Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Dear GotDotNet

Chris Sells suggested that I send my specific complaints about GotDotNet along to the people that work on the site, and kindly pointed me to the right person at Microsoft. This is something that I should have done before my last post, of course, but better late than never. I sent them this email, which I'm posting here:


I'm not sure if you saw my recent blog post about leaving GotDotNet for SourceForge, but after reading it, Chris Sells suggested that I get in touch with you about the specific complaints I have. It's a good idea, and only fair, so here goes.


I should be clear that I don't really have a problem with any of the other features - but I've been doing a lot of software development on GDN lately, and my frustration level reached the breaking point. To whit, I have three main complaints with the workspaces feature of GotDotNet:


1) Reliability. I find that GDN frequently loses changes that I have checked in. I have to constantly diff a fresh download against what's on my hard drive to make sure I don't lose stuff.

2) Tooling. The tools are really not good. I have tried all five options for interacting with the source control system - web interface, web control, VS.NET integration, wksalone and wkssync - and they are all painful. None of them even comes close to the elegance and ease of use I can achieve using CVS and TortoiseCVS. On top of that, I find the enforcement of the VSS lock-on-checkout model very limiting, although I know that's a matter of personal taste. And I won't even start on the fact that there is no integration whatsoever with popular build tools such as NAnt or CruiseControl.NET - something I find to be crucial to doing distributed team development.

3) Performance. This is actually the least concern, especially if there are decent tools available. But GDN is slow, and that's annoying given the tools that are available.


In short, what I want GDN to be is a reliable source control provider with good tools. If, above and beyond that, it provided things like bug tracking, team websites, discussion boards, mailing lists, wikis, and the other bells and whistles that a distributed development project can use (and I know some of those things are available now), that would be icing on the cake. But stability and capability first.


I've posted this message on my weblog, to let people know that I was lame enough not to have written this email *before* posting my "Dear Dot" message. I would be more than happy to post any followup you provide. Just let me know.


Please do let me know if there's anything I can do to help. I've left GDN for the projects I work on, but that doesn't mean I don't want it to succeed. I'm all for having lots of good options.




-Craig Andera

1 comment:

  1. Somewhere between this article on the .webinfo file and this post about the .csproj file (that incorrectly...