What developers think of .Net

Auckland-based software architect Nic Wise from Orbiz found the migration to .Net simple.

Auckland-based software architect Nic Wise from Orbiz found the migration to .Net simple.

“From a background of Delphi, Java, ASP, JSP, J2EE etc, I found .Net to be very easy to pick up. I don’t have a VS6 background, and I avoid VB wherever possible.”

Some of the main points Wise encountered:

1) .Net compact framework is the duck’s nuts for writing apps on palmtops/CE devices. It’s seriously excellent. J2ME is not even in the same country.

2) Going from Java to C# is very easy. The language is very close, and the hard part is learning the API — but you have to do that anyway. And, the APIs are a pretty good match.

3) Winforms are OK, but the designer in VS.Net leaves a lot to be desired, compared to Delphi, for example.

4) VS.Net itself pretty good, but it’s very different to any other tool out there, except maybe VS6.

5) ASP.Net is totally different from JSP, Struts, ASP or anything else out there. Don’t fight it too much and you’re sweet. That said, using XSLT is trivial in ASP.Net and should be used wherever possible

Mike Gale, of Decision Engineering (NZ):

1) The stuff I already knew translated dead easy. Syntax was a small/no barrier.

2) Some stuff took some time. I did not know ADO.Net. It sounds like ADO but it’s different. Streams, Readers and Writers are great but sit down and learn the mindset ...

3) I like to design, write it down, then code it up. In some cases .Net disrupted this like crazy. Like I have a stored-proc/data-tier/business-tier/UI design with classes. When I tried out the XML way to address data sets I threw most of the design away and did it a different (and better) way. Result: a better design but time wasted. (This is the treasure chest turning into Pandora’s box.)

4) Component market is stuttering. I have no idea what it will end up looking like but not like the COM market. For one thing it’s now easy to get code and make it suit your needs rather than accept a “one size fits all”. The tools market also looks like a slow burn. There is a surprising amount of .Net code out there to do even exotic things, which is not good for some of the traditional COM component vendors.

5) Visual Studio is the best game in town but it has major annoyances.

6) There is so much more you can do now.

Having climbed this far up the .Net slope I resent going back down into COM and ASP land.

I suspect small teams of smart, multiskilled programmers are doing well and maybe .Net will be good for those teams in the future. (I think that among people who think they will be in the .Net world some won’t. It’s important to identify this quickly.)

Chris Auld, Emedia:

To really take advantage of .Net VB/ASP developers really need to rethink the way that they design their solutions. I think that this is really going to be the biggest challenge for dev shops. They will not see the full benefits of .Net until they undergo that mindset change.

Developer Philip Quinn:

I found my .Net transition rather easy to understand and go through. For a larger organisation though, the conversion could be quite painful in resources and man-hours to do it which I think is what he means. If ... staff re-trained (or dumped) and then converting all of your systems and software over. That is where the nightmare will come.

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