What Developers Want from

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-01-18 Print this article Print

Live"> In a subsequent blog post, Montgomery listed some suggestions that developers had sent him, including pair programming, in which developers could work with a partner in a paired situation without the partner being right there, and hosted versions of VSTS (Visual Studio Team System). "Another theme thats coming out: Whatever we do, it has to be better than opening a window in IE [Internet Explorer] and as easy to work with as visiting a Web site or using a Hosted Exchange account," Montgomery said.
Meanwhile, Jon Rauschenberger, chief technology officer at Chicago-based Clarity Consulting Inc., and a .Net expert, said, "My initial reaction to the Developer Live stuff is excitement tempered with a nice healthy dose of skepticism. There are lots of things Microsoft could do here that will fail miserably, and only a handful that jump out at me as good ideas. The good ones, however, are compelling."
One good idea, Rauschenberger said, would be hosted VSTS. "I do think there is an opportunity here," he said. "If Microsoft can make a hosted version of Team System File—New Hosted Project easy to set up and use, then they can change the way developers collaborate … make it more approachable and productive. "Theres a huge opportunity here for students and small-medium businesses. Getting a Team System server setup [and] configured is hard and expensive. I think there is a lot of demand for the capabilities Microsoft has delivered with Team System, but not a lot of appetite for the cost and complexity of doing it in-house." Windows Live gets another widget. Click here to read more. Rauschenberger said another area where Microsoft should focus its Live efforts is documentation. "Over the past few months Ive heard from several developers that spend time in both the .Net and Java world that they find it easier to find answers [and] documentation on Java than they do on .Net," he said. "This surprised me—Microsoft has typically had a lead in this area, but based on what Im hearing from developers, it looks like they are now playing catch-up." Both Montgomery and Somasegar said some early bits of the Live focus on developers can be found in Visual Studio 2005, in features like CodeZone integrated help, the Community menu and the ability to create and consume Web services. While developers acknowledge that those are starting points, they dont go far enough, Rauschenberger said. "I dont think the current Community stuff in VS 2005 is going to make a difference in this space," he said. "They need something bigger [or] more sweeping in terms of the developer experience when hitting F1 or searching for answers. The target audience here is the Google-Powered Developers—the developers that jump to Google to find code snippets for the task at hand." Meanwhile, Somasegar said, "We will not only offer Windows Live and Office Live as consumer services but also make them available as rich development platforms. Developers will be able to customize, enhance and innovate on top of these services." Editors Note: This story was updated to include information from a blog posting by Montgomery. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

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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