C# a Total Failure with no Future… ?

Date Published: 19 August 2005

C# a Total Failure with no Future… ?

According to Calvin Austin, writing in JDJ (which, as a dead trees publication, you would expect to have better, more accurate information than some uninformed blogger or /.er, but not this time) has a recent column titled C#: Is the Party Over? In it, he makes a number of statements which, while humorous to those of us with a clue, serve to further mis-inform the (presumably dozens or more) readers of his column who rely on his insights for their information.

My fellow RD, Jon Box, rebuts Calvin point-for-point in his blog, here.

Jon does a good job of picking apart Calvin’s fallacies, so my points here will be brief:

Calvin thinks .NET is evolving too fast. He says:
The .NET platform has been under constant development, often too fast for many corporate users to adopt. There has been a 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0, each which could be counted as a significant version in their own right.

In fact, there have only been two releases, 1.0 and 1.1, and of these, only 1.0 was a major release. 2.0, for those of you who haven’t heard, is slated for release later this year. It’s fine to talk about its imminent release in the context of .NET’s evolution, but it’s not correct to use past tense when doing so. Also, since when is active development a bad thing? Let’s look at the most successful projects over in SourceForge and see if they’re the ones that have activity, or ones that haven’t been touched in 5 years. Gee, I wonder…

Another gem:
The C#, C++, and C compilers are now free, although not obviously as optimized as the professional edition. While C# has gained some traction in those years, why didn’t it make the grade?

What’s this “now free“ stuff? The .NET SDK, and the csc.exe (the compiler, which Calvin’s probably never used) have been free since day one. And there is not “professional edition“ compiler. I think he’s confusing an IDE (like Visual Studio) with a compiler, which doesn’t really improve my opinion of his knowledge of this subject at all.

And in the What? category:
Mono today is still a development project much as .NET is still looking for full traction.

According to Port80’s May 2005 study of all Fortune 1000 companies’ main web site servers, Microsoft platforms (ASP and ASP.NET) accounted for 43.6% of the servers, while Java Platforms came in second with 12.2%. What kind of traction does Java have, if .NET is “still looking for full traction” with 3.5 times as much adoption?

I’m sure Calvin knows a lot more than I do about Java and J2EE. But he clearly has little knowledge of C#, and .NET in general. That being the case, he might want to consult with some experts in the .NET field before he tries to write about it again. In fact, had he asked, Microsoft would have provided him with a lot of the data he was obvioulsy missing, as Dino Chiesa says at the end of his response (below).

I’m glad JDJ was good enough to publish a response from Microsoft’s Dino Chiesa, PM in the .NET Developer Group, which also addresses many of Calvin’s innaccuracies. To some extent I think JDJ is simply hoping to benefit from the religious nature of this debate, but I’d rather that to only presenting one side of the story.

Steve Smith

About Ardalis

Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.