Is T4 ready for mainstrem (is Microsoft commited to promote it)? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hello,

    As we're fighting ill-based-argument fight against Java/Scala vs. target-platform-agnostic generic T4 technique, I would like to ask support/backing up that T4 is mainstream doable and mainstream-focused for Microsoft.

    All the benefits for Scala (including Scala for .net, http://www.scala-lang.org/node/10299) apply also for the generic T4 with XML-schema constrains. Benefit on T4 side is that it is possible even without any framework/library/toolset requirement outside Visual Studio T4.

    I am stating "no dependencies, no restrictions using, based on standards and mainstream tools" here:



    Now everyone understands that XML-schema is about the most agreed common standard there is. I would like to say, that Visual Studio and T4 are the mainstream technologies, hence the adoption for open-source methodology should be non-issue as they're the only requirements.

    But is T4 considered mainstream really?

    We've faced largest difficulty in our methodogoly penetration even in Microsoft .NET developers because they're not familiar with T4. We chose our technology base for the reason that T4 is best integrated and best positioned (even for open-source alternative MonoDevelop that is fully compatible).


    What is the common take on T4? Are there any existing and established parties already promoting T4 for all-around-general-purpose technology, that we could join supporting in?


    Kalle Launiala, CTO of Citrus Solutions

    • Changed type Kallex Tuesday, December 13, 2011 3:29 PM
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 10:05 AM

All replies

  • Hi Kallex,

    According to your description, what you concern is about the use ranges of the T4. But in this forum , we only discusses the technical issue about T4. So if you change this thread’s type to discussion is better.

    Thank you for your understanding!

    In addition, you can refer to the following articles which tell about T4.

    T4 Parameter Directive


    T4 Templates and the Entity Framework


    T4 Templates: A Quick-Start Guide for ASP.NET MVC Developers


    Best regards,


    Lucy Liu [MSFT]
    MSDN Community Support | Feedback to us

    • Edited by lucy-liu Tuesday, December 13, 2011 7:00 AM
    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 6:11 AM
  • Hi,

    I understand your points and changed the thread to discussion. The links you provided (and the other sources) indeed indicate that T4 is mature and is going to be around for quite a while. We are aware of this.

    However based on our experiences - and quite a surprise really, T4 is not common knowledge even to the senior developers or architects.

    We have fully open source methodology that works in parallel with existing ways and still manages to solve some serious challenges in controlling code-generation and creating DSLs on-the-fly. This is all doable with very low learning curve by mainstream developers (who don't really even know that they're creating DSLs).

    Now we're quite surprisingly facing a fact, that people are not aware of T4 simplicity. Not only that, but some parties are suggesting us to change the generation engine to Php or alike more commonly known on open-source field.


    I was very pleased for getting a mention on T4 Teams Blog earlier on. We're really putting an effort on promoting T4 (holding a local events with our Finnish Microsoft and presenting it on local MS TechDays events); would help to get some back-up on Microsoft, if you see a common interest on promoting T4.



    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 3:40 PM