what does this application do?

Aug 2, 2011 at 10:53 AM

The cardinal problem with the Silk application, and for that matter with all P+P example applications, is that authors never, ever describe what the application actually purports to do. The application authors/documenters make a lame sort of effort to describe what .Net features or techniques they attempt to demonstrate/employ in their applications, but they assume the user/developer has an infinite amount of time and patience to click himself joyously to tears or death figuring out what the application does and how it works.

So, dudes, you've told us your application show-cases fancy JavaScript, Html 5 and IE9 bells and whistles. But what does your application purports to do? If I weren't interested in the technicalities of your application, why should I use it? How should I use it? What does it do?

Aug 2, 2011 at 12:57 PM

This application does nothing important. It only shows some data in graphs. Like most of other P & P examples, very simple and unrealistic.
It seems that P & P do not dare to come up with a real application, such as customers and orders with Master-Details Scenarios. No, they think of some weird usecase and build an application with some graphs in it and a very simple form and they call it Show Case.
It seems that even "stock trader" is too difficult these days!
But do not forget that "this application is according to the Microsoft's security team very safe". Guess why ;-)
In my opinion it makes no sense to feedback on this project, because the code will not be change, but only the documentation!

Do not waste your time on this. Get a book on Html5, JQuery and CSS3 and you will be better off. This is just too superficial and unrealistic and does not address any of the pain issues of webdevelopers like me.

Aug 2, 2011 at 2:45 PM
Edited Aug 2, 2011 at 3:37 PM

>> application does nothing important . . . [is] very simple and unrealistic.

I cuncur with you. I also sympathize with the disdainful tone of your post. Albeit the Silk application seems stupid and useless, its authors need not feel ashamed or embarrassed. If the boys of Silk aim merely to demonstrate a technical trick or two or three, their simplistic application is perfectly fine with me. I don't expect them to be geniuses capable of inventing ground-breaking applications. That's what we do. That's why they work in technical positions at Microsoft.

However, I expect them to describe in lay terms what their application does. I don't want to spend an inordinate amount of time by clicking left and right and center on multiple screens/pages, trying to figure out what the f*ck is going on. Understanding how a lowly mortal uses their application helps me understand more quickly the underlying technicalities.

Aug 2, 2011 at 3:38 PM


Did you read the documentation yet? For example, from the page 15 "Using Mileage Stats"?

And after you clicked a while, go and read the page 13, where it says "The reference implementation is intentionally incomplete".

By the way, the developers are great. They have done fantastic work in the past. But the project itself is too small and simplistic.



Aug 2, 2011 at 6:35 PM

First of all, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

mefmef, I'm sorry you weren't able to find the information you were looking for about the reference implementation. Where did you look/expect to find it? We would like make finding it more intuitive. Currently it is on page 8 of the Introduction under the section "Exploring the Mileage Stats Reference Implementation" where it states, "Mileage Stats is an ASP.NET MVC application that enables users to track and compare various metrics about their vehicles including fuel consumption, fuel costs, miles driven, and maintenance reminders." We also did a demonstration video you can see embedded on the front page of the site when you run it. Karl also linked to a webcast from his blog that shows the RI, but I understand how the videos aren't easy to find. We'll see what we can do about improving that.

About the reference implementation. It's important to understand the reference implementation we provide is only a "means to an end" with the "end" being the guidance. We strive to pick a scenario that is small enough for you to understand quickly and easily (because you shouldn't have to become a domain expert in order to grok the guidance) but substantial enough to warrant a real-world scenario. Cyberdude3, from the user's perspective, you're right about the app not doing anything important - it's doesn't even have enough features to be used as a real mileage tracking application. And that is the result of many intentional decisions. We prioritize application features (for example, the ability to reorder vehicles) based on how well the feature provides us the opportunity to share guidance about it. Suggestions welcome.

As far as the RI being simple, stupid, useless, and unrealistic, I would appreciate it if someone could elaborate a little more. As you can tell from reading the Introduction, we were primarily focused on building modular, maintainable JavaScript on the front-end that uses Ajax to provide a richer user experience. The way we factored the front-end into jQuery UI widgets, how those widgets interact with each other and the infrastructure pieces (pub/sub, data retrieval & caching, etc.) as well as providing unit tests for the front-end wasn't trivial to implement. The many advisors on the project assured us this was a worthwhile problem to address and that we were addressing it in a way that could help others succeed. If you disagree or were looking for guidance you didn't find, I would be very interested to hear more from you.

Thanks again for your feedback. It is always appreciated.