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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Quick poll: Is the new Microsoft .NET platform/framework a revolution, hype, or just one more facet in ever more complex development environment?

    In a recent article at O'Reily's site ( http://java.oreilly.com/news/farley_0800.html ), Jim Farley takes a look at what .NET is and how it compares to the JAVA platform. I found it informative and unbiased; I would encourage everyone to read it.

    IMHO, I think .NET will be a revolution in the Microsoft development world. Furthermore, I think it is going to a real threat to the non-windows world in that Microsoft is willing to support Linux, Perl, and other non-windows based programming languages and platforms. This conceivable ability to work with everyone and everything on not only the client-side, but also on the development side could enable .NET to become the defacto development platform.

    What do you think?
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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Nice thread, westmich!

    I think the .NET strategy is a very good one. Cable Modems are on 24 hours a day, which means I can have programs like AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger set to open on startup - which they do automatically.

    I can also leave Microsoft Outlook open and tell it to check my mail automatically every minute.

    Things like this, in my opinion, show that we're heading towards full integration between a computer and the web. I worded that poorly, but I'm basically saying that in the near future, any computer that is turned on, will be connected to the net.

    Until now programs have been offline for the most part - most programs on your computer are built to run on their own, with no Internet Connection needed, and most of their features involving things that can be done offline.

    The difference here, of course, is that the new programs will be more dependent on an Internet Connection being present, and will have more features based on the Web.

    I think this is a huge step forward for Microsoft, and that it will do quite well.

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    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Microsoft really seems to emphasizing 'service'. I think the intention (at least one) is that an office intranet would be connected to the Internet and programs like Office and others built on the .NET platform would be working from the Net like an application service provider. One advantage to this is that updates and modifications would only need to be made once on the server and not on thousands of machines.

    As a home user, however, this aspect wouldn't work for me. Many other Web applications would, though.
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    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    One huge disadvantage of this .NET stuff is that when your ISP dies, you're cut off from all of 'your' programs.

    I don't see how this ever can get really successful.
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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Isn't it obvoius?

    1 - There will be a way to still have the program function without the net, it'll just offer more to use when you're connected.

    2 - A year or two from now, getting bumped offline will not be as commonplace as it is now.

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    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Elledan
    One huge disadvantage of this .NET stuff is that when your ISP dies, you're cut off from all of 'your' programs.

    I don't see how this ever can get really successful.
    Developing on-line application service provider programs is only one aspect. All development of a Windows nature could be done in this manner: ASP.NET, Visual Basic.NET, Visual Studio.NET, ADO.NET, Office.NET, Front Page.NET, and many more. Most of the info about .NET indicates that it is going to an improvemnt for Windows developer.

    But wait, there's more...

    The other aspect of this is the willingness of MS to 'open' up to other platforms and programming languages. For example: several developers will build a high-end Web site from various locations each assigned to his own area. Developer A can develop one aspect in Perl, developer B in C++, developer C in Java, and developer D in ASP. The .NET platform/framework will then integrate all of this in and spit it out through the NT server it is running on usable by any client regardless if they're on a Linux machine or a MAC or whatever.
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    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    I see your point, Chris, but I can't stop wondering why this .NET stuff would be necessary. Stand-alone programs work, why should you want to change this? For the ease of never having to update your programs? Well, if you've to update your programs a lot of times, you're either using the wrong programs or running Windows

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    .NET based programs would in theory be cheaper for companies to lease rather than paying $400 (Or however much it is) a copy for MS Office they would pay $1 a week for one employee to access it, this employee would then be able to access their work from home without the company having to worry about the security risks of opening their intranet to the internet.

    Also of note in Visual Studio .Net (VS 7.0) is that C++, C# will get a proper drag and drop IDE just like Visual Basic at the moment - Borland should be scared now as the drag and drop of C++ Builder was it's big selling point. I for one will be upgrading my copy of Visual Studio 6 to the .NET edition.
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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Elledan
    I see your point, Chris, but I can't stop wondering why this .NET stuff would be necessary. Stand-alone programs work, why should you want to change this? For the ease of never having to update your programs? Well, if you've to update your programs a lot of times, you're either using the wrong programs or running Windows

    "If it ain't broken, don't fix it."
    I hate that quote - if we lived by the broken/fix quote there, we would never go anywhere. No one is saying MS Office is broken, but does that mean improvements should not be made? You, being a major supporter or technological advancement, are the last person I would've expected to say that.

    Stand alone programs work, but they can't integrate well with the net - why not have it all? Why not give a bonus to those with persistent connection, which will in fact be ALL of us in the future?

    The question is not "Why?" the question is "Why Not?" - the benefits are obvious.

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    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    Stand alone programs work, but they can't integrate well with the net - why not have it all? Why not give a bonus to those with persistent connection, which will in fact be ALL of us in the future?

    The question is not "Why?" the question is "Why Not?" - the benefits are obvious.
    You say that in the future EVERYONE will be connected to the internet (or its successor), but I seriously doubt that. Unless we can come up with an advanced, and especially FAST, wireless internet connection (WAP won't do ) there'll always be stand-alone PC's.

    And when you look at 'poor' countries (in Africa etc.) you'll understand that the need for stand-alone programs will remain for a long, long time, since most of the inhabitants of those countries seriously can't pay for a broadband (Cable, DSL) connection, IF this connection is already available in the first place.

    This isn't advancement, this is just a way to make it harder for ourselves. Maybe that at some moment in the future we'll need this .NET stuff, but at this moment, it's nothing but a nice toy for us rich people.
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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    You seem to be reading half my posts - I think more and more people (no, not literally everyone, but your average USA computer user, which is what MS is probably targetting), will find it useful to have a program that can interact with the web constantly.

    No one is saying that if you have a normal modem and your ISP goes down for a few minutes that WORD.NET will stop functioning - simply that if you're one of the soon-to-be-many with a persistent connection, you'll be able to have more power with the program.

    So, why is that a toy, when there are currently plenty of people using cable modems, with more coming every day, and if the program still functions without them?

    You can say you don't like it, but to imple that it's pointless/useless just doesn't make sense, when you consider that it's just adding a new type of power to the program that some users (eventually almost all) will be able to take advantage of.

  12. #12
    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    I still don't believe that everyone will suddenly want to 'rent' a program, but I'll just wait and see
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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Is that the only option? I was under the impression that that was simply Karl's suggestion as to a way it could be useful - not the one and only way it will be sold.

    Besides, It would be very useful to major companies, and I seriously doubt that the only web interaction will be daily billing.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    I can honestly see the program renting idea becoming big, who wants to pay a fortune for a program if they only need it for a month?

    A lot of large companies rent nearly everything any way, renting software would also help reduce the TCO for applications as you wouldn't have to pay technicians to support the software.

    I don't see it as all being web based, like Chris mentioned you will get a slimmed down copy of the program that will run on lower spec hardware (Larry Elisson will be rubing his hands together at the thought of this) and then most of the other features will run from the net (or should that be .NET?).

    The .NET idea also leverages remote working to the next level as well without to much effort on the part of the companies involved.
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