Rob Caron

Developer-related topics and other stuff.

Write about the 'here and now', or the 'soon to be'?

Write about the 'here and now', or the 'soon to be'?

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Last month, I wrote a post about Community Technology Previews (CTPs) and what I thought about them (Team System Community Technology Previews (CTPs)). On Friday, Josh Ledgard wrote an extensive post (Adding to, but not Perverting the Beta Process) in which he addresses some concerns (Beta Perversion) raised by Rick Strahl, a Visual Developer MVP.

While I agree with most of Josh’s rebuttals, I also find myself agreeing with Rick on several points, too. For example, Rick wrote:

What makes things worse is that the computer press will pick this up and immediately flood technical articles with this new and exciting technology with ultimately worthless and premature articles that will be obsolete a few months later.

Considering that there are only so many people in the world that write books and articles on software development in general, and .NET development in particular, there’s essentially a starvation economy with content as a commodity. If too many people focus on the technologies and products that are still under development, who’s writing about the stuff that’s available today?

What about 1.0 products? When is the right time to write about them? I think back on the deluge of books that was published for .NET long before it shipped, and I can’t help but wonder what to expect for Team System.

  • I think market forces work on this. If people write lots of Team System books right now, well, someone has to buy them. If the don't sell, publishers won't comission more. Same things with articles. Are they getting read? Are the links getting forwarded? Then the reader certainly percieves them as being of value, and the site that publishes them sees value also. If they get few hits, then sites won't comission more of that content.

    Which is worth less, an article that talks about something you can't use and that will change, or an article that rehashes content that's already out there?

    Ultimately, people vote with their mouse...

    IMHO, all content should be news you can use today. Even if it's written about the here and now then it should be something you can put into practice. If it's about the "coming soon", then it should be written in such a way that it affects your planning.

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