What's new (for me) in the .Net world?

October 13, 2005 01:30 by keithkaragan
Besides the landslide of changes, improvements, etc. of .Net 2.0 I've been looking at several other more specific technologies of late. I've been intrigued with the Laszlo Open Server, and Ruby on Rails. Specifically how these technologies can be leveraged using the skills I already have decent proficiency in.
I really hold on to the premise that you have to look at these technologies in their native surroundings by digging in and learning how to do the basics in the original, so I rolled up the sleeves, Googled for tutorials and software, and gave them a try.
Laszlo's product is interesting to me because it allows developers to design and deliver web applications that will look and operate the same on most platforms and browsers by taking a programmatic approach to using the ubiquitous Flash plug in as an application platform. They've abstracted the Flash elements into a coding API that can be used to create applications with a pretty simple means to develop and deploy. It works as a server based technology and in a server-less deployment (with a limited set of functionality). It's really cool, and it works.
Where this system falls short for me is that it runs on a Tomcat Java server, and the syntax is simple, but unique to the system. Xamlon takes this approach as well, but leverages .Net as the environment I like that idea, but as of yet haven't tried the product to see how well it works in practice. This looks promising though.
Ruby in Rails is everywhere. You can't help but to see agile development and testimony about R-on-R around the developer community. I tried it, and I liked it. It really is a quick means to an end, using O/R and Model-View-Controller approaches to rapid development works. But again, I want to do this in C# so I can leverage my platform knowledge and expertise in other related technologies and still get the gain of this approach. Well, the Castle Project has done this (and a bunch more) by combining the efforts of several other projects into a framework that brings agile development and MVC to .Net. I'm just digging in to this, so there's more to explore, but it has me excited.
What I'd like to see in a framework is all that is in the Castle Project and Xamlon, combined with tools that work more at the design level for design the object model, marking the persistence options, and generating the database and code stubs automatically - Kind of like what Apple's XCode does on the mac. Add automatic degradable async communication (AJAX) and I'm a happy developer. This may exist, I'll be looking.
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