I’ve been back and forth on the ongoing train wreck between Jamie Cansdale and Microsoft over TestDriven.Net’s support for Express editions of Visual Studio. I’ve finally come to the opinion that Jamie’s in the wrong, and I think his arguments are a bit specious and hollow.
At the end of the day it comes down to the fact that Microsoft’s been clear that Express isn’t intended to support add-ins. All of the other thousands of companies developing VS add-ins understand this. What’s up with Jamie? What’s not clear about this?
Spending his time arguing over whether TestDriven.Net’s support uses public APIs is futile, IMO. The bottom line is that folks at MS fought hard to get Express versions released out for hobbyist use, and there were some mandates put in place to enable that — like Express not supporting any add-ins or plugins.
Jamie runs a business and makes money off TestDriven.Net. I’d think he’d understand the need to control certain revenue streams — after all, Jamie himself took TestDriven.Net from a freely available tool to one you have to pay for. I don’t think he’s open to folks trying to pore through his EULA trying to find loopholes for using the hobbyist version in a commercial role.
So, with all this said, I’d like to vent my spleen on Microsoft’s handling of the matter. Frankly, you guys suck. Not renewing Jamie’s MVP over the flap is understandable, but not being up front and plainly saying “You’re out of luck specifically because of your position on TestDriven.Net” is foolish. I also have a very low opinion of the style of communication coming from the initial contact person at MS. Read through the e-mails linked on Jamie’s post and see what you think. (Interestingly, that same Microsoftie was a roadblock to James’s efforts with Visual Studio Hacks. Note to MS: Maybe you should consider having someone else handle interfacing tasks…)
At the end of the day I’m irritated by both sides. MS’s handling of the matter is completely stupid, but seems to be right on line with the 1000Lb gorilla approach they’re using for the patent issues so prominent in the news. On the other side, Jamie’s taken a stance that’s fundamentally wrong. I can’t imagine he’d appreciate the same sort of behavior with folks using his commercial product.
Maybe this train wreck will clear up in a nice fashion, but I doubt it.
(By the way, I’m a huge fan of TestDriven.Net. I used it when it was free, got really pissed when he started charging for it, then plunked down the $$ to continue using it. I also showcase it during my talk on Open Source Test Tools, even though it’s not open source.)