Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Novell Bringing .Net Developers To Apple iPad

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the odd-confluence dept.

Novell 315

GMGruman writes "Paul Krill reports that Apple's new iPad could be easier to write apps for, thanks to Novell's MonoTouch development platform, which helps .Net developers create code for the iPad and fully comply with Apple's licensing requirements — without having to use Apple's preferred Objective-C. This news falls on the footsteps of news that Citrix will release an iPad app that lets users run Windows sessions on the iPad. These two developments bolster an argument that the iPad could eventually displace the netbook."

cancel ×

315 comments

xna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30958742)

this would mean we could get xna games for the iPad

Re:xna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959230)

this would mean we could get xna games for the iPad

The iPad is only useful when you're on your iPeriod.

Pffff (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30958756)

The iPad won't displace the netbook. Because of its price and lack of perennial netbook features, such as a physical keyboard.

Re:Pffff (1, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958794)

What the fuck were those guys thinking? We know about the fight with Fujitsu [nytimes.com] over the iPad name, but in today's New York Times there was an article about the ambiguous vulgarity of the name itself. [nytimes.com] From that one:

Many women are saying the name evokes awkward associations with feminine hygiene products. People from Boston to Ireland are complaining that "iPad," in their regional brogue, sounds almost indistinguishable from "iPod," Apple's music player.

What's going on? This is Steve's baby. He's been working on a "new Newton" since, what, 2000? Well, his perfectionism payed off and now the ones who aren't laughing are the ones who don't give a shit. Hey guys! Let's make an iPhone, but bigger, and a gajillion times more expensive! They'll love it, especially in this economy! More from that last one:

He is not sure Apple could have found an alternative that ties in as perfectly to its famous brands. "I think we're going to get over this fairly quickly and we'll get on with enjoying the experience."

Here's an idea - What Steve should have done was release a tablet version of the MacBook Air (with the exact same software compatibility, OS, etc.) and call it the MacBook Slate or MacBook Touch. I would have bought one of those, and I'm often the first to question the sexual orientation of male Mac users.

Re:Pffff (5, Funny)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958954)

and I'm often the first to question the sexual orientation of male Mac users.

Umm, Metaphorically or Inquisitively? and Umm, How often?

Re:Pffff (1)

labradore (26729) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959210)

Merriam-Webster has 13 definitions for pad. None of them refer to feminine hygiene. While it's true that you have to know your customer, it's hopeless when your customer is so self-centered and fragile that such a common word is somehow offensive. As for the fight with Fujitsu, Apple has never been one to shy away from using whatever words it wants to use. [wikipedia.org] Personally, I think the iPad is a good idea. However, I also think that while the app store is a useful evil on the iPhone, it's going to be death for the iPad. The device should at a minimum be allowed to run in general-purpose computing mode and walled-garden mode. Otherwise, general-purpose programmable competitors are eventually going to overtake it--especially if they don't require the investment of buying a Mac and a $100/yr license just to run dev. tools.

Re:Pffff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959274)

Both Merriam and Webster are dead. Try http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pad [urbandictionary.com]

Re:Pffff (2, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959300)

Merriam-Webster has 13 definitions for pad. None of them refer to feminine hygiene.

Perhaps, but as a woman I can definitely tell you that all my women friends have agreed it's an unfortunate name because the first thing it makes us think of is feminine hygiene products.

While it's true that you have to know your customer, it's hopeless when your customer is so self-centered and fragile that such a common word is somehow offensive.

What on earth are you going on about? It's not offensive, just awkward. It lacks cachet, which is a bit surprising. Even iSlate would've been so much better -- though really, haven't we all had enough of the "i" thing? It's so '90s...

Re:Pffff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959500)

"I usually don't listen to my records once they are finished and released, but in 1968, during the second European tour, We're Only In It for the Money won the Dutch equivalent of a Grammy. There was an award ceremony, during which I was handed a little statue -- with the album playing in the background. I noticed that whole chunks of songs were missing. Someone at MGM had been offended by the lyrics and had arbitrarily chopped portions of them out -- in one instance, about eight bars of music -- just enough to fuck up the song on the way to the bridge.

The Big Offender was a line from the song "Let's Make the Water Turn Black":

And I still remember Mama,
With her apron and her pad,
Feeding all the boys at Ed's Cafe --

I couldn't understand why anyone would chop that out. Years later I learned that an MGM executive was convinced that the word "pad" referred to a sanitary napkin. He became obsessed with the idea that a waitress somewhere was feeding sanitary napkins to people in a restaurant, and demanded (in violation of our contract) that it be removed. That guy needs to see a doctor."

- Frank Zappa

Re:Pffff (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959502)

...ambiguous vulgarity...

Then we have the Nintendo Wii (piss, pee, urinate, tinkle). No one made a big fuss when that was announced.

Certainly won't displace it in... (5, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958868)

... the next 60 days, amirite?

The iPad has been officially announced for all of two days, a vanishingly small portion of people have actually spent any time playing with one, and the world is already full of vociferous opinions about its prospects for (pick one) dismal failure/niche success/displacing netbooks/world domination. Like this one:

Because of its price and lack of perennial netbook features, such as a physical keyboard.

Looks to me like it doesn't lack for a physical keyboard, even if it's not permanently attached. Will that be a problem for literal laptop users? Maybe. If I were betting, though, I'd guess that it'll be good enough that Apple's sales will compare with the top 3 netbook manufacturers.

I'm not betting, however, because like most of the planet, I haven't had a chance to really play with one, and therefore don't have a very solid idea what I'm talking about.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958914)

The problem is, iPhone OS. Sure, an iPad might be able to do a lot of the things that a regular tablet can, but can it, say, play a YouTube video in the background while working on something in the foreground? Nope. What about Flash? Nope. Yeah, perhaps Apple will release a breakthrough version that makes it usable, but Apple is going into netbook territory with neither the most user-friendly, innovative, feature complete or robust software library. On paper, the iPad is doomed to fail. Perhaps in person it might be different, but I tend to side with the people who think its going to fail to appeal to the masses.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959022)

You're right that iPhone OS makes even the early plan for Windows Starter Edition (with its 3-app limit) look like a multitasking powerhouse.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (2, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959050)

The problem is, iPhone OS. Sure, an iPad might be able to do a lot of the things that a regular tablet can, but can it, say, play a YouTube video in the background while working on something in the foreground? Nope. What about Flash? Nope.

Missing Flash hasn't killed the iPhone, and while there are setups in which it's a pretty big plus to have multiple apps open at the same time, it's an open question whether it's important to have multiple applications open at the same time in the market netbooks are filling into right now. Modal use might well be fine for a good chunk of people. Heck, sometimes I wonder if modal use might not be better for me. Maybe I'd spend less time farting around on slashdot if I had to close the app I was working in to read and post here. :)

On paper, the iPad is doomed to fail.

On paper. That's all anybody's got right now. :)

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959102)

Missing Flash hasn't killed the iPhone,

Not yet, but you have to realize that the iPhone was ahead of its time. When it was introduced you couldn't find a captive touch screen phone with Wi-Fi and a decent browser. It didn't exist. Today? There are dozens of them. The iPhone though has an installed user-base, many, many, many applications at this point. Android is getting closer and closer but the number of apps just isn't close to the same and a lot of games are iPhone exclusives from large game studios. Mix this in with no Android phones on AT&T yet, and restrictive contracts and you have a bunch of people who can't jump ship quite yet.

and while there are setups in which it's a pretty big plus to have multiple apps open at the same time, it's an open question whether it's important to have multiple applications open at the same time in the market netbooks are filling into right now.

Has removing features ever been a good feature? There are very, very few setups where it -wouldnt- be a good thing to have multiple applications running the only time I can think of is with a phone or an underpowered machine. The iPad is neither a phone, nor an underpowered machine.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (3, Insightful)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959176)

Has removing features ever been a good feature?

Er, yeah. The feature of fewer features generally gets described as "now even easier to use," and a lot of software would benefit from it. (Background apps might not be one of the features that is good to remove, but that is a different question.)

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959238)

It may be described as easy to use, but is it really any easier to use? For example, Chrome may be "easier to use" than Firefox, but is so limited in its options there are a lot of people still using Firefox which is inferior in many features, but has more features that Chrome lacks.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959166)

Missing Flash hasn't killed the iPhone

Because it's a phone. People are used to downloading specialized, overpriced, horrible 'ports' of games for their phones already. Netbooks, however, are a whole different experience with whole different (and higher) expectations.

it's an open question whether it's important to have multiple applications open at the same time in the market netbooks are filling into right now.

Two words: music listening. If you had to close down your browser to listen to music on your netbook, the entire market would likely dissapear overnight.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959574)

it's an open question whether it's important to have multiple applications open at the same time in the market netbooks are filling into right now.

Two words: music listening. If you had to close down your browser to listen to music on your netbook, the entire market would likely dissapear overnight.

Sure - but if the iPad works the same way the iPhone/iPad works, listing to music while you do other things isn't a problem. The lack of multitasking just means that you can't listen to external music streams (last.fm, pandora, etc). By all means, complain about the lack of multitasking, but at least complain about it for the right reason...

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959068)

What the hell is it with you flash boys?

The multitasking I get - it would make it so much better as a useful appliance/netbook/superTouch.

But really why the hell should most people care about flash? So I can't play Bloons Tower Defender 4, or some other stupid game. Give me a real reason to need flash. My guess is whatever your reason, there's already an app for that.

I have <a href="http://rentzsch.github.com/clicktoflash/">click-to-flash</a> installed on my system. I love having nice grey boxes instead of ads, videos, etc. I love having the *control* to see them if I want and not if the advertiser wants me to.

That's fine if you like flash, but not everyone likes or even wants it.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959132)

What the hell is it with you flash boys?

Flash would open up a -lot- of content. Things like Hulu, Homestar Runner and many, many Flash games. How many times have you run into sites that are Flash only? There are still a lot of them out there, or sites with HTML, but Flash navigation.

But really why the hell should most people care about flash? So I can't play Bloons Tower Defender 4, or some other stupid game. Give me a real reason to need flash. My guess is whatever your reason, there's already an app for that.

Hulu.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (2, Insightful)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959182)

Blegh, Flash. Apple not supporting it gives the web world a smidge more incentive to make the leap to HTML5, webGL, and Javascript for the two instead of lugging around the bear that is Flash. Hulu and all those other guys can work to integrate that stuff in to the new HTML5 like Youtube is currently doing. Hulu can also (and probably will) make an App for the iPad that will sidestep this problem entirely.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959226)

Hulu has been saying that they are going to release an app for the iPhone since April of last year with now no progress. Apple is not the main opponent to HTML5, webGL and advanced Javascript features, Microsoft and IE are. And yes, even when IE doesn't have a majority marketshare it still will be a problem. No one wants to lock out 30% of potential users, and Flash will still be supported on every major desktop platform for the near future and Apple mobile devices make up a tiny amount of marketshare in the grand scheme of things.

And about your other post about Homestar Runner offering stuff via iTunes, that is great, but it still takes up space, isn't fast downloading and may require you to sync your iPad with the computer which, if my iPod is any indication will take longer to "process" the file than it does to actually download it.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959192)

Oh, and Homestar Runner publishes a lot of its content on iTunes already. There are also tons and tons a cheap/free games in the App Store to stave off the desire to go play those awesome cheap/free Flash games out there on the net.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (0, Flamebait)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959266)

Really???? Your one real reason is Hulu?!?!?

That's V E R Y F U C K I N G L A M E.

TV sucks. Putting it through a flash player doesn't make it any better.

And I know that as I watch out of market hockey games on flash-only justin.tv.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959434)

Gee. Hulu. A way to get TV shows that isn't the iTunes store. A way to get TV shows without paying Apple. I think I see why there is no Flash for the iDevice lineup.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959124)

can it, say, play a YouTube video in the background while working on something in the foreground?

Actually, I bet it can.

The only reason it doesn't, is because of the OS. It isn't a hardware limitation. Apple apps can background just fine: you can listen to your iTunes library while playing a game, or look up something on Google Maps while you're talking on the phone. Apple simply does not allow non-Apple apps to run in the background.

At least, it doesn't allow it yet. If it becomes an issue for marketing/selling the device, you can be sure that the Almighty Jobs will wave his magic engineering wand and *presto* suddenly the iPhone will be able to multitask. Probably already has it working back in the lab... along with Flash.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959148)

....Which is why I said that

The problem is, iPhone OS

I never said anything about the hardware, only the OS powering it.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (0, Troll)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959048)

If anybody on this planet has had time to play with an iPad, it's Steve Jobs. Seeing him fumble the device and make repeated typing errors during a public presentation does not inspire my confidence about its utility.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959142)

Oh no! Steve Jobs is ill! Fumbling his new tablet proves it! He'll be dead inside of a week! As a previous poster said, let's wait and see for ourselves.

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959326)

Yeah, just like he was a speed demon on the iPhone when he announced that in 2007 right? How is this modded insightful?

Re:Certainly won't displace it in... (1)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959352)

So what you're saying is that you are okay with a full size device suffering from the same user input flaws as the iPhone.

Alright.

Raskin's Dream incarnate (5, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959104)

I'm getting a good laugh out of all the folks damning the iPhone for it's lack of explicit multi-tasking.

Sigh. If one wants to oversimplify there have been two great visions presented in computing. One was eberharts classic video showing off mouse and button based editing, along with cellular communications. If you've never watched it, you have no idea what you have missed. Prepare to crap your pants.

The other is Raskin's dream of the info appliance. A device that has no specific function but morphs itself into the perfect dedicated human interaction device for whatever task is needed. It does not multi task. It does not improve a perfectly weighted japanese sushi knife to attach car steering wheel and fire extinguisher to it just in case you need to multi-task. Each item itself has all the controls and human interface it needs for it's task and only that.

In raskin's vision, the appliance would never need instructions. it would be as obvious how to use it as a hammer is.

The ipad is the closest (practical sized) realization of that to date. it's 1.5 times the width of your fingers so it balances perfectly in one hand. when you have a task it dedicated it's surface to becoming the perfect human perceptual interface you need just for that task.

The key here is that Even a 1 year old understands the iphone interface. It's task specificity is intuitive.

Moreover you don't really want multi-taksing. You think you do but what you really mean is you want to beable to context swtich easily and for cases where apps need to interact that they do so in the way you want them to. Multi-tasking is a dumb way to do this. it puts the load for managing the interaction on the human not the device. The iphone os does most of the connections you want. The addressbook is ubiquitous, apps can send e-mail and get web pages. etc... In the future this conduit management will be handled more and more by the computer as it should be. Context switching will be transparent because the computer will anticipate your next move and have pre-warmed it. etc...

Multi-tasking is just the current way we approximate implement this metafore for the device that simply changes into what we need at that moment by itself. You don't really want multi-tasking you want that effect.

For example, people insisted background processing was needed to handle incoming e-mail or other daemon tasks for apps. But the vast majority of those needs (though definitiely not all) are now served much better by the push notification deamon that apple implemented. See background processing was just one way to solve that problem that you were used. You did not need it and you are now better off without it.

interestingly it's claimed that OSX was originally going to behave that way at Job's request. there's a hidden mode switch (in the defaults.write ) that will change the interface so only one app is visible at a time. the others snap to the dock at each context switch. I activated that for my mother and here ability to use the computer skyrocketed. I've tried it myself, and because I multi-task a lot I do find the transistions annoying. But I have to admit it really does de clutter and improve how you interface with an app. I just find the implementation to clunky to tolerate and I miss my multi-tasking view. The iphone OS enforces this work mode and anyone who has used one can see how well it works in the small format device.

It's raskin's dream incarnate. This is why other devices that don't get what's being created here are going to fail.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959232)

the most insightful post in a week.

Re:Raskin's Dream incarnate (1, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959404)

Moreover you don't really want multi-taksing. You think you do but what you really mean is you want to beable to context swtich easily and for cases where apps need to interact that they do so in the way you want them to

No, I really do. I want to upload a picture, listen to music, and chat with friends at the same time. I want to be able to start a long network action and not have to watch it finish because switching away will cause it to abort.

And just so you don't think I'm talking out my ass, these are things that annoy me about my iPhone today. Raskin's vision is interesting, but like all ideals, it needs tempering with reality.

Easier? (2, Interesting)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958758)

I'm not a programmer myself so can someone tell me if C# really easier to use than C or Objective C as stated in TFA? Or is it just a matter of there being more people who are familiar with it?

Re:Easier? (4, Interesting)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958804)

Objective C is not a hard language to learn: it's a sibling to C++ in that both tried to add OOP to C. ObjC as used on the Mac combines the best of both worlds -- you get pointers for low level control, *and* a nice OO framework/API and niceties like garbage collection. And of course OS X is beautifully designed, none of the back compat cruft that makes one want to stay away from Win32.

Where C# wins over ObjC though is its similarity to Java (which in turn is fairly comfortable to C++/C programmers).

Re:Easier? (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958962)

and if someone likes Java, XMLVM is pretty decent at getting software you already have, translated to something that will run on the iPhoneOS.

Re:Easier? (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959028)

I think the message sending syntax was a little bit strange to get used to. The idea of intermixing names and parameters just seems odd. Still, when I had to do something in Obj-C I was up and running in less than an hour.

Re:Easier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959044)

Garbage collection is not available for objective c on the iphone.

Re:Easier? (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959172)

Do we get garbage collection on iPhone OS? Last time I check, like several months ago, it was a no.

Re:Easier? (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959378)

It is still no.

Re:Easier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30958816)

Yes, C#, like JAVA, is easier to develop with and easier to debug than C or Objective C.

It's got many advantages, especially garbage collection (no pointer to memory to keep track of).

Performance wise, you can do better in well-written Objective C or C, but it's a lot more error prone.

Re:Easier? (0)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958826)

The difference between C# and C is like the difference between hiragana and kanji. You can write the same stuff with hiragana a lot easier, but you look like an idiot.

Disclaimer: I only know a very small amount of hiragana, and my only data point is a Japanese friend who laughs at my illiteracy.

Re:Easier? (3, Funny)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958846)

a pizza or a car analogy would work better. Nobody understood that one.

Re:Easier? (-1, Troll)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958998)

Apple is like merc/bmw with its own way via ObjC. Buggy, expensive and slips quality every few years, but you know what your getting.
Java is like Toyota, it works, you can load it up with work stuff, family, freedom fighters.
C# is the toyota clone car brand build in a Communist or ex Communist zone that will get you from A to B but just dont ask too many questions.
If you crash your data is gone.

Re:Easier? (3, Informative)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959198)

You really have no clue what you're talking about, do you?

Objective-C is solid, only on its second release (2.0). It has a learning curve for most non-Apple devs. Based on Smalltalk, messages (methods) are bound at runtime. Garbage collection and properties were added in the latest version.

Java is very stable, but given the number of releases I would say less solid (it's on its seventh major release, with a beta for it's eighth). Based loosely on C++, but with garbage collection (no pointers), it is really the only system that produces true cross-platform binaries.

C# is on its third version (3), although the runtime is on its fifth (3.5). Most people agree that as a language, it is superior to Java due to support for events, functional/lambda-style programming, LINQ, generics (which are generally considered better than Java's), etc. C# is standardized, but open source/cross platform implementations (Mono) are behind those from Microsoft. Silverlight, however, is available cross-platform via Moonlight. The next version is in the works (C#/.NET 4.0).

I really don't get where you were saying "if you crash your data is gone". That doesn't even make sense, in the context of a computer programming language.

Re:Easier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959248)

I trust M$ products the same way I trust M$ itself and nothing can change that.

Your answer about number versions already totally denounces you. Do you think developers are like those morons who keep infested Winblows PCs at home?

How lame!

Re:Easier? (1)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959134)

Sadly it made sense to me.

Re:Easier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30958948)

That sounded so stupid.

Re:Easier? (3, Insightful)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959088)

The difference between C and x86 assembly is like the difference between hiragana and kanji. You can write the same stuff with hiragana a lot easier, but you look like an idiot.

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about hiragana, and my only data point is a some guy on Slashdot that was talking about it.

Hmm, nope. That doesn't work either.

Re:Easier? (1, Informative)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959272)

Given that nearly every Japanese sentence contains both hiragana and kanji, that analogy makes no sense.

Re:Easier? (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958852)

Or is it just a matter of there being more people who are familiar with it?

Yes and no. Using .NET is not synonymous with using C#. There's VB.NET, Ruby and Python flavors and so on. So many, many more people are familiar with something or the other that will work as a .NET language. By comparison very few know Objective-C.

At the same time .NET framework (or Mono in this case) handles a lot of the programming tedium associated with "regular" C, like memory allocation/deallocation, variable initialization, dangling pointers and such. Fewer opportunities for bugs. But I don't know how Objective C stacks up here.

Re:Easier? (1)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959002)

Old-school Objective-C supports a midway point between C++ memory allocations and garbage collection in reference counting. The newer runtimes in OS X support full-on garbage collection, although I'm not sure whether that version is in the iPod or not.

Objective-C and C# are easy to pick up if you know any object oriented language. Most competent programmers can run through a couple tutorials and be programming at close to full speed in a couple days. Learning which of the different support frameworks and libraries to use can take a bit longer, though (especially if you heavily rely on something that doesn't have a direct replacement).

One of the earliest truths I've learned about programming - newcomers to the field confuse knowing a language with knowing how to program, and consider switching languages to be a similar level of difficulty. In my experience, I've pretty much had to pick up a new language at every new job I've had. You get annoyed at the little differences for a week or two, and then you're just moving. There are always more little details you can learn to make things easier on yourself or to write more efficient code, but in general, for as much as a language and framework can make things easier or more annoying in different areas, going to a new one of the same class (Java vs C++ vs Obj C vs C#) for a new project is rarely that big of a deal.

Now, if you've got a bunch of existing code that you want to run on a new platform... then it can be a pain in the ass. But it's going to be that regardless if you didn't plan the project to be portable to begin with.

Re:Easier? (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958960)

I'm not a programmer myself so can someone tell me if C# really easier to use than C or Objective C as stated in TFA? Or is it just a matter of there being more people who are familiar with it?

C# is easier to work with than C for many people, but not significantly easier than Objective C. C expects that you have some awareness of memory allocations and whatnot, but higher level languages insulate you from a lot of the details and let you worry more about your actual application.

The advantage that C# has over Objective C on iPad is not anything inherent about the language. Parentage aside, there is nothing extraordinarily wrong or amazingly good with C#. It just has hordes of Windows developers who learned C# for some reason, who want to migrate their windows specific skillset to additional platforms, but don't feel like learning new tools.

Re:Easier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959530)

It comes down to a couple of things. ObjC is fine and it's not crazy hard to learn because of it's structure or the language itself. It's primarily two things that make C# a more programmer friendly language and those are tools and community. Visual Studio 2008 and 2010 are pretty impressive IDEs while still being extremely developer friendly and despite the fact that Apple provides Xcode it's just not the same. Second there are a ton more C# developers out there than ObjC hence there are more websites, more books, more blogs, etc...basically more of all the support that helps you beat a learning curve. As a side note, Java has better community too but the tools aren't as friendly (note java IDEs are extremely powerful but they're definitely not as friendly). Having programmed in all three I personally prefer java because hosting is easier to come buy for web stuff and you have more choices of what app servers and OSes to run on, but it has nothing to do with the language being innately harder or easier. My current mode of operation is I do C# at a corporate gig, I do most of my home stuff in Java, and I use ObjC for my iPhone only despite the fact that I own several Macs.

Re:Easier? (1, Interesting)

zullnero (833754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959534)

C# is a lot easier and cleaner. Don't listen to the plethora of Apple and Linux fans...there's a reason Mono is still around and people invest in it. Without going into too many technical details, C# is just a flat out better language than C++. Objective C just isn't that great an improvement. C# really comes a lot closer to bridging the difference between Java and C than Objective C could ever do. I've done all of the above aforementioned languages professionally, so I'd know. My preference is C#. The .NET framework is mostly the only thing Microsoft that I actually am a fan of, and would love to see that sort of platform development effort for every platform out there.

What, no itsatrap tag? (0, Troll)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958760)

Ok, yeah, I know a lot of /.-ers won't be happy about Mono. But Mono is free, and you get to target the iPhone/iPad without owning a Mac. Macs are unaffordable for a lot of folk, and this should give open-source projects a way into the App Store*. (The other non-Apple alternative is Adobe's Creative Suite and that costs big $$$.)

*Yeah, they still have to pony up $99 to Apple to join the dev programme. But at least that's a one-time cost and could be sponsored by any OSS-supporting person/organization.

Re:What, no itsatrap tag? (2, Informative)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958886)

News Flash - You still need a Mac for installing [monotouch.net] the iPhone SDK and Mono.

To begin using MonoTouch, you will need to have:
* Apple's iPhone SDK 3.0 or higher, available from Apple's iPhone Dev Center (http://developer.apple.com/iphone/).
* An Intel Mac computer running MacOS 10.5 or 10.6 (Leopard or Snow Leopard).
* The latest release of Mono for OSX

You still pay the Apple hardware tax.

Re:What, no itsatrap tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959538)

Vmware running Leopard FTW!!!

Re:What, no itsatrap tag? (2, Informative)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959016)

It's an annual cost, not a one-time cost, and it makes one of the most important things about open source software far more difficult than it should be, namely taking the source code and adapting it for your own needs.

Re:What, no itsatrap tag? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959262)

Unaffordable?

Hardly really, plus you can always just build a hackintosh, those are pretty cheap I hear.

Apple to Oranges (4, Insightful)

anglophobe_0 (1383785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958762)

The iPad is one product...Netbooks are a genre of device. Add to that the aversion of folks like me to using anything put out by Apple, and I don't see much chance of the iPad replacing a whole genre of DIY-friendly hardware.

Re:Apple to Oranges (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958874)

Another angle: iPad and Mono have to be two of the five worst product names in the industry. (I can only think of Wang as being worse.) Fat chance they'll take over the world. Nobody will ever want to call tech support and complain about a Mono-problem.

Re:Apple to Oranges (2, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959116)

Not everything revolves around English, you know? In its creator language, the name "Mono" doesn't have that bad connotation.

Re:Apple to Oranges (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959290)

No, for sure. As in: "Is that a monkey in your iPad or are you just happy to see me?"

Re:Apple to Oranges (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959456)

Mono means monkey... not really a good connotation.

Re:Apple to Oranges (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959224)

I am copywriting IWang.

iPad, Mono, Wang, GIMP, Ayds (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959308)

iPad and Mono have to be two of the five worst product names in the industry. (I can only think of Wang as being worse.)

The other two must be GIMP (Free paint program) and Ayds (appetite suppressant candy).

Re:Apple to Oranges (2, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959128)

And then there's the whole issue with pricing, which was the whole reason the netbook movement caught on in the first place. $500 may be cheap for a tablet PC, but it's certainly not for a netbook replacement.

Nothing new here (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958768)

Jesus christ stop with the Apple spam.

There are already RDP clients for the iPhone and Mono Touch isn't freaking new.

Re:Nothing new here (1, Informative)

Bloopie (991306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959170)

Jesus christ stop with the Apple spam.

Why? This is technology-related news. It's relevant.

Is it really going to painfully hurt you to skip over the articles you don't want to read?

I think if some other company that was more "fashionable" around here than Apple had made exactly the same product instead of Apple, there wouldn't be so much crying. To the editors: These kinds of articles are relevant. Please continue posting them.

Re:Nothing new here (1)

IronChef (164482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959382)

But without these kind of posts, we'd be deprived of some true comedy gold. Check out the last link in the summary. The first paragraph reads:

Apple has just fired a death shot at the netbook. The new iPad could easily displace the netbook category, and I believe it will. Cheap laptops are at risk of extinction as well.

I am typing this on an expensive, arguably even overpriced Macbook Pro so I am not drinking the Apple Haterade. But this kind of hyperbole is... pretty astounding.

The only revolutionary thing about the iPad is a business thing, not a tech thing... the new AT&T data plans.

Hopefully, someday, I will be able to get a $30/mo, no contract, unlimited data plan that I can stick onto any computer I happen to have. (Hell, I might settle for adding a $30 data plan to my hacktivated iPhone. It isn't possible to do without a contract extension... for all lines on the family plan the phone is on. But I should complain on HowardForums, not here...)

iCrap news overload (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958770)

It's getting like Steve jobs twitter page around here.

Re:iCrap news overload (-1, Offtopic)

Andorin (1624303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958850)

I agree. Every tech news website that I've visited is flooded with articles about the iPad. I do not care [uncyclopedia.org] about the iPad and am already rather tired of the spam. The only saving grace here is that other news is still flowing (hur hur, iPad, flowing, I'm so clever).

Re:iCrap news overload (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959526)

I won't be interested until these stories link to Australian sites.

Not interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30958776)

I'll wait six hours until the next ipad story.

as someone who programmed for both (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958800)

As someone who's programmed both in .net and for the iPhone, I can't imagine that being able to program in .net would be an advantage. Both are adequate for making windowing systems, but the paradigm is different.

Seriously, Objective-C isn't that hard; if you can't learn it in a day or two (or at most a week) then you are probably not a professional programmer.

Re:as someone who programmed for both (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958896)

Since you are someone has programmed both. You'll have a unique understanding of my gut feeling - that this thing is *really* gonna suck. What's Steve gonna do next develop some kind of android rip off and tie it to some monopolistic godawful carrier? - oh wait.

Re:as someone who programmed for both (1)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959032)

iPhone has no garbage collection, for one thing.

Re:as someone who programmed for both (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959058)

iPhone has no garbage collection, for one thing.

That's an iPhone thing, not an Objective-C thing. Apple has explicitly stated the iPhone won't support garbage collection for performance reasons.

Re:as someone who programmed for both (2, Informative)

jisatsusha (755173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959096)

We're specifically talking about developing for iPhone/iPad. Why does it matter that "Objective-C" does have garbage collection, if you can't use it? It's one advantage that this Mono/.NET thing would have, that makes things easier for developers.

Garbage collection is over rated (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959196)

I don't see why people are so obsessed with garbage collection. Automatic garbage collection should be used sparingly. If the "ownership" of an object is not clear, or could not be efficiently tracked, or if you cant be sure if all the entities holding the pointer or the reference have to release it then you should use garbage collection. But blindly using it for classes that will be instantiated in the millions of instances where the ownership and referers are clearly known and can be notified automatic garbage collection comes with severe performance penalty.

I grew up in really old Fortran codes where we obsessed with the number of square roots it takes to do this or how to reduce the number of trig function calls by two (not a factor of two, just two sin() calls are avoided in a tight loop). Eventually came to C++ and saw everyone using new and delete left right and center and I naturally assumed it would have trivial cost. Imagine my surprise when I actually ran the comparison benchmarks. With modern math coprocessors, a sqrt() is just three times mults, sin() is about 14, hyperbolic sine, logarithms are all about the same, inverse trig functions were around 25-30 times the cost of a mult. You know what? A simple push_back() or push_front() to an std::list is around 180 to 200 times as expensive as a mult. Throw in automatic garbage collection on top of this, you are looking at some serious performance degradation.

If you cant program without memory leaks in plain C, C++, I just won't hire you.

Re:Garbage collection is over rated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959292)

I don't see why people are so obsessed with garbage collection. Automatic garbage collection should be used sparingly. If the "ownership" of an object is not clear, or could not be efficiently tracked, or if you cant be sure if all the entities holding the pointer or the reference have to release it then you should use garbage collection. But blindly using it for classes that will be instantiated in the millions of instances where the ownership and referers are clearly known and can be notified automatic garbage collection comes with severe performance penalty.

I grew up in really old Fortran codes where we obsessed with the number of square roots it takes to do this or how to reduce the number of trig function calls by two (not a factor of two, just two sin() calls are avoided in a tight loop). Eventually came to C++ and saw everyone using new and delete left right and center and I naturally assumed it would have trivial cost. Imagine my surprise when I actually ran the comparison benchmarks. With modern math coprocessors, a sqrt() is just three times mults, sin() is about 14, hyperbolic sine, logarithms are all about the same, inverse trig functions were around 25-30 times the cost of a mult. You know what? A simple push_back() or push_front() to an std::list is around 180 to 200 times as expensive as a mult. Throw in automatic garbage collection on top of this, you are looking at some serious performance degradation.

If you cant program without memory leaks in plain C, C++, I just won't hire you.

I don't think most software business owners give a ___ that you know how to create highly efficient software if it takes 4x as long as RAD languages can complete the same task.

Re:Garbage collection is over rated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959556)

I understood every single word you wrote, and I think I divined your intent, but your mode of expression is so sloppy I wonder how you could demand precision from anybody else.

If you run whatever you hire for as incoherently as you rant, I wouldn't work for you.

Displace the netbook? (1, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958942)

Umm no.

1 - its far more expensive
2 - it has no keyboard
3 - did i mention it was expensive?

Re:Displace the netbook? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959108)

- It's more portable.
- It lasts longer on a charge.
- It gets you to the point (i.e. web browsing) faster than a netbook does.

Plausible, but not guaranteed to succeed or fail.

Re:Displace the netbook? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959322)

It doesn't matter if it is 1" smaller or larger than competing netbooks (of which there are many, of all sizes.) What matters is "does it do what I need it to do?" I think it doesn't. iPad is a pure consumption device; you can only consume services with it, but not create new stuff and not be creative generally. It doesn't even have a keyboard, which clearly shows that Apple doesn't intend you to type much (though you can buy an external kb.)

A netbook, on the other hand, is a complete small computer that can be used for anything that a computer is good for. You can type, you can browse, you can open PDFs (a big deal, actually!) and you can use Web sites that require Flash (there aren't many of those, but they do exist; some use Flash for perfectly good reasons;) I don't recall if iPad has Java - probably not, for the same reason as Flash. You can't have an interpreter on iPad, so Perl or Python or some other scripting language of choice is not possible. If you have a netbook, for example, you can pull photos out of your camera, edit them in Paint.Net (or GIMP) and email them on the go - with the iPad you can't do that. Lack of wire interfaces also makes the iPad useless as a controller for peripherals - no external HDD, no microphone or camera, no printer, etc. It's just for pure consumption - "sit still and consume what we tell you to." Hardly empowering.

So iPad can be used as a "tertiary" computer in an ultra-rich household, where it is fashionable to have a tablet for just browsing around. Those are the same people who bought Segways and pet rocks, I guess. Great market :-) Seriously, the world is large, and you can always sell any junk, the question is only "how many units."

I think Apple got blinded with success of iPhone. However iPhone's main advantage is that it is a phone; the fact that you can *also* run other programs on it is secondary. But iPad makes it a primary function, and I don't see too many people who want to spend around a $1K ($800 + taxes + data plan) just to run primitive software that is developed for iPhone and sold exactly for what it is worth.

I also don't know if it "gets you to the point" faster than the competition. I have an old Sansung Q1 UMPC; it needs about 45 seconds to come out of *hibernation* (and a couple of seconds from sleep) - I doubt that anyone is that much short on time to see any difference if he is setting down to do some work. My UMPC runs Windows (Vista, unfortunately - I haven't tried other options yet, want another HDD for that) but I can (and do) install any software that I need; I have several ebook readers (LIT from MS, for example) and Firefox with every adblocker under the Sun, etc. etc. That's value. I don't care if the Apple's tablet is thinner and lighter (it is lighter by 0.25 lb - big deal!) but I do care that my computer does what I want it to do.

Re:Displace the netbook? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959164)

4 - No Flash
5 - No builtin USB port

It has many keyboards, and more options (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959528)

1 - its far more expensive

$500 is not "far more" than many netbooks, and will probably last much longer than the cheapest.

2 - it has no keyboard

You went the wrong way. It actually has an infinite number of keyboards, with a number of physical options since it supports Bluetooth. What it has the Netbook lacks is the ability to go without a physical keyboard - web pages are easier to read on a sideways screen, but you are not going to be turning a Netbook sideways.

3 - did i mention it was expensive?

Repeatedly, which brings one to question your judgement.

Not seeing any netbook displacement (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30958974)

I'm not seeing the iPad displacing the netbook even with .net. The problem isn't that developers can't develop well, the problem is that Apple doesn't let developers do much with iPhone OS. The nice thing about a netbook or a cheap laptop is I can run multiple things. I can keep my Facebook open, my IM open, play music on YouTube and type on a document all at the same time. These are basic things that people do daily, the lack of a major component of today's web (Flash) and the lack of an ability to multi-task is going to kill any chance the iPad had to survive much faster than anything else other than the steep price.

You can do pretty much all that (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959572)

The problem isn't that developers can't develop well, the problem is that Apple doesn't let developers do much with iPhone OS.

I guess all 140K applications do the same exact thing? Since Apple "doesn't et you do much".

The reality is that Apple has a few areas they don't let you go, but everything else is wide open.

The nice thing about a netbook or a cheap laptop is I can run multiple things. I can keep my Facebook open, my IM open, play music on YouTube and type on a document all at the same time.

And on an iPad (or iPhone) you can play music while you type a document, and get a stream of notifications when there's some new twitter or facebook post you really care about. Or you can write and jump quickly into a twitter/facebook app to see what is going on and jump back - because the device has been optimized for that use, unlike a traditional PC where application startup is more expensive and lengthy.

These are basic things that people do daily, the lack of a major component of today's web (Flash)

What? Where is is major use? It's widespread to be sure, but I question that it is such an important aspect of using the web today. I installed ClickToFlash on Safari about a year ago, and the ONLY flash I have had occasion to click on to see have been videos - all on sites that simply feed the h.264 the flash video player is already using under the covers, directly to the device. In the meantime I have also been spared a horde of annoying, battery sucking ads - and I never did believe in adblock because I like supporting sites. It's just that the number of Flash elements per page was getting to be absurd, with a ton of Flash overhead consuming the CPU.

Other than video use, the other major use of Flash is web based gaming - are you really arguing the iPhone/iPad platform is hurting for free casual games? There are so many games out now you could probably play free trial or ad supported versions of games for a year straight before you ran out of things to try. There is no Flash based game so compelling it would make people choose a platform, EXCEPT possibly for Farmville due to the large number of players who would like constant access to it. But there I imagine we'll see an iPhone app at some point.

umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30958990)

huge novell fan about five years ago. eDirectory, GroupWise, etc. I know what direction they went in. ... and I can't believe they are still in business.

Missing Remoting (2, Insightful)

chrpai (806494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959036)

I'd be very interested in this but the last time I check it doesn't support .NET's remoting API's such as webservices. I'd want to be able to make rich thin clients that talk to application layer servers but Apple always make sure the garden is well walled.

Interop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959158)

say goodbye to pinvokes

I'm an Apple fan, but... (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959216)

Shouldn't we be waiting until, oh I don't know, the device actually is released and we can see how this whole thing plays out?

It's almost like Slashdot is perpetually trying to make up for that whole "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame." thing.

Re:I'm an Apple fan, but... (0)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959346)

"Mono Touch". Lame. We want stereo!

Disclaimer: before everybody goes apeshit with their mod points, that was a joke. Not a good one perhaps, but still a joke.

Re:I'm an Apple fan, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959536)

It's almost like Slashdot is perpetually trying to make up for that whole "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame." thing.

That's funny - judging by most of the reactions to the iPad I've been seeing around here it seems more like Slashdot is trying for a repeat. The FUD level seems unusually think. That doesn't change the fact that I agree with you... but waiting a whole month seems so, I don't know rational...

I guess I sorta see the point (3, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30959260)

Objective-C rocks, really. But! If you don't know it, and you have an existing code base in C#, maybe this would be useful. I guess. I think this is not aimed at making iPhone/iPad app development easier in general, but rather, specifically for people who are already using C#. In which case, it's not totally stupid. Just mostly stupid.

FWIW, I'm currently at the "okay, that's the basic functionality, now what do I do next?" phase of developing an iPhone app. From "never even looked at the docs" to "working multitouch and graphics" took me, oh, a good solid two evenings.

Let me get this straight... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30959400)

So a Linux company is bringing Microsoft development to an Apple device? And it's STILL useless?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...