Coffeehouse Thread

11 posts

Forum Read Only

This forum has been made read only by the site admins. No new threads or comments can be added.

.Not for shareware

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    ThomasAesir

    Hi,

    Long time lurker first time poster.

    Firstly let me say thanks to the Channel 9 crew and MS for providing this great website. I love the whole philosophy behind it. Now to the topic at hand:

    .Not for shareware
    The .Net framework is a great  technology. It gives developers the ability to create complex programs more quickly and easily than previous technologies. It protects the users from malicious code and best of all its free.  So with all these benefits why aren't shareware developers going .Net crazy?

    They should be, but for all the benifits .Net has it is still not a good option for shareware developers and here's why;

    Point 1
     Shareware developers are not going to ask potential clients to download and install a 20 mb  framework just to run their application they are trying to sell. This is what MS is supposed to do if it wants to see the framework on home user machines. MS could easily do this by simply developing some cool free .Net games and killer .Net apps.

    Point 2
    Win32 applications will run on Win95 to Longhorn while .Net is really only meant for XP to Longhorn.

    Point 3
    It's easier to decompile .Net apps than Win32 apps (so I've heard anyway).

    Point 4
    Deployment. Even if the framework were more widespread deployed what happens if a non-framework user tries run your .Net application? Are there any Installers that auto-magicly detect the missing framework?

    Point 5
    What is this .Net thing anyway?
    They're the types of questions you'll get if you try to force users to install the framework. Shareware authors don't want to answer these types of question and it doesn't help either that MS tried to market .Net as everything and the kitchen sink. How dumb was that whole affair?

    Being a shareware developer I'd like to be able to use .Net. I like the technology but the points I raised are stopping me from going full steam ahead with .Net. What are your thoughts on this? Are there any shareware authors here or is everyone doing ASP or intranets?

     I'd love to hear some MS representatives comments on this.

  • User profile image
    gmiley

    You bring up some good points. BUt I think the main reason it is not being used is that, for one, it is just now really starting to catch on. There are several companies taking advantage of the .Net framework.

    As far as your point 4 is concerned, the installer that comes with VS.Net has a built in checker for .Net versioning and presence. It checks for .Net, if it is found the application is installed. If it is not found you are presented with a question and explanation about installing .Net Framework and then a browser is opened and you are taken to the .Net Framework download section.

    Point 3, I have not heard this so I cannot really comment. A .Net application is compiled from the code you wrote to assemblies then into compiled binaries.

    Point 2, .Net framework is available for win98, win2k+ as well as WinNT (I think). If you are still running windows 95 at this point, I think you have more problems than not being able to access .Net apps.

    And point 1, I agree with. The thing is however, the .Net framework is still relatively new in comparison. I think, but am not certain, that .Net framework is being packaged with recent copies of WinXP and 2k. If not, well, the new versions of windows on the horizon will have it. And honestly in this day and age a 20meg download isn't that big for something that will provide you access to so much. Think about it, people download DirctX to play games, and how big is that?

    Hope I could help answer a couple questions. If I didn't, then I hope I confused you a little. =)

  • User profile image
    PeterV

    For most of your points i would say RTFM, but i'm in a good mood Wink

    Point 1 : If i'm not mistaken, it will be included in the future versions of Windows. It's already in Win2k3 server.

    Point 2 : .NET also runs on Win2k/98/Me/NT.

    Point 3 : If you leave them in IL, you can use an obfuscator and still get all the benefits from the IL. You can also compile them to native code (like a Win32 app) but you don't get the IL benefits.

    Point 4: see gmily's post

    Point 5: Tell those user that .NET is what makes sure that Windows app work secuerly and smooth. And that it's the future for windows apps, and possibly also some *nix apps (mono).

  • User profile image
    ThomasAesir

    There are several companies taking advantage of the .Net framework.

    What companies? 

    Are there any shareware companies that you know of that use the .Net framework in their products (non-developer products that is)?

    I'm glad to hear about point 4.  I hope that C# Builder has the same features for it's installer, anybody know?

    And honestly in this day and age a 20meg download isn't that big for something that will provide you access to so much.

    It's a big ask, especially since your competing against Win32 programs that don't ask the customer to jump through hoops. Like I said Microsoft could easly change this by releasing some cool .Net apps like free games or what-not which would entice people to install the framework.


    By the way I do use the framework at work to connect to my Access database and to interact with a PDF conversion program I use but I don't have VS.Net. I use Notepad and SharpDevelop.

  • User profile image
    ThomasAesir

    If i'm not mistaken, it will be included in the future versions of Windows.

    Longhorn is due in 2006/2007, that's in the future alright. I don't know about you but I wish MS would stuff the SP2 and the .Net Framework into XP and call it Windows XP version 2.0

    .NET also runs on Win2k/98/Me/NT.

    Is .Net a smooth install on Win98? I did install it on 98 years ago (Framework 1.0) but I don't think it was a smooth install. I could be because I was installing the SDK and the client. The 1.1 Framework client might be smooth install.

    Tell those user that .NET is what makes sure that Windows app work secuerly and smooth.

    That's a bad argument they might counter with "but I use Photoshop which is Win32, isn't that secure and/or smooth? Are Adobe building insecure applications?". Besides people decide themselves whether or not to trust a company and download their application.

    And that it's the future for windows apps, and possibly also some *nix apps (mono).

    Will Mono be able to handel WinForms? GDI+?

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Thing about .Net is there are actually no real advantages, but when Microsoft (With its Monopoly Power) says look left, we all look left. I mean we would all have been better if C# had been a Win32 native language and the 'framework' had been a complex compile-time lib.

    I don't understand how the framework could have grown to 20mb and running .Net apps to 9mb, those are insanely high numbers! I am not sure where to place the blame. I mean, is it not modular enough? What?!

    The .Net framework instead of relying on simple sets of instructions that are used over and over at compile time, they have just make functions to do everything under the sun meaning you have the same thing over and over and over and over and.... in the modules.

    I would love to see how much of the 9mb, of .Net * that is loaded into memory is actually used. But I would guess 25% ish.

    I like Managed code, this isn't  about managed against non-managed but more about the way the library is constructed and more importantly compile against run-time linking. Just because we all have 256+mb in our machines that is no excuse to go nuts...

  • User profile image
    onovotny

    ThomasAesir wrote:
    There are several companies taking advantage of the .Net framework.

    What companies? 

    Are there any shareware companies that you know of that use the .Net framework in their products (non-developer products that is)?


    I can't speak for everyone, but I am the lead developer for aiMutation, an add-in to AOL's IM client.  We're currently working on our 2.0 version and it's using a combination of MC++ and C#.  The only C++ code remaining will be for purely technical reasons, because we need to do things that simply cannot be done (easily) with .NET.  (Things like Import Address Table modifications of a running process/module.)

    We've taken a poll of our userbase and most of our users don't care about the potential 20 meg download.  Also, if they've been keeping up with Windows Update and installing optional items in addition to the critical items, then they already have the framework installed anyway.

    Just my .02c

    --Oren

  • User profile image
    ThomasAesir

    We've taken a poll of our userbase and most of our users don't care about the potential 20 meg download.

    Hmmm interesting.  This is exactly the kind of stuff I want to see.

    I guess If I could see some comercial .Net shareware projects out there I would have flip-flop my position on .Net.

    Does anyone know of any successful comercial shareware applications?

  • User profile image
    jkirwan
  • User profile image
    Sampy

    ThomasAesir wrote:

    Point 4
    Deployment. Even if the framework were more widespread deployed what happens if a non-framework user tries run your .Net application? Are there any Installers that auto-magicly detect the missing framework?


    I feel kind of silly promoting my own blog but:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/misampso

    I have a few posts on the new Whidbey generic bootstrapper that will allow you to install any components that you need (.Net framework included) as well as links to the Everett bootstrapper which will just install the framework if it's not installed already.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    I'll just ignore Manip's comments, for once, as they're completely off-topic.

    A few things. First, the Framework is (last I saw), on a solid 40% of installable PC's. Not bad for an "undistributed" download.

    Second, there is a size tradeoff. .NET apps are much, much smaller than standard Win32 apps. Your 5-10MB app that you had in C++ will often be 500-1500KB. Not a hugely smaller download, but definitely noticeable.

    Next, most users won't care about "what is .NET" if the installers make it a seamless requirement, and basically say "this is a base component required for this program. You will only need to download this once". One only has to look at things like EXEtender to know that people don't mind download extensions.

    It's when you get all technical that it's an issue.

    All of that said, I completely agree that it's difficult for many shareware companies to justify a full move to .NET. However, a lot of companies and software products are (more and more) .NET-based or .NET-enabled (as individual sections of apps are rewritten in .NET, instead of rewriting the whole app needlessly).

    That said, without apps, there will be no deployment. Without deployment there will be no apps. So it's a good thing that products like NewsGator and SharpReader, and several cool games, require the framework.

    To put it differently. There are more .NET-enabled computers than there are Linux and Mac destops combined.

Conversation locked

This conversation has been locked by the site admins. No new comments can be made.