Why ASP.NET still has a long way to go

People just don't get it. Every week I bump into a living example of a person who has enormous misconceptions on what's going on in the web development world. If you can read Finnish, take a look at 2kMediat.com's ASP.NET tutorial. Among the text, it is stated that (translation mine) "The most important difference between ASP and ASP.NET programming comes from a single issue: ASP.NET doesn't allow using several programming languages on the same page."
Apart from the fact that it's technically incorrect, it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the whole technology palette that .NET represents. "The most important"? How many of you guys ever even wrote an ASP page with several languages embedded? How many of you even knew it was possible? And these are the guys posting tutorials…
My point? Microsoft is pushing out .NET 2.0 with the new ASP.NET 2 platform. We have another great wave of great technology coming about, but most people don't even faintly grasp the dimensions of the current .NET Framework. My prediction is that this will have two key consequences:
1) The rift between hobby coders (most commonly using PHP) and the professionals (ASP.NET, modern Java) will be broader. As shifting from a hobbyist status to a web coder pro will be harder, there will be increasing demand for proper education. Since it won't be sufficiently available, many professional solutions will be created using inappropriate tools and lacking knowledge, falling back to what we saw in today's example.
2) Even though the chasm is wide, many will jump. We'll have loads of "experienced ASP.NET coders" who have no idea on what they're really doing. The control model provides more than enough tools for creating a total mess – The Daily WTF will certainly thrive and Microsoft's platform will get the blame for bad code.
Mr. Time, please prove me wrong.

August 7, 2005 В· Jouni Heikniemi В· 2 Comments
Posted in: .NET

2 Responses

  1. Sami Poimala - August 11, 2005

    Oh yes, this tutorial rules! :D
    To me it seems that is an article "So you have been using ASP, how can you make it run on ASP.NET".
    It doesn't mentioned by a single world "So you are starting a new project, why and how ASP.NET is lots better choice than ASP"
    I guess the writers are those "trial and error notepad coders" who don't have any idea about the real .NET.
    (I'm not saying that pros wouldn't use Notepad)

  2. KK Mediat - August 14, 2005

    It's nice to see that the article in question is getting some comments (despite being negative). The article was written somewhere around late 2001/early 2002 as an brief introduction of migration from asp to asp.net 1.0, so I am a bit surprized that it gains focus over 3 years later…
    One of the main functions of our site is to provide basic /beginner level web development information in finnish language. The article in question was (and still is) aimed for beginners who might want to read/understand basic level differences between asp to asp.net… If it would have contained indepth issues like components or webservices about 90% of readers would not have understood a thing (remember, the year was 2002). And that would have been a bad thing for a site that aims for audience larger than 3-4 readers… Real programmers read the API/spec documentation, it's the beginners and hobbyists who read tutorials like ours. And for them, the content must be simplified.
    "Apart from the fact that it's technically incorrect…"? … Technicly incorrect? I want to see an aspx/1.0 written with 2 or more languages inline (note: inline!) code compiling happily. The last time I checked that was impossible…
    "How many of you guys ever even wrote an ASP page with several languages embedded? How many of you even knew it was possible? " … Well…I knew it. So do many other "real developers" who have been there since the early days of asp and work in mixed enviroments… And so do all those 10.000 annual readers that read the "introduction to asp" article on our website (so it makes about a total of 50.000 hobbyists/amateurs in 5 year timeline).
    There have been, and still are reasons why embedding multiple languages on same pages is the only reasonable option is asp. (If you wan't an example, take a look of regexp performance in older version vbscript.)
    I wish mr. Heikniemi would in future make some background checking before writing blazing opinions about other sites content in public. It can be one nasty piece of bad publicity (especially since we are a training company with some really heavyweight clients)…
    I realize that anyone can write whatever he/she wants in personal websites (after all, all human life is based on opinions), but putting an 3 year old article on the table as an example of "bad technogical views" is relatively harsh.
    As for Your concern ("We have another great wave of great technology coming about, but most people don't even faintly grasp the dimensions of the current .NET Framework.") I do share it. As a professional developer, consultant and trainer I have an exceptional priviledge to see and affect how various frameworks, technologies and tools get implied on real world. And I must confess that there are (way too often) times I don't like what I see… IMO the problem is not in the teaching or resources, it's the issue that people don't care to study the basics anymore because the current tools and frameworks have made development so easy. So you want a socket connection to server – well, let's just dragndrop a component on the screen and fill in some fields… Imagine a world of (web) developers who don't understand a thing of networking basics – it is reality, here and now. Thanks to modern tools and frameworks…
    Wishing the best,
    -keijo kortelainen/kk mediat –