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Archive for 01/2005

Titan
Saturday, January 15, 2005 06:54 AM

Yesterday, the Huygens probe has successfully landed on Titan. This is the most distant landing ever by a spacecraft from Earth. The image here was sent from the moon's surface and is yet to be fully processed.

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Delphi Compiler Core moves
Saturday, January 15, 2005 06:41 AM

The Delphi Compiler Core blog has moved to Borland's blog server. Links updated.

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And another thing about C#
Sunday, January 02, 2005 08:44 PM

Tamir Khason has an interesting theory about why C# is going to fail.

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How ASP.NET ripped my heart out with a spoon
Sunday, January 02, 2005 07:49 PM

I don't like ASP.NET anymore. You might have guessed that from the title. Sure, it's better than ASP, but then, so is Notepad. It's great for demos - slap a few controls on a form, hit Run, and there's your shiny new Web application, But it sucks for real development. Microsoft knows it, too, which is why almost every ASP.NET article on MSDN is about the yet nonexistent version 2.0, which is supposed to solve everything by making us rewrite our code.

ASP.NET 1.x is a leaky abstraction if I ever saw one, and a bad one, too. ASP.NET pages are supposed to be classes (deriving from System.Web.UI.Page), but still behave much like stateless server extensions. If you're writing a static web site, that's fine. But if you're writing a Web application that's actually supposed to do something, you're in trouble. And just wait until you try to connect to a database server. You can easily determine how immature a data-access architecture is by looking at the amount of code you have to write to perform the basic database operations, such as inserting records or editing master-detail relationships, and that measurement in ADO.NET is just scary.

And I haven't even noticed. People get used to anything. In the last six months, almost all of my development work was done in ASP.NET, and I came to accept all this extra code as necessary. Until, a couple of weeks ago, a customer ordered a small Windows application, which I wrote using Delphi 2005's Win32 framework, the VCL.

VCL development is easy. There's almost no redundant code, no need to handle the trivial stuff - the framework does this for you. I could concentrate my efforts on writing the actual logic (a specialized diff engine for a specific file format), without worrying about things like sessions, authentication, view-state, load order, or browser capabilities.

Now, I know Web development is different from Windows development. You can't really compare the VCL to ASP.NET. But many of the problems with ASP.NET are, in fact, not related to Web development at all. You'll encounter the same issues with data access writing a data-enabled WinForms application. The real issue is the framework's maturity - .NET is simply not ready. It's not that you can't write powerful applications in .NET - I've written several myself - it's that writing them using the VCL is so much easier. Fortunately, Delphi 2005 lets me do both (take that, Visual C#).

I expect I'll still be developing most of my Web applications in the near future using ASP.NET. It's what the market wants, and does give me more deployment opportunities. But whenever possible, I'll write Windows applications using the VCL.

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Back
Sunday, January 02, 2005 07:17 PM

It's been two months since my last post, and the two or three lost souls reading this blog have probably thought it has finally died. Not so. While it may be lying on its back, kicking its feeble legs in the air, it defiantly raises its ugly head, and magically reappears in this new and improved version, mixing metaphors like a drunk poet or a confused copywriter (which is what my brother wants to be, but that's another story).

I've been extremely busy these last two months finishing several projects, so blogging was out of the question. In fact, I haven't even dared venture into blogdom, and thus now have 1,209 unread posts ominously waiting for me in SharpReader. All those geeks have way too much time on their hands.

Others have been pretty busy, too. Borland has released a new version of my favorite development tool, Delphi 2005, including an update pack. An update for Delphi 8 has also been released (as a public beta). This resolves the issue with the .NET Service Pack, but is unfortunately a DCU breaking change. More headache to deal with. I've been working exclusively with Delphi 2005 since its release, and have been extremely satisfied. Migration from Delphi 7 and 8 has been completely painless, and fortunately I haven't suffered from the issues reported in the Delphi newsgroups (many of them have been fixed in the patch). If you haven't already, download the trial version and play with it.

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Copyright 2004 Yorai Aminov