I feel myself moving over to the dark side. I don’t like web development. I say that, not having done much of it. What I’ve done and what I know, it seems like a huge step back from my comfortable world of client development where all things are known and within reach. But Windows Development no longer rules supreme. I thought Rich clients were the answer but I’m no longer so sure.
One web designer I know put it this way: "Regarding Web Development, creating web pages is for designers, the hard core programmers are much more comfortable doing server development where they don’t have to mess with HTML". I’ll buy that.
I asked the designer why browser based apps are becoming the de facto standard. I’ve always believed browser based apps came from a requirement that platforms beyond Windows be supported; or that people need access to a program and their data when they’re not at home. The browser is the common platform where a single code base could be developed and run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. With some prodding on my part, the designer finally arrived at what I believe to be the real reason. Programs are developed for the browser because the browser presents a metaphor that people are familiar with. Most people will be able to figure out and navigate a new website (i.e. browser-based service) with no training. And there is a browser on every computer sold with no software installation needed. All you need to know is a web address.
I just finished taking an intensive one week class titled C# Boot Camp. The instructor was Richard Shaw of The Richard Hale Shaw Group. I learned a lot. I learned a bunch of stuff I wish I’d known when I was thrown into C# development for the first time four months ago. It was great exposure to the breadth of functionality and constructs of the .NET Framework.
One thing that I find seductive about .NET is that if I choose to go in that direction for web development, I can skip the whole AJAX thing and for the most part, build websites in C# ! I realize, that was Microsoft’s intention with .NET, win over the non-html programmers. I find HTML and Java script very frustrating to work with.
I"m also thinking of porting my Client User Interface Library to .NET.
Today, simplicity rules and if you have to give up some functionality and speed (yeah, yeah, I know AJAX rocks and all, but that just brings web apps closer to par with client apps and there is still plenty of stuff best done on the client) when using a browser based app, so bit it. People are voting with their mouse and flocking to the web for functionality that was once the domain of the client app.