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Visual Studio 2005 ... That Legacy Software!

Julia Lerman discusses the disconnect between software versions, writing, and real-world usage patterns.


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dmittedly, I'm excited about the many new technologies coming out of Microsoft. So excited that I can't even decide what to play with first! I wrote about this in a previous MVP Corner piece for CoDe Magazine. But even with all of that interest, I still have to write production applications today. What do I use? Those old-fashioned, dinosaur-age tools: Visual Studio 2005, ASP.NET 2.0 and WSE 3.0. Egad.

So, of course, I'm being sarcastic and here is why. Even though these were only released in November 2005, merely seven months ago as I write this, many of us have been reading about, playing with, and even teaching people about these tools for two or more years. I gave my first conference session on the .NET 2.0 Base Class Libraries at Sys-Con's Edge East conference in February 2004. I had started preparing that in November 2003, shortly after returning from PDC03 and having a big WinFX BCL poster on my office wall. What a geek, eh?

Here it is two and a half years later and I am still learning about .NET 2.0. I have just deployed my first ASP.NET 2.0 Web site, a playground really, using my .NET user group's Web site as a guinea pig. It is because of my user group that I am inspired to write about the dated VS2005. There are many very eager, experienced, and talented speakers who want to present at my user group. That's partly due to our location, the beautiful little state of Vermont. This is what my dad calls "an A-Plus problem". In May, we were fortunate enough to have Alan Griver from Microsoft talk about LINQ. In July, MSDN DCC Susan Wisowaty, who happens to live in Burlington, is going to talk about WPF. I have two speakers who want me to schedule them to do WWF talks and others who want to talk about WCF and ASP.NET "Atlas."



What's wrong with this picture? I can't find anyone to do sessions on Visual Studio 2005! I finally had some luck and scheduled INETA speaker, Paul Litwin, to do an ASP.NET 2.0 talk. We have never had one session on Windows Forms in .NET 2.0. I even e-mailed Microsoft's Jessica Fosler, who did a ton of work on this product, to see if she would be at TechEd 2006 in Boston, hoping to detour her to Vermont for a few days. Prior to the release of VS2005, we had a number of .NET 2.0 topics. Some of those very early talks frustrated many of the members of my user group because they wanted to learn how to use the tools that were currently in their hands. But since VS2005 released, I find myself negotiating with people who want an invitation to Vermont. I ask them, "Can you do a Windows Forms talk?" Sure I have one more "ticket" for an INETA speaker for the year (we get three per year), and maybe I'll ask Billy Hollis to do something on Windows Forms, but even he's doing WPF talks at conferences now. I wrote a blog post (mild rant, it was) recently about the very friendly chiding I get from some Web services gurus for continuing to teach and write about WSE 3.0 rather than WCF. There are plenty of people who are using (or planning to use or trying to use) WSE 3.0 today to secure their Web services. They have live applications and though WCF is going to be "da bomb" for messaging, they can't wait.

I have to admit, I too would like to be doing bleeding-edge talks at conferences. I wanna be cool! And it's not so bad for one's reputation either! But I'm adamant about making sure developers don't feel left behind. So at the fall DevConnections, while there will be plenty of sessions on WPF, "Atlas," WCF, and LINQ, I will be presenting all .NET 2.0 talks. In fact, it warms my heart to see that about 70 percent of the talks there are using current tech. Now how can I get all of those people to come to Vermont to speak at Vermont.NET?



   
Julia Lerman is an independent consultant who has been designing and writing software applications for 20 years. She lives in Vermont where she runs the Vermont.NET User Group. Julia is well known in the .NET community as an INETA Board member, .NET MVP, ASPInsider, conference speaker, and prolific blogger. You can read Julia's blog at thedatafarm.com/blog.
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