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Joel on Software

What can .NET do?

This question should be asked about every "new technology" (or those technologies dressed up in marketing hype as new).

What can .NET do which I can't already do more easily, and more efficiently with free software?

Chris
Saturday, September 21, 2002

Define "more easily."

Define "more efficiently."

I had a big long rant written here, but I think I'll just say this: considering that there are what, two, three free implementations of the CLR out there, you can code with .NET and STILL use free software!

Go Mono!

Chris Tavares
Sunday, September 22, 2002

Visual Studio .NET is arguably the most productive development environment.  ASP.NET blows away anything like ASP or PHP or anything similar.  Developer productivity for web apps can be up to 3 times more.

.NET in general is designed as more powerful, faster, system, a strong contender to Java.  From the bytecode and textual assembler language on up, .NET shows great design and true flexibility. (Reflects a few billion dollars of development).

What can you do?  Well, pretty much anything.  Most developer tasks are much simplified in .NET.  And productivity with VS.NET is just amazing...

Michael Giagnocavo
Sunday, September 22, 2002

You ask: "What can .NET do which I can't already do more easily, and more efficiently with free software?"

Short answer: nothing. 
Your productivity (your company's productivity) is more dependent on competent developers than any tool/architecture out there.  I'm sure VS.net is a fine tool; so is IntelliJ.  You can put an idiot behind each one of them and come out with awful sluggish code and bad design practices.

IT managers (like the ones at my company) are fooled into thinking that if they give their low-end developers this great tool, they'll code better/faster.  Not gonna happen.
I've seen *consistantly* that having higher experienced  programmers will make the project come in on schedule, with less bugs, with better performance, and WITH LESS PEOPLE.  That last one is where the company cashes in.

Pete
Sunday, September 22, 2002

In answer to the second reply; really fast, compiled virtual bytecode? Nothing I've seen yet beats python. Not in terms of speed or development time.

Everything else written here; I agree completely. So it seems that at the end of the day this is yet another development platform. Only it has the disadvantages of being a) immature b) closed source c) expensive.

I think it's best to stick with what I have until I am presented with a single actual advantage to using .NET.

Regards,

Chris
Monday, September 23, 2002

"Immature" -- in released age yes. But the Betas were thrashed far and wide by an enormous number of developers since 2000 and it definitely doesn't feel immature.

"Closed Source"? -- http://msdn.microsoft.com/net/sscli/ (actually it's "shared source" if that make s difference to you)

"Expensive"? You can use whatever editor you use for Python for editing code (i.e. VS.NET is not required) and the runtime, compilers etc are free: http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/downloads/

Dunc
Monday, September 23, 2002

.NET costs nothing.  You can download the .NET framework and use notepad or textpad or whatever to edit your sourcecode.  You can compile C# source using csc.exe and VB.NET source using vbc.exe.  The target machine will need the .NET runtime installed on it to run any compiled .NET code.

Tim
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Wow, thanks for the info & suggestions. I'm going to investigate .NET on my chosen platform a bit closer now.

Regards,

Chris
Thursday, September 26, 2002

.NET will lock you into an OS vendor.  That costs money.  If you go in the direction of .NET you will not be able to take advantage of other less-expensive/better-performing operating systems.

Pete
Thursday, September 26, 2002

A: .NET is an ECMA standard, unlike j-brand.  There are various open source projects, and ones like Mono are making huge progress.

B: The TCO of staying with one large vendor is much less than cobbling together various other vendors.

Michael Giagnocavo
Friday, September 27, 2002

Not when that vendor is a monopoly.

.NET is an evolution of Java.  There's not much you can do with it that you can't already do with Java, but .NET makes it much simpler.

Ya plunk down your $$$ for VS.NET and the Windows license and such, then you just start coding.

With Java, you have to match the appropriate JDK to the application server and get all the disparate libraries together and such.

*right now*, .NET will lock you into Windows.  The other projects do not provide 100% of the libraries and technology that .NET on Windows does and they are still in Beta.  Simplicity vs. platform and vendor choice.  Which one matters the most to you?

Richard Ponton
Tuesday, October 01, 2002

i thought .net was really just a soap/xml interface?

curt finch
Saturday, October 05, 2002

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