Q&A with Shawn Nandi on the ASP.NET Starter Kits
Do you foresee additional Starter Kits in the future? If so, what areas do you see these addressing?
I think it's very foreseeable; we're always looking at ways to make developers even more productive. In terms of specifics, we've opened the forum for community feedback on the current kits (www.asp.net/forums), and we'll focus any future kits on the feedback that we receive in those forums.
Did Microsoft actually develop these products? Or, did they acquire them from members of the community?
The kits were developed through a collaboration between Microsoft and third parties who are members of the ASP.NET community.
Can developers within the community get involved or help with future ASP.NET Starter Kits?
Sign up to the www.asp.net forums. There is a ton of great discussion going on for a variety of topics that the ASP.NET development team monitors daily. The discussions and feedback are all taken into consideration for future directions of ASP.NET.
What is the chance that the code in the ASP.NET Starter Kits will be portable to other .NET implementations—such as the mono project?
It's conceivable that another company or developer could do that, but there are no plans at Microsoft for such an implementation.
When do you believe these will be released as "final products?" And, what form factor do you think the release will take—or how do you see them being released? CD? Downloads?
The ASP.NET Starter Kits will be in public beta on 2/11 at http://www.asp.net/starterkits/; there is no set time for a final release because it will be based on the feedback from the beta. I anticipate that this process will go quickly, though. The final release of these Starter Kits will be distributed as a download on www.asp.net and through Compact Discs distributed at developer-focused conferences.
Which of the kits do you like the most? Which do you think is the "coolest"?
I love them all equally, but if I had to choose, I'd have to pick the Community Starter Kit. The fact that you can get a community site complete with discussions, photo albums, download section, and a newsletter mailer up and running in 10 minutes is very cool.
What is next? There was ASP.NET, then Web Matrix, now the ASP.NET Starter Kits. What can we look for [anxiously] next?
If I told you that, there wouldn't be anything to announce! At this point, we're focused on taking feedback from the community about how we can make ASP.NET better. It's likely something will come from that because these projects like Web Matrix and the Starter Kits are our way to give back to the community that is contributing so much to our development process.
Thanks for your time, Shawn. Are there any other comments you'd like to make to our readers regarding these products?
If you ever find yourself in need of a discussion board, shopping cart, photo album, data reporting app, portal, or catalog of any sorts—stop coding and first check out the Starter Kits at www.asp.net/starterkits/ and let us know what you think. They just might save you enough time to actually take next weekend off from work.
Shawn Nandi is the Product Manager for ASP.NET and ASP.NET Web Matrix at Microsoft.
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