Workspaces v1 - where we're going

Right now, were busy at work on the first full release of Workspaces, version 1.0. There was a load of great feedback from the beta, and while not everything made the final cut, this version should have a number of improvements and a couple of significant new features.

The biggest addition were making will provide integration with Visual Studio. By using the source control interface built into VS.NET, youll be able to access all of the contents of the Source Control (formerly File Share) area of your Workspace. Instead of having to swap back and forth between a browser and the IDE, a right-click in Solution Explorer puts much of the same functionality right there just a click away.

During the beta, the inadequacies of the filtering system in the directory soon became evident. We knew from the start that alphabetical sorting of Workspace title perhaps wasnt going to be the most useful of orderings and, when combined with the large number of Workspaces that were created, that became all the more obvious. In v1, the default sort will be based on an activity score between 0 and 100, which will be calculated from a series of indicators that show how frequently a Workspace is being used. This will make it far easier is browse through Workspaces where theres actually development going on and should help to bring some of the really interesting Workspaces closer to the top of the list.

Were also addressing a lot of the pain points we found during the test period, from the installation procedure of the Windows Forms control to the general stability of the application. From an operations perspective, GotDotNet is now running on a cluster of more than a single web server, and the backend architecture is ready to be scaled up if the need arises. Some of the reports of difficulties we received from people with certain setups (particular proxies, firewalls, ISPs) also helped us to handle more non-standard configurations.

Overall, the feedback we received was really helpful and has certainly shaped the look of the Workspaces application. Version 1.0 is currently planned for release to the web at the end of April 2003; more news here as it becomes available.