DevExpress Newsletter 37: Message from the CTO

03 November 2010

We’re at DevConnections in Las Vegas this week. So, no video again, but at least an interesting, forward-looking Message.

Lies, damned lies, and roadmaps

In less than 4 weeks' time DevExpress will hold its 2010 Summit. The Summit is the occasion where, every year, around the New Year, the management, team leads, and evangelists all meet together, listen and watch each other's presentations about where we are, and where we'd like to be, and discuss the proposed features and enhancements for the upcoming year. Of course, this time around, it's all about the Roadmap for 2011.

And, as always it seems, what a time to be deciding on future directions. Let me count the ways.

1. Despite what you may hear (or not hear) from Microsoft, WinForms is still going strong. We're certainly going to be looking at some interesting possibilities to make our WinForms offerings more palatable, especially in the Enterprise space.

2. ASP.NET ditto, despite the 'hammering' it's getting from ASP.NET MVC. It seems clear that the way forward here is with more semantic HTML, better CSS, leaner downloads. And, we have to look at the whole HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript combo, for sure.

3. Silverlight. Yes, well. In the space of a week, the messaging out of Microsoft has changed from Silverlight being the platform for rich client apps on the web to essentially just being the app environment for Windows Phone 7. And will WP7 be a success (for some definition of success)? Should we follow it? Why it, instead of, say, iOS4 + MonoTouch? And, let me be unequivocal about this: just because we have Silverlight controls doesn't mean that they will work well on WP7. The whole user experience is different on a smartphone than it is on a desktop or in a browser. Like, duh.

4. WPF. Yes, well. Let us say, the discussion here will be intense.

5. Our frameworks are certainly in a competitive market. There's Microsoft's Entity Framework to consider, the new (unreleased, note) Lightswitch, and the open source libraries as well.

6. CodeRush already has some aggressive new features planned for 2011. Next year will be the year where writing clear, concise, well-factored code without CodeRush will be ... very painful.

7. And as for the VCL products, already Embarcadero are blogging about the 64-bit compiler and source code changes needed for it.

Of course, as with all roadmaps for an uncertain market, ours will be published with the usual caveats about forward-looking announcements. We're not looking to mislead you per se. No lies here; it's just a roadmap.

Just to let you know our summit this year is 29th November to 3rd December. We’ll also be providing a couple of webinars during the Summit to let you know our thinking as it happens.

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