comenzando con .Net

Hace ya algún tiempo que dije que uno de mis objetivos para este año es aprender a programar en Mono y/o .Net. El motivo principal es conocer todos los entresijos que hay detrás de la plataforma .Net usando un lenguaje moderno como es C#.

Como tampoco es plan de dejarse los dientes en esto lo mejor es comenzar por .Net, leyendo cosas sobre el tema y adentrándose en la terminología del CLR, el MSIL y demás. En este primer propósito me ha servido bastante estos dos trabajos: Estudio de la plataforma .Net e Introducción al lenguaje de programación C#. También estoy leyendo Técnicas y herramientas de desarrollo ágil para .Net para conocer que posibilidades brinda .Net para hacer desarrollo ágil.

Para aprender C# tengo pedido el libro Como dominar C# desde el principio y sobre Mono he pedido Mono: A Developer’s Notebook.

Me he instalado el SDK de .Net 1.1 y también el IDE OpenSource SharpDevelop. A partir de aqui lo que toca es leer e ir haciendo pinitos. En fin, que aburrirme lo que es aburrirme no creo que me aburra mucho este año.

xharbour and dotnet

La semana pasada participé en un debate en la lista de noticias de xharbour. El tema inicial era un anuncio sobre un lenguaje xbase para la plataforma .Net pero luego se volvió bastante interesante, y trata sobre el porqué de mi interés en mono.

Massimo Belgrano: Seem that vo is near to the dotnet version http://www.vulcandotnet.com/. Any plan for xharbour dotnet version also for commercial distribution?

Marek Paliwoda: It seems they have also a Linux version running under Mono … If that’s true it is very likely that Vo will become a “killer app” for all other xbase products 🙂 .

I do not know about any attempts or plans to make xh for NET at this moment. I am affraid nobody is interested in such a version currently. Maybe something will change in a future …

Till that moment, all xbase developers interested in NET, can choose CuleNET or wait for an upcoming Vulcan.NET 🙂 .

José Luis Sánchez: I apologize.

VO a ‘killer app’ ?

I think that VO was the app who killed the best programming language developed ever for personal computers. And we are lucky that [x]Harbour guy’s returned it to live.

Marek Paliwoda: Not VO – Vulcan.NET

> I think that VO was the app who killed the best programming language developed ever for personal computers.

Maybe – if you are talking about *old* VO. But it is an over-simplification IMO. Look at VO community – seems to be bigger than xh community. How can you explain this taking info account that “VO killed the best language” ?

> And we are lucky that [x]Harbour guy’s returned it to live.
Undoubtly.

However look around – how many *new* developers are deciding to enter the xbase world, either with xharbour or other Clipper like products ? My observations are – very, very few. xbase becames niche – smaler and smaler. And xh did not change much in this trend. Maybe Vulcan.NET or CuleNET (or xh.NET) will ?

Tim Stone: Perhaps … but .NET products are still struggling. I’ve been involved in testing several and performance is very slow. I know a lot of work is going into .NET development, but I’m not sure how many “end products” are being embraced at this time.

I can see it more for document sharing and processing, but true database work relies on fast performance.

Marek Paliwoda: You may or may not believe, but here almost *all* new products from firms I have contacts with, are NET based. I doubt elsewhere is differently.

> I can see it more for document sharing and processing, but true database work relies on fast performance.

This is a very personal point of view. Mine is that true database work depends on a good database engine and a very good database project. NET helps building modern and rich user interface. All the rest (well, almost all) is done on a backend (database engine).

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

José Luis Sánchez: I don’t know which community is bigger, but I’m sure that if CA didn’t buy Nantucket now we would have a big community.

I really think that .Net is comming a mature environment, and with mono you can do development for Windows and Linux. In fact, I’m beginning with .Net framework and my goal is develop with mono in Linux in a couple of years. But I will learn C# for this, once I decided to jump to mono I will play the game with their own cards.

Marek Paliwoda: I went this route years ago. It was an amazing journey and I never regreted. I had to learn *lots* of things about NET : CLR, ASP.NET, assemblies, code security etc. One of the things I’ve learned is that *it doesn’t really matter* what language you choose to write NET apps. Language in NET is mostly “a sugar”. That’s NET which gives you the power – not the language. You choose the language you preffer to utilise NET power. That’s why CuleNET and Vulcan.NET are important IMO. They open NET for us using our prefferd xbase syntax. While this does not guarantee that new programmers will choose xbase way to play with NET, it certainly opens new posibilites for those used to “old” Clipper, VO, Xbase++, etc. Xh gave us the hope for a very short amout of time unfortunately, due to amazingly quick technology progress.

The fact is that “old xbase world” is die-ing. And this process happens quicker and quicker. Will CuleNET and Vulcan.NET change this ? I don’t know … but I hope yes.

I wish I am wrong in my opinions.

Thanks for taking your time in this discussion.

José Luis Sánchez: I don’t think xbase world is die-ing. I develop shareware and for me xHB is the perfect lenguage, but I want to learn a new framework that give me new perspectives about my profession. I’ve decided learning mono but I will not leave xHB. I want to try for myself things like NAnt, NUnit that I can’t use with xHB.

Ron Pinkas: Can you please explain, what in your opinion is standing in the way of the xHarbour developers, prohibiting the support any new technologies?

IOW, what makes it so much easier, for the developers of any other development product, to support that “quick technology progress”, to the point that xHarbour will simply not able to compete, beyond a “very short amount of time”?

I for one, see xHarbour as an amazingly powerful, modern, open, development tool, which has a track record, showing how quickly it can embrace and support, new technologies, platforms, etc..

Marek Paliwoda: Complete lack of interes from those who would be able to keep xh “up to date” due to their enough knowledge and desire. Sorry Ron, xh is descendant of hb. Hb had around 30 developers (AFAIK), xh has around 50 developers. How many of them *really* develop xh ? How many of them can devote all their time for xh ? How many of them are familiar with
new technologies and with xh internals (I am talking about *deep* knowledge here) ?

Before you will try to answer, please consider the fact that lately you were looking for voluntiers to take care of orphan xh modules like regex, hashes, network funcs, etc … without success so far 🙁 (hope this will change).

It seems to me those from other products had found talented individuals from which they created a development teams which work full time on their products. This is different than in xh.

Long ago I was conviced that OpenSource model of development is better than comercial. Now I think quite the oposite way. It is much easier for comercial companies to find talented individuals. This is a simple matter of economy 🙂

> I for one, see xHarbour as an amazingly powerful, modern, open, development tool, which has a track record, showing how quickly it can embrace and support, new technologies, platforms, etc..

Yeah … , like COM/OLE for example … This technology is more than 10 years old. I couldn’t call xh support for it even “basic” 🙂 . No type information, no support (or wrong support) for some COM types (like SAFEARRAY’s), no support for parameters by ref, no support for events/callbacks, no activex support, no support for DCOM, etc.

Sure, You couldn’t write anything other than that. Besides everything, you sell xh 🙂 .

Ron Pinkas: Marek,

People may be slow to take responsability, yet they are more than happy to contribute, as you well know. Additionaly, primary contributions seem to come from NEW Individuals, as they step forward to take advantage for new technologies that THEY NEED. This is how most great contributions arrived to xHarbour, and why we have some 50 developers.

Maybe you should ask yourself WHY is it, that I sell xHarbour, why are you here, and why are so many other tremendously creative developers [of
“main-stream” languages] here?

Marek: I mentioned about COM/OLE not because it’s something new (in fact I wrote it’s an old technology), but because having a working COM/OLE support would allow as at least using NET components thru NET/COM interoperability. Much like VFP and VO do. Sure it would be some kind of “hack” but better than nothing 🙂 – I am not sure if you realise that having xh for NET will reguire to rewrite xh almost from *scratch* if you want to have pure NET solution … Taking into acount that even an old technology is not well supported in xh I think it’s quite resonable to assume that the new one will have similar problems. You may or may not agree with this. Please note I am not against xh – I am still going to play with it 🙂 . But this does not mean I do not see xh problems (IMO),
and I am looking at other options also (CuleNET, Vulcan.NET).

El hilo completo se puede seguir en news://news.harbour.com

crisis y revolución

Desde hace un par de semanas llevo dándole vueltas al tema de cambiar por completo de entorno de desarrollo.

La idea de dar el salto es debida a un cambio de la asignatura en la Universidad. El año que viene daré prácticas de una asignatura que exige uso de C y de plataforma Linux. Después de hablar con los gurús del departamento, me he decidido a instalarme ubuntu en mi PCl y sinceramente creo que ha sido una buena decisión. Gracias a la guia ubuntu y a la Guia Hoary Hedgehog he comenzado a manejarme con el sistema sin mucho apuro.

Una vez decidido comenzar a dar el salto a Linux he empezado a preguntar sobre posibles entornos de desarrollo en esta plataforma y al final he decidido que voy a aprender a programar con mono. Aprovecharé que tengo que volver a programar con C para aprender C# y comenzar a usar un lenguaje de programación moderno con todas las herramientas de última generación. A ver que tal va. Ya iré contando.

El motivo de dar el salto de xHarbour+FWH a mono no es debido a ninguna carencia de los primeros. Tengo que empezar a usar Linux de forma habitual y me atrae mucho toda la parafernalia de los build diarios, pruebas de integración y demás, así que voy a investigar todo eso.