Dot Net - Dot What?
Have you been shying away from learning about Microsoft's profound new development? If so, then you're just the same as me. More than comfortable with VB5, VB6 was a rather unwelcome upgrade, with heavier runtimes and few extra features (although we mustn't forget the all useful IIS & DHTML applications!)
Articles, code, books — loads of resources to get us up to scratch on the new .NET platform. Have we been doing this? I would be very interested to see how many of us hardcore VB developers have been investing the time in learning the ropes of VB .NET and everything that comes with it.
Being a developer, I'm finding more and more these days that clients want less home grown, fully coded solutions but a variety of different packages in conjunction with some "glue" code to pull it all together.
Unfortunately I'm finding it hard to place VB in these situations. Sure, VB comes in great use for a lot of desktop apps, but with so many systems being migrated to the intranet and internet, the development of VB GUIs is becoming less and less.
On the good side VB fits in very nicely with ASP on the server side of these web-based solutions. Writing nice COM components that glue, for instance, a SQL Server database to some front end ASP makes VB ideal.
Anyway, getting back to the real issue of .NET. The thought of learning a whole new way of programming in my beloved language is not one I relish, especially with the huge amount of time I don't have to spare at the moment. Many people seem to be going some of the way to helping us, but I always get the feeling they are not quite there either.
So, am I the old stickler who supports a dying trend of conservatism? (sorry William!) I get the feeling not, which begs the question how quickly will we be writing .NET apps?
Some of the new ASP.NET features look welcomed, but how heavy will all this be? With my VB and ASP code running nice and swiftly on Win 2k, will .NET be .slow?
I've asked lots of questions here, and not provided many answers. Not really what you'd expect from an article, but this is meant to see where we all are when it comes to embracing this new development.
Being involved more in Unix work, the urge to learn all the new Windows technologies is dying slightly, putting VB .NET etc on the back burner. But the ease of use of Windows still pushes it to the top of my list (lazy I know!), and I think the time may be coming soon when VB .NET for absolute idiots will be taking a place on my bookshelf (or rather by my bed, where most reading occurs late at night!).
All I can do now is wait and see how you respond — are you a .NET guru already or are you hoping that .NET won't win a landslide? Let me know by clicking on the Submit Feedback Now link at the bottom of this page.
I hope that you've enjoyed reading about my insights into .NET, and the future in general. Of course I couldn't write an article mentioning .NET without bundling in a host of useful links:
VB .NET Uncovered: Getting Started
VB .NET Uncovered: Big Changes
FreeVBCode VB .NET code
Microsoft .NET web site