There have been a few talks at TechEd which mentioned XML files for configuration, but blew by them saying “You will use studio….”. I started to realise how much of an advantage this is.
For example, with ObjectSpaces there are 3 files: one for the object model, one for the db model, and one with the mapping information between the two. These files have XSD associated with them, and although you COULD hand edit them, you probably wouldn’t want to. Since the ObjectSpaces team knows that developers will be using studio (ok, only 98%) they can choose to setup the XML in the way that they want too… ignoring usability of hand editing.
If you compare this to the Java side of the house, the JDO group has talked a lot about what to do with the config files. We want to make it as easy as possible for developers to get up and running, so we talk about defaults, if we can have a way so there is only one file, etc.
This is because Java developers dictate this from us. We did the whole deployment descriptor thing with J2EE, and although “tools can generate those”, we learnt that a significant number of developers wanted to hand edit. Even with the popularity of Eclipse and IntelliJ, if you walk around to many developers you will see Textpad being used.
Isn’t it a nice advantage for Microsoft to be able to KNOW that most developers will be using Studio. Not all do of course, especially with the Java developers who moved to C# :)
The good news for Java is that we have a lot of great IDEs that we can use. We aren’t stuck with one.