[Kc] May Meeting

James Carman developer at peelle.org
Wed May 7 10:41:04 PDT 2008


I am with you on most of your developer comments. I have used .NET for some contract work, and when I was in school. In that conference I went to yesterday, you could make some general assumptions based on the questions asked, and the material presented. 
The first and longest presentation was about web development with .NET and focused on astetics mostly.
The second was about creating and using office addins.
Most questions that were asked were about UI design stuff.
One of my friends who develops GIS software in .NET asked the speaker a question about a C# language feature, and unintentionally stumped him.

As far as inflexibility; what I have found is that there is a large learning curve for making .NET more flexible(fully using .NET) that one would expect. When a company needs something that is not standard most companies(I know about) with average developers will buy libraries or controls that do what they want rather than develop their own.

The things I see with .Net that impress me are:
Intellisence - A robust auto completion feature
Drag and drop of controls, code, database connections, and so on.
Integration of multiple languages. <- big for web.
increasingly better Data(RDBMS, XML, etc) support
Mulitple interfaces (design, code, wizard, GUI)
All of the above in one place.

I watched this guy doing a demo focusing on web. He used a library called LINQ to grab XML data, MSSQL data, and filesystem data, merg it, do JOIN's and ordering, and render it. He added a css layout(pre made layout). He added an ajax control to allow editing and adding of data with out doing a full postback. he also added in a javascript modul popup for the new additions.

He did all of this in 10-20 minutes while presenting to us. That impressed me. There are libraries to do most if not all of what I mentioned outside of .NET, and they are scattered.

In my opinion that integration along with the good tools is what seems to be saving so much time.

I agree nothing replaces good programming practices. What I want is something to supplement them. Preferably not MS.

I am downloading eclipse/epic now and will give it a try.

Once again Thanks for all of the comments. And sorry if I act obstinate I don't mean to.

James Carman

>For an open source IDE which competes in the neighborhood with Visual 
>Studio check out Eclipse: http://www.eclipse.org
>My personal opinion is that 98% of developers using Microsoft and Visual 
>Studio are doing mostly production line work. You can take fairly 
>inexperienced and ignorant programmers and quickly put them to work 
>snapping together reusable components to provide adequate if inflexible 
>solutions. Microsoft tries hard to make such work require little 
>underlying knowledge of the reusable components and how they fit 
>together. So unless said programmer has the motivation to dig deeper, 
>the slope of their learning curve and knowledge accrued from experience 
>is fairly flat.
>That said, there are plenty of really smart programmers out there using 
>Visual Studio. The intellectually stagnant description of working with 
>Microsoft stuff is probably more to do with the maturity of their 
>product than anything else. My main gripe is the inflexibility and 
>reliability problems when you go off the beaten path. But I haven't 
>jumped on the .Net bandwagon... so perhaps even that is improving.
>I guess what I'm driving at, is that if you are looking for tools to 
>help you quickly snap together demos, and make solutions that only work 
>well on the beaten path of Microsoft's "One True Way" (TM). Then look no 
>further than Visual Studio, .Net, etc. On the other hand, there's no 
>short cut to developing the knowledge, experience, and good habits which 
>will make you a good programmer.
>I too would like to hear advice and tips from the gray beards on how to 
>improve productivity, efficiency and quality. ...Sounds like the old 
>joke about optimization. Cheap, fast, good. Pick two. For large values 
>of cheap and fast... pick one.
> From my limited experience, I've had good experiences with:
>o  turn your bondage and discipline knob to the highest setting you can 
>o  write your tests first, then implement the functionality to make them 
>o  programming in pairs (rarely supported by management in my experience)
>o  write your code for readability
>o  early optimization is the root of all evil
>o  make a habit of learning and doing
>All except perhaps the last are about writing maintainable code. All of 
>which initially seem to really slow you down. But the time you waste 
>trying to figure out how to patch, extend, or explain old code to 
>whoever's stuck maintaining it drops much more significantly.
>The last, making a habit of learning and doing, is probably the most 
>important. Choosing a good enough approach to solving the problem at 
>hand takes knowledge and experience. And IMHO how good the "good enough" 
>choice is explains the orders of magnitude difference in the 
>productivity of really great programmers and the rest of us. The general 
>advice you hear here is to learn multiple programming languages and 
>styles of programming. Find and read good code. Actively work in 
>projects where you're able to participate on different levels. As a 
>newbie, a part of the crew, and in a leadership capacity.
>Whether your new to Perl or an old has been, I highly recommend picking 
>up a copy of Perl Best Practices by Damian Conway. It boils down and 
>rationalizes Conway's idea of his and the Perl Community's best 
>programming practices. It is much easier to pick up good habits while 
>your still learning Perl. But even guys like me can slowly whittle away 
>at re-habiting ourselves.
>James Carman wrote:
>> Hey All,
>> I would like to know how to speed up project development time. Anyone have 
>some good rapid development tips specific to Perl?
>> Things like IDE's, Frameworks, MVC's all sound nice, but it seems like I 
>have to learn them to know if they are worth using. I would rather pick your 
>brains. :-D
>> I am constantly hearing about Visual Studio from other developers I know. 
>Yesterday I attended the Microsoft Hero's event in St. Louis, and watched a 
>demo of their newest IDE/Framework. It is very nice. It is very integrated. I 
>don't know of a current Linux IDE that can compete. On that note I would love 
>to hear more about that subject. Also if there is no awesome IDE available, is 
>anyone interested in collaborating to write one?

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