Importance of C# (was Re: IronPython-0.6 is now available!)

Ivan Voras ivoras at
Fri Jul 30 00:25:11 CEST 2004

Peter Hansen wrote:

> Marek Baczyński wrote:
>> Dnia Wed, 28 Jul 2004 19:53:48 -0400, Peter Hansen napisał(a):
>>> As near as I can figure, those who find Python has significant
>>> advantages for many applications over Java and C++ will likely
>>> feel the same way about C#, only more so.  Isn't it basically
>>> a highly MS-centric remake of Java, but missing the very
>>> cross-platform nature which has served Java (and Python) best?
>> Isn't it MS-centricity that serves C#? IMHO it's so popular (relatively)
>> because MS backs it.
> That's exactly what I thought, but clearly the OP thinks
> differently or (it seems to me) he wouldn't be asking the question
> he asked (or in the way he asked it).

Well, it is certainly a big factor. I watched development of Mono with 
interest, and I tried it very soon after it went "release", on FreeBSD. 
Now, it only runs on a recent development version of the system, due to 
unresolved quirks with pthreads that FreeBSD has, but the parts that do 
work, work well. (It was actually a suprise with me, I thought it had 
much reason to fail). That success lead me to get to know C# a bit 
better, so I got a book and started reading.

I agree very much with posts further down the thread by Derek Thompson 
and Martin v. Lowis.

The language itself is much more complex than Python (with which I 
didn't get a book and I think I know it pretty well), it certainly 
doesn't have Pythons elegance in some fields, like lambda functions, and 
I don't think it even has things like generators, but IMO, it's *way* 
cleaner than Java. I've done a lot of development with Borland Delphi 
(Pascal), so my judgement might be influenced by seeing so much of 
things I love and use in D. made it in C# (i think a Delphi architect 
was part of the C# team at MS), my favourite being "properties" and 
"indexers", (indexers = treating classes/properties as array; something 
like overriding [] operator), and "ignoreable" exceptions.

Regarding similarity with Python, i though I saw recent Python versions 
also have properties and single-root-class (is this what 'new classes' 
are about?). C# (or rather, the class lib) also has modern structures 
like dictionaries, stacks, etc.

The only part I'm really dissapointed by is the GUI development. It 
seems that while the Windows.Forms API is "standard" and published, many 
"real life" .net programs call Win32 API in addition to that, so it gets 
complicated. I hadn't had great success with Gtk#. It seems Python has 
much advantage here.

Oh, I have to mention speed: I made some simple benchmarks, and the JIT 
in .net is fantastic! A simple numeric adder-loop in python (with 1e9 
iterations, with xrange...) takes about 30min (hadn't tried psyco yet), 
while C# code is on par with compiled C code (about 2 sec.) - it seems 
they did a hell of a good job there.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nath Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't
you understand?

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