Letters from Readers
Reader Feedback: Inside Visual Studio 11, MIX Nixed, More
Our March 2012 cover story, "More Power," offered a tour of the productivity tools in Visual Studio 11 (still a code name) just in time for the release of the beta previews. Readers share their initial reactions to the updated beta tooling:
No macro? ... Hopefully they have fixed the dreaded corruption of .resx files when using .NET 2 for x86 on x64 Windows, because I had to add a macro to fix that. If they haven't fixed it, it'll have to be a separate app, and that's going to be a pain for source control issues and so on.
Nice to see that Silverlight is still a supported project type out of the box, but it's weird that Model-View-Controller (MVC) 3 isn't a default.
No Longer in the MIX
Microsoft canceled MIX12, the event targeted at Web developers and designers. In an online Papa's Perspective column ("MIX: A Missed Opportunity for Microsoft?" Feb. 22, 2012), John Papa recalled the value of MIX and the confusion around the event. Readers respond:
I will go so far as to say it was a mistake. MIX was naturally evolving into a user experience (UX) conference, which was why it was so important -- and the only conference that was critical, as the others were too developer focused. We need a MIX, meaning a Microsoft UX-focused, next-generation tech conference. Events like the open source event John Papa organized; and talks about UX and design as it applies to Microsoft technologies; and showcasing next-generation stuff without all the developer-focused stuff -- that's what will drive the community forward.
David J. Kelley
I agree with Papa completely that the lack of focus was part of the MIX appeal. Web, mobile, design, UX, open source and other things MIX tackled all change too fast to have a set plan that works for all years. The fact that MIX adapted to the needs of the community was its greatest strength. The hardest part for me is that canceling MIX sends a clear message to agencies. As I posted a few months ago, these moves make it very hard to present the Microsoft Web stack or Windows Phone as viable solutions to clients. When I'm telling a client that Microsoft gets the Web, and then they read that Microsoft is bailing on Web events, both of us lose a customer. Hopefully, Microsoft has a solution to address the gap left by MIX and it makes an announcement soon. I know agencies like ours are in a rough spot right now and feel a little left out.
To be fair, MIX did have a purpose, and it was primarily focused on engaging the Web crowd. It was to be the convergence of Web meets Microsoft with a dual thread of developer meets designer. It wasn't until we mutated the crap out of Silverlight strategy that it started to become this vehicle for announcements. I think, honestly, the day the Internet Explorer team hijacked that conference, it soon became this "What is going on?" debacle. MIX was Silverlight and Blend with bleed-outs from there. Again, its confusion started when the success these two products began to have created an internal feeding frenzy, and as a result it just became more and more irrelevant. That being said, the best MIX was the day we named Silverlight for the first time out loud.
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