Monday, 24 October 2005
Petzold on VS
Does Visual Studio rot the mind? asks Charles Petzold. Petzold writes what is not a screed/rant, really, just why he thinks Visual Studio ... let's say encourages people to write code in particular ways. Not necessarily the way he would code in an ideal world. In fact, as he notes, when he teaches Windows Forms programming, he has people start not with a Windows Forms application, but with an Empty application, so that he can build up, manually and deliberately, the code that VS ordinarily spits into the template.
There are many interesting points in his speech, and I won't try to capture them all here. I will note that many points he's talking concern Visual Studio 2003, and that some of what he's talking about has changed in Visual Studio 2005. But he also addresses himself to some new aspects in 2.0, particular design-time XAML.
However, I will quote some statistics that he provides on the size of the APIs in .NET. This is particularly interesting to us -- we writers and editors -- because we have to have documentation for every one of these:
Tabulating only MSCORLIB.DLL and those assemblies that begin with the word System, we have over 5,000 public classes that include over 45,000 public methods and 15,000 public properties, not counting those methods and properties that are inherited and not overridden. A book that simply listed the names, return values, and arguments of these methods and properties, one per line, would be about a thousand pages long. Whew.
If you wrote each of those 60,000 properties and methods on a 3-by-5 index card with a little description of what it did, you’d have a stack that totaled 40 feet. These 60,000 cards, laid out end to end — the five inch end, not the three inch end — can encircle Central Park (almost), and I hear this will actually be a public art project next summer.
Via ... mmm, I forget. Sorry. If I find it again, I'll update.
aspnet, technology, work