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It's Just a Demo

Pete Brown - 02 May 2007

The productivity messaging hasn't changed much since last year. I argued last year that these unrealistic start->full app timelines tossed out during the keynotes really hurt our industry as they set out very unrealistic expectations. Last year it was all about the famous WPF kiosk application for The North Face. Despite how it was presented in the keynote, it was far from production quality (and had close to a year's worth of development left) - it was just a very impressive demo.

I just finished attending a "real world WPF and Silverlight" session here at MIX07. During that session, the speaker talked about how long it took to build out certain apps. One app in particular, the BBC Radio 1 application (which was shown in the keynote), was very impressive - especially considering it was completed in "3 weeks with 4 people"

Of course, it was just a demo. He didn't say that in the session or in the keynote, he said it in private at the end. Yes, some things were hard coded, corner cases were not tested, code was written to support the demo, not to support a real app, no performance testing was conducted etc. Don't get me wrong, it's a very impressive demo. It's just not a production application. As he said in private, they would eb able to reuse "some things" in a production version, but they'd have a lot more work to do.

Perhaps most people understand that these are prototypes or demos, but from my discussions, many business decision makers do not.

So, feel comforted! We're not all slacking off when we take three to six months to build something real :)

posted by Pete Brown on Wednesday, May 2, 2007
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