Monday, April 18, 2005

VS 2005 Beta == Production Kerfluffle

There's quite a stir over at Slashdot regarding Microsoft's announcement enabling VS 2005 Beta2 users to "Go Live" and distribute production apps with VS2005B2. There are a few sensible comments, but most are are snarky shots about how MS has long been distributing beta software as production, MS's quality is for dog s#it, MS expects customers to pay for their beta testing, etc., etc., etc. Not once in the comments did I see any specific example of why VS 2005 shouldn't be used for production code. Rather it was a lot of spleen-venting on perceptions about Microsoft. God forbid any of these folks actually look at a fundamental issue: what's wrong with such an action if the software in question is pretty damned stable? Note that I'm speaking (writing!) in very general terms here, particularly since I haven't used VS 2005 in any of its forms. Regardless, look at the larger issue here, not the specific. Here's the crux of the matter: What's more important for tracking the production-readiness of a software system, a version label or a good picture of the software's stability? Is a beta system with no critical bugs and few major bugs less ready for production than a release version loaded with bugs and shipped off after shoddy design, development and testing? Dudes, get a grip. Put a cork in it if you don't have specific examples as to why VS2005 B2 shouldn't be released for production testing. Perhaps the 800 pound Redmond gorilla is slowly learning a few lessons about improving delivery of their software.

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