Disappointed - extremely disappointed! RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • When the first CTP of Acropolis came out, one of the things that struck me as strange was the inclusion of what I call "Lip gloss" (more commonly known as gold plating) features such as Transitions and Themes. These features are OK (although I wouldn't say they are must haves for Smart Client developers), and obviously allow the Acropolis team to create a bit of hype with their demo's for TechEd etc, so I forgave them this. I decided at the time of the first CTP that I would hold fire until the second CTP came out to see how well the team was addressing community concerns and advancing the real architectural basis for the framework.


    To say the July CTP left me unimpressed would be an understatement! The two new features seem to be more transitions and more theming - essentially adding more of the same lip gloss. I see no real improvements that address the valid concerns about the architecture raised in this forum over the last month. I understand from David Hills blog that some of these will be addressed in a CTP soon, which is great news, but I really feel this CTP stops the momentum of Acropolis in its tracks.


    I really like the concept of Acropolis, and the base architecture from CTP1 was a good start. I just don't think the Acropolis team has done their cause any good by releasing what they have in the July CTP. It makes me wonder what process is being used to prioritize and assign their features to releases.



    Wednesday, July 4, 2007 11:55 PM

All replies

  • Thanks Duncan, this is really good feedback..   Like you, I feel like the core value of acropolis is a lot deeper than cool transitions and themeing.   We are, however seeing lots of business applications where customers are able to shave time off every transaction and make workers more effective by cleanly and clearly showing contextual flow through the application.    While I don’t think we are all of the way there, we are moving in the right direction (I think) with the types of features we added in this CTP. 


    As far as deeper features of the runtime that didn’t change much in this CTP, we are actively working on these, in fact I saw some cool demos of what we might do in this area recently.   These changes typically take a little while longer to bake and flush out as they have a bigger impact on the over application.    So we effectively have parallel trains going for acropolis right now… we have some folks on some near term items that are a direct result of feedback from customers at Teched and on the forums and some longer term efforts that are taking longer to bake.


    We could, of course, hold all our CTPs until we get the longer term stuff done, but the philosophy on the team has been to ship early and often.  We want to validate regularly with customers that we are moving in the right direction, even in a baby step. Our plan is to make it clear which of the CTPs is a “minor” update and which one has substantial new features so you can decide which to go invest in.   Keep in mind, we are still very, very early in the acropolis project… there is time to develop the core ideas more fully.  We just want to do it in as open a way as possible.


    Does that seem like a reasonable plan?   

    Thursday, July 5, 2007 3:58 AM
  • I share the same concerns. I'm disappointed to see where Acropolis is heading...
    Please see this post on my blog.
    Thursday, July 5, 2007 9:41 AM
  • Brad,

      If the sentiments you just expressed in this post had been clearly expressed in the Acropolis Team Blog post, I think some of us might have had a calmer reaction to the CTP. When reading the team blog, it appears as though such trivialities ("lipstick") as transition animations and theming are fantastic new features that people need to go grab the new CTP for. If, on the other hand, the blog had simply said "This is an interim CTP that we're releasing while we work on some of the bigger issues with Acropolis as a whole"  ... then the reaction might have been much warmer to this CTP. As it is, I'm passing on this CTP because it has no value to me (transitions and themes are completely irrelevant to what I'm doing and have no bearing on the reason why I can't use Acropolis in my testing at the moment), but it would have been nice to see in the blog post announcing this version that folks were in fact working in parallel, and that themes and animations is just one release of many.

    Thursday, July 5, 2007 12:57 PM
  • Brad,


    Thanks for the reply, and yes, your response makes me a little happier. I didn't want my post to sound too much like a rant, since I believe this program has great potential.  I think the thing that disappointed me the most was that in this forum, I have not seen transitions/themes mentioned more than once, nor seen any requests for more of them, yet there they were, pride of place in the July CTP - made me think that maybe the team was paying lip service to using this forum as a way to prioritize community feedback. It also seemed strange that of all the customers you have talked to at TechEd, the most requested thing was "please give me even more of these powerpoint type transitions, as soon as possible" - and if this is the case, then maybe Acropolis isn't the right platform for me to be targeting. I guess I would have thought that those folks you have working on the nearer term "gold plating" would be better served beavering away on the real architectural meat that needs to go on the bones of Acropolis.


    Anyway, really looking forward to the next "major" CTP to see how things are moving along, and to fulfill my end of the bargain, I will attempt to give at least partially constructive comments on the architecture itself in the future.




    Monday, July 9, 2007 4:52 AM
  • Hi,


    I agree that current Acropolis build is not on the enterprise reality way. However, it provides all the ingredients to allow custom extensions. That's why I write an article about that on NetFxfactory.

    I hope that Acropolis Team can hear the wish...


    Thursday, July 19, 2007 2:09 PM
  • Hi

    I am very much NOT disappointed. Transition, gold plating and lip gloss, let’s call them visual effects have an important role to play in communication. Transitions may not be at the top priority, but they are cheap to produce and bring new possibilities to the table. Additionally lots of people like them, if you watch the Tech Ed Acropolis video you’ll see the 3D transition gets applause. (I believe the only other applause was at the end of the presentation)

    The enterprize CRUD boys may not wish to have new communications possibilities but there are many of use in the training game that will welcome them.

    Mike Greenway

    Thursday, July 19, 2007 3:57 PM