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Putting .Net under the microscope

A News.com reader writes that there is some level of misunderstanding in parts of the IT community about Microsoft's .Net technologies.

 

  
Putting .Net under the microscope

In response to the Feb. 7 column by Bill Joy, "Microsoft's blind spot":

It's clear to me that there is some level of misunderstanding in parts of the information-technology community about Microsoft's .Net technologies. Bill Joy seems to infer that the ability to write "unsafe" code is tantamount to the .Net framework probably being full of security holes. He uses script vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and older versions of Outlook as examples of Microsoft's inability to write secure code.

Time will tell, they say, but it doesn't look that way from my vantage point. Indeed, from a platform perspective, Microsoft has been proven to have the least number of vulnerabilities/exploits reported in the last year, while clearly being the more popular platform. It has also been proven to be more responsive to security issues than most of its competitors, including Sun Microsystems.

However, what is clear is that Joy has not really done his homework. C# is a language, similar to Java being a language (which as he readily admits, C# now more standard that Java; I still can't understand why a company so much behind open source insists on keeping Java proprietary) that has the ability to create both managed and/or unmanaged code under the .Net framework. Managed code is "managed" by the common-language runtime environment, and it includes various levels of declarative application and policy-based security. This is also not specific to C#--it's part of the .Net framework as a whole. You can research this, and the information is free. For example, you would need to write device drivers using unmanaged code.

If the CLR did indeed garner anything from Java, it's hard to say. Regarding the Java Virtual Machine concept: Please, it's not rocket science. VMs have been in use far longer than the JVM. Indeed, it seems that Java has benefited from the innovations presented by Microsoft, most namely the adoption--or should we say adaption--of the Microsoft Transaction Server technologies into J2EE.

It's no wonder that hardware companies like Sun are having difficulty keeping the lights on when they truly don't understand some of the basic, core concepts of what their competitors are doing. I would assume this is the case, as Joy's title indicates he is the chief scientist at Sun. Or perhaps misleading the industry perception is the next best way to compete, behind lobbying politicians and launching court cases.

CNET, please keep the commentary coming--it's indeed healthy for the industry.

Joshua Gallant
Toronto, Ontario

 

 

    
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