If nothing else, it is becoming clear that Telerik's current model (though cumbersome for some) has managed to accommodate a wide range of developer desires. Telerik may want to reflect on the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mantra for a few minutes.
That said, I am never one to shy away from change that brings improvement. A growing consensus in this thread seems to be that we as developers still want each product delivered separately so that we can more flexibly choose when and what to update/use.
Lots of the frustration with the current model seems to stem from difficulties we have in managing upgrades, hotfixes, and new product introductions. Some of the common complaints seem to be:
- Many of us customize the control resource files to fit our unique applications (a good reason not to compile those files) and maintaining those customizations is difficult during upgrades and hotfixes
- When applying hotfixes, it is a time consuming task to identify the files that have actually changed (in an effort to avoid replacing files that have not changed so we do not have to modify hotfixed files with our customizations).
- The sheer volume of files, folders, and "traditional" assemblies that we have to maintain for each control can be tough to keep up-to-date and deploy (especially if you install the entire suite or manage multiple sites)
I think it will be difficult to please everyone on this one- those that want to customize want the flexibility the current model provides and those that want to use the controls out of the box want to simplify the management process.
Maybe Telerik should think about methods (within the current product model) to manage and deliver hotfixes and upgrades in a way that will be less disruptive to existing projects and easier to deploy to existing sites. I am not sure what that looks like, but I'm sure someone reading may have a thought.
And while this discussion is all well and good, the current system is not terrible for me. I'd much rather have the brains at Telerik coming up with the next great Telerik control than figuring out how to build a tool/process to deliver smoother updates. But that is (as we all say) just my $.02.