I do not want, what I do not need

What is the point I am making here? The point I am making is this : To find something one really needs in the MSDN ocean, one needs to spend 90% of time, in order to discard 90% of information encountered on the “path of discovery”, which I would call “path of MSDN misery” most of the time.

And most of the time, those unneeded 90% are generated by MSDN “evangelists” and “ideologists”1 , In MSDN or anywhere in Microsoft universe (as far as I know) there is no this top-level classification :

  1. Essential (aka:core)
  2. Specific (aka: additional)
  3. Nice to have (aka: vertical, aka: specific architecture)

Imagine if all of the MSDN material tagged with only these three simple tags? With maybe: experimental and legacy added. Then imagine you go into the MSDN, and the first thing you do is click on the cloud on the tag “Essential”. And as a result of that the good old dreaded MSDN tree view is all of a sudden pruned to being manageable ! Ah, sweet dreams … Back to reality.

The same is perfectly applicable to the issue of bloated software packages Microsoft and others are currently packaging and selling. I am not familiar with , let’s say Adobe CS5, but I am very familiar with Microsoft software. Thus I will use Visual Studio as an good example. Now imagine this simple classification “ideology” applied to let’s say Visual Studio 2010 packaging and installation ?

For example, I do want only the core of Visual C++ functionality. The barebone IDE, the compiler and the debugger. Nothing else.
With the current Visual Studio 201 setupo this is just a distant dream, and a source of great annoyance.
Allow me to dream a little bit? So I fire up this imaginary VS2010 setup and I choose:

1. Essential, and then 1.1 Visual C++

And voilá. I have only essential pieces of Visual Studio 2010 jigsaw, which are enough for C++ basic editing, compilation and debugging.
I play with this for few days and then I decide I would like to use something bit more realistic for my projects. I fire up again this alas imaginary Visual Studio 2010 setup and , this time I choose:

2.specific and 2.1.ATL

And I have added ATL to my current Visual Studio 2010 C++ IDE, without adding anything else in the process. With all the interdependencies resolved, and kept on the minimum. Something current Visual Studio 2010, user C++ developer, can only dream of.

Who knows, maybe after reading this post, someone will develop n-Lite for Visual Studio? A tool which will allow users to have lean and functional Visual Studio 2010 installations, vs “I am taking over your machine” kind of a approach Visual Studio 2010 has.


1. Who sometimes need to prove the point of their own existence and salaries. I understand that. But then why not just move all of the “idelological” material out of the MSDN onto the blogs of the “ideologists”? I am taking here about all “recommended practices” and articles and all CodePlex projects.