One of my chief passions in life is programming, and some of my best times at work is spent working on software projects. Unfortunately a good part of my day is spent managing and trouble-shooting various servers and technologies at work, so it’s difficult to find a sufficient block of time to immerse myself in development work.
So what’s a developer to do? Switch to faster and more productive platforms to get the job done. And so when microsoft released the .NET platform, we became an early adopter. In Web development, ASP.NET offers great improvements over its predecessor, ASP. ASP.NET affords a faster development time than the classic ASP, and additionally it offers a number of useful controls (ready-to-use, pre-packaged software components) to facilitate the task of presenting data to the users.
When a recent project called for a grid layout to be presented to the user, the component to choose was DataGrid. This is a very useful control that can be programmed to display data to the users, and with some additional coding it allows users to page, sort, update, or delete data among other tasks. Providing all this in the classic ASP would have taken considerably more time. So why am I not happy with DataGrid? Because the next version of ASP.NET (version 2) comes with a brand new grid component, called GridView, that makes DataGrid look too archaic and cumbersome. Only problem is that we’re a still a few months away from the release of ASP.NET 2. Knowing that an easier and more powerful component is on the horizon, should I pause and wait for its arrival, or should I plow ahead with the existing component?
This developer’s quandary is certainly not exclusive to Microsoft products nor Web development. Developers everywhere must make choices like this everyday. I suppose it makes life more interesting, but I’d still rather spend my energy developing applications than being stuck at a fork in the road.