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Re: [newtech-1] $2,000 in free software from Microsoft, just for being a college student.

From: Yuriy Michael G.
Sent on: Friday, February 22, 2008 1:46 AM
Peter, what you say makes a ton of sense.  And yes, these projects did begin in the last nine months.

There is little argument in the community and from me that .Net can eclipse (pun intended) the maturity of Java on the server-side.  I was, also, not discussing the quality of the .Net platform but rather its stake  in the area of software development that is, somehow, always forgotten: Desktop.

Beyond stand-alone apps, there is an ever-increasing demand for contextual awareness and seamless integration between not just server-to-client components but also between resident components on the Desktop.  Work with Windows apps is slowly but surely moving towards a more ubiquitous productivity platform.  I would even argue that MSFT's insanely prolonged deployment cycle has the effect of creating more demand for .Net work. 

In fact, the Office Server model and new extensibility models of Office 2007 are specifically geared for Enterprise absorption (not just deployment).  Why would I want to shove Java into that mix? .Net is clearly the pragmatic choice.  I can't really go into specific projects but I personally work on and see desktop applications, glue, extensions, etc that tend to be 1-2 years ahead of the vendor space. Again, these are Desktop applications.

Microsoft has the relationships to keep a close eye and knows where its paychecks come from.  With the .Net3 powered technologies, going from Desktop deployments to web-based or virtualized deployments will be even simpler.  Google, for example, with it's Gears, is pushing to enter the "offline" market.  Adobe is doing the same... Microsoft has this mode down solid and is now pushing to enter the "online" market, hence Yahoo...  Enterprises with significant existing investments into the Desktop space will continue to move along Microsoft's trajectory.  I don't see how this market segment cannot not grow.  Again, I do not object to the fact that web-app development is gaining popularity over Desktop development and hence, there is simply more things to do in Java/PHP/etc.  As an aside, increased needs for RIAs of varied scope and complexity will help Ruby, PhP, Python, Java etc to fill a niche.  But this does not disqualify the .Net platform.  The true fight will be fought when hybridized Desktop/Web dev platforms start  to take root.

As for application deployment, Engineering problems abound when slick developers or vendors try to shove a square peg through a round hole forcing exceptions to best practices/standards. This is, unfortunately, unavoidable in large enterprises.  Most already have senior, architecture advisory working groups that define technology standards for the firm.  Operations and Egineering teams prepare the environment accordingly.  Furthermore, with a highly mobile workforce, network filesystems and shared hosting only work when you're plugged into the firm's intranet.   Laptops continue to pose a  challenge with online/offline here and pushing installs is simply unavoidable.  True sandboxing and virtualization is still immature but continues to improve.  This is another huge area of investment.

Welcoming your thoughts. Cheers.
-y

On Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 12:57 AM, Peter Booth <[address removed]> wrote:
Yuriy,

Did any of these projects begin in the last nine months? I don't pretend to have complete information but whilst I am aware of some multi-year projects I am not aware of any new ones. I agree that there are many applications for which a web app just doesn't cut it (today). That class is shrinking but its still significant. Those applications can equally be developed in the .NET/CLR stack or in Java with SWT or Swing. I've been contracting in a firm that is 50-50 Mac and PC, and so Java is a great solution for desktop apps.
 
Of course C# is an excellent language, Win32 API is convenient, Powershell looks nice. 

.NET's Papa's Papa (Bill Gates)  is clearly an amazing person. Half the world's  malaria and tuberculosis drug research is funded by the Gates Foundation. His application of business sills to public health has meant that money from other source is now being spent more effectively. His many accomplishments as founder of microsoft are being dwarved by his philanthropy. He is the most generous and most helpful philanthropist of the past 100 years.

Neither of these affect the decline in popularity of .NET. The decline is not for technical reasons - it's for pragmatic business reasons. 

I agree that most enterprise software vendors (who are Java based) do a piss-poor job of handling their Java dependencies. The problem isn't Java per se. Having a standard windows  desktop that supports multiple JVM versions is a straight-forward engineering task. Now I have seen some firms mess it up - largely those that are siloed such that the infrastructure people don't understand Java and application developers don't understand OSes or computers. That is just an example of Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is faecal)
If your WIndows platform is intelligently engineered and JVMs are all deployed server side then dealing with incompatibilities across 10000 machines is no different than across 150. Of course if an organization hasn't got a strong answer for software distribution and configuration all bets are off. I agree stupidity is frustrating - but stupidity isn't something that only appears within certain technology worlds - its  a universal trait. WIthout it we probably wouldn't have jobs - or maybe they would just be better jobs?

 The technical reasons to choose Java have nothing to do with emotions about big bad Microsoft. Clearly Java is superior for plumbing, for server side application development, for the (few) applications where cross-OS functionality is important. The problem with .NET is that it really isn't a practical server side platform so organizations that go "pure Java" have a single technology platform, those that choose .NET often end up with teams that on ly do C#, only do Java and sometimes only do C++ The cost of employing these three skill sets and deploying apps that leverage all three is enormous. It is simply a waste of money. 

Thats my two cents,

Peter



On Feb 21, 2008, at 8:47 PM, Yuriy Krylov wrote:

What really grinds my gears is that all platform conversations somehow fail to address Desktop development.  I personally know of quite a few massive projects in .Net happening on Wall Street.  These are not web application projects, I do grant that.  But web applications are not the whole world, people. 

On the Desktop, .Net will be very difficult to displace.  Of course, many of you will argue that Desktop development is somehow outdated and that no big projects happen on the Desktop either. Practically everything can be done through Firefox's eye, right? Well not quite everything.  Once you get into productivity, intelligence, attention/interruption management and other related topics that are the "next" logical step in technological evolution, you will find yourself very friendly with your Desktop and what your users do there.  And since everyone loves Office 2007 and m(b)illions have already been spent, and .Net is just so convenient and oh so elegant, and now I can PowerShell, and now I can IronPython, and I can still blend web/desktop apps, and then there is WPF and the learning curve is not bad, and COM still works, and I can tap Win32 API, oh and did I mention C# is an excellent language, oh and don't forget F#.  Yeah, I do think .Net will continue to grow in it's rightful niche...

Choose the right tool for the right job or even Open Source will cost you an arm and someone else's leg in the long-term. There's nothing worse than a smart-arse vendor who forces me to deploy a shitty Java desktop-application with it's own bundled JVM that is impossible to upgrade because the app depends on it, or the same Java app not working on Linux because it was hard-wired to Windows OS, leaving me wondering "why? oh why?" and I have to spend an entire quarter remediating applications, reconciling java version incompatibilities across hundreds of applications across tens of thousands of desktops, hunting down reluctant vendors, scrambling to figure out how to handle the latest laundry list of vulnerabilities and exploits to Java when I have Open technology-driven crap everywhere in the environment.   All because of some ridiculous, religious zealousness about the evils of .Net and it's Papa, Microsoft. 

-yuriy

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 3:06 PM, Robert <[address removed]> wrote:
bottomline you all... is on the client side..it's all the same CSS/JS/HTML

On the backend side.. whatever works for the development team that used whatever foundation...

bottomline.. if it delivers what the enduser needs/wants.. it doesn't really matter.

you like using it.. then keep using it.

There really isn't this is better or that is better..

It's all in the eyes of the beholder....

you like PERL.. use it... no harm.. no foul... .. the early web was built on its back.

you like .NET / C# then use it, I'm sure in the hands of a true believer.. s/he will produce.   ie.. PlentyofFish

I mean no malice to any platform or anyone's capability to produce miracles with it...

again.. all in the eyes (hands) of the beholder....

Truce!

-Robert






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