Ayende @ Rahien

It's a girl

Plain Old Code

When J2EE came around, the notion of a container and managed objects / entities came into the fray, but those had such a high cost associated with them, that the Java community rebelled and now mainly advocates the Plain Old Java Objects. The .NET community has taken the same approach recently, with POCO or PONO being the term used.

This post is driven by my experiences with several of Microsoft's tools that tend to focus on "No Code Required". WebForms' 2.0 had a huge marketing focus on that, and MS CRM is being sold with the premise that you can extend it with just a GUI, so does many others tools from Microsoft (SSIS comes to mind).

I outlined the problems that I see with this model here, so I will not repeat it here, but I want to focus on code vs. GUI right now. I am aware of only a single such tool that provide a really good service, and that is the WinForms designer, and even that fails occasionally.

But what really gets me is the CRM's style of designers, where the customization is locked tight somewhere, where I cannot access it in any meaningful way.

Given the chance, I would define customization with code, probably a DSL, and probably something like this:

entity MyCustomerCustomer:
	CustomerNumber as int
	[Length(255)]
	Name as string
	Email as Email

screen MainView, for: MyCustomerCustomer:
	tab "Customer Properties":
		Display Name
		Display Email
		Display CustomerNumber, readonly

Hm, I seem to getting back to DSL no matter which way I go recently.

Comments

Dave
08/25/2007 04:03 AM by
Dave

haml - http://haml.hamptoncatlin.com/

and

swiby - http://www.alef1.org/jean/swiby/

are two good sources for inspiration/ideas/examination

Jay R. Wren
08/25/2007 02:58 PM by
Jay R. Wren

you aren't REALLY writing a DSL for WinForms are you?

The Brail Html DSL (http://hrboyceiii.blogspot.com/2007/06/dsl-support-in-brail-part-i.html) could easily be extended to work with WPF XAML. With the need to support XAML designers such as Expression, a WPF XAML to boo/brail/xaml DSL could be created too.

I agree. I prefer the code. I have even found myself avoiding the WinForms designer and opting to write my own code under certain circumstances. Especially event handlers where the designer will continue to work.

Ayende Rahien
08/25/2007 03:27 PM by
Ayende Rahien

Jay,

That was actually for defining a new entity on the CRM, not for winforms

miles thompson
08/27/2007 05:39 AM by
miles thompson

Just want to add that I agree. At a tech*ed event last year I was struck by how often the mantra 'no code required' was repeated. This is at an event aimed at - you guess it 'coders'.

Given that we're all computer programmers here why are you making such efforts to stop us from doing what we do best.

Microsoft marketing for AJAX.NET -> 'dont need to write a line of Javascript'. (but what if I want to customize it, and Javascript is something I understand and like).

Arpan Shah's response to a bunch of questions about Sharepoint - sure! Yeah you can do that. In fact if you use the auto-magic-list-conrtol [and, implicitially, if I make a few changes to the specificiation] you should be able to do it 'without any code at all'.

Great! Just what I didn't want.

Dru
08/29/2007 06:29 PM by
Dru

Have you looked at the Django model object stuff

http://www.djangoproject.com

-d

Comments have been closed on this topic.