Coffeehouse Thread

13 posts

Forum Read Only

This forum has been made read only by the site admins. No new threads or comments can be added.

Microsoft Expression Studio Express Availability

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    My world literally changed when I started using C#, Visual Web Developer and SQL Express 2005 editions. All hugely powerful and perfect tools for learning/intermediate programming. I love these versions of software so much I'd have them tattooed on me if I was brave enough.

    Silverlight 2 is just around the corner and will make WPF successful. Had there been no WPF/E, I very much doubt WPF would have succeeded. At best, it'd have taken far much longer to catch on. I am now really excited by the stage WPF and WPF/E have reached. Stunning resource dictionaries are available albeit at a cost at present - with blend express, more people can experiment and create their own resource dictionaries. Nevertheless, the entry bar for a designer is significantly high if you just want to fool around with XAML for the first time. XAMLPad and Visual Studio editors are not user friendly and Microsoft really need to reach parity with the free tools they provide learners in both development and design.

    I really feel strongly that an Expression blend, design, web express etc need to be made available with some haste, within a period of 6 months after the release of Silverlight. This will serve to really promote the platform and lower the entry bar for users. Not all learners using the express editions are students consequently can go through the screening process to receive free software as students. I also feel the complexity of the products is growing with each release, and a 'light' version will hasten the learning process.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Considering they don't have anywhere near decent Vista programming support in full blown VS2008 (no vista style list boxes, UAC support etc.) why do you think updating expression will happen? Perplexed

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    blowdart said:
    Considering they don't have anywhere near decent Vista programming support in full blown VS2008 (no vista style list boxes, UAC support etc.) why do you think updating expression will happen? Perplexed
    Fair enough, support is dire but there are very shiny adverts for the Expression Suite. The trial period is 30 days (usually by then a new version has come out). I's sure the visual studio trial is 90 days why not extend blend to the same until express versions are available? Microsoft are shooting themselves in the foot here, marketing an incomplete product and ostrascizing a market of avid designers ready to learn.

    Getting Visual Studio and Expression synced is a mammoth task, but what of the enthusiast? Today's coding for fun folks are tomorrows headline developers, what will be the design tool of choice for Silverlight? $499 is a lot of money for a novice to pay for blend, $699 is way too much for the full suite.

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    vesuvius said:
    blowdart said:
    *snip*
    Fair enough, support is dire but there are very shiny adverts for the Expression Suite. The trial period is 30 days (usually by then a new version has come out). I's sure the visual studio trial is 90 days why not extend blend to the same until express versions are available? Microsoft are shooting themselves in the foot here, marketing an incomplete product and ostrascizing a market of avid designers ready to learn.

    Getting Visual Studio and Expression synced is a mammoth task, but what of the enthusiast? Today's coding for fun folks are tomorrows headline developers, what will be the design tool of choice for Silverlight? $499 is a lot of money for a novice to pay for blend, $699 is way too much for the full suite.
    If Microsoft continues improving Expression Design it could easily be better than Adobe Illustrator in every way, right now its already better in some areas.

    They really need to do major work on Expression Media though. I'd prefer it if they integrated all sorts of media management features in Windows with the metadata capabilities of WinFS, but in the meantime, they could really turn Expression Media into something powerful that beats Lightroom. Right now even though it has some nice aspects its underimpressive.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    brian.shapiro said:
    vesuvius said:
    *snip*
    If Microsoft continues improving Expression Design it could easily be better than Adobe Illustrator in every way, right now its already better in some areas.

    They really need to do major work on Expression Media though. I'd prefer it if they integrated all sorts of media management features in Windows with the metadata capabilities of WinFS, but in the meantime, they could really turn Expression Media into something powerful that beats Lightroom. Right now even though it has some nice aspects its underimpressive.

    OS X support?

    It's never going to topple Illustrator until it gets some proper integration with other popular applications like InDesign or XPress and runs on OS X nativly.

  • User profile image
    Dan

    <StartRant>
    Hey Vesuvius,


    I'm with you and when I was in our Developer Tools team, I tried to convince folks that we need an Expression Blend Express. There are a couple of challenges there. The first is resources as the Expression team is small and has very few resources. Their priorities are not on building an Express product so there aren't resources put on this. The second is that there is a very strong belief by the Expression team that there audience isn't developers and that developers do development and designers do design. My personal belief (as well as some worldwide research our research arm had done) shows that there is quite a bit of crossover between development and design. The "deeper" you go, the more specialized a tool you need, but I know more non-designers that use Photoshop than I know developers that do.

    In my dream scenario, we wouldn't use and maintain two visual designers for building WPF applications. Instead, the designers from Expression Blend would be available inside Visual Studio. Why do I have to switch between tools depending on which feature I want to use (nice design, easier properties = Blend, source control, refactoring, debugging = VS). And why would we want an engineering team to build and maintain two editors, parsers, designers, etc instead of a core editor that different products could reuse?

    We have made changes like this before, for exmaple when the Expression Web HTML engine became the engine running Visual Studio Web projects or when we combined Interdev and Visual Basic into one product so you can build and design code in one product.


    </StartRant>

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    Dan said:
    <StartRant>
    Hey Vesuvius,


    I'm with you and when I was in our Developer Tools team, I tried to convince folks that we need an Expression Blend Express. There are a couple of challenges there. The first is resources as the Expression team is small and has very few resources. Their priorities are not on building an Express product so there aren't resources put on this. The second is that there is a very strong belief by the Expression team that there audience isn't developers and that developers do development and designers do design. My personal belief (as well as some worldwide research our research arm had done) shows that there is quite a bit of crossover between development and design. The "deeper" you go, the more specialized a tool you need, but I know more non-designers that use Photoshop than I know developers that do.

    In my dream scenario, we wouldn't use and maintain two visual designers for building WPF applications. Instead, the designers from Expression Blend would be available inside Visual Studio. Why do I have to switch between tools depending on which feature I want to use (nice design, easier properties = Blend, source control, refactoring, debugging = VS). And why would we want an engineering team to build and maintain two editors, parsers, designers, etc instead of a core editor that different products could reuse?

    We have made changes like this before, for exmaple when the Expression Web HTML engine became the engine running Visual Studio Web projects or when we combined Interdev and Visual Basic into one product so you can build and design code in one product.


    </StartRant>

    I find myself in daily shock that there is no integrated source control!

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Dan said:
    <StartRant>
    Hey Vesuvius,


    I'm with you and when I was in our Developer Tools team, I tried to convince folks that we need an Expression Blend Express. There are a couple of challenges there. The first is resources as the Expression team is small and has very few resources. Their priorities are not on building an Express product so there aren't resources put on this. The second is that there is a very strong belief by the Expression team that there audience isn't developers and that developers do development and designers do design. My personal belief (as well as some worldwide research our research arm had done) shows that there is quite a bit of crossover between development and design. The "deeper" you go, the more specialized a tool you need, but I know more non-designers that use Photoshop than I know developers that do.

    In my dream scenario, we wouldn't use and maintain two visual designers for building WPF applications. Instead, the designers from Expression Blend would be available inside Visual Studio. Why do I have to switch between tools depending on which feature I want to use (nice design, easier properties = Blend, source control, refactoring, debugging = VS). And why would we want an engineering team to build and maintain two editors, parsers, designers, etc instead of a core editor that different products could reuse?

    We have made changes like this before, for exmaple when the Expression Web HTML engine became the engine running Visual Studio Web projects or when we combined Interdev and Visual Basic into one product so you can build and design code in one product.


    </StartRant>
    Dan, I for one would tell the folks at MSFT that I am the developer for a small company.
    I do all kinds of development.
    we do not have an "art department" or "designer" on staff.
    we are a 3 man shop.

    if I can't use the full set of tools and show my boss how I can write stuff in silverlight then he will just contract out stuff to a flash developer when he wants stuff that could be done in silverlight.

    why?  one reason is the cost of buying more software in a small company.
    another reason is that flash is everywhere and we do not know of any silverlight developers.

    also I would point out that many small shops will not adpot Silverlight if they feel that they can make the same thing in flash and have the flash version look better.

    if MSFT wants to have SL gain real market share, not just a few "partner" sites then they need to get serious about making sure that every customer that has any SKU of Visual Studio has a "First class" set of tools that make it stupid easy to create a really good SL app.
    if that means they give away 5,000,000 copies of the suite for free then that's the cost they have to eat to get it out there.

    that and offer 5,000,000 copies  free to flash designers to get them to try it out.

    just make them limited time offers.... 

    Come get your free tools and
    See The Light!
    Light  up the Web with SilverLight 2.0

  • User profile image
    wisemx

    Dan said:
    <StartRant>
    Hey Vesuvius,


    I'm with you and when I was in our Developer Tools team, I tried to convince folks that we need an Expression Blend Express. There are a couple of challenges there. The first is resources as the Expression team is small and has very few resources. Their priorities are not on building an Express product so there aren't resources put on this. The second is that there is a very strong belief by the Expression team that there audience isn't developers and that developers do development and designers do design. My personal belief (as well as some worldwide research our research arm had done) shows that there is quite a bit of crossover between development and design. The "deeper" you go, the more specialized a tool you need, but I know more non-designers that use Photoshop than I know developers that do.

    In my dream scenario, we wouldn't use and maintain two visual designers for building WPF applications. Instead, the designers from Expression Blend would be available inside Visual Studio. Why do I have to switch between tools depending on which feature I want to use (nice design, easier properties = Blend, source control, refactoring, debugging = VS). And why would we want an engineering team to build and maintain two editors, parsers, designers, etc instead of a core editor that different products could reuse?

    We have made changes like this before, for exmaple when the Expression Web HTML engine became the engine running Visual Studio Web projects or when we combined Interdev and Visual Basic into one product so you can build and design code in one product.


    </StartRant>
    Dan..Shame on you for using the Interdev word around children. Big Smile

  • User profile image
    JChung2006

    wisemx said:
    Dan said:
    *snip*
    Dan..Shame on you for using the Interdev word around children. Big Smile

    Visual InterDev just makes me giggle.  wisemx's joke even moreso.

  • User profile image
    daniel2

    Hi,

    The platform provided by Microsoft is very convenient on a first glance and adapted for the development of web applications but practically as soon as you have to do something serious, you have to do everything yourself and hundreds of classes which are supposed to help hardly help at all… But as for restrictions set by the platform, they are impossible to avoid in comparison with flexible bond of the free program platform PHP+Zend+PostgreSQL.

     

    Web team of www.jobofmine.com

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    daniel2 said:

    Hi,

    The platform provided by Microsoft is very convenient on a first glance and adapted for the development of web applications but practically as soon as you have to do something serious, you have to do everything yourself and hundreds of classes which are supposed to help hardly help at all… But as for restrictions set by the platform, they are impossible to avoid in comparison with flexible bond of the free program platform PHP+Zend+PostgreSQL.

     

    Web team of www.jobofmine.com

    Why yes, because that doesn't smell of just trying to raise your search rankings

     

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    I know this is an old thread, but I missed it the first time around.

     

    My department has about 15 developers and zero designers. Microsoft needs to bundle Expression with Visual Studio Pro and up. I've run into oddities in WPF's controls that would take 2 seconds to fix with Expression but are next to impossible with straight XAML. Case in point: the Expander header control ignores HorizontalAlignment settings. It's set to Left by default and I can't change it without making an entirely new ControlTemplate.

Conversation locked

This conversation has been locked by the site admins. No new comments can be made.