Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who is really to blame for Visual Studio?

Scott's Gu posted a chapter from the new MVC book on his blog, which I finished reading a few minutes ago. I was amazed by the backward progression of "modern" development tools and programming techniques. Scott Gu, Microsoft and the cheerleaders act as if this debacle known as Visual Studio was created outside the sweep of history, or that they cannot possibly glean wisdom from yesterday's technologies. Is Scott Gu and Microsoft really so bright, so brilliant, so ingenious, that they need not consult with the wisdom of prior development tools used in the 6.0 days? Yes, the old fashioned musty things - can be our salvation - if only Microsoft would install them and realize how productive these "legacy" technologies are in comparison to .NET. Instead of learning from experience thereby building on the "legacy" knowledge base in order to guide future development tools, Microsoft and Scott Gu in a clear lapse of thought insist on reinventing the wheel. Their exercise in stupidity comes at great cost to developer productivity.

If we could provide only Lotus 1-2-3, as the next revision to our complex business systems that our client possess - then merely instruct them how to manually enter data into cells and create formulas while cheerleading the control they have over their data and complex algorithms they "get" to happily create spinning the extra work as a benefit -while we know know full well in their ignorance we would receive payment along with praise in the process for introducing them to this "great new user definable flexible technology" would we? If we answer yes, then we can't necessarily blame Scott Gu, Soma and Microsoft for the current state of Visual Studio and .bloat as we became the ignorant end users.

Perhaps we should blame the people who offer praise for Microsoft, pathetically thanking them for providing "new" technology and development tools that mandates hand-coding a user interface - employing coding techniques predating FoxPro 2.0 - which on a productivity level equate closer to Mainframe COBOL. The cheerleaders as much as Soma, Scott Gu and Microsoft bear the responsibility for our current state of affairs. Have we grown so accustom to horrific software by Microsoft, that lack of Visual Designers, debuggers and nonsensical glue code we now find praise-worthy instead of appalling?

If we don't expend the energy and time to speak up, we can only blame ourselves, when Visual Studio 2012 forces us to use technologies that resemble assembler.


1 comment:

tricky said...

Is this a joke? It sounds like you have a major bone to pick with Microsoft, rambling on and on about how "bad" VS is. You cite many older applications but don't actually give real examples of problem areas. Generalizations such as "need more visual designers" doesn't really tell much. It's impossible to tell whether you have legitimate criticisms or just have change-phobia and consider the latest developments in VS to be "newfangled bloat". Maybe you simply can't tell the difference between the newer features and COBOL. If you were in charge of VS and were charged with steering it from its current form to your vision of the ideal future IDE, what would you add, change, and eliminate ("the whole thing" not being an option)? A blog post answering this question would be a good read.