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Microsoft May Back Off of .NET Languages

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the lost-the-spark dept.

Microsoft 443

An anonymous reader writes "Though Microsoft had initially made a commitment to create versions of dynamic languages that are customized for .NET, recent reports make it clear that the company may be stepping back from this plan. Much early speculation on this change in focus comes from Jim Schementi, previously the program manager in charge of Microsoft's implementation of the Ruby software known as IronRuby. Schementi reports on his blog that the team dedicated to working on IronRuby has decreased to one employee. According to Schementi, his departure from the company came as Microsoft began to display a 'serious lack of commitment' to any .NETized dynamic languages, including IronRuby."

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Getting screwed in both directions (4, Insightful)

bbtom (581232) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241322)

So, Oracle are suing Google and making the JVM a less viable platform.

And Microsoft are pulling back on resources for IronRuby.

Looks like it may finally be time for the LLVM to step up to the plate and provide an open source alternative. Here's hoping...

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (2, Insightful)

odies (1869886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241504)

>

And Microsoft are pulling back on resources for IronRuby.

That doesn't really say anything. There's still C#, Delphi .NET, Visual Basic .NET, and a ton of other languages. The headline is wrong - Microsoft isn't dropping .NET support, it's just lowering their support for dynamic languages. Static languages are better anyway.

Also remember that Windows Mobile 7 will only have .NET apps, which is actually quite good, since .NET is actually a lot better than Java.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (4, Funny)

pitdingo (649676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241652)

how is .net better than java?

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (5, Informative)

not already in use (972294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241756)

  • Unsigned data types
  • Checked arithmetic (on overflow, they throw an exception)
  • Support for tail calls (for Lisp, F# and other functional languages)
  • Value types, these are structs that are not wrapped in an object
  • VM-level support for generics
  • Platform-invoke allows developers to call native code without having to write any glue in C++ using JNI, it can all be done in the managed language.
  • The Common Language Specification: a spec that set the rules for interoperability across programming languages (for example: the rules for public identifier casing, handling of int vs uint and so on).
  • Delegates allow user to keep a reference to a method or an instance method and invoke it. The VM also can turn any delegate invocation into an asynchronous invocation, so you can turn any method into an async method, like this: mySortFunc.BeginInvoke (array)
  • Support for dynamic code generation through the Reflection.Emit API.
  • A database file format allows for efficient reading of the metadata from assemblies. It does not require decompression and the database format is suitable for lazy loading.
  • Attributes were special objects that could annotate most elements in the virtual machine, you could annotate classes, methods, parameters, local variables, and at runtime the VM or the runtime could do interesting things with it.
  • Unsafe code (pointers) to support C++, Cobol and Fortran compilers running on the CLI.
  • Native support for talking to COM-based APIs. Although mostly Windows-specific, its used to talk to Mozilla, VirtualBox and OpenOffice APIs in Linux.
  • Covariance and contravariance introduced with .NET 4 make even more generic cases a pleasure to use.
  • 64-bit arrays (although part of the spec, only Mono implements this).

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (2, Insightful)

I!heartU (708807) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242120)

... Value types, these are structs that are not wrapped in an object
yeah these can get "fun" with auto boxing and properties

... Platform-invoke allows developers to call native code without having to write any glue in C++ using JNI, it can all be done in the managed language.
no support on the phone for this

... Unsafe code (pointers) to support C++, Cobol and Fortran compilers running on the CLI
not on the phone eaither

.. Native support for talking to COM-based APIs. Although mostly Windows-specific, its used to talk to Mozilla, VirtualBox and OpenOffice APIs in Linux.
not on the phone

... Covariance and contravariance introduced with .NET 4 make even more generic cases a pleasure to use.
sorta nice but you don't get the cut and paste power of c++ templates. Also the phone is locked at some bastardized version of 3.. you don't get many of the 4 features. This may possibly change in the future.

Another benefit of for is they've made a dynamic invocation system, so at runtime you can intercept function lookups, which will be pretty nifty for making scripting languages. Again the phone is lacking this atm.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (2, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242142)

- Controlled by Microsoft

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (1, Interesting)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242160)

Thank you for this, PInvoke is probably my biggest reason in prefering .Net (mainly C#) over Java. I like C# a lot, but already had my rant when they dropped support for Dynamic JScript over a year ago. I am sad to see DLR not as broadly supported at this point, it was a really nice effort, and could have been very useful for a number of projects. I think the level of support was a little too low compared to say C# and VB.Net in the IDE though. I do think Dynamic JS would have been a more natural fit for C# coders though, since at least the syntax is similar. I don't have an issue with Ruby or Python (each have their merits) it's somewhat sad to see this happen. I do think that given the licensing for the DLR and Iron* languages that the OpenSource movement can keep it going. I've seen as much, or more support for the DLR stuff from the Mono side of the fence as it is. The dynamic stuff MS did seems to mainly center around better interaction for COM interfaces, the core focus being on MS Office interaction.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (4, Funny)

CasperIV (1013029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242174)

Wait? Someone likes java?

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (2, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242240)

how is .net better than java?

In short, .NET is the Firefox to Java's IE 6.

At one point, .NET was basically just a poor copy of Java -- but then it kept adding features and getting better while once-great Java essentially stagnated.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (2, Interesting)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241654)

If static languages are better, why is the bulk of web development done with dynamic languages? I'm not picking a side, just interested in your response.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (0, Troll)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241782)

Static languages make you do more of your thinking up front. Dynamic languages make it easier to just slap things together and worry about your sanity later.

Apparently a lot of web stuff has sufficiently trivial programming that you usually finish before you have to make a sanity check, so dynamic languages let you get off without thinking at all.

</troll>

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (4, Insightful)

not already in use (972294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241794)

I think the reason for this is that a lot of web programming isn't overly complex and the brevity of a dynamic language is an advantage in these cases because you can't code something up pretty quickly. Anyone writing any sort of really complex web app in a dynamically typed language is just asking for trouble.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (3, Informative)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242106)

A lot of people have asked for and received said trouble.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33242214)

Because everybody knows web programmers aren't real programmers just children with a toy.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33242266)

Anyone writing any sort of really complex web app in a dynamically typed language is just asking for trouble.

I would argue that anybody writing a complex business application in strongly type language is just asking for trouble. I you feel safe about compilers saving you from programming mistakes, you clearly miss what dynamically type languages force you to do to great extend: Unit test everything.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (2, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242096)

The usual reason given is that it saves on the write/compile/run cycle taking up your time. In practice, it's a pretty crappy reason though.

Ignorance, mostly. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33242114)

You need to understand the history of web development to answer that question properly.

The earliest dynamic web sites were implemented mainly in C and C++ by software developers who practiced the craft first and foremost, and treated web development merely as a particular application of their software development skills.

Starting around 1996, however, things started to change. Many non-developers started getting involved with the web. Some of these people had absolutely no programming experience, and thus just couldn't handle C. They ended up using Perl instead, which was basically the only practical scripting language at the time, since it was significantly easier to use than C or C++. PHP soon arose from this group of developers, and followed its own path.

Given the amateurish origins and background of this community, there wasn't much emphasis put on security, reliability, quality, maintainability and proper language features like static typing. That's why web applications from that time period are poorly written, and full of bugs and security holes.

On the other hand, Java soon became widely adopted by business users at roughly the same time, and soon enough they started developing web applications using Java. Many of these developers were former C and C++ developers, rather than Perl developers. After ASP.NET was released, they were soon joined by C# and VB.NET developers. These applications, being written by professional developers, are often significantly better than what was produced by the amateurish PHP/Perl community.

By the mid-2000s, the Perl/PHP community soon welcomed Python and Ruby, since they were more sensible dynamic languages that addressed many of the issues with Perl and PHP. Microsoft, Sun and others tried to draw these developers over to their platform by offering dynamic language support for .NET or the JVM. That's where IronPython, IronRuby, Groovy, JRuby, Jython and other language implementations come into play.

Given the history of web development, dynamic languages became widely used mainly out of ignorance, and have remained widely used due to continuing ignorance. There's no technical argument in favor of dynamic languages. They're just used because their users and proponents often don't even know about how much better and easier static languages make the development of both small and large applications.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (3, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242286)

Because there aren't a lot of good interfaces for statically-typed language to web development. Believe me, if I didn't have to rewrite half the world to write web apps in C++ with a good Apache interface, I would do it in a heartbeat.

That said, don't forget that a whole lot of development is done in ASP.NET now. It's changing.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241696)

.net may be very good or not, but it lacks a key dfeature...Portability to anything that is not windows.

Do Microsoft products use .NET? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241718)

"Microsoft isn't dropping .NET..."

My understanding has been that Microsoft created .NET for others to use. Are there any Microsoft products of importance that are programmed with .NET?

Re:Do Microsoft products use .NET? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241740)

SQLServer 2005 Management Studio for one.

Re:Do Microsoft products use .NET? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241746)

I think they may have gotten into the Operating System business at one point.

Re:Do Microsoft products use .NET? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241770)

Large portions of Visual Studio 2010 are in .Net.

Re:Do Microsoft products use .NET? (1)

uprise78 (1256084) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241898)

Ah yes, Good old WPF snuck in there. My favorite part of VS2010 is when it freezes the main thread to compile large projects and makes the screen turn white when you click on it. Good old VS2010...

Re:Do Microsoft products use .NET? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241938)

How is that any different from any other version of Visual Studio where that can happen with huge solutions?

Re:Do Microsoft products use .NET? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241786)

Oh and most of the UI for XP Media Center Edition. From here [winsupersite.com] :

The greatest challenge was taking the complexity inherent in the new technologies we created, and from all the partners we worked with, and integrating it in a seamless way. We worked with a very sophisticated and complex set of technologies--the user interface is done in DirectX, most of the Media Center code was written in state-of-the-art C#, and we worked with a ton of partners, all of whom have their own code--and integrated it all together in an attractive, simple and straightforward package

From a technical standpoint, Media Center user interface functionality is almost entirely written in C# managed code, on top of native Win32 and DirectX Windows XP components. These operating system components render video and draw fluid animations smoothly on the screen at 60 frames per second, with hardware acceleration and MPEG decoding provided by 3rd parties. Getting all these technology components to work together well was our biggest challenge.

There are other examples that you could find with a simple google search.

Re:Do Microsoft products use .NET? (1)

juliohm (665784) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241792)

Some large coprs have already used .NET to create solutions and integreate with MS products. So... legacy's already settled.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (2)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241842)

Regardless of which language picked, it's not going to be a perfect fix. For instance, perl + library bindings would likely fit the goals of many .NET projects, as well as many java projects. And there's python as well, which has similar if not greater applicability. Both of which are very stable and well developed.

I also have to wonder how the lack of IronRuby makes .NET any less viable. Could someone else not develop IronRuby? I see no reason why not, as I believe the same has been done for perl, python, etc. for .NET, outside of Microsoft. I doubt MS wants or needs the burden of supporting Ruby, anyway. .NET is, IMO, the best thing Microsoft has come out with in some time. There are toolkits similar to it, but for what can be done w/ .NET vs. other languages in a similar amount of time is simply incredible. The fact that the code is all mostly architecture portable (provided there's a CLR interpreter for it) is pretty cool, too.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (4, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241864)

So, Oracle are suing Google and making the JVM a less viable platform.

What?

Oracle is suing Google for making a non-compatible VM call Dalvik that uses technology found in the JVM without paying a license. Since Google wasn't using JVM, how does Oracle's actions against Google make JVM less viable?

Looks like it may finally be time for the LLVM to step up to the plate and provide an open source alternative.

LLVM is a low level virtual machine used to optimize compiler operations and runtime linking. JVM is a high level virtual machine providing objects, garbage collection, and according to Oracle technology patented by Sun. From LLVM website:

The LLVM Project is a collection of modular and reusable compiler and toolchain technologies. Despite its name, LLVM has little to do with traditional virtual machines, though it does provide helpful libraries that can be used to build them.

LLVM is not a drop in replacement for JVM.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (4, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241904)

It wouldn't be a drop-in replacement but there is no reason that a Java front-end couldn't be created and combined with the LLVM JIT compiler.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (4, Interesting)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242124)

Technically you are correct.

Except for the white elephant in the room which are these patents that Oracle owns and have tested in court already when a 2003 court settlement with Microsoft created a 10 year cross licensing agreement that allows Microsoft to develop CLR.

I'm not advocating Oracle's position, and I'm against most software patents.

I was asking how a lawsuit that doesn't affect any of the JVMs in existence, or any Java or other JVM implemented languages that run within them, make JVM less viable? I would actually think the lawsuit could make the JVM more viable since it strengthens the power of the consortium that defines the Java standard and its related technologies.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242176)

Except for the white elephant in the room which are these patents that Oracle owns and have tested in court already when a 2003 court settlement with Microsoft created a 10 year cross licensing agreement that allows Microsoft to develop CLR.

You face no issues with patents as long as you make a fully compatible J2SE implementation. This is the reason that Google currently could face issues. They don't meet the requirements for the public patent grant.

Re:Getting screwed in both directions (2, Informative)

rantomaniac (1876228) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242178)

LLVM really isn't comparable to JVM and CLR. It's a compiler toolchain for generating optimized code ahead of time. It's really slow, but it generates optimized code. It provides no object model, unified exception handling, memory management, it's really just a tool, not a platform.

Shit. (5, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241346)

I've been hoping for COBOL.NET.

Re:Shit. (5, Funny)

Megane (129182) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241382)

...and FORTRAN.NET and RPG.NET. Damn.

Re:Shit. (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241482)

...and FORTRAN.NET

Here you go [mpassociates.gr] . Though it's probably about 10 years old by this point considering you can find a codeproject [codeproject.com] page about it from 2001.

Re:Shit. (2, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241556)

BrainFuck.Net [soulsphere.org] FTW.

You're welcome.

Re:Shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241784)

you can use rpg in .net

http://www.asna.com/en/Products/VisualRPG/Pages/default.aspx

Re:Shit. (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241808)

They'll get to that just a soon as ISO approves the specs for LOL code.

Re:Shit. (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241886)

What about Brainfuck.NET? I would love to see how they pull that off!

Re:Shit. (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242014)

And PICK.NET? Of course with that you'd have to port DataBASIC.NET

Re:Shit. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241920)

You may laugh but I get paid twice what normal Java monkeys and C# monkeys get. Why? LEGACY SALARY. I just fake a cold and they rush in with fresh printed money. Cushy safe job. No teenie nerds thinking they know it all with Java and C#. I know for a fact they WONT and DONT do COBOL that's why I can command such large fees and feel comfortable in my job. NO student know it alls, no WoW gamer know it alls. BILLIONS of lines of code in use today, not just legacy old code but also NEW code in COBOL. Want a safer job environment in development? do RPG, COBOL etc.

Re:Shit. (1)

Cidtek (632990) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241946)

I've been hoping for COBOL.NET.

APL and PL1 too dammit!!!

Re:Shit. (1)

eples (239989) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242054)

Actually, Fujitsu COBOL shipped with .NET way back in 2001.

Using them? (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241360)

Was anyone actually using them? We have Python and Perl scripts running on windows and always preferred ActivePython and ActivePerl.

Re:Using them? (5, Informative)

bbtom (581232) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241450)

Yes. I have used IronRuby - it is pretty nice. I don't know much about the Windows platform, and it is really pretty useful to be able to write simple Ruby scripts that can interact with .NET stuff. Scripting languages running on top of the CLR (and JVM) is pretty damn useful for a wide variety of applications and situations.

Re:Using them? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241540)

I have never used IronRuby so I may not understand it.
Does this take Ruby and compile it so I can have and executable?

If so I can really she the use for it.
I have a lot of perl code that I would love to give to other people to run.
It is a real pain to have to install perl and several extensions just to get a script to work.
So I can see the value of a compiler. Yes I know that they would still need the .net stuff but that is an easy install.

Re:Using them? (2, Informative)

bbtom (581232) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241676)

Yes, you can build DLLs and EXEs from IronRuby projects. I haven't done so - I just use it as an interpreted scripting language and a familiar REPL when on the Windows platform - but I've heard it is possible to do so.

On JRuby - which I am more familiar with - you get both an interactive runtime and a compiler (jrubyc) which can turn Ruby into Java .class files.

Re:Using them? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241906)

For pure Python and Ruby implementations? Probably not. But, IronPython is a wonderful way of introducing scripting into an application. You can hook IronPython into say, a C# application, provide variables/classes/etc. from the code side, and have it execute a user script with the given data. And dynamic languages like this can be embedded with only a few lines of code.

IronRuby (1, Offtopic)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241366)

Also one good question is - why bother with IronRuby when they already have IronPython?

Rails isn't *that* important or special anymore.

Re:IronRuby (0, Offtopic)

bbtom (581232) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241468)

Why use IronRuby when you have IronPython? Because it is Ruby. Duh! ;-)

Re:IronRuby (0, Offtopic)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241498)

Why use IronRuby when you have IronPython? Because it is Ruby. Duh! ;-)

Ok, better phrase it like - why *support* IronRuby when IronPython is pretty much the same thing, just more mature and popular.

Re:IronRuby (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241516)

Re:IronRuby (4, Interesting)

bbtom (581232) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241532)

Simple: choice. Lots of people like Python, and lots of people like Ruby. Having choice is a good thing. Plus there are some libraries (not just Rails) that are Ruby only - including things that benefit .NET programmers like domain specific language tools like RSpec, Rake and so on. Some C# users have been known to use Rake on IronRuby as a lightweight alternative to NAnt, for instance.

C# (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241368)

As long as Microsoft continues to make C# and ASP.NET more capable and effective than anything else out there, I don't care if they throw IronRuby in the same trash bin as RegularRuby.

Re:C# (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241596)

I know, right? Whenever I use C# all of these unicorns and ponies keep popping into existence. It was literally created by the Lord Himself.

Can I come work as an astroturfer now?

Re:C# (-1, Flamebait)

not already in use (972294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241858)

Yes, yes, we get it. You're salty because Microsoft developed a technology that is quickly becoming recognized as being superior to much of what Linux has to offer. Well, there is Mono, which is, as we now know, more Open than Java. I realize your whole world has just been turned upside down, but that's no reason to lash out.

Re:C# (2, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242020)

Yours was better than mine... more believable. That's why you guys get the big bucks.

I tried to use .NET yesterday, but that's a funny story for another time.

Re:C# (-1, Flamebait)

not already in use (972294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242094)

Typical GNU astroturfer, you are. That's why you get all of RMS' toejam.

Re:C# (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242148)

Yes, yes, we get it. You're salty because Microsoft copied and flooded the market with a technology that...

Fixed.

Re:C# (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242202)

Because Java was 100% original? The Java developers invented the notion of VM and didn't borrow any syntax from C and C++, right?

Re:C# (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242274)

And one can keep going about what C++ copied from other languages and what C copied from its predecessor languages. There isn't a computer language in existence for at least 30+ years that HASN'T copied something from a previous programming language.

Inaccurate headline (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241398)

The headline "Microsoft May Back Off dynamic .NET Languages" would be better?

Re:Inaccurate headline (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241840)

Indeed, but as typical here on slashdot, it is tradition for headlines to be inaccurate yet for the sake of being sensationalistic. Trying to make C#/VB.NET devs go "OMG MS is dropping support for .NET languages?" and then they read the article and realize the person authoring the headline is either not very smart or simply manipulative.

Re:Inaccurate headline (1)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241956)

Are we surprised? Slashdot readership and mods alike are HIGHLY anti-MS.

Harder than you think (4, Insightful)

cracauer (6353) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241408)

The truth of the matter is that it is very hard to support random other languages on VMs written for certain languages.

All these dynamic languages do one thing or another that puts a hole in your plan. Ruby with it's continuations is right up there but Python with "modify anything fundamental anytime" isn't much better. The native environment has a huge headstart.

We should all move to LLVM.

Re:Harder than you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241764)

> Ruby with it's continuations is right up there

IronRuby never supported callcc. It's already deprecated in 1.9 in favor of fibers, and it won't be in 2.0 at all. The main problem isn't the code complexity of using callcc, it's that ruby's implementation of it is incredibly slow and in fact is prone to segfaults if mixed with real threads because of the cheesy way they implemented continuations.

Re:Harder than you think (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242206)

I'm not sure how much I agree with that, Java's JVM supports Rhino and there are other compilers that can target the JVM... same pretty much goes for the DLR stuff in the .Net space. Also, the DLR stuff has some very Libre licensing, so I'm sure it won't ever go away completely, the IronRuby/IronPython folks really like the environment, but to be honest, I've seen/read about as much or more deployments on Mono, than in the MS space. MS's support for dynamic languages seems to have been mainly focused on improving COM interop.

Good (-1, Troll)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241418)

So-called 'dynamic' languages suck. Now if I could only get a good static language, that would be nice. It doesn't need to be based on .Net, though, in fact, I'd personally pefer if it wasn't.

Re:Good (3, Funny)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241490)

Hard to argue with such a well-researched, fact-based conclusion.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241804)

Clearly he doesn't like static or dynamic languages. Why is it so hard to get one that isn't either of those? /s

Iron Ruby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241428)

"... the guy in charge, named T. Stark, said he could do it alone ..."

What Oracle v. Google tells us (5, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241472)

With Oracle attacking Google over Java patents [swpat.org] ...

One lesson to be drawn, as suggested by Miguel de Icaza,[4] is that people should move to Mono and C# because Microsoft's patent terms are better than Sun's.

On the other hand, one could draw the lesson that it's foolish to use languages / platforms controlled by companies that use patents aggressively.

Another point is that if Google had used IcedTea (the GPL'd version of Java), they never would have been at risk from Sun/Oracle's patents.

Re:What Oracle v. Google tells us (3, Interesting)

perlchild (582235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241646)

They wouldn't have been at risk from the copyrights and trademarks, but just how would they have avoided the patents?

Re:What Oracle v. Google tells us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241760)

By calling up Sun/Oracle to make sure they were clear on the terms.

Re:What Oracle v. Google tells us (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241796)

I don't think you have it quite right. From what I can tell, the issue is that Google implemented their own "JVM" in the form of the Dalvik VM. They claim compatibility with java, even though it's not technically a strict J2SE implementation, meaning it's NOT covered by the patent grant. They used the open source version of the java libraries from the Apache Harmony Project as I understand it. Where they went wrong was by adding their own libraries, and removing the bits they didn't want (AWT, Swing). So now they've effectively muddied the JVM waters. To develop android you have to use their Dalvik VM, but you're still writing java? How does that work? Is Dalvik sanctioned by Oracle? Nope!

As much as I hate to say it, I think Google screwed up. Instead of paying the license fee like everyone else for J2ME, they decided to build their own VM and say, 'Hey,it's not really java, it's just java syntax. You can't charge us for that!' They then proceeded to wholesale ripoff the standard libraries and even go so far in their marketing speak to promote android development as using Java(TM). Oracle is totally justified IMO - Google was trying to skirt the rules and got caught. Time to pay up. If MS did this (and they did, back in the late 90's_ they were hung out to dry by Sun. Though there are differences in this case, the same principal remains: They tried to dilute the Java ecosystem with their own brand, and now they're getting called out on it.

Re:What Oracle v. Google tells us (2, Informative)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241944)

Another point is that if Google had used IcedTea (the GPL'd version of Java), they never would have been at risk from Sun/Oracle's patents.

Yes, they would have. You only get a patent grant if you provide a full J2SE implementation, which would have been totally unreasonable on a phone. Merely building on top of the GPL'ed version is not enough.

MuaDib (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241544)

If dynamic language is the same as a Functional language then MS is probably going to push F#.

Fujitsu has a COBOL.NET implementation.

Re:MuaDib (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241954)

Dynamic languages are not the same as functional languages, at least not in the way they're referring to here. Dynamic languages refer to dynamically typed languages, usually scripting languages, like Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, etc. where they don't have explicit variable types. It's more complicated than that, but that's a basic explanation. Functional programming is another thing entirely.

BrainFuck (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241612)

No BrainFuck.NET [wikipedia.org] ? WHY!!!?!?!!

>+++>+++.>+.+++++++..+++.>++.+.>.

Re:BrainFuck (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241632)

Whatdo you mean? [soulsphere.org]

Story title fail (2, Insightful)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241618)

"Microsoft may back off of dynamic .NET languages" would be more appropriate.

Sad to hear though, I just started a project with IronPython.

dynamic .NET (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241730)

Mod parent up.

However..I did have to look up what a dynamic language [wikipedia.org] actually is. It surely will need extensions in .NET for support, but since .NET is a interpreted language there is no basic problem. Just possible performance isssues....

Re:dynamic .NET (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242288)

The IronJS [ugh.cc] implementation seems to perform really well [ugh.cc] so far. MS already resolved most of the interaction issues with dynamic language support in the .Net version 4 runtime, so it shouldn't dissapear, and with the licensing for the DLR and IronPython/IronRuby language implementations, the open-source movement can keep it going.

Confusion likely in Programming sphere (2, Insightful)

jitendraharlalka (1702444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241624)

Oracle's legal action against Google over Android has already created confusion among developers about the future of Java as a platform. And, if Oracle is to able to stop Google from developing Android, Java will likely be avoided by any large companies for their new product. And, now this news that M$ might give up developing .NET any further adds to serve more confusion. With the recent news, there is another programming area likely to be severely hit i.e., the development of Mono. If .NET is gonna stop, it would be difficult to justify any development on Mono. Seems RMS was right again this time in opposing Mono from the very beginning. Only good thing this would serve in long term is more interest of developers in languages like Python, Perl. But, the present developments will definitely add so much of chaos to the programming sphere.

Re:Confusion likely in Programming sphere (1, Flamebait)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241692)

And, now this news that M$ might give up developing .NET any further adds to serve more confusion.

This isn't news that Microsoft isn't developing .NET any further. It is about Microsoft cutting back developers for dynamic languages being developed on top of .NET. Maybe you need to go back to 1st grade and learn some reading comprehension?

Re:Confusion likely in Programming sphere (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241908)

He apparently just read the headline and not the article. A very poorly chosen headline it is.

Re:Confusion likely in Programming sphere (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241846)

Wow, a whole lot of speculation followed by "Seems RMS was right"...

Re:Confusion likely in Programming sphere (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241872)

Especially when all the speculation is flat out wrong.

What am i going to do with that dynamic type now? (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241744)

Does this mean that the .NET 4.0 dynamic type will exist only for people to abuse it?

Re:What am i going to do with that dynamic type no (1)

Spazed (1013981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241978)

The dynamic type is used by LINQ and a few other lovelies of .NET because there is no good way of figuring out what the type actually is until after the query is done.

So he was a _PM_? (3, Funny)

melted (227442) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241910)

Then nothing was really lost with his departure. All Microsoft PMs do is sit in the meetings, "manage schedule", "report status", and take credit for devs' work. What's even more insane is that in some teams PM/Dev ratio is 1:1. So that remaining dev (assuming he was, in fact, a dev) has just become twice as productive, due to the decrease in the number of meetings on his calendar.

Follow the money (0, Troll)

mrflash818 (226638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241942)

In my opinion M$ cash cow is their 'all corporations seem forced to use' OS and their 'all corporations seem forced to use' office suite.

Anything else, based on the behavior during the company's history, fades away after big announcements that it will be 'the next big thing.'

Just follow the money.

As a sysadmin (-1, Troll)

AhabTheArab (798575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242032)

I want .NET to go away. It's a pain in the ass. Some programs require a certain version, but don't package it with the install. Some programs require a certain version and will break if you have a newer version of .NET installed (vSphere Client, for one example, requires .NET Framework 2.0 but will not work with .NET 3.0). I'll admit, I really don't know much of what .NET even is. The only thing I remember is a TV commercial from about ten years ago talking about .NET. Some guy was using a tablet computer, and selected the color of paint for a car or some shit.

Re:As a sysadmin (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242078)

Some programs require a certain version and will break if you have a newer version of .NET installed (vSphere Client, for one example, requires .NET Framework 2.0 but will not work with .NET 3.0).

And? There was no guarantee that all versions will be forward and backwards compatible. How is this any different than the fact that things will break going from VC++ 6 to VC++ 9? Or when there are changes to glibc that aren't backwards compatible?

Multiple Languages With .Net Always a Pipe Dream (3, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#33242090)

While this is slightly different, creating dynamic language environments on top of .Net, language neutrality in .Net has always been a myth. It's why there is only one language for .Net in C# and how VB.Net has become totally pointless because it's merely a syntactically different but identical .Net language. After attempts at those languages failed, such as those by ActiveState, we then got reasonably API compatible Ruby and Python environments being developed on top of .Net. Unfortunately, people already had API compatible versions of Ruby and Python - the official ones - and as a result no one has seen fit to run anything under a .Net Ruby or Python environment en masse. Environments like JRuby just clouded the landscape still further. All Microsoft really wants to do is try and get a critical mass of developers deploying to their versions of Ruby and Python probably for embrace and extend, and there is no sign that this is happening. They're trying to keep on with PHP because it's still the dominant web scripting language that they need for Azure to look semi-credible, but this is likely to meet a similar fate for the same reasons.

The one environment that Microsoft should have created on top of .Net they simply didn't do. They should have created a rapid application development environment on top of .Net, free of the strict confines of C# and object oriented development, that aimed to be at least API compatible with classical VB so people merely had to recompile - as they had always been able to do. Alas, all that Microsoft did was force developers to throw lots of lines of existing code down the drain if they wanted to upgrade or either stay on the platforms they were on permanently or convert their applications to web based ones, which many did.

Microsoft don't appear to have learned a thing after ten years of .Net.
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