More thoughts about moving forward

04 August 2006

We're getting close to releasing version 6.2 of DXperience and the .NET component sets (if you're a DXperience customer, you can already download the beta from the Client Center). Of course, as we drive to fix the last bugs and polish the last paint method, we're thinking ahead to version 6.3, some 4 months away (we're sticking to a schedule of 3 major releases every year and if we get good at it, next year we'll manage 4), and what should be in it.

My post yesterday stirred some discussion within our .NET component teams, as well as among our customers. It seems that Visual Studio 2002 (VS2002) is rapidly becoming the black sheep of the Visual Studio family: the component teams are saying that their coding and testing time is increased when VS2002 is factored in.

Well, duh, say I, of course it is, it's an extra IDE to test. Hello? And then I'm led by the hand into the shadowy world of serialization issues, designer differences, undo problems, etc.

I wonder how many of you, gentle readers, actually still use VS2002. I'm willing to bet it's a very small proportion. Then, of course, I wonder how many are using VS2003, and, if you are, what your timetable is for moving to VS2005. Or even better, whether your timetable decrees jumping straight to Orcas (Visual Studio 2007), leapfrogging VS2005 (after all, .NET Framework 1.1 is becoming fairly ubiquitous, whereas version 2.0 is still ramping up). And, of course, I wonder how many people are using VS2005.

Questions, questions.

My thinking at the moment is closing in on making our current major versions (or the ones about to be released) across the product line the last ones to support VS2002. We certainly can't drop .NET 1.1 and VS2003 support because I sense that there are a lot of people out there who have significant code bases for .NET 1.1 and hence are still using VS2003. The only exception to this rule is ASP.NET, where ASP.NET 2.0 is so much better than 1.1 that you should be using it right now for your web applications (and our new ASP.NET controls are ASP.NET 2.0 only).

Comments?

17 comment(s)
AC
This is from the perspective of someone who lives within SharePoint, and works for a company who's main line of business is SharePoint education/training/consulting and SharePoint related products. I haven't touched VS2002 since 2003 came out. But I don't see myself being able to get rid of VS2003 for quite some time because SharePoint 2003 (& WSS v2) will really only work with the CLR 1.1 (WSS v2 will work with CLR 2.0, but it's rare we see a pure WSS environment). With the next release right around the corner (WSS v3 & MOSS 2007), that will be a pure CLR 2.0 experience. We expect rapid adoption, but with any enterprise level product, a significant part of the world won't be switching over night.

IMHO, dropping support for 2002 will not be a show stopper for the majority of your clients... but dropping VS2003 will be.

As for adoption of Orcas, I can see that taking a lot longer for my world because we won't have a product release tied to it for quite some time. Then again, my professional life is also tied to the release schedule of SharePoint these days... that would have been a much shorter answer I guess :)
4 August, 2006
Miha Markic
I am using both 2005 and 2003 (actually I use 2003 for a single legacy project that can't be easily moved to 2005) so I don't mind if you concentrate on 2005 and drop previous version support.
5 August, 2006
Daniel Corbett
Julian,

  As far as ASP.Net support, what I would really like to see is support for Atlas!

  - Daniel
5 August, 2006
Bobby Pack
Move forward please. Of course contiunue to bug support VS 2003, but new stuff for a new IDE. I charge extra now for starting a new project in VS 2003.

The ASP.Net arena noves fast, things I did in six months ago seem archaic now. Give me new tools and featires for the latest IDE to help me keep up.
6 August, 2006
Zvjezdan
I think that vs2002 is nothing more but a extinct dinosaur. 2003 is mainstay, and 2005 (which I use,) is spreading fast. I say forget the 2002, and roll on.
Btw, i just checked out your controls. After using ComponentOne for long time and  evaluating SyncFusion , i fell instantly in love with them. They are fast, sleek and very intuitive. Learning curve is pracitacally non-existant.
Keep on the excellent job. You are far ahead of competition(in my own humble opinion).
6 August, 2006
Petros Amiridis
Drop support for 2002 and if it helps you, stop adding new features to 2003 and just fix bugs. You could also organise a poll(s) that asks these questions.
7 August, 2006
Scott Blood
Quote Julian: (and our new ASP.NET controls are ASP.NET 2.0 only).

Unfortunatly this is the main reason my company are refusing to pay our new subscription cost, which is currently up for renewal.  They cant understand why if microsoft still provide support through there OneCare system for .net 1.1, why the component vendors are not.

But this aside, I am personally still entrenched in .net 1.1 for both WinForms and asp.net basically because were such a large company and a code base change of this type is just not possible.  I am currently the only developer that uses the DevExpress controls , but if i can get them to renew this will be changing to approximatly 14 developers, which brings me to the question.  Is it worth re-renewing if after a few more major releases you drop complete support for Asp.net 1.1 and then WinForms 1.1

There are lots of components on the market that give the same functionality as DevExpress components, but i still prefer the DevExpress ones, basically because these are what have developed with all the way back to Dellphi 3.

7 August, 2006
Travis Illig
I like dropping 2002, but I think new features should be both 2003 and 2005 compatible.  Why?  I might not be *starting* new projects in 2003 (actually, I am, as my company's customers are slower to adopt new technology), but I have so many projects I have to support in 2003 (adding new features to them, bug fixes, etc.) that I don't have a choice but to use it.  Having components and such support 2003 is, then, key, as almost all primary daily tasks take place there and will for at least another year.
7 August, 2006
Rollie Claro
Hi,

   I am using VS2003. i think you should drop VS2002. continue with VS2005.

  most companies are using VS2003. .net 2.0 for VS2005 has some requirement which is an issue for some companies. i think so..



thanks
9 August, 2006
Eric Harmon
Julian,

Kill VS2002 support.  Make it a clean and painless death, but for heaven's sake, do it quickly.  VS2002 is a piece of cr*p, IMHO, and to have it hinder the release of new functionality on your part isn't warranted.

I use mostly VS2005, but am required to use VS2003 for certain projects as well (can you say ACT! SDK?)

-Eric Harmon
10 August, 2006
Alex Shindich
What's the ETA for the release of 6.2? Will you guys add support for VS 2005 style dock indicators?
Also, have you made any changes to the XtraLayoutControl?

Thank you,
Alex Shindich
10 August, 2006
Kyralessa
Here in St. Louis, on my fifth .NET position in a little over a year, I'm not aware of _anybody_ using .NET 1.0.  It appears that 1.1 was such a minor upgrade that most companies just upgraded and moved on (or hadn't gotten into .NET prior to that anyway).

2005, on the other hand, is 50/50 from what I've seen.  I've worked two places that didn't move to it and weren't anywhere close, as far as I could tell; but I've also worked at a couple of places that are doing new development in .NET 2.0.  And I have an ongoing solo project that I did in .NET 1.1 originally, but moved to 2.0 a few months ago.

Obviously it'd be easier to support only .NET 2.0, but given the amount of .NET 1.1 still out there, I think what I'd do in your shoes is commit to supporting at least the newest version of .NET and the one prior; so that you'd plan to drop .NET 1.1 support when .NET 3.0 comes out.

(I'm not actually a customer yet, but I'm going to try to get my company to dump Infragistics in favor of you guys.  I've been playing with your grids over the weekend, and I'm extremely impressed.)
13 August, 2006
Holger Kammerer
Hello,

we are using VS 2003 with Framework 1.1 because our customers don't have Framework 2.0 on their clients.

Question: Is it possible (and easy!!!) to develop and compile for 1.1 in VS 2005?

If so, we will move to VS 2005. If not, we have to wait. But like many others say: drop VS 2002. And it's like Zvjezdan said: You are far ahead of competition (but move on with your quality, the others don't sleep ;-)
15 August, 2006
jspark
?
15 August, 2006
Steffen
Holger, Just make sure to write Framework 2.0 in your software requirements and force it upon your customers. That's what we did and we didn't get any negative feedback from our customers.

Well back to the topic. I have to agree with what the major part of you are saying. Drop VS2002 support. (Well keep the latest working version, on your download page).

It might be too early to just cut off VS2003 support. However i wouldn't mind. All our new development is going on in VS2005, and we are never going to update our VS2003 projects with the latest version of devexpress anyway.

We still have a lot VB6 applications remaining, and they are using 3rd party controls also. When they stopped supporting the controls it almost killed us because bugs kept emerging. And we are still suffering from that on a large scale. I think the good thing about devexpress is that you can just go ahead and buy the source code.Then when the IDE or devexpress product eventually becomes unsupported, you can fix flaws, bugs or code whatever in the sourcecode yourself. I also expect that the need to fix bugs and flaws is already at a minimum when you stop supporting a specific IDE or product.
16 August, 2006
ctodx
Time again I think for you to take another look inside the CTO's brain to see what he's considering for...
17 August, 2006
Matt
I'm always on the bleeding edge and can't afford not to be. The longer you leave your project upgrades, the further you fall behind. My clients insist on the latest gadetry and don't mind paying for it either.
18 August, 2006

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