Scott Hanselman

Where's the Platform? Where do YOU think the Platform is?

March 13, '03 Comments [3] Posted in Web Services | XML
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A little confusion around marketing terms today.  As a developer, as devs are wont to do, I usually try to speak the truth, the clear truth, the common sense (from a dev's POV) truth.  But as a Zen-minded fellow, I can see the thinking...or can I?

The term ".NET", and ActiveX before it, is fast becoming the most overloaded operator in Microsoft's marketing message. 

In the beginning, all was .NET.  It was the sun, the moon, the sky.  .NET was a modifer for all the product things....NET myServices, .NET Server Family, .NET Framework, Visual Studio.NET

Then, .NET became more broad and touchy feeling...".NET is software that connects people, systems, and devices."  This is inline with the recent IBM commercials that have transformed the image of Big Blue in peoples' minds from old and stogy to the nimble competitor of Microsoft.  Microsoft countered with "1° of separation" adds that sell the idea of .NET software.

Then, pundits broke it down to the basics...".NET is Microsoft's implementation of Web Services"

So, at this point, it sounds like .NET is a platform, right?  Well, no, not according to Microsoft.  The Windows .NET Framework is a core part of Windows, as core as the Win32 API.  .NET is NOT a Platform - Windows is the Platform.  .NET provides the runtime.  Windows provices the services. 

So using this new information I decided to attempt to use ".NET" in a sentence.

".NET and Visual Studio is how you create WS-I Compliant XML Web Services on the Windows Platform."

This makes me very happy, since learning how to use a new word in a sentence marks the beginnings of fluency.


.NET Zen Koan
"People think it is hard to see the .NET, but in reality it is neither difficult nor easy.  It is a matter of responding to C# and VB.NET while remaining detached from C# and VB.NET, living in the midst of passions yet being detached from passions, seeing without seeing, hearing without hearing, acting without acting, seeking without seeking. "


Unsafe Zen Koan
"Scott showed out his unsafe code and said, "If you call this unsafe code, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it unsafe code, you ignore the fact. Now what do you wish to call this?"


 Languages Zen Koan
"One day Fred was working with .NET. He overheard a programmer say to his superior, "Give me the best programming language you have." "Every language in .NET is the best," replied the butcher. "You can not find any language in .NET that is not the best." At these words, Fred was enlightened. "


 Managed Zen Koan
"One day as Sam was writing Managed C++, the Buddha called to him, "Sam, Sam, why do you not enter the runtime and write in C#?" Sam replied, "I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.