There is a buzz around the web these days. The long awaited Visual Studio 2008 is out. As usual the echo chamber is on going. Man there is so much noise about it that it will kill the sound of the fanfare. A quick search on blogs.msdn.com with the phrase "Visual Studio 2008 RTM" reveals more than 3000 post found.
I thought maybe wait until all this settles down and then post, but I was provoked. It seems to me that nobody ever subjects the releases coming from Microsoft. At least nobody is trying to see what's underneath the bits that have RTMed. So I downloaded Visual Studio 2008 readme file and start looking for clues. And I found some. If you look at the TOC of the file there is nothing more than system requirements and a big "Known Issues" chapter that hold various "little" issues. Some of them have workarounds and some of them don't. So let me pick up one or two.
2.1.2 If the computer goes into sleep mode or hibernation mode during Visual Studio installation,
Setup might hang when the computer returns from sleep mode or hibernation mode
Resolution: Just kill your install and start again. Please!
2.1.9. Installing Visual Studio 2008 on the same computer as Visual Studio 2005 causes Visual Studio 2005 repair of .NET Framework 2.0 to fail.
Fair enough for the side by side installation or whatever they called it.
2.1.12. Windows Automatic Update notification appears during Visual Studio installation on Windows Vista
Please restart your windows... But wait I am not finished yet... Never mind I want you to restart the machine for the changes to take effect...
Wait if you managed to install it now you are all alone since there are some issues on uninstall also. But the "Product Issues" are what strikes me more.
126.96.36.199. WcfTestClient may throw an exception if Biztalk Service SDK is installed.
System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
188.8.131.52. Compiler displays an error message a lambda is passed to a doubly-nested latebound method call.
184.108.40.206. Managed C++ code generated by using the Service Model Metadata Utility tool (Svcutil.exe)
may not compile.
220.127.116.11. Code Refactoring does not change XAML files.
18.104.22.168. Making changes to XAML will not refactor code files.
22.214.171.124. Using the Property Browser during debugging may cause Visual Studio to crash.
126.96.36.199. Visual Studio hangs or crashes when a XAML file that contains a ControlTemplate
in a ResourceDictionary is being edited.
188.8.131.52. Visual Studio may hang when you bind to long ObjectDataProvider method calls.
Now what this means. If you look closely these errors represent critical issues with the product that require more time to fix than to be described as known issues and move along. This means that the developers needed more time to fix it but management stuff doesn't understood and preferred to ship now. From where comes the pressure I don't know, but I know that the official launch is scheduled for late January 2008. I guess the dev teams would have used that time to fix some of these issues especially the deployment related ones. But no "The Suits" have the final word. That's why I totally agree with Brian Harry (Blog)
We are also already planning Service Pack 1. No, that does not mean that we shipped a ton of bugs -
2008 was probably the highest quality release I've seen. It means that we've turned another new leaf
and committed to shipping a service pack within 6 to 12 months after every major release.
There are always things you'll find that you want fixed. And there are always new releases of
other products for which we have to do work to support.
I believe that VS2008 is the most stable release by now. I have worked on it since beta 2 now and we have a product almost finished using this beta. I am totally confident of the quality. Its just OK if you have used it like me, in a isolated VM environment and a pile of pain killers :). No really it is solid stable enough that's why beta 2 goes with go live license.
Constantly on Beta
I think that we are facing one strange pattern. We are using more and more tools that are in CTPs/Betas/RCs phases and when these tools are just released we move on to switch to the other CTPs/Betas that are coming out. It is a requirement that we should obey if we want to stay on the verge of technologies. Or do we? Right now while every body are celebrating the new Visual Studio 2008 release there is a separate download for the next version Visual Studio Code Name Rosario (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/teamsystem/bb725993.aspx). Yeah! Go grab it. Fire up a virtual machine and use it. Lets leave the Orcas RTM in the past.