Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hand me down tools?

Jeremy D. Miller has a great post at CodeBetter.

Here's my mini-response:

I think it's important to keep the "competition" in mind. Ruby and Java both bring something very important to the table .NET only has a poor approximation of (despite many talented developers working on the problem): AOP

This is what makes a truly robust O/R Mapper like Hibernate possible. It's what makes an entire framework like Ruby on Rails take less time to develop than tools like NVelocity, NHibernate, WilsonORMapper, etc.

Not that they don't all have very talented people behind them doing great jobs, but c# is frankly crippling compared to the flexibility of Ruby's mixins, or Java's default virtual methods.

And yet Microsoft spins their wheels coming up with solutions to problems that are already solved with things like Comega. Does anyone with experience with both honestly think ASP.NET + Comega will be able to hold a candle to Ruby On Rails? Will any of it result in less or cleaner code? Will I be able to extend it through metaprogramming?

So what's the point?

It seems a shame that Microsoft made such a really beautiful versioning system, and then crippled their flagship language for versioning concerns. When I can run multiple versions of the .NET runtime side-by-side transparently, why should versioning have been such a problem? Target the assemblies to a version, and be done with it.

But instead of fixing the problem, they put out flashy PR like Comega that really brings little new to the table and misses the boat completely. We need flexibility. Until we get it, c# will always play second fiddle to Java IMO.
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