Csharp Literature And Interviews

FUD alert: at the end of the article, the C# product manager slams Java and tries to smack write-once/run-anywhere by quoting Gosling as supposedly saying it is nothing but a bunch of marketing hype. There's a link to that interview, and if you read it, he really says that there are limitations on certain platforms (embedded devices, for example) but that overall his point is "Java is -- a glue layer that tries to make "write once, run everywhere" as close to true as it can be."

If it were someone not as big as Sun or Microsoft, we all probably wouldn't notice it in this state. There are many great or foolish innovations touted into this world every day. Only few make it to a noticeable size like Napster or Real managed to do. -- MarkoSchulz

It's an incredible feat to create web services based only on standards like XML and not proprietary technology like DCOM, Corba or RMI.

Um, Corba isn't proprietary technology.

It's an incredible feat for this all to run on any platform.

Maybe it's accurate to say that in this case, since we're talking about MicroSoft. But realistically, none of this stuff should be platform-specific. It shouldn't even rate a moment's thought. -- AnonymousDonor

I think one think to mention is Sun is getting a lot of attention because they ARE making more and more political headway. Two years ago, J2EE was a laugh. Today, it's very difficult to convince people in corporate IT shops to do anything else on the server-side. They've pulled a political and marketing coup with J2EE; they've not only won over the app server vendors, but also the IT shops of the world. This when barely a year ago the IBM/Sun rift had us all biting our nails.

The major innovation I see with .NET is the CLR, but I also see that having the toughest acceptance among business people, precisely because of the difficulty of maintaining a knowledge pool of several languages. This means people will probably stick to C#. From a C# + SOAP perspective, I don't see that it's significantly more technically advanced than Java. Throw in a little VB.NET, and you have a nice synergy going between a GUI language and systems language, but I've heard there's some rumblings about legacy support in the VB camp considering how different VB.NET is from VB6 ("Visual Fred" is the term I've heard).

So I guess the question is: is .NET really beating Java at its own game, when that game more and more becomes enterprise software and embedded software? I think .NET is really about creating its OWN market, to thrive alongside Java: web services. -- StuCharlton

FWIW, Stu, I think the two will compete head-to-head in the enterprise space with or without WebServices. Existing MicrosoftFirst? shops will happily evolve to .NET. Shops already using some flavour of Java will likely continue using Java. What I don't expect to see, though, is for a shop to start using MicrosoftDotNet and then migrate to Java because they're not happy with it. The alternate path may occur, though. -- DanGreen (who apologizes if this is off-topic)

''Yes, don't listen to Microsoft. Don't even listen to impartial developers using the product that have experience with other platforms such as Java and still say .NET is superior (such as myself). Play with the technology yourself! It's freely available. Explore .NET's frameworks for web forms, win forms and data access and try and find a superior technology that will be absolutely prime-time ready in 12 months (when .NET will likely ship). Please do let us know if you find it. -- DanGreen

I didn't write the 'FUD alert' comment above. Although the things I read by you and others, here and elsewhere sound good, I am still a little bit skeptical since in other places there were so many great things promised, some turned out to be much less exceiting, some just never happened. Java or Taligent are just two on the list. You know much more about CsharpLanguage and the CommonLanguageRuntime than me, so I cannot really argue with you about it. But I fully agree with you, that many decisions and opinion, here and elsewhere, are not based only on the facts but also heavily on other factors. This is sometimes good, sometimes not. -- MarkoSchulz

The .NET Framework SDK is available for download at http://msdn.microsoft.com/net/.

CsharpLanguage is not the big deal, the CommonLanguageRuntime is the big deal. It is a VM that is trying to be language independent. David Simmons spent an evening at CampSmalltalk demonstrating and talking about his Smalltalk implementation for .NET. As you might expect, the first version of the CommonLanguageRuntime is not as language independent as some might like. In particular, implementors of dynamically typed languages have to jump through some hoops that they don't think are necessary. However, David thinks Microsoft is strongly committed to making the CommonLanguageRuntime as language independent as possible and they want to support dynamically typed languages as well as statically typed ones. As is often true with Microsoft, the second or third iterations of the CommonLanguageRuntime should be big improvements over the first, and the first is already extremely impressive.

Anyway, my point is that the CsharpLanguage is just a covering for the CommonLanguageRuntime. It is what is under the cover that is important. -- RalphJohnson

Well you may call it FUD but you should read the whole article and see what has been accomplished with CsharpLanguage and the CommonLanguageRuntime. ...

That's a nice take from someone working at Microsoft, but let me remind you something. At this day August 2001, they have essentially accomplished NOTHING important. Don't take it as a Microsoft bash, but you should leave alone marketing discourse and get to some reality. What production system is running on .NET, at this time?

I would love to see an alternative to Java in the form of CsharpLanguage; I would love to jump the boat myself if I'll be further pissed off with the JavaLanguage as I am right now, but I am terribly frustrated by the fact C# is not there yet, and, as always, hype comes first. I have no doubts Microsoft will make CsharpLanguage a success. They have the money resources and, more importantly, the scientific and engineering resources working for them, but nobody can predict at this time when it will have a reasonably low number of bugs.

They did it in the past with several products. SQL Server was at 6.5 and 7.0 versions pretty pathetic; now it's already on a par with the big players, if not better in some areas; Windows and Windows NT were also pathetic at the beginning, but Windows 2000 is a lot better. The big question right now is WHEN will they do it with .NET. -- CostinCozianu

See CsharpFeatures, CsharpLanguageDiscussion, NextGenerationWindowsServices


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