Monday, February 11, 2008

[.Net, J2EE] A walk from J2EE to .NET: impressions and hopes

Last night, just before bed time, I was reading a book [reference] about Component Oriented Programming using .Net framework. Surely the introduction that resembles OOP against COP was interesting, but after few pages I asked myself: "What is .Net?"
Its nothing more than the same stuff as J2EE.

Since my degree, about 1 year and a half ago, I'm currently programming in JAVA, using all that kind of stuff that J2EE represents, such as JSP with its libraries, servlets, portlets, DB integration, web services, and so on.
I've never thought about .NET because I haven't needed it and my company uses to program in JAVA: why should I begin with .NET?

Actually in this year and a half I found myself in trouble with all J2EE technologies, what is a web service and how to use it, how to make a web server run and configure it, what a servelt is, which portlet containers should I use (starting without any knowledge of what a portal container is), which libraries supports XML handling, which supports other stuff, and so on: this is all understandable regarding my total ignorance of J2EE, but this multitude of libraries slows me down even now, and usually what I need is not documented as it should be.
So it seems J2EE is hard for newcomers that, like me, have not many live links with J2EE experts (I learned all alone with so little help), and even forums don't help (great tutorial for real noobs or too much in depth for the beginning!!).

Still now I'm on a project developed using portlets, web services and servlets, but yesterday I was thinking about what happened about 1 year ago.
One of my friends was about to do an inteview, and one of the tasks before the "personal" interview, was to implement a simple web service using .NET framework: even without any knwoledge of web services and what it's behind, I managed to accomplish that task (and my friend has been hired!)... I don't tell you what such a disaster has been my attempts in JAVA (I dominated them, but how hard!).

And now I think: the aim of every enterprise is to make profit, so what if I managed to accomplish the same task in half the time?
Reading a book about ASP.NET lend from a friend (a +1000 pages book, from the bases to the most advanced features [reference]), I succeed to understand all topics presented...I haven't implemented anything yet, but now I know .NET Framework makes things easier.
Its learning curve is faster, maybe you need a greater effort at the beginning: that's different in JAVA, infact coming from a general C/C++ knowledge and XML undestanding, you can easily implement a JSP that print out "Hello World!", but as you proceed on the road of J2EE consciousnees, things gets harder and harder.
Instead in .NET you need some time to orientate yourself about technologies used (the base language, C#, web services, web page layout creation, DBs, and so on), but as soon as you have enough knowledge of the framework, building an application will be straighforward.

And moreover, one of the greatest benefits of using JAVA is its portability and platform-indipendence, but I always programmed in Windows, using Microsoft ways of representing files, web servers configured in "windows-mode", so all efforts may have been useless, and learning .NET I would have found time to learn anything else, and increse productivity.

Ending, .NET and J2EE offers the same kind of malicious machineries and the first seems to be more programmer friendly.
I wonder if you, the reader, leaving away every "f**ck the system" ideology and open source nerdology , agree with me.
I just hope that I haven't wasted my time...
And so I ask: where do you think is the future of component programming?

1 comment:

Johnny Idol said...

I think J2EE gives you more freedom and (obviously) portability, but as a matter of fact .NET is a consistent and well documented framework that enables newcomers to get up to speed sensibly faster.

Drawback: as it is probably easier to grasp the .NET framework basics, it is @ the same way easier to be a poor developer, because often you're not forced to fully understand what you're doing.

Again, talking about portability the first .NET "virtual machines" are being developed, but we're still far from having a robust standard for that.