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Thread: What is .NET?

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    Question What is .NET?

    You know, I've read a lot of stuff about .NET and I still don't know what it is.

    Could someone please explain in the simplest possible terms what .NET is please? (metaphors would be helpful)

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    FreeBSD The Power to Serve silver trophy pippo's Avatar
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    I can't help but a man with scandinavian touch will...

    I post the links to

    a forum dedicated to .NET
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/forum...s=&forumid=141

    and to articles about that:
    http://www.webmasterbase.com/subcats/52

    .NET resources
    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=45915

    That's what I can provide without knowing .NET ...



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    .NET inside archigamer's Avatar
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    .NET is an application framework for making almost every type of application possible. .NET can be used for desktop applications, web pages, servers and more. .NET is made by Microsoft and for the most part it is to rival Sun's Java framework. it is built well (which is suprising from Microsoft)

    The only downfall about .NET right now is it is not known by the public as much as java is. sure they made a huge .NET marketing campaign but they never really say what it is.
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    SitePoint Addict AHMED's Avatar
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    .net wanna do ..........

    .net wanna make all of microsoft stuff compatible .....
    .net wanna make all of microsoft stuff connectable ....
    .net wanna make all of microsoft stuff faster ....
    .....

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    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    TigerFan asked for metaphors...
    "Imagine the color red established as the international standard for stop signs, but the color is only available from one company."
    http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupda...887217,00.html

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    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    Originally posted by archigamer
    .NET is made by Microsoft and for the most part it is to rival Sun's Java framework.
    Although there are admittedly some parallels in the way that .Net and Java apps execute, that's really where the similarity ends.

    I also don't follow your comments about marketing - it's relevant to developers, not the general public. (That said, Microsoft have rechristened "Microsoft Passport" as "Microsoft .Net Passport", even though there's very little .Net about it! )
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    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by M@rco
    Although there are admittedly some parallels in the way that .Net and Java apps execute, that's really where the similarity ends.
    I don't agree
    1. java support inheritance, COM doesn't => .NET support inheritance
    2. java data types are system-independent, VB6, C++ etc use different data types => all .NET languages use the same data types (easier making cross language calls)
    3. java classes don't need to be registered, COM objects do => .NET store metadata in the assemblies
    etc
    Seems to me like MS "copied" a lot from java

    Or was this what you meant with "the way apps execute"?
    Last edited by jofa; Oct 19, 2002 at 16:27.

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    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    I must admit that I wasn't aware that there were that many parallels! By "the way the apps execute", I was referring to the similarity between the Java VM and the .Net CLR.

    However, the features you list are absolutely necessary for a framework which aspires to do the things that .Net does, and the fact that Java had them first is indeed a tribute to the visionary developers at Sun, but to say that Microsoft copied Java (which is not what has been said here, but a common attack leveled at .Net in discussions and articles elsewhere) is stretching things a little. That would be like saying that Java "copied" C++! It's just a natural evolution of programming enviroments and techniques IMHO. No doubt in a few years' time there will be a new technology that does everything .Net does and more!

    And before anyone mutters "Microsoft wh0r3!" , I'm not... Microsoft has undoubtedly done some pretty inexcusable things in the past (for which they should be appropriately punished), but on the other hand its hotbed of gifted thinkers and developers have done a lot of good for the world's IT community over the years, and it looks like .Net will indeed be the "next big thing", so all credit where it's due. Microsoft vs Sun or Microsoft vs The World politics usually amount to nothing more than slanging matches, and that doesn't really achieve much as far as I'm concerned.


    Anyway, I can't think of a suitable way to end this and I'm sure you catch my drift, so I'll stop there!

    Just my £0.02!!!
    Last edited by M@rco; Oct 19, 2002 at 17:52.
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    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by M@rco
    ...That would be like saying that Java "copied" C++! It's just a natural evolution of programming enviroments and techniques IMHO.
    Speaking of evolution...
    http://www.levenez.com/lang/history.html

    And now - back to the original question: What is .NET?
    http://www.microsoft.com/net/basics/

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    I'm sorry, I normally don't indulge in these conversations, but now I can't resist the temptation...

    but to say that Microsoft copied Java (which is not what has been said here, but a common attack leveled at .Net in discussions and articles elsewhere) is stretching things a little. That would be like saying that Java "copied" C++!
    Actually, Java copied from Ada and Smalltalk. The virtual machine thingie was nothing new. Java used the C++ syntax (instead of the one from Ada and Smalltalk) because C++ had the largest group of developers, and they wanted to address these people.

    And indeed, .NET is a copy of Java. It's not an attack, it's just a fact. I'm not saying .NET isn't good, or that it isn't better than Java, but it's nothing new either.

    but on the other hand its hotbed of gifted thinkers and developers have done a lot of good for the world's IT community over the years
    HAHAHAHAHA! I beg your pardon?

    Microsoft hasn't thought of anything new themselves, ever. And since Windows XP still tends to crash, I wouldn't say Microsoft has that gifted a group of developers.

    I'm not saying anything against Microsoft here! They have excellent products. But to say that they 'did a lot of good for the IT community' is just bull. Quite the opposite, frankly.

    Vincent

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    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jofa
    [B]Speaking of evolution...
    http://www.levenez.com/lang/history.html
    Very interesting link, cheers!

    Voostind, I agree with much of what you say - I quite agree that pretty much every new language has "borrowed" bits of other languages before it, but copying implies taking someone else's work and passing it off as your own (in this context anyway), which I don't think that Microsoft has really done. It's a question of spin/motivation, I suppose.
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    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by voostind
    Microsoft hasn't thought of anything new themselves, ever.
    That's true, because no one has ever thought of anything new

    Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the printing press is widely thought of as the origin of mass communication-- it marked Western culture's first viable method of disseminating ideas and information from a single source to a large and far-ranging audience. A closer look at the history of print, however, shows that the invention of the printing press depended on a confluence of both cultural and technological forces that had been unfolding for several centuries.
    http://www.digitalcentury.com/encyclo/update/print.html

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    You know, I've read a lot of stuff about .NET and I still don't know what it is.
    .NET, as has been said, is a framework for building and deploying applications. You can write code which runs under the .NET framework.

    So the best place to look for the answer is in asking "What is a framework?". My quick shot at the answer is "A framework is an environment which provides all the facilities you need to build and publish your application, taking away the need for you to make big decisions in terms of how you build your application.". For example if you want to have your database on machine X and your web pages appear from machine Y, the framework should provide you the tools to establish the connect from Y to X.

    Other examples of frameworks are Suns J2EE and only a slightly different level, ezPublish. And I believe Vincent has one coming soon too..

    One thing most frameworks offer is a "step up" from the traditional Operating System + network enviroment, which most C++ code is written for, for example. A framework might allow you to write an application which will run on any operating system (if it's Windows, where .NET is concerned) where the framework is installed, and provide you a standard mechanism to preserve state (sessions) between multiple computers seperated by a network.

    So as you can see, a framework is a very general thing, which vendors feels give them the license to hype beyond all proportion.

    Keep reading I'd say...

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    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    Originally posted by HarryF
    One thing most frameworks offer is a "step up" from the traditional Operating System + network enviroment, which most C++ code is written for, for example. A framework might allow you to write an application which will run on any operating system (if it's Windows, where .NET is concerned) where the framework is installed, and provide you a standard mechanism to preserve state (sessions) between multiple computers seperated by a network.
    Exactly - .Net and Java (!!) provide an abstraction layer from the hardware and OS of the system, allowing you to write code that works anywhere that the framework has been ported to.
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    .NET is Microsoft's equivalent to Java. The two major differences are that you can code for it in many different languages (instead of just one) and that it has a huge, very well-implemented and well-documented class library.
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    .NET is Microsoft's equivalent to Java. The two major differences are that you can code for it in many different languages (instead of just one) and that it has a huge, very well-implemented and well-documented class library
    Yeah! What is that undocumented mess that Sun like to bundle with Java?!?

    Think you need to be aware 75% of the top 100 companies in the world develop their business systems with Java and that MS, despite the hype, doesn't even figure in that league.

    The major difference between .NET and J2EE is that .NET runs under Windows only (with various .NET Window developers living with the fantasy that it runs anywhere).

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    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    Windows "only"?
    "According to RedSheriff's intelligence data, the Microsoft Windows range of products make up 96.75% of the global market," said Richard Webb, CEO of RedSheriff.

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    As my understanding goes, RedSheriff is a company gathering data on clients from the web. I repeat: CLIENTS.

    So how about the millions of servers? You know, those computers that do the real work and aren't allowed downtime at all? Those that aren't supposed to crash in 4 years... Do you really think they run Windows? You must be kidding...

    Windows is mainly a desktop OS, and a good one if you ask me. But they do not compare (yet) to enterprise-level servers running mission-critical servers.

    Vincent

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    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    Yes, clients

    Clients that can run an application written in a .NET language (if they have the .NET framework of course)

    The web server share for Microsoft is "only" 30%

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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by HarryF
    Yeah! What is that undocumented mess that Sun like to bundle with Java?!?
    Sorry, I was unclear. According to my opinion, and opinions of others I hear from, the .NET library is very big, well-documented and generally well-done. It's not as good as Javas docs, in my opinion - that's all I'm saying. I never said Java docs was bad or undocumented. I just meant that .NET's was better - that's all.

    Think you need to be aware 75% of the top 100 companies in the world develop their business systems with Java and that MS, despite the hype, doesn't even figure in that league.
    Java is incredibly popular and well-established, and ported to many a platform. Not so strange considering it's been around since 1991. .NET has only just went 1.1.

    The major difference between .NET and J2EE is that .NET runs under Windows only (with various .NET Window developers living with the fantasy that it runs anywhere).
    From a purely theoretical standpoint, .NET is just as platform-independant as Java. After what I've heard (I'm in no way qualified to judge by myself) is that the Platform Abstraction Layer of .NET is very good - thus, porting shouldn't be all that hard.

    However, we will have to see about that in 2-3 years. Maybe the Mono project has died, the current BSD version of the .NET CLR became nothing more than a demo, maybe Apple disregarded .NET completely, maybe java shaped up and became better than .NET, and maybe Microsoft (foolishly) stopped porting projects. I think it's unlikely that NO company would pick up on the huge opportunity of producing .NET ports, but I can't be sure, just as Harry can't.

    We will just have to sit down until time will tell us. Then, and only then, we'll see if it's Harry or me who will eat his words.
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    Sultan of Ping jofa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by M. Johansson
    .NET is Microsoft's equivalent to Java. The two major differences are that you can code for it in many different languages (instead of just one)...
    Hmmm, you can write code in Pascal, Modula-2 or Oberon-2 and compile it to java byte code
    I think the same thing can be done for other languages too, as long as they are strongly typed

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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jofa

    Hmmm, you can write code in Pascal, Modula-2 or Oberon-2 and compile it to java byte code
    I think the same thing can be done for other languages too, as long as they are strongly typed
    Cool - I didn't know that. But I'm well aware that the idea of skinned languages is hardly new - .NET just does it very well, such as allowing you to instansiate objects in one language using a class written in another language etc.

    I wouldn't know if those others can do that stuff, though. I personally find multi-language and cross-platform to be small advantages, really. You usually settle for one language and one platform anyway.
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    .NET inside archigamer's Avatar
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    java didnt go live until 1995 not 1991.
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    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by archigamer
    java didnt go live until 1995 not 1991.
    http://www.ils.unc.edu/blaze/java/javahist.html
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    .NET inside archigamer's Avatar
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    hmmm well i guess my books are wrong, however it is still true it did not get noticed till around 1995 by corporations.
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