The Times Are a-Changin’

ast week was the end of an era for me. I was lucky enough to see Revenge of the Sith in an audience that included BillG (Bill Gates) himself. I recall 28 years ago seeing Star Wars for the first time. It was a life-changing experience. I remember sitting and writing out the story long hand, time and time again. Drawing pictures of the Tie Fighters, Darth Vader and my favorite Star Wars scenes. I am sure these activities contributed to my love of science, writing, and art. I just wish I had the art skills I had in the 2nd and 3rd grades.

I also fondly recall sitting through back-to-back showings of Star Wars in a “walk-in” theatre in Palmdale, CA. Yes we called it a “walk-in” because we generally tended to see flicks at the drive-in theatre. Drive-in theatres were very popular then. We actually had a three-screen drive-in theatre. There aren’t too many of these screens left. You should try finding one before yours becomes yet another swap meet.

The end of an era spawns the dawn of a new one. With the end of Star Wars movies you can plan to witness the next era of Star Wars. I’ve read that we will be entertained with the creation of 100+ episodes of Star Wars television. The new era is proving to be promising indeed.

The sunset of the Star Wars movies happens to coincide with the sunset of VS 2003 and the rise of VS 2005. With any luck, Visual Studio 2005 will ship soon and the next great adventure will begin. Where will this adventure take us?

The Phantom Construct
Microsoft is adding a number of great OOP features to the next release of VS.NET. A key OOP feature of VS.NET 2005, Generics, will add a level flexibility to your .NET classes.

Attack of the Click Once
Smart client development is back in full force. VS.NET 2005 provides simple mechanisms for deploying your Windows applications to client desktops.

Edit and Continue Strike Back
You can now fix/change running code without dropping back to the VS shell and recompiling your application.

A New Framework
No version of .NET would be complete without a new framework. The .NET Framework 2.0 has a number of new classes that all .NET developers will be able to take advantage of immediately.

Return of the Browser
A personal favorite of mine: The Winforms control library will have a new browser control. You can now drop a managed code version of the IE browser onto your WinForms screens.

I hope you look forward to the next era like I do.

May the force be with you.


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