, Bass wrote

The API treadmill definitely happens for non-Microsoft stuff as well. One example I think of is Java XML marshaling libraries, and web frameworks. Java has many of both, in various stages of "hotness" and approaches.

But the difference is in the non-Microsoft world there is no "cathedral model", where a bunch of "high priests" come out every year to command some new form of development that everyone must follow.

In the Java world evolution happens in a distributed ("bazaar") style, where the developer community organically moves to various technologies as time progresses, and these technologies rarely comes from the original sponsor of Java (Sun). It works like natural selection.

That's why we got stuff like the Spring Framework which pretty much eclipses the "cathedral"-competitor EJB. It's more even more true in Python and Ruby communities which have nothing resembling a centralized commercial sponsor.

What is the Microsoft world?  Is that Windows?  Or is it Microsoft dev tools?  Because I have a ton of different dev tools I can use for Windows, many that don't originate from Microsoft. 

If you're referring to MS dev tools then it is a tautology.  Every dev community has its own high preists.  Go to Rails and they are even more hardcore about "only one right to do things".  That's the whole notion of opinionated frameworks, "We know better, so listen to us, or go home". 

But the MS high preists have typically been quite good, compared to the open source world.  Even the great high preist of open source dev tools, gcc, just recently because decent. 

But the MS dev community doesn't blindly follow the preists.  When the preists came out and said, Visual Source Safe then later TFS, for SCC everyone said that is blasphemy.  And everyone used SVN, Mercurial, Git, etc...

The world is never as nice and neat as some would like you to believe.