Community Technology Previews (CTPs) are regular interim releases of Microsoft technologies while they are still under active development. These CTPs have offered the community unprecedented near-real-time access to what is going at Microsoft and they have enabled Microsoft to get customers’ feedback in a timely and relevant way. Microsoft offers CTPs for many of our major developer platforms including Visual Studio, the .NET Framework, WinFX (which includes Avalon and Indigo), and SQL Server.
However, we have seen a condition emerge in frequent users of CTPs that has come to be known as “CTP Madness”. This condition emerges when a developer tries one CTP (say the latest build of Avalon and Indigo) only to find out it will not install because of the build of the .NET Framework they have installed. The condition gets worse when the developer is unable to locate the correct version of the .NET Framework that works both with the SQL Server build and VS build they need to use.
Symptoms of CTP Madness include:
· Excessive use of VPC images (7 or more on given box)
· Two or more machines in a zombie state due to install\uninstall issues
· Regular (weekly or even daily) machine flattening
Well, Doctors Abrams and Sutherland (working closely with Chief of Staff Torre) have developed a remarkable cure for CTP Madness. The solution is this xml file: BuildData.xml. This file contains all the secrets of making pre-release builds work together. The application below uses this data to clearly show what builds are compatible. In addition we use the browsercaps to show you what appears to be installed on your machine right now..
You are welcome, even encouraged to build your own front end to this data. We will keep the build data up to date here regularly.
Can you think of other symptoms of CTP madness?
PS: JasonZ offers some Cup<T> mugs for someone who builds an app using this data.