Are we ready to ship VS?

There was an interesting Ladybug issue suggesting that we release a Beta 3 & slip VS 2005.

This is a politically sensitive issue.  It has generated some press, so I want to be careful about what I say here.

I'm very glad that Clint took the time to provide us this feedback, and want to say thanks to everyone who commented and/or voted on the issue.  This is excellent feedback.

I do want to comment on a few things.

"many issues get resolved as Postponed."  That's concerning to me.  It's normal for us to ship a product with many known, unfixed issues.  This is mostly because our testers do such great work (finding lots of issues that we can ship with, and still have a great product), not because we're shipping too soon (with issues that will cause lots of customer pain).  I have a very high standard for the quality of our software, and I hold my team to that standard.  I've seen a lot of non-Microsoft software that was surprisingly bad, and which just tells me that we're doing a good job with reliability here.

That said, I know that we have gotten this wrong, too.  We have shipped some broken software in the past, so it's possible (likely!) that we would make the mistake to ship something broken again in the future.  We need to admit that we can make mistakes, and do the work to make sure we're making the right choices here.

One of the interesting things that I've learned in my Shiproom role is that most of the perception of poor quality is not due to bugs, per se.  It's not about whether we introduced a bad bug late in the product & decided not to fix it, or didn't even notice it.  It's about design decisions made early on that cause problems we don't fix.  You can see that in the discussion of this Ladybug issue.  There's a lot of concern about the project-less model for the Web Developer.  This isn't a bug, it's a design decision that we made a long time ago.

Well, I think I'm rambling.  Thanks for all your passion about the quality of VS, and for putting in the effort to give us your feedback.  We love it all.

Comments (5)

  1. Ben Fulton says:

    One of the quotes from the Ladybug issue is, "I’d rather have a good product 6 months from now than a mediocre one in 3 months." Me, I want both. Release early, release often.

  2. Justin Klutka says:

    As with any change in a highly visible software product most of the "rants" revolve around the simple fact that something *has* changed. To some people a change they don’t like equals a "bug".

    VS.NET is a relatively young product but has a community that rivals any and all software projects. It means a LOT of people care about the quality and progression of the platform. Take that factor coupled with the human nature to resist change and you will get negative feedback with *ANY* direction you take. Because VS has such a huge community that can generate such large amounts of positive, neutral, and negative feedback the team of people producing it will be able to continue providing the best possible solutions all things being equal. Even the people who don’t enjoy some of the changes understand that, everyone just wants to weigh in when they care.

  3. David Roh says:

    I have several frustrations with VS 2005:

    The team seems to have broken what I consider to be a golden rule of development – "Fix all current bugs before adding new features (the more code there is the more difficult it becomes to find and fix older bugs)"

    Performance is very, very slow and consumes a lot of resources

    The documentation is way, way behind and the examples are also way behind

    There have been many, many breaking design changes

    There are many things that it is difficult to figure out how to do – for example, I am doing several commercial applications (using GoLive) one of which is a Compact Framework 2.0 application and I can not figure out how to add an application shortcut to the Start menu using VS 2005 setup.

    The development pace with VS 2005 seems to be incredibly slow which means that Microsoft is not managing the resources they have efficiently and/or not adding additional resources to the project – either way is very bad for everyone.

    I really like the new VS 2005 features and functionality – I just need it to work and work now (it’s been long enough).

    It’s important to admit the truth – we are were we are. Beta 2’s are suppose to be feature complete and only needing performance improvements and bug fixes; however, this obviously has not been true with VS 2005.

    There needs to be another beta release (and very soon) – I really don’t care what it’s called except "golden".

    I think VS 2005 is going to be a great product when it’s finished – so finish it already 🙂

    Thank you for all the great products,

    David Roh

  4. J.Marsch says:

    For what it’s worth:

    First, I really like Visual Studio. I’m kind of a long-timer, but not greybeard yet (I remember getting WFG runnign on a LAN, and the first time I installed NT 3.51). I have seen the release quality of MS’s software rise rather sharply over the last few years. Kudos.

    It’s really not my intention to take a cheap shot here — I’m a big fan of VS.Net; I absolutely love it, and there are some really nice improvements in the 2005 release. MS has done a great job on feature design. You guys are just phenomenal.

    That said, I am concerned about the release of VS 2005. If there isn’t a Beta 3, I will likely recommend that we hold off on a 2005 purchase until an SP1 release.

    My own concern about the ship date revolves around bugs that seem pretty big for a final beta, and even though they have been fixed, the nature of the bug begs the question: "Is the shipment coming too soon?"

    I’ll cite one example, and then leave it at that:

    This is a known VS 2005 beta2 bug: When you attempt to add a web site project to source control, any project references (.dlls in the Bin folder) are checked in as well. They become exclusive locks and other users cannot work with the project. There is a work-around posted for VSS, but we don’t use VSS, and the work-around doesn’t work for us.

    Now this bug is fixed, but I can’t help but wonder. How can a bug that absolutely prevents team development make it all the way to the final beta of a product named "Visual Studio ___TEAM SYSTEM___"?

    There are a couple other source-control related bugs in the beta 2 build that seem to be very large for a late-beta catch. It leads me to question whether the product really has had enough seat time.

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