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Are people using .NET? +Some slick software...

Regarding Joels comment in his recent API War article where he says "And yet, people aren't really using .NET much" and trying to taking into account the broad generalisation issue (< 10 000 000) - I feel that quite a few people are using it.

Mind you I am a company using solely Microsoft Technologies and it is such an improvement over ASP/COM.  We are based in London and I think a lot of people are switching here.

It is a good development platform, I think it is quicker to develop in and the tools are good - so the overall cost of development to the investors/company is lower.  I would be interested to know if any of the other language platforms (such as Java) are as quick to develop in as .NET?
It feels like a lot of companys are being drawn into using .NET because it is cheaper to develop and maintain software in/with.

Some people are doing some pretty cool things with it - just noticed these guys who have some very cool software (tree controls):
http://www.telerik.com/Default.aspx?PageId=1828

Pete
Friday, June 18, 2004

I've been using .NET on and off for about two years now, and every day for the past year or so.

I have to say I love it, but I only use ASP.NET, no need to think about WinForms so far.

Steve Jones (UK)
Friday, June 18, 2004

Can't be that slick, their web page returns an error...

el
Friday, June 18, 2004

Yeah but that's the point isn't it?. ASP.NET is truly a great step forward over ASP but what Joel meant, I believe, is the use of the .NET framework CLIENT-SIDE. Here, uptake has been very slow.

So when people are saying 'we are using .NET' I believe 99% of them mean ASP.NET which is not really the point Joel was making.

Andrew Mayo
Friday, June 18, 2004


Wait for the XP SP2.

From what I've read, it appears to re-write some of the memory management layer, so it actually breaks the .NET compilation model.  Therefore, a great deal of .Net code (c# most likely) will have to be re-written to be functional.

This is only what I have read so far, I haven't been able to get a beta to do any testing.

KC
Friday, June 18, 2004

"From what I've read, it appears to re-write some of the memory management layer, so it actually breaks the .NET compilation model.  "

Do you have a source (citation) for this?

I.e., what did you read?

Mr. Analogy
Friday, June 18, 2004

Where I work, we've been doing some pretty rad .NET stuff (ASP.Net and Web Services) for over two years. The place I work before that did an ITunes-like web service system with a DHTML client (hows that for irony??).

The place I'm going next is doing a pretty huge WinForms client, but it's for internal use.

Aaron Boodman
Friday, June 18, 2004

A year ago we released our first .NET WinForms/WinForms & Web Services app and with solid sales we've never once had a problem or call about the framework. We do sell everything on CD, so the download objection doesn't apply here.

We've evaluated every platform for creating Windows apps, and the .NET WinForms route won out hands down.

As for controls, those are nice, but there are plenty of others that I personally like better out there. Check out http://www.componentsource.com in their .NET section for most of the major ones available.

As to XP SP2, we tested on the beta and none of our code was broken. It's a 55,000 loc app mainly shuffling around and displaying data, all within managed code, so YMMV.

  --Josh

JWA
Friday, June 18, 2004

When you read Joel's article you have to keep one very important thing in mind.  Fog Creek Software writes inexpensive commodity software.  In order for this business model to succeed Fog Creek needs as many customers as possible, so the installion naturally needs to be small and ultra-easy.  No configurations or runtimes can be required. 

My company sells a Windows Forms-based application to a niche market for a very high price.  This is exactly the opposite of Fog Creek's business plan.  We control the software installed on the system and place all the required software on a CD.  On a 650 MB CD the 20MB runtime is very small. 

To conclude, if you want to sell non-commodity software like large web applications or niche Windows Forms applications the runtime and API is usually not an issue.  I believe that Joel's point is that if you are looking to develop commodity software with the .NET Framework then you're out of luck. 

Brent R. Matzelle
Friday, June 18, 2004

ASP.Net is fine for developing web applications - I have been using it for about 2 years. 

Is it better than JSP / PHP / Perl / name your poison here?

That I am not sure.  But what really tick me off is the deliberate way Visual Studio .Net (in reality, the only IDE for .Net Applications)  destroys valid HTML and CSS coding.

Some examples - the formatter will strip double quotes from attributes, turn lower case tags into upper case, and reformat the indentation on the html code.  Even with all the "yes, I am happy for VS.Net to screw around with my code" options turned off.

Ken Ray
Friday, June 18, 2004

I'm often amused at the sell job people try (and seem to get away with) with internal applications.

Just this past week I saw a demo of an in-house web application that had warts all over it, no user security at all, and was clearly either a rush job or purely a hack job.  Every time a stumbling block was encountered or a question arose, the answer was "the next version is .Net and will fix that" or ".Net will take care of that."

At least keeping count of these absurdities helped me stay awake through the 2-hour (!) demonstration.  I counted 37 instances.

The presenter was clearly no developer, but I was amazed how facile he was at weilding this canned response in answer to any of the product's flaws or foibles.  Clearly the development team (or more likely it's PM) is full of... well you know.  But what do you think the odds are that CrapApp.Net will significantly improve upon 1.0?

My primary role in my day job is no longer as a developer.  I still get dragged in as a mentor and troubleshooter though.  Appallingly I am finding that .Net "developers" are more clueless and worse hacks than typical ASP and VB developers of a few years ago though - and that's saying a lot.  Project management is also getting scary, being dominated by secretarial and presentation skills and completely out of touch with development reality any more.

Anyone else seeing this trend?  Anybody have any idea what is driving it?

Bob Riemersma
Saturday, June 19, 2004

"Is it better than JSP / PHP / Perl / name your poison here?"

As someone who has used all of these, I would answer, "Yes, absolutely." Even Joel agrees (1). So does the rest of the web development world; ASP.Net-like solutions are in progress for J2EE (2) and PHP (3).

"But what really tick me off is the deliberate way Visual Studio .Net (in reality, the only IDE for .Net Applications)  destroys valid HTML and CSS coding."

It's the designer which does this; it has sucked royally since the days of Visual Interdev. The easiest solution is to not use it. You can do this by right-clicking ASPX and ASCX files and selecting "open-with", then selecting "source code editor".

If you find that you miss the designer, download ASP.Net WebMatrix and use it only for ASPX editing. You can associate it with files in VS.Net the same way as the text editor.

(1) http://joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html "...developing for Microsoft's web server. ASP.NET is brilliant; I've been working with web development for ten years and it's really just a generation ahead of everything out there."

(2) http://java.sun.com/j2ee/javaserverfaces/index.jsp

(3) http://wact.sourceforge.net/

Aaron Boodman
Sunday, June 20, 2004

You can change the default for how VS.NET opens XML and HTML pages in the options -- either in the text editor (maintains your formatting) or in the designer (is stupid and screws up everything). Needless to say, the useless option is the default!

Chris Nahr
Sunday, June 20, 2004

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