Do we listen to the community?


Does the patterns & practices client team listen to the community? It is easy for someone in our position to fall into the “ivory tower” trap and not listen to customers. Within patterns & practices we work hard at listening to the community when working on releases. I am interested in hearing both the good and bad of the client team listening / not listening to the community. So please share as we work on improving our assets and helping you create line of business applications that deliver business results for your customers.

Mike Puleio worked with the development team to close issues identified by the smart client community. He recently blogged about the number of items recently closed:

  • Out of 89 open work items/ issues, we closed 45 yesterday.  A number of these had been fixed in the May 2007 release and never closed, a number were fixed in this release, and some were related to different weekly drops.
  • Out of the top 25 items (by community votes), we closed 13.
  • Looked at another way, we closed 1/2 of the open issues, and 1/2 of the top issues.

I want you perspective on if this is good or is it bad. I view this as good, but I do not want to be in the “ivory tower” so I want to hear from you? When thinking about the question of is the client team listening to the community, I ask:

  • What are we doing well?
  • What do we need to improve?
  • What should we do more of?
  • What should we stop doing?

With this feedback, if you can prioritize it I would appreciate it. Just like on your projects, we have limited resources that we need to figure out where to spend our money to have the most customer impacts. By the way the feedback right now is timely given we are working on creating our fiscal 09 plan.

So let us know your thoughts.

Comments (4)

  1. lee.ryan.campbell@gmail.com says:

    Seeing this an an opportunity to have a moan I might take it! I don’t really have a bug to submit, and I cant say that you have not listened to me cause I have not said anything however I do have some issues with the way things seem to happen with P&P projects.

    We previously used the SCSF & the Service factory, tried to write some guidance packages. Everything felt rosy until we have some issues with GAT/GAX and found almost no support except from Clarius(?). Then we tried to upgrade GAT/GAX with trouble, then uninstall didnt work, then vs2008 was not supported. Hmmmm, not a fan of GAT/GAX.

    We are building smart clients, but WPF is not really supported. We are trying to write modular CAB applications but find out that click once doesn’t support modular deployment?!?!

    Other issues I have are lack of "quality" reference implementations. The CAB reference implementations I thought were to small to justify using CAB and didn’t actually offer any real guidance on when to use actions/events/commands etc.

    I try to keep up with what is happening in the P&P space, but currently wouldnt use any over it for fear of lock in or the need to rebuild my computer (again).

    If I was to compare the stuff coming from P&P to the stuff coming from the SQL team (probably not fair as budgets are probably wildly different) you would wonder if it came from the same company. SQL offers awesome doco, great examples, reference implementations and code quality check tools (BPA). Can we at least get a CAB FxCop rule set?

    –Moaning over

    To hopefully help with the move forward on some of these problems I am trying to put together a WPF smart client application based on the AdventureWorks database (not the code plex project). This could provide a reasonable sized example for an RI for CAB/Acropolis/Prism.

    With this project I hope to be able to provide some guidance to others on "better" practices from our learning’s on CAB and WCF.

    Regards

    Lee Campbell

  2. Blaine says:

    Lee,

    Thank you for your feedback.For a while I wondered if we were perfect and of course we know the answer to that question :).

    As for GAT/GAX, this is something that we have not handled as well as we all would like. We made an incorrect assumption that it would be taken over "soon" by someone in the VSTS team and therefore did not to limit the investment. This last round we spent more time on improving the experience. Has the experience with GAX/GAT 1.4 improved? If not I want to know.

    As for the CAB reference implementations, we have to strike a balance between making it quick and easy to install and understand vs making it a more realistic scenario. We have lots of debate about how much time and effort to invest in making it a more realistic scenario. If you are willing, I would like to schedule some time to discuss what would make the RI more realistic. This is helpful as we are working on Prism.

    I am interested in hearing about your vision of an reference implementation based upon AdventureWorks. Additionally, we have started some internal discussions on creating a reference implementation based upon multiple clients (Web, WPF, WinForms, and so on) that consume Web services. The goal is to use our guidance together to help identify the gaps and overlap.

    Again thanks for the feedback. It is helpful to hear about our warts and the things that make it hard for people to use our assets. Please let me know via e-mail if you can spend a 30 minutes on the phone so I can get feedback on a couple of topics.

    Regards,

    Blaine Wastell

  3. Very sorry about the delay in the reply. Blaine if you want to contact me  you should be able to get me on Lee.Ryan.Campbell at gmail. (can you keep this post private, i dont like spam) 😉

    My general idea was that AdventureWorks seems to be fairly nicely spilt in Schemas that could match application boundaries (HR, Production, Sales etc). I believe most people out there just want to know when CAB/Prism is a fit for their requirements.