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DotNet is behind where we were with VB, about a dozen years ago


I know I'm asking for a flamewar, and I really don't mean to because I
love programming in C# and VB.Net almost equally, just as I enjoyed
C++ 13 years ago and COBOL and Pascal 4 years before that.

Now that you know my programming history in its entirety :)... please
bear with me and read on.

As a group of programmers, striving to make progress, we have gone
absolutely no where. The questions I see posted here in this
newsgroup are valid in the sense that all of us, including myself, are
trying to figure out "how do I do this" or "why doesnt this work" in
..Net.

There is a fundamental flaw here, one that needs to be pointed out, if
only for posterity.

And that is... we are splitting hairs over the wrong things. Its not
even a Microsoft vs Java or Flash or competing technology problem.

The ubiquitous WEB got us started. Suddenly in 1995 or so,
everything needed to be a web app that was centrally deployed and
available everywhere. There was a problem. Web apps were based on
HTML and CGI, which was a bunch of unstructured GOTOs, masquerading as
"links". People loved the concept of "links"... Because as long as
you were braindead you were capable of putting your mouse over a link
and clicking it, and magically it would take you somewhere. It was
accessible to anyone, even the mentally disabled, as some prominent
industry observers have noted, "especially the mentally disabled".

An overnight hero was born. A new breed of newcomers to the
information technology field came along, with HTML on their brain.
They believed that if end users should see it, it must be rendered in
HTML. The problem here is that HTML is suited for the web, and web
browsers, and that's wonderful for people who are browsing.

But as a development platform, a web BROWSER, which is suited for
browsing (page flipping), HTML is not a particularly "rich"
environment. Oh, the average consumer will tell you HTML is "rich".
Because as long as they see graphics, pictures... pretty, pretty
pictures... with gradients and pretty fonts. They will prefer HTML
over raw text. Its human nature. On its own, the porn industry has
probably lured more "end users" (as we used to call them) into the
observation of modern software than any other application ever created
(except perhaps the web browser, which Microsoft didn't even but
appears to have standardized).

Lets talk about end users for moment. End users deserve the most
readable, the most cosmetically appealing solution available. If that
last sentence sounds like a marketing statement, it should. Because
as developers, if we do not provide the end users the most compelling
solution available, its inevitable thatanother vendor will.

That is our challenge. If you want to succeed in software development
as a career path, you really..... and I mean REALLY...... need to
understand the challenges you face.

Personally, I keep hearing from Microsoft that various SmartClient
"over the web" technologies will solve this for us, and I hope its
true.

But if the evolving base of programmers gets progressively stupider,
as it appears to have become with offshoring and the current u.s.
administration, then all of us who love to program are in trouble.

From a technology standpoint, we are about 10 years behind VB6 and COM
and striving to see who can go backwards further.

Nov 17 '05 #1
14 1279
Quote:
"From a technology standpoint, we are about 10 years behind VB6 and COM
and striving to see who can go backwards further."
Thats a very goood point....but then again..

I think they opened a huge market but simplify programming

-more ppl then ever have the potential to wrtie an app
-takes minutes when it used to take hours
-the interface are looking nicer than cobol....lol
Nov 17 '05 #2
You want programming to be more challenging, so fewer can be sucesfull
at it is my take. Fine. Use C++, write COM objects, and do everything
from scratch.

Nothing is stopping you from doing that, except time. The evolution is
towards speed of development more than dumbing it down. Dumbing it down
is a side effect however.

Either way, it doesn't have the effect of making people stupid. It does
have the effect of bringing more people in which may not be hard core
programming types though. But who cares.

A better way to look at it, is that you have more free-time to spend
that brain power devising something innovative instead of working out
function pointer syntax or whatever.

Dont forget the endgame is to make the working product, not the tool
you use to make it. If you want to love C++ for C++ and the pleasure
you get from mastering it when not many do, that's cool. Nothing's
stopping you. But do it as a hobby. Like a word puzzle or something.
Its silly to try and use it for something like a WebService that can be
done in 5 mins and work great in .NET.

Nov 17 '05 #3
I disagree a bit with the post that programming has been "dumbed down" with
..NET. Sure, I can develop code faster, and maybe the entry bar has been set
a little lower, but to write a good, professional application, takes quite a
bit more skill and experience than writing a simple "Hello World" app. And
when it comes to making moeny doing it, you need the skill and experience to
provide professional quality.

As for the browser side, I haven't done much, but I've seen severeal "rich"
applications on the web. If you know anything about AJAX, you know it's
possible. It also takes a lot of the aforementioned skill and experience
since it uses several different technologies together to provide that "rich"
experience. Now that AJAX is gaining in popularity, I suspect we'll be
seeing more and more of them.

Pete

"JustObserviing TMH MVP" <pl****@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:d8********************************@4ax.com...

I know I'm asking for a flamewar, and I really don't mean to because I
love programming in C# and VB.Net almost equally, just as I enjoyed
C++ 13 years ago and COBOL and Pascal 4 years before that.

Now that you know my programming history in its entirety :)... please
bear with me and read on.

As a group of programmers, striving to make progress, we have gone
absolutely no where. The questions I see posted here in this
newsgroup are valid in the sense that all of us, including myself, are
trying to figure out "how do I do this" or "why doesnt this work" in
.Net.

There is a fundamental flaw here, one that needs to be pointed out, if
only for posterity.

And that is... we are splitting hairs over the wrong things. Its not
even a Microsoft vs Java or Flash or competing technology problem.

The ubiquitous WEB got us started. Suddenly in 1995 or so,
everything needed to be a web app that was centrally deployed and
available everywhere. There was a problem. Web apps were based on
HTML and CGI, which was a bunch of unstructured GOTOs, masquerading as
"links". People loved the concept of "links"... Because as long as
you were braindead you were capable of putting your mouse over a link
and clicking it, and magically it would take you somewhere. It was
accessible to anyone, even the mentally disabled, as some prominent
industry observers have noted, "especially the mentally disabled".

An overnight hero was born. A new breed of newcomers to the
information technology field came along, with HTML on their brain.
They believed that if end users should see it, it must be rendered in
HTML. The problem here is that HTML is suited for the web, and web
browsers, and that's wonderful for people who are browsing.

But as a development platform, a web BROWSER, which is suited for
browsing (page flipping), HTML is not a particularly "rich"
environment. Oh, the average consumer will tell you HTML is "rich".
Because as long as they see graphics, pictures... pretty, pretty
pictures... with gradients and pretty fonts. They will prefer HTML
over raw text. Its human nature. On its own, the porn industry has
probably lured more "end users" (as we used to call them) into the
observation of modern software than any other application ever created
(except perhaps the web browser, which Microsoft didn't even but
appears to have standardized).

Lets talk about end users for moment. End users deserve the most
readable, the most cosmetically appealing solution available. If that
last sentence sounds like a marketing statement, it should. Because
as developers, if we do not provide the end users the most compelling
solution available, its inevitable thatanother vendor will.

That is our challenge. If you want to succeed in software development
as a career path, you really..... and I mean REALLY...... need to
understand the challenges you face.

Personally, I keep hearing from Microsoft that various SmartClient
"over the web" technologies will solve this for us, and I hope its
true.

But if the evolving base of programmers gets progressively stupider,
as it appears to have become with offshoring and the current u.s.
administration, then all of us who love to program are in trouble.

From a technology standpoint, we are about 10 years behind VB6 and COM
and striving to see who can go backwards further.

Nov 17 '05 #4
I hope you feel better, because I didn't see much of anything in your
message to reply to. It seemed like a rather long and disjointed rant,
followed up with a conclusion that was not supported by anything in the
rant, or explained in any way, simply an outburst of some opinion that
didn't seem to make any sense in context, laced with emotion.

But again, if it made you feel better, I'm all for it!

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
..Net Developer
Complex things are made up of
Lots of simple things.

"JustObserviing TMH MVP" <pl****@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:d8********************************@4ax.com...

I know I'm asking for a flamewar, and I really don't mean to because I
love programming in C# and VB.Net almost equally, just as I enjoyed
C++ 13 years ago and COBOL and Pascal 4 years before that.

Now that you know my programming history in its entirety :)... please
bear with me and read on.

As a group of programmers, striving to make progress, we have gone
absolutely no where. The questions I see posted here in this
newsgroup are valid in the sense that all of us, including myself, are
trying to figure out "how do I do this" or "why doesnt this work" in
.Net.

There is a fundamental flaw here, one that needs to be pointed out, if
only for posterity.

And that is... we are splitting hairs over the wrong things. Its not
even a Microsoft vs Java or Flash or competing technology problem.

The ubiquitous WEB got us started. Suddenly in 1995 or so,
everything needed to be a web app that was centrally deployed and
available everywhere. There was a problem. Web apps were based on
HTML and CGI, which was a bunch of unstructured GOTOs, masquerading as
"links". People loved the concept of "links"... Because as long as
you were braindead you were capable of putting your mouse over a link
and clicking it, and magically it would take you somewhere. It was
accessible to anyone, even the mentally disabled, as some prominent
industry observers have noted, "especially the mentally disabled".

An overnight hero was born. A new breed of newcomers to the
information technology field came along, with HTML on their brain.
They believed that if end users should see it, it must be rendered in
HTML. The problem here is that HTML is suited for the web, and web
browsers, and that's wonderful for people who are browsing.

But as a development platform, a web BROWSER, which is suited for
browsing (page flipping), HTML is not a particularly "rich"
environment. Oh, the average consumer will tell you HTML is "rich".
Because as long as they see graphics, pictures... pretty, pretty
pictures... with gradients and pretty fonts. They will prefer HTML
over raw text. Its human nature. On its own, the porn industry has
probably lured more "end users" (as we used to call them) into the
observation of modern software than any other application ever created
(except perhaps the web browser, which Microsoft didn't even but
appears to have standardized).

Lets talk about end users for moment. End users deserve the most
readable, the most cosmetically appealing solution available. If that
last sentence sounds like a marketing statement, it should. Because
as developers, if we do not provide the end users the most compelling
solution available, its inevitable thatanother vendor will.

That is our challenge. If you want to succeed in software development
as a career path, you really..... and I mean REALLY...... need to
understand the challenges you face.

Personally, I keep hearing from Microsoft that various SmartClient
"over the web" technologies will solve this for us, and I hope its
true.

But if the evolving base of programmers gets progressively stupider,
as it appears to have become with offshoring and the current u.s.
administration, then all of us who love to program are in trouble.

From a technology standpoint, we are about 10 years behind VB6 and COM
and striving to see who can go backwards further.

Nov 17 '05 #5
>I disagree a bit with the post that programming has been "dumbed down" with
.NET.
I must admit, that remark is very odd to me as well. In all my experience,
I've never had to work so hard or study so much, as when I got involved with
..Net. I've been working with it for 4 years now, and am only comfortable
with about half of it. And I'm no dummy. Of course, I do quite a variety of
projects.

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
..Net Developer
Complex things are made up of
Lots of simple things.

"Pete Davis" <pdavis68@[nospam]hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:U9******************************@giganews.com ...I disagree a bit with the post that programming has been "dumbed down" with
.NET. Sure, I can develop code faster, and maybe the entry bar has been set
a little lower, but to write a good, professional application, takes quite
a bit more skill and experience than writing a simple "Hello World" app.
And when it comes to making moeny doing it, you need the skill and
experience to provide professional quality.

As for the browser side, I haven't done much, but I've seen severeal
"rich" applications on the web. If you know anything about AJAX, you know
it's possible. It also takes a lot of the aforementioned skill and
experience since it uses several different technologies together to
provide that "rich" experience. Now that AJAX is gaining in popularity, I
suspect we'll be seeing more and more of them.

Pete

"JustObserviing TMH MVP" <pl****@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:d8********************************@4ax.com...

I know I'm asking for a flamewar, and I really don't mean to because I
love programming in C# and VB.Net almost equally, just as I enjoyed
C++ 13 years ago and COBOL and Pascal 4 years before that.

Now that you know my programming history in its entirety :)... please
bear with me and read on.

As a group of programmers, striving to make progress, we have gone
absolutely no where. The questions I see posted here in this
newsgroup are valid in the sense that all of us, including myself, are
trying to figure out "how do I do this" or "why doesnt this work" in
.Net.

There is a fundamental flaw here, one that needs to be pointed out, if
only for posterity.

And that is... we are splitting hairs over the wrong things. Its not
even a Microsoft vs Java or Flash or competing technology problem.

The ubiquitous WEB got us started. Suddenly in 1995 or so,
everything needed to be a web app that was centrally deployed and
available everywhere. There was a problem. Web apps were based on
HTML and CGI, which was a bunch of unstructured GOTOs, masquerading as
"links". People loved the concept of "links"... Because as long as
you were braindead you were capable of putting your mouse over a link
and clicking it, and magically it would take you somewhere. It was
accessible to anyone, even the mentally disabled, as some prominent
industry observers have noted, "especially the mentally disabled".

An overnight hero was born. A new breed of newcomers to the
information technology field came along, with HTML on their brain.
They believed that if end users should see it, it must be rendered in
HTML. The problem here is that HTML is suited for the web, and web
browsers, and that's wonderful for people who are browsing.

But as a development platform, a web BROWSER, which is suited for
browsing (page flipping), HTML is not a particularly "rich"
environment. Oh, the average consumer will tell you HTML is "rich".
Because as long as they see graphics, pictures... pretty, pretty
pictures... with gradients and pretty fonts. They will prefer HTML
over raw text. Its human nature. On its own, the porn industry has
probably lured more "end users" (as we used to call them) into the
observation of modern software than any other application ever created
(except perhaps the web browser, which Microsoft didn't even but
appears to have standardized).

Lets talk about end users for moment. End users deserve the most
readable, the most cosmetically appealing solution available. If that
last sentence sounds like a marketing statement, it should. Because
as developers, if we do not provide the end users the most compelling
solution available, its inevitable thatanother vendor will.

That is our challenge. If you want to succeed in software development
as a career path, you really..... and I mean REALLY...... need to
understand the challenges you face.

Personally, I keep hearing from Microsoft that various SmartClient
"over the web" technologies will solve this for us, and I hope its
true.

But if the evolving base of programmers gets progressively stupider,
as it appears to have become with offshoring and the current u.s.
administration, then all of us who love to program are in trouble.

From a technology standpoint, we are about 10 years behind VB6 and COM
and striving to see who can go backwards further.


Nov 17 '05 #6
On Fri, 11 Nov 2005 11:18:54 -0500, "Kevin Spencer"
<ke***@DIESPAMMERSDIEtakempis.com> wrote:
I hope you feel better, because I didn't see much of anything in your
message to reply to. It seemed like a rather long and disjointed rant,
followed up with a conclusion that was not supported by anything in the
rant, or explained in any way, simply an outburst of some opinion that
didn't seem to make any sense in context, laced with emotion.

But again, if it made you feel better, I'm all for it!


Well it was a rant, and I agree it did become somewhat disjointed -- I
ran out of time and felt the need to wrap it up, thus was not able to
continue the train of thought I had started the post with.

But I think a lot of people missed the general point of the message --
regardless of whether thats the reader or the writers fault. The
point was not to suggest we should write things in C++ or take the
most difficult route to solving problems. I just believe that for the
most part, programming tools and languages were in a better place ten
years ago and technology seems to be taking us backward in that
regard.

The message included somewhat of a sub-rant about the
over-webification of application development.
Nov 17 '05 #7
> I just believe that for the
most part, programming tools and languages were in a better place ten
years ago and technology seems to be taking us backward in that
regard.

The message included somewhat of a sub-rant about the
over-webification of application development.


OK, if this was your point, then I must strongly disagree. I grew up a
Cobol programmer, have gone thru various languages and platforms, 4GLs and
now I develop in .NET. If I had to go back to any of those, I would quit
and change professions. Now I must say this: I agree with some of what you
say in principle - I am ashamed, embarrased of the current state of software
development. We did, as a whole, develop software better in the 1980s than
we do now. Things worked, as shown by the fact that most of the world still
runs on mainframe, AS/400 and similar platforms, in PL/1, Cobol
applications. Today, and the last 10 years or so, has seen so many serious
software disasters. We lost the art of Project Management and Design. And
I do think that MS is partly to blame for this - breeding a generation of
cowboys that code first and ask questions later. Nobody taught them to
Design and think about things - just write some code quickly.

Well I have kept the old-world principles, extended them to cope with modern
technology and the internet, and am extremely happy with .NET (except I have
no multiple inheritance - gotta throw that in every chance). I can now
develop robust feature-rich systems extremely rapidly and deploy these as
Web Services to rich [but thin] clients arounf the world. I could never
ever do that prior to .NET.

And please note I do not use ADO.NET or any of the so-called Enterprise
library stuff from MS - I have my own design patterns from way back that
work, and make extreme use of OO features and metadata. I would not trust
MS to build an Enterpeise system, why would I use their architecture?

Cheers
Nov 17 '05 #8
I agree with a bit of what you say, but disagree with most of it.

As a programmer of nearly 20 years now, I agree that the quality of
programmers entering the field has dropped noticeably. From the Java
programmer who didn't know what the & operator was for, what a mask is,
or even what bits are, to the Windows-savvy guy who understands better
than I do how to throw together a working application, but doesn't
understand how to test it other than toss it to the users and see what
happens, these young kids just ain't got no respect.

On the other hand, I roundly disagree with you that the quality of
programming tools has gone backward. I'm very excited by what I see as
a rapidly "gelling" synergy of products and architectures, particularly
from Microsoft. I see a lot of old, nasty programming problems
gradually finding standard solutions and being subsumed into things
that the underlying system "just does" without you having to worry
about it very much. Problems that we all used to solve as one-off,
custom solutions, each a little different, are coming together into
standard solutions that everyone can leverage to their benefit. I think
it's amazing.

The fact that few programmers out there understand these standard
solutions, and even fewer understand what lies behind them... well, I
think it's a temporary problem. The programmers who will have to study
hard (or get out of the industry if they haven't already) are the ones
who entered the field in the 1990's and let themselves become lazy
prima donnas, accustomed to having gobs of money thrown at them for
displaying even the most rudimentary understanding of the programming
craft. The more glib among them will always manage to get contracts and
eventually move into management, but most of them will have to learn up
or get out over the next few years.

Yes, the bar is lower, but the technological base is rapidly growing
and subsuming nasty problems that have plagued us for years. I think
that this is the most exciting time to be programming in the last
twenty years. I only hope that _I_ can keep up! :-)

Nov 17 '05 #9
Oh, and I should add that in the last five years I've discovered the
most difficult part of programming, one that will never go away:
figuring out what the users need in order to do their jobs, rather than
just delivering what they ask for.

Dealing with people, analyzing their needs (despite their often active
resistence), and delivering solutions that really do solve their
problems (and convincing them to use those solutions) is the hardest
part of this job, and that's never going away.

Nov 17 '05 #10

"Bruce Wood" <br*******@canada.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@o13g2000cwo.googlegr oups.com...
Oh, and I should add that in the last five years I've discovered the
most difficult part of programming, one that will never go away:
figuring out what the users need in order to do their jobs, rather than
just delivering what they ask for.

Dealing with people, analyzing their needs (despite their often active
resistence), and delivering solutions that really do solve their
problems (and convincing them to use those solutions) is the hardest
part of this job, and that's never going away.


I will second that.

Time after time I look through poorly thought out, half-baked, "solutions" that the Client
requested. I invariably need to ask the magic question.
"What, exactly, are you trying to accomplish, and why?"

There are quite a few Programmers/Architects/Project manager who will blindly follow the Spec,
without ever questioning it. More often than not, those projects end in failure and finger pointing.
"It say right here in the Spec...."

I had one Do-nothing Project manager yell at me for asking too many questions when the Spec
CLEARLY spelled out the work. I went over her head to a sane manager and then the "Clear Spec" was
changed so that we were no longer "Designing the impossible". The project manager was reassigned to
some other project that she could ruin.

Bill
Nov 17 '05 #11
On Sun, 13 Nov 2005 13:08:19 +1100, "Radek Cerny"
<ra*********@c1s.com.au> wrote:
I just believe that for the
most part, programming tools and languages were in a better place ten
years ago and technology seems to be taking us backward in that
regard.

The message included somewhat of a sub-rant about the
over-webification of application development.
OK, if this was your point, then I must strongly disagree. I grew up a
Cobol programmer, have gone thru various languages and platforms, 4GLs and
now I develop in .NET. If I had to go back to any of those, I would quit
and change professions. Now I must say this: I agree with some of what you
say in principle - I am ashamed, embarrased of the current state of software
development. We did, as a whole, develop software better in the 1980s than
we do now. Things worked, as shown by the fact that most of the world still
runs on mainframe, AS/400 and similar platforms, in PL/1, Cobol
applications. Today, and the last 10 years or so, has seen so many serious
software disasters. We lost the art of Project Management and Design. And
I do think that MS is partly to blame for this - breeding a generation of
cowboys that code first and ask questions later. Nobody taught them to
Design and think about things - just write some code quickly.

Too many people forget (or never knew) the D in RAD stands for
Development and not Design. Seat-of-the-pants coding passes for a
design generally resulting is something that works adequately at best.
Maintaining and enhancing such a product can be impossible because of
unexpect dependencies. Worst of all is the idea of too much invested
to start over with a proper design. I don't believe MS bears much
blame for management's short comings.
Well I have kept the old-world principles, extended them to cope with modern
technology and the internet, and am extremely happy with .NET (except I have
no multiple inheritance - gotta throw that in every chance). I can now
develop robust feature-rich systems extremely rapidly and deploy these as
Web Services to rich [but thin] clients arounf the world. I could never
ever do that prior to .NET.
MI can make it very easy to shoot one's self in the foot. It is not
difficult to use interfaces instead and have types supporting the
individual interfaces as members of the type supporting all the
interfaces.
Everything you say about .NET is dead solid perfect.
And please note I do not use ADO.NET or any of the so-called Enterprise
library stuff from MS - I have my own design patterns from way back that
work, and make extreme use of OO features and metadata. I would not trust
MS to build an Enterpeise system, why would I use their architecture?

I'm uncertain what Enterprise library stuff you refer to. Design
patterns are abstractions and the biggest abstraction is everything
consists of shopping carts, a selectable collection of items and some
form of accounting system. OO design skills and pattern recognition go
hand in hand.

Mr. Einstein said "keep things as simple as possible but no simpler."

regards
A.G.
Nov 17 '05 #12
JustObserviing TMH MVP wrote:
[snip]


PLEASE start a blog and post there. No offense, but I don't read blogs
because I don't want to read this stuff.
Nov 17 '05 #13
You are not forced to read the thread.

--

Derek Davis
dd******@gmail.com

"jeremiah johnson" <na*******@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:ud**************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
JustObserviing TMH MVP wrote:
[snip]


PLEASE start a blog and post there. No offense, but I don't read blogs
because I don't want to read this stuff.

Nov 17 '05 #14
> You are not forced to read the thread.

Some of us just can't help it. It's like looking at a really bad accident as
you drive by...

--

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
..Net Developer
If you push something hard enough,
it will fall over.
- Fudd's First Law of Opposition

"carion1" <dd******@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:en****************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
You are not forced to read the thread.

--

Derek Davis
dd******@gmail.com

"jeremiah johnson" <na*******@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:ud**************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
JustObserviing TMH MVP wrote:
[snip]


PLEASE start a blog and post there. No offense, but I don't read blogs
because I don't want to read this stuff.


Nov 17 '05 #15

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