The empty ASP.NET MVC project template should be empty
When you create an ASP.NET MVC project from the empty template, it's not empty. Right now you get Entity Framework, jQuery, jQuery UI, Knockout and a CSS file. That's not empty. It may be useful, but it's not empty.
For a lot of projects, these dependencies make sense, so it would probably make sense to rename "Empty" to "Basic" and to create a new empty template that is in fact empty.
The same applies to an empty controller: Why does this contain an index action and a comment about the route that may not match your actual routes?
Check out the new Empty and Basic templates in ASP.NET MVC 4.
Phillip Haydon commented
@Rick - are you referring to February Beta? Then no it hasn't been fixed.
This has been fixed in MVC 4 Beta
@Richard, we've already decided against including links to CDNs in the templates across the board. We want offline to work out of the box. That said, in the future we'll be investigating more resource/asset management features that could allow us to also include CDN paths with local fallback. Still working out the details, but thought I'd share.
Richard Astbury commented
...and jQuery could be loaded from a CDN.
I asked @anglicangeek if they'd just put more options in the new ASP.NET MVC project dialog so we could select in more detail from an actual empty project up through a opinionated new project - like a buffet, take what you want.
Totally right. The current so called Empty project template needs to be renamed something like "Less Verbose" and there should be an Empty project template. Total empty.