Dolphin and DotNet in next version? 
Author Message
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?

I've recently downloaded Visual Studio .NET beta 2 and I am
very impressed by it.

Especially the Common Language Infrastructure seems to me
the way to the future of programming (finally!). Moreover, this looks like
a future that Smalltalks can latch on to, to step into the limelight again.

Our favorite Smalltalk, Dolphin, has the best cards to to this of course,
because of it's tight Windows integration.

So, Andy, Blair, are there developments in progress along these
lines for the next version of Dolphin?

Thanks,
Richard



Thu, 01 Jan 2004 04:40:40 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?
Richard,

Quote:
> I've recently downloaded Visual Studio .NET beta 2 and I am
> very impressed by it.

> Especially the Common Language Infrastructure seems to me
> the way to the future of programming (finally!). Moreover, this looks like
> a future that Smalltalks can latch on to, to step into the limelight
again.

> Our favorite Smalltalk, Dolphin, has the best cards to to this of course,
> because of it's tight Windows integration.

> So, Andy, Blair, are there developments in progress along these
> lines for the next version of Dolphin?

OA mentioned this before, and I'll refer you to the archives to form your
own opinion as to whether there was a conscensous.  I'm very much against
the idea of switching to .NET because I think that MS has proven they are
not worthy of that kind of trust.  PenWindows, DirectX RM,  and to a lesser
extent MDI (there are no doubt others) stand as dusty reminders that signing
on for what MS says is cool can leave you working without a .NET in the
future.  It's too risky IMHO.

Have a good one,

Bill

--
Wilhelm K. Schwab, Ph.D.



Thu, 01 Jan 2004 07:40:51 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?


Quote:
> OA mentioned this before, and I'll refer you to the archives to form
> your own opinion as to whether there was a conscensous.  I'm very much
> against the idea of switching to .NET because I think that MS has
> proven they are not worthy of that kind of trust.  PenWindows, DirectX
> RM,  and to a lesser extent MDI (there are no doubt others) stand as
> dusty reminders that signing on for what MS says is cool can leave you
> working without a .NET in the future.  It's too risky IMHO.

I think the bet MS is making in .Net is much bigger than any of those
examples, and so .Net is much less likely to disappear.

I'm not sure _switching_ to .Net is a good idea, but not having anything
for .Net is a very risky strategy in itself.

P.



Thu, 01 Jan 2004 16:25:07 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?

Quote:
> I've recently downloaded Visual Studio .NET beta 2 and I am
> very impressed by it.

> Especially the Common Language Infrastructure seems to me
> the way to the future of programming (finally!). Moreover, this looks like
> a future that Smalltalks can latch on to, to step into the limelight
again.

> Our favorite Smalltalk, Dolphin, has the best cards to to this of course,
> because of it's tight Windows integration.

I personally agree that Dolphin is a better candidate, but I'm still
curious.

How do you compare Dolphin windows integration/capabilities with those of
Smalltalk/MT?

--
-- Dave S. [ http://www.smallscript.net ]

Quote:

> So, Andy, Blair, are there developments in progress along these
> lines for the next version of Dolphin?

> Thanks,
> Richard



Thu, 01 Jan 2004 16:51:34 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?

Quote:


> > I've recently downloaded Visual Studio .NET beta 2 and I am
> > very impressed by it.

> > Especially the Common Language Infrastructure seems to me
> > the way to the future of programming (finally!). Moreover, this looks
like
> > a future that Smalltalks can latch on to, to step into the limelight
> again.

> > Our favorite Smalltalk, Dolphin, has the best cards to to this of
course,
> > because of it's tight Windows integration.

> I personally agree that Dolphin is a better candidate, but I'm still
> curious.

> How do you compare Dolphin windows integration/capabilities with those of
> Smalltalk/MT?

To be honest, I didn't really think about MT when writing this.

I'm not much of an MT expert, but I would guess porting to .NET
would be harder because the MT is of a much lower level than
Dolphin. It's a thin wrapper around the Win32 API so there
would be more to rewrite.

Maybe somebody more knowledgeable could comment on it.

Richard



Thu, 01 Jan 2004 21:07:27 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?

Quote:


> > OA mentioned this before, and I'll refer you to the archives to form
> > your own opinion as to whether there was a conscensous.  I'm very much
> > against the idea of switching to .NET because I think that MS has
> > proven they are not worthy of that kind of trust.  PenWindows, DirectX
> > RM,  and to a lesser extent MDI (there are no doubt others) stand as
> > dusty reminders that signing on for what MS says is cool can leave you
> > working without a .NET in the future.  It's too risky IMHO.

> I think the bet MS is making in .Net is much bigger than any of those
> examples, and so .Net is much less likely to disappear.

I agree with this. IMHO, Language wise, Microsoft has put all of its eggs in
the .NET basket. They really want this to succeed.

Of Bill's examples above, I can only concur that PenWindows was
a malicious diversion. (Read Microserfs on how this came about.
Very interesting reading.)

The rest has just naturally evolved in some 'better' replacement,
which should be followed by languages and end user software.

Regards,
Richard



Thu, 01 Jan 2004 21:16:49 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?
Richard,

Quote:
> I agree with this. IMHO, Language wise, Microsoft has put all of its eggs
in
> the .NET basket. They really want this to succeed.

> Of Bill's examples above, I can only concur that PenWindows was
> a malicious diversion. (Read Microserfs on how this came about.
> Very interesting reading.)

I'll check it out.  From having connected to the 2.0 Pen API, I have a
strong suspicion that it was cancelled during development, and they probably
back-tracked to a previous stable beta version.  There are many confusions
between HANDLE and various ways of saying DWORD that give the appearance
that they were starting to clean it up and then quit.

BTW, all they'd have to do to largely un-scum themselves on this is release
some source code for the ink handling functions, and put the electronic copy
of the book that's now out of print on an FTP server.  The fact that MS WILL
NOT DO IT should tell us something.

I'll grant that MDI is a weak example (hence the "lesser extent" phrase),
but, it was still something they were telling us to do, and at a time when
they were creating the first version of MS Money.

We can't blame MS for the Visual J++ disaster, because that ended due to
legal action by Sun.  But, let's talk about Sun.  I have no inside
knowledge, but, it struck me at the time that MS might have conjured C# as a
way to get around the rulings against them.  I wouldn't put it past Sun to
wait until MS is almost ready to strike and then hit them with yet another
law suit.  However, I also think that the way the chads fell in Florida will
make them  less likely to try it (sorry to inject politics, but, it's
relevant).

Quote:
> The rest has just naturally evolved in some 'better' replacement,
> which should be followed by languages and end user software.

DirectX RM is more complicated - it's fall caused OA to cancel a project.
They were kind enough to make the code available to us after cancelling it,
so I'm saying they did anything wrong.  It got too hot to handle, and they
made a wise decision - it wasn't a fun decision, but, it was the right one.
However, it is very easy to believe that .NET will be just as volatile.
What then?  Ok, it would be the guts of the VM vs. an add-on with poor
sales, but, what happens if MS decides to drop support for a critical
feature?

What's the word on resumable exceptions for a .NET app?  I heard stuff like
"MS said they wanted to work with us on that" - sounds like the typical
pre-sale rose-colored-glasses stuff.  Does it work?  I would have a tough
time getting by w/o resumable exceptions.  I'm down to one use of them, but,
it's critical.

One of my apps will use MS Agent if it's present.  I chose that approach
because it allowed me to avoid the more invasive requirements of getting a
redistribution license.  There are two troublesome conditions that MS
typcially includes: (1) the redistribution license is specific to one
version, so it becomes a repeating headache; (2) one has to agree to make
reasonable efforts to adopt a new version when it is released.  The second
one is the show stopper.  First, I don't have time to poll for when I need
to upgrade, and more importantly, I might not _want_ to upgrade.  I can't
have a pre-condition to a license agreement being one of the factors in a
go/no-go decision.

So, just link to the MS Agent site, right?  Maybe.  I tried that, allowing
users who wanted agents to go through the same process I did to get them.
Problem: MS updated the site, and now we get something like

    Your search using for  "download agents" returned 0 results.

Makes me glad the app will start without MS Agent.  Note that I haven't
worked very hard at finding how to download this stuff because it's not
critical, but, what happens when it is critical, time's tight, and the site
just happened to change last week?

Have a good one,

Bill

--
Wilhelm K. Schwab, Ph.D.



Fri, 02 Jan 2004 03:28:13 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?
Paul,

Quote:
> I think the bet MS is making in .Net is much bigger than any of those
> examples, and so .Net is much less likely to disappear.

> I'm not sure _switching_ to .Net is a good idea,

The original debate started with OA's announcement of their
intention/consideration to use MS' universal VM as the basis for Dolphin in
a future release.  That sounds like a switch to me.

Quote:
> but not having anything
> for .Net is a very risky strategy in itself.

If it were more along the lines of the Automation support and type library
analyzer, that would be very different.  Anything that offers more options
to developers while being possible to ignore w/o penalty is a good thing.
Building the VM on top of a new technology from a vendor with MS' track
record for dumping stuff is another matter.

Have a good one,

Bill

--
Wilhelm K. Schwab, Ph.D.



Fri, 02 Jan 2004 03:45:02 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?


Quote:
> The original debate started with OA's announcement of their
> intention/consideration to use MS' universal VM as the basis for
> Dolphin in a future release.  That sounds like a switch to me.

Right. But not Richard Ronteltap's message that started _this_ thread...

 >> but not having anything

Quote:
>> for .Net is a very risky strategy in itself.

> If it were more along the lines of the Automation support and type
> library analyzer, that would be very different.  Anything that offers
> more options to developers while being possible to ignore w/o penalty
> is a good thing. Building the VM on top of a new technology from a
> vendor with MS' track record for dumping stuff is another matter.

Yes, I heard you the first time :-)

However, I still maintain it's a very risky strategy to not have a .Net
solution (and I'm sure you heard that the first time, too)

P.



Sat, 03 Jan 2004 02:15:29 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?
Bill,

Quote:
>snip>
> OA mentioned this before, and I'll refer you to the archives to form your
> own opinion as to whether there was a conscensous.  I'm very much against
> the idea of switching to .NET because I think that MS has proven they are
> not worthy of that kind of trust.  PenWindows, DirectX RM,  and to a
lesser
> extent MDI (there are no doubt others) stand as dusty reminders that
signing
> on for what MS says is cool can leave you working without a .NET in the
> future.  It's too risky IMHO.

But the problem with PenWindows (and DirectX RM) is that nobody used it. The
former required specialist hardware (pen machines) and was really too far
ahead of it's time; about 10 years by the looks of the new push for the
TabletPC. The RM mode wasn't taken up because software game programmers
traditionally want to squeeze every last ounce of speed out of the processor
and using a generic rendering pipeline just wasn't seen as being the best
way to go. MDI was (IMO) a bad idea in the first place and the sooner it
went the better. My only regret was that MS didn't trash MDI sooner.

Personally, I don't think Microsoft should "do an IBM" and guarantee to
support old outdated technologies in perpetuity, it's unnecessary and just
too expensive. I'd rather they pumped the money into improving new
technologies, for example by making the .NET VM better support dynamic
languages.

Best Regards

Andy Bower
Dolphin Support
http://www.*-*-*.com/

Not all {*filter*}ions are Bad for you
http://www.*-*-*.com/ {*filter*}ion.htm



Sat, 03 Jan 2004 05:45:32 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?
Andy,

Quote:
> Personally, I don't think Microsoft should "do an IBM" and guarantee to
> support old outdated technologies in perpetuity, it's unnecessary and just
> too expensive.

Support can come in many forms.  They could simply provide a zip file with
the word docs from the book and the source code for the basic ink handling
functions.  One of their engineers could put it together in a day or two.  I
certainly don't expect them to provide device drivers and the like, but,
yanking docs on stuff that was a documented part of the API is wrong.
Sorry, it's just how I see it.

Have a good one,

Bill

--
Wilhelm K. Schwab, Ph.D.



Sat, 03 Jan 2004 13:38:25 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?

Quote:
> <snipped the past>
> I'd rather they pumped the money into improving new
> technologies, for example by making the .NET VM better support dynamic
> languages.

But..., getting back to the original question: What are OA's Dolphin
development plans
in relation to .NET. Specifically for the CLI/CLR?
Is support for dynamic languages (i.e. Smalltalk) too weak to produce
something good?
Is it considered strategic or not?

Thanks,
Richard



Sun, 04 Jan 2004 03:05:29 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?
Richard,

Quote:
> But..., getting back to the original question: What are OA's Dolphin
> development plans in relation to .NET. Specifically for the CLI/CLR?

At some point we will have a version of Dolphin that runs on the CLR.

Quote:
> Is support for dynamic languages (i.e. Smalltalk) too weak to produce
> something good?

No but it's not excellent.

Quote:
> Is it considered strategic or not?

Yes. We would be foolish in the extreme to ignore .NET when MS are to a
certain extent "betting the farm" on it.

Best Regards,

Andy Bower
Dolphin Support
http://www.object-arts.com
---
Are you trying too hard?
http://www.object-arts.com/Relax.htm
---



Sun, 04 Jan 2004 03:19:50 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?


Quote:
> Yes. We would be foolish in the extreme to ignore .NET when MS are to a
> certain extent "betting the farm" on it.

About a year and a half ago I posted the old Indian folk story of "The Lady
and the Cobra".  Here it is again:

    A woman once had a mouse in her house which she could not get rid
    of.  The cat had failed, the dog had failed, and the woman was very sad.
    A cobra which was passing by heard the woman lamenting her fate and
    told her he could rid her house of mice.  "That seems a fine idea to
    me", said the woman, and invited the cobra in.  Soon the mouse was
    gone, and the woman said, "Thank you for your help, kind cobra.
    At last my house is free of mice!  Where will you go next?"  "Oh, I
    think this chair is a fine place", said the cobra.  "And bring me
    another mouse.  I'm still hungry".

Moral: it is easier to invite a cobra into your house than to get him to
leave.
--
Bob Jarvis



Sun, 04 Jan 2004 11:08:54 GMT  
 Dolphin and DotNet in next version?

Quote:
> Moral: it is easier to invite a cobra into your house than to get him to
> leave.

But if we're living in the cobra's house....

-- Aaron



Sun, 04 Jan 2004 12:47:26 GMT  
 
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