Is .NET overkill for Desktop Apps?
I write desktop and small utility applications in Delphi for the company I work for. The nice thing about using delphi is that the apps compile to a single exe (no deployment hassles, dll hell etc), OO framework, and generally the apps are pretty fast. Some of the utitlity apps are small enough that can still fit on a floppy. We may have to start look into converting our desktop apps to .NET, so that we can be .NET compliant and have one code base (server-side apps are in .NET). I don't mind, and I am not complaining, if this is going to keep me employed, but I ask myself what benefit is this for the consumer of the software (internal and external customers)? If a user of the software wants a copy of some of the software, all I have to do is email them an exe (usually 2mb or less) or put it on a floppy and hand it to them. Now in the .NET scenario, I have to make sure the user has the runtime engine (20 MB install), the latest version of IE, the latest windows updates. Plus, I don't know if there will be any noticeable performance gains in a .NET app. All in all, it seems like .NET is overkill for desktop development. I can be totally wrong, and I am willing to be corrected.
"I have to make sure the user has the runtime engine (20 MB install), the latest version of IE, the latest windows updates."
If the customer has the framework, which is getting closer and closer to being an acceptable assumption, .net can actually yield some tremendously tiny "binaries" - An interactive modal dialog app with a couple of labels and buttons that set value yields a release "binary" of 6.6KB.
You say you "must" switch from Delphi to .NET. But if you are already succcesful in Delphi, WHY bother switching? You have Delphi code that works. You would have to rewrite from scratch on .NET (and you know how popular that is on THIS web site). :-D
Besides, if you want to build web applications to paying customers, I understand that Delphi can build ActiveX controls. If they don't mind being restricted to an IE-compatible browser, I think you should give it a shot before diving into server-side scripting with ASP.Net.
Um, you do know that Delphi 8 for .NET was released last week, right?
Delphi 8 for .NET was _announced_ last week, not _released_. It will be a while yet before it is finalized.
Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
I finished an application (3000 LOC C#) a week ago. I worked with the client feedback. I think I sent +-20 versions by email. The actual exe is 50k.
"I think I sent +-20 versions by email. The actual exe is 50k.
A one-time penalty, yes, but that's a killer penalty if you are distributing your software online. You obviously can't email a 20MB file and asking users to download it is a dicey proposition unless they HAVE to have your software. If a dial-up user (and yes, there are still lots of them) has a choice between your app and someone else's, and your installer is 20MB bigger, guess which one the user's going to try first?
They are already pushing out the .NET Framework with Windows Update. It shows up in the list of updates for you to install, right next to WMP 9 Series.
Delphi can produce small EXEs too.
If you're distributing commercial grade software, you can NOT assume the customer has the .net framework.
"If you're distributing commercial grade software, you can NOT assume the customer has the .net framework."
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