Java or .NET -- What to Learn?

Hey there,

I know that these are both different – But can generally do the same stuff if you want them to?

I am about ready to sink my teeth into something new, and am wondering which one I should attempt to endeavour!

I’d appreciate some reasons on why I should pick one over the other.

Thanks! :smiley:

what do you want to do with it? I picked .NET. I messed around with both (over the past 3 years for java and past 1 year for .NET). I never really liked java but really fancied .NET.

But that’s just me…

If you’re just starting, .NET is far far cheaper as you can get everything you need for free. That said, though, Java has a massive foothold in the enterprise area (though it’ll take you several years to get to the point in your career where Java is king), so you may want to consider future employability.

Likewise, though, there are literally thousands of .NET jobs.

I’d try both out, if I were you, and see what feels more “comfortable” :slight_smile:


Why is .NET far far cheaper than Java? (Non-inflammatory question :slight_smile: - well, hopefully)

Java will require you to get some kind of IDE, most of the free/cheap ones are useless. I’m fairly sure Java will interface well into MySQL though, so you don’t need an expensive DB.

.NET? 0$ for DB, IDE, Framework and webserver.

Hmm… Why is the IDE, DB free? I know your stand that the web server and OS is already free because Windows XP Pro or 2000 is there anyway, but why those 2? What IDE and DB is free for .NET?


Web Matrix:

SQL Server will of course cost you money but you can use MSDE for development. Or you could get the ADO.Net data providers for MySQL/PostgreSQL:

OK you can say the same of Java then for IDEs and DBs. You can get NetBeans or Eclipse for free. They aren’t as good as JBuilder, but just the same I don’t think those 2 IDEs for .NET approach VS.NET.

For databases, what .NET can get for free, I suppose Java could too because of JDBC.

Jeremy am I getting it wrong?

I’m sure there are decent free IDE:s for Java too. With that said, you can get Visual C#.NET for under $100, which is one of the best IDE:s around overall. You will NOT get an IDE of the same calibre for Java at that cost.

You can actually try it out online, running on Server 2003 right here:

I’ve worked with both Java and .NET, and I like .NET much more, mostly because of the fantastic Web Forms framework. Java also has the problem of being extremely diversified with 4 hojillion acronyms of different versions of the framework.

You can check out the Top 5 .NET Newbie Q and A written by, among others, yours truly for more info on .NET.

Oh, and Java (JSP) hosting is generally quite expensive and hard to find compared to .NET hosting.

Um what does that mean?

I found this article at JavaWorld quite balanced, with 1 of the authors a J2EE guy and the other a .NET guy. (yes even though it is at a Java site)

Rumble in the jungle: J2EE versus .Net, Part 1 and [url=]Part 2 here.

Java, J2EE, J2SE, J2ME, JSP, Servlets, EJBs, JCA, JMS, JMX, JNDI, JDBC, Java WSDP, Java VM, Java TV, JavaPhone, MIDP… and that is probably only half of it.


Hey Joel,

I’m not saying there aren’t free Java tools but, by and large, most Java folk literally scoff at them. With .NET, we’re talking pretty much what you’d use if you were developing in the enterprise.

Developing for the MSDE is the same as SQL Server, for instance.


Those aren’t “acronyms of different versions of the framework”. I’m sure you realise that and you probably put it the wrong way. Those are, erm, just acronyms for certain terms, protocols, specifications in the Java world - nothing to do with frameworks, which is a totally different matter ;). Doesn’t .NET have acronym hell too? :smiley: Hmm let me see, of those Java acronyms up there, I only forget what JMX stands for ;).

Yeah true true. Eclipse isn’t good enough until a really good J2EE plugin gets made. I’m a JBuilder guy at work, but at home I use Eclipse. It gets work done. Those free .NET IDEs are what you guys use over VS.NET or the other VS products? I’d thought most businesses would go with VS.

No matter though, I still don’t see why Java is “far far cheaper”. App server? You can use JBoss. Database? You can use any free database (the company I’m at uses Postgres). So it boils down to the IDE?

1 question: I never figured out how to get MSDE - is it free with the .NET framework? Is it a crippled version or a full-featured one?

JSP and servlet hosting with these services included:

All starting at CDN $10.15/mo.

How’s that for cheap? This is who I host many of my sites with, and they do a great job.


Heh, I know. I should have just said acronym hell. With that said, there are quite a bit of different versions of Java to download on the Java site. Especially if your are doing mobile development - check out the download page for J2ME - hows that for confusing?

And, no, .NET doesn’t suffer from it - at least not yet. Basically, you just download the SDK, and you are off - it includes all the tools (including a DB server) you need. Earlier, you had to download the mobile kit separately if you wanted to do mobile development, but to avoid java-acronym-style confusion, MS has integrated it into the 1.1 SDK.

Nice! 10.15CAD is 7.42663USD right now.

ASP.NET hosting starts at $6.95 over at Tokios or [url=]ADEHost, which are both excellent.

I admit J2ME is a confusing thing but that’s probably because of it’s constant flux. I’m working on an application for Pocket PC and realised that I needed to work on PersonalJava, which is what comes in J2ME, but will be upgraded to Personal Profile when the next update comes (still maintaining backward compatibility). That’s confusing heh.

Nevertheless, you have to understand the need for different versions of Java. Not everybody works with all 3 Editions at the same time. Someone working on J2ME doesn’t need J2SE, for example. And your usual student learning Java programming would not likely want to use J2EE. If Sun were to package everything together, it’d bloat. In fact, J2SE 1.4 is guilty of bloat IMHO, but that’s a different matter.

And there isn’t really java-acronym-style confusion - like you say for the .NET SDK, the extensions and packages are packaged into J2EE like what MS has done with, I presume, the Pocket PC SDK. You don’t have to get them on your own though you certainly can - for example JNDI is available as a download so you can add it on as an extension to J2SE (which is a good thing).

Should Java be what you’re interested in, here are some free resources;

Free (Servlet/JSP) hosting:

Free IDEs:
Eclipse - (from IBM) + see

Netbeans - (from Sun)

Couple of free Java Web App servers;


Also check out for a ton of free Java stuff (such as Tomcat for Apache)

Also have a read of this for a fast start to Ecplise + Resin etc.

In other words a complete Enterprise level set of tools for Java…