I wanted to clear up a bit of confusion I’ve seen around the web about ASP.NET MVC and the .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. ASP.NET MVC was not released as part of SP1. I repeat, ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 does not include ASP.NET MVC.

What was released with SP1 was the ASP.NET Routing feature, which is in use by both ASP.NET MVC and Dynamic Data. The Routing feature is my first Framework RTM feature to ship at Microsoft! We also shipped a bunch of other features such as Dynamic Data, and this short list of breaking changes.

I hope that clears things up and I apologize for the confusion.

And for my next feat, I’m going to try and read your mind, oooooh! Right now, you’re thinking something along the lines of,

Ok, so ASP.NET MVC didn’t ship as part of SP1. When is it going to ship?!

Good question! Scott Hanselman once quipped that it would ship in a month that ends in “-ber”. He also recently quipped,

Anyway, Phil has always said that MVC is on its own schedule and will ship when its done. Possibly when Duke Nukem Forever ships.

That Scott, he’s so full of quips. ;)

In any case, he’s right in that MVC is pretty much on its own schedule since the first RTM version will be a fully supported out-of-band release, much like Atlas was back in the day.

The MVC team really doesn’t want to rush the first release. We’re taking the time to do the best we can in laying the groundwork for future releases. My hope is that we’ll have very few, if any, moments where we we want to make a breaking change because we didn’t provide the right amount of extensibility.

At the same time, we also really want to get ASP.NET MVC in your hands in an RTM form soon so you can start using it for your clients who are uncomfortable working with a beta technology. Trust me, we are not in the business of the “perpetual-beta” and are working towards an RTM. As Scott pointed out, our hope is to get it out before the end of the year. But as most of you know about how software scheduling works, anything can happen between now and tomorrow.


As we move towards the tail end of the development cycle, we’ve been pushing hard to get our bug/approved change request count down, which I recently twittered about. I asked Carl, our tester, to print out an Excel graph of our bug count over time. It feels really good to walk by his office every day and see the line trending down towards zero (though occasionally, it ticks up a bit). I think it’s a huge motivator to try and fix and close out work items.

At the same time, this graph is for our benefit only and not something we’re being evaluated on by any managers, which is extremely important. One of the dangers of any metric is that developers are smart and they’ll do what they can to optimize the metric. For example, the danger with this metric is that we might be tempted to not log feature requests and bugs. Joel Spolsky wrote about this phenomena when measuring the performance of knowledge workers a while back,

But in the absence of 100% supervision, workers have an incentive to “work to the measurement,” concerning themselves solely with the measurement and not with the actual value or quality of their work.

Since we’re the only ones who care about this graph (nobody is looking over our shoulder) and QA is very motivated to find bugs, I think it’s a safe to use as a fun source of motivation. For the most part, watching the graph move towards zero feels good. Those are the metrics I like, the ones that inspire positive feelings among the team and a sense of forward motion and momentum. :)