Scott Hanselman

CTP Madness

August 17, 2005 Comment on this post [7] Posted in Programming
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Reason number 0x64 why I think CTPs aren't worth the trouble. This link includes a compatibility matrix between 18 different versions of various 2005 products. You can't tell me that hasn't slowed the whole process down at least a month in aggregate.

I'd much rather have a nice clean Beta1, Beta2, RC0, RC1, Gold Release.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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August 17, 2005 19:25
I am wondering is there a feed or something that will at least keep up with which release is the latest.
August 17, 2005 20:19
I just ran into this problem (and page) yesterday. It is painful, but understandable.

What do you mean by a nice clean Beta1, Beta2, etc? They do have those. You can get a nice clean VS2005 Beta 2. You can get a nice clean SQL Server 2005 Beta 2. They just get dirty when you put them together ;)

Do you think we would see anything early if we had to wait for the Vista, Indigo, Avalon, SQL Server, .NET Framework, Visual Studio (languages+IDE), and Team System teams (did I miss anyone?) to all co-ordinate for each release? It's unfortunate that the VS2005 and SQL Server 2005 release dates were tied to each other - but I guess it could have been worse.
August 17, 2005 20:24
August 17, 2005 22:23
Hear, hear!
August 17, 2005 22:29
Hmm, not sure what you mean by "slowed down the whole process", but I would both agree and disagree. I agree in a sense that it would be nice if the CTP's were sync'd up between all the components. I disagree in that I would rather have the clean betas as well as frequent CTP's (and I am willing to trade intercomponent compatibility issues for individual component progress). Hope that made sense. Basically, early on I made the decision to stick with VS '05 and not touch SQL '05 or Team system. To me, having frequent CTP's is very valuable. Even if I wanted to test SQL or TS, I could still setup different machines (or VM's) and to try to get the bits talking.
August 17, 2005 22:53
I agree Scott - I have a few still downloaded but unused. The VS/SQL mismatch got me the most and basically meant that I setup multiple VM's and stared at them separately, which was a shame. I still think it would have been nice to have seen a few coordinated 'ready-to-rock' VPC images downloadable too; even though 6gb it would have brought in a few more casual early eyes. Kind of like the Connected Systems DVD image sets, but for the CTPs.

One thought is that maybe it helped them internally in terms of iterative releases, i.e. the PM's using the looming public CTP plans to help jiggle the scope lists and get stuff shipped multiple times. For product releases you can use internal milestones, but they don't tend to get people throwing chairs at each other in the war room.

PS Painlessly upgraded to 1.8 the other day - works great. Thanks to you, and the others, for the continued work on DasBlogCE.

- David
August 19, 2005 7:53
Come on Scott. You prefer the good 'ol days of months and months between betas with no idea of the breaking changes that were coming at you? The betas are for development. They are more thoroughly tested than the CTPs which are previews of what you can expect in the next beta (or RTM) drop. Personally, I don't touch the CTPs, but some people like them. It gives everyone their own choice... transparent access or clean (relatively) stable builds. You choose.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.