My good friend Soma recently blogged about "the Momentum of Visual Studio". While this is mainly marketing BS, there are several comments on his blog that are noteworthy.
By the way I am not mocking Sivaramakichenane Somasegar with the avatar, that is the same one he uses on his facebook page and I included a nice message with the friend request I sent him this afternoon. In the event Soma you didn't receive my request, feel free to befriend me, here is my facebook link.
Someone named "Tom" left the following comment on Mr. Sivaramakichenane Somasegar's blog:
At our company we use Visual Studio 2010. Unlike what others claim here, it starts and shuts down extremely quickly and we have not faced any performance issues. We use C# and VB.NET - no problems at all. Those who are complaining - are you using Windows XP? VS 2010 works lightning fast with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. No complaints about the WPF interface.
However, I do agree with some people here who claim that Microsoft pulls out of their own technologies quickly and its difficult to understand what may be thrown out next. Why was Ajax Toolkit discouraged and why did you start touting jscript all of sudden? Just because of open source pressure or that they out-witted you guys? Why are you guys promoting MVC. What is the problem with regular way of doing ASP.NET sites? Do you have scientific or statistical proof that MVC is better than the original approach? How many .NET developers actually use MVC? MVVM for Silverlight - why is not fully supported (if in fact its purpose was to make development easier!) Why did you guys discourage LINQ-To-SQL and started encouraging Entity Framework? The former is so much easier to use and with some more work from Microsoft would have more adoption than EF.
Lot to think about...
Guillaume Roques, Director of Product Management - Microsoft. Replied with the following comment.
When we think developers that are consuming Ajax it breaks into two segments:
a) Developers that want to write some client side script in their pages.
b) Developers that want their applications to automatically take advantage of Ajax functionality.
Our investments into jQuery are targeting people in the first batch while the Ajax Control Toolkit and the rich server controls offered by third party vendors target people in the later case. We think there are developers in both of these segments and are trying to target them both just like below in the MVC section you can see we are trying to target multiple types of developers. This isn’t about choosing one Ajax strategy over the other you can use one or the other or both together.
With regards to MVC, we have had in the past one framework for developing Web Applications and that is ASP.NET Web Forms. This framework was designed to make the transition from developing desktop applications to developing server-based web applications very easy it also gives developers great benefits in productivity by letting them leverage rich web controls that have lots of built in functionality. While trying to grow the types of developers that can use ASP.NET we also identified the MVC pattern as a common pattern used by many other web frameworks such as Ruby on Rails and CakePHP and as a result we created ASP.NET MVC to provide a bridge to developers that like that pattern to be able to easily adopt ASP.NET and the power of the .NET framework and more generally our Web Platform. We are focusing on providing choices to various types of customers. We will continue to invest in all areas of ASP.NET (Web Forms and MVC).
From a data perspective, ASP.NET works with any data solution in .NET but Entity Framework has been getting better and better with each release and with the release of EF Feature CTP 5 we think that it is very compelling for web data scenarios and are working to provide more guidance on how to use it.
Director of Product Management - Microsoft
There is a lot in Tom's and Guillaume's comments that we could discuss - and I may in a future post - so of course I couldn't help but leave my 2 cents worth on Soma's blog. So here are my thoughts which may or may not get posted by Soma.
@Guillaume You wrote "target multiple types of developers." There was a type of developer that "used" to be able to deliver cost effective solutions to our clients with 10-50 users using visual foxpro or visual basic. We were able to distribute custom solutions to our clients without having the burden of eating licensing costs or charging them money to write massive amounts of plumbing code that is required using VS.
Further, FoxPro was a mature product permitting business owners to make a significant investment in training their developers without being concerned about ROI. Which is a significant concern with your current trends especially for web development. We also could develop solutions quickly due to VFP'S robust object model with a functional class browser, RAD tools and more importantly a data centric language all of which are absent or useless in Visual Studio.
Given it is not possible in Visual Studio to generate a lan database application faster (I am willing to defend this statement as I have done in the past if needed) with the same or lower cost of ownership then VFP, my question is what is your plan to target that "type of developer"?
With all due respect, the only path I see which is on target for those "type of developers" unfortunate enough to fall into this category is moving to MySql, Open Source and continue to use VFP for desktop application solutions. This is a lesson I learned too late in the game.
Perhaps instead of trying to cater to/attract the open source MVC developer don't you feel it would be wise to first address the needs of your current/former customer base that was orphaned when VFP and VB received their end of life?
Basic business 101: it is much cheaper to retain a client then it is to attract a new one.
It should be an interesting read if I get a reply. I would love Microsoft to generate some sample code which I could translate to VFP for a comparison, but like last time, I doubt this will happen. Mind boggling because I am sure Scott "THE DOT" Gu or one of his team members should be able to slap a small DB winform application together to put me in my place.
Until Next Time....