Miguel questions the manhood of 400 Microsoft Developers. Awesome. 08 Oct 2007

Miguel de Icaza, one of my own personal geek heroes, just gave his brief "keynote" as part of Microsoft's partner talks component of the overall Remix Boston 07 keynote speech.

After previous demos being proudly shown for "working in Safari on Mac OS X, and oh by the way, it's PC compatible too", Miguel showed everybody up by pulling up the still very development version of Moonlight and dazzled a room full of hardened .NET/ASP.NET developers and designers with Mono's progress on the Moonlight project in a scant 4 months since the original "Mix Vegas" conference earlier this year.

If you hang around Miguel enough, you'll know how much he loves Compiz, which he used gratuitously during his demonstrations. The mixture of a good looking Gnome skin and Compiz really helped convey that "yes, Linux is here, Gnome is a fully-featured desktop environment, and check out this AWESOME CUBE EFFECT!" As a developer who's participated in the open source community for almost five years now, it was very inspiring to see a room full of Microsoft's battle-tempered third party developers pine to have some of the cool features that Linux has!

Some of the Silverlight applications Miguel demonstrated were Metaliq's Top Banana which ran surprisingly well, then Silverlight Chess followed by the Halo 3 trailer running (not streaming) on Miguel's Linux laptop. To invite further jealousy from the room of developers, Miguel fired up Firefox, running Moonlight, running the Halo 3 Trailer, on the edge of a "cube" workspace (such as this). Applause ensued.

Coming back to the topic of developing Silverlight/Moonlight applications on top of Linux, Miguel fired up MonoDevelop claiming that "we have one, I just don't use it; I have an allergy to IDEs." Much to my surprise, he then fired up Emacs to edit his local copy of Silverlight Chess, updating a property such that it returned "Mono" instead of ".NET" in the interface, dropped back into his X terminal and ran "make" like, quote, "real men do" (to which some of the crowd applauded and the rest laughed). Miguel then ran the SilverlightMoonlight Chess application and closed his keynote speech stating that:

"Your designers can use Expression Blend on Windows, but your real developers can use Linux to develop Silverlight."

Overall the keynote was very well done but it really seemed like Miguel stole the show after so much emphasis was placed on "Silverlight's portability" by really showing what the Mono Project is capable of, and that while Silverlight may work on Mac and Windows, Moonlight runs on the corner of a wicked cool cube.