This Week in Fail

Last week was a week full of fail. But not the type of fail you might think.

Last week at VSLive Redmond, Microsoft demonstrated a new application framework called LightSwitch. From what I read and saw, LightSwitch is a tool for building small line of business applications for Silverlight and WPF. These applications are constructed using a “point and shoot” interface that allows applications to be built and deployed rapidly.

And this is where the fail happened, but not the type of fail you might think.

The community failed in a big way. How did they fail ? The community FAILED by applying the immediate knee jerk anti-Microsoft sentiment that permeates the air today.

In the post LightSwitch: The Return Of The Secretary, Ayende Rahien,  immediately criticized LightSwitch without (though he did disclose in his post) every laying his hands on the tool. He went as far as making suppositions about stuff that he claims will probably not work well. How can he make these assertions w/o real examination of the tool ?

Later I found another post from Donald Belcham: Microsoft.Data.dll and LightSwitch. In this post Donald talks about small line of business applications that eventually need to “grow up” and become “real” software projects. These applications are/were built in tools like Microsoft Access and Excel and served a critical need of business users in companies large and small. Yes these applications get built and they eventually might become part of the lethargic swamp that defines the standard of most IT shops today. He concludes his post with the statement:

“To the professional developers that read this blog (most of you I’m guessing), prepare to move your hatred and loathing from MS Access to LightSwitch.”

His sentiment might come to be a reality but how can such a bold assertion be made without ever using the tool first hand ?

And this is where the community failed. Some leaders of the community failed because they spouted criticisms of a tool they have no first hand experience with. The community at large fails because we continue to put up with un-intellectual kneed jerk reactions from our leaders.

As a community we need to have higher standards. We need to do our homework, criticize and comment from a position of intellectual pursuit and research, and finally we need to leave our bias at the door.


There is no substitute for face-to-face reporting and research.

Thomas Friedman

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