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Devs Worried Microsoft Will Dump .NET 440

joelholdsworth passes along a story summing up concerns from developers that "Microsoft seems to be set on adopting HTML5 and JavaScript as its main application development tools for Windows 8," and asking, "is this the end of .NET?" The article continues: "To bet the farm on HTML5 and JavaScript being the next big thing is a good bet, but it's not a bet that Microsoft can easily take and make good. Even if the world does turn to JavaScript and platform-independent apps, this still means that Microsoft loses. The problem is that Microsoft needs a technology that gives it an edge, and HTML5/JavaScript is everybody's edge. Microsoft developers feel left in the dark and very angry at the way they are being treated. You only have to browse the Microsoft forums to discover how strong the feeling is: forum post 1, forum post 2 and an open letter." Reader Sla$hPot points out a similar story at OS News.
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Devs Worried Microsoft Will Dump .NET

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  • Dupe (Score:4, Informative)

    by cgeys ( 2240696 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @03:17PM (#36427736)
    This is dupe from last week []. Just for Joel to get some visitors to his ad ridden .info site...
  • Comment removed based on user account deletion
    • No. At least not for a long while.

      Exactly. Honestly, I'd be much more worried if I were a Silverlight dev. It does a few things HTML5 can't, but not nearly enough to make a career.

      I'm still thinking that any day now <asp:Control runat="server"> will include <asp:Control runat="cloud"> and <asp:Control runat="client">.

  • Why worry. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @03:23PM (#36427826) Homepage Journal

    When has Microsoft ever just killed off a technology that they pushed? Next thing you know will be telling me that VB6 and FoxPro are in danger of going away.

    • Re:Why worry. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @05:14PM (#36429184)

      This would be funny if millions of people weren't STILL using VB6. :P Hell, I've worked at two Fortune 500 companies in the last year that had business critical applications still in VB6.

      Now, that millions of people are still using VB6 is funny, but that's not where you were going with that.

    • Re:Why worry. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @06:38PM (#36429956)
      Microsoft Flight simulator was dumped in 2009. It was not only used for aircraft simulation, but also for geographic information systems. Microsoft was lying to these users even after they shut down the group supporting the project, but the truth came out from the laid off employees. Locheed picked up the professional version recently and is supporting their version. I have no idea what this new version means to the GIS projects that were using it. I assume that many of the GIS users are completely screwed at this point no matter what.

      Why does anyone think that NET users are any less disposable then the GIS users?

  • Short Answer? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @03:24PM (#36427836) Journal


    If you watch the presentation for what it really is, what they're saying is if you want the 'New Hotness' flashy canvas, yes your apps will have to be HTML/JS. No, they're not going to throw away everything out there, you'll be able to use 'old and busted'.

    • by Dadoo ( 899435 )


      Yeah, my sentiments, exactly. Even if they were planning to get rid of it a couple of weeks ago, they certainly would have changed their minds, by now, after all the developer outrage.

    • s if you want the 'New Hotness' flashy canvas, yes your apps will have to be HTML/JS.

      It doesn't even say that. It says that you can write flashy apps with HTML5/JS; it doesn't say that you'll have to.

  • No. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki.cox@net> on Monday June 13, 2011 @03:25PM (#36427852)

    You can't write good direct x code even if they did manage to provide a JS wrapper. .net is here to stay.

    • by JMZero ( 449047 )

      You can't write good direct x code even if they did manage to provide a JS wrapper. .net is here to stay.

      You know another place you can't write good DirectX code? .NET. Well, at least ever since they killed MDX.

      You're right in that there's no reason to believe MS is dumping .NET in general - but people using it to do XNA Game Studio stuff is hardly the core thing MS is going to be worried about.

      • MDX was rather unpleasant to work with, though. Based upon what I saw (which may not have been a representative sample) the encapsulation didn't really work at its best unless you were using managed C++, which was an unfortunate perpetration by itself.

    • I don't see any reason you couldn't convert Javascript over to a VM-style engine just like .Net and Java. To some extent it's already been done anyways.

      I'm not saying it's a good idea, or that .Net is in fact at any risk (although it wouldn't be the first time MS promoted a development platform only to change their minds), but Javascript is just a bloody language, and if you're developing an application layer, by whatever means, you can give the language as much or as little low-level access or access to o

      • by vlm ( 69642 )

        This was the dream of Java back in the day, to have everything from the OS right up to the applications all running under Java VMs.

        This was the dream of Java back in the day, to have everything from the OS right up to the applications all running under different mandatory Java VMs, from openjdk to mandatory conflicting version numbers. Everyone is used to the MS idea of one application = one server, due to poor interoperability. It got to the point at one job were we were considering multiple desktop machines due to the need for conflicting java runtimes. The new paradigm of one application = one enduser machine. Which I'm sure wou

    • Why write Direct X when you can write OpenGL and have it work on Windows *and* everywhere else (the phonez)? Oh yeah, for the web you have WebGL. Also, you can use Java (not going away) for your OpenGL. So there are certainly (IMHO better) alternatives to Direct X and .NET if you look around.
      • Re:No. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki.cox@net> on Monday June 13, 2011 @04:27PM (#36428648)

        I'm no fan of DirectX myself, however, I cited it as one of the many SDKs and APIs that Windows devs live and die off of.

        Besides, OGL is graphics only. DirectX is a comprehensive suite of APIs that handle input, sound and networking.

        SDL would probably be a better analogy.

  • I highly doubt that MS will dump .NET simply because it is there technology and the control it provides. I would be more worried about them embracing, extending and extinguishing HTML5 and JavaScript as anyone could develop using these free tools instead of Visual Studio.
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @03:27PM (#36427884) Homepage
    developers worry that closed platform multinational vendor may deprecate without concern
    bloated proprietary framework in favour of "Next Big Thing(c)" in order to shore up appearance
    of internet dominance. further research suggests multinational vendor may dabble in/support "next big thing"
    until it loses its questionable interest, profits slip, lawsuits ensue, or wacky CEO sings songs.

    all this followed by analysis/fearmongering/rampant speculation that closed platform multinational vendor may have
    only been relevant a decade ago and/or is secretly a homosexual sharia law terrorist kenyan.
  • by A Friendly Troll ( 1017492 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @03:28PM (#36427900)

    The developers worry about Silverlight and WPF, not .Net in general. .Net will still have its place for desktop apps and it will still be used as a server-side web platform. Silverlight and WPF have nothing (well, almost nothing, to the point of being inconsequential) to do with that.

    But this is Slashdot, and that's Soulskill...

  • by Yold ( 473518 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @03:28PM (#36427906)

    JavaScript is a great language, but using it for full-blown enterprise app development would be a major setback. Strongly typed languages are great for the enterprise, because you know (and Intellisense knows too) at compile time what to expect from objects.

    Furthermore, I'd speculate that the performance of the .NET Virtual Machine is miles ahead of any JavaScript VM. I cannot recall hearing about any JavaScript VMs that support multiple threads either.

    Shit like this makes me not even want to come to this site.

    • by JustSomeProgrammer ( 1881750 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @03:40PM (#36428076)
      +1 Agree. Javascript and HTML 5 I think is great for client side, but server side? I don't really want to write JavaScript for talking to a database.
    • Take a look at Web Workers []. I needed to synchronize multiple browsers to a common clock. Used ajax push engine as a message bus to send sync event timecodes, and a web worker on each client to run a timer in a separate thread from the main UI code. Works pretty good under Chrome.

    • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @04:42PM (#36428802)

      I don't know why JS gets such a bad wrap. It's got some really cool features, like closures and dynamic functionality like being able to compile and execute any string. With syntax very familiar to Java/C++/C/C#, it's easy to pickup and write object based code.

      For those wanting to break out of the sandbox on Windows, Microsoft has allowed creation of COM objects for a very long time. I guess those are the roots of AJAX too.

    • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @05:53PM (#36429560)

      JavaScript is a great language, but using it for full-blown enterprise app development would be a major setback.

      True, but what might make sense is to use a client/server architecture with a Javascript/HTML client and a server written in .Net, Java or lovingly-hand-crafted-C. That gives you a client which could potentially run across iOS, Android, ChromeOS, OS X, Linux and WIndows from substantially the same codebase. That could be a boon if your boss is pestering you for an iPhone app, your managers want a web interface to work from hotel bedrooms or if Google actually manages to produce a thin client that actually costs less than a full PC.

      Alternatively, HTML/JS might just be used to provide the "tile" aspect of your software (analogous to a widget in Android or on the OS X Dashboard) with some preview/current doc information but which fires up the "classic mode" app when you need it. You could even imagine "hybrid" laptops with a (maybe ARM-based) tablet in the lid that let you use widgets and only woke up the main computer for serious work.

      Remember, Win8 is all about tablets and touchscreens, where Apple and Android are currently eating Microsoft's lunch (the corporates are going to be running Win7, if not XP, for a while yet) - and what Appledroid have shown is that software with a UI custom designed for tablets trumps "legacy" software. So, This could also be Microsoft being strategic, to try and ensure that developers go back to the drawing board and implement proper tablet interfaces, not just make minimal tweaks to their .Net forms UI to make things useable-ish.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There are no Datasets in Silverlight! How could MS leave that out? Every Ms Programmer loved Ado recordsets and they love Datasets. Adoption would have been higher. Also, all calls to web r service must be non blocking. Bug hurdle for dumber devs. And no right mouse button! Any surprise silverlight flopped?

  • If you're a Microsoft fan, this should make you happy - it would mean Microsoft is thinking about the future and realizing that future is multi-platform. In the past, Microsoft's behavior has been more along the lines of "attempting to shove the genie back into the bottle".

    The problem I've encountered with a number of Windows "devs" is they seem strongly averse to learning anything new (or maybe they're simply incapable of doing so). In these guys' perfect world, everyone would still be running ActiveX-base

    • A multi-plataform Microsoft is the end of every Microsoft thing we have today. Fanboys are quite right to be afraid.

      Also, the developers will take another hit... It seems that every decade MS makes their old developers' jobs go away, and create a shinning new technology that only inexperient developers will care to learn. Somehow, that doesn't hurt Microsoft's botton line, altough it severely hurts their image.

      • A multi-platform Microsoft is the end of every Microsoft thing we have today. Fanboys are quite right to be afraid.

        Thing is, that aspect of the Microsoft universe is going away whether the company or the fanboys like it or not. Microsoft only has two choices - remain in denial, or adapt. There is no third path.

    • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @04:29PM (#36428690) Journal

      In this particular case, the reason why people are up in arms is because .NET stack is actually significantly better than HTML5/JS stack at pretty much everything except for portability. As a language, C# (as of v4) roundly spanks JavaScript - it has every single feature of the latter except for prototypes (and even that you can emulate), and deals away with most of the flawed design decisions that have to be maintained in JS for the sake of back-compat (like semicolon auto-removal, or dynamic scoping of "this). As a framework, it's so far ahead it's not even something you can compare.

      Of course, no-one said anything about .NET being dropped so far. People are making conjectures based on limited data, someone makes a pessimistic conclusion, and that enters a positive feedback loop where folks sit in the circle on the forums, and are exchanging opinions about how awful things are, with tone set bleaker and bleaker with every new iteration.

  • When MS says Win8 = HTML5/js, couldn't they just mean that apps built with the new tools for Win8 will RENDER using HTML5/js, but all of the platform is still .NET? This seems the likely evolutionary choice for me...

  • If Microsoft dumps the .NET Framework, then it dumps XNA Game Studio, and it also dumps the only widespread set-top platform for video games from the smallest of studios.
  • ...that's why you take a good, hard look at who pulls the strings for a given language and why before you adopt it. When a company, by itself, is the controlling body this is a risk. Granted, consortiums can take a long time to do things, and single companies theoretically can respond more quickly when needs arise, but a company is in the position to write the floor out from under you for the sake of their profits.

    Microsoft has a track record of this kind of behavior. It's no surprise if true.

  • by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @03:36PM (#36428022) Homepage Journal

    It's too easy and too soon to say told ya, it could be a clever MS strategy to instill panic and when hordes of devs cry release a new shiny net for win8, with Ballmer chanting "we care for you!!" in front of some burning chairs sacrificed for the occasion.

    If things go wrong... till a couple months ago slashdot was full of people telling .net is good, 'cause there is a free implementation... since it appears to be true, to an extent, .net developers should regroup on mono, at least to keep investments already committed to .net safe for a few years.
    It's not like a full free software stack when you run it on windows and MS will make sure that their own stuff runs better than mono on their own OS, but bitching about microsoft is a sign of little attention to their track record.

  • There seem to be people out there who confuse .net with silverlight or things running in your browser.

    Yes. that is *one* technology where .net can be, but is not much used. It is like "oh, cryptographic tokens dont run java exclusively", has oracle/sun let us down?

    The main amount of .net in my impression is on the server side/native windows applications. As far as i can see microsoft is *not* going to make the windows desktop and html5 browser coupled to some small computing core with ajax.

    In the web, silv

  • >Microsoft developers feel left in the dark and very angry at the way they are being treated.

    I thought that was the normal state of affairs for MS developers.

  • This story made a lot more sense when it was about Silverlight. HTML5+Script does a lot of what Silverlight is meant to do, and it thus makes sense Silverlight is going to get less love.

    However, HTML5+Script doesn't replace the other roles .NET has in the MS dev plan, which is basically everything else: random desktop apps, services, database-integrated software, server-side web stuff. That last one might seem like the closest, but even then it makes sense for MS to leave the server side mostly the same,

  • I like Javascript; it's a nice little language, more elegant and powerful than it's often given credit for. However, it has a certain domain, and it cannot be used for every task .net is good for. The only things moving from .net to Javascript will be small, undemanding apps.

    Now, I wouldn't put it past MS to drop .net and introduce something new; but it won't be a JS/HTML5 combo. It would be something else. Right now, if they dropped .net, most development would move to C++ or Java, not javascript.
  • PHBs Worried, Devs Secretly Hopeful, Microsoft Will Dump .NET

  • I'd pretty much count on Microsoft phasing out .NET. Soon? Can't see that happening, the investment was too great too recently to get people to switch from visual studio. I DO see the first phase coming soon: accelerating the EOL of the products on the market now. I'd have thought that Microsoft devels would be ready for this kind of dick move by now, it's happened with every other Microsoft IDE.

  • You know how all us freetards keep harping on about software freedom and why it's actually important and stuff?

    This is why.

  • First, .NET != Silverlight. Killing Silverlight will not kill the .NET CLR. A special version of the .NET CLR was created to support Microsoft's push into vector based graphic UI's (e.g. Silverlight) but .NET is just a programming language that Silverlight adopted for good reason. HTML5 + JS, in my humble opinion, is simply a change in direction from the previous attempt of trying to dumb down flashy Windows's UI development with XAML. After all, XAML was simply a XML based description language for the
    • .NET is a framework that several languages including VB, C# and Python can target. It isn't a language in itself.

  • Dot Net is not going away in Windows 8 and it will probably be supported for at the very least the next decade. I would expect the trend to be away from it though toward emca script to be very real, that and possibly other interpreted languages. The whole bytecode interpreter concept is yesterdays tech. There was a brief period where for performance reasons it made sense, Dot Net if anything appeared after that day was passed. I have been saying this for years now and I stick by it. We are at a point w

  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @04:02PM (#36428346) Homepage

    "The problem is that Microsoft needs a technology that gives it an edge, and HTML5/JavaScript is everybody's edge."

    Pardon the French, but are you fucking kidding me? HTML5/JS isn't anybody's edge. HTML/JS is in no way appropriate for writing an actual application. It may work, barely, in some circumstances, but it's the worst tool for almost any job except where it's required (in the browser).

    Fortunately, as stated elsewhere, the concern is with the abandonment of Silverlight (which isn't really that great a loss, except for the people MS tricked into investing time and money in), not .NET as a whole.

    • by v1 ( 525388 )


      That's saying "Microsoft needs more customer lock-in and more proprietary things to force on their users, not following open standards and inter-operability." what's wrong with you?

      Of course, I suppose that might be good for Microsoft, but not the rest of the planet. Whose side are you on anyway?

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      I think the problem is twofold. Microsoft seems very tightlipped about .NET in mobile Windows devices and Windows 8 in general. Then there is the derivatives Silverlight and WPF which Microsoft has proposed is the replacement of Flash/ActiveX except that (finally) some have learned that giving your project in the hands of an ill-supported plugin from a corporate machine is not a good idea in general so they choose HTML5/JavaScript and even Microsoft is getting better supporting HTML5/JS in their browsers an

  • by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @04:06PM (#36428404)

    And this is why it's stupid:

    Web development is a small subset of what you can do with .NET.

    The other 90%+ of things you can do with .NET you're not going to write as a web application. Period.

    Someone might as well ask whether HTML5 will replace C++. It'd be as about as idiotic of a question. Not only is the answer obviously no in either case, even asking the question reveals that the asker doesn't have even the most basic idea of what they're talking about.

  • The first article made more sense, because Silverlight is something that MS has been waffling on for quite a while now and HTML 5 is a realistic replacement for it. But all of .net? Now we're getting out into WTF territory.

    The core of the problem here is that there's no competing narrative. Microsoft's response that "oh we'll address it in September" only fuels the fire because for someone who is already worried, silence only acts as confirmation. It's baffling just how badly they're bungling the PR on this

  • As other posters have pointed out, VB6 and FoxPro would still work.

    Which misses the point entirely. So what? Scan Monster to see how many jobs there are coding on vb6 or FoxPro vs. open source Java. Someone who invested in learning FoxPro is screwed. Java, not so much. Yes, developers *can* relearn another db, framework or language. How many times do you want to be do that in your life, and at what monetary cost?

    Bottom line? Microsoft has abandoned platforms willy nilly for the past two decades. Instead of

  • by johnlcallaway ( 165670 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @05:48PM (#36429522)
    ... who as at some time wrote programs of varying complexity in assembler, NEAT/3, COBOL, FORTRAN, Java, C, C++, C#, JavaScript, PERL, various Unix shell scripts, DOS and many others that time have passed on, there is only one thing I have to say about anyone lamenting the passing of anything ...

    Adapt .. or become the most expendable at layoff time.

    The .NET and Java and Ruby and Python programmers today will suffer the same fate as the FORTRAN and COBOL programmers of the 60s and 70s. If you are too afraid to learn new things, you will become obsolete. You will become a dime-a-dozen programmer stuck with maintaining obsolete, legacy code that was so poorly written that no one wants to touch it. You will become the first person to be let go as the new kids get hired on.

    It doesn't happen overnight. Today, you can tell your boss that you don't know how to do that and he will get someone else to do it. You can whine about what an abomination it is to use that new stuff when the old stuff is just fine. And he will get someone else to learn it. There is enough work to keep you around for a few more years, so keep it up.

    But soon, after a few more new technologies have shown up, based on the stuff you originally didn't think was worth looking at, you will look around and realize you don't know jack schit anymore. I've seen it happen over and over again, because *I* was the one willing to step up and learn new stuff by saying "I don't know, but I can figure it out." No matter what a pile of donkey dung I thought it was. Now, I'm 52, employed, and still working on new tech .. and loving it! *AND* I know all of the old crap and can get in there and play hero when some POS C code written 15 years ago by a librarian fails.

    Stop whining and do something about it by learning the new tools.

    What a bunch of babies....

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"