Belgium Visual Studio User’s Group: 10 Years of Framework Design Guidelines

I had a great time at the the Belgium Visual Studio User’s Group meeting.  The turn out was excellent.  Thanks especially to Gill Cleeren  and Pieter Gheysens for hosting it. 


Gill asked me to talk about Framework Design Guidelines – I subject near and dear to my heart.   I decided to do a bit of a look back over the last 10 years of framework design (we started  what would later become the CLR about 10 years ago)..    It is really fun to look at what has changed and what has not.   



Thanks to the great folks at Addison-Wesley i was able to give away a few copies of the book as well.



Afterwards, we got to talking about how this stuff is actually the easy part of framework design.  What is really hard is the social aspects.  How do you get management bought into spending time on building shared components?  how do you measure ROI in this space?    Do investments in well designed, common frameworks pay off?   What do you think?  any positive or negative experiences? 


Download the slide deck.  I am told there is a video as well… I will post a link when I get it.


Anyway, here is the deck, enjoy.  As I told someone at the event, plagiarism is the highest form of flattery. 

Comments (8)

  1. Ben Hayat says:

    We missed you at last Friday meeting! 🙂

  2. Hi Sir,

    Thanks for giving the knowledge about this book.I will buy myself one copy.



  3. Thanks for the talk. We (the audience) enjoyed it as much as you enjoyed the beer and chocolates 😉

  4. Diego Mijelshon says:


    Slide 30 highlights the preference for shallow hierarchies (which I agree with, except for the "2 level" pseudo-rule).

    In this context, how do you explain the design of WPF?

  5. sandrino says:

    Great presentation today at REMIX…

  6. Peter Wone says:

    I bought this book years ago and found it excellent. At the time I was actually (re)building a framework, and while my design habits were already largely aligned with the text, it added greatly to completeness and consistency.

    ROI depends on your point of view. Frameworks of the standard described by the book are expensive.

    If you are Microsoft, selling to thousands, a sound, predictable and complete framework is a big selling point and improves earnings.

    For smaller operations, you don’t recover the cost of development as earnings. But you do get a much lower ongoing cost of ownership, especially if you -are- pimping it out to paying customers, because demand for support is eased.

    Of course, some companies depend on the flakiness of their product to maintain interest in support contracts, and working around the defects of Crystal Reports Business Objects is an industry in its own right.

  7. Vukoje says:

    @Peter -> I have discovered that trained and disciplined developer can produce excellent and average code in same amount of time.

    There are people who relive that principles from this book should be applied only to core, highly reusable components but not on other parts.

    I strongly disagree on this one. I can’t imagine a developer who is thinking "Should I comment this API, is it important enough?".

    @Brad -> Regarding the question "Do investments in well designed, common frameworks pay off?" I think you should always build minimum required to solve current problem and build it the best you can. This implies that you shouldn’t build components (frameworks) to solve potential future needs. Off course, this is not true if you are in business of building frameworks.

    I have elaborated on this subject here

  8. Just saw the recording, great talk, too bad I couldn’t make it…

    You can watch the video here:

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