Visual Studio update dents Silverlight development
Back to the time-shifting
The Silverlight hurdle to coders follows a similar handicap thrown to designers, the other big constituency Microsoft is targeting with Silverlight.
And it's here that the plot really thickens, over what - and when - Microsoft's development team is really telling the public. More on that later, first: Visual Studio 2008 and Silverlight.
Clash of the beta software: Microsoft error message
That's a major problem, given Visual Studio 2008 is the latest version of Microsoft's integrated development environment, and the one it wants you running.
The "good news" - according to Microsoft's Visual Web Developer blog - is the problem will be fixed with Silverlight tools beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008 SP 1. It's just not clear when that's coming.
The Visual Web Developer blog team promised incompatibilities between the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 beta and Silverlght 2 beta tools would be solved "soon". Corporate vice president of Microsoft's developer division Scott Guthrie blogged Microsoft will release an updated Visual Studio 2008 Tools package for Silverlight in a "few weeks" that works with the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 beta.
A Microsoft spokesperson, meanwhile, shifted the debate from tools to the runtime, saying the issue will be resolved with the release of Silverlight 2 beta 2, officially due in the second half of 2008. Of course, they could all be right, as it's now May and the second-half of the year - June - is two and a half weeks away.
This, of course, indicates the Silverlight beta 2 is therefor coming in June. Microsoft, though, refused to go further than "second half of 2008" when asked by Reg Dev to clarify.
But it's not just the Visual Studio 2008 SP1 beta, or the way Microsoft is disclosing the issues, that's causing problems and raising questions.
The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 beta - available with the Visual Studio 2008 SP 1 beta and trumpeted in simultaneous blog postings Monday by senior vice president of Microsoft's developer division Soma Somasegar and Guthrie - er, is/was incompatible with Microsoft's Expression Blend SP1, Expression Blend 2 and Expression Blend 2.5.
Expression Blend is the design suite for Silverlight designed to complement the code-centric Visual Studio.
The problem between the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 beta and Blend, and the issues with Silverlight 2 tools and Visual Studio SP1 beta were discussed in a blog posting dated a month ago by Microsoft's Expression Blend and Design team. That blog is dated April 18 and clearly discusses the SPs' availability.
How was Microsoft blogging about the issue in April? And, if the two betas were already out there, then what were Somasegar and Guthrie engaging in on Monday other than PR?
While some suspect Microsoft of playing with the dates on its blog software, Microsoft's spokesperson told Reg Dev the inconsistency as an "issue" with its blogging software, saying the April 18 date is incorrect.
Microsoft, meanwhile, said the company had already released an update to the Expression Blend 2.5 preview that's "fully compatible" with the Visual Studio 2008 and .Net Framework 3.5 betas, here.®
"Code centric visual studio"?
I thought that the "Visual" part of Visual Studio meant that you could Visually design an interface, and from that interface, develop the code that ran it.
So Now, will Microsoft be soon shipping MS C++ Design Studio and Visual Basic Desigh Studio to develop Windows Forms GUI's and force the developers to use Visual Studio for the actual code?
Silly? I thought so until I found out that you cannot design a form for Silverlight with VS2008, and you had to do everything in code - a complete reversal from what Visual Studio meant for me.
Also, it would seem again to me that silverlight 1 has not even left the starting blocks that MS is now pushing production development on Silverlight betas...
MS really has to get a decent and coherent stance on this: When C# was introduced in .NET several years ago, it was clear that it was a new development language.
Today, silverlight is out for a year or so now, and I have only just discovered that it's a sort of Adobe Flex... and even tutorial websites get lost about what Silverlight really is...
Clean up your ship Microsoft. If no-one understands what you are doing due to the fact you have too many disparate voices telling people how great the technology is without telling people *what* it is, No-one knows "where they want to go today".
silverlight will die
it ain't about the technologoy, it is about people's capacity to absorb technologies.
"Beta tech should never be used in production, its asking for trouble"
Who has time to develop in both the beta AND production versions? Certainly not me!!