Category Archives: code

Microsoft: We Got Your .NET… Right Here

Or maybe we don’t. I just read that GotDotNet is going away. This is not that shocking, since the site has seemed sort of half-assed from the beginning. However, I will say that I’ve had projects that literally could not have been accomplished without GotDotNet’s help (and that of its contributors). In particular, GotDotNet was the de facto home of Stephan Gossner’s Microsoft Content Management Server code samples (that link will die soon). Of course MCMS is an end-of-life product at this point, but man there’s a lot of neat code on this site that’s suddenly going to be a lot harder to track down.

Some, but certainly not all, of this material is duplicated on various newsgroups. But often those posts link back to GotDotNet for code samples. So even if they do somehow relocate this content–at the moment there’s no stated plan to even do that–all of those links are likely hosed.

I understand Microsoft’s dilemma here, though I don’t particularly buy the “reinvest the resources currently used for GotDotNet” line. On the one hand, from a branding perspective, they can’t have this half-assed thing rusting out there in the ether with their name on it. On the other hand, they really need to keep their foot in the door in terms of community web sites, especially for developers. In terms of “resources” they want to reinvest, they can only mean people, and I’m not sure who they’re worried about (since the “Team” page is already dead), but it seems like some Microsoft people actually found this site useful.

They’re not offering any kind of plan for this phase out (they’re not even calling it a “transition”)–just a laundry list of other Microsoft developer sites. They’re chopping this thing off like a gangrenous limb. Maybe they’re assuming Google will take up the slack.

Delphi/Pascal Holding On by a Thread

Some of you might be interested to know (okay, one of you, if “you” includes me) that Borland (as CodeGear, as turboexplorer.com) is still hanging in there with Win32 (non-.NET) development, and there’s even a free version now/again. You can’t find it from the real site, and it looks fake when you get there, but apparently this is legit. The product I’m referring to is Turbo Delphi 2006.

Here’s an article that goes into it a little more. I agree with the assessment that Delphi/Pascal is essentially a nostalgia project at this point (although I’m sure there are eastern European hackers shareware authors who would argue). But depending on what’s available out of the box (typically they’ve left out critical network stack interfaces in the sub-Pro versions), this is interesting to me because invoking the .NET framework (as you do automatically in Visual Studio) for a tiny helper app or test harness is computationally expensive and leads to its own version of “DLL hell.” Plus, the .NET compilers are offensively slow even with up-to-date hardware.

If I try this out and it blows me away in some regard, I’ll follow up.