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Building Intelligent .NET Applications

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the gentlemen-we-can-build-it-we-have-the-technology dept.

Programming 188

Bill Ryan writes "Sarah Morgan Rea's "Building Intelligent .NET Applications" is a book for those that get easily bored with mainstream development topics. Essentially, it's an in depth discussion of 3 niche technologies that came directly out of Microsoft Research (Microsoft Speech Server, Microsoft Analysis Services and Agents). The majority of the book is comprised of discussions of the first two technologies with roughly 12 pages being dedicated to Agents. It's finished off future Microsoft technologies "Avalon" (now known as the Microsoft Presentation Framework), Indigo, WinFS and Longhorn. Fortunately, since no one really knows when Microsoft will deliver each of these and what they will ultimately look like, she spends under 10 pages on them." Read the rest of Bill's review.

One of the things that makes this book great is that each of the areas discussed receive very little discussion elsewhere. If you want to use Microsoft Speech Server, you are essentially confined to using the SDK documentation, the MSDN newsgroups or an occasional blog post out there. Analysis services has a little more documentation but if you were looking to do any serious A.S. development, you're still pretty hard pressed to find comprehensive resources on how to use it.

These two areas comprise roughly 80% of Sarah's book. The discussion on Speech Server comprises a little over 100 pages and does an excellent job showing you how to get Speech Server up and running and how to use it. She starts out slowly and walks you through the Speech SDK, then moves on to creating Grammars, creating Prompts, creating Transcriptions and Extractions, using the Telephony modules and debugging/performance tuning your applications. Another nice touch is that she spends a good bit of time discussing more agnostic elements of speech and telephony development, S.A.L.T. in particular. Within the discussion throughout, there's a good bit of attention paid to configuring Speech Server and the problems people are typically confronted with when they create speech enabled apps. However she does a pretty good job of balancing the introductory material with more advanced topics for although she does spend a lot of time on setup and configuration, she also goes as far as showing you how to use Speech Server from a PDA.

As far as speech (the topic goes), it would be helpful if the reader had some familiarity with the core concepts involved (such as SALT, Grammars etc.) but even if you didn't, this book would still help teach you a lot of what you'd want to know. The intended audience is clearly intermediate to advanced developers but newbies will definitely find quite a bit of valuable information in it.

The next section discusses Artificial intelligence in the context of Analysis services. If you aren't familiar with relational database concepts, then it's probably a little above your head, but most people buying this book aren't running into relational database theory for the first time.

Chapter 5 starts with using Data Mining to create predictions. It starts with getting things set up, moves onto building the data mart, and then finally 'training' the model. This discussion is pure gold in my humble opinion.

The next chapter moves on to applying those predictions. Not really much to say here without getting overly technical but essentially this chapter is a walk through of what you'd do after you had your data mart built and trained, essentially, how you'd maintain it and continue to refresh the information.

This is followed by a chapter titled "An Evolving Database". Again, this is pretty technical in nature so it's hard to describe without bogging you down in jargon. Suffice to say that everything about this section is cool++; .

The book then discusses Agents, which are cool but probably don't have that much applicability in most people's day to day lives. If you want to learn how to use them (as well as the Background Intelligent Transfer Service), then she provides everything you need.

Finally things wind down with a discussion of Microsoft's upcoming technologies, Microsoft Research, Artificial Intelligence in general (as well as many resources on where to learn more), a glossary, bibliography and finally the index. Discussing any one of the areas that she touches upon here (neural networks, Fuzzy logic, natural language processing, machine learning etc.) could comprise an entire book. That's where the beauty of this book comes in - instead of discussing the subjects one at a time, she creates a series of walk through examples where she creates specific scenarios and shows you how to address them using each respective technology.

If you're bored and want to dive into some really cool subject matter, this book is a must have. If you want to learn more about Speech technology in general and Microsoft's implementations of it in particular, this book is a must have. If you're interested in artificial intelligence again, you'll find this book to be superb. If you just want to learn about subject matter that's been discussed over and over again, like creating Winforms or drawing with GDI+, then this book probably isn't up your alley."


You can purchase Building Intelligent .NET Applications from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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188 comments

.net? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221321)

more like .nut! haha

Re:.net? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221482)

Haha, a very INTELLIGENT joke, if I may say so, Sir.

May I congratulate you for getting the "FRISTY PSOT", as I presume it is called around here?

Speech Server (0, Troll)

James Earl Ray Jones (937305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221345)

I'm glad Microsoft Research comes up with such brilliant innovations. I'd be impressed with a Speech Server if they developed the speech technology. However, Microsoft bought up the Lernout & Hauspie company and improved speech since. Slapping an RPC interface onto a speech synthesizer = research? I LOL at the future of American research!

Re:Speech Server (1)

YU Nicks NE Way (129084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221684)

Somebody should mod the parent up "moronic M$ basher". In fact, Microsoft has had an active speech research team for more than a decade. (Doubt me? Look at the Proceedings of ICASSP if you want evidence.)

Re:Speech Server (-1, Flamebait)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221698)

I'm glad Microsoft Research comes up with such brilliant innovations. I LOL at the future of American research!

There is only one purpose to Microsoft Research: To hire off all the computer scientist before they can invent something that would compete with Microsoft. (Or make them irrelevant.) All one needs to do is look at how few technologies produced at MS Research have actually seen the light of day.

I also suspect that Microsoft uses MS Research to launder technology they've stolen or copied. But I can't prove that, so I'll just label that my personal conspiracy theory. ;-)

Re:Speech Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221925)

There is only one purpose to Microsoft Research: To hire off all the computer scientist before they can invent something that would compete with Microsoft.

Funny, I thought that was Google's plan; not Microsoft's.

Maybe though, Microsoft should be likened the Empire and Google likened to the Sith? After all, Google builds thier apps for Windows first then ports to other platforms.

Re:Speech Server (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222424)

There is only one purpose to Microsoft Research: To hire off all the computer scientist before they can invent something that would compete with Microsoft. (Or make them irrelevant.)

Of course, no way would MS want to hire smart guys to invent stuff to improve their own software, why would they want to improve their stuff, or you really want to moronically argue that they never care about improving anything and 2k was no different from nt4, xp no different from 95, whatever?

I use a lot of open-source and free stuff and enjoy it but if you truly believe in your moronic personal conspiracy you have serious problems.

Re:Speech Server (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222627)

Of course, no way would MS want to hire smart guys to invent stuff to improve their own software

One would think so. But find me projects that actually ended up producing a key component for Windows, Office, or many of their other products? I used to follow Microsoft Research because it sounded like they were working on interesting stuff. Over time, however, it became clear that NONE of the projects were ever seeing the light of day. The most that was happening is that the researchers would do some work, post a web page, then say the project is still in progress when it was actually dead.

Of course, now that Microsoft is facing stiff competition, perhaps they are finally starting to rely on MS Research. But for the ~5 or so years I followed it, it certainly didn't seem that way.

2k was no different from nt4, xp no different from 95

95 and NT were interesting leaps in technology. 95 was interesting because it set the mold for nearly all GUIs that came after it. NT was interesting becasue it finally put Microsoft on solid ground in respect to OS design. 2000, however, was mostly just a matter of embedding Unix technology and technology swiped from Citrix. XP was more of the same of 2000, except that the GUI wasn't as good and the compatibility with 95 had been improved. (Microsoft has a database of special virtualizers that allow programs running on the NT kernel to perform certain operations that aren't valid, but were allowed under 9x. You can download a package for 2000 that does the same thing as XP's built-in code.)

You know what the kicker is? To the best of my knowledge, NONE of the technology used in the different versions of Windows came from Microsoft Research. What kind of research outfit produces short-lived research projects for a decade, and yet doesn't produce a single useful technology that can be adapted for market use?

As for my conspiracy theory, I have my reasons for wondering. Particularly, a few projects that have gone through research that are really matters that would normally be assigned to engineering. Not to mention that several of them have seemed suspiciously close to products already on the market from companies with "partnerships" with Microsoft. Not that it matters much. Most of that stuff is abandoned as well.

Re:Speech Server (2, Insightful)

Musc (10581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222619)

Microsoft research publishes a great deal of research papers every year.
These innovations are free for everybody to read and learn about.

Whether or not microsoft actually gets around to using any of these ideas in their products is beside
the point: research is being done and the results are being published.

Re:Speech Server (1)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221827)

Microsoft bought up the Lernout & Hauspie company

Are you sure about that??? I was doing some work in voice recognition software at the time and am pretty sure Lernout & Hauspie was bought by ScanSoft (now Nuance I think). Now I guess MS may be licensing some of the Lernout & Hauspie tech from them (I've seen no evidence of this), but I'm pretty sure they didn't buy L&H.

Re:Speech Server (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221989)

Microsoft licenses TTS technology [microsoft.com] from Lernout & Hauspie. (Now Nuance, like you said.) Microsoft has their own Speech Recognition engine. However, that engine can be replaced by third parties via the SAPI. Microsoft had an 8% share [businessweek.com] in the company at one point, though I don't know how much of it they currently hold.

Re:Speech Server (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222914)

L&H went bankrupt. Directors went to jail.

Scansoft has been made by an American Entrepeneur who bought the US branch (Dragon Speech and err...Scansoft) from the "liquidation" (sorry I can't translate this term correctly). It didn't buy L&H. He took the property on some of their technologies. L&H has a such big debt that there was no point to buy the company in istelf.

The most notorious one was a completly new TTS engine. I think it was called the realspeech TTS or something.

Well I used to work in that industry around 2000. L&H kept buying companies after companies, in fact nothing serious has been really developped internally. Except probably the realspeech engine.

They turnover was fake, they were playing with different branches (mainly in Korea) to generate a fake turnover.

A wall street reporter found the trick and L&H disapeared.

Here in Belgium a lot of people lost all their economies with L&H. The sector was heavily dammaged by the affair (I had to find another work even if the competitor I used to work for, wasn't part of the affair).

Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221350)

The computing world has long standardized on C++/Java. Writing to a dead and platform specific technology is not very smart.

You are just wasting time for yourself, or the people who replace you, when your stuff gets migrated to Linux.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (4, Informative)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221363)

You would then apparently be surprised at the ammount of development going on with C#

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221392)

You would then apparently be surprised at the ammount of people misusing the word development.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221616)

Why?

A day will come when programmers will be exclusively coding tools and OSes. Applications will be "developed" if you will by the user. In other words, Joe Accoutnant, needing an app, will just point and click, or speak, and create the app he needs on the fly. That's what's coming.

I can't count how many times that my coding job was to create an GUI for: adding/inserting, updating, deleting, etc... data. I found it mindless and boring. I just wish the tools for doing this was easier for the CPAs, business guys to do. And no, they ARE NOT too stupid. The tools are inadequate.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (1)

orion41us (707362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221535)

C++ is good at what's it's designed to do, lower level programming, we should not compare C++ with higher level languages. Java - 90% hype that died out 5 years ago - inho. Just about every single negative aspect of the .net platform if plegues java - so I don't buy the Java > .NET argument.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (1)

drpimp (900837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221630)

Ahhhh. C++ is a high level language last time I checked!

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (1)

orion41us (707362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222552)

I was not talking about langauge level, but harware abstraction. If your writing a driver for something logical choice will be C++ ect... if your making a DB front end - well I just don't see C++ being a good fit.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (5, Interesting)

sfontain (842406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221691)

The computing world has long standardized on C++/Java. Writing to a dead and platform specific technology is not very smart.

You are just wasting time for yourself, or the people who replace you, when your stuff gets migrated to Linux.


This is probably the most ignorant thing I have heard today. Aside from the fact that .NET is neither platform-dependent, nor dead, you have a wonderful post. Oh, except for the part about wasting time, being replacing, and Linux migration.

My 10-man company is making millions this very minute with C#.

Go read a book and consider trolling elsewhere. I would mod you down, however it looks like the others have beaten me to it.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221736)

"My 10-man company is making millions this very minute with C#."

Hahahahahaah!!!

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (3, Interesting)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221820)

Absolutely true... I get various contracting request emails every day, and 90% of them want either C# or Java coders. The rest are either C,C++ or specialty jobs.

C# and Java, btw, are two of the nicest languages I've ever used, and I've used a lot.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (0, Flamebait)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222196)

Wake up: Java is history. Compared to its initial hype and promise, Java has been a dismal failure. The question you should be asking is: "who the hell uses Java these days". Java promised to be an open standard, a platform for high quality cross platform applications. Instead it's become the new Pascal and the new Cobol (only less successful).

And as for porting to Linux, Java is one of the worst choices for that: it's proprietary, closed source, and single-vendor.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222422)

The industry doesn't give a fuck what a few open source license freaks have to say.

Sorry clown, Java is the top language/platform in new engineering positions right now. And it continues to grow.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222614)

"Sorry clown, Java is the top language/platform in new engineering positions right now. And it continues to grow."

Delusion is not an asset, and stating something as fact doesn't make it so. Arguing the pre-eminence of Java is laughable.

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (3, Interesting)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222624)

Interesting how the less-intelligent, personal-attack responses are from AC's, while the interesting contributors are not. Or not so new.

While I'm at now (US northwest), a lot of the programming is .NET based. If you are living elsehwere and have a Java-only view of openings, then great! both are alive in well in the world. Claiming either is a the single choice for all is a sure sign of an incompetent developer. Worse yet, the AC's here trolling are probably not developers at all (sigh of relief actually).

Re:Who The Hell Use .NET These Days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222837)

ASP.NET has overtaken JSP and Java Servlets taken together [netcraft.com].

Sun had the biggest opportunity on the planet to redefine the future of computing and they completely blew it. They dropped the ball on applets, they dropped the ball on desktop apps, and they are dropping the ball on server-side programming with their bloated APIs and poor language evolution. Amazingly, Sun's engineers manage to do an even worse job than Microsoft's. Best stay away from both of them.

Step 1 (-1, Flamebait)

this great guy (922511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221360)

Building Intelligent .NET Applications

Step 1: get a brain.

Re:Step 1 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221398)

Step 2 - become a closed minded linux douche

Re:Step 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222074)

Step 2 - become a closed minded linux douche

Step 3 - don't read slashdot.

Re:Step 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222120)

... then they fight you...

Building Intelligent .NET Applications (-1, Flamebait)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221554)

Building Intelligent .NET Applications

Isn't that an oxymoron? ;)

Re: Building Intelligent .NET Applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221663)

No, but you're one! (Minus the oxy- of course).

Troll comment get's a 3 for Funny? (2, Insightful)

Tominva1045 (587712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221695)



So a trollish comment gets a 3 for being Funny?

If this had been a Linux story and I typed in the same thing I'd have gotten whacked big time.

Speech-enabled applications? (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221383)

> Within the discussion throughout, there's a good bit of attention paid to configuring Speech Server and the problems people are typically confronted with when they create speech enabled apps.

"Start! Run! Cee-Emm-Dee! Format! Cee-Colon Slash X, Slash, U, Slash Y! Enter!"

And now you get to write a book on rebuilding intelligent .NET applications...

Re:Speech-enabled applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222322)

"Unable to open this Internet Shortcut. The protocol "cmdformatc" does not have a registered program."

Re: Future MS Patents (2, Funny)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221396)

I can see patents on the concept of intelligent design in computers. After all, how many stupid computer programs and designs have you seen?

Then the anti-evolutionaries can be sued for patent infringement.

There's no such thing.... (2, Informative)

70Bang (805280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221400)



as "is comprised" in the English language.

e.g.

A banana is composed of pieces.
The pieces comprise the banana.

Although there seems to be an exception for every rule in English, this is one rule with no exceptions.

And to everyone else, don't invoke Godwin's Law on your first reply, okay?


Re:There's no such thing.... (1)

podperson (592944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221441)

Usage Note: The traditional rule states that the whole comprises the parts and the parts compose the whole. In strict usage: The Union comprises 50 states. Fifty states compose (or constitute or make up) the Union. Even though careful writers often maintain this distinction, comprise is increasingly used in place of compose, especially in the passive: The Union is comprised of 50 states. Our surveys show that opposition to this usage is abating. In the 1960s, 53 percent of the Usage Panel found this usage unacceptable; in 1996, only 35 percent objected. See Usage Note at include.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=comprised [reference.com]

Language changes -- sometimes for the worse. Get over it.

I fully expect "loose" to be an acceptable spelling of "lose" within ten years.

Re:There's no such thing.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221845)

I thought you were going to say there's no such thing as intelligent .NET applications.

Re:There's no such thing.... (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221966)

Language evolves, even if technology (as far back as printing in Europe) has slowed down the evolution.

Do you go to the cleaners or the cleansers?

Does gay mean happy or homosexual?

Still, they're and their and there I find annoying, but I imagine it is for non-English speakers trying to learn it.

I hate that Microsoft can backport DotNet into Windows 2000 but intentionally cripples new games like DS2 not to work with it.

IP concerns? (1)

Colonel Panic (15235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221416)

OK, so if I start building 'intelligent applications' (Intelligent Desgin, anyone?) using these new discoveries from Microsoft Labs will I be running the risk of a lawsuit?

Re:IP concerns? (1)

aurb (674003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221570)

I'm not sure about the risk of being sued, but you should not forget to show those applications who's the boss, when they start talking about evolution.

.NET programming (2, Interesting)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221421)

IANAP, but my good friend is. He's a huge Linux guy, but unfortunately (as a lot of Slashdotters I'm sure) programs for a Windows-only firm. He's since started using .NET, and swears by it now. He says it is incredibly easy to build applications with it. I trust his judgement, because he's an incredibly talented programmer, and also programs in C/C++, Perl and is a huge database guy as well.

It all comes down to the best tool for the job. I'm sure you wouldn't want to use .NET for a site that gets 20,000 hits a minute, but you also wouldn't want to use C++ or Perl to integrate Windows-only applications with Active Directory, either.

Step 1: Yes, get a brain. Don't use a hammer on a screw.

I'm happy for you! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221468)

for not being a IANAP. I Am A Penis and I have a hard time sometimes. Most people, though, understand. Occasionally, people call me a Dick! But really, IANAD!

Re:I'm happy for you! (-1, Troll)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221495)

Pass the blunt, buddy! =p~~ ~

Re:I'm happy for you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221743)

It's a few beers actually ....and their mine!

What's really funy is that I got modd'ed as "Troll" for slamming myself. The only thing that makes sense is that the mod is a psychotherapist. They want to make sure that I have good self esteem.

Re:.NET programming (0)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221537)

.NET seems to have finally matured to a quite usable framework of technologies. In begining it was like anything Microsoft puts out, buggy, badly documented and so on, but now it seems that the associated technologies and tools actually help programmers.

Re:.NET programming (4, Informative)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222198)

I know of a few bugs in v1.0 of the framework, nothing too serious... mostly stupid stuff (like a property being protected when it should have been public and is therefore inaccessible to anybody using the framework), but the documentation has always been stellar.

That's one that Microsoft does better than pretty much everybody. MSDN is an incredibly good resource. For the most part, it always has been. Can you provide examples of crappy documentation in v1.0 or v1.1 of the framework? Again, I'm aware of a few isolated areas, but they were few and far between.

Re:.NET programming (1)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221594)

I'm sure you wouldn't want to use .NET for a site that gets 20,000 hits a minute, but you also wouldn't want to use C++ or Perl to integrate Windows-only applications with Active Directory, either.

I've got to ask, what would you use for a site that gets 20K hits a minute? A LAMP setup? PHP would fall over and die. Java servlets would be understandable I suppose...but if your beef is with Windows rather than the .NET platform, then just keep in mind that ASP.NET works fine under Linux/Apache/MySQL.

Re:.NET programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221882)

CyricZ is that you? Nice troll. I'll bite. Yes, a LAMP setup. You do realize that Java has no magic powers that make it scale, right? So for your measly 20K hits per minute we would have to set up, let's say 10 web servers with DNS-RR, which would each serve 33 hits / second (20000 / 10 / 60 ~= 33). Shit, even my crusty old home server, which is powered by a P2 can serve 10 hits / second with a moderately complex DB enabled app. So this job could be done even with 5 boxes, each serving about 70 hps. So in conclusion, fuck off and stop spreading your FUD. Oh and in case you dont believe me, have a look at the amount of pages Wikipedia is serving with their "shitty amateurish LAMP setup". Fucktard. Disclaimer: yes I am a LAMP fanboi.

Re:.NET programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221909)

Ah. You must mean the wikipedia that is quickly grinding to a halt on a daily basis. Truly an excellent, shining star when it comes to performance.

Re:.NET programming (4, Informative)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222736)

20,000 hits a minute doing what? I've created .NET sites that handled about 60 million hits a day (advertising related), with peak traffic doing 5000 requests a second. (That would be 300,000 requests a minute.)

All this traffic was handled by two Dell servers which cost about $5000 a piece. (1.5GB of ram, 10k RPM SCSI RAID, dual 2.8 Ghz CPUs.) Neither machine ever went above 40% CPU, which means a single machine could have handled all the traffic. During peak times, we were fully utilizing a 100Mb pipe.

Each request typically did some MSMQ operations and the occasional SQL Server DB hit if there was a cache miss, but most of it was served via the kernel mode HTTP listener and a few custom HTTP Handlers written in C#/ASP.NET.

It all depends on what each hit is doing. If each request takes 1 second to complete there is no way you could do 20,000 hits per minute unless you had a large web farm. In our case, our TTFB (time to first byte) was very, very small. .NET performed extremely well, as did IIS 6.0 on Win2k3 Server. Very reliable too... never had downtime thanks to NLB. .NET is a fully capable platform. If the .NET application is written correctly, it can handle just as much load as a custom ATL-based application, which is typically regarded as the best performing platform. And trust me, writing an ATL app is painful for all but the best C++ developers.

Re:.NET programming (1)

Homology (639438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221805)

Step 1: Yes, get a brain. Don't use a hammer on a screw.

A screw works very well as a nail, you insensitive clod!

I'm sure you wouldn't want to use .NET for a site that gets 20,000 hits a minute, but you also wouldn't want to use C++ or Perl to integrate Windows-only applications with Active Directory, either.

Of course not, Microsoft works hard for this to be hard for you (sry folks, I wrote "hard" not "hard on")

Re:.NET programming (1)

fyrie (604735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221855)

I'm sure you wouldn't want to use .NET for a site that gets 20,000 hits a minute

Monster.com and Match.com both use ASP.NET. I'm not sure how many hits they get a minute, but I bet you it's several thousand. Both sites are usually very peppy.

Re:.NET programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222697)

Can't speak for the second one, but with the first one, you must be using a definition of 'peppy' I'm not familiar with.

> Adjective * S: (adj) bouncing, bouncy,
> spirited, zippy (marked by lively
> action) "a bouncing gait"; "bouncy tunes";
> "the peppy and interesting talk"; "a
> spirited dance"

Nope, not how I would describe it at all....

Re:.NET programming (2, Informative)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221928)

I'm sure you wouldn't want to use .NET for a site that gets 20,000 hits a minute

The greatest improvement that .NET brought to the table wasn't rich apps (Winforms still are quite a few steps behind what you could achieve with Delphi 7 years ago), nor was it component integration (COM is still the pervasive component model, and .NET remoting is just finally getting the features of COM+): It was that it revolutionized web development on the Windows platform.

Not only was the programming model a world better than the classic ASP, but the scalability (and automatic scale-out features like shared session state) improvements are colossal. .NET is one of the few technologies you should rely upon to service a large scale, robust website.

Re:.NET programming (1)

Lemmingue (788112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222527)

...but you also wouldn't want to use C++ or Perl to integrate Windows-only applications with Active Directory, either.
No, no, no. You will want to use C++ to integrate a Windows-only app with Active Directory. The main Windows API (Win32) is still C based, and the main Active Directory API (ADSI) is still C++/COM based.

Re:.NET programming (1)

Silverstrike (170889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222820)

Not if the rest of your code is in C#. You're probably better of using the Novell C# LDAP library [novell.com].

I know about System.DirectoryServices, but its just a COM interop for the windows standard API -- which dopes ADSI -- which sucks the monkey nut.

It uses Mono to do SSL -- but I stripped that out and used .NET 2.0's SSL stream -- worked like a dream. And it talks real standard LDAP, so you can use it against AD, NDS, etc.

Re:.NET programming (1)

hedge_death_shootout (681628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222859)

So you <flash>will</flash> want to simplify your life massively by avoiding native C++, and using a managed language and the managed AD API, and drop down to the C API where neccessary using P-Invoke (unlikely to be neccessary).

Unless this is one of those weird Active Directory apps that needs raw speed. Maybe an Active Directory based first person shoot-em-up?

"Intelligent" and ".NYET" in the same sentence? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221435)

Only with the word "not" can that be a logically correct sentence; otherwise, it's an oxymoron.

Small nitpick (3, Informative)

Swamii (594522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221445)

"Avalon" (now known as the Microsoft Presentation Framework

A very small nitpick, but for the record, it's Microsoft Presentation Foundation.

Maybe it's just me, but "Avalon" was a much cooler name.

Re:Small nitpick (1)

mullahbill (726643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222748)

Good catch and actually it's not a nitpick. I wrote a book on the stuff so I should have at least gotten its name right. Sorry about that.

Intelligent? .NET? (-1, Troll)

RodgerTheGreat (905510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221506)

oxymoron n. pl. oxymora (-môr, -mr) or oxymorons A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.

Business intelligence (2, Insightful)

ech00ne (937418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221518)

If you really want to seize an opportunity to drive some demand for your products you have to take a serious look at embedding some Business Intelligence into your product. Don't believe me?

1. The second most important technology priority (after security) for CIO's is Business Intelligence.
2. Not only that, but the most important business priority for them is business process improvement

Re:Business intelligence (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221658)

That is the "buzzword complience" thing one needs.. but any proper CIO knows that almost all BI products are total crap. Thus there is definitely a trend of "oh your product also does BI?, bye" raising. What is needed is actually GOOD products as the current wave is largely "hype-ware", though there are actually some fairly good(if very complex) products.

Mono Chapter? (2, Interesting)

ztwilight (549428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221520)

If they had a chapter about Mono compatibility, I might consider the book.

Re:Mono Chapter? (2, Informative)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221673)

The technologies are Microsoft Speech Server and Microsoft Analysis Services. I'll write the extra chapter for you:

CHAPTER 10: Mono Compabitility: None of these technologies or any equivalents are available in Mono. You might be able to hack something together with /dev/speech, and that's about it.

Kind of a short chapter though.

Another Microsoft Story (-1, Troll)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221643)

Slashdot has been shilling every skank Microsoft framework, language, and 'technology' for months now. It is an eyesore to those of us who have come here for free software news. Moderators, why do you accept these submissions? Don't you see that you are polluting hacker culture? Are you succombing to pressure by Microsoft's advertising dollars?

Re:Another Microsoft Story (2, Insightful)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221798)

"Free software news" ? Where the hell does it say that?

By the way, "hacker culture" is no longer "cool". It's a pathetic group of people who can't come to grips with modern technology and simply scream (well post) from their basement about how the world misuses the world "hacker" and doesn't give their command line the respect it deserves.

Re:Another Microsoft Story (0, Troll)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221941)

By the way, "hacker culture" is no longer "cool". It's a pathetic group of people who can't come to grips with modern technology and simply scream (well post) from their basement about how the world misuses the world "hacker" and doesn't give their command line the respect it deserves.

Better that than a clueless drooler who willingly tithes to a vile corporation who shits on the world, and uses them as a surrogate for their thinking. (I expect the standard reply, Bill Gates is worth $50 gazillion, how much are your worth?...)

Re:Another Microsoft Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222089)

you're a basement mama boi jacking off to your uber dork status.

slashdot is about "TECHNOLOGY". it doesn't have to be all about opensource.

go jerk off somewhere else.

Re:Another Microsoft Story (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222103)

You should read "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer. As a zealot your merely filling the void in your life with some utopian technology beliefs and admonishing a website for not subscribing 100% to your misguided point of view. Furthermore you have a need for an enemy and therefore Gates & MS become the earthly embodiment of satan in your mind. In the long term you might be better off losing a bit of the anger and doing more productive things because even if Gates is a convicted monopolist he doesn't come across half as hateful or bitter as you. But of course when you have self-proclaimed total morality with a completely pure system it's ok to be what you ostensibly despise when dealing with the "ultimate evil".

Re:Another Microsoft Story (2, Insightful)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222029)

Many people use .NET and it's an interesting enough language to warrant a story on using it more efficiently. Slashdot is not designed to be reporting 100% on free stuff and for good reason, if you want an IT news site that doesn't report on ANYTHING that isn't free RMS style your going to have a site that will appeal to a much smaller audience though it could be a good narcotic for zealots. Most people want news on everything IT of interest irrespective of its philosophical status.

I don't think you can do that (-1, Troll)

rabbot (740825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221645)

Are you sure you can use the word "intelligent" when talking about anything to do with .NET?

oxymoron? (0)

Eisenfaust (231128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221653)

I've been coding for Win32 for about 10 years now. I still prefer Visual C++ 6 over any of the .NET versions. The .NET Framework seems to be a giant hog that sits on top of the other Win32APIs. If the .NET Framework was integrated into the operating system maybe it would be more seemless and less bloated. Or maybe it would just make the OS bloated...

These days I try to stay away from technologies that lock you into a certain platform. The two major down sides to this are development time and usability.

Maybe this book gives some tips on how to reduce .NET bloat, but with so many other graphical platforms around these days (OS X, KDE, Gnome, Plain old X) I think people should be spending their time looking for a more long term solution to their GUI development needs.

Hopefully someday there will be a free universal extensible light weight API for developing desktop applications. Until then we'll have to compromise.

Re:oxymoron? (1)

mcho (878145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221760)

It's true that the .NET Framework is really a fancy wrapper for Win32 API's, but the C# language is really great to work with -- only if it's the right tool for the job.

What really grinds my gears is that, as a micro-ISV, the .NET Framework isn't installed on a majority of customer's computers. And it's unfair to ask them to download and install the +200 MB Framework to use your ~100 KB application. That's why I've recently re-writen my client software in C++, but I still use .NET from my server-based applications.

Don't believe the hype, .NET is not everywhere as it should be and if you're developing consumer Windows application with .NET v2.0...well, mod yourself down.

Re:oxymoron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222112)

200MB? You are off by an order of magnitude. The dotnetfx.exe installer is only 20MB to download, and it probably takes up no more than 50MB of disk space. Perhaps you are thinking of the SDK, which clearly doesn't belong on end-user systems.

Anyway, the beauty of writing apps in .Net is that I can just ship a 100k executable instead of a 100k executable and 5MB worth of DLLs and a 10MB installer because my app isn't just a single EXE anymore.

dom

Re:oxymoron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222147)

And it's unfair to ask them to download and install the +200 MB Framework to use your ~100 KB application.

WTF? Microsoft's .Net Framework 2.0 redistributable is 22960 KB and it's available on Windows Update. That's a far cry from 200MB, though larger than the JRE 1.5 (which is 16,387 KB).

I don't really care that much for .Net. I do occasionally code in C# for client-side stuff at work, but Java is used on the server (if I had my way we would've chosen Java or something cross-platform for the client-side stuff). But still I don't think its that much of a burden for people to download.

Re:oxymoron? (1)

in10se (472253) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222350)

That's quite an exaggeration. While the framework download is somewhat large, it is nowhere near 200MB. In fact, not even the v1.1 SDK is 200MB. If you compare it to the JRE download (15MB) which is required to run Java applications, it's not really that big.

.NET Framework Redistributable v1.1: 23MB
.NET SDK (not required to run apps): 108MB

.NET Framework Redistributable v2.0: 22MB (even smaller)
.NET SDK (not required to run apps): 362MB (much bigger)

Mod parent Off Topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222519)

This book has nothing to do with writing desktop applications. It is about writing apps that use artificial intelligence. In particular, it covers how to do so using the .Net framework.

What you seem to misunderstand is that there is no such thing as a framework that is both complete and lightweight. Sure, you can use just bare Xlibs and Athena widgets and make a simple, ugly application where you have to write most of the UI code. However, most of us want to write apps, not UI code, meaning that the framework should handle as much of this for us as possible.

Any framework that handles most of the work for you is going to be large. If you think .Net is "bloated", you have apparently never used KDE or Gnome!

dom

Hmm... (0, Troll)

flamesrock (802165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221665)

Sounds like another '.NET for idiots' book.

Honestly, you can build smart applications with the emacs editor and 5 years experience 'fooling around' with code. Why does everyone want to become a brilliant programmer from day 1? Takes time you know.

Here's a free guide, shorter, more enlightening and language agnostic: Teach yourself programming in 10 years. [norvig.com]

Application orientation (1)

RageLink (918351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14221714)

Well aparently this is a good book if you're chosing a programing platform that is application oriented. I'd like to know if there is anything in the book about making intelligent (efficient) .Net applications. If there is any part in that book on how to make .Net code not consume all the resources in testing server I'll buy one right now.

Re:Application orientation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222647)

Get more than 32MB of RAM. If it's REALLY hurting you, turn off debug mode. An in-progress application crash still won't take the OS down. Not even if you try... the CLR always catches it and offers to debug.

I'll agree that for tiny apps, the weight of the CLR is kinda absurd, but that'll probably be a non-issue in Longhorn if .NET is actually integrated with, and not bolted onto, the OS. But really, do you not have 12MB of free RAM? Your testing server must be on a single chip...

SALT? Agnostic? Nice touch, indeed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221943)

TFR says:
Another nice touch is that she spends a good bit of time discussing more agnostic elements of speech and telephony development, S.A.L.T. in particular.

Erm... either "agnostic" doesn't mean what you think it means, or, more likely, you don't understand that SALT is about as "agnostic" as .NET or NTFS. SALT is part of the MS "ecosystem."

Go to http://www.w3.org/Voice/ [w3.org] to learn about "agnostic" standards for speech.

Step one: don't write your stuff in .net.exhibit A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14221996)

Instead of fixing their hugely bugging drivers, shit opengl performance, broken & terrible install/uninstall, shit for Linux drivers, ATI spends their time in a circle jerk with .net to come up with the crapola that is CCC. Flash over substance.

.NET (0, Redundant)

certel (849946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222026)

Intelligent .NET applications... Is that an overstatement? We have some .NET applications at work and although some work pretty well, they are always fixing them.

Re:.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222607)

perhaps it's not the tools but the smith?

Intelligent .Net Applications? (-1, Troll)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222268)

Now that's what I call a contradiction in term.

If you're intelligent you don't build in .Net, but some other, slightly more predictable technology.

What's next?

Reasonable Al-Quaida Terrorists?
Goody Twoshoe CIA Interrogators?
Guantanamo Bay Beachpartys?

Re:Intelligent .Net Applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14222379)

How about: patriotic non-liberal, non-terrorist loving you.

Why is this Linux vs. Windows? (5, Funny)

PhatboySlim (862704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14222747)

Honestly, I have been developing web applications for some time and granted I use C#, but I've never been opposed to someone using Java, or PHP, or Oracle. My personal experience has been that every language has a slight edge in some regard, but they all do the same thing. There is a much greater difference in the talent of programmers than in the language being used. If you pitted Steven Hawking in an Enzo Ferrari vs. Michael Schumaker in a Ford Taurus, who would win the race? I mean honestly. Mark me flamebait or troll I don't care, but all this Windows vs. Linux high school propaganda has got me sick of Slashdot. The original post was a book review on developing .NET. It wasn't a, "Why anything except MS sucks" book review. Can we please stay on topic and get the ever-increasing in size chip off the linux community's shoulder? Thanks.
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