The Needless Complexity of ASP.Net

By Deane Barker on September 15, 2007

Where are all the cool startups that run on ASP.NET?: This is a post that asks a solid question:

Where are all the cool startups that run on ASP.NET?

It’s a good question. Where are they? Why do all the rock star start-ups use CakePHP or Rails or anything but .Net.

A good answer is this comment a bit down the page, which really sums up everything I feel about the ASP.Net platform (emphasis mine):

That’s easy. ASP.NET Web Forms was designed specifically to bring VB6/Mort programmers into a web-enabled world. You don’t find Morts working on the latest and greatest web apps. I’ve been working with Web Forms off and on since Beta 1, and I’ve grown to loathe them. In trying to abstract away the details of working on the web, Microsoft has only succeeded in making things hopelessly complex. Give me something that embraces the web instead like Rails or PHP.

(I don’t know exactly what he means by “Mort,” so if anyone does, speak up.)

I have a sneaking suspicion that the guy who invented ASP.Net is curled up in a fetal position somewhere, rocking back and forth and muttering, “please make it go away.”

In trying to “solve” what they viewed as limitations in the basic concept of the Web (which seems to be working fine for everyone else, thank you), Microsoft has just introduced more problems. Half the new “features” in ASP.Net seem to be things to fix problems that ASP.Net introduced in the first place.

I found the above quote from this site which quoted my previous post about ASP.Net Web forms.

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Comments

  1. The only problem ASP.NET solves is how to get legacy VB6 programmers writing code for the web — it doesn’t make programming top-notch web applications any easier. On the contary, it makes programming top-notch, edge-pushing web applications that much harder!

    In some ways, ASP.NET is brilliant. It simplifies the web into a stateful, easy-to-use medium over which web applications are born and raised. Beyond that, however — when it comes to extending simple applications, particularly on the front end — it becomes a nightmare.

  2. Anyone not writing their web applications in assembly just isn’t in touch with their HTTP side.

    Gosh, you’re so hip and ironic. You must be super-wise.

    We both know you can take an abstraction too far, and that there’s a right way and a wrong way to abstract something.

  3. Gosh, you’re so hip and ironic. You must be super-wise. We both know you can take an abstraction too far, and that there’s a right way and a wrong way to abstract something.

    A little hyperbole, perhaps, but not that much. Most of your ASP.NET rants read like a Mac user trying to convince a PC user that he should switch to a Mac because the PCs extra power and flexibility isn’t worth the extra learning curve.

    Sure, ASP.NET isn’t the right tool for every job. No language or platform is. However, if you truly grok OO and ASP.NET, it is extremely powerful and flexible. You just can’t try to write your application against the grain and not expect an uphill battle.

    Do a search for “ruby twitter scale” and you’ll see why a lot of developers working on larger applications scoff at the idea of using languages like Ruby/PHP vs. ASP.NET/Java. For that matter, look what Markus Frind did with ASP.NET… by himself.

  4. From a business perspective, it seems to me that for products that support your infrastructure, a critical question has to be do you trust your vendor? If I were responsible for a startup company, there is no way in hell I’d build it on anything that depends on the Windows platform.

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