Ruby Imports Agility Into Microsoft

As more details are flowing out of Mix07, the .Net world is a-buzz with dreams of Ruby On Rails and the dynamic goodness that can be hosted on the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR). I too am excited but for another reason entirely. Microsoft is showing signs of finally doing an Agile process right.

include ‘Agility’

John Lam and the DLR team after exiting their quiet period have announced iterative code releases. From John’s – Introducing IronRuby post:

Finally, I apologize for being silent about what we’ve been doing in this space. But this is now full disclosure – so we will be working with the community in a fully open fashion from this point onwards. IronPython has a 3 week release cycle with a live repository (you’ll be able to get changes the moment we check them in), and we’re going to try to keep this tradition alive with Ruby.

I hope the team sticks to their promise it is hard to do and a very public, possibly unprecedented, step for Microsoft to take on the path toward being an agile company.

No surprises

As a consumer of platforms like Silverlight I am psyched that at least bits of it are open to the community so we can provide: feedback, bug reports, suggestions, warm fuzzies in real-time. The biggest reservation I had using Orcas Entity Framework, which we abandoned because they dropped an important feature then gasp was cancelled, was the lack of visibility. Working with the monthy CTP of Orcas, while better than Microsoft’s usual beta 1, beta 2, buckle my shoe, drop the RTM in your lap release cycle, was still too darn coarse. We basically had big bang integration to do with each new CTP and it was a nightmare. With castle all I have to do is keep track of their subversion commits via RSS and do an update from their repository when something interesting pops up. Our tests are there to prove that nothing was too horribly broken. I have yet to be surprised by the trunk breaking something.