About 5 years ago when the .NET Framework was released, it was the big new story and got a lot of attention by the blogosphere and technical magazines – both good and bad – and continued to do so for some years.
When .NET was released to the industry it felt like a disturbance in the force, the ground shook and developers didn’t know what to make of it. Java people quickly attacked the performance issues regarding the 1.0 release and called it a bad Java clone. People were really offended by the Framework and a hate campaign toward Microsoft was on the rise - even amongst the old Windows developers.
A lot of the developers that made a living by doing ASP websites or Windows applications in Visual Basic or Visual C++ felt abandoned by Microsoft, because they would stop making new versions of their preferred tool or language. They also introduced this framework that forced them to learn something completely new if they wanted to be on track. I myself had a hard time learning ASP.NET 1.0 coming from ASP3.
Furthermore, there were huge debates about the choice of which of the languages were the best, C# or VB.NET, with a lot of stupid, emotional claims of the pros and cons. This debate continued for years without really solving anything other than making us tired of it in the end. The blogosphere in general were condescending if you accidentally told anyone that you liked VB.NET over C#. It was a taboo somewhere and I felt it because I choose VB.NET back then.
It seemed that angry people were coming from everywhere and they all had some clever opinion to share about the .NET Framework.
We grew up
Whether it was because we got tired of the debates or finally came to realize how stupid it was, it somehow seems to have stopped. There are no recent articles or posts about language preferences anymore within the .NET fold. Maybe we realized that personal preferences is ok and as long we can work together no matter the language, there is no longer a need for the debate. And just maybe we all got so indoctrinated by Microsoft that we no longer raise the questions.
It seems that we’ve reached an understanding that was impossible to reach a few years back – an understanding that lets us focus on the real issues instead of the stupid, emotional ones – issues like deadlines, teamwork, project management, code quality etc.
The last two years or so we can see history repeat itself. The flaming, the stupid and emotional comparisons and the urge to debate something that isn’t necessary. Dynamic language evangelists seem to have forgotten what happened just 5 years ago and is starting all over again. It could be a publicity stunt that might just work, if you are easily persuaded.
A philosopher, which name I have forgotten (probably in the heat of the stupid debates) once said:
From history we have learned, that we haven’t learned anything from history.