Let's help Microsoft clean up UserVoice requests by providing open source community driven solutions


#1

Hi Everyone. It’s a really exciting time for the .Net community.

I’ve noticed many of the currently active UserVoice requests could be satisfied by existing, open source, community driven solutions.

I think this is a very important topic since UserVoice is one of the most relevant sources of community feedback Microsoft currently has in terms of what do developers need and what areas of the MS platform need to be improved, etc.

I would be great if the .Net Foundation (acting as an intermediary between MS and the .Net community) could help by creating a list of active uservoice requests and their corresponding existing solutions, then hand this list to Microsoft in order for them to consider whether to close these active tickets by pointing to the existing solution / Nuget Package / Github project / etc.

As an example, I’m pointing to a couple of WPF-specific things because this is what I’m most familiar with:

UserVoice Request: Provide a WPF PropertyGrid control
Solution: Extended WPF Toolkit’s PropertyGrid

UserVoice Request: Add Plane Projection.
Solution: The Planerator

UserVoice Request: Native WPF Browser Control.
Solution: Awesomium.

Notice that these are just examples off the top of the UserVoice WPF list. I’m sure people familiar with other areas of .Net (Web, Windows Phone, Winforms, etc) will be able to come up with similar cases where an existing community-driven solution already meets the requirements of an active UserVoice request.

In this new world where everything’s a Nuget package (even the very .Net framework itself) I don’t see any substantial differences between these solutions and a Microsoft solution to the same problems.

There’s also the problem that some of the most hardcore “enterprisey” devs and shops are going to be resistant to the idea of putting non-Microsoft code in their code bases. Therefore ideally some kind of “endorsement” by Microsoft would exist for these projects. This raises the question whether MS should “take charge” of code written by other people, but it also rises the idea that it’s probably better in most of these cases for MS to embrace and endorse these community projects (just like they’re doing by embracing and endorsing and supporting Mono) rather than doing the work from scratch in order to satisfy the community’s requests.

I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on this.


#2

I like the idea. My only concern would be the idea of Microsoft endorsing the projects. I think the closest they should come to that is more what they do now with if they use it in their product it becomes “trusted”. Like JSON.NET isn’t really endorsed by Microsoft but they use it now in so many projects that it’s trusted


#3

Looks like no one is interested? So sad =(

UserVoice is currently polluted by a bunch of irrelevant stuff that can be eliminated tomorrow by existing solutions, and it clutters and blurs the really important issues from clear sight.


#4

@HighCore - I like the spirit of the idea. I’m all for showcasing community solutions that satisfy the need.

I’ve talked to many customers that require a commercial solution coming from Microsoft. The reason varies. For many, it is support, for others, it is an international standard that our implementation complies to. They are likely other reasons, too.

I personally don’t see Microsoft closing a UserVoice request based on the presence of another solution, since doing so would (understandably) upset some of our customers. However, I do think it could be useful to have a “sticky response” (one that stays at the top) stating community libraries that could be used instead of a Microsoft implementation.

I can tell you that some folks would be concerned with this idea, too, since it could “take the pressure off” of a given Microsoft team. That said, I do think it is helpful to showcase topical solutions if they exist.

If you are really passionate about this, PR a new community-maintained markdown file in @ the dotnet repo that starts an official list. I’ll accept the PRs. See the other files that we’ve been working on, for related purposes.


#6

@RichLander:

I personally don’t see Microsoft closing a UserVoice request based on the presence of another solution

I understand the reasons for this, but then you’re left with the following situation:

  • there are tons of existing open requests, many of which are several years old.
  • the .Net Framework doesn’t have a built-in solution for them.
  • Open Source solutions exist that satisfy these requests (to a lesser or greater degree)

I understand that several customers might be pissed off due to a non “official” solution. But also, 100% of the customers are going to be pissed off due to no solution at all. So it’s a matter of either pissing some people off or everyone.

If Microsoft doesn’t consider adequate to close the requests with non official code (and if they really care about their customers, which I think they do) then they’re only left with 2 alternatives:

1 - Write their own solutions, and provide support for them (good)
2 - Avoid the needless rework and duplication needed for option 1 and embrace these open source projects by completing/extending them to the needed extent, and providing support for them. (best)
3 - Not providing solutions at all (bad).

Since they’re now taking pull requests for .Net Core and other Microsoft owned projects, this would really be no different in practice. They would just be introducing external code to the .Net Framework (of course with the consent of the producers of such code), and then maintaining that. I still think much less effort is required for this alternative than writing everything from scratch.

Regarding the showcasing of existing solutions, I was thinking (and have emailed the WPF team about this) to create a WPF specific site to showcase community efforts in providing fantastic additional features, controls, and goodies to the platform, but yeah I think a .Net wide showroom might make much more sense.

I’ll do the PR as soon as I have some spare time, my hands are full right now.

Please let me know your thoughts about the above.


#7

@highcore all good points, but as of now the WPF team can’t even get the WPF tread on the existing .Net MSDN site working, their is was/is a MSDN WPF section in the forum, after years of comments falling on deaf ears and worse, why would anyone bother? check back in a year or two,LOL.
try to find the 2 WPF/Silverlight open plea for Win8 support threads that had like 34 million hits 1000s of posts from the summer of 2011, where pete brown made his "Wait till build " and “I Monitoring this thread threats”. why should any WPF person trust MSDN again .to have things deleted again? , let.alone go the existing MSDN status , “Im a .NET developer” and see how you can reuse your existing skills and earn to create great(always great great great) apps with RT/Modern/UNistore. don’t kid yourself WPF still has plenty of enemys inside microsoft including Dev Div Execs who have vested interest in RT/Uni/Store. using WPF is one thing trusting Dev Div is a whole other story, as far as a gallery, no point the github top20 WPF looks pretty good to me. as you stated nearly all WPF issues have easy solutions. WPF has a very large user, all we really need is an OS that boots and get the hell out of the way,which 10 does so far in my testing, and no more knife in the back M$, (if you know whats good for you). the other thing we have to except about the WPF community is that the best WPF devs are paid pros, if they were to go around posting company sercets, they get fireed, WPF is 100x better than its reputation, you should already know that, we have nothing to prove, and much of the fear of WPF is well founded , i sure would not want to compete against it!


#8

@gotamaprime - The tone of this message is clearly against the Code of Conduct. Please consider this as a warning and keep the conversation constructive and civil: while you may be making important and relevant points that are very appropriate to this forum, we still will not tolerate personal attacks, name calling and aggressive attitude. We certainly do not want to lose your contribution to the discussion, but please make sure your future posts adhere to the Code of Conduct or we will be forced to moderate them.

We want these forums to be a welcoming place for discussions about .NET.

Thanks,
-Beth


#9

I cant get a conversation started here. I actually came here to get a couple question answered , maybe make a suggestion or two, what do I find ,more WPF FUD , its has been going on for years, I let it go in the past, I never confronted Scott Barnes directly or complained to anyone other than friends, I didn’t complain when MS push a .Net update that ruined my WPF performance , 2 days after build 2011. I have endured customers telling me WPF is obsolete, I didn’t complain, customer hate that anyway, I didn’t complain about the transparent undermining of WPF at every turn by Dev Div , oh sorry didn’t have time for WPF solution, so busy, and so excited!!! oh look lightswitch can do what WPF can, sigh. said nothing, oh look Wn8 has ruin DWM aero disable but DWM always on (wouldn’t want some one to work around DWM for proper WPF), tried to reason with sinoffski (just kidding,LOL). I wont bother going further you get the Idea, so have I made the mistake engaging people making provocative statements from clearly uninformed people like the guy who wants native WPF, like that will fix performance problems when the WPF render thread is already a Native thread and with the unpredictable lifetime of WPF object is sure to cause memory leaks with little or no improvement in speed, or the slow griders, do you have to explain to every one of them about virtualization? like a nuanced explanation wouldn’t just get them flaming harder or just sit back and watch while they drive the reputation of WPf into the Mud? so I’ve drawn a line in the mud as far as C#/.net/WPF , anyone inside or out of mcrosoft, talk smack about WPF on the .Net , should be ready to back it up, I am, with code if need be for example.
https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/903760/wpf-touch-services-are-badly-broken
which is wrong, and was parroted by the Register, the WPF is DEAD is fine, WPF is DEAD , long live WPF! but the faux experts with their fabricated facts are going to hear from me if I see it!
I’t easy to see why some might think WPF is somehow deeply flawed when people like that Register guy is tweeting “#WPF touch may never work”, and looking at the way visual studio team hasn’t been able to master WPF themes, and is using blurry bitmap icons which are useless on HiDPI screen, I can almost hear the behind the scene(lets just port VS to Universal, and unify the cloud/offline UX", why shouldn’t I suspect there will be more underhandedness from Dev Div, after all we don’t want friction for next generation of universal apps! so can’t help but wonder if I’m dealing with a vendor or an hostile enemy. I also wonder if this is even the right forum to discuss any real issues at all, If we propose an good Idea will it end up in xamarin not WPF, what is xamarins connection to this site at all, it’s not .Net core, yet every other post has xamarin content, yet I saw a guy get a post with a link to his product get hidden. if it’s ok to xamarin which is not free/open source or .Net core, what exactly are the guidlines for third party frameworks like xamarin?

If you don’t answer any thing else please, what about WCF/MEF core or not?


#10

How does something like JSON.NET fit into this? It’s OSS and not a Microsoft solution yet is used to solve a MS problem (JSON serialization).


#11

We don’t have plans to build a new JSON reader/writer. We’re happy with JSON.NET and appreciate James’ work on it.

What changes is that James may have run into performance issues in .NET for his scenario. He’s now able to make fixes in .NET Core, which he wasn’t before.


#12

So what do you say to those customers that require a solution from Microsoft? How does JSON serialization differ from a WPF browser control?


#13

@richlander:

Can you please reply to my previous comment?

It seems that the conversation here deviated to something else and you replied to that instead of my original concern:

What’s Microsoft’s stance in the subject of outstanding non-satisfied UserVoice issues for which potential Open Source community driven solutions exist?


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