Is anyone using Python for .NET?

Simon B bowwnz at telstra.com
Wed Dec 24 03:54:32 CET 2003


Mark Hammond wrote:

> Simon B wrote:
> 
>> .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 
>> (http://grunge.cs.tu-berlin.de/~tolk/vmlanguages.html). 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.

I've heard it said that .NET is designed around having multiple 
languages utilise it as their VM, whearease the JVM was designed to have 
java utilise it as it's VM... Certainly a better vision, although not 
something that is uncorrectable with the JVM. Sun could turn around 
tomorrow and begin changing the JVM spec to make it easier to support 
other languages, implement a new JVM, and we'd all be none the wiser 
(aside from the Language implementors :)

> 
>> 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.
> 

But if Insurance Company has spent millions deveoping code in .NET, and 
tomorrow we said they could run that code on platform B, with no 
changes, then it would be a massive boon for platform B. It removes a 
cost of migration to alternative platforms.

I'm not going to second guess the objectives for those re-implementing 
.NET (albiet, i did in the above paragraph!), but from the perspective 
of someone who likes the resulting flexibility of moving to platform B, 
I think it's an amazing ramification.

> 
>> 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.
> 
> Mark.
> 

My point was that .NET was developed so that business CAN upgrade their 
OS. MS only have to support the .NET API, which is not tied to their OS. 
There are thousands of system implementations that can't move from NT 
because of the amount of testing and QA (and code changes) that is 
required to get onto W2k, or Winxp, or Win2k3.

As you pointed out... they're looking forward, and cleverly see .NET 
can't solve this immediate problem, but it can solve tomorrows problem. 
Any new development on NT should be started in .NET so that these 
migration issues don't exist for the new software... It's a perfect way 
of ceasing a businesses investment in yesterdays technology, and 
beginning their investment in todays technology, with a clear upgrade 
path to todays operating system... (and tomorrows operating system for 
that matter!).

I would never underestimate MS... which is why I like them so very much 
and will continue to like and admire them until they cease to hold a 
grasp on a large volume of the businesses that I work for :)

Simon





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