Will the MS Dev Team Ever Learn?
Me, I have no doubt :) But lately I'm seeing more and more comments from people (which is the right of every blogger out there, mind you - speaking their mind, that is) that seem to think that they won't.
What's sparked me off this time? Scott Bellware posted recently about his idea for Adopt-a-Softie (BTW dude, you better get yourself a trailing (tm) on that term before someone else steals it!), with the idea that some of the dev team should join the international student exchange program, spending time working on the average guys development team for a month.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for everyone having a voice - and your voice has a right to be heard! But in the same breath, it of course means that I get to have a voice too :) I have to admit that lately it looks like all I'm doing is doing my darnedest to pick on the guys I left behind at CodeBetter, but it's certainly not the case - they're a fabulous and fabulously smart bunch of guys, but as a result they get me thinking the most. There's certainly no offence intended :)
So I was going to just add a comment in response to Scott's post, but as I was typing it, I decided I might make it a bit more public than just a comment. Some things are too thought provoking to be just another comment feed.
So to Scott, I have basically two things to talk about. The first is the concept of your Adopt-a-Softie. Do you realise how close you are to what they're actually doing at the moment as we speak? You thought you were (or it seemed that way at least) proposing something that wouldn't actually be listened to, but did you see one of Soma's most recent posts? It sounds me like they're having the same sort of idea.
It's not an exact match, and 3 days is certainly a whole lot less than a month, but it's going in the right direction isn't it?
I'm not saying that you've got nothing to complain about, Scott. It's just that lately I'm seeing a lot of negative thoughts directed at the developer platform (not you in particular, it's around a lot of places), but no ones seems to be paying attention to the fact that they are actually trying. The thing about such a large corporation is that it takes a long time to get the wheels turning. Me, I'm seeing the glass half full, and at least taking hope in the fact that, however slowly, things are starting to get there.
The second thing is more of a question. You said:
Really, I'd prefer to use a Microsoft-built tool, but I loose progressively more faith in Microsoft developer tooling as it continues to trade credibility and quality for lesser goals.
The whinging (that I've seen from everyone) has been about VS2005. Now, I might be wrong, but it hasn't actually changed since it RTM'd last year has it? The code hasn't morphed into something else? What exactly is happening to make you think that they've been trading credibility and quality?
I'm a bit disappointed in VS2005 too. There's a lot of cool stuff, and there's stuff that seems to have taken a step backward. but there isn't that much stuff that's gone back. I think so anyway.
The biggest sore point for me was the major screw up in removing project files from web projects. But they listened, and they've brought them back. I don't know who was filling in the responses in the Product Feedback Centre, but back before VS came out it really did feel like they weren't listening - but once they had time to breathe, we've discovered that they are listening, and trying to make up for it.
So how can things have been getting steadily worse over the last six months?
I'm holding out only a small amount of hope for Orcas. Maybe there's less communication/openness in the blogs lately, but I'm not seeing much by way of any major changes to VS in the next version - things seem to concentrating solely on getting LINQ going, and the WinFX bits, and getting a version that works well on Vista when not running as an admin sorted out. That's probably a lot of work, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's nothing else there.
But the version after that? Man, I've got my hopes up for that one :) But I think (so far) that I won't be too terribly disappointed. For me, I'm still seeing signs that they're all trying, and trying hard.