Saturday, July 29, 2006

Programming 101: One Choice is a Good Choice - Conclusion


Again, we are not comparing which language or framework is better, but which language is easy to get started with their default IDE and Framework leader (the most popular and prominent choice).

It seems like .NET (C#, VB is the language, .NET is the framework) is the winner here, with their out of the box IDE and Framework, both easy to use, powerful, well supported and integrated. You can start production immediately after getting the kit; don’t have to meddle around to find the best tools or frameworks.

The runner-up might be the seamless integration of Ruby (language) on Rail (web framework), it is like a marriage. But the barrier of entry might be high, as you need to learn Ruby and Rail at almost the same time, and Ruby is a powerful language which might be complex at times for newbie. Rail is the web framework leader for sure, and other options are either non-existence or not heard of (and I don’t wanna know). ROR might be weak at its IDE at the moment, but some free and descent tool is available.

I think Java and PHP should share the 3rd place. PHP had a whole lot of framework choices, but no popular or prominent leader is in sight. Java had some popular frameworks, but it might be quite a challenge to get them to work together for the first time (not an easy task for a newbie, or even a novice). Eclipse is the popular IDE for Java, but there are other Vendors backed IDE for enterprise development as well. Zend Studio is the product leader for PHP, with good suites of tools.

Perhaps there is a good reason for the vast adoption rate of Microsoft development tools, beside Windows being the dominant OS. I think Microsoft is quite a developer centric company, they sure knows how to capture the hearts of programmer. Someone once told me IBM is run by salesmen, and Microsoft is run by geeks (like it or not, BillG is a geek at heart, and perhaps a ruthless businessman as well). I guess he is right, I always get confused and turned away from all IBM offerings. I can’t never quite know or understand what IBM is offering; perhaps they are targeting the enterprise space, not for Indies like me. With Bill Gates stepping down soon, I hope Microsoft’s geek culture still continues on.

Not only a language has to fight prominence, so do its tools and frameworks. Sometimes, too many choices confuses the new adopters and lessen the unity of a specific community, thus less the superiority and support for a specific technology. We need a good obvious choice.


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