Is anyone using Python for .NET?

Mark Hammond mhammond at
Sun Dec 21 00:28:13 CET 2003

Simon B wrote:
> I know everyone has probably heard what I'm about to say a couple of 
> hundred times, but because it's true, it should be stated.
>> Again in passing: the concept of .NET was of course based on Java and a
>> number of other higher level languages.  Every book on the subject 
>> I've read
>> says so (which by now is a small handful), and the goal (aside from
>> Microsoft dominating the world as usual) was to improve upon the basic
>> premise of a virtual machine.  They have been successful and the truth
>> stands: the Unix world is cloning .NET because it is a superior 
>> technology
>> for a certain class of language interop problem.  It remains to be seen
>> whether the *Windows Forms* part of .NET will be cloned successfully, 
>> or is
>> desired by the Unix crowd.  I'm referring mainly to the IL.
> .NET is a platform, not a language. What you probably meant to say was: 
> "C# is of course based on Java and a number of other higher level 
> langauges". 

No, I believe his original statement is correct.  Java is both a 
language and a virtual machine specification.  .NET was based on the 
idea of the JVM, but they decided to make it language agnostic (as 
opposed to Sun, who made absolutely no concessions to 
languages-other-than-Java running on their VM.  The world could have 
been quite a bit different if it did)

> .NET the platform is, to programmers, a common set of types and 
> libraries across multiple languages, whereas the JVM was sold along with 
> the language Java, which in my opinion the only difference in 
> marketing... Sun associated the JVM with Java so that to use the JVM 
> they expected you to program in Java. Weird, because they could just 
> have easily sold it as a platform on which other languages ran, and then 
> we'd all be impressed about the vision of having multiple languages use 
> common types... But it's happening anyway 
> ( There are far 
> more languages running on the JVM than languages running on .NET.

This is true, but if you speak to the language implementors, you will 
find they prefer .NET over the JVM - mainly as Microsoft got alot of 
them into a room at once, and asked them what they truly needed, then 
delivered.  Many problems that do not exist for Java, C#, C++ or VB, but 
do for more niche languages have solutions inside the VM, explicitly to 
help solve these problems that noone inside MS ever sees.

Dynamic languages are still missing some support in V1, but MS promised, 
and is delivering, enhancements that better support dynamic languages, 
even though it is not a direct issue for these MS languages.

> UNIX is cloning .NET not because it is superior technology (although it 
> migth be, but that is arguable) but because it creates a situation where 
> UNIX can run all of the software being churned out by .NET programmers. 

I don't agree, but there is no way either of us can be proved right 
here.  However, I seriously doubt people are putting all this work into 
.NET with the sole intention of running code churned out by below 
average programmers working for some huge insurance company - and that 
is exactly where .NET is "hot" at the moment.  Marketting rules here - 
"no brain for programming - try .NET" :)  The truly smart people, 
including the people working on alternate implementations, understand 
the bigger picture.

> My opinion on why MS did take the .NET path is based on the premise that 
> they are only really interested in Operating Systems, which isn't too 
> bigger a stretch. They want to sell operating systems, and part of the 
> reason corporations don't upgrade to the lastest version until they 
> absolutely have to (and even then, they often don't!) is because they 
> have invested big money in software that will require considerable 
> testing and/or modification and/or risk if the underlying OS changes.
> .NET solves that problem for Microsoft.

I don't understand what you are saying here.  That MS only developed 
.NET to force people to upgrade their OS?  I thought .NET was available 
for existing OS's, for free?

MS have invested *hugely* in this - if every legitimate user of an MS OS 
upgraded once, I seriously doubt they would recover their investment.  I 
believe MS are looking a little more forward than that.

Underestimate MS at your own risk.  It is one thing to not like MS, and 
possibly a reasonable positition to take.  However, underestimating them 
is for fools.


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