Volta thoughts

A month ago Microsoft released Volta, which is a technology preview, but to my surprise not very many reactions have been published. Sure, it's been the holiday season, but even so, and some of the comments weren't as positive as I had been expecting either. I quite often find that early comments to newly released stuff are overwhelmingly positive. However, when COmega was released a few years ago, it was also a bit quiet, and then a few years later some of the COmega pieces received very positive comments (such as LINQ). That said, here are a few comments about Volta I have written after a VERY quick look.
  • Several of the early comments were reactions to how making the network jump implicit again seems to be a step backwards after the recent trend of making it explicit. Sure, I also reacted to that, but as I see it, design never goes out of fashion. You should still make informed and conscious decisions about the design regarding network jumps. Volta gives you a very simple programming model for doing it.
  • The new idea (new to me at least) with Volta is the IL to IL-rewrite. An example that is shown is to use declarative annotations to a Volta WinForms application and thereby make it distributed and with asynch methods. This is just an example of the rewrite-technology. What's the next thing we'll find we need in this space? Very interesting!
  • Retargeting is also very interesting of course. The current example of that is to write code in C# and retarget it to JavaScript.
  • Volta promotes a focus on the core, a focus on the interesting stuff, the domain problem. The other stuff (infrastructure/plumbing) just distracts and shouldn't uglify our code. That's pretty much what I talk about all the time, but Volta's approach is pretty different from the route I normally take.