MS MVC and the MVC Team

November 18th, 2007

So I spent a few days at MS last week – building 42 – playing with their MVC implementation. The goal was to inform them of all complex and even counter intuitive requirements that we got from the real world apps and how/if the MS MVC would be able to handle them.

In the end I’ve developed a handful of samples – that I’m going to make available as soon as they publish their CTP.
I was able to:

- Create a initial IParameterBinder support
- Create a NVelocity View Factory
- Get a REST support working (both for url semantics and rendering based on the accept header)
- Get it working with Castle’s DataBinder and ActiveRecordDataBinder

Things that I wanted but weren’t able to do:

- Reuse MonoRail’s helpers: mostly because they are too tightly coupled with MonoRail
- Create a Brail View Factory: same reason
- Create a selector for view factories: impacts on testability

While there I met all the guys from the MVC Team: Simon Calvert (PM), Phil Haack (PM), Chris Tavares (Dev/P&P Team), Eilon Lipton (main dev), Rob Conery (Dev) and Scott Guthrie. Not surprisingly they are incredible smart and talented people. But surprisingly – at least to me – is how MS is approaching this framework. They are not in a rush, they are more concerned about getting it right than getting it done fast. My overall impression is that they are really crafting a framework. Dude, if I had the time and resources to do the same thing, Castle would be very different….

Right now, though, for folks with lot of expectations, the CTP might be a turn off. That’s because what you’re going to see is a very small framework, with a lot to be done to be useful. As they say, the CTP is mainly for feedback. I’m sure Milestone 2 would be something great, though.

And what happens to MonoRail? – you may ask. I’m not sure. I was really adamant that they should try to support all things that MonoRail support, but I’m not sure they are going for that. MonoRail 2.0 is pending their implementation. If the final MS MVC rocks, and provides so many things, I’d vote for forget the MR 2. If the final MS MVC has clearly something lacking, MR 2 could reuse the infrastructure and provide some nice extensions.

But right now, this is just guessing. We would have to wait, and I’m crossing finger that my long list of suggestions will be use to drive their feature list ;-)

12 Responses to “MS MVC and the MVC Team”

Sean Chambers Says:

Great info Hammett,

We are very beneficial to have someone like yourself working on a great open source project like monorail.

I am also glad that MS is at least taking their time and really thinking about their framework rather than just churn out another hunk of code that doesn’t have much value. This is reassuring.

Keep it up!

Diego Guidi Says:

“If the final MS MVC rocks, and provides so many things, I’d vote for forget the MR 2. If the final MS MVC has clearly something lacking, MR 2 could reuse the infrastructure and provide some nice extensions.”

+1 for this approach :)

Steve Gentile Says:

Too bad you aren’t a part of that team. They make you any offers yet? :)

Haacked Says:

Hey Hammet, it was great to meet you and again, we appreciate the feedback you provided. You definitely pointed out some scenarios we hadn’t yet considered. I’m looking forward to playing around with the NVelocity view engine.

The Daily Find #2 - TechToolBlog Says:

[...] Castle Founder sounds off on ASP.NET MVC [...]

Now that Visual Studio 2008 is Out, Where is My MVC? « Accidental Technologist Says:

[...] We can forget about MonoRail and what that has given us.  MonoRail will find its place once the ASP.NET MVC Framework comes out.  My guess will be that it will take advantage of what Microsoft does and extend it for the better.    Hammett has some thoughts on this too. [...]

jeff Says:

With respect to Mr. Hammett, is MS MVS something castle Monorail (and all of the developers that worked on it) didn’t expect? I sense a bit of sadness from the castle crew…but, I think a bit of validation is what we (as asp.net devs) are seeing! Congrats!

Scott Hanselman Says:

Good write up. It was nice to “meet” you over the conference call phone.

Talbott Crowell Says:

With the advent of Microsoft’s ASP.NET MVC which has been released as a CTP called ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions Preview, what will happen to MonoRail, the other MVC for ASP.NET? [...]

Marcelo R. Oliveira Says:

Not surprisingly, it was not before the huge efforts and the great accomplishments of Castle team in this MVC area that enabled Microsoft to feel confident enough to launch their own framework. It was only natural. You guys not only paved the road, but also built the signposts, brought the cars and showed how to ride it.

sudirman Says:

It doesn’t matter whether ASP.NET MVC turn out to be success or not that MR should be abandoned.

For me, MR should stay around to test new ideas as well accomplish whatever ASP.NET MVC can’t deliver.

viruyko Says:

MR rocks!!!
Don’t let Microsoft monopolize everything! Fight em!

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