WinForms Development Rant

So I'm working on StudioBlogger today, and I have to say that as a WebForms guy, I'm really frustrated at the WinForms architecture. It's extremely obvious that this whole WindowsForms thing was not throught out as well as the ASP.NET side was, and the two teams definitely did not talk to each other. I'm trying to cycle through a CheckedListBox to populate another CheckedListBox with the categories from the selected blogs, and there are like 9 different properties for accessing selected items. None of these properties have any examples whatsoever in the MSDN documentation, and information on the web is scarce at best. Even with all these MSDN developers blogging on this site, real-life WinForms scenarios are not being addressed. They're too busy writing YAGA (Yet Another Generics Article) to pay attention to the basic everyday stuff that app devs need to be able to do. What's the deal?

Whidbey's been delayed. Everyone is bellyaching and b!tching about it, and I say... great! Let it be delayed. There is a TON of stuff that needs fixing in 2.0. My friend Brady Gaster said today "There are so many screwed up parts of the Framework, but it's SO money that you just have to deal with it." I'm tired of "just dealing with it". If 4 more months of waiting means that I have a lot less crap to deal with, then WTG Microsoft for making the tough but right decision. Now will someone PLEASE get the WinForms and WebForms teams in the same room to make this stuff more cross-client compatible?


  • I agree robert 100%.

    A comment I made is that it appears that they have spent all the time getting webforms up to snuff but haven't spent the time with winforms.

    If Longhorn was around the corner then maybe we could wait. But it will be a version 1.0 product and winforms (imo) in whidbey is a 1.2 currently. Hopfully it will be a 2.0 by LH. better yet it would be better if it was a 2.0 product in whidbey.


  • Matthew,

    Lst time I checked, I was allowed to post my frustrations on my own blog. A cursory inspection of my blog notes that I've been posting here for longer than 75% of the other people here, and I've been extremely construtive in that time. You could go to,, my articles on, or my MSKB articles, and have ample examples of the effort I put into being a part of Microsoft communities.

    I intend to be more constructive about specifics after I am finished with my work. Most people that follow my postings note that I typically express extreme frustration about something, then I do something extremely constructive about it. Instead of jumping down my throat about it, why not give that documentation more than an 8 second inspection? The code doesn't work.

    If it came across as rude to you, that was not my intention. You should focus on the reason for the frustration instead of being hurt because of an interpreted personal attack. I think there would be little argument that the difference between WinForms and WebForms is a mile wide, just in comparing with Microsoft has made WinForms into the bastard child of .NET, and it is apparent all over the place. The fault is not in the teams themselves, but in Microsoft for not putting more focus and direction on making both development processes intuitive.

  • This is completely second-hand unverified information, but from what I've heard, most of the improvements in Whidbey are on the ASP.NET side so it looks like MS is going to focus on Avalon, etc, instead of improving an arguably dead-end Winforms line. I can't say this is the wrong thing to do but it isn't exactly the best news I've ever heard.

    Not playing devil's advocate at all, because I am also more Web than Win, but I often see posts by people coming from the opposite direction (win to web) that say almost the exact same thing but the opposite (hope that makes sense). I think it has a lot to do with developers playing to the strengths of their chosen platform and then finding that in the other platforms, the strengths are elsewhere. Sort of like when a user moves from Mac to Windows or Windows to Mac. Regardless of which is "better", the user has a period of confusion and reduced productivity while learning the OS's strengths and best practices.

  • Aren't you the optimistic one, thinking that the delay is to fix what's broken... lol. I'd love to eat crow on this one, but the delay is because of reasons far from the needs of coders like us. Keep thinking positive, though :-)

  • my comments at link.

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