Archive | June 6, 2007

Alex Feldstein: Dèjá Vu: Entity Framework will not be a part of original Orcas release

Alex Feldstein reports Alex Feldstein: Dèjá Vu: Entity Framework will not be a part of original Orcas release

“Mike Pizzo [MS] in the ADO.NET Team Blog, tells us that the Entity Framework will not be part of the initial release of Orcas. Note that the EF link is from June 06 when things were a looking a little more rosy… Sounds to me like WinFS all over again. And Im not the only one. Mike Pizzo gets the message and explains or apologizes depending on your point of view. And swears that this is not WinFS all over again.”

Here’s one problem with a single-vendor solution: if/when they blow it, you’re stuck waiting for them to fix it. With Open Source, you can pick up the code and finish it yourself, find someone else to finish it, or decide the version 0.4 is good enough for you to put into product (yikes!). It’s your choice. Or, in the Open Marketplace of software, you can decide to go with a different project, whether a fork of the original or a different project. It’s your choice.

It’s too tempting, as a leading vendor, to overpromise and then lead your customers along. IBM is credited with refining the process of “vaporware” by releasing far more press releases and promises than by releasing working code on time. That’s not to say every software project doesn’t start with overblown hopes. gold-plated requirements, delusions of grandeur and overly aggressive delivery schedules. You have to be a hopeless optimist to be in the software development business, thinking that you are going to outsmart these machines and defy Murphy. You don’t need to be crazy to work here, but it helps. We offer on-the-job training.

I’ve noticed in dealing with a number of Open Source shops that there is no rush to get the latest and greatest. That might be what the vendor wants for revenues, but it’s not necessarily in the best interests of the software. Sure, security exploit patches need to get out fast, but those are often back-ported to several well-used versions; if there are folks using the code, there’s a good chance there’s someone with the savvy to add the patch into the source tree and rebuild the older versions. But we all know new features bring new bugs and need a little settling time to stabilize, even after thorough betas. Early adopters can get a “first to market” advantage, but not if they are so mired in bugs, workarounds and patches that nothing works. So, there’s often interesting mixes of old and new: an older and stable OS, web server and database server, and a cutting edge language or framework. You use the latest of the tools that matter, but don’t have a public beta of every element of your application stack.

The dynamics of the software development market continue to churn. May we live in exciting times!

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.