Thursday, July 07, 2005

What a stupid name for a development platform

I'd been putting off delving into the .NET environment for a long time, so this week I've taken advantage of some downtime at work to fire up Visual Studio 2003 and learn myself some C#.

It often felt like I spent more time trying to understand the unique, quirky way the .NET platform handles a specific situation than I did designing the actual application. It's odd that a development environment can include a massive collection of libraries to tie into databases, Windows forms, XML streams, and the like, yet something as simple as creating a variable-length array is such an incredible pain in the ass (and if my research is accurate, there's no way to do it in C# without a sloppy workaround). The fact that I can lay out a Windows form with twenty controls within five minutes and then spend the next hour trying to figure out how to send a parameter to my stored procedure is a bit disturbing. (myCommand.Parameters.Add(new SqlParameter("@username", currentUser))? Oh, that's intuitive.

While it's nice to be using a technology that seamlessly integrates with its target operating system when developing desktop applications, I don't think there's any way I'd want to wrestle with ASP.NET for web development (or at least not for the small projects that I tend to take on). It'd be like taking a fifty-ton dump truck to Wal-Mart to carry home a gallon of milk. A dump truck with manual transmission, when you've only ever driven automatic. A dump truck that gets shitty gas mileage. Well, you get the idea.

Thanks, Mr. Gates, but I think I'll stick with PHP.


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