#MSBuild a Non-Starter

I’m back on Twitter. Dang it. But it’s cracking me up that Microsoft’s (virtual) developer conference #MSBuild is getting so little attention on the platform.

Compare and contrast this with Apple’s WWDC. There’s more activity with the #WWDC tag right now, and that isn’t for another couple of weeks.

I made a post about the lack of excitement around Microsoft’s conference.

Twitter bubbled that up from my no-name, 2-day-old account to some other rando who responded (nicely). I replied that this basically proved my point, and then THAT response got retweeted by some .NET-oriented bot.

Look, I don’t really like Microsoft, because of their long history in abusing their monopoly position, but their platform has enabled about half of my career, so I still want them to announce cool new stuff, but there’s really nothing going on. They’ve gone to the mattresses to get Visual Studio Code, Windows Services for Linux, and their rewritten terminal accepted by the developers of the world over the past few years. And, sure, there are plenty of fanboys of this development environment, but I just don’t get it.

VSCode is a heavy editor/light IDE, and I don’t want that product. Sublime Text is a blazingly-fast, lightweight text editor, with all the features I need for editing Rails applications. WSL2 is just a Linux virtual machine with hard-coded defaults. I’d rather install VMware or VirtualBox, and take total control of the setup. I get the feeling that the primary users of Microsoft’s latest toys are Javascript developers who are constrained to use Windows because of corporate policies, and, sure, that’s a non-insignificant number of developers in this world.

So far, this seems to be the highlight of MSBuild 2021: Quake mode for Windows Terminal. You know, that gimmicky little feature that popped up in Guake on Linux… <checks Google> 14 years ago? Look, I know it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but “HUGE EARTH-SHAKING?” LOL. No.

Unfortunately, while I was able to install Windows Terminal on my work laptop, the preview build doesn’t install. I don’t know if that’s because of corporate policy or the fact that I’ve got the wrong build of Windows. The company, surprisingly, just updated the build corporate-wide, but I wonder if this requires a preview build. On the other hand, I don’t care enough to sort this out.

About the only thing I want to see from Microsoft is a cross-platform UI widget set that you could use from .NET Core to write native apps across Windows, Linux, and Mac. But people have been clamoring for that for 20 years, and there’s not even a hint that this will ever happen, for a lot of very understandable technical reasons. However, I suppose it’s primarily a function of the age-old scavenging problem. Everyone wants this, but this would open the door for a lot of companies to choose not-Windows for desktops, and Microsoft can’t give up that revenue.