A standard part of my development kit is Microsoft's Visual Studio. Here's what I have to install to get a current, complete version of Visual Studio 2005 on a new PC:
- Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite Edition
- Visual Studio Team Explorer (Team Foundation Client)
- Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1
- Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista
- SQL Server 2005 Express Service Pack 2
- Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals
- Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals Service Pack 1
Note that this is only a partial list; it doesn't include any of the other Visual Studio add-ons you might need to code against newer Microsoft technologies, such as ASP.NET AJAX, WF, or .NET 3.0.
What's wrong with this picture?
I appreciate that some of these products were released out of order, which is partially why the install is so convoluted. But if one of the disadvantages of open-source software is "configuring the stack", I'm having a hard time seeing how Microsoft's commercial stack is any easier to configure than the alternative open source stacks these days. Either the open source stuff has gotten a lot more streamlined and mature, or the Microsoft stuff is somehow devolving into complexity. I'm not sure which it is, exactly, but the argument that choosing a commercial development stack saves you time rings more and more hollow over time.
As the old adage goes, Linux is only free if your time is worthless*. But apparently your time can be worthless even if you've paid for the privilege.
* attributed to Jamie Zawinski.