Thursday, September 09, 2004

Is .NET causing the Big Sucking Sounds around Win32?

".NET seems to be draining a lot of good resources down into an abyss that has no short-term gain and increasingly questionable long-term gain. Now instead of spending their time on better Win32 stuff, somebody at Borland now has to address this .NET SP1 issue. Resources at RemObjects that would be devoted to a scripting engine are now eaten up in a language that appears to be no use to Win32 developers such as myself. Countless third-party Win32 component makers are now toiling on .NET components instead. And the list goes on and on. This all represents a serious opportunity cost.And for what? Better threading, cleaner OO under the hood, and language independence, in the long run. I don't think this is worth it, as good as those things might be. The software development industry has lost sight of what is important: user needs. Instead developers are rewriting unbroken applications just so they can use VS.NET or .NET in general. "Software development is fun again!" I heard one developer exclaim in response to .NET. Here's a good challenge for somebody: disabuse me of the belief that there are too many excited lemmings doing software development. Users are not just updating their machines every time MSFT says to either. And even if they do, they still don't get .NET by default. Look at XP SP2 (or is it SP1?). It is being rejected wholesale by the corporate and private world en masse and didn't have .NET in it anyway! Those with a good memory will remember that there was once a time when it was promised that XP would come with .NET installed as part of the operating system. [Young over-excited lemmings of course don't remember that anything ever preceded their beta copies of VS.NET 2005.] Up to this point I've been investing/wasting a lot of time writing and rewriting my newsreader so as to ease the transition to .NET for version 2. Enough is enough. It is time for me to ***t or get off the pot, and that means no more taking out components that look doomed to remain Win32 only or that I won't be able to upgrade when a new version of Delphi comes out. Time for me to practice what I preach. "

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