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Robust class library

2003-09-05 16:54:50.529003+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments


I find it interesting that they cite working with a robust class library as one of the big transitions that developers in old school VB or C++ had to make when moving to .NET. I'm so used to working with languages that have robust class libraries and easily available open source libraries that it just baffles me that people find that difficult.

Rafe pointed to this fluff piece pimping the .NET experience. What struck me was the observation that:

While .NET aims to support many languages, the actual experience of working with .NET is all about navigating the framework, not writing code.

Boy, ain't that the freakin' truth. And there we get to the basic difference between .NET and the various already extant systems it seeks to conquer: By not artificially forcing everything into some silly-ass hierarchy that's dictated more by some wacked politics and history than function, these other systems are much easier to find the right parts for.

[ related topics: Free Software Microsoft Software Engineering Work, productivity and environment ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: [Entry #6497] Robust class library made: 2003-09-08 15:26:04.055298+00 by: Shawn

Perhaps my experiences have been skewed by primarily writing code for Windows platforms but, as a professional developer, I [thought that I] eventually came to realize programming was more about working with the API than the language. Are you saying this isn't, or shouldn't be, so?

As for rc3.org's observation: I've been using VB for over ten years. Contrary to the .NET framework being an adjustment, I think my VB experience has primed me for using/navigating it. (Although in all fairness my recent Java courses deserve a little recognition too.)

#Comment Re: Robust class library made: 2003-09-08 17:02:21.12307+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think that just as programming languages should get out of my way and let me express concepts (which is why I love Perl), so should APIs. One of the problems with the .NET framework is that by putting everything into a deep hierarchy poking through the damned framework for the right class often takes a long time. I generally have a much better time finding stuff on CPAN. The .NET framework layout reminds me of being that bright-eyed college student who thought that top-down design worked.

And far too often, the framework imposes solutions not by actually saving me any code, but by making sure that I have to write the solution within the "right" place in the hierarchy, at the .NET Server 2003 launch the presenter said "All you have to do is write objects with interfaces to do...", and my immediate (and lasting) response was "that's all the code I'd have to write if I were implementing it from scratch in C, the only difference is that now you've given me a set of straightjackets, and I have to search my closet now for the right one rather than just pulling out the first T-shirt I run across".

On your "VB experience has primed me" statement, I guess that's what both Rafe and I were getting at: If .NET is a revolution for you, then your job is about to go to India.

#Comment Re: [Entry #6497] Re: Robust class library made: 2003-09-09 16:31:03.637217+00 by: Shawn

Don't get me wrong. I'm not really defending .NET. Overall I supposed it depends on how we like to work and how our brains are wired. I like to build with pre-made blocks. Occasionally I like to make my own blocks but mostly I like to see what I can make by fitting groups of blocks together. I guess that makes me an "applications" programmer, rather than a "system/utilities" programmer (although my favorite types of applications are what I call "utilities").

>If .NET is a revolution for you, then your job is about to go to India.

[gripe]Your job may be going anyway.[/gripe] I finally got a very promising job lead (VB expertise and a solid recommendation from the guy leaving the position) only to be told that they decided to look for an Indian contractor instead - because it would be somebody they'd be more likely to be able to bully without them pushing back.