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A Time To Pivot

Sometimes you need to make a change, a “pivot” so to speak. The pivot I decided to make, is to concentrate on LightSwitch applications moving forward.

Why have I come to this conclusion? Look at this screen shot:


This is a Silverlight client for my Open Source project, The problem is that I started this project a year ago! The reason I haven't finished it:

  • So much time is spent handling basic stuff, and the more code added causes things to move slower because you are afraid of breaking something
  • Following the various “patterns” require even more code
  • It is just not “fun”, because I am not working on “the problem domain”, but “plumbing” (like spending time mining for iron ore rather than building cars)
  • Time is money, and this project has already taken twice as many hours as the original ASP.NET code

Simply, when I originally stated working on the project, it was fun and exciting. Later on it took me longer and longer to get the energy to work on it, because I knew I would spend 4 hours and only get “a little bit more done”. I was swimming deeper and deeper into thousands of lines of code, and the more I worked on it, the more I knew I would be spending time working on stuff that is not “fun”.

I do not have to have fun when I am being paid, but, with Open Source, if it isn’t fun, I’m not doing it!

Also, I originally thought that LightSwitch could not be used for projects that had intensive UI’s. However, after writing these two articles:



I now realize that you can make a custom LightSwitchShell” (to remove the normal LightSwitch menu and headers), and completely create the entire UI for your LightSwitch application.

So, it is possible for me to make the the exact UI, that I planned to do for, in LightSwitch.

The Future Of The Visual Studio “Empire”


I also feel that Visual Studio is making a “long term bet” on LightSwitch. The reason I believe this, has nothing to do with Silverlight, and everything to do with HTML 5.

Steve Anonsen replied to a post about LightSwitch and HTML, and indicated that it is a “scenario… …and we want to support”. Yes I am reading way too much into that simple comment, but, it is clear that there is nothing stopping a future version of LightSwitch from creating Silverlight and/or HTML pages.

When LightSwitch is able to also create HTML applications, it will be a tool that allows you to create applications faster than PHP, Ruby, ect. What this would mean, is that you can create web applications faster than any other technology, period. This will solidify and further continue the dominance of the colossal Visual Studio  “Empire”.

Microsoft creates “Tools”. It is one thing to create a “Tree House” using only a hammer and nails, but, you need the proper “Tools” if you want to create a “House you can live in”.

Visual Studio already is the best “Development Tool” out there, as you can see, Microsoft is only planning to accelerate it’s dominance.

It’s nice to see that the managers in the Microsoft Developer Tools Division, are firmly at the wheel, are wide awake, and have the “ship” pointed in the right long-term direction.

The Road Ahead

LightSwitch is just a “framework”. My decision is really no different than my decision years ago to concentrate on making DotNetNuke websites rather than normal ASP.NET websites. That decision has allowed me to complete far more projects than if I had to code everything from scratch. Underneath the framework, it is just normal ASP.NET code.

With LightSwitch, you are still creating normal ASP.NET / Entity Framework/ WCF RIA / Silverlight code. My decision to concentrate on using the LightSwitch framework is simply that I want to complete more projects faster.

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Avatar  JoeTheGamer 7 years ago

"My decision to concentrate on using the LightSwitch framework is simply that I want to complete more projects faster."<br />I understand you, i know that feeling 'cause i'm a programmer too.<br />Good luck with it<br />joe