Subject: Re: Q: Can you build an authentication system on OS?
From: Glen Starchman <glen@enabledventures.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 07:55:24 -0700


First of all, I would like to point out that when people refer to
.NET they usually only refer to one part or another without
clarifying.

.NET is:

1) A software subscription service framework 
2) A marketing strategy (much like Microsoft DNA was a couple of
years ago)
3) The philosophy that all MS applications can work together as a
cohesive unit
4) A software development framework... the APIs that allow a piece
of code to fully interact with other .NET software
5) The new language C#
6) The new Visual Studio Line, including VisualPerl and VisualPython
7) The Common Language Runtime (CLR) and Intermediate Language
(IL). Combined these things allow you to easily do something like
inherit from a Python class in VB, or send an Eiffel variable as a
message to a SmallTalk app.

In my opinion, the authentication and software subscription parts
are kind of ho-hum... but I think the CLR and IL kick ass. It would
be very nice if they existed on some Unix variant (and, if MS is
true to their word they will someday...).  The closest competitor
the Unix world has is GCC. GCC is a great compiler suite, but is a
little bit behind the curve when it comes to supporting new
languages. Last I checked GCJ was hung up because of the insistence
that the entire Java class library be re-engineered so if could be
"free". 

So, what does MS bring to the table with .NET? It seems to me a
lot. Most of it is propaganda in the form of "Look at our new
catch-all technology framework", but under the hood is a *very*
powerful engine (notably the CLR) that I think a lot of FS people
are choosing to ignore because they are nowhere near competing with
it.

The thought of a .GNU is almost ludicrous to me. For one, the
components o .NET that the .GNU people on FreeDevelopers have
choosen to concentrate on is essentially a Hailstorm clone.
Hailstorm is not in itself innovative, aping it is even less
innovative.