Coffeehouse Thread

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Do you find WPF to be unnatural / unlogical?

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  • jmzl666

    @DeathByVisualStudio: I'm the TFS Administrator in my Team, it's one of the best products from Microsoft in my opinion, very easy to setup (we have 4 boxes total, TFS AT, TFS DT with SQL Server 2008 and two build servers) we configured the whole thing in one day including installing the OSes (3 Server 2008 R2 and one XP) and now we are building VB6, VS 2003, VS 2008, VS 2010 and even Java.

    At first TFS can be daunting like any other technology but after you undestand it is amazing.

  • spivonious

    @jmzl666: Not related to the topic at hand, but do you have any links that you could send on TFS? I'll be evaluating it for a possible migration from our current collection of work item tracking, bug tracking, document control, and source control software soon and I'm having trouble finding a complete overview of the product. It seems like everything I find focuses on one aspect of TFS, like automated testing, or source branching, but nothing that takes me from project initiation through requirements through development through testing through release through maintenance.

  • W3bbo

    , jmzl666 wrote

    @DeathByVisualStudio: I'm the TFS Administrator in my Team, it's one of the best products from Microsoft in my opinion, very easy to setup (we have 4 boxes total, TFS AT, TFS DT with SQL Server 2008 and two build servers) we configured the whole thing in one day including installing the OSes (3 Server 2008 R2 and one XP) and now we are building VB6, VS 2003, VS 2008, VS 2010 and even Java.

    At first TFS can be daunting like any other technology but after you undestand it is amazing.

    You need four boxes for an effective TFS deployment?

    I think that demonstrates that something is wrong with Microsoft's current direction on their server products. Remember ye olden days where all you needed was a single box running Server 2003 with Exchange, SQL Server, IIS, and a Domain Controller all getting along fine (as long as you threw enough RAM at it).

    FWIW, I run an SVN server (using Apache) that sits by perfectly fine on a box that also runs IIS.

  • spivonious

    , W3bbo wrote

    *snip*

    After I finish in academia, I'm planning on spending a few months of my newfound freedom to create a 100% VB6-compatible language add-in for Visual Studio.

    ....then sell it back to Microsoft Smiley

    The funny thing is, unless you use Declare Lib to do funny stuff with Win32, it should be possible to use WPF as a UI layer for VB6.

    You can do it now, with some hacks. Make a .NET DLL project, create your WPF controls, create a WinForms control with an ElementHost on it, and then expose that winforms control to COM. VB6 picks it up and you can use WPF inside of a VB6 form.

    How do I know this? Because my company has tons of VB6 software that they have no interest in rewriting. Smiley

  • W3bbo

    How do I know this? Because my company has tons of VB6 software that they have no interest in rewriting. Smiley

    I'm pushing it here, but would your company be interested in shelling out to fund development of my proposed VB6 re-implementation, in exchange for exclusivity for a few years?

  • kettch

    @W3bbo:I've comfortably run TFS, IIS, Sharepoint, SQL Server, and more all on one box. Depending on your needs TFS can have different components on as many or as few servers as you need.

  • spivonious

    , W3bbo wrote

    *snip*

    I'm pushing it here, but would your company be interested in shelling out to fund development of my proposed VB6 re-implementation, in exchange for exclusivity for a few years?

    I doubt it. It's all internal software, so we wouldn't be gaining anything by retargeting the apps to WPF. Still, it's a neat idea, and if you could pull it off, you'd have lots of customers.

  • PerfectPhase

    @W3bbo: In our case TFS runs very well on a single box, TFS,DB, sharepoint and Build.  Though we are getting to the point where I'm going to start adding more build servers.

  • vesuvius

    @W3bbo:Once you have a team of  > 5 or 10 SVN really starts to show it's limitations. Typically you install bugzilla and there is no way to easily monitor who is working on what and everything is in one place.

    It's not always necessary to upgrade to the latest TFS, as TFS2005 works fine with Visual Studio 2010, if you want to run your own software team in the future, it is vital you learn how to administer it, as the better employers (i.e. pay better) typically have software service level agreements that tie into a lot of the functionality TFS provides, so though it seems (erm is) bloated, there are a lot of companies that rely on those features.

    It is still a pain in the backside to use though (in fact I cannot think of a source control system I like), however powerful it may be

  • Bass

    , vesuvius wrote

    @W3bbo:Once you have a team of  > 5 or 10 SVN really starts to show it's limitations. Typically you install bugzilla and there is no way to easily monitor who is working on what and everything is in one place.

    It's not always necessary to upgrade to the latest TFS, as TFS2005 works fine with Visual Studio 2010, if you want to run your own software team in the future, it is vital you learn how to administer it, as the better employers (i.e. pay better) typically have software service level agreements that tie into a lot of the functionality TFS provides, so though it seems (erm is) bloated, there are a lot of companies that rely on those features.

    It is still a pain in the backside to use though (in fact I cannot think of a source control system I like), however powerful it may be

     

    I don't know about Bugzilla, but I use Atlassian JIRA and it integrates nicely with SVN. It also includes a Kanban board which makes it pretty easy to see who is working on what.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @jmzl666:And after you "understand" WPF (resources, behaviors, commanding, binding, XAML, blend) and the .Net framework (name your rabbit hole) and VSTSDB and EF4, and LINQ, and threading, and SQL, and Visual Studio (debugging, code analysis, tracking memory leaks, deployment)... TFS it's amazing! There's the problem: what used to be done with a small team requires dedicated, siloed staff -- a UI/Blend guy, a TFS guy, a VSTSDB guy, an architect, and a crap load of really good code monkeys to do anything more than a demo app with Northwind. Thanks for making my point.

    We've had three separate, well educated, academically inclined engineers who totally believed in Microsoft academic ways with their piles of books by their favorite authors espousing patterns & practices in all of their use case ways. They all spent a week each trying to get an automated, continuous integration build working on our project. Guess where that ended up? There's a bridge in Ketchikan Alaska that resembles it.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • jmzl666

    @spivonious:
    The most complete guidance I have seen is from the ALM Rangers, if you want to play with TFS Brian Keller published a VM with some projects loaded, also Brian Harry blog is a must.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ee358786
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/briankel/
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bharry/

    @W3bbo:
    As noted by some folks, you can have TFS in a single box, i just wanted to make the point that a complex scenario wasn’t difficult to setup.

    @DeathByVisualStudio:
    Yes, being a software developer is hard, and isn’t getting any easier in the future as far i can tell.
    I'm learning WPF upgrading a somewhat complex app that only the dev team uses and it’s a complete mind shift from what I used to do in Win Forms, but now that I’m starting to grasp the concepts behind it I’m liking it more than Win Forms.
    Is WPF ready for performance critical apps? I don’t know, after I finish the current app I will be able to make an informed decision.
    Will I use WPF for simple LOB apps? Probably not, even LightSwitch sounds like a better idea, I guess it comes down to “use the right tool for the job”.
    Did I drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid? Not really, I choose the Microsoft stack because it helps me get my job done.

  • figuerres

    what an amzing thread....  I see many things on both sides of the Pro/Con WPF that i recognise / some i agree with others not so much. just the fact that so many folks have an opinion shows that wpf is far from dead or not used....

    perfect - heck no.

    better than winforms - imho it is, but yes it's a different system and you have to look at it with a fresh point of view.

     

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    8 hours ago, jmzl666 wrote

    @DeathByVisualStudio:
    Yes, being a software developer is hard, and isn’t getting any easier in the future as far i can tell.

    It's not about being hard. It's about cost. It amazes me on how few people understand this. How can you afford to sell a commercial application of justify a new LOB app if the cost is 3 times what it used to be to build?

    8 hours ago, jmzl666 wroteWill I use WPF for simple LOB apps? Probably not, even LightSwitch sounds like a better idea, I guess it comes down to “use the right tool for the job”.

    So what your saying is WPF is not the future. It just is an alternative to Winforms. If it were a replacement for Winforms it would be considered the right tool. In the end Microsoft looses projects and developers because they've let their bread & butter (Winforms) stagnate while alternatives pop-up left and right. What should have been its replacement (WPF) is really for specialized apps that need the richness that it provides above and beyond Winforms (and at three times the cost).

    Sounds like a great strategy Microsoft.If you enjoy WPF and all of the other puzzles Microsoft is giving you to solve by all means enjoy yourself. It unfortunately doesn't change the cost factor.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • AndyC

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    It's not about being hard. It's about cost. It amazes me on how few people understand this. How can you afford to sell a commercial application of justify a new LOB app if the cost is 3 times what it used to be to build?

    It doesn't have to be. If you stop worrying about themeing and the more 'advanced' aspects of WPF you can knock out a quick interface in next to no time. I think, however, the temptation is to produce significantly better UI than you would with WinForms, simply because it's a lot easier to see that as a viable option.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    AndyC: It doesn't have to be. If you stop worrying about themeing and the more 'advanced' aspects of WPF you can knock out a quick interface in next to no time.

    Oh so the only cost-effective apps are Northwind demo apps! I see! Thanks. Perplexed

    Even dumping theming (which we haven't touched in over a year), using code behind, kicking MVVM to the curb, WPF is no cheap framework to code against. We all know building a ball of mud in any framework, language, etc. is still just a ball of mud. You can't say the cost of building a WPF ball of mud app is equal to the cost of a Winforms well architected app.

    Microsoft may continue to listen to those that pretend that it all comes down to choices with WPF but in reality it comes down to people making choices one which development platform to use -- including Microsoft's competitors. Add that to the fact that there are quickly more client platforms to build apps for other than Windows (Android, iOS) and it should be obvious that Microsoft needs to adjust its strategy here.

    It is so tiring hearing that same old academic argument of "your holding it wrong". 

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • spivonious

    @DeathByVisualStudio: The bottom line is that you can't approach WPF apps the same way as Winforms apps. Throw out your Winforms experience and gain a firm understanding of MVVM (Josh Smith's demo app is a great example to play with). Developing in WPF without MVVM gets really confusing really quick.

    Would I upgrade an existing WinForms app to WPF? No. It would mean a major rewrite of all of the UI pieces. But I would definitely start all new projects in WPF.

    I develop in WPF faster than I do in Winforms. Throwing together a nice looking interface is easy, and this is with me typing in XAML.

    used to be done with a small team requires dedicated, siloed staff -- a UI/Blend guy, a TFS guy, a VSTSDB guy, an architect, and a crap load of really good code monkeys to do anything more than a demo app with Northwind.

    And today's apps are a lot more complex than apps 10 years ago. Times change.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , spivonious wrote

    *snip*

    And today's apps are a lot more complex than apps 10 years ago. Times change.

    So that's what I'm supposed to tell my customers when they get the bill?

    For the record we have embraced MVVM, DI, seperation of concerns, the whole smash. Your assumption that I'm confused is wrong. I can put together a pretty good demo app. It's when the app grows up into a real production app that the wheels start to fall off the cart. Your solution gets bloated. It takes more time to build & run to test the final UI. Minor changes that should take minutes take an hour. And no this isn't because of hardward that's lacking.

    Apps don't have to be more complex. It's a choice. And it's clear the choice Microsoft has made with its languages and tools. Academia rules the day... I guess I need to start my book pile filled with my favorite authors of code patterns and practices that fulfill my every fantasy of feel good programming so I can be like everyone else who believes Microsoft is on the right path.

    Substitute Visual Studio, WPF, VSTSDB, TFS, et al for the iPhone in this commercial and "you're gonn fit right in here..." sounds oh so true.

    Have no doubt: I find Microsoft's tools & languages absolutly amazing. They just aren't cost effective when used as a whole.

     

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