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Why does joel say mindless complexity=.NET?

Is .NET more complex than it needs to be? Examples?

Dan Howard
Saturday, July 29, 2006
>Is .NET more complex than it needs to be?
Yes. Use it and you'll learn. Too many things jammed in there.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
The way I see it, this is a common fallacy about frameworks. The fact is that the only stuff you _need_ to learn is the language syntax. Everything is available optionally and at your convenience. Nobody stops you from doing your own Win32 UI programming, your own XML parsing, etc.
Philipp Schumann Send private email
Sunday, July 30, 2006
I have no idea why he says that. I've been using .NET since the first beta release and I've never had an opinion even close to that about the .NET Framework.
Jeff Mastry Send private email
Sunday, July 30, 2006
If anything I think that .NET has reduced complexity and increased productivity and ease of maintainance of common coding tasks.

Take for example PHP or old ASP versus the object model of ASP .NET.

Look at the hoops you had to jump through to do interop, manage .dll hell, or make win32 api calls before .NET.

I usually find myself agreeing with Joel, but he's way offbase here.
Eric Wise Send private email
Sunday, July 30, 2006
I think our host has a very well-thought out approach to developing software that he's built up over the years. His solid, common-sense advice, evident in his writing over the years, proves it.

At the same time, I also think his view is often very narrow, and that this also often shows in his writing, including this recent bit about .NET and mindless complexity. In his bailiwick, Joel is obviously a master of his craft, but you have to evaluate all of the advice in that context.

Specifically, if you are writing a small, focused, one-off applications, much of what .NET brings to the table would seem to be pointless complexity. I know I've certainly been frustrated to the point of grinding my molars into dust when faced with having to deal with providers and factories and giant configuration files when all I wanted to do was something simple like writing to a log file.

But switch to a situation where you are building something that has to interact with many other systems, contains a large amount of disparate functionality, and so on, and what once seemed like mindless complexity suddenly becomes a critical success factor. I don't often find myself cursing MS because their software CAN'T handle whatever goofy case I'm trying to accomodate.

Now, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with writing small focused applications or that these things don't have their place.  This kind of work is usually what I prefer for myself, to be honest. I'm just saying that the advice appropriate to such a case often won't translate into other realms without sounding like madness.
Mr. Snider Send private email
Monday, July 31, 2006

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