Hey, guys. I apologize for being absent for so long from this space, but this time of year it’s hard for me to find the time to do things like blogs. Now, that might sound a bit odd; after all, as a Microsoft Scripting Guy, isn’t it my job to do things like scripting blogs? Well, to tell you the truth, it’s not. People always say to me, “Man, what a great job you have, just sitting around writing about scripting all day.” And you know what: that is a great job; it’s just not my job. In reality, I don’t spend much time during the workday writing about scripting; I do other more … important … things. If I want to write a blog or do a Webcast, I pretty much have to put that stuff together at home. Now, I don’t mind doing that (well, not too much anyway) but because I coach baseball my evenings are pretty much booked between March and August. So expect the postings to be sporadic for the next few months. I’ll try to get something posted on a regular basis, but not only am I coaching, but I also volunteered to take care of standings and stats for our league as well.
(Well, actually, I didn’t volunteer, I just mentioned when I signed my son up that it would be nice if we kept the standings on the league Web site this year. Next thing I knew, I was conducting scorekeeping clinics and compiling stats and doing all sorts of stuff like that. I’m still not sure how that happened.)
I have a confession to make, though: even though I am posting something today, I’m also cheating a bit. That’s because I’m just posing a question rather than providing some any kind of scripting information. (You can always tell when bloggers are getting lazy, because they start saying things like, “I’d like to turn this blog over to you, the readers, for awhile.”) As I think I mentioned awhile back, while we are generally pleased with the TechNet Script Center we’ve also been somewhat disappointed in the fact that the Script Center has not evolved along with the interest in scripting. In fact, the Script Center hasn’t evolved at all; it’s basically in the exact same shape it was 100 years ago (albeit with about twice the number of scripts we started with). And that’s a problem. For example, we have over 1,200 new scripts we’d like to add (as a point of reference, we have a little over 900 scripts there right now). These scripts run the gamut: IIS scripts, Virtual Server scripts, a few Exchange scripts, Services for Unix scripts, etc. So why don’t we add them? Well, up until now, the categories for the Script Center have been writ in stone; we have not been allowed to create new categories, and have been required to file new scripts under those existing categories. Based on that, most of our 1,200 new scripts would have to be unceremoniously dumped into the Computer Management node. That sounded like a usability/discoverability nightmare, and so we have been reluctant to do anything with the new scripts.
But now, after over a year of negotiating, we have been given the right to do the Script Center ourselves. That means we can change existing categories, create new categories, delete old categories that don’t make much sense. It also means we can create a dynamic home page, we can “advertise” things like Webcasts, we can post content quickly and easily, we might (and I emphasize the word might) even be allowed to post scripts submitted by – gasp! – non-Microsoft people. It’s gonna take us awhile to learn the ropes of self-publishing on Microsoft.com, but we think it will eventually be cool. Way cool.
So here’s the question I wanted to pose: what do you think we should do to the Script Center? We have some ideas, but we’d like to hear what people who actually use the Script Center have to say. What would you like to see? What wouldn’t you like to see? Give us your wish list. Obviously there’s no guarantee that we can, will, or will be allowed to do the things on your list, but, hey, who knows; after all, about a year ago we were told that there was zero chance we’d ever be allowed to actually manage the Script Center ourselves. Who’da thunk it?
Anyway, if you have ideas for the Script Center and if you have ideas for helping us create a true scripting community, either post them here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, guys!
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to start thinking about the lineup for Saturday.