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Downloading Microsoft's DSL Tools

March 15, 2005 16:51:47 +0200 (EET)

After hearing from Aali that I could try out parts of Microsoft's Software Factory support without needing two server-class machines I could reformat just for the test, I set off to find the download. The first I found, the DSL Tools download, nearly knocked me off my chair: it was only 3MB! Just before I started looking for another job, I noticed that it required separately downloading a Visual Studio beta.

There was a link on the right to download the beta mentioned, so I went there. That was 25MB, which sounded more believable. Looking more closely (I'm off work with sinusitis, so this takes a little effort), I noticed this wasn't actually Visual Studio itself, but a "VSIP SDK", which in turn required the actual Visual Studio beta.

The actual VS beta however requires an MSDN subscription - even just to see how big it is. Some indication is given by the fact that you can order the beta on DVD or a CD stack... A little Googling revealed that the original VS2005 CTP was 2.6GB, and it looks like Beta 1 Refresh is a whopping 3.5GB.

So, the DSL Tools are less than one thousandth part of VS 2005. To be honest, that fits with what I have seen of them (no offence to the authors, I know it's early days yet). But it is vastly out of proportion with the hype that Microsoft has been creating around them. Insofar as the hype is about domain-specific modeling, it's justified: DSM is already changing the face of software development. But insofar as the hype is about Microsoft's tools, I think they'd be wise to talk big and hide the tools for now. Oh wait, that's pretty much what they're doing :-).