We are just putting the finishing touches to the next CTP release of Acropolis - I'll post details of the release when it happens sometime next week but all of the existing links from www.WindowsClient.net/Acropolis should continue to work OK. Apart from the new features and bug fixes (more details in my next post) you'll notice a couple of minor changes in how we're going to manage our CTP release from now on.
First, we decided to change the naming of the CTP releases to include the name of the month in which they are released. This is to bring the naming in line with other CTP released from Microsoft. We are aiming to have a release approximately every month over the summer. Releasing two CTP's in the same month is a nice problem for us to have and we'll cross that bridge when we get to it :-).
Second, we decided to split out the samples from the core release. This frees us up to update or add more samples independently of the core release. We'll be posting updated samples a couple of days after each of the core releases.
So nothing earth shattering really, just trying to make it easier for us to be more agile and to ship CTP's faster...
July CTP will still be based on Visual Studio 'Orcas' Beta 1, since it will be released before Beta 2 is available, so unfortunately there will still be a couple of designer issues (happily these have been fixed in the Beta 2 release of Visual Studio). We'll have an updated CTP very soon after Beta 2 is released.
Meanwhile, Kevin Hoffman continues to provide very valuable feedback and keep us on our toes!
First of all, Kevin rightly points out that part to part communication is currently something you have to do manually - i.e. there is no automatic 'composition' by the framework; something that hooks parts together for you at run-time. Kevin is right that this is the cornerstone of composite application building. Rest assured that we have not neglected this scenario. In fact it has been central in our minds as we designed Acropolis. We have some of the basic plumbing in place in CTP 1 (connection points, part-view contract, etc) but we don't yet have full support for composability. We actually have a very nice composition engine working (well I think it's very nice, but you are the ultimate judges) and will be integrating it into a CTP release very soon (unfortunately, not in the July CTP though :-().
Secondly, Kevin points out that Acropolis doesn't currently support multiple top-level windows very well. This is an excellent point and we've had this feedback from a number of customers. We've put some thought into this and come up with a significantly improved design. It'll be integrated around the same time that we integrate the composition engine noted above and will be released soon.
As always, we love getting feedback like this - as painful as it might be sometimes 🙂 - so thanks Kevin and and keep it coming.