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One Runtime to Rule Them All

Great article.  Turns out I'm not the only one who feels like they're drowing in all the Microsoft technologies coming down the pipe -- it's like drinking from a fire hose.

However another way of looking at it is that the Raymond Chen Camp has reached the end of the line.  Win32 API is so complicated, messy, and full of "hysterical" crud that its dominance is doomed.

Given that, and the emergence of the web as a new platform, Microsoft had little to lose in creating .Net.  The old API is dead; long live the new one.  And also the factor of Java, not mentioned in the article.  .Net is this: a better Java.  The real test of a new API is its ability to run on lots of devices: cell phones, watches, and sewing machines.

Ian Rae
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"Given that, and the emergence of the web as a new platform, Microsoft had little to lose in creating .Net."

Sure they had a lot to lose.  They've lost thier "network effect" (based on backward compabitility).

If .net had been backward compabible with VB 6 then nearly 100% of those programs would have been migrated to .net.

But since vb.net is really vb.not, then it's a level playing field when choosing the next language for your programs.

I.e., I have vb 3 programs that need a rewrite (for architecture reasons).  If .net were backward compatible, it would be a no brainer: port & refactor.  As it is, though, we'll probably go with Delphi.

That's 18 programs that will move from vb to Delphi, not .net.

But, what do I know?  I'm just a Windows developer. I'm not really the target customer for .net, right?

Mr. Analogy
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"One Runtime to Rule Them All"

Great line, by the way, Joel.

Mr. Analogy
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"That's 18 programs that will move from vb to Delphi, not .net."

That's absolutely crazy.  Have you even _tried_ to move them to VB.NET?

Run the upgrade wizard, run through the task list, done. I did  a 3000 line lump o'code from VB6 to VB.NET and it took me a morning, and that's including turning option strict on, and ripping out the ON ERROR GOTO crud (yeah, it still works in VB.NET, but yech :P )

I cannot believe people advocating moving to a completely different language because VB.NET finally cleans up the disgusting gank that VB6 had become.

Talkative
Wednesday, June 16, 2004


"That's 18 programs that will move from vb to Delphi, not .net."

In enough time you'll be porting those to something else besides Delphi....

JT
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Mr Analogy said "Sure they had a lot to lose.  They've lost thier "network effect" (based on backward compabitility)."

True, but as pointed out the complexity of the old technology was killing it anyway.  Most VB6 programs end up making raw Win32 calls for certain features, and the complexity and gunk goes way up.

Also, Microsoft is trying to play it both ways; they're keeping VB6 around *and* creating .Net. 

Ian Rae
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

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