Drop Posted - Nov. 2

Topics: Enterprise Library Core, General discussion, Pre-release discussions
Nov 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Hello everyone. Just wanted you to know we've just posted our latest source code drop to Codeplex source control.

There's been a bunch of bug fixes, and some more work on the validation block (including making the ObjectValidator polymorphism-aware), but the biggest change is that the old design time is now gone. We've cut our total DLL count almost in half!

If you're tracking the drops, PLEASE take the time to try the new config tool and give us your feedback. It's getting pretty late in the cycle and we haven't gotten anything from this community, positive or negative, about it yet.



Nov 3, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Hello Chris

is there a way to configure also the unity config section with the new config tool. I couldn´t find anything.



Nov 3, 2009 at 5:19 PM


Not yet. We're going to be revamping the Unity configuration schema anyway in the next week or so, and then we're planning on building tooling for it.



Nov 11, 2009 at 4:37 AM
Edited Nov 11, 2009 at 4:44 AM

Hi Chris,

I just want to give comments about the new config tool:

I noticed that it has been changed to xaml from a windows forms(obviously) :) . It seems like that the look and feel that has been there since the 2.0 (i guess) version is lost. everything changed. I didn't even know how to add a application block unless I've clicked the menu bar, unlike from the previous version that there is a "Application Configuration" node, do some right click and there you can add the blocks. I think it developers/users of ent lib that are familiar with the previous versions of the tool would take a while to get used to the new tool.


What is the reason for changing the whole look and feel of the config tool?




Nov 11, 2009 at 9:53 PM


The config tool UI has been pretty much unchanged since Entlib 1.0, actually. We wanted to refresh it a bit, and we started by doing usability testing at a couple of conferences (TechEd and one other I forget). We got a cross section of people with a variety of levels of experience with Entlib from never touched it to used it recently. The test was fairly simple: we gave everyone a set of configuration tasks to perform and recorded them as they did them. The tasks ranged from "turn on logging" to "log exception type <foo> to a database".

Not one of the respondents finished the script. This was a very bad thing. If people who've recently used Entlib can't even do them, what chance does anyone else have to figure it out? Needless to say, it rapidly became obvious that the tool needed a lot of usability work.

While we were at it, there were just a ton of other annoying usability issues as well. For example, acres of blank space in the windows, tons of meaningless icons, a strict tree display for data that isn't a tree (like the logging block configuration), poor keyboard support, having to mouse to the tree to add a node, mouse to the property window, then back to the tree, then back to the property window, etc... Basically, it needed a lot of work.

We worked with an interaction design firm to come up with the current design. The goal is to be more discoverable than the old tool, make it easier to get to exactly what you want to change, and make the relationships between elements more obvious. Did we succeed? Well, we're not done yet, but I already like the look a lot better than the original tool.

Anyway, that's the reason. Hope it make sense.