Coffeehouse Thread

38 posts

Glad to be off the Microsoft API treadmill

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  • rhm

    Haven't been on Channel 9 for a while - mainly because the forgetting-login issue never really got fixed properly for 'classic account' users. But I saw some of the coverage of the much hyped Build event the other week and wanted to comment on it. Not on any of it specifically because I saw the new APIs and the Metro (puke) apps in the keynote, but couldn't be bothered to spend the time watching the sessions.

    The reason being is that I've left the devastatingly dull world of corporate web development and got myself a job in the games industry. And apart from the direct benefits of that move, I want to say how refreshing it is to not have to care about Microsoft's torrent of API's and frameworks any more.

    Of course the game engine is dependent on APIs, but on mature ones like win32 and DirectX, not on the stuff that changes every few years because people at Microsoft got bored and decided they finally cracked the secret of how to make development *easy* at last, only to abandon that again when they realise they over-engineered some monstrosity like WF or Entity Framework, or ASP.NET Webforms. WF and EF got pretty-much rewritten, Webforms got sidelined by MVC, WPF is sidelined (as far as I can tell) by WinRT/Metro apps if it wasn't already by Silverlight. And WCF should have been taken out back and shot a long time ago.

    The amount of developer hours that are wasted each year by people learning new Microsoft APIs and frameworks must be staggering. It's amusing that Channel9 put up video from PDC2003 - the one where the Longhorn technologies were revealed before all being dropped or demoted to installable .NET frameworks. Will the stuff revealed at Build be any different? Only time will tell. But I'm just so glad I don't have to care any more.

  • vesuvius

    @rhm: This post reminds me of when Dr Evil in Austin Powers shouts "1 Billion dollars" after time traveling while not realizing that the world has moved on

    Why don't you go post in your games forums, rather than coming here and telling everyone why they are a bunch of losers, people tend to dislike that.

    Move along now...

  • rhm

    ,vesuvius wrote

    @rhm: This post reminds me of when Dr Evil in Austin Powers shouts "1 Billion dollars" after time traveling while not realizing that the world has moved on

    Why don't you go post in your games forums, rather than coming here and telling everyone why they are a bunch of losers, people tend to dislike that.

    Move along now...

    That was a mature response.

    For one thing I wasn't calling anyone a loser. And secondly I thought people might be interested in the impression Build gave to someone who used to a huge .NET fan and look forward to ever shiny new toy that rolled out of devdiv. But of course you're not interested in anyone else's perspective.

  • spivonious

    Business apps can get boring, but comparing it to games is comparing apples with skateboards. The frameworks and APIs have completely different goals.

  • ScanIAm

    I work on applications that help people become productive members of society after they've been involved in some kind of debilitating accident or illness.

    What is it you do again?

  • spivonious

    @rhm: I have an old book on DirectX 7 that I never really got into. Do you think it's worth going through or has enough changed where it wouldn't apply to DirectX9/10/11?

  • JoshRoss

    @rhm: What do you think of all the C++11 support in the upcoming version of VS?

  • Minh

    Congrats dude! I think all young programmers wanted to do something in games! It's definitely a different arena though

  • DCMonkey

    ,spivonious wrote

    @rhm: I have an old book on DirectX 7 that I never really got into. Do you think it's worth going through or has enough changed where it wouldn't apply to DirectX9/10/11?

    dx8 is where they added vertex and pixel shader support, and dx10 was a significant rework of the API (so much that many games still support separate dx9 and dx10 code paths in their engines), so I'd say no.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    So when Metro/WinRT is a flop what do they spin up next? WinFormsXAML/WinRT? That way they don't have to say WinRT was a complete waste of time. They can also say that we benefit from it as we're not throwing away all of our API knowledge and it still XAML. We can also "port" all of our lovely Meto apps to the new, more powerful framework. Why does that sounds so familiar?

  • Ray7

    ,DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    So when Metro/WinRT is a flop what do they spin up next? WinFormsXAML/WinRT? That way they don't have to say WinRT was a complete waste of time. They can also say that we benefit from it as we're not throwing away all of our API knowledge and it still XAML. We can also "port" all of our lovely Meto apps to the new, more powerful framework. Why does that sounds so familiar?

    Yes, the problem is that MS doesn't really have a strategic vision; their 'strategy' is to see what others do, wait a few years, then react. This is why you get all these shifts and about-turns.

    I enjoy learning new things, but if it only has a shelf-life of about two or three years (and two years is about as long as it takes to become a real expert in enterprise technologies) then I don't see the point in wasting my time. 

     

  • Dr Herbie

    I've worked in .NET exclusively since the first release (2002).  I got off the 'API treadmill' at.NET 2; we still use Winforms and ADO.NET Typed Datasets.  

    You don't have to be cutting edge to use the Microsoft platform; be grateful that Microsoft if moving at all and giving you the opportunity of using alternatives if you feel you need to.

    Herbie

  • TomboRombo

    They think like a small company.  Just because Apple makes a few bucks on phones and tablets they make this big deal on a Metro UI.   Keep your base happy with Desktop and Business Apps (yes many now using silverlight).   Go ahead and make something as a side show for tablets and phones but dont paint it as the future for everything.  How stupid is it to bring HTML5/Javascript to write apps?  Also, lets bring back C++ for apps.  Thats a slap in the face to Java/C# developers and Anders for his hard work to make developers more productive.  VB guys I wont mention because they have already been hammered when VB6 went down.   If Microsoft was smart,  they would make the desktop even better with some of these new light weight laptops coming out.   Lead don't follow.  Xbox seems to be leading right now and not chasing anyone.   Its funny,  they now have the potential not only to lose the phone and tablet market but also to take the desktop with it.  They are better off sticking to their base and keep the business world humming.

  • spivonious

    ,DCMonkey wrote

    *snip*

    dx8 is where they added vertex and pixel shader support, and dx10 was a significant rework of the API (so much that many games still support separate dx9 and dx10 code paths in their engines), so I'd say no.

    Thanks. I guess I'll look for an updated book.

  • Harlequin

    ,rhm wrote

    For one thing I wasn't calling anyone a loser.

    Yes you did.

    "The amount of developer hours that are wasted each year by people learning new Microsoft APIs and frameworks must be staggering"

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    ,Harlequin wrote

    *snip*

    Yes you did.

    "The amount of developer hours that are wasted each year by people learning new Microsoft APIs and frameworks must be staggering"

    I take that as "sympathy" or "disgust" with Microsoft and not labeling anyone as a "loser".

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • rhm

    ,Dr Herbie wrote

    I've worked in .NET exclusively since the first release (2002).  I got off the 'API treadmill' at.NET 2; we still use Winforms and ADO.NET Typed Datasets.  

    You don't have to be cutting edge to use the Microsoft platform; be grateful that Microsoft if moving at all and giving you the opportunity of using alternativesif you feel you need to.

    Herbie

    I'm glad someone got the point of my post (and managed to present a decent argument against). I can't help wondering if the defensiveness of certain others belies their true feelings about what they do.

    Anyway, I see where you're coming from - people could just stick to one generation of MS tools. I mean there are still MFC developers, VB6 developers even. But then why stick with Microsoft stuff at all if you're going to get off the treadmill that way?

  • cbae

    ,rhm wrote

    *snip*

    Anyway, I see where you're coming from - people could just stick to one generation of MS tools. I mean there are still MFC developers, VB6 developers even. But then why stick with Microsoft stuff at all if you're going to get off the treadmill that way?

    *snip*

    How's that getting off the treadmill? That's simply staying on the old treadmill and not buying a new one.

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