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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

The LINQ Project

I forgot to mention the LINQ project yesterday.  Integrating query into the language is such an incredible productivity enhancement.  Of all of the new technologies I have seen at this PDC, this is the one that resonates the most with me as a developer.  The ability to create strongly typed data representations and queries integrated into the compiler for ensuring language semantics is huge.  I think of all the code that we have written in .NET for which we have to translate data in and out of SQL; all of the queries that we have written that cannot be effectively validated until runtime; and the numbers of places in our code where changes must be kept in sync.  With LINQ, the initial development time will be greatly reduced, but almost more important, the future maintenance cost will also greatly reduced.

I got into a discussion with Dan about the posting by Paul Mooney   about the Google/Microsoft judgment was bigger news then the Bill Gates keynote (as indicated by the relative placement of these news items in a newspaper).  This doesn’t really surprise me (everyone wants to know if Ballmer really threw that chair).  Seriously, though, I think that a lot of the technologies that are being unveiled at PDC05 fall into two camps:

1. Vista and Office 12.  I fear that the delays in Vista and perception of Office (see my earlier post) may make these stories not “sexy” to the mainstream press.

2. Really cool technology for developers.  The typical business person has heard this story a million times already.  In fact, above I post that LINQ will allow me to develop better software more quickly and that it will be easier to maintain.  That is an obvious cost benefit to companies of all kinds.  But is saving money with better tools an interesting story?  Hasn’t the press written thousands of stories just like this before?  I’m not arguing that it isn’t cool or that it isn’t revolutionary technology.  I’m just arguing that your typical reader doesn’t get it.

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