Joe Wilcox's Microsoft's 12 Gifts of Christmas of December 21, 2007 began with:
12. Connect 3.0 beta. The list begins with a little lump of coal in the Christmas stocking. Microsoft is testing a new Connect Web site. It's time for the Microsoft beta tester revolt, because the new site is butt-ugly. No thanks, Santa!
I used Microsoft Connect extensively during the VS 2005 and 2008 beta programs so I thought I'd give the new design the once-over. I agree with Joe that the home page's design is ugly, but you aren't forced into a search for duplicate reports opening the bug report and I see some usability advantages in the dashboard's right-hand list. Here's a screen capture of what came up for me:
Click image for full-size screen capture.
What struck me (other than the similarity of the orange hues to the OakLeaf site's) when I looked closely at the dashboard was my last three LINQ to SQL bug reports of mid-October that appeared in the Your Watchlist column. I hadn't checked on the bug reports for a few weeks, so I thought I'd see what the VS 2008 Team's response was:
- 306378 of 10/23/2007: Deleting a LINQ to SQL EntitySet Member in a Bound DataGridView Orphans Table Records was still active with no response from Microsoft.
- 305828 of 10/19/2007: Change to LINQ to SQL EntitySet Member Doesn't Mark Root Object Dirty was closed as by design on 10/23/2007 by Alex Turner, Program Manager, Visual C#.
- 304732 of 10/15/2007: LINQ to SQL's GetOriginalEntityState Doesn't Include EntitySet or Entity Ref Data for Related Entities, which included a complete test harness to reproduce the bug, was still active with no response from Microsoft.
Despite the closeness of the bug reports to the RTM date, I think failing to respond at all to what seem to me to be two significant bugs is inexcusable.
Note: A suggestion for LINQ to SQL, Provide a DataContext.AllowDataExplosions Property for Eager Loading with Multiple 1:N Joins, I made also was in the Your Suggestions region and Dinesh Kulkarney had responded to it.
A cosmetic makeover to Microsoft Connect won't deliver any significant benefits to developers or Microsoft's development teams. Prompt and detailed responses to bug reports are what make developers participate actively in beta programs.
The Connect folks are stomping ants while the elephants are running overhead.