Thank you for your extensive feedback. Let me try to address your concerns:sample project
The samples come in a single application, similar to the way we present our ASP.NET controls (www.telerik.com/r.a.d.controls
). The idea was to recognize the format of the samples, but with a different, more Vista-like looks. You have properly observed that it is a little slow at the moment, due primarily to the sheer number of examples. QSF optimization is one of the main tasks for the next major release, due in April. We are also planning on restructuring the examples to take less resources, and to be able to accommodate new controls and their respective examples. For example, a basic grid control will have at least 20 examples which, as you can imagine, will be quite a burden to the current app.
Any suggestions on QSF optimizations are very welcome and will be properly rewarded.learning curve
As with every new software one comes across, there is some learning. We will do our best to flatten the learning curve so that it is easy for our users to find the information they need faster and be able to understand the innerworkings of the product. What we are currently working on is:
- enhancing the help manual - we will provide more How-To's and better description of the frameworks itself, as well as the API
- video tutorials - WinForms video tutorials are in the works, hopefully we will have the first batch uploaded at the end of next week
- Knowledge Base - this task is with high priority for the next release. We are still gathering customer cases and ideas which we will provide articles for, but the first articles will be live next week
- we will also push the community to share their knowledge and implementations through our Code Library - this may not have a direct impact on the learning curve, but will surely help you with the development process.
control functionality, not application skinning
Our framework was build with both in mind - adding new functionality and creating new controls is quite easy. At the same time, you can easily skin the products to fit your case.
Our research shows that skinning and animation are some the most cumbersome tasks that a developer has to do. This is the reason we have supplied a powerful (and easy, once you get the feeling of it) tool which you can use for this task - the Visual Style Builder. This tool can also separate development from design, so that developers and designers can focus on different parts of the application at the same time. As you can imagine this can cut costs in the long run, by shortening the time needed for development and design.
As to core functionality, there are still many essential controls missing from the suite, namely a grid, a treeview, an editor, etc. These will gradually appear in the suite with each new major release so it will be a good idea to check back with us regularly to see how far we've got.
The installation should have installed the controls in your VS2005 toolbox. We are not sure what the reason for not doing so is, but we will be glad to investigate it further if you provide us with more details on your machine and OS. Was your VS2005 running when you installed our controls? Did you have a Windows Form open in the designer when you checked for our controls? I am attaching a screenshot of what the toolbox looks like after a clean installation of our controls.
As noted above, we plan to add new controls to the suite with each new release, and we plan to add the most requested ones the soonest. Time will come when we will have all essential controls that are needed by a developer.
Indeed, r.a.d.controls for WinForms could be viewed as "yet another WinForms suite" in their current form, however the benefits are not just in the products the suite offers any more. Rather the experience is becoming more and more important - how easy it is to use one suite vs another, how quickly can a control be set up and ran, how customizable it is, how much power you have over the product itself, and how much resources you have at your disposal (docs, articles, videos, live support, frequent bug fixes, personal care, etc). Our focus is not on being the "largest control set on the market". Rather telerik has managed to stand out of its competition be providing very good developer experience, many features, ease of use, and excellent support services.
I hope that you will see the benefits of our WinForms controls with the new release, scheduled for April. If not, we will be happy to hear and discuss your thoughts on each new release.