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ASP.NET WebMatrix Beta

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  • User profile image
    Dan

    Hey folks, if you haven't seen yet, we just announced ASP.NET WebMatrix, a lightweight tool (15-50MB) for building or customizing Web sites. Here's a Channel 9 video on it and another epic Scott Guthrie blog post with all the details. As I've always had a passion for beginning developers from my days working on Visual Studio Express, I think this is great. Not only that, there's a really nice reuse story here in that ASP.NET Web pages using the Razor syntax  can also be created and used in Visual Studio 2010 with ASP.NET MVC projects.

  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler

    I'm the PM on the web framework part of WebMatrix (ASP.NET Web Pages/Razor).  As an ex-Team-Niner, I couldn't help but hang around on this one.  Happy to answer any questions you all have!

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    Déjà Vù

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    Does it have Intellisense?

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    Looks pretty slick.

     

    Although there's a lot of overlap here.  Why isn't this rolled into VS or VWD Express?  Why is this a distinct tool from the Web Platform Installer?

  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler

    ZippyV said:

    Does it have Intellisense?

    Not yet.  That's the first thing everyone asks and it's being worked on.

  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler

    CannotResolveSymbol said:

    Looks pretty slick.

     

    Although there's a lot of overlap here.  Why isn't this rolled into VS or VWD Express?  Why is this a distinct tool from the Web Platform Installer?

    Because beginners don't need all that other stuff.  To build a simple site, VS is way too much.

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    HumanCompiler said:
    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    *snip*

    Because beginners don't need all that other stuff.  To build a simple site, VS is way too much.

    Cool, looking forward to giving it a spin.  Like the shortcut code (Adding a twitter feed etc).  Looks great for dabblers as well.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    ZippyV said:

    Déjà Vù

    I had that too. For a moment there I thought I was re-living 2004.

     

    I remember toying with the "ASP.NET Web Matrix", I remember how the built-in Windows Messenger integration was a selling point (and I wondered why VS didn't have it... before I called it out for being the useless gimmick it was).

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    HumanCompiler said:
    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    *snip*

    Because beginners don't need all that other stuff.  To build a simple site, VS is way too much.

    Ah yes, but to build a simple site ASP.NET is too much.

     

    Microsoft needs to stop shoehorning ASP.NET into the "one-size fits all" it wants it to be, because it isn't. ASP.NET is not appropriate for small-scale websites, PHP won there, and Microsoft needs to leave it at that, anything else is just wasting their time.

     

    I know Microsoft wants to attract the non-professionals and the hobbyists, but there are downsides to letting in the general riff-raff in. PHP has a bad reputation especially in security, whist PHP itself is secure as ever, it's the people who use it that largely got it there. I don't want to see the same thing happen to .NET.

  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler

    W3bbo said:
    HumanCompiler said:
    *snip*

    Ah yes, but to build a simple site ASP.NET is too much.

     

    Microsoft needs to stop shoehorning ASP.NET into the "one-size fits all" it wants it to be, because it isn't. ASP.NET is not appropriate for small-scale websites, PHP won there, and Microsoft needs to leave it at that, anything else is just wasting their time.

     

    I know Microsoft wants to attract the non-professionals and the hobbyists, but there are downsides to letting in the general riff-raff in. PHP has a bad reputation especially in security, whist PHP itself is secure as ever, it's the people who use it that largely got it there. I don't want to see the same thing happen to .NET.

    Have you looked at it yet.  Tongue Out  While you can use all of ASP.NET if you want, that's not what you start with.  In many cases it's SIMPLER than PHP.  If you find places where it's still harder than PHP, let me know.  Still room for improvement.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    HumanCompiler said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*

    Have you looked at it yet.  Tongue Out  While you can use all of ASP.NET if you want, that's not what you start with.  In many cases it's SIMPLER than PHP.  If you find places where it's still harder than PHP, let me know.  Still room for improvement.

    "Simpler" is subjective.

     

    You'll see the ASP.NET advocates (who I find only really develop for internal web-applications) saying that data is simpler in ASP.NET because all you need is <asp:DataSource /> and <asp:DataGrid /> and then you'll have the pro-PHP lot with their simple C-style mysql_* functions.

     

    So whilst it's true that ASP.NET is simpler in this regard, it isn't ideal because using that approach means sacrificing control over what you want to generate to the client. Your indie website developer is looking for something good-looking and unique, if he chose the "simple" ASP.NET solution he'd end up with something same-y and too rigid. He'd have to apply some major customizations to what ASP.NET gives you OOB to get something he wants, and the end result is something far more complicated than the PHP solution.

     

    Case in point: to stop the brain-dead behaviour of a lot of the ASP.NET WebControls you need to redefine default.browser and put that into its own special directory, maybe throw in a web.config file. With PHP you can ship an entire application in a single *.php file (you can override php.ini settings and have full control over what's being generated), that's still something you can't do with ASP.NET.

     

    I can draw analogies between your vision for ASP.NET as a "starter" solution as opposed to PHP and what WPF is to WinForms: yes, it's easier to make something simple, but in the vast majority of cases you end up with a software design and usability disaster (forgone conclusion about aesthetics too). We use MSPaint and not Photoshop for basic tasks for a reason, and this is the same thing.

  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler

    W3bbo said:
    HumanCompiler said:
    *snip*

    "Simpler" is subjective.

     

    You'll see the ASP.NET advocates (who I find only really develop for internal web-applications) saying that data is simpler in ASP.NET because all you need is <asp:DataSource /> and <asp:DataGrid /> and then you'll have the pro-PHP lot with their simple C-style mysql_* functions.

     

    So whilst it's true that ASP.NET is simpler in this regard, it isn't ideal because using that approach means sacrificing control over what you want to generate to the client. Your indie website developer is looking for something good-looking and unique, if he chose the "simple" ASP.NET solution he'd end up with something same-y and too rigid. He'd have to apply some major customizations to what ASP.NET gives you OOB to get something he wants, and the end result is something far more complicated than the PHP solution.

     

    Case in point: to stop the brain-dead behaviour of a lot of the ASP.NET WebControls you need to redefine default.browser and put that into its own special directory, maybe throw in a web.config file. With PHP you can ship an entire application in a single *.php file (you can override php.ini settings and have full control over what's being generated), that's still something you can't do with ASP.NET.

     

    I can draw analogies between your vision for ASP.NET as a "starter" solution as opposed to PHP and what WPF is to WinForms: yes, it's easier to make something simple, but in the vast majority of cases you end up with a software design and usability disaster (forgone conclusion about aesthetics too). We use MSPaint and not Photoshop for basic tasks for a reason, and this is the same thing.

    Seriously, have you even looked at WebMatrix yet?  You're describing WebForms.  This is nothing like that.  ASP.NET Web Pages (the web framework part of WebMatrix) is a lot closer to PHP than WebForms or MVC.  A whole site in one PHP file?  Yah, you can do the same in a .cshtml file if you wanted to.  Really...check it out and don't come back 'til you do!  Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    HumanCompiler said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*

    Seriously, have you even looked at WebMatrix yet?  You're describing WebForms.  This is nothing like that.  ASP.NET Web Pages (the web framework part of WebMatrix) is a lot closer to PHP than WebForms or MVC.  A whole site in one PHP file?  Yah, you can do the same in a .cshtml file if you wanted to.  Really...check it out and don't come back 'til you do!  Tongue Out

    Hold on, are you expecting people to try things first? Is the internet new to you? Big Smile

     

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Looks really cool. I am actually thinking about learning ASP .NET, and I don't know want to buy SQLDB, so the compact for now is amazing. I want something like this because there are too many stuff in ASP .Net and I am indeed overwhelmed. This is much better as I want to really start building it one page at a time.

     

    I am super glad I read this thread. This is so amazing for me.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler

    magicalclick said:

    Looks really cool. I am actually thinking about learning ASP .NET, and I don't know want to buy SQLDB, so the compact for now is amazing. I want something like this because there are too many stuff in ASP .Net and I am indeed overwhelmed. This is much better as I want to really start building it one page at a time.

     

    I am super glad I read this thread. This is so amazing for me.

    Great!  Have you checked out the book?  It'll walk you through all the basics (and keep it simple).  Smiley

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    HumanCompiler said:
    magicalclick said:
    *snip*

    Great!  Have you checked out the book?  It'll walk you through all the basics (and keep it simple).  Smiley

    No, but, super thanks for the book. I really really needed it. Big Smile

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    Human​Compiler

    magicalclick said:
    HumanCompiler said:
    *snip*

    No, but, super thanks for the book. I really really needed it. Big Smile

    No problem. Happy to answer questions. There's also the forum.

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