ADO.NET Entity Framework Vote of No Confidence

So, a number of people have written (and/or added their names to the list of signatures agreeing with it) to a petition/statement/WhatEverYouWantToCallIt calling out the (real and/or perceived) flaws with the forthcoming (when?  Who knows, but since I believe SQL Server 2008 requires its final release, at that time) Entity Framework coming out of Redmond.

I first noticed it when Dave Laribee posted about its existence on the mailing list where he briefly mentioned its contents and added:

"I'd encourage you all to sign if (and only if) this is something you agree with and please spread the word."

I'm going to interpret the 'and' as 'and/or', and thus this post.

Quite some time ago, Danny Simmons from Microsoft posted about some 'great discussions' with the NHibernate Mafia (Bellware, Palermo, and Laribee are mentioned, I know there were others, but too tired/lazy to get a comprehensive list) about said Mafia's initial 'misgivings' (other words would probably work but let's go with that) about the direction of the Entity Framework.  After a bit more time, he posted in greater detail about his understanding of the 'misgivings', of how he believed they could be addressed, and how the v1 release of EF wouldn't be able to address them.

The 'Vote of No Confidence' seems to be a restatement of the misgivings, and so initially, it seems a bit odd to make a show of it.  Then again, it's been a hella long time from the 'great discussions' till now, and if you don't read every blog about everything, you wouldn't necessarily know about them.

Around the same time, Tim Mallalieu was posting about the new transparency the EF team was hoping to follow in developing v2 of EF.

As people became aware of the petition, more commentary came about.

Mary-Jo Foley gave it a shout.  And it was nice to see the usual suspects with the expected response (it didn't explicitly demand an apology on behalf of the entire .NET community and wasn't as obnoxious or poorly spelled).  Side note:  when the petition list first came out, it listed Scott as first on the list (though didn't mark him as an MVP).  It also, IIRC, listed Paul Wilson, originator of WORM as an MVP.  Shortly thereafter, Scott's name moved to #23 and it listed Paul as (MVP ret.), though I don't think you retire an MVP, you just don't get renewed.  Not sure if the re-ordering was deliberate or a technical thing, but if anyone felt strongly about adding their signature but opted out because Bellware's name was listed #1, they're an idiot.

Tim then posted a longer response that addressed the petition more directly.

Others have been slightly more vitriolic.

In any event, it looks like there will be more of a feedback loop for v2 of EF and that's probably a good thing.  The petition itself is certainly more measured and productive than what's been seen in the past.

I wouldn't sign something like this myself (it's not like there is much to disagree with, it's just, well, weirdly misplaced), but if it is something you agree with, pony up.

posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 9:17 PM Print
# re: ADO.NET Entity Framework Vote of No Confidence
6/27/2008 2:29 PM
Cutting off Their Noses to Spite Their Faces
Open Letter
Dear EF Petitions,
I have read the online petition and don't know what you aim to gain from this? Complaining about whether implicit lazy loading and canonical shared models should be supported is ridiculous in a beta product. Although, your criticism was constructive creating a public forum is frankly "Cutting off your noses to spite your face ". I'm personally dismayed with the MVPs who signed, they should know better. Most of you have direct connections into the product team and can express these opinions directly to them. Why do this in public? I have a lot of friends in Microsoft not just because they are business colleagues but hard working individuals who have spent 11 hour days trying to create something unique. What if you were told your code is crap… see what I mean?
I think that you’re missing the point with the EF. Although it has issues, it’s the first issue. I would like to see of your code to see if you get it right first time.
The transparent approach announcement will prevent this type of thing happening again. If you have this press release why don’t you back down? Personal glory.. or just kicking the big guy?

# re: ADO.NET Entity Framework Vote of No Confidence
6/27/2008 8:40 PM

To be fair to the people who created the petition, they did convey a lot of this directly, as the links I provided show.

And EF, while currently technically a beta product, is close to being baked.

I do sort of wonder about the petition. As the links I provided show, Danny Simmons stated publicly and openly that he believed he understood the criticisms, but that they wouldn't be addressed until v2. Some supporters of the petition seem to have missed this (some have blogged things like (paraphrasing) 'We gave them our feedback and they ignored it!!!!' Um, no.).

As for the "I would like to see of your code to see if you get it right first time" thing, there are some in the community who seem to think they have discovered nirvana and so if only you follow techniques A/B/C, then yes code will be right the first time.

Personally, I am ambivalent about this. If techniques A/B/C are implemented correctly, yeah, I think it is possible. But that's a big 'if.'

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