Saturday, September 4, 2010

Is Mvvm Light Right For You?

I wrote in “DevForce Meets Mvvm Light” about how easy it is to use these products together on the same application.

Is “Mvvm Light” the way to go?

There is no right way to go. You have choices. There is Prism to consider. I’m a big Caliburn.Micro fan too.

But those may be a bit daunting for folks just starting down the MVVM road and perhaps you don’t need their sophistication for your application … yet.

I recently asked Laurent to give me the name of an Mvvm Light expert to help me build an example. That was before I downloaded the product. One look and I had a healthy laugh at myself. You don’t need no stinking expert to use this “framework”. It’s pretty darned obvious.

It really lives up to its “Light” name. It is truly almost instantly accessible. To be honest, many of the applications our customers build would need more infrastructure than you’ll find in Mvvm Light. He made some choices that are too lightweight for these apps.

But … and there is always a but … I sense this is a great way to get into the water and it will float you a nice distance before you decide you need something richer (and more obtuse).

Maybe you’ll never need “more”. I’ll bet that, even if you do, you’ll be able to merge or port your Mvvm Light work straight into whatever framework you ultimately adopt.

I’ll admit it; I’m a geeky guy with a weakness for unnecessary complexity. The angel on my shoulder says “cut your audience some slack and introduce them to Mvvm Light.”  The devil on my shoulder says “come on … they’re going to need the heavy machinery and you make your living showing off … this Mvvm Light stuff won’t burnish your reputation for arrogant sophistication!”

Today, I’m listening to the angel. I think. Sometimes I can’t tell which is which. Whatever.

Here’s some recent praise from other high-profile luminaries who favor Mvvm Light.

From: Billy Hollis
Sent: Friday, September 03, 2010 7:40 AM
To: 'Ward Bell'
I prefer an approach of starting simpler and building just the complexity needed instead of starting complex and just putting up with all the complexity. I consider MVVM Light, for example, to be a better starting point for the majority of teams.


Jonathan Goodyear’s editorial in DevProConnections Magazine, August 2010

We reviewed several frameworks, among them Microsoft’s Prism and Caliburn. … we felt strongly … that the framework … should have as few moving parts as possible. Our team has a couple of designers on board, so compatibility with Expression Blend (or “blendability”) was important as well.  I think that we found a near perfect match in MVVM Light.

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