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Microsoft Common Language Runtime To Be Cross-Platform

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the .net-going-wide dept.

Microsoft 308

axlrosen alerts us to a Microsoft sleeper announcement from Mix07: a version of its Common Language Runtime will be available cross-platform. The Core CLR shows up as part of the Silverlight SDK that Redmond is open sourcing. From the blog posting: "The biggest Mix '07 announcement made on opening day of this week's show was one that Microsoft didn't call out in any of its own press releases: Microsoft is making a version of its Common Language Runtime available cross-platform. The CLR is the heart of Microsoft's .Net Framework programming model. So, by association, the .Net Framework isn't just for Windows any more."

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"Cross platform" (5, Funny)

brennanw (5761) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946617)

Now supporting XP and Vista!

Re:"Cross platform" (5, Interesting)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946997)

"Silverlight will plug into Internet Explorer, Mozilla and Safari browsers, meaning the slimmed-down CLR will run on these platforms, as well."

When a browser became a platform I'm not sure, when they started handing out the Web 2.0 Kool-Aid I suppose. It doesn't mention Linux so I reckon they mean Firefox on Windows.

Re:"Cross platform" (2, Interesting)

tempestdata (457317) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947717)

Slimmed down sounds like marketting speak? Crippled is more accurate.

Sure they can make a version of the CLR available on all platforms, just has to be crippled enough that people would rather use the one on windows. That way they can say "if you really really want to use it on any platform you can.. but we recommend that you use the version on windows because of X, Y and Z".. Also they will have some stupid excuse for not supporting X, Y and Z on the other platforms as if it was the fault of the other platforms.

Re:"Cross platform" (2, Interesting)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947003)

I was at a presentation of XNA [wikipedia.org] and the presenter referred to it as "cross platform" because it runs on both X-Box 360 and Windows XP (and now Vista). Let's not allow Microsoft to dilute the meaning of the terms "cross platform" and "Open Source".

Re:"Cross platform" (5, Insightful)

rockmuelle (575982) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947485)

Whoa there... just like 'Open' has other meanings that don't imply 'Open Source', cross-platform has many interpretations. The XNA claim to be cross-platform is definitely a valid one, particularly when you consider that the X-Box 360 is a PowerPC architecture and Windows XP and Vista are primarily run on x86 chips. If single development environment that can not only target three versions of an OS, but also target multiple processor architectures isn't cross platform, then I'm not sure what is.

-Chris

Famous Blues Brothers quote (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947057)

"We have both kinds of music here: Country *and* Western."

Re:"Cross platform" (1)

matt me (850665) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947353)

Now supporting XP and Vista
Haha I clicked through to make that exact joke.

Cross platform? (0, Redundant)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946625)

Is that, like, it runs on Windows Vista _and_ Windows XP?

Re:Cross platform? (1)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946665)

So I'll be able to finally run my favorite .NET apps in PC-DOS 6.0?

Re:Cross platform? (1)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946689)

My guess is it means it'll run on Windows and OSX. That seems to be Microsoft's usual definition of cross-platform.

I sense a kindred spirit... (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946691)

Come... together we shall mock the world!

In my best Don Adams... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946839)

I missed it by that much.

And shouldn't we both be modded (-1, too obvious)?

I agree... (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947163)

... the jokes really do write themselves.

Cross-platform but x86 only (1)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946649)

Currently, Silverllight 1.1 is x86 only. It won't run on PowerPC based Macs, just the ICBMs.

For a logistical standpoint, that doesn't seem very cross platform to me if they've already chopped off half of the other platform with the 1.1 release...

Yes, this is my current soapbox.

Re:Cross-platform but x86 only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947091)

MS won't support linux, so the best cross-platform they came up is still short.

Someone better come up fast with an openjava-based alternative to flash that can run in any cell phone, operational system, PDA, etc.

CPU Platform-specific? (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947493)

Is this going to be like Mono, where you can compile it to run on PPC Macs but because the application binaries have x86-targeted code within, you can't run them without splicing in an intel CPU emulator somehow?

Re:Cross-platform but x86 only (4, Funny)

kpdvx (546561) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947545)

Silverlight 1.1 runs on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles? Well, that is certainly worrisome.

Cross Platform (1)

Frequently_Asked_Ans (1063654) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946675)

M$'s way of saying it doesn't work at all

ha! (1)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946677)

So, by association, the .Net Framework isn't just for Windows any more.


so you're...guilty by association! *scnr*

Mono? (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946703)

Wasn't .NET already cross-platform with the introduction of Mono?

Re:Mono? (4, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946771)

Yes, kinda, partially.

My question is more like --

Will this aid Mono development? Is Mono still necessary? What about the Windows specific API's? A lot in .NET Framework is, like System.Windows.Forms, and Microsoft.*.

Re:Mono? (1)

rapett0 (92674) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947111)

You know, I wonder if they can just take the approach as some of the Windows emulators take on Linux. Once its all opened up and the workings are exposed, just replace those functions as needed based on the platform. At the end of the day, all the platforms have differences or one type or another, so changes would have to be made to the fundamental libraries anyway to ensure same behavior cross-platform.

Re:Mono? (4, Interesting)

gral (697468) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947123)

The Core is not really that much. It is just enough to say they are Cross Platform like Java, but really not enough to allow a dev to run .Net code compiled on Windows on a linux or Mac. Mono is actually alot further along, and actually WANTS the CLR to run Cross Platform.

Re:Mono? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947177)

Will this aid Mono development?


Probably not, since the Microsoft Permissive License [microsoft.com] has a GPL-like 'viral' clause, which means that if Mono used the code, Mono would probably have to be licensed under the Ms-PL.

Is Mono still necessary?


Yes.

What about the Windows specific API's? A lot in .NET Framework is, like System.Windows.Forms, and Microsoft.*.


I doubt they'll open up those. The announcement relates only the the CLR, not the .NET Framework.

Re:Mono? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947311)

Will it aid Mono? No, not really. The CLR is what they refer to, which is only the driver behind the Common Type System, Code Access Security model, the MSIL Interpreter and so on. Types, Classes and Namespaces within the framework are just that - framework classes. They aren't part of the CLR.

Re:Mono? (1)

ASBands (1087159) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947653)

Does ATI provide proprietary drivers for Linux? Yes. Are alternative, open-source versions still necessary? Yes. I wouldn't fully trust Microsoft to implement anything correctly.

I would like to see .NET code run on Linux (and I guess OSX..), because it's a Java-like environment without the annoyances of Java. Sure, C++/CLR (my .NET language of choice) has its quirks (some of which I need C# to fix), but at least it isn't Java and it (hopefully) will soon be easy to cross-platform without anything more than minor annoyances.

Re:Mono? (0)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946835)

Well, except Mono is a small project that Microsoft would rather see die. It will disappear when they are ready to drop litigation bombs.

What disturbs me more is how the term "open source" has been co-opted and soiled by Microsoft when the license terms which will only be FSF approved when microsoft owns the FSF.

Re:Mono? (3, Interesting)

gral (697468) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947159)

Mono really isn't that small a project. What make the .Net framework appealing to most is the ability to work with IO, Database, Sockets, Forms, Console, etc. Mono does all this. It doesn't sound like this "Release" from Microsoft is going to really do much.

Re:Mono? (1)

tobiasly (524456) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947361)

Well, except Mono is a small project that Microsoft would rather see die. It will disappear when they are ready to drop litigation bombs.

Maybe you missed the news, but Microsoft and Novell (which sponsors Mono) entered into an agreement to prevent such "litigation bombs". Plus, both the C# language and the CLI are ECMA standards, and according to the Mono guys [mono-project.com] , Microsoft has been very forthcoming in their help in implementing Mono.

Re:Mono? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946859)

An underfunded third-party implementation of the CLR is not exactly the same thing as one that is backed both by the name and the resources of Microsoft.

Re:Mono? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947181)

My understanding is that MS retained IPR on .NET 2.0 features (including CLR support for generics) and they could hit Mono for the 2.0 features any time they wanted. Access to those features is worth something.

Re:Mono? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947345)

There is not just MONO, but also ROTOR.
http://www.ondotnet.com/pub/a/dotnet/2002/03/27/ar chtour.html [ondotnet.com]

Pitty neither of those gives the true cross-platform we need for the C#.net Platform.
ROTOR is just a BSD port of the C#.net virtual machine (no JIT compiler, no full framework libraries).
MONO is just a rewrite of the C#.net virtual machine + partial framework libaries (no win32 compatibility layer below).

In the end, the C#.net Platform will always be an NT-only solution.
Maybe REACTOS will be the solution to run the full Platform without MS licences... some day.

Me? Cynical? Never. (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946705)

The Core CLR shows up as part of the Silverlight SDK that Redmond is open sourcing.

That's great. Now if Microsoft would actually implement a few web standards (rather than spewing out more Microsoft "standards") I might actually trust them. As it happens, though, I don't. Internet Explorer has the absolute worst track record of all the modern web browsers. It's fairly straight forward to tune Javascript/DOM code to run in Mozilla, Opera, and Safari. But Internet Explorer? Meh. Let's just say that it adds another 30-50% to the project time.

Now Microsoft wants to broadcast their wonderful multimedia technology that will enhance the web, be cross-platform, show cool multimedia-type stuff that we can already do with SVG or Canvas. Woohoo. Whoopdedoo. Wow.

Not.

This smacks of yet another Microsoft embrace, extend, and extinguish stratgey. "Yeah, guys. Come on in. Here's the Silverlight plugin which works on Macs. We're going to be real buds with these Mac peoples! We're even porting a teeny bit of the CLR (ed: And you thought Java was browser bloat?) to make our XAML/Avalon/WPF technology work for you guys. Oh, did we mention that Macs are kind of slow? (ed: They are now!)"

Next version: "We haven't seen enough customers demand support for the Mac. So we're dropping the plugin for that platform and adding some amazing new features to the Windows version." *FWHHOOOSH* Extinguished.

If Microsoft really wanted to compete, they'd be the first to implement the OpenGL API for the Canvas tag that the WHATWG has been working on. Oh, but wait! That wouldn't be Window-y enough. It would have to be the DirectX API through Javascript, dontchaknow. :-/

Parent not trolling (5, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946949)

That's exactly what Microsoft did with ActiveX. They pushed ActiveX as cross-platform, delivering an ActiveX SDK for the Mac and supporting ActiveX components in IE.

Then after a while, they dropped ActiveX support, saying it was too much effort to make it work on OS X.

Then after a while longer, they dropped IE too.

Same with WMV. Seen Windows Media Player for the Mac? No? That's because they dropped it a while back, and killed all support for DRM-protected Windows Media on the Mac. (Instead they suggest that people use a third party QuickTime plugin that only handles unprotected WMV.)

Jeez, lots of Microsoft fanboys or astroturfers moderating today.

Re:Parent not trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947331)

Seen Windows Media Player for the Mac?
Yes.

Re:Parent not trolling (2, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947463)

Same with WMV. Seen Windows Media Player for the Mac? No? That's because they dropped it a while back, and killed all support for DRM-protected Windows Media on the Mac. (Instead they suggest that people use a third party QuickTime plugin that only handles unprotected WMV.)

Im pretty sure that Windows Media Player for Mac never handled protected WMV files at all (I am prepared to stand correct though), so there was nothing lost with the move to Flip4Mac.

Troll, eh? (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947049)

I wish I could say I was surprised. :-/

From TFA:

The Core CLR will include the garbbage collection, type system, generics and many of the other key features that are part of the CLR on the desktop. It won't include COM interop support and other features "that you don't need inside a browser," the Microsoft execs say.

Which is to say that it's being ported just for Silverlight. Silverlight depends on XAML [wikipedia.org] . (Originally expanded to Extensible Avalon Markup Language.) XAML is the serialized form of WPF [wikipedia.org] (Windows Presentation Foundation) vector drawing commands. WPF is based around .NET 3.0. Thus XAML consists of references to the .NET objects. That's why the CLR is required in pared-down form.

Microsoft is literally porting a chunk of Windows Vista to provide gee-whiz effects. Thus the use of Silverlight will always tie you back to Microsoft. Embrace, extend, extinguish.

Now where are the DOM 2 Events, Microsoft?

Re:Troll, eh? (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947329)

Troll, in the same way that Microsoft are suddenly a stalwart of the Open Source community.

Re:Me? Cynical? Never. (2, Interesting)

Chester K (145560) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947277)

It's fairly straight forward to tune Javascript/DOM code to run in Mozilla, Opera, and Safari. But Internet Explorer? Meh. Let's just say that it adds another 30-50% to the project time.

Now Microsoft wants to broadcast their wonderful multimedia technology that will enhance the web, be cross-platform, show cool multimedia-type stuff that we can already do with SVG or Canvas.


Actually, the reason they're bundling the CLR is because the browser's own Javascript/DOM systems (which are also supported by Silverlight) are horrendously slow in comparison. At the MIX conference, they ran a demo where a Silverlight chess app had an identical AI player routine written in browser-run Javascript and CLR-run Javascript (I believe the exact same JS code was used for both), and the in-browser AI could only analyze a couple hundred moves in the same time the CLR version could analyze a million. That's four orders of magnitude faster.

That's why they're including the CLR as a code option. Because it's unbelievably faster.

Re:Me? Cynical? Never. (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947439)

Dude. CANVAS [mozilla.org] . Hello?

Microsoft pulled the wool over your eyes. They were showing you a DOM app that needed to modify the rendering tree in order to make a move. This is similar to a 3D Scene Graph, but without the hardware acceleration. When Microsoft showed you the Silverlight app, they were showing you a hardware-accelerated drawing program. The very purpose for which Canvas was created.

As for the AI speed (assuming that the performance issues weren't entirely being caused by the DOM manipulations), Silverlight still uses Javascript for scripting. If it can run so much faster in their CLR scripting why don't they use their new Javascript engine in Internet Explorer?

In case you think I'm joking, that is exactly what Mozilla is doing with their new Tamarin engine [slashdot.org] . The new engine is faster and more feature rich, ergo it's being integrated into the browser platform. To make matters even more interesting, Mozilla and Adobe are sharing the development of the engine, so that they can both use it. Mozilla in the browser, Adobe in Flash.

I'm sorry. Microsoft is pulling a fast one on you. There is no need for Silverlight other than to lock you into Microsoft technology.

Be afraid, bitches.... (5, Insightful)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946709)

If a lot of you, previously unexposed to the CLR gain access to it, you will discover that it is not the crap that so many of you have read it to be.

From denial, to grudging acceptance, to surprised admiration, is how the process works, and whether you hate Microsoft or not, a few months playing with C# usually results in the comment "Damm, why didnt they do this with Java?"

The Borg isnt dead, they have only been regenerating. Prepare to modulate shield frequencies, because they are coming.......

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946867)

what is better about it compared to java, besides the fact they don't serve the same purpose?

Java JRE VS MS CLR (1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946909)

Who cares, you can run Python on both!

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (5, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946911)

From denial, to grudging acceptance, to surprised admiration, is how the process works, and whether you hate Microsoft or not, a few months playing with C# usually results in the comment "Damm, why didnt they do this with Java?"

After playing with C# for a few months, the answer I came up with is that C# happened after Java and (I would hope) improve upon Java in some ways. But I stopped using it because of a few reasons. The first of which was the cross platform problem. While Java wasn't open source at the time, it worked on a lot of different platforms. At best you could implement .NET with Mono but there was no guarantee that a change by MS would not negate the hard work of the Mono team. The second reasons is that MS has always been long on promises about technology and short on execution. I'm content to let some else be the guinea pig.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947121)

I was afraid my comment would create another C# vs. Java debate, as that was not the intent. I was just relaying what I have experienced from people new to the language after hearing nothing but crap about it. In every case, people who read all the Slashdot crap about C# or .NET for that matter, when exposed to the real thing, discover it to be much better than expected, and I was only suggesting the same thing this go'round with Silverlake.

I did NOT want to create another C#-Java slugfest, trust me....

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947729)

True. Some debates always delve into shouting matches about minutae that don't matter. Emacs 1337! No, vi 1337! I was merely responding that some people like me have tried C# but had legitimate reasons not to use it. I found nothing wrong with the language itself.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947457)

STFU!! NOBODY GIVES A SHIT!!

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946943)

If a lot of you, previously unexposed to the CLR gain access to it, you will discover that it is not the crap that so many of you have read it to be.

Who actually claimed the CLR and C# is "crap". No one said that. Microsoft business is more of politics and the burden of supporting obsolete legacy architectures. .NET's CLR engineering isn't hindered by either of those.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947013)

This is Slashdot. You can be assured that someone said it.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947055)

I think a lot of people on Slashdot have said that over the years. Anyone who puts their head above the parapet and compliments a piece of MS technology is roundly shouted (and modded) down. I think the undeniable anti-MS sentiment of Slashdot is what the original poster was referring to.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18946951)

I've been with C# for about 6 months now and I still consider it inferior to Java. The syntax is much more complicated. I end up getting confused whether I'm dealing with a property or a method. I personally think that the .Net libs are inflexible but I'll chalk it up to my inexperience with them.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947065)

Huh? The syntax is almost identical! I think you are correct in needing more experience with the language. Tone down your ambitions until you master the basics. A lot of people jump into C# without a good understanding of the CLR or .NET as a whole. You will gain much by learning the underpinnings first, and you will then discover that C# is about as flexible as it gets. Is it perfect? No. But it aint bad at all.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947285)

.net libs are inflexible. Most methods are not 'virtual' so you can't override them; this was done on purpose because CLR cannot optimize virtual methods (Java can because its runtime type system is orders of magnitude simpler).

Delegates exist because of the need to map the existing function-call based Win32 event system into C#.

Runtime generic types and the restrictions they cause (either no variance or extremely slow variance) exist because of CLR's inability to execute code without full type information (the bytecode effectively cannot be interpreted due to value types). In C# you can't pass a List-of-Strings to a method taking List-of-Objects -- that's just dumb.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (0)

cdwiegand (2267) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947293)

Uh, yeah. Properties are assigned to, or you take their value and use it elsewhere. You can't "call" a property. Methods, on the other hand, can't be assigned to, can be called, and you can also use their return value. That's the only similarity. And it doesn't matter which one it is if you just care about the return value....

Java, on the other hand, confuses me with it's lack of properties (so which function do I call again, and how do I call it, to set this array-like parameter-like value?), and it's distinctive overengineering. Looks like Swing, it's waaay worse than Windows.Forms. And the whole JSP -> EJB -> some persistence engine thing is also overengineered, and memory hungry.

Admittedly, C# is newer than Java, so they were able to avoid a few mistakes that Java made.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947509)

Yes, Foo.get_Adapter() is so much better than Foo.Adapter.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

rapett0 (92674) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947053)

Parent has a great point. I am not a fanboy for any particular platform as you will see in my previous posts, though maybe I do take MS's side simply because I think the bashing is over the top sometimes.

Regardless, I cut my teeth in the C++/ASM world and jumped into .NET kind of early. Did it have some issues to start? Sure. Does it still have some? Sure. As all languages and platforms due. However, I feel many people felt that .NET (and subsequently the CLR/IM, etc) was meant to be cross platform hardware-wise, while MS took it to be only on Windows (sort of a Windows JVM so to speak). Hopefully with this change, all the effort gone into .NET can now be harnessed on Unix platforms. Sure, many of us can simply use whatever stack is available, but it be nice to spend most of the time in one so you can focus on the product/problem at hand, not worrying about the idiosyncrasis (sp?) of a stack you don't spend most of your time in. Again, not being pro MS here, but I do know it would be nice to have the option to develop the same in Linux, for example. I know mono is there, but I always felt it took the .NET - down approach, instead of the CLR/IM - up approach. (Again, could be wrong as you can't have one without the other, but I feel many .NET people are out of theie element in Mono.)

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (2, Insightful)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947215)

Darling and others, as I am may day drunk, I just have to say this: all languages are all the same. I use and have used Java as my primary programming language for the last 5 to 6 years. Before that I used Pascal and some C to achieve what I wanted. In these years I have to confess, all these languages to me have seem to be all the same. Yes, Java is more object orientated and thanks to modern IDE's (hallelujah for Netbeans) developing has newer been as easy at it is. The story still remains the same, I could still do the same things that I do with Java almost as easy with any language.

For you language fanatics and others... I use Java not because it's nice pretty language... It's not... It's because Java has a history, it has a history in enterprise, it has history with Sun, IBM, Accenture (those bastards!) and others... with that history I can be sure that Java isn't going to go anywhere, it's going to stay. Yes C# could be as nice as Java, but hey, it doesn't have the same history, it doesn't have the same industry support as Java... and looking at Microsoft's history... well... embrace and extend... change as you go... well.. that doesn't suite to me... I need assurance that my code works and my environment where I'm developing works as well it's today still a decade in the future...

Oh yeah... C# and the whole .NET platform are usable and secure in that day that Microsoft will open source them whole with any and all extensions that they have made to them, and they backing up and giving support options for deployments in Linux, AIX and Solaris environments... I'm sorry but giving up Java for .NET and C# with out real assurance and multi-platform support is for mad mans and MBA's only.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (2, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947229)

If a lot of you, previously unexposed to the CLR gain access to it, you will discover that it is not the crap that so many of you have read it to be.
In the end, it doesn't matter. Using the .NET framework both hurts Java marketshare and props up Microsoft's marketshare, and their monopoly. Do you really want to hand even more keys-to-the-kingdom to Microsoft? What if, a few years from now, .NET pushes Java out of the market, and Microsoft gains a monopoly in this space? Do you really think .NET would ever improve?

Microsoft creates a better product only as a last resort. Without competition they will sit on their asses and collect monopoly rents. And that is why I cannot in good conscience use or recommend any Microsoft product or service.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947231)

If a lot of you, previously unexposed to the CLR gain access to it, you will discover that it is not the crap that so many of you have read it to be.

It isn't, but it's still more complicated than it needs to be, and not general enough to be a true CLR. After almost 6 years of working on .NET for my day job, I'd say I have a fair handle on it, and there are a number of aspects of the CLR that still leave a sour taste.

It definitely improved over Java in VM-level generics, value types, and other smaller stuff, but MS ignored the advice of various language researchers when building the CLR, and it shows; it's very hard to do certain basic things on .NET, and this limits the language features that can be efficiently and safely implemented on it. See for instance inefficient tail calls, unverifiable function pointers/indirect calls, and a lack of continuations. The primitive Delegate type is also an unnecessary complication, since a delegate/closure is really a distinguished interface with a single "Apply()" method. So close, and yet, so far...

I'm glad they're adding limited type inference to C# 3.0, but adapting advanced languages to the CLR is still unnecessarily difficult.

Uh, why? (0, Offtopic)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947267)

Very few OO languages come remotely close to taking advantage of the fact that OO is inherently highly parallelizable. An instance of an object is, to all practical intents and purposes, a thread. Method invocation is method invocation, whether you are looking at Java, CORBA, or MPI. Yet most languages treat OO as though it were simply a very fancily-encapsulated sequential program. This is important - it's easy to serialize a parallel approach, it's bloody hard to parallelize a serial approach. (Why do you think there are so few decent parallel programmers - to the point Intel has to beg people to write parallel code?)

Also, very few OO languages are consistent. Advanced IDE and RAD packages are needed, together with books that aren't just dead tree matter but look about the size of said dead tree, because the interfaces are illogical, and what is mathematically pure and correct is often not directly implementable at all.

OO could be better. OO should be better.

Others have picked up on the failures of existing implementations, though for different reasons. D is infinitely better than C#, C++ or Java, for example. If you want a good, solid, cross-platform framework, then writing it for D would make more sense than writing it for C#. And although .Net is ok, it's not what I'd call good. Use ACE+TAU+CIAO for a while. Real-Time CORBA 3 isn't lightning-fast, but I'd use it over .Net any day.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947273)

"If a lot of you, previously unexposed to the CLR gain access to it, you will discover that it is not the crap that so many of you have read it to be.

From denial, to grudging acceptance, to surprised admiration, is how the process works, and whether you hate Microsoft or not, a few months playing with C# usually results in the comment "Damm, why didnt they do this with Java?""
- by LibertineR (591918) on Tuesday May 01, @04:34PM (#18946709)

I'm inclined to agree, and it comes from nearly the exact same experience you outline: I am mainly an MIS/IT/IS database-information systems coder, who worked with Borland & Microsoft tools since the mid 90's professionally!

(Ms-Access 2.0 - current, VB3-6, MSVC++/Borland C++ Builder, & Borland Delphi) & tried like hell to avoid doing work programming browsers (never 'caught-on' with me, other than basic HTML, until 2-3 years ago, as there is no avoiding it).

I was, at first, reluctant to use ANYTHING run out of a runtime!

I.E.-> Anything that could not compile a file (or set of files in a 'project') to a statically linked 'stand-alone' executable type for smaller programs!

(& I tried to steer clear of using ActiveX/OLEServers in my work, doing more using std. 'old-school' libs (DLLs) when I could get away with it, & the extra time to create them (ActiveX OCX's /OLEServer DLL's aren't bad when used LOCALLY (not online via browsers like IE can do))).

Then, I got (like it or not) "thrown into the pond & told 'SWIM BOY'" with Visual Studio 2003, & later with Visual Studio 2005, & love the IDE environs, it is loaded and SLICK!

It is good for locally built .exe apps in VB.NET, & even runs decently fast, imo, about as fast as VB5-6 apps do really, and with a safe runtime (or rather, safer one), which surprised me.

See, as I am sure you probably remember? When VB3 came around, its apps were a bit slow compared to ones done in say, MSVC++ or Delphi (fastest of them all, on this latter one, per VB Programmer's Journal 1997 issue "Inside the VB5 Compiler" issue in fact, of all places, proven so there).

Where I like it best? ASP.NET actually!

ASP.NET, to me, is a faster, better, more capable version of ASP imo.

Server-side generated, and IF you steer clear of ActiveX usage? Basically, it's "multi-platform" because it's server-side generated, and imo? It's truly a better "ISAPI" than ISAPI ever was (due to garbage cleanup).

"The Borg isnt dead, they have only been regenerating. Prepare to modulate shield frequencies, because they are coming......." - by LibertineR (591918) on Tuesday May 01, @04:34PM (#18946709)

They never will be. I got into a discussion YEARS AGO, circa 1999, regarding talk just like that even back then (at this site, "Linux Today") posting as apk:

http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=199 9-05-14-016-05-NW-SM [linuxtoday.com]

And recently posted there (just for posterities' sake) about a "Linux will kill Microsoft" type of discussion held there.

That was years ago, & it STILL hasn't happened, & never will.

Don't get ME wrong - I like & use Linux @ times over time, since Slackware 1.02 around 1993-1994 or so, & then again when the Linux Penguin crew (a 'socio-technological marvel' they are, not sarcasm, but proof people CAN & DO CREATE NICE THINGS THAT WORK, & FOR FREE NO LESS) do a really technology loaded stable kernel & when the KDE folks put out new versions of their excellent desktop.

Still, I have been hearing how "Linux/BSD/UNIX will kill Microsoft" for coming up on 14 years now, & it STILL hasn't happened, & never will. Each OS has merits, especially in various 'niches', imo, but Microsoft is a force, that is still kicking butt, when imo? It should NEVER have gone as far and did as well as it did.

I thought, for sure, Os/2 was going to blow Microsoft out. IBM dropped the ball there. Linux, if anything, had/has a chance to, but there is a sort of 'historical precedent' (of sorts, but not totally):

VHS vs. BetaMax

(But, BetaMax was technologically superior imo @ least, but this is NOT the case with Linux: It is foreve playing "catch up ball" with Microsoft, in terms of featuresets and surrounding applications for various purposes, and of course, drivers (money is in 'wintendo' for sure, and other areas, because of Microsoft's market dominance & the attitude of mgt. of "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM", except today, you can replace 'IBM' with 'Microsoft')).

APK

Re:Be NOT afraid, bitches.... (1)

ameline (771895) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947359)

I've found that .net imposes between a 50 to 400% performance penalty for floating point computationally intensive code as compared to native code. (One extreme example being 3D Perlin noise generation -- where the code running under .net 2.x is almost 4 times slower than native code.). If you're using the Intel 9.x compiler and it finds vectorization opportunities, the performance difference can be even larger.

And .net application startup time stinks too.

Intel's C/C++ compiler rules -- It's *so* much better than all the rest for quality of code generation it's not even funny.

Oh and Mono is not terribly useful -- it does not support mixing managed and unmanaged code, for example -- so it's only really appropriate for programs that are entirely c#. Managed C++ will not work under mono in any realistic situation.

Re:Be NOT afraid, bitches.... (1)

ChronosWS (706209) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947533)

In other news, hand-optimized assembly using hardware accelerated vector processing for floating point operations is shown to be faster than using Bash scripts for the same purpose. Seriously, if you are going to make an argument about performance, at least make one better than a strawman. Any developer worth his salt would simply write the perf-critical code in an appropriate language and call out to it, which is trivial to do in .NET. The reason to write code in .Net isn't for blazingly-fast specialized math routines, it's for general application development using a very rich set of libraries and a relatively consistent set of interfaces.

The Borg isnt dead (1)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947681)

Yeah... its regenerating w/ all its might. Zune has been released w/ great fanfare and has destroyed the iPod. XBox360... are they even making any other consoles? Microsoft destroyed Nintendo as a company just like they were Apple circa 1988.

Yup... dream on Balmer fan boy.

Re:Be afraid, bitches.... (1)

cthulhuology (746986) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947703)

ugh! Ignorance of history is painful!

CLR is the crap that I have read it to be. Look at any modern Smalltalk, and you'll see a runtime that makes the CLR look utterly unimpressive. Some smalltalkers are experimenting with networked images that dynamically discover new code when invoked from other images. Think CPAN or Rubygems on steroids where "method not found" just grabs the necessary modules and keeps chugging along. Nevermind you can always load new code in a running system, and change tracking of code is automatic, the 3D networked interactive environments, drag and drop scripting of objects, and cool 3d graphing of object spaces, etc, etc.

Compare the CLR to Erlang/OTP and its ability to deploy new code into a running system to the CLR and the CLR still seems weak, forget the distributive properties of Erlang. Distributed programming without pain is still under the "comming soon" category for the CLR.

Hell for that matter Chuck Moore's Colorforth is more innovative, and his VM complete with hardware drivers is 2056 lines of assembler! Play with a OO Forth like Mops and then look at the CLR and you'll quickly say CLR WTF! Other people have done it better, faster, and simpler.

The CLR is still just the Same Shit Different VM. It is just needlessly complex, wrapping tons of equally overly complex APIs, and still failing to live up to standards of 1980.

Wirth did the first Pascal VM in what 1970? And it took Microsoft 26 years to buy OmniVM (in 1996), and we're supposed to be amazed? Oooh look! A system that still can't do what others could do in the 1970s! Hooray!

Microsoft's Press Release (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18946715)

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Mono. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18946727)

And one again the CLR isn't the same thing as .NET.

Re:Mono. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947149)

So? The difference matters only to developers and hard-core tech geeks. It's not important to the majority of Slashdot readers.

Not the whole CLR... (4, Interesting)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946797)

The summary got my hopes up. I like C# and .NET quite a lot, but I also like Mac OS and Linux. I've been trying out Mono and Monodevelop (as well as some Xcode plugins for C#/Mono), but they're really not a good match for VS2k5 yet. (I'm hoping that "yet" comes true and doesn't turn into "ever".)

Unfortunately, only the "Core CLR" will be ported, and only to the Mac OS (probably due in part to MS Office for Mac), not Linux, and not even older (PPC) Macs. I also seriously doubt there will be much in the way of developer tools for the(se) other platform(s).

Sad, really. Office and VS are the only two decent Microsoft products, and they refuse to port either of them to a decent platform (aside from the tiny fragment of Office that makes it to the Mac).

Re:Not the whole CLR... (3, Informative)

Chester K (145560) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947387)

Unfortunately, only the "Core CLR" will be ported, and only to the Mac OS (probably due in part to MS Office for Mac), not Linux, and not even older (PPC) Macs. I also seriously doubt there will be much in the way of developer tools for the(se) other platform(s).

A subset of the CLR similar to the Compact Framework is included in Silverlight; with a much simpler security model. It's not a replacement for the full .NET Framework by any stretch. There have been whispers about a Linux version of Silverlight as well (Flash has one, and Microsoft is trying to provide a superset of the Flash/Flex featureset).

As for developer tools, while it's not exactly developing on a Mac, per se, you can use Visual Studio to do remote debugging on CLR code running in a Silverlight app on a Mac client.

Re:Not the whole CLR... (1)

drew (2081) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947611)

SharpDevelop is a pretty cool free IDE for .NET but so far still only works on Windows. (Monodevelop was forked from a very old version of SharpDevelop) In my opinion it's almost as good as VS2k5. If you're willing to pay for an IDE (as you seem to be if you are comparing to Visual Studio) there's a .NET/Java IDE called X-Develop that appears to be pretty good, and runs on Mac, Linux, and Windows. I haven't used it beyond a few days of trial evaluation, but it looked really impressive to me.

Great for Mono (1)

brewstate (1018558) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946801)

Unfortunately this will not be seen for some time but it will be great for the Mono people and the nixes. It will be interesting to see how much they actually released.

rotor? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946831)

How's this differ from rotor?

Re:rotor? (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947709)

The main difference is that it's not ancient. We're up to .NET 3.0 now. Rotor (at least the cross-platform version) was 1.x.

So what does this mean for Mono? (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946837)

How will this effect the Mono project?

Re:So what does this mean for Mono? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18946937)

who gives a shit? nobody in a position to spend monye takes it seriously.

Re:So what does this mean for Mono? (1)

anomalous cohort (704239) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947089)

nobody in a position to spend money takes it (mono) seriously

I was in a developer conference last year. I was a speaker so I got to hang out in the speaker's lounge. Many of the other speakers were MSFT evangelists. They were joking it up quite a bit with typical geek bravado and camaraderie until the subject of mono was brought up. After that, it was pale faces, trembling, and hushed whispers.

Re:So what does this mean for Mono? (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947409)

After that, it was pale faces, trembling, and hushed whispers.

Yes, I'm sure that's the case. I mean, I'm going to choose a CLR, compiler and toolset written on Novell's dime instead of the Microsoft one released for free that is fully supported and tested for the past six years. Just like everyone uses half-assed implementations [gnu.org] instead of J2EE when they go with Java. I'm sure that's what they're afraid of. After all, it's not like they didn't release an open source version of their own [microsoft.com] that also builds on OS X.

Or maybe I'm missing the point here - why exactly were they "trembling"?

Re:So what does this mean for Mono? (1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946945)

Nothing because Microsoft will mess it up.

Open Source or no, they are still Microsoft, they announce something big *then* go program it in a half-baked way, then hope to fix it with service packs and hot fixes.

Re:So what does this mean for Mono? (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947483)

Not much, Mono is much bigger than a CLR.

Re:So what does this mean for Mono? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947605)

> How will this effect the Mono project?

I found that question confusing. Did he mean 'affect' as in 'change, usually negatively', or did he mean 'effect' as in 'cause to happen' ?

It could do either: affect it or effect it. Or possibly even infect it.

"""Please note that although the word "effect" is most commonly found in noun form, it also exists as a verb, and as such is often confused with the word "affect" (itself most commonly a verb, but occasionally found in noun form, especially in the areas of psychology and philosophy)."""

Still copying Java (1)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 6 years ago | (#18946989)

Now they are even copying Java's "free but can't include it with your distro" licensing scheme. Only they have 'improved' on it by adding in bans on benchmarking and, oh yeah, you can't use it on Linux. And you can't even use your code with mono if you develop it with Microsoft's CLR.

So basically this is exactly like every other feature they ripped from Java and then pissed on.

This isn't news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947027)

The fact that Silverlight would include a stripped-down, cross-platform CLR implementation was first announced over a year ago. The only people who don't know about this are those who are just finding out about Silverlight (WPF/E) for the first time. Move along.

Re:This isn't news. (1)

romland (192158) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947081)

Not only that, it was even announced on Slashdot earlier today. Albeit, not in the summary or subject (see topic related to Silverlight posted earlier).

runs on Intel and AMD processors ! (0)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947047)

I wonder if by cross platform if they mean it runs on both windows XP and Vista, in both 32 and 64 bit versions, on both Intel and AMD processors ?

I guess I'm just an old cynic, but I don't think it will be cross platform in the same way linux is cross platform.

Re:runs on Intel and AMD processors ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947179)

Uh, what? That doesn't make any sense. What you just ascribed to Windows is precisely the "same way linux is cross platform"

Re:runs on Intel and AMD processors ! (1)

Dillon2112 (197474) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947453)

He's referring to the dilution of the term "cross-platform". To me, it means that it runs on Linux, OS X and Windows (any variety) and possible *BSD.

This is the Java/Python/Scheme/Ruby/etc. "cross-platform" meaning.

Somehow, when MS uses "cross-platform", they mean "XP, Vista, IE, Firefox (maybe), and perhaps we'll throw in OS X, maybe, but even then only on Intel".

The hope, of course, would be that would could get our hands on a "real" cross-platform CLR. That would certainly encourage me to look at .NET, but I don't plan on it until then (or if Mono develops a bit more and can some out from under the shadow of the patent gods).

Re:runs on Intel and AMD processors ! (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947575)

that might not have been well written, but I run Linux on MIPS processors. I'm sure this CLR will be useful to me on this machine, right ?

Yeah, so it won't really be cross platform in the same way linux is cross platform, it will just support various hardware configurations that also happen to be able to run windows.

Whooptydoo, microsoft releases SDK compatible with hardware that runs windows.

Re:runs on Intel and AMD processors ! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947373)

Worse than that.
The story said that they will supply plugins for Mozilla, IE, and Safari.
My guess is that it will work on OS/X and Windows but forget BSD and Linux.
Oh and it is not open source so even if they port it to X86 Linux it will not run on an Arm ,Mips , or PPC so forget about it for PDA style systems.

I hope Canvas and the new Thedora tag catch on so we can drop Flash and this crap.

Don't! (2, Insightful)

Daishiman (698845) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947051)

It's a trap!

But not the .NET libraries! (1)

Trumpetgod2k1 (740425) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947067)

It looks like Microsoft is only opening up the CLR to the cross-platform world, but so many of the .NET libraries on which applications rely remain closed and windows only. Kinda like if Sun gave us a JVM with no rt.jar chock full of utilities, UI components, and otherwise useful tooling. Don't expect that slick Windows.Forms app you wrote to "just work" when you try it out on Ubuntu.

Poor Mono devs (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947129)

They could've just used the CLR instead of having to code their own, but alas. Microsoft open sourced only now when put under pressure by Adobe.

Pitty.

Re:Poor Mono devs (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947569)

Well, that's wrong. The CLR was always open source. Licensed under Ms-PL (pretty open source developer friendly, surprisingly) and with a clickwrap contract stating that Microsoft pledges not to sue you for patent infringement (and granting worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual royalty-free distribution rights) provided you don't sue them or any of their customers, it's one of the most open things they have (remember, if they try to sue you, they would have to use the argument "clickwrap contracts are not valid" - this is not in their best interest to do). I think the Mono devs even used this as a base! It is the framework that hits the Mono devs like a flying brick, because that is not open source.

Whoa.. MS Storm! (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947253)

So Microsoft is really mad about Ubuntu and the iPhone and are trying to generate as much news as possible today?

Balmer crys.. "I still matter!"

Re:Whoa.. MS Storm! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947603)

Yes, because the market leader, with like 90% of the market share, who is accused of having a monopoly by many many more important people than you, obviously doesn't matter.

Stop the celebration (4, Informative)

PineHall (206441) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947265)

From the blog:

Microsoft is not opening up the source code to the Core CLR. It is opening the code to the DLR by posting it to the Microsoft CodePlex source-code repository under a Shared Source Permissive license.

Where'd the quarantine go? (0, Troll)

anothy (83176) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947393)

So, by association, the .Net Framework isn't just for Windows any more.
Damn.

this could be nice (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947395)

If it's under the Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL) [microsoft.com] , then it's being released under a BSD-like license with an explicit patent grant. I think that would really put to rest whatever remaining concerns people have have had about possible Microsoft patents on core CLR technologies.

More generally, I think Microsoft has really shown signs of change with the CLR, IronPython, and related technologies. Maybe they are starting to "get" it at least a little.

(However, Ms-PL isn't OSI-approved yet; what's up with that?)
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