Saturday, November 05, 2005

VS 2005 - Why do you want to make trouble?

(There goes my conscience again. This started as a comment that got longer and longer until it reached post length.)

This is a follow-up to last night's VS 2005 + Bugs = unhappy bloggers post. Some additional posts out there:

Looking through the comments...

Mini, you might want to try using the products your own company produces before you declare it an utter failure and the buggiest thing ever.

:

It seems as if this blog has recently changed its tone from something that offered constructive criticism and useful insights to the kind of drivel you'd expect to see on slashdot.

Ye-Ouch! I did struggle with the negative nature of this post. I struggled with the fact that I personally felt that VS 2005 environment was a slow moving, buggy trainwreck yet I didn't reach for the emergency brake line and give it a good pull and call BS. I had hopes that it would stabilize well at the beginning of the escrow process.

What makes me especially angry is that our customers were pleading for stability and speed and we steamrolled over them with this release. I appreciate that it's a large environment and most of it will be just fine for most people and folks who really want to get work done will figure out where the last mine blew up and not do that again. It's their own sort of version of Twister to get their work done.

In my opinion, what VS needs to do is say, in a manner that won't dampen the launch party: Hey, this was a super-big innovative release but it looks like some bugs unfortunately shipped. Okay, we're really going to ship a VS 2005 service pack. Here's the Microsoft forum we'd appreciate you providing feedback to. Here's a link that you can keep track of what's going into the service pack. Furthermore, the service pack will ship on fill in a date no longer than six months out.

This is because the users are complaining that they've never, ever seen a patch or a service pack for VS and they expect they are going to be told to wait until the Orcas release. If that's our plan, we should say so.

Another comment: This is a prime example of what's wrong with pulling six blog comments out of the blogosphere and holding them up as proof of a poor decision. I'm willing to bet, though am too tired to actually do so, that for every negative comment you'd be able to find 15 or 20 positive comments.

I bet you're right, too. If folks want to balance this or the other post out with links to people using the VS 2005 RTM bits and being pleased silly, please do. In the meantime, unhappy bloggers aren't going to go away. I appreciate that some Microsofties are spending time and effort to go out and put down comments in those blog entries complaining about issues. Hopefully that helps. But you have to realize this: that every really bad bug you say Won't Fix to is going to end up on someone's blog post eventually (especially considering the technical nature of the VS 2005 customers). It's not just a one-on-one call to PSS you have to worry about anymore. It's pissed off users venting to the world that the software they paid good money for is hanging, crashing, or corrupting their data.

Another comment: For several products, employees are required to use the product as our customers would use it before it ships.

In a lot of groups, the VS IDE is not used by developers.

Internally, it would be good to figure someway to dogfood VS 2005 at a greater rate. Most developers, who find the choice, draw the line at Rascal. But if we were to dogfood VS 2005, I'd want assurances of support from that team and a promise that there were going to give us stable drops. I don't think dogfooding VS 2005 was totally possible this time because of the rapidly mutating environment rushing up to ship.

So. Too negative? Look, I think given time that the VS team would have fixed a lot of the bugs (and they do seem to be pretty much in the IDE, I haven't run into a compiler bug in a long time let alone run into a post about the compiler). But they weren't given time because what they were shipping along with had to get out the door. This wasn't news to the division. If the date can't move, major features get cut so that the more important features can be stabilized with the available resources. It's not rocket science. It's computer science and software engineering. And we do it enough every day such that big nasty bugs shouldn't be shipping in one of the jewels of the Microsoft franchise.

A cautious example to Windows Vista and Office 12. You have to ship in 2006. Are you ontrack for a high quality release? Would it be better to cut major features now and save them for the next release so that you can have a super-high-quality release now?

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

VS is a very interesting phenomenon. There have always been better code editors out there, so maybe being a good code editor is not one of their most important goals?

One of the most interesting bugs in my opinion is that for a number of versions the scroll bars weren't even properly themed for XP. I'm not sure if they've finally fixed that yet, but how does a bug like that ship? The tool is supposed to help people make the best Windows apps possible. Having the scroll bars look wrong just says "Don't even try to make your apps theme correctly, we can't even do it." Not a very good message to send.

I wonder if Bill Gates ever asked the VP in charge the simple question, "So what was so difficult about properly theming the scroll bars? How can you justify sending such a bad message to our customers over multiple product releases?"

As this blog shows, people really notice the little things. Users of an IDE use it a lot, so it had better be close to perfect. It's not like Word where the average user might create one new document each week. Or even one a day but still doesn't see most of the features. Many users use an IDE all day every day, and use much of its functionality.

VS itself should be the golden example of the perfect application. Where better to inspire great Windows software than in the product used to create it. It seems obvious doesn't it?

However, in my opinion, this is just another example of where Mirosoft's dominance does them harm. Why isn't VS better? Because it doesn't have to be. Who else is going to compile your Windows apps?

History has shown that at Microsoft "features" will always trump fit and finish work. I think Apple is doing a great job of hitting Microsoft right in their achilles heel, and what's even better for them, Microsoft doesn't seem to be able to learn or change.

Microsoft is probably happy that they're still dominant, but mindshare wise Apple and Linux are growing while Microsoft is shrinking, and that's where it all starts.

Anonymous said...

What is Rascal?

Anonymous said...

Just two more comments to channel9.msdn.com (The Coffeehouse):


John Galt
Sat, Nov 5 2005 9:49 AM

As bad as Vs.net is (i.e. you can't use URL Rewritting in ASP.NET because of 3 separate bugs in it, I have managed to crash it about 20 times in the span of two hours the other day, all with different errors) SQL Server 2005 is even worse.

Management Studio is just so bad that it makes Enterprise Manager look good. To one of my staff that saw me struggling with Management Studio "Well, looks like I won't be downgrading to SQL Server 2005 any time soon!" You can't use Query builder without about 10 steps, it doesn't allow execution (even though the right click menu item is there) directly, so you have to click ok, execute it on the stupid text screen and then edit it again in the design mode by selecting all fo the text, right clicking on it and opening the designer again, the thing comes up in the most anoying fashion in the first place and doesn't have a list of your registered servers displayed by default.

I.e. the Query Analyser team wrote this thing and the Enterprise Manager team got left out in the cold. End result, is that we have the same mantality that produced the steaming pile that is Query Analyser in the Management Studio tool and thus it's almost completely unusuable because of the increased clicks (on average I have to click about 7x more than I did with Enterprise Manager to get anything done).

This stuff is buggy, and it clearly shows that they didn't bother to listen to customers much. (unless of course it got a ton of votes on the feedback system like C# Edit and Continue which the implimentation is horrible (i.e. try editing a dll that a asp.net 2.0 web site depends on. You can't edit it while it's running, no way not how, even if you would agree to restarting it to see the changes. You have to stop the damn site, edit it and then start it again.)

And then there is the Winforms editor which is actually SLOWER than Vs.net 2003 which is a major accomplishment considering how horribly slow it is... Man I wish I had VB 6 back sometimes... forms showed up instantly and the thing was mostly stable (especially after the 6 service packs which we don't get anymore, we have to jump through hoops to get hotfixes because they won't even publish them publically)

All and all, this is definately a downgrade and not something that we'll be moving to any time soon. In fact, SQL Server has basically made it so that if we move off of SQL Server 2000 or they push us off because of lack of support, we'll be moving to MySQL 5.


Rossj
R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn Sat, Nov 5 2005 3:27 PM

My friend just contacted me to tell me that if he does

using System.Web ;

then VS has decided to just remove the ;, quite why a space implies that the ; is unnecessary I don't know. Only happens on 'using' ..

Are we likely to get any answers on how Microsoft intends to fix this mess? I'm going to the Launch even in Birmingham on Tuesday and you can bet I'll be asking some awkward questions unless there is some sort of official recognition that the product is flawed for a large number of people.

Robert Watkins said...

This is a really stupid question, I'm sure, but... do the Visual Studio developers use it? A policy of making the VS developers use the nightly build would certainly go to making it more stable.

Frans Bouma said...

One of the most interesting bugs in my opinion is that for a number of versions the scroll bars weren't even properly themed for XP. I'm not sure if they've finally fixed that yet, but how does a bug like that ship?
Not only that, if you added a manifest file for devstudio.exe to get the scrollbars themed, you got errors in the resource files in your own projects when you compiled them. ;)

What annoyed me during the alpha and early betas of VS.NET 2005 was that there was NO ROOM for bigger windows in the IDE: most dialogs, like the choose items dialog of the toolbox, the settings dialog for vs.net etc., aren't resizable and have a very tiny size. I don't know about you, but I really don't think anyone is developing on 320x200 these days.

The reason apparently was that the framework behind VS.NET would require a lot of rework to make these windows resizable (and left alone size with the font settings of windows... ). I can understand that and with that knowledge work around it and scroll inside these tiny windows on my 1600x1200 screen like it's a tiny mini-game, fine by me. Though there are people who don't know that knowledge and think "huh? Why aren't these windows resizable, while others are resizable?".

About the negativety on the blogs: It's not my job to hail and praise Microsoft and the products they produce, Microsoft has a legion of evangelists and a large marketing department for that. All I want is that the people out there know what's reality and that together we can tell MS to come up with patches for the issues we run into every day, because as someone said above, we use the IDE all day, every day.

I realize that the programmers who write the software for Microsoft are real people and to them I want to say: It's nothing personal, you're just doing your job. It's the people who decide that it's completely logical that you can set a release date 6 months or even farther away in the future and simply know you're done by that date. That has to change. At least, I think it should, for the customers of the software, so they can download fixes if they want to, etc.

Anonymous said...

VS developers do use VS 2005 to develop VS 2005 and most use IDE as their primary environment. Some use Rascal, which is lightweight IDE + debugger and basic editor, produced for internal use only.

However, you may notice that most complaints are about C#, IDE, certain project and ASP.NET features. Well, although VS contains a lot of C# code, most heavily used component is C# compiler, not IDE. VS project system is too simple for large-scale development. Daily VS builds are produced using makefiles, not from within IDE. Therefore VS project system is not extensively used internally.

ASP.NET is not part of VS, it is part of the .NET Framework, it just happens to ship at the same time, that's it. As far as I can tell, complaints are about migration from ASP.NET 1.1 to 2.0, not about actual release quality.

You have to remember though that major partners and large customers were testing Whidbey and all of them signed off the release. So it was not just some silly triage and ship room. The product quality was accepted by many large companies and MVPs.

Mitch Barnett said...

I have been using VS since VB1, way back in 1991. I have used the VS IDE almost everyday since then. Call me crazy, but I am just a lowly programmer type trying to write code in the fastest, easiest way possible. The only IDE that I thought was better was Visual Smalltalk’s IDE with seamless and transparent source control. And to me the pinnacle, so far, was the VB6 IDE from MSFT.

Bugs in the IDE? Perhaps some of the commenters have no idea how many VS IDE bugs I have worked around since VB1. Several hundred or more over the years. I am also one of those lunatic early adopters that signs up for the TAP’s as I like being an alpha and beta tester. Why? Because after 15 years of programming, I am pretty tired (and lazy), always looking for ways to do my job easier. Every new release of VS raises the level of abstraction, for me the programmer, using the product everyday, so that I can do my job better. And for me, the programmer, that’s the bottom line. And by the way, it is the software world, which is a made up virtual world in our heads, which means it ain’t perfect and every piece of software has bugs in it. Get used to it.

Which brings me to my point. I don’t give a shit about small inconsequential bugs in VS2005 or that it is sllooowww (get a faster box!) or issues around themed scroll bars, are you kidding me?

What I want to hear about is the critical innovations in the IDE that make my ridiculously hard job as a programmer easier. Like the baked in bits for Software Factories, DSL’s Visual Designers, GAT, et al. These are the critical innovations in the IDE that make my job easier. These are fantastic for me, you have no idea what a positive thing this is. I want to see more “knowledge” share like James Avery’s incredibly useful Visual Studio Hacks book. As a programmer, that is what is useful to me. How come I don’t hear (more) about this?

Just for once, I would like to hear something positive on this blog, particularly with respect to VS 2005 as it is very close to my heart, as a tool I use to do my job everyday, +40 hours a week. I dare you to say something positive about VS 2005. I don’t think you or the commenters on this blog site can do it.

Anonymous said...

"Just for once, I would like to hear something positive on this blog, particularly with respect to VS 2005 as it is very close to my heart, as a tool I use to do my job everyday..."

Microsoft is very lucky to have "customers" like you. Do you think it's a realistic expectation to hear positive comments, particularly with respect to VS 2005, on this particular blog? There must be an "I love VS 2005" blog somewhere. That might be a better blog for you.

I have no doubt that the people who work on VS have done some great things (there, are you happy?). However, I get the impression that people are really tired of buggy software coming from Microsoft. It sounds like Microsoft does not even use its own tools to build its own products? I think that says quite a bit. There are a few conclusions we might be able to draw if that's the case:

1.) Microsoft thinks nobody else can or will write software as complex as its software and therefore VS doesn't have to be good enough to build Office or whatever. (Ego)
2.) Microsoft doesn't want anybody to write software as complex as its software. (Monopoly)
3.) VS isn't really that great, and Microsoft knows well enough to stay away. (Ouch)

Who da'Punk said...

1) Just to note a positive entry on my own:
Wesner Moise: VS 2005 Is A Good Product - a follow-up to Moise's posting I linked to previously.

2) C# Tea Time mentions the post-Whidbey MQ that's coming up - wouldn't the output of that be perfect for a service pack? That would be a great postscript to share as part of the launch as we describe the future for the DevDiv.

3) Channel 9 asks about whether there will be a VS 2005 Service Pack.

4) Ayende Rahein has a follow-up post worth reading: More on VS 2005 Quality.

5) Somebody once mentioned that Mini is a lowly serf slaving it out in one of the meaningless BUITs on campus. The accuracy of that analysis is proven with every latest write-up of his. While there is value in his original angst that led to this blog, more and more he is proving that he has absolutely no clue about software engineering and is not plugged into the mechanics of decision making in any of the product groups.

Wowza! Just because I'm plugged into the process and know how the software sausage is cranked out doesn't mean I to have to agree with it.

6) I dare you to say something positive about VS 2005.

(ahem...) It installed so incredibly fast compared to the past I thought there was an install bug!

Mitch makes an interesting point. I read through the Visual Studio Hacks book (regretting more money sent O'Reilly's way) and there were a lot of times I was uttering, "Really? I didn't know that," when I found a cool thing that could be done in VS. When I watch the VS guys present cool features (especially the undocumented features) I get excited about how much time VS can save me in both developing and debugging my features.

7) Bit of a Google outage today on Blogger. Lasted a few hours.

FARfetched said...

It's not like Word where the average user might create one new document each week. Or even one a day but still doesn't see most of the features.

As a technical writer, I can honestly say I would rather use troff than deal with Word as it is right now. I used it pretty much daily up through Word 95, then moved to a FrameMaker shop before I had to deal with the nightmare that is Word 97.

The amazing thing is, many Word users put up with losing data to file corruption (done that), or with numbering that doesn't work right, or with (I've actually seen this) Word inserting about 8 pages with only a section number in the middle of a document. One writer told me, "the first thing I learned about using Word was to lower my expectations."

So VS is becoming like Word: bloated, buggy, and unsuitable for serious use. Some of the new features in Office 12 — a mostly-open XML format and PDF generation in the apps come to mind — are really exciting to me, because they're things I would be able to harness in my work. But until I can trust Word to not eat or derange my documents, I'll have to use FrameMaker or perhaps OpenOffice. I can imagine developers would say the same thing about VS.

Just two cents from a non-Microsoftie who thinks this is a great blog.

Anonymous said...

I've been using Whidbey full time for 2 years now, I wouldn't say it's a dip in quality just that it's not a remarkable improvement. VS 2003 definitely had it's share of bugs too.

On the other hand, Avalon is going to set a whole new low in terms of quality and stability.

Anonymous said...

A cautious example to Windows Vista and Office 12. You have to ship in 2006. Are you ontrack for a high quality release? Would it be better to cut major features now and save them for the next release so that you can have a super-high-quality release now?

Did you not hear about the BrianV all-hands meeting on Thursday? Features in Vista are being slashed this month!! No new features after 12/31/2005! He made it very clear to the 3000 people in 33/McKinley...

Anonymous said...

A cautious example to Windows Vista and Office 12. You have to ship in 2006. Are you ontrack for a high quality release? Would it be better to cut major features now and save them for the next release so that you can have a super-high-quality release now?

You're kidding, right?

Outlook's had thousands and thousands of dev-hours of work tossed out the window their last few releases. All of them major features.

Anyone remember the Hailstorm botched abortion? Yeah, like that, except across multiple releases.

Office has ALWAYS been willing to jettison features to get it out the door. And what do you think decoupling WinFS from Vista was, other than realizing they weren't going to be shipping Vista in a timely manner keeping them coupled?

Frans Bouma said...

The product quality was accepted by many large companies and MVPs.
Who of the MVP's? Is that a majority? Most fellow MVP's I know were thinking just as I did: "beta 2 had problems but we trust these are gone in the RTM". Example: the very dissapointing renderspeed of the gridview in .net 2.0. My Amiga 500 can render a grid faster than this thing.

Frans Bouma said...

I don’t give a shit about small inconsequential bugs in VS2005 or that it is sllooowww (get a faster box!)
I'm on a 3Ghz Xeon box with raid0 scsi harddisks. Get a faster box? Where? ;). Kidding aside, if something is slow on my machine, it IS slow. VS.NET 2005 is overall pretty snappy, but it loses speed and gets not so snappy when you edit large(r) files: the editor can't keep up with the typing.

I don't care about small quircks either. But I don't know if you've read about the issues reported already in RTM, but we're not talking about a badly placed comma or wrong colored button. We're talking IDE crashes, IDE hangs and major annoyances.

I can live with small quircks in an IDE, I mean we've dealt with the most slowest debugger of all time in VS.NET 2002/2003 for years already, but what I can't live with is losing work when I'm just typing in a texteditor. I grew up with VI en gnu debugger on the command line, I know what an IDE brings in terms of productivity, but one thing those other tools never did on me: crash or hang and with that: lose my work.

As someone else said, and which to me was one of the greatest remarks I've read so far about the subject, something along the lines of: programmers use the IDE the whole day, every day, so it has to be perfect, otherwise it will hurt their work.

Anonymous said...

From reading these comments, seems to me there are some 5h1t hot coders reading mini's blog. You know, the kind of guys who never produce any bugs whatsoever in the stuff they write. Perhaps they should send their resume to the VS team?

Anonymous said...

Hello, I undertstand this blog and its posts are focused upon experienced programmers who work with this software for a living.

It would be nice to see a comment or a one-paragraph blog about whether the "lightweight" products (as the l33t programmers here would call them) like VB Express, WebDev Express, SQL Server Express, are equally badly messed up, particularly WebDev, as the VS Pro/Ent/Team product which everyone is ranting/blogging about??

Do any other good tools exist for VB/ASP.net work?? Has Eclipse/Mono caught up yet??

Thank you, :) tom

rageley said...

Bottom line...upper management slapped the release date on this product to get something out the door - delays were pushing the RTM date out and out and out (heck, when did sql start its beta cycle, something like August 2003?) to the point where (I imagine) they said - "that's it. we need to ship something. set a date and make it happen...whatever the consequences - we'll deal with them after we've shipped something".

Sql and VS managed to get something out the door - BizTalk (who were somehow unfairly included in the mix) didn't. My guess is that it's a step in a plan they (hopefully) foresaw coming. They may have hoped that having Orcas follow tightly behind Whidbey would give them the chance to patch up anything they had to...looks like they better get a service pack in the plans. I imagine (hope) they're seriously considering that right now. Trying to time it with the release of VSTS is a good idea (IMHO).

So now, the next step is to listen to the community, gather the bugs and prioritze them, and get SP1 out ASAP. Odds are, VS2005 + SP1 will have the product in a better position than if they were to tack another 3-6 months on the original schedule....they needed a paradigm shift - hopefully that's what they got.

airraid81 said...

Yes, Microsoft does seem to be on the demise, but can Google really catch them? They don't even have an OS. It seems like it's comparing apples to oranges. Football News and Opinions

Anonymous said...

I've just tried typing

using System.Web ;

in RTM build of VS2005 Pro, and it simply removed space. Some folks seem to be commenting based on RC builds, and this is just wrong.

Personally, I'm quite happy with VS2005 so far, perhaps because I haven't used it extensively yet. I've poked around, noticed some new things in C++ (unsafe string functions are now #pragma deprecated, at last) and of course C#, compiled and ran a few simple programs.

One bug that I expect fixed is the one that crashed VS2003 debugger from time to time when attaching to and detaching from processes. If this is not fixed, though, I'll be PISSED. I hit this bug in VS2003 at least twice a day, more if I debug a lot.

Anonymous said...

From reading these comments, seems to me there are some 5h1t hot coders reading mini's blog. You know, the kind of guys who never produce any bugs whatsoever in the stuff they write. Perhaps they should send their resume to the VS team?

I don't produce bug-free code, but I also don't ship code with major bugs in it just to meet a date. That's a case of focusing on pleasing the shareholders ("See? We're shipping product!") instead of pleasing customers, who are the ones that matter and will raise hell over these issues.

dB. said...

In a lot of groups, the VS IDE is not used by developers.

No wonder.

When I started CoreXT and then BuildTracker we pushed every team as far away from Visual Studio as possible.

When I sat down with a bunch of very senior people from VS offering hundreds of developers from the CoreXT community on a plate and asking to push MsBuild harder internally, I got an unpleasant push back as it would not align with some obscure core objectives.

People make all the difference.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Microsoft does seem to be on the demise, but can Google really catch them? They don't even have an OS.

You left out the word "yet".

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Who da'Punk said...

That comment I just deleted half had something to say and then it devolved pretty quickly.

If you got something to say and you want to name call, too, please hold the name calling for your own blog so that I don't have to waste time blowing your comment away.

TheKhalif said...

All of this has been really interesting and I wish I had the RTM now to see if it's that bad. I have worked with projects since Beta2 and have had a few problems like the Source View in ASP would stop allowing editing and I would have to restart, and some things were dog slow, but generics, anonymous methods, nullable types, Master Pages and the new declarative data source model are reason enoug to work around any non-destructive issues. 43 million lines of code is a lot. Of course data loss should never be in an RTM, and a product that costs as much as a good PC should NOT need restarting, but the fact that I have yet to hear about data loss means that some of us are still beta testing rather than using it the way you would if designing something "real."

Again, I am not excusing bugs in a dev product but I can't say what the RTM is like and I reallyhope it's not as bad as all that. I should have it in a few weeks and will definitely complain if I have any major issues with usability.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.gotdotnet.com/johnmont/archive/2005/10.aspx

Yesterday, our customers signed off on our release candidate. In case you don't know, the VS and .NET Framework development teams have a customer board building applications on our beta software and we need them all to say we're good to go before we can ship (or to tell us that their development schedule doesn't allow them to upgrade to the latest release candidate and thereby excuse themselves from the process). So yesterday we got the signoff from the 24 customers (any one of whom can stop our ship cycle).

These customers had a pretty substantial impact on the product, including uncovering some notable 64-bit CLR issues, and we owe them a big thanks.

Anonymous said...

"I have been using VS since VB1, way back in 1991. - Mitch"

Mitch - VB1 was not visual studio ... visual studio came about from VC++ (msdev) whilst combined with Visual Interdev and the other languages (VJ++) circa 1995 to support sweeper.

Mitch Barnett said...

Re: 1 & 6) I dare you to say something positive about VS 2005.

(ahem...) It installed so incredibly fast compared to the past I thought there was an install bug!

Thank you for saying something positive! ;-) What about Software Factories, DSL’s GAT, etc., Are those not the real “positive” innovations in the IDE?

Re: Microsoft is very lucky to have "customers" like you. Do you think it's a realistic expectation to hear positive comments, particularly with respect to VS 2005, on this particular blog? There must be an "I love VS 2005" blog somewhere. That might be a better blog for you.

Who said I loved VS 2005? What’s realistic to me is being pragmatic in my IDE choices. Who can suggest a better (be realistic) developer productivity environment than VS 2005 for writing commercial quality code?

Re: I'm on a 3Ghz Xeon box with raid0 scsi harddisks. Get a faster box? Where? ;). Kidding aside…We're talking IDE crashes…

I have not run into any crashes (yet), nor has my team of about 20 developers that have it installed. Are we missing something? Since our team uses various different versions of various MS products across our product line, we actually do our development using VPC images, so the (huge) trade-off in speed is relative to being able to switch (tested & certified) VHD images easily and efficiently for different develop tasks. One thing that MSFT does not do well at all is saying what versions of what works with what. This could use some major improvement, giving detailed steps on various “configurations” of a development environment.

Re: programmers use the IDE the whole day, every day, so it has to be perfect, otherwise it will hurt their work.

Perfect? This is the software world, nothing is perfect – ever.

Re: I have no doubt that the people who work on VS have done some great things (there, are you happy?).

No, I am not happy. Let’s discuss what those “great things” are. I would like to hear something specific.

Re: “I have been using VS since VB1, way back in 1991. - Mitch"
Mitch - VB1 was not visual studio ... visual studio came about from VC++ (msdev) whilst combined with Visual Interdev and the other languages (VJ++) circa 1995 to support sweeper.

Er, right you are – I was just so thrilled to be able to write a Windows app in 1/10th (read 1/100th) of the time it normally took me using other tools. Also, in developer time, 1991 is a hell of along time ago – I forgot :-)

As I have alluded to before, I think the “real” positive value in VS 2005 is the addition of the “Software Factory” concepts and tools that represent the state of the art in software engineering today. As someone that came from the R&D electronics engineering world (some 25 years ago), we took for granted all of the tools and processes around product line families and extending product members using component assembly techniques, etc. In other words, patterns of industrialization. When I moved to the software world, I thought this would be the accepted practice. How na├»ve was I. Now, 15 years later, with books like Software Factories by Jack Greenfield and Keith Short, this “old school” product engineering approach to develop software is just starting in our software world, albeit met with some hefty (and sometimes justified) skepticism. VS 2005 encapsulates some of these standard engineering principles, and to me, this is what makes me most excited about the toolset and the industry for that matter. Yet, no one talks about Software Factories. I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

Mitch,

You might want to try Eclipse or IntelliJ. I was at a company that did both Java and C++. It was amazing the difference between Visual Studio and the Java tools. Visual Studio was like working with rocks and sticks. Even the recent versions (haven't seen 2005) are way behind on refactoring, build tools, and so much more. It always used to amaze us that Visual Studio developers get so excited about features that have existed for years in Java.

As for software factories - what on earth is one? Microsoft has an article called 'what is a software factory' with:

Instead of taking a generic, one-size-fits-all approach, Software Factories use custom collections of DSLs to provide sets of abstractions

....

You might think of Software Factories as encompassing and extending MDA, where MDA is defined in a broader sense than the official definition based on PIMs and PSMs

---

Huh???? I read the article, and I don't get it. Oh my oh my.

Anonymous said...

MiniMsft wrote:
In my opinion, what VS needs to do is say...: ...Here's the Microsoft forum we'd appreciate you providing feedback to.

Mini, such forums do exist, and there are lots of MS people responding to customer issues:

C# IDE:
http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=58&SiteID=1

C++:
http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=29&SiteID=1

VB IDE:
http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=65&SiteID=1

etc.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you'd like the VS team to just ignore the bug submissions completely and leave them with a status of "New", despite being fatal and over 12 months old, ala Eclipse?

Coming from a Java background, I currently use IntelliJ regularly, and I find it WAY buggier than VS, and Eclipse was the undisputed king of buggy, so it's quite funny for me seeing people going apeshit over half a dozen bugs in VS. It's quite funny that you can get away with bug ridden, data-loss inducing products as long as you're not Microsoft.

If you call yourself an 'enterprise' developer, you should realize that software flaws are an unfortunate fact.

Anonymous said...

"It's quite funny for me seeing people going apeshit over half a dozen bugs in VS.

Visual Studio 2005, Professional Edition = $799

Even if it was "half a dozen bugs", it still comes in at over $100 a bug...

Remind me how much Eclipse costs, again?

Anonymous said...

>>Remind me how much Eclipse costs, again?<<

Then don't bring elipse into the discussion if it's bugs can simply be ignored because it's free.

Anonymous said...

You want buggy software, look no further than this blog. How many comments are reported, and how many are actually posted? The comment count seems to go up like GOOG's overvalued stock.

Anonymous said...

Weird thing is that both VS.NET 2002 & 2003 had "Check for Service Release" as part of the main install (was the last step). Seems like the the UI is built - somehow, somewhere I suspect there is a line in the code base that looks like:

// TODO: Insert slip code here

Oh wait, that was Windows 2000.

Anonymous said...

||Remind me how much Eclipse costs, again?

Then don't bring elipse into the discussion if it's bugs can simply be ignored because it's free.

I didn't: some other guy brought it in. But I guess that was my point: it's not that (insert some piece of software in here) has bugs but it's free, it's the fact that VS 2005 has bugs and costs $800! Shipping something with known bugs and charging $800 for it, is the point!

Every customer who was on the Beta and raised a bug, and now buys the product, and sees the same damn bug again is a dissatisfied customer.

Anonymous said...

Visual Studio 2005, Professional Edition = $799

Even if it was "half a dozen bugs", it still comes in at over $100 a bug...


Sorry, but this is just whacked. By this standard, you must want more bugs, because then each one would be cheaper!

MSS

P.S. I have to second the recommendation of IntelliJ. Personally, I only hit maybe one bug in two years (your mileage may vary), but wow, what a development environment.

Anonymous said...

Service packs ahoy!
http://blogs.msdn.com/scottwil/archive/2005/11/07/490007.aspx

Brendan said...

Yes, Microsoft does seem to be on the demise, but can Google really catch them? They don't even have an OS. It seems like it's comparing apples to oranges. Football News and Opinions

What's so important about an OS? The thing that would kill Microsoft is exactly what Google is working to achieve - OS independance.

Google's services are entirely web-based, and utilize web standards. If you have a standards compliant web browser, you can take advantage of what Google offers whether you're OS is Windows, Linux, OSX, et cetera.

If Google creates web based productivity tools offering OS independant alternatives to Office, Visual Studio, [fill in the blank], Microsoft's grip on the market will slip.

"Operating System" will become a dirty phrase used by computer historians and system administrators.

Anonymous said...

As a Microsoft customer who re-up'ed their Software Assurance specifically to get SQL Server 2005 (we ended up being about 3 months short of the release date), I gotta say I'm really disappointed in the quality.

We loaded up SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition on a freshly installed Windows XP box and attempted to use the Copy Database Wizard to copy a database from our testing server (SQL 2k).

Failed. While the error message said to check the logs, we couldn't find where the failure might have been detailed.

Okay, we'll try the "Move" option of the CDW instead. Failed.

Finally, we detached it from the test server, copied it to the XP machine and attached it. A success.

So, we start cleaning up some views and stored procedures we don't want in the XP test machine.

Apparently, you're not supposed to select 20-30 objects and select Delete? Each time we did, we got an error message from the Management Studio about an "index" in the application not being found (the message was about the MS, not about database indexes).

After that error message, Management Studio continued to run, but it was completely unusable. Clicking on Tables didn't bring in any tables, Views didn't ever refresh.

The only option was to Exit then restart the Management Studio.

Thanks, but that's not enterprise quality by any stretch of the imagination. This release goes on the shelf until it actually works.

TheKhalif said...

Even if it was "half a dozen bugs", it still comes in at over $100 a bug...

Sorry, but this is just whacked. By this standard, you must want more bugs, because then each one would be cheaper!

MSS

P.S. I have to second the recommendation of IntelliJ. Personally, I only hit maybe one bug in two years (your mileage may vary), but wow, what a development environment.




Have never used it, I can't say how good IntelliJ is, but just like the long-lasting Intel\AMD saga, VS has produced some very stable and FAST infrastructures for me.
I did have a "horrible Surce Safe saved me" crash wth the Installer (workaround - don't build the installer until rgression is done). Other than that, VS2002\2003 have served me well.

Even VB6 which Inow believe to be worthless enabled me to implement solid interfaces with miiminal effort.

I say VS 2005 ALL THE WAY.

Anonymous said...

Re: If Google creates web based productivity tools offering OS independant alternatives to Office, Visual Studio, [fill in the blank], Microsoft's grip on the market will slip.

If Google this, If Google that... You folks amuse the shit out of me with your wishes. Of course if I had boobs, I will be a transvestite.

Even folks at Google (my friend has worked there for 9months now) are worried about all these wishes because someday people will get disappointed that they haven't killed Microsoft and their own bubble will be forcibly burst

TheKhalif said...

If Google this, If Google that... You folks amuse the shit out of me with your wishes. Of course if I had boobs, I will be a transvestite.


If Google just wants to make money and not "kill" anyone they will do fine. I think Microsoft has shown that "killing" competitors leads to gov't intervention and enormous fines. There is plenty of room for both companies since they are so disconnected. this is evidenced by Google's "ascension" and Ms' "descension."

I say VS 2005 all the way. I'm sure even Google can make something of C# and GTK#.
NO ONE WILL EVER UNDO MS' HOLD ON THE DESKTOP!!

Anonymous said...

"VS project system is too simple for large-scale development. Daily VS builds are produced using makefiles, not from within IDE. Therefore VS project system is not extensively used internally."

Could you make your build employees more productive and produce a product more useful to customers if the VS project system was suitable for large-scale development?


"Which brings me to my point. I don’t give a shit about small inconsequential bugs in VS2005 or that it is sllooowww (get a faster box!) or issues around themed scroll bars, are you kidding me?"

Having to upgrade hardware for an entire development team is expensive for a company just to run a slow VS2005. It would be of more value to customers to ship a product that works well with their existing hardware if possible.


"Who said I loved VS 2005? What’s realistic to me is being pragmatic in my IDE choices. Who can suggest a better (be realistic) developer productivity environment than VS 2005 for writing commercial quality code?"

A lot of developers at Microsoft use "Source Insight" for writing commercial quality code.

http://www.sourceinsight.com/

Anonymous said...

Leaked Memo Gives Microsoft New Direction?
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Wednesday November 09, @07:22AM
from the google-in-the-crosshairs dept.

daria42 writes "An e-mail memo sent from Microsoft chairman Bill Gates to top execs at Microsoft has been leaked, revealing the executive wants his company to hurriedly change its focus and start to tap online advertising and services as new revenue sources. In the e-mail, Gates cites another, earlier memo, sent from MS exec Ray Ozzie, in which Ozzie also warns MS of the importance of focusing on the online medium. 'It's clear that if we fail to do so, our business as we know it is at risk,' Ozzie wrote. 'We must respond quickly and decisively. We should've been leaders with all our web properties in harnessing the potential of Ajax, following our pioneering work in OWA (Outlook Web Access),' he continued. 'We knew search would be important, but through Google's focus they've gained a tremendously strong position.'"

Anonymous said...

"A cautious example to Windows Vista and Office 12. You have to ship in 2006. Are you ontrack for a high quality release? Would it be better to cut major features now and save them for the next release so that you can have a super-high-quality release now?"

Vista Beta 2 is going to be 1 to 2 months delayed. Llooks like they've decided to drop a release candidate to hit the ship date:
http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowspaulthurrott/Article/ArticleID/48408/windowspaulthurrott_48408.html

Doesn't sound too good to me.

Anonymous said...

You might want to try Eclipse or IntelliJ.

I use both VS and IntelliJ. IntelliJ is SLOW compared to VS. So slow that its painful. You can see it just on the intellisense alone. But there are features in IntelliJ that are just awesome and wish came with VS.

Anonymous said...

I went to the nov 7 launch of vs2005 in San Francisco. In the first 'developer' session, demoing Team System, the IDE crashed twice. The poor young guy (sorry can't remember name, but he actually looked like a 20 something Bill Gates) doing the demo looked like he felt really sick. I felt sorry for him. It hiccuped on the next guy too, demoing Biztalk integration, but he handled it smoothly and seamlessly. I was impressed with his poise and skill.

The actual demos were mostly incomprehensible fluff, but not their fault. There wasn't much time.

But hey, it seems like they should have run thru the demo's 50 or so times to be sure they worked. Or are the crashes random?

Nathan said...

I have used VS.NET 2005 since Beta to create post WinForms and ASP.NET applications without any problem whatsoever. I have used it to connect to both SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 editions and it is working great. I have created my own controls and I'm able to drag and drop them without a problem. It does everything a developer wants to do.

Anonymous said...

This is an article on how Visual Studio is killing one of the most efficient development techniques through marketing redifinition.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me where I can get a copy of Rascal. I'd like to try it out. I've been to www.rascalsoftware.com thinking that this may be the site ... but I don't get real page ... just some search engine.

Anonymous said...

I don’t give a shit about small inconsequential bugs in VS2005 or that it is sllooowww (get a faster box!)

I don't find it particularly slow and my hardware is 3 years old. But "small inconsequential bugs"? Let me tell you how I've spent my weekend, having a do-or-die deadline tomorrow.

I'm doing a "smart device" project, so I need to be able to talk to one, as oxymoronic as the term might be, but most of yesterday was spent installing/uninstalling various active sync versions and trying different emulators and transport configurations. The consistent helpful error message was

The configuration data for this product is corrupt. Contact your support personnel.

Right. What product? In what way is it corrupt. Finally I gave up and early this morning I tried it on another, slower machine. Bam - connected. Unfortunately VS2005 on that machine doesn't care to link in project dependencies or to display error messages. Restart - same thing. Reboot. Now building, cleaning or attempting to view project properties on any project instead brings up an error dialog saying that an unspecified error has occured. Reboot, build another solution, try original solution again: builds fine with output.

Well, fine, maybe we can start debugging 34 hours later then. Oh, wait, there's no source code available? Odd, but let's view the disassembly and maybe see what's going on. Press F10. "No source code available" - yeah, I knew that. Ok. Unable to step, so running instead.

Inconsequential?!? GO AWAY!

Anonymous said...

It was intriguing to read this blog, as I'm at the moment running a repair on my VS05 installation. I've been given the task of working with VS05 on a project where I'll be the point man on clearing up issues for the other developers here.

Up to this point, the lack of good documentation has hurt. What else amazes me is how often this software breaks. I reinstalled the .NET 2.0 Framework a few days ago to fix an issue, and have found myself reinstalling things far more often than I've experienced in years. I've had authentication problems whose solutions weren't documented. Today, while writing reports for the Business Objects report viewer, I had a list control break.

Yes, it broke. When one right clicks to add a column via a pulldown menu, the IDE crashes. I'm beginning to call this VS95 instead of VS05 due to the number of crashes and software reinstalls.

I went to the release of VS05 as well. I remember thinking "gee, it does seem to have a number of nice features -- but lip service and real world use are two different animals entirely."

My skepticism appears to be justified. It would be nice to work on a project where I'm not constantly repairing my development environment.

Anonymous said...

I've never had the misfortune of having to use VS ever before, until now. But I have to say I've never ever used a piece of software, in nearly 20 years of using computers (from c=64 up), that is as slow, buggy, unreliable, and gets in the way of what i'm trying to do, as Visual Studio 2005 is.

It's really quite astounding as to how poor this software is. Perhaps some beta versions of gdb got close, but that's about it (well, apart from XP itself) - at least most of them debugged threaded code. C=64 assemblers, Amiga assemblers/editors, GNU environments - they all felt FASTER, easier to use, and much more reliable than i've experienced with this ... well, words in polite company just can't describe its shortcommings. Total crap just doesn't come close.

Anonymous said...

Been a few years. Now I'm using VS 2008. I know of two sure-fire ways to crash the program. It didn't always do this, but re-installing doesn't help.

Open a Form or UserControl in the Designer. View the Code. Change the Code. Close the Designer. Try and edit the code in such a way that Intellisense pops up. I crash almost every time.

Implement an interface. Delete the Implementation declaration from the class but not the methods. Go and format your document by hitting the backspace key a few times. Boom.