Citrix Receiver for Windows v13 is finally multithreaded! (Shhh... Don't tell Citrix I told you!)

One of the cooler things that's happened for Citrix recently is that they've managed to hire Lee Rautenberg, the inventor of pcAnywhere, to join them as a principal software engineer.

One of the cooler things that's happened for Citrix recently is that they've managed to hire Lee Rautenberg, the inventor of pcAnywhere, to join them as a principal software engineer. (This is actually pretty awesome and ironic, since back in the 1990s I described Citrix as "like pcAnywhere, except with multiple users accessing the same computer at the same time.") Citrix was very excited to have Lee come on board, and when he started they sort of asked him, "Ok, so what do you want to do first?" As I understand it (and of course this is second hand), Lee's response was basically, "Well I've always thought your client was s***, how about if I take a crack at fixing it?" (Of course I'm sure the actual conversation was much more politically correct, but that was the gist.)

Long story short, Lee's involvement in the client software ended up with it being rewritten as a multi-threaded application. (To be honest I never really even realized it wasn't multithreaded up until now.) Lee realized that many times when the client was just sitting there seemingly stuck, it wasn't actually the network or host being slow--it was due to some subroutine being stuck on the client. So fast-forward to today, we have the Citrix Receiver for Windows v13 beta client with Citrix "Mach 3" technology, including a multi-threaded client!

Hooray!

You'd think the story ends there with everyone being happy and giving Lee a bunch of high-fives, but there's actually more to the story.

Citrix to their CTPs: Do not disclose what's already public

On Thursday I tweeted about a video posted to Citrix TV of an interview that fellow CTP Robert Morris did with Lee Rautenberg about Lee's background and the new features of the new Citrix Receiver v13 client. It was a great interview and definitely worth watching. (A CTP is a "Citrix Technology Professional," a prominent member of the community whom Citrix recognizes and shares long term roadmaps and strategies with.)

Unfortunately the video was short-lived. Despite the fact that the video was shot at Citrix headquarters and posted on Citrix TV, one of the higher-ups at Citrix decided the video disclosed too much NDA information (specifically around how Mach 3 works and the planned release schedule) and they decided to pull the video. At this point, as you can imagine, the CTP mailing list popped with activity, with most of us reminding Citrix that you can't "delete" information off the Internet. I mean sure you can pull the video, but you there's no Men In Black neuralizer pen that will make everyone forget what they saw. And the video was 100% public. No logins or anything were required.

At this point I understand that s*** happens, and I'm actually ok with Citrix pulling the video. Sure some information got out, but whatever, it's their video and they can do what they want with it. Where it gets weird is that Citrix further asked the CTPs to not blog about the contents of the video. They reminded us that some information in the video that was disclosed is protected by the NDAs we signed with them, and that as such we're obligated not to talk about it. This seems totally crazy to me, because again that video was available to the whole-wide world for more than an hour, so it's weird that Citrix doesn't want us CTPs to blog about it, but an employee of VMware or Quest Software or a regular customer could blog to their heart's content. So this is weird, but again, if Citrix wants to ask this of us then I guess that's their prerogative.

But where the really, really crazy stuff begins is that Citrix asked us not to "disclose" how the new beta client works. So not only was this all "disclosed" by Lee in the video that was posted to the whole world, but the Citrix Receiver v13 client is a PUBLIC beta. Anyone can download it and figure out how it works on their own! (I actually double-confirmed this over the weekend: I created a brand-new MyCitrix account with with my personal Gmail address and I was able to download the Mach 3 beta client no problem.)

This puts those of us who are CTPs in an awkward position. On the one hand, Citrix is implying that their ability to share information with us is predicated on our agreement not to disclose information that's NDA. But on the other hand, we're telling them that they can't just slap an "NDA" label on information that's already public and expect us not to blog about it, especially since if we don't, someone else will.

At the end of the day, I understand that Citrix isn't a monopoly anymore and so they have to be more aware of how and when they release information to the public. I just hope they can contain their craziness and remember that anything they put out in public will be talked about in public, and locking CTPs out of a conversation that's happening anyway doesn't help either of our causes.

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Ah, so this was what all the fuzz of the tweets was about and the witty CTP=Citrix Trained Parrots.


Good move Brian to go public with that retardness.


By the way, is Citrix Mach 3 in anyway related to Gilette Mach 3? Maybe that Lee fella will introduce Citrx Mach 3 Venus edition for the tech savvy ladies :)


en.wikipedia.org/.../Gillette_Mach3


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There are multiple discussion points in this thread (pun intended): Warning - attempt at humor follows:


1. Updated Citrix Receiver


2. Citrix pulling content it owns (yeah, Citrix TV can be censored)


3. Hiring of industry veterans to gain a FRESH perspective


4. CTP disclosures (NDAs or NADA, NADA, NADAs)


1. It is great that Citrix is evolving the Receiver. They have to, especially as their oferrings increase in complexity, they'll need an auto-update technology and self-service component. Welcome to the year 2002.


2. Mach3, Mach4, Mach5 .. anyone see a pattern? It's "Back to the Future" - Gilette wants their Speed Racer back.


3. Hiring of Industry veterans. Every company should refresh it's perpsective or at least look across the lanscape every couple of years. Otherwise, you'll be paying out big bucks to simply catch up.


4. CTPs provide an invaluable service. They listen, comment, get to drink the kool-aid, and even sometimes influence direction. Way to go.


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This is exactly the kind of thing that I was referring to in my product leadership comments in the link below i am willing to bet this is being blocked by the XenDesktop powers that be. It certainly smells like them.


www.brianmadden.com/.../a-message-from-appdetective-to-mark-templeton-can-we-count-on-citrix-to-be-enterprise-class.aspx


So to be balanced I did not see the video, but I did hear it had dates, so fair that they pulled it. But trying to deny multi threaded when there is public beta just shows that there are too many marketing execs and not enough technical leadership at Citrix which directly impacts their release quality also.


Hopefully they can be made to understand this and just share what seems like really good innovation on the client.


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This whole thing is quite silly. I was specifically asked to not discuss multithreading which I thought was quite silly since anyone with Process Explorer can clearly see the threading differences between the two clients. Just a case of too much marketing on this case I think. As AppDetective said I get it that you don't want dates disclosed, but the rest of it???  I don't get it. But then again I didn't get it that the CTPs heard about the release of XD5 at Synergy Berlin either. So much for insider info / NDA eh?


Shawn


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Well put article, especially like the explanation of the CTP dilemma. If something is public, no matter how it came to be so and no matter how short of time it was, how can they expect the CTPs to keep quiet when others can discuss freely?


It is my opinion (and just that) that one of the reasons they wanted it pulled was that someone felt it put the current client in bad light. Nothing could be further from the truth. The current client is great, and I feel the best option on the market, especially when accessing a system to remote control over the WAN/internet. The new client architecture just makes it better - why wouldn't you want that message out there loud and clear. Beats me.


For the record, I was very proud of that interview with Lee. He is an extraordinary individual and a real positive for Citrix. His work has been nothing short of incredible throughout his career, and the new client is no exception. Citrix has asked me to come back down to Florida an re-shoot another video inteview with him, I have agreed to do it. Still waiting on the details of when they want it done.


They are also looking at a suggestion I gave with regards to putting the video back up for internal Citrites, partners, and clients under NDA. I truly hope they get it back online so everyone can learn more about the architecture.


In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to get the v13 client from mycitrix and try it out. They have extended the beta period until end of January. Go to www.mycitrix.com, sign in, downloads, xendesktop (although it works with XA as well) betas/preview section, and download it.


I know Lee read this blog above by Brian, so you could drop your messages about it here and I'm sure he'll see it.


Great work Brian on bringing this issue to light. Great work Lee on giving us all the next generation of client architecture, we look forward to a successful beta!


-Robert Morris


www.twitter.com/agsi_rmorris


rmorris@agsi.us


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