] And for example in Korea you go to...you know in England.. you got the BBC and they broadcast and.....I left England 10-12 years ago and there was BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel 4 and that was it. Unless you had a Satellite dish beacuse you pick these up on broadcast. But in Korea they have got about 30 or 40 digital channels that broadcast through the air in H264 that everybody picks it up on their cell phone. All the cell phones over there have like a little antenna that you stretch up and you see people walking through the street actually watching a TV show on their cell phone. That was all driven by H264 because the H264 codec is a cheaper codec
[Laurence] Now that H264 is in Sliverlight I'm a happy man..
[Rich] There's a hell of a lot of stuff in there as you say..and one of my favourite features which was a real surprise for me was that you crammed all this stuff in and Silverlight runtime is 40k smaller than it was before.
[Laurence] Yes it was really interesting because i'd heard discussions of that and it was like, no way, I thought it was a joke and I didnt really know they were gonna say until Scott said it on stage and I was thinking... its true...
[Rich] That is a fantastic statement to be able to stand up and say, we've done this we've tidied it up so much that its smaller.
[Laurence] It's incredible isn't it. It was one of the things that the leap from 1 to 2 was actually huge..
[Laurence] because we added .NET. The leap from 2 to 3 when we look at the functionality is really really impressive but when you think about it because .NET was there already.. it actually made it easier and it also gave us time to actually focus on tightening up the engineering, tightening up the checks-in's. Scott was mentioning in the keynote that there were so many little things that people checked and reviewed all that kind of thing, squeezed everything down a little bit and it actually came in smaller and thats including the H264 codec..which I can't quote the actual figure but that's in the hundreds of kilobytes and we added that so..
[Rich] I think what you did really right was that you had that mix 10k competition where everyone came up with how much they had managed to squeeze into 10KB by renaming all the function methods and changing everything to vars and you put all that in silverlight.
[Laurence] [Laughs] Ah, the secrets are out, actually I had so much fun playing with the MIX 10k stuff..there was one that didn't win unfortunately but there was the one called moustacher..that was really funny...
[Rich] That was really ingenious
[Laurence] We had like an all hands meeting for the DPE corporate about 3 weeks ago and one of my collegues..you probably know him Adam Kinney, was giving some demos on stage, he demoed that one and he'd actually found some old photos of some of our staff. and one guy in particular in this photo which was one of these professional portraits and it looks like he's in high school and he just moustached him. He completely obliterated the guy it was phenominal it was one of the best demos i've ever seen. If you have anybody and you want to moustache them or ridicule them just go ahead and do it..and if ever you put a picture of someone your interviewing on a site you should put them with a funny moustache..
[Rich] I think there was a lot of really good entrants about 120 entrants and they covered everything from games to algorythms to the turtle ....
[Laurence] Oh the turtle rocked. I was mad because I wanted to do the turtle myself but then I saw someone else doing it so..turtle is such a great language, I don't know if you remember playing with it at school as a kid. I remember playing with it and you had the robot turtle on the floor that would draw stuff and the ink would always run out.. and you just end up with just a scratch on the paper.. and you were like here teacher I done a star and they were like what!
[Rich] so apart from silverlight what else is standing out for you at mix?
[Laurence] I've been so involved with Silverlight its so hard to see but I really loved todays keynote, that young lady who spoke about how UX worked with a pharmacy and was nothing to do with technology which was great..IE8 of course we had a kenote about that today and internet explorers are one of the most picked on browsers and its fashionable to pick on it. When you take a look at this video which we were shown and if you can get it for your site put it on your site. Where we got the most popular sites I think it was about the top 20 most popular sites in the world and rendered them into the three big browsers IE, Firefox, and Chrome and then did like a time check on them and I think that 16 out of the 20 tests IE was the fastest..the ironic thing that on msn.com, Chrome was the fastest , on google IE was fastest..there's something really upside down about that
[Rich] cool so we are gonna wrap up because we have some afternoon sessions to go to now. Do you catch sessions or are you in meetings or...?
[Laurence] I spend most of my time in meetings, but there is a really terrific session with a friend of mine. I think its one of the 1.30 sessions....its these guys in China called TenCents that they have this instant messager called QQ that has half a billion users.. So in China it's very interesting as they had a 1 child policy for a long time. In fact they still have it. you get like more taxes if you have extra kids. So as a result they have a lot of families that only have 1 child so the children don't have siblings to play with or interact with inside the house. As a result instant messaging and social networking is huge over there but there's also what they call the upside down triangle effect, because if you think about it a kid has parents, grandparents, often great grandparents and the family model is much stronger than it is in the west, and all this money funnels down to the kid. As you know china has had the largest economic growth in the last 10-15 years so as a result there's a lot of very very rich kids. So these guys have an IM client which these kids use to interact with each other. They have half a billion users as I mentioned, and they make their money off it by selling advertisments on it aimed at kids. So the kids will treat themselves to the lastest Nike and that kind of thing. so theres 1 session on how these guys are building a Sliverlight client that scales out to half a billion users...so that's the one i'm gonna see and if you guys get a chance to check it out.....
[Rich] yeah, sounds huge. Well thanks very much Laurence for your time and i'll perhaps see you around later in Vegas or failing that somewhere around soon..
[Laurence] Yeah well im hoping to get to the UK soon at some point but thanks for the nice people in the banks and the shenanigins today we've been playing, but travel budgets are not what they used to be.
[Rich] yes well if you do, well book you for a session on our user group. you can come and entertain us and bring a load of copies of your book.
[Laurence] ok I may even wear an Irish soccer jersey.
[Rich] yeah ok, Laurence thank you very much
[Laurence] Alright see you later, Bye