It's .NET's 15th birthday! Given that ComponentOne Studio has had an inextricable relationship with .NET from the start, we asked some of our experienced developers about their impressions of the new kid on the block.
What were your first impressions of .NET?
Bernardo de Castilho, CTO of GrapeCity: Wow, this is amazing! Anders Hejlsberg is to languages like Eric Clapton is to guitar playing. Everything makes sense, everything is so clean and safe and powerful (especially compared to C++ and VB).
John Ayers, General Manager of GrapeCity Developer Solutions: I thought, "How is this not java? Garbage collection? Who needs that?"
John Juback, Developer: I thought, well, it must be a big deal if they made cheesy TV ads like this one:
What were you working in when .NET came out?
Bernardo: A bunch of ActiveX controls.
John Ayers: TrueDBGrid in ActiveX, Written in c++ [Editor's note: This still exists, kind of.]
What was the first thing you built in .NET?
Bernardo: It was a style assembly, somewhat similar to CSS. This was a learning project, but also something I hoped would be used by some of our products.
John Ayers: TrueDBGrid for .NET!
John Juback: Believe it or not, I kind of missed the initial wave of .NET, as I was working on help authoring tools in C++ at the time. The first major thing I did in .NET was a stock market application that had WinForms and ASP.NET front ends that consumed the same database via a web service. This was right around the time when it became practical to build web applications that behaved like desktop applications, with shared code even!
How has .NET evolved over the years?
Bernardo: There seem to be more flavors of .NET now, but things seem to be converging again, which is nice. The main things in .NET for me are the C# language and the supporting libraries. These haven’t changed much since the addition of LINQ and iterators.
John Ayers: Fundamentally, I think it’s the same. There have been some nice language enhancements. The tooling (VS) is very good.
What would you like to see happen with .NET in the next 15 years? Will it still exist in 2032?
Bernardo: I would like to be able to build web assemblies using .NET and C#. Of course, they should support VR goggles (like Oculus). Hmmm, I guess the folks at Unity are probably working on that already ;)
And I'm sure it will exist. C++ and ActiveX still exist.
I hope _I_ will be there to see it too...