I attended a pair of inspiring presentations at Microsoft’s MVP Global Summit last week that I would have had to keep private in years past. This year was different though. Since essentially everything ASP.NET is open source now anyway, the folks on the ASP.NET team were able to not only live stream sessions from the summit, but are even hosting recordings of them on Channel 9.

Knowing that the sessions were recorded and that the content wasn’t under NDA, I’ve been eagerly looking forward to sharing videos of these two talks with you as soon as they were available.

Most of the discussion during the week revolved around the significant lower-level changes that .NET Core, ASP.NET 5, and MVC 6 are bringing to Microsoft’s web platform. While those server-side changes are important and exciting in their own way, the browser on the other side of the pipe is where most of my fun happens.

Fortunately, there was an oasis of client-side goodness mid-way through the week that would have been worth the trip alone.

First, Brad Green and Jules Kremer gave a high level overview of the state of Angular 2 and a general roadmap for the path to beta and release:

(If you can’t see the embed: Brad Green from Google on Angular 2)

It was interesting to learn that alphas of Angular 2 are already solid enough that they’re being used for some key internal products inside Google. While I’ve been casually observing the high level API changes in Angular 2, I didn’t realize that it was already stable enough for experimental use in production.

As a happy Ionic user, another nice takeaway was that Ionic and Google are working together so that Ionic 2 may be able to launch right alongside Angular 2.

Brad’s talk was great, but information you can probably find elsewhere if you look. However, Steve Sanderson‘s talk was an inspired forty minute rollercoaster ride through “what could be” when it comes to client-side applications on ASP.NET in the near future:

(If you can’t see the embed: ASP.NET + Spa)

Steve’s talk only begins to scratch the surface of what’s possible, but demonstrates a vision of how ASP.NET could seamlessly provide substantial improvements to an Angular/React app’s performance and usability. Done well, it’s the kind of thinking that could eliminate the current deliberation we all go through when deciding between building a client-side app or server-side website.

To be clear, Steve hasn’t invented a new kind of wheel in isolation. Existing projects like Meteor and Derby (and much older ones like Aptana Jaxer and GWT, for that matter) are working on this problem too. I don’t think anyone has it quite right though. Yet.

I loathe the moniker, but I think “isomorphic” JavaScript could turn out to be one of the most significant next advancements in our particular area of software development when someone gets it just right.

It’s easy to imagine the things Steve demoed last week, polished up a bit, being not unlike developing at a new level of abstraction. Fifteen years later, maybe the way that ASP.NET WebForms infameously tried to blur lines between server and client was just a bit ahead of its time?