Richard Grimes has been working with and writing about .NET from its very start as COM+2 and COOL back 2000. For the past 3 years he has been writing the Grimes on .NET column for Dr.Dobbs Journal. He has now chosen to stop writing about .NET and tells us why in this farewell column – which is eerily like OS2 proponent William Zachmans reports on OS/2 Warp 3 and 4 just before its demise.

In short, Richard raises 5 fundamental issues with the development of .NET:
1)some major components of .NET were rushed to completion never having a thorough review;
2)the .NET runtime redistributable is way too large;
3).NET has not been used in any major Microsoft software particularly Windows XP and 2003;
4)with the demise of VB6 and .COM , .NET has not replaced them with equal ease of development value. Instead the bridges from COM and VB to .NET are far too short;
5)the writing will be on the wall in the upcoming beta of Longhorn – if .NET is not used in critical routines consider .NET as being dead.
Perhaps a resurrected, incomplete zombie version in skeleton form will linger on but with VC++/CLI, Unmanaged Code and new trust/security filters as its real replacement.

The signs are everywhere. Visual Studio 2005 delayed yet again. Rumored performance problems with SQLServer 2005 (both are full .NET implementations). Tom Yagers column on the ascendancy of VC++ and the decline of C#. Internal battles at Redmond raging over VB6 versus VB.NET and Yukon including the delay of WinFS. With Palladium, Passport, Hailstorm and a dozen other Cairo-like initiatives gone – it will not be the first time that Redmond has done a major technical about-face.

So you have heard it from here before but it bears repeating – lag your use of .NET 6-8 months after Microsoft delivers major applications (think SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005) using .NET. Ask vigourous questions of Microsoft about how .NET is going to be used in Longhorn and its total product line. But most important of all, have a contingency plan(take a look at Intelligent Enterprises list of best 12 best enterprise systems for example).

(c)JBSurveyer 2005