MIX '11 — In Review

The Good

The Bad

  • There were a couple sessions I went because I cared about JavaScript best practises, ASP.NET performance, jQuery, or whatever that turned out to be elementary re-treads of things I already knew but didn't know to avoid because the titles sucked.
  • Bits of the first keynote and huge swaths of the second veered into "Don't care" territory. I guess somebody cares about Silverlight, but for better or worse, Flash is still the king of the hill and Silverlight has been unable to unseat it in five major releases.
  • There were a couple of really show-and-tell-y sessions that would have been much better as lightning talks so we didn't have to watch them fiddle around in Visual Studio after they made their point.

The Ugly

  • The repeated gloating about IE 9's performance. Yeah, I'm harping on it a bit and it's good that IE team is back in the game, but Microsoft doesn't get to decide whether or not they've set the bar the way Chrome did (... and Firefox did before them). Only time will tell on that front, besides there's still the nasty issue of when "Supporting IE" will actually mean IE 9+ and not IE 6, 7, or 8.
  • The "Native HTML 5" nonsense from the first keynote. It's nonsense.
  • The dancers from the attendee party. I've never really felt the "Technology is a boys club" message that comes up whenever you talk about gender disparity in technology, but hiring a bunch of girls in corsets and garters sends that message loud and clear. I'm a little disappointed that Microsoft chose to do what it did at an event that is supposed to cater to a non-trivial chunk of the industry.