I’ve been having a lot of fun developing The Fog Creek Control Panel with ASP.Net. It’s a web page that allows us to track critical business data in real time. I can see things like how many people are registering the CityDesk starter edition, how many affiliate applications need to be processed, how many bug reports have arrived from customers (2 so far today), and so on. This morning I added two features: one gets detailed order information for any purchase in our database, and the other lists open purchase orders people have placed with us. Elapsed time to implement both features: 20 minutes.
To be fair not everything about .NET is peaches and cream. Here are a few steps backwards I’ve noticed so far:
- the IDE is amazingly sluggish on my PIII/600 laptop. (Speaking of which, why the heck can’t I get a Thinkpad X-series with a 1.7 GHz P4M already? Does anybody know of any ultralight notebooks with this chip?)
- since destructors aren’t called when an object drops out of scope, if you have a SqlConnection object, you positively have to remember to close it because you can’t wait for the garbage collector to come around. I suppose this limitation of GCs has been argued to death when Java came around, and it’s not a big deal, but it is a step backwards
- that 20 MB runtime is a real showstopper. Yes, this is an advantage to Delphi. I’m starting to suspect that Microsoft doesn’t care — they are perfectly happy to have a development environment that is excellent for internal/corporate applications, where they don’t compete, but borderline useless for shipping, commercial, shrinkwrap, where they do compete.