A few months ago I entered XPathmania (the XPath enhancements to Visual Studio's XML Editor project) into the Visual Studio Extensibility Plug-in Contest, for the Managed Package Category. I didn't actually write it for the contest, but since XPatnmania was open source, and seemed like a pretty good project (that could use some publicity), I figured I might as well submit it to the contest. There were 2 categories for the contest, Packages and Add-ins, and XPathmania fit the rules for the Package category. Well, last month I got an email from the contest team letting me know that XPathmania won First Place for the Package Category! I've been holding off on this announcement, waiting for the contest page to be updated (to make it "official"), but I finally gave up on waiting, and got permission to blog it. It turns out that another MVP, and friend, Dave Donaldson, won First Prize for the other category, Add-in, with his CodeKeep project. Very Cool.
There is no way XPathmania would have ever seen the light of day without the help and encouragement from the entire XML Team (past and present), but a special thanks goes out to Chris Lovett and Stan Kitsis. Thank you both.
So, besides some extra money (which is always a good thing, and will probably wind up supporting other open source projects I'll be working on), I get a free trip to TechEd Europe, Barcelona. So, if you happen to be going there, I'd love to meet up. I've already volunteered to work the Ask The Experts Area, so you will find me there, probably in the Architect area. Yes, I know that I don't need to actually work the conference, since I already have a ticket, but, that is where I'd hang out anyway, so I might as well give a little back. Oh, besides the trip to TechEd, I was also interviewed for MSDN magazine. That was very cool. I'm not sure how it will turn out, as I think I might have been rambling on a bit (what me?), but Joel (the interviewer) did his homework and actually read some of my site (not like the recruiters out there), and even commented on all the metal bands in my music section.
If you are doing and XPath work in Visual Studio 2005, I would hope that you have downloaded XPathmania and gave it a try. I've got one outstanding bug that only a select few have been hiiting (the tool just not showing up in the tools window), and that is the on'y thing holding me back from calling it a 1.0 release. From what I can tell, a couple thousand people have installed XPathmania, but 2 or 3 are runnining into this bug, and I can't seem to reproduce it. I've built new Virtual PC images with different configurations, but it always seems to install fine. I think it may be an problem with a third party Visual Studio tool, but so far I haven't been able to figure it out. If you run across a bug, contact me.