Yesterday at TechEd I moderated a Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) session on Microsoft Atlas. It was standing room only and the atmosphere was electric. InfoWorld reporter Paul Krill attended the session and within hours had posted an article on what he saw and heard there. While the story wasn’t inaccurate, it failed, I believe, to capture the spirit of the wide-ranging and generally very positive discussions that took place during the event.

Paul quoted me as saying that UpdatePanel “doesn’t always work.” It’s well known that UpdatePanel doesn’t work in all scenarios today. For example, you can’t embed it in a Repeater control (or any other templated control, for that matter), and some controls are simply incompatible with UpdatePanel. But this isn’t surprising given that Atlas is still an alpha product. To his credit, Paul also quoted me as saying that smart people at Microsoft are working on UpdatePanel right now and that they’ll get it working. The discussions regarding UpdatePanel at the BOF were extremely positive, and I don’t want people who read the article to think that they weren’t.

Paul also quoted me as saying “I hate JavaScript.” It’s true that I have no love for JavaScript as a language (in part due to its extreme lack of type safety), but when I said it, I was being somewhat facetious. I was trying to make the point that AJAX frameworks are a GOOD thing and that abstracting JavaScript, XML-HTTP, and browser DOMs increases developer productivity and puts better products into the hands of end users.

Paul also wrote this: “One plan under consideration for Atlas is enabling client calls from a Web service without requiring use of a Web server, said Prosise.” In fact, anyone who has worked with Atlas knows that it already supports callouts from browsers to Web services using JavaScript proxies. This feature isn’t under consideration; it’s a done deal. Part of the package is some pretty cool JSON support, too.

I suppose it’s inevitable that a 60-second sound bite summarizing a passionate and energetic 75-minute session will leave something to be desired. I can’t emphasize enough how positive the tone of the BOF was. I think everyone left excited and looking forward to the next CTP. I know I did, and I can’t wait to see what the next release has in store.