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Patterns and Practices...suck!

I think I've made it pretty clear in the past that I think that one of the weakest areas of the Microsoft 'developer experience' is the Patterns & Practices area, don't believe me? OK, try and find an article about the Singleton pattern on the site; hint, don't use the Search feature, it returns a link to the Caching Application block  for 'Singleton' and nothing at all for 'Singleton Pattern'! When you do manage to find it (here), you may notice a few things:

1. It doesn't really explain where / why you'd want to use it, here's the 'Context'

 'You are building an application in C#. You need a class that has only one instance, and you need to provide a global point of access to the instance. You want to be sure that your solution is efficient and that it takes advantage of the Microsoft .NET common language runtime features. You may also want to make sure that your solution is thread safe. '

Which is technically accurate, absolutely...ok, so why would you actually want to use it? Some examples may help here!

2. This really isn't the easiest or even the 'best' implementation - for my money, this is - has a lot of versions explaining the benefits / drawbacks of each one.

I've complained about this before, reason I'm doing it again? I was trying to find a decent implementation of a specific pattern, the Dispatcher View - eventually I went to the Sun Patterns site and translated from the J2EE version into C#...which is a pain in the ass! I can't find the post at the moment but I read some stuff on someone's blog that the focus had been on the 'professional' developer as opposed to the 'opportunist' on the P&P site...meaning those with formal comp-sci training versus those who chose to become developers after having qualified in a different subject.
Hmm...I don't know if the UK is unusual, but I'd say that of the many developers I've worked with, around 5% have actually been comp-sci graduates - and they haven't been easily identifiable by their skill level.
I find this really annoying, patterns should be the universal language of all developers, sure, the 'Enterprise Developer' will probably rely on patterns more (as the use of patterns can greatly simplify the creation and future understanding of complex enterprise systems) but I really believe that Microsoft have dropped the ball in not pushing patterns more to the general developer community. Sites like DoFactory do fill in part of the gap but I'm still puzzled by the Patterns agnosia on sites like MSDN, even the Architecture center barely mentions them...come on, it's like building a house out of raw materials like clay and wood rather than using things like bricks and doors.

Anyway, rant over...

Print | posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2004 10:42 AM | Filed Under [ .NET Long & Rambling Patterns ]


# re: Patterns and Practices...suck!

Terrible right... patterns seems to be out of MSDN view.
7/20/2004 12:22 PM | Stefano Demiliani

# RE: Patterns and Practices...suck!

I totally agree. There doesn't seem to be the same patterns representation either from Microsoft, or the community, as there is for J2EE. The only decent .NET specific patterns repository I can think of it
7/21/2004 2:19 PM | [email protected] (Ben)
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