Open source and quality

A recent SD Times column by Allen Holub questions the quality and customer focus of Tomcat specifically and open source projects in general.  The picture painted there is pretty bleak:

  • Spotty documentation
  • Condescending attitude toward non-expert users -- "arrogance, elitism, and general contempt"
  • Half-implemented features
  • Poor code quality -- "poorly structured, poorly documented and poorly written"

This is exactly the opposite of the direction that Visual Studio and .NET are going.  We have a number of efforts underway to significantly improve the quality of the product that we ship.  In my group, we've made some good strides in the Whidbey product cycle.  Some of these are engineering changes -- taking time to write tools that improve how we test the product, improving the robustness of tests so that we can spend our testers' time on higher value-add activities, etc. 

Our community work is also a part of this -- the more closely connected we are with customers, the more likely it is that we will deliver software that they love, that fits like a hand in a glove.  We are by no means done, but my hope is that we get better at this every milestone and every product cycle.

What parts of the Visual C# product do you love?  Perhaps we can do more of those, or more things in the same vein, in future product cycles.  What parts do you tolerate, dislike, or hate?  We'd love to fix those pain points.  It all starts with your feedback.  Feel free to post here or email me privately.

Happy C# coding!