.Net Developers: What, Me Worry?

Developers are taking in stride Microsoft's disclosure that it is encountering compatibility problems with its next-gen .Net Framework.

Microsoft Corp.s request that developers do more testing of the .Net Framework before the Redmond, Wash., software vendor delivers that technology to market doesnt seem to be fazing the Microsoft development community.

The .Net Framework is Microsofts software-platform alternative to Java. It is a collection of technologies, including ASP.Net, the Common Language Runtime and various class libraries, that can be used to build and run Windows applications. Microsoft is planning to make the 2.0 release part of Visual Studio 2005, due to ship later this year, and include the .Net 2.0 code along with Longhorn.

Microsoft disclosed on Wednesday that some applications written to the .Net Framework 1.1 break when run against the .Net Framework 2.0.

But after digesting Microsofts new white papers on the subject, developers said they werent surprised by Microsofts acknowledgement.

"When a consumer-oriented software upgrade breaks something, its a disaster by all accounts. However, .Net framework is a developer-oriented software, and we developers expect that some things will get broken with an upgrade," said one Windows developer, who requested anonymity.

"There is a Russian idiom that says: While cutting a tree, wood chips fly. To put it in context, progress requires change, and effects of the change are not always painless," the developer continued. "In the developers world, breaking changes are a fact of life. I doubt that anyone but a complete novice in the development world expects a seamless transition to a new version of their framework, whether its Microsoft.Net or Symbian. However, changes must be justified in the minds of developers."

Developers said they believed they could guarantee application compatibility with the next-generation .Net Framework by making some fairly simple tweaks to their applications.

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