In short, they’re fat. I’ve spent the entire morning installing Visual Studio .NET, and all it’s prerequisites. The damn thing is gigabytes in size, and I’m only installing it because I need it to do some work on their “Content Management Server”. Oh, and Biztalk needs it too. And they both need SQL server. And IIS. And Frontpage Extensions. And Internet Explorer extensions. And so on. And Office, I think.
Compare this with Ruby Rails – a little MySQL DB installation, a little Rails installation, maybe some GEMs – and a text editor to do your development in. I know it isn’t exactly a like for like comparision – you can create lots more than Web applications with Visual Studio – but given that that is what we’re dealing with in the CMS product, I don’t see why it all has to be so complicated. It’s like taking your entire collection of Snap-On tools to fix a leaky pipe – when a pipe wrench will do.
And the installation speed! Slow doesn’t cut it. Hours for Visual Studio, despite the fact that I could copy the entire DVD in less time.
All in all, I’d better be impressed with the functionality of all this, ‘cos right now I’m looking at the pipe wrench thinking that it is small, cheap, flexible and easy to use.