The Two-Beer Test

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-02-05 Print this article Print

However, Microsoft's current offerings don't cut it for simplicity, Box said. "Right now it doesn't pass my two-beer test," he said. "I didn't have two beers before the talk so I was able to do this. If I had had two beers, I would not have been able to write that XAML. Ultimately, we want things to pass that two-beer test."

"Think Excel," said Robert Wahbe, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Connected Systems Division, in an interview with eWEEK following the October launch of Oslo at Microsoft's SOA and Business Process conference. Wahbe said Microsoft's new modeling tools will be as simple to use as using the company's Excel spreadsheet.

Microsoft's foray into modeling will be broad-based, and for some will represent an alternative to IBM's Rational modeling technology, which many users have described as heavy and complex. Yet, Microsoft faces its own issues regarding complexity with its tooling.

Jon Rauschenberger, chief technology officer at Clarity Consulting, said he is encouraged by what he's heard about Emacs.Net.

"I will say that in many ways Visual Studio has grown into a tool that's far too large and complex for a wide range of development needs," Rauschenberger said. "If I need to write a quick managed console app to solve a problem, it would be wonderful to have a lighter-weight alternative to the multi-gig footprint that Visual Studio has evolved into. I don't know if that's the direction they are heading in, but it is one that I and our customers would welcome."

Microsoft's Kawasaki said he views the broad-based Oslo strategy as a large investment for the company akin to the announcement of .Net years ago.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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