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MEF home page is far too vague

May 23, 2009 at 4:06 AM

I've seen any number of blog entries go by that talk about MEF. So I've looked at the home page several times, and every time I just walk away.

The reason is that the introductory info is just far too vague. I really don't have a good idea what problem they're trying to solve. For example, they talk about reusable components. Well, fine, I can create a C# class that creates a window and returns its contents. That's a reusable component.  But clearly they're talking about something else here, but what the something else is, isn't at all clear. And don't talk to me (yet) about how Contracts and Catalogs and Composition Engines help. Since I don't understand the issues, the details are irrelevant.

What's needed is presumably just a few paragraphs giving a few real-life scenarios, what the problems are, and how MEF addresses them. And no, the Samples link doesn't give any hint as to what's going on.

I'd probably download the library and play with it, if I thought it addressed problems I have. But what's out there now just doesn't give me enough idea about what's going on with it. And with everything else on my plate, I don't have time to investigate everything.

Please provide, at the very least, a useful overview. Why was this library created in the first place? What problems was it trying to solve.

Maybe then I'll be able to get excited about this package. Until then...

Jun 10, 2009 at 4:09 PM

I completely agree with lrs.

As a professional it is hard to find the time to look into new frameworks, tools or similar, if they don't seem to solve the problems you are trying to solve.

I want to integrate a form/page designer into a software, and googling around for components to use (instead of writing my own), MEF seemed to be the answer. Now I have looked through your samples (nice to play tetris for a minute or two), the file explorer and the outlook thing.

What can be achieved with MEF?

Please answer in a down to earth manner. :)

Jun 27, 2009 at 4:20 AM

FWIW, there's now some documentation (courtesy of VS 2010) up on MSDN that has a better introduction to MEF. Find it at

Jul 6, 2009 at 3:39 AM
Edited Jul 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM

I this opinion.

The conceptual overview is somewhat lacking, although the nitty-gritty details are plenty. I am already confused by all these similar sounding ComposableXXX objects, yet haven't a clue what the big picture is. The big words like "Component-Oriented Architecture" may sound impressive, but they don't provide enough flesh to grab onto.

Please help us see the forest through the woods. :))