I’ve started playing with the Oslo bits a little, and I thought I’d share a couple of thoughts on the platform and its tools:
M – The Language
M is an interesting beast, but to me the most interesting part of the platform to start with. In particular, I’m looking forward to playing with the MGrammar stuff.
I’m not thrilled about the close relationship between M (and its tooling) to SQL, though. In particular, I really think that Don Box and friends really need to find a better example to introduce Models and M; it was painfully obvious (at least to me) during the M language talk that many people just weren’t getting it.
IPad is an interesting tool. It has some useful features for developing M models in the M Mode and MGrammar modes; there’s some good stuff on this on the Intellipad Team Blog. Right now, I’d expect IPad to continue being an important tool in the M developer’s toolkit.
However, what I have not seen really is good justification about why we needed a new text editor. I get the emacs.net analogy, but I have yet to see how creating it was a better option than adding functionality to Visual Studio, where is where most developers would expect to find that functionality (yes, I’m very well aware of the irony regarding how bloated VS already is).
Look and Feel
One thing that really caught my eye was the look and feel of the Oslo/CSD tools: It’s very minimalistic, and can be seen in the WF 4.0 Workflow designer, Quadrant and Intellipad. I actually find it rather appealing (though a bit weird at times), but I don’t expect this state to last; too clean for MS :-).