Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




The Linker : The right tool for the right job...

Joel S. wrote:
"Michael wrote an application to do this in C# with WinForms in about 60 seconds. It's a great development environment.
My job was getting countdown.exe to run on three computers. Sounds easy."

I agree that .NET is a great development enviroment  but doesn't it seem overkill to have to distribute the whole .NET framework (20 mb +) for Desktop/Utility applications? 
Never mind that many people may have broadband connections, or that it comes with service pack 2 for WinXP, it is the principle of the matter.  Hypothetically speaking,  I write a little utility program (less then 1mb in size) and then I want to distribute it around the office and I have to ask  "Does the machine have the runtime installed?"  or  create a honking install package for the .net runtime, which would take longer to put together than my little 60 second app.  It seems that I lost all of my gains in development time with trying to package and distribute the damn thing.

With all of that being said,  would't I want to use a tool that gave me the same productivty gains in development and was equally productive in distribution and deployment i.e. the right tool for the right job?

Fortunately there is such a tool for these kind of applictions and it's called Delphi.  I'm not trying to jump on the language advocacy bandwagon here, but Delphi is perfect for desktop and utility applcations.  In Joel's scenario, if he would've developed his countdown app in delphi, he would've developed it in about the same time and deployed in less time (or whatever time it took to copy the app from it's media to the machine). 

So the question is not about "language advocacy", but using the right tool for the right job.    I would compare this scenario to Delphi being a nice lite weight, easy to use cordless drill and I would liken .NET to being a Jack Hammer. Each is great to use in its own enviroment.

Smitty
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Unfortunately Delphi is based on pascal which has left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths after using it at University in the early nineties.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, January 29, 2004

" based on pascal which has left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths after using it "

People with bad tastes in their mouths due to morning breath, garlic, or using pascal should :
A. Brush their teeth
B. Use Scope

Think of Delphi as the new Minty Fresh pascal.  It is guaranteed not to leave any after taste or ordor.  You can even give a kiss to your significant other, after programming
and he/she will come back for more.

Smitty
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Pascal  was one of the first languages I learnt, it was/is a beautiful language - a pity it is not taught anymore...

Prakash S
Thursday, January 29, 2004

You forget though; you only need to do the framework packaging job *ONCE*. And Microsoft's already done it - the runtime redist is already there as one file.

You need to amortize the effort across all your little utility programs.

As far as Delphi goes, well, it's a choice between a free runtime and compiler, and spending $700 or so on Delphi. I'll take free, thanks.

Chris Tavares
Thursday, January 29, 2004

" it's a choice between a free runtime and compiler"

Chris, more power to you.  I take it you don't need VS.NET for development (which is not free)?  Do you use notepad as you're development enviroment (cause that's free too)?

Smitty
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Pascal left a bad taste in my mouth. Visual Basic gave me chronic diarrhea. Assembly left me with a nervous tick. C++ was tolerable but caused occasional vomiting. Java caused extreme constipation. But I was constipated no matter what I ate. Perl resulted in loss of memory. Linux caused my hair to turn white, and I sat in a chair like a retarded kid, no matter what country or IBM commercial I was in. Extreme Programming made me fart every 5 minutes and claim the room smelled better.

Lisp gave me multiple orgasms.

Bogart
Thursday, January 29, 2004

The inevitable "use Delphi" instead of (whatever) post. 

Glad we finally got that out of the way...

Let's not spoil it by mentioning that Delphi 7 is a disaster and Borland has completely lost its way as a viable company...

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Smitty,

Haven't heard of SharpDevelop?

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, January 29, 2004

To overcome the version incompatabilities is a simple matter of binding the executable to the run-time with the application.config file.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnnetdep/html/sidexsidenet.asp

The size of the distributable is a matter, but considering the fact that if you abide by the ecma standards you will be able to compile and run anywhere.. oh wait.. wasn't that java..hmmmm

Neros Voks
Thursday, January 29, 2004


SharpDevelop has a lot less than VS.NET but if you like free...

http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/

John Ridout
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Any shareware editor for $30 has syntax highlighting for C# these days, and a GUI debugger is included in the free .NET SDK...

Chris Nahr
Thursday, January 29, 2004

VS.NET is "free" to me when my employer already has MSDN subscriptions, which they do for the OS and server product licenses.

Or, you can always use SharpDevelop for free.

Chris Tavares
Thursday, January 29, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home