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What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?

Posted by Shauntir 
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avatar What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 08:55AM
I've been in the open source arena for a little while now and enjoy using some very interesting and useful technology. However, I've always been obsessed with what it would be like to develop on the .Net framework.

I've just touched on the bascis of .Net and C#. It seems very intersting and quite powerful. What I want to know is what are the pros and cons of .Net. Does it make your life easier when developing applications with little fuss. Or, is it a pain in the butt?
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 09:18AM
You might just be opening pandora's box asking about .NET on this forum, it'll more than likely dissolve into a flame war between the open source and Microsoft camps. My 2c about .NET are posted in this thread. BTW, I'm in the Microsoft camp.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 09:41AM
I have had experience using both.

It is quite difficult summing up pros and cons. I assume you refer to C#, else I would not even bother. On the OSS side I use Java with the Spring Framework.

1. (.NET Pro/OSS Con) One framework that is well documented. With OSS there is way too many frameworks. This leads to confusion sometimes in deciding on a framework before starting a project. And don't believe that someone will help you make an informed decision. Ask a question on framework pros and cons and you are sure to start a flame war.

2. (.NET Con) Being a proprietary framework, you are forced to do things the Microsoft way, which may at times be frustrating.

3. (.NET Pro) Visual Studio.NET is streets ahead of any IDE for OSS out there. I have tried Netbeans and is currently using Eclipse Ganymede. I am not even bothering with IntelliJ.

4. (.NET Pro) I believe the performance of a .NET application on Windows is better than that of a Java app.

5. (OSS Pro) Multi-platform. (I don't count Mono in here, I think it is a waste of time).

These are just o-hand for now.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 09:42AM
Hopefully another flame war does not start. I just want to find out from people who has worked with .Net for sometime, what are the benefits and pitfalls. So far I've heard mostly positive comments about .Net, so I just want to confirm them smile

EDIT: @Henry - I do agree with the statement that there are way too many OSS frameworks. It does get difficult choosing the suitable one. Sometimes, the docs aren't as good as you would hope for.

I've used PHP, Python(with the Django framework), and Ruby on Rails. Each has some really good strong points. When searching for info, PHP seems to have the most examples and solutions. You really have to search a lot for the other two.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 09:56AM
AIUI, there *are* many good things about .NET. I actually welcomed it when I first
heard of it (before it was even released). However the pitfalls are not technical but
ideological.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 10:07AM
@Goose - what are some of those ideological pitfalls?
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 10:15AM
LOL here we go...
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 10:19AM
1. The claim of ecma standardisation when a different .NET version is used and promoted
by MS.
2. The repeated claims that .NET is covered by patents and using a .NET implementation
that has not been blessed by MS is illegal.
3. The (somewhat stupid) illustration of x-platform portability using Mono as the
poster child.

If you target .NET then be aware that your application is *not* portable, no matter
what some adherents might argue. Mono is not a two-way street wrt to compatibility, .NET
can implement everything Mono can, but the reverse is not true, which leads to devs
targetting windows only under the misconception (sponsered by MS) that they are being
portable.

Any implementation of .NET can be killed off quite quickly by MS due to the patents
damascus sword. I'm not aware of any other platform that cannot be replicated due
to the vendor trying to scare off competition.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 10:23AM
Goose, I completely agree with you there.

BTW, I don't see any flames happening. Everyone seems to behaving and giving their input. No one has said x platform or language is better than z platform or language. I've asked for pros and cons, and so it seems people are adhering to that.

See we can have a mature discussion smile
Anonymous User
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 10:42AM
my 2 cents worth (feel free to correct me). There seem to be 2 popular business platforms: .net and java
.net is easier to use and the ide's almost program themselves and the dev is supa fast and money is saved. Now: why are n apps necessary in a hurry? Was the planning done correctly?
OSS ide's aren't quite as easy to use, but I find that if one has the necessary programming knowledge, this isn't an issue. It boils down to the framework, ie I could write the apps in notepad if need be (yeah, right).
I'm not sure that the claim that .net is the fastest platform for windows is true. The jee platform is very fast and is the platform of choice for telecoms companies.
An interesting question is: "who owns java?". Sun is the custodian of it while large companies like IBM and Oracle have bought into it. .net is owned by only one company. In the end, with cross platform applications improving (driving down the cost of software), OSS must become the norm and the software money being made from services.
Anonymous User
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 10:48AM
ok, I call BS on "Now: why are n apps necessary in a hurry? Was the planning done correctly?"
I seen programming done equally fast on .net and java. Potayto, potahto
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 01:31PM
I think goose and Henry have summed it for the most part.

A huge kicker for .NET has to be VS. Once you have used it as an everyday IDE, there truly is no going back.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 01:40PM
stevenv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> it'll more than likely dissolve into
> a flame war between the open source
> and Microsoft camps.

and the grammar nazis; probably you meant to say "devolve" tongue sticking out smiley



@shauntir, what's .net like? in a word: easy. same as with java, everything's done for you in a million base classes, just have to say jump and how high (maybe that's what management is like). there are no pointers or memory management, threading complexities, performance considerations or anything like that... only the

if (this) doThat(); else somethingElse(involving, stuff);

monkey puzzling. IN OTHER WORDS, BORING!! but, great for getting boring stuff done quickly and easily, nicely cross-platform because of mono etc. etc... i'm getting deja vu here from a previous osprey thread!
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 01:44PM
I did mean dissolve but that's probably a better term smile
Anonymous User
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 01:54PM
I don't think the
if (this) doThat(); else somethingElse(involving, stuff);
is the problem. That is just the "algebra" to solve the calculus of laying down an application: the interaction of components and layers and the deployment
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 02:01PM
fair play, it can be quite laborious to spell out an architecture of interacting components in c++.

btw, i only consider .net worthwhile if it has generics/template support, such power is much more easily tapped than any design pattern leveraging, for example.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 02:48PM
@Lycium - isn't there a few more 3d dev done in C# now?
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 05, 2008 03:51PM
yeah, actually i've been doing heaps of c# 3d coding for the last 2/3 months, only getting back to (.net managed, aaargh) c++ on monday.

check out the unity 3d engine smiling smiley
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 08, 2008 09:39AM
Agree with Lycium here. .Net 1 does not support generics, so it is not worth looking at.
.Net 2 does support generics and is a lot quicker than 1.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 08, 2008 09:58AM
Thanks everyone. Just went through a quick tutorial this weekend and have already started creating simple apps. Very easy to use since VS just gives you all the options you need with intellisense. No need to read the API docs smile

Hopefully by the beginning of next year I will be productive in C#.Net. Also just dowloaded OpenGL for C#.
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 08, 2008 11:16AM
Shauntir, thanks for starting this thread, it helps me too. I'm trying to go through an eBook and hopefully by Christmas I'll have a pretty good knowledge of C#. I'll be using VS so I'm happy to hear that that seems to be the way to go.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 08, 2008 11:58AM
No problem Tracey. Here is a link to a basic C# tutorial that I went over this weekend. Very useful for getting started.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 08, 2008 05:06PM
I will add some more .NET cons to the list.

The vendor behind .NET can and will drop support for it whenever they see fit with no regard for there customers. They have a proven track record of this.

The vendor behind .NET can and will exclude certain things from the platform as they see fit to prevent you from competing with them. They also can and will cripple the platform so that there product can outperform yours when they decide that they want to take over your products market. They have a proven track record of this as well...

--
"Knowledge has much better uses than self-pity and superiority"
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 08, 2008 08:00PM
@malcom Good points made here.

This is why I'm looking into MONO instead and for DB either MySQL or PostgreSQL. Being vendor locked will bite you in the ass.

--------------------------------------------------------------
Don't Assume Everything is a Nail Just Because You Have a Really Big Hammer
Anonymous User
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 08, 2008 08:34PM
has anyone seen the ungodly speed of web service development, data persistence and deployment on enterprise quality app servers using java 1.6, jee 5 and netbeans 6.1? I reckon Sun has shown the eclipse crowd that it can't be counted out smiling smiley. EJB 3.0 will certainly give .Net a run for their money
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 09, 2008 07:57AM
Valid and good points Malcolm. I think competition is healthy for any competitive industry. I don't agree with the way M$ may take out the competition though. However, it seems that this is still not enough to 'kill' the open source movement.

I'm extremely happy to work in the open source environment. The only 'problem' I have is that there are sometimes too many apis/frameworks to consider when doing a project. This is also an advantage since you are spoiled for choice.

@Rick - I think the Java platform, the JVM, is an excellent piece of engineering. It seems to only be growing and has so many other languages that now compile to the java byte code. The language itself may be a bit frustrating at times but languages such as Jyhton and JRuby have a great future on the java platform. I don't have any experience in developing web apps and services on java but I don't think java is the best for web development - personal opinion.
Anonymous User
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 09, 2008 08:06AM
I think what puts a lot of people off Java (my opinion here) is that MS has patented its look and feel. This will automatically scare off newcomers.
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 09, 2008 09:10AM
Personally I see complaining about too many choices as laziness. All programmers seem to be inherently lazy but they should fight against this if they want to make good programs tongue sticking out smiley

Lots of choices are a good thing, programs are complex and can(should) be tackled in many different ways, the right way should be picked(If available) more choices means more chance that the correct way for your particular program is available.

Wanting one choice instead, that you force to fit all situations leads to bloat and inadequate programs. (Phrases such as "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" and "Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole" apply here)
If you can't take the time to choose the right libraries to make your program in(And I mean really choose not ask someone else what to choose - although getting opinions should be PART of the choice) then you should not bother at all(IMHO) - Okay perhaps that is a bit harsh but just trying to get a point across :/

Quote
Rick
I think what puts a lot of people off Java (my opinion here) is that MS has patented its look and feel. This will automatically scare off newcomers.
I think Javas biggest downfall was being embraced and extinguished by Microsoft.
The incompatible version of "Java" released by MS lead people to believe that Java was not as good/cross-platform as it actually might have been. Suing Microsoft just made the problem worse as people who used that JVM then had unsupported code that would not run anywhere at all... Most of these people likely saw Sun as the evil party and switched to .NET rather then fixing there code to work on a real JVM.
In addition to this the horrible lag of releases that happened on Linux for a large period of time and the absence of an x86_64 version(That wasn't ancient and made by IBM) for very long further cemented this opinion within the open source camp.

The Open source camp (generally) also likes to make programs that run on all sorts of bizarre architectures(An area where Java fails and likely will continue to fail - Porting a VM to strange architectures is just too much work, it is easier to use C/C++ in a cross platform manner like this.

--
"Knowledge has much better uses than self-pity and superiority"
avatar Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 09, 2008 09:26AM
Well I agree that more choices is a good thing. It would not benefit anyone to use a specific platform or language for all types of development. I certainly would not use ruby for a 3d rendering engine. The right tool for the right job smile

What I do like about .Net is that for windoz based apps, it is probably quite easy to develop in. For linux, I enjoy using python. Lets face it, there will never be a truly cross-platform language, framework or virtual execution system in practice. That only exists in theory.
Anonymous User
Re: What is it like to develop in the .Net environment?
December 09, 2008 09:35AM
yeah, watching cross-platform java and c++ development will make for interesting viewing. I think that java will carry on in its strengths, ie: enterprise and c++ will carry on in its strengths, ie: thick client apps. This is a very broad classification as not one is "better" than the other, just that the Java enterprise platform is more mature.

I think that java and c++ will be used in different directions and work together (that's the nature of OSS) because they're all OSS now.

Malcolm, your statements regarding java were all true, but since Sun open sourced java, the releases are coming out faster. Java is becoming another OSS tool.
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