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July CTP of Acropolis causes consternation

by James Vastbinder on Jul 10, 2007 |

Early in the morning on July 4th, the Acropolis team posted the latest release of the CTP on MSDN.  This latest release comes about one month after Tech Ed in early June where it debuted.  In a nutshell, Acropolis is a framework for building rich client applications with Microsoft's latest .NET technologies using WPF and XAML.  The intent is to ease the development process for building complex large many-screened applications.

The features in the latest CTP:

  • Transition Animation improvements – You can now add transition when changing page in TabLayoutPanes
  • Better Design Time support
  • Better Custom Theming support
  • Various bug fixing driven from community feedback

Community reaction to the new feature list has been nothing short of disappointment. 

Kevin Hoffman reacts:

Ok, so while I realize that this is just an update to a CTP, and not a conversion from CTP to Beta.. my inner architect is writhing in agony as I read this. What did they add after all of the initial feedback they got from the developers (myself included) on the forums? ....

When I scroll back through the forum posts, I can't find a single person asking for more transition animations. I found one occurrence where someone wanted access to more themes. Most of the concerns I found were deeper than that. People (like me) wanted to be able to send loosely coupled notifications between two parts without requiring the use of a parent part container as a notification router. ....

Anyway, it appears as though I'm passing on the July CTP of Acropolis for now. We'll see what August brings us :)

Fabrice Marguerie says goodbye to Acropolis:

We developed an application framework using the CAB and a custom guidance package. We provide the developers with a custom shell and templates for their projects. The modules developers create are hosted in a common shell that provides a standard set of services. Considering that my post in the Acropolis forum didn't receive any answer, it looks like this is not the way Acropolis is heading.

Kathy Kam of Microsoft left this reply in Fabrice's comments:

Actually, one of the biggest feature in Acropolis CTP2 is support a classic line of business example. (An Expense Application) I did not want to talk about it yet because the sample will be shipped in a week or so as we put the final touches. Oh regarding your forum post.. I'll get to that ASAP. We were busy shipping the July CTP!

Brad Abrams provided this insight to the CTP release:
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.

 The emotion behind the latest release of Acropolis is a signal to Microsoft on the importance of the .NET community's desire for them to deliver on the Acropolis project's stated goals and promises.    All eyes are focused on the August CTP of Acropolis.

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