The CMS ecosystem and Microsoft
CMS is extremely important strategically for any web company. About 35% of web sites use a CMS, and the top ones are all PHP (WordPress on its own is more than 20% of all web sites). In other words, if you care about the market share of your web platform, you need a good CMS running on it.
Before I left Microsoft, I was working on Orchard. I’m one of the people who founded and built it, from within the ASP.NET team, with great support from management, even after I left the company.
Today, the team has one engineer working full-time on the platform, and that’s marvelous. It’s not just any engineer either, it’s Sébastien Ros, one of the best developers I know. Microsoft is one of the main sponsors of the Harvest conference, and they also use Orchard in several web properties.
For all these reasons, I’m having a really hard time understanding the deafening silence from Microsoft’s web platform team about CMS in general, and Orchard in particular. Updates on what’s new on the platform never include Orchard. For instance, when I asked some of the Scotts (Hanselman and Hunter; and yes, you have to change your name to Scott in recognition of the great Gu if you want to join that team) on Twitter about why there wasn’t a video about Orchard among their great new batch of “Building Modern Web Apps” videos, I got what looks like a knee-jerk reaction from Scott:
@shanselman: @bleroy @coolcsh and the DotNetNuke one and the sharepoint one and the umbraco one and the sitefinity one? You're welcome to make them.
I have several things to say about this.
1. I did make videos, lots of them, on my own time, and others do too. None of them have been relayed in any blog post or tweet that I’ve seen from the team. And of course, we’re talking about Microsoft producing new videos here, not some guy making a YouTube clip…
2. There are videos about WebAPI, but not about ServiceStack; or about MVC, but not Nancy (although to be fair, Nancy does get some official support from Microsoft). Microsoft talks a lot about NuGet (an Outercurve project, like Orchard), but not of OpenWrap. Scott’s argument does not seem to be a valid comparison.
3. Yes, you should absolutely talk about and support the .NET CMS ecosystem. Why exactly shouldn’t you talk about DNN, Umbraco, Orchard, and even Sitefinity? They are all beautiful platforms that help the .NET ecosystem grow. Indeed, why not have Microsoft contribute to DNN and Umbraco as well?
We love C#, we love ASP.NET, and we love Orchard. Does Microsoft? http://www.asp.net/orchard
UPDATE: I got an answer from Scott Hunter on Twitter: "@coolcsh: @bleroy @shanselman @sebastienros We might have an exciting announcement around Orchard soon. We will try and push more." This makes me quite happy. That's all I'm asking for and I thank Scott for it. Cheers, carry on then.