Technology brotherhoods


I often hear people talking about which technology is better between C / C++ / C# .Net / java. Most of the time, it’s more a political/brotherhood/community thing (like football, even thought frenchies like me aren’t so proud of their team now) than a technical talk.
I find it absurd. Computer science is about efficiency and making more money. You can take into account the pleasure you have to work on a technology (as you will be more likely to be more efficient with it), but it should still remain about efficiency.

The following video is about java & C# .Net. I’ve done quite a lot of C# .Net, Java and C, and some ObjectiveC (while developing iPhone applications) and a little bit of C++. The only thing I feel is that Sun with java had the good ideas, Microsoft with .Net took them and finished the work. Still, I often code in java, mostly for the TC65 chip, it’s quite comfortable. But for instance, it was longer to implement the M2MP protocol on the TC65 chip than the C# .net server. Mostly because of the unsigned types I had to “emulate” and the lack of generics (which are not available on the TC65’s JVM).

By the way, I’m running .Net apps on Linux everyday using Mono.

Here is the best example of what I’m talking about :

For all these lame people who don’t have an HTML5 compatible browser, you can go to the original video. The reason I downloaded it here in my blog is that you are forced to register to YouTube to watch it.

4 thoughts on “Technology brotherhoods”

  1. Hi Florent,
    I will look the video, but I have a question.

    You say:
    “Computer science is about efficiency and making more money.”
    and
    “I’m running .Net apps on Linux everyday using Mono. ”

    Is it an efficient and “money maker” way of doing computer science?

    By the way, I use Linux everyday from 1995. But I do not think Linux is about efficiency or money making, especially compared with the efficiency and money you get using Microsoft products.

  2. Hi Marcello,

    Thank you for this comment.

    So what follows here is only my point of view.

    I do think Linux is about making money and I don’t talk about licensing costs. With a Debian stable netinstall, it takes 5 minutes to install the base system (and then no need to update anything) and then you can easily setup your server in something like 2 to 4 hours. Installing MySQL takes 1 minute, installing a mail server takes 1 minute.
    And then updates are really fast and easy to apply. And you never need to restart it (unless you really want to try the latest version of the kernel).
    XFS filesystem and InnoDB database format are really robust. I can totally rely on them. If my servers crash while doing some critical work I’m a 100% sure they will restart and get back to where they were before the last transaction.

    Then let’s say you have a huge number of server, it’s really easier to build tools to upgrade your farm of server.

    I don’t like Linux as a desktop OS, but with an ubuntu usb key install, you have a “useable” system for free. I don’t find it very efficient as a desktop system, GNOME and KDE just don’t compete with Windows 7 for me (except for speed), Office 2007/2010 is 2 times better than OpenOffice. Eclipse looks like an evil product (it does everything but slowly and does nothing right), Netbeans is OK (but not great).

    So I basically build my C# .Net programs on windows (using Visual Studio 2008/2010) and make them run on Linux. It’s fast, works great and is totally reliable.

    I don’t like Windows Server, i find it huge and slow. I find problems harder to solve than they are on Linux. Windows (and Windows Server as well) gives me the feeling to not aging well (both in total runtime and uptime). After a month of uptime, the system seems to be in pain.

    So, yes, I do think Linux (and more particularly Debian) is about efficiency. But as I told, it’s my feeling. I’m not trying to create a debate or anything.

  3. Hi Florent,
    my point is:

    if “computer science is about efficiency and making more money”, Linux would never be born.

    Your approach is very pragmatic: use the best tool for the job.

    Linus Torvalds says the same thing.

    But to build a new operating system from scratch, pragmatism is not enough.

    So I think computer science is not only about efficiency and money making.

  4. Hi Marcello,

    You’re right. Linux wasn’t exactly created to save some money ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Linux#The_creation_of_Linux ). Linus Torvalds created the need of software “liberty”. And I do my self do a lot of computer science things of other reason than the money (like this blog, I don’t think it will make me rich one day).

    But still, if Linux is so well known now it’s because some company like Red Hat, Suse (and then Novell), IBM and HP invested a lot of resources (men & money) to make it ready to face it the “real” market. So it’s about one guy who wanted to make it free and a lot of other people who saw the potential it had in terms of efficiency and money making.

    But short version is : you’re right.

    Best regards,

    Florent

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