Tuesday, January 09, 2007

telerik wants your input on .NET 1.x

In a recent post, co-CEO and telerik co-founder Vassil Terziev asked the telerik developer community for feedback on telerik's future support of the .NET 1.x version of r.a.d.controls. Now before you start firing off angry emails about how many legacy applications you support that still run on ASP 3.0 and .NET 1, note that telerik is only asking in the context of adding new controls the .NET 1 version of r.a.d.controls for ASP.NET (telerik does not support .NET 1.x at all with its r.a.d.controls for WinForms). They will continue to support and update existing controls in the .NET 1 r.a.d.controls suite for the foreseeable future.

The trade-off, as Vassil puts it, is the choice between faster evolution of the r.a.d.controls toolset with only .NET 2 support OR slower evolution with continued support enhancements for .NET 1 and .NET 2.

So what do you think? Do you want lock-in the .NET 1 toolset and allow telerik to be free to develop new controls with exclusive .NET 2 support? It's an interesting question and one that your feedback will ultimately answer. There is no official poll on the telerik site yet, but I expect there may be in the near future (when there is, I'll post a link).

One thing is certain at this point: whatever move telerik makes with regards to supporting .NET 1.x will have a big impact on their control development when the "real" .NET 3 rolls out towards the end of this year (or early '08). The complexity of actively supporting 3 distinct versions of the .NET framework could easily become overwhelming with 18 (so far) ASP.NET controls, 700ish examples in both C# and VB, and the added overhead of two WinForms control versions (.NET 2 and .NET 3).

I'd suggest that telerik actively support and upgrade "old" Framework versions for a year after a new Framework version is released, after which old Framework versions will only receive the necessary bug fixes. That would give developers time to embrace the new Framework, make plans to upgrade, or choose to stay put in the old Framework with whatever tools are available at the end of the year. Telerik can then be free to create new tools that take advantage of the latest Framework improvements without being burdened by the task of porting those controls to older Frameworks.

How does that sound to you?