.NET fans fear being "SilverLighted" again…

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I’m not invested in .NET languages/technologies (although I have received training in C#, XAML and Visual Studio), but I found this article interesting.

 

With JavaScript / React / React Native being so popular and prevalent, I wonder if there’s any merit to the idea that Microsoft might kill off .NET. Any thoughts out there?

 

https://visualstudiomagazine.com/articles/2021/08/17/silverlighted.aspx

Comments (10)

10 responses to “.NET fans fear being "SilverLighted" again…”

  1. sentinel6671

    .NET is open source, so even if Microsoft pulled all support, the .NET Foundation would still continue.


    If I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll hear about it...that's what generally happens here in these comments. :)


    I'm spending time this year re-learning to code. I'm trying to stay all open source and not get too deep with MS platforms. I personally like React and am starting to figure out React Native.


    • wright_is

      .Net Core is open source. .Net for Windows is not, but is being replaced with .Net Core, which is a long way from feature complete, compared to what it is replacing. That means devs switching to Core will probably lose functionality in their applications, for the benefit of it being cross-platform.

  2. paradyne

    Browser plugins had to die, so Silverlight became impossible.


    I really don't see how that applies to .NET. Maybe MAUI will become popular or maybe it won't, but there are multiple ways to make web applications on .NET and even multiple languages to use for doing so.


    And that's not even considering all the applications and services it's used for that don't involve browsers at all (like everything I work on).

  3. thejoefin

    Like paradyne said Silverlight had to die because of trends outside of Microsoft's control. However, .NET is well within Microsoft's control and continues to have a very bright future. With .NET 6 around the corner it has many benefits for developers but also now Microsoft has fewer products to support. By unifying all of their platforms around a single .NET codebase Microsoft can more efficiently deliver features and the risk of any single 'consumer' (like MAUI or WinForms) of that .NET codebase is much lower.

  4. Usman

    The article mostly talks about .NET frontends like Blazor and Xamarin/MAUI. For that I have to say, you should always prepare for the worst possible outcome, and that's the case for any front-end / presentation framework.


    If you've written anything in Blazor, as long as you have the backend API separated from the UI, then you only have to worry about the frontend. You'll have to port to Javascript or Typescript and to a JS-based SPA framework like Angular, React, or Vue. But in reality, if you're using Blazor for web applications, I really think you should prepare for a scenario where that framework may get dropped.


    I'm a .NET dev, I wouldn't use Blazor mainly because it's a niche and also web assembly file for the mono runtime is huge, like 2MB+, whereas React and Vue are like 200KB-500KB. That's a big deal in consumer-based web apps since you can't be certain of internet reliability on mobile.


    I do like the concept of Blazor, and finally being able to use the same C# models for the front end and backend.

    However, .Net developers I know have gotten used to using Swagger/Open AI to generate models in JavaScript and Typescript for web-based SPA apps. When it comes to the web you kind of have to use the things that are popular and have the most ecosystem/support around them.


    With .NET MAUI, it depends again on how well it will do against Flutter and React Native. There's an existing developer base in Xamarin that will likely carry over.


    Since I'm a full-stack .NET dev, I usually just stick to .NET on server-side microservices, and the frontend is dependant on the use case. I think a lot of the complaints about Microsoft killing Silverlight or killing UWP have been from .NET developers who are heavy into the presentation layer and not transitioning their existing C# skills into backend development.

  5. darkgrayknight

    .NET isn't going away, as described by others, there are many layers of usage and any to all can be replaced with something else, but .NET is still a great platform for Web Services and Windows applications. I'd be a little more wary of JavaScript frameworks, as there are many of those and they don't all have the same level of backing by a tech company. I've used React, jQuery, and know others using VUE, Angular, and some other JavaScript frameworks. Probably most of these will continue due to the wide variety of development styles and needs. I expect .NET will continue due to its flexibility to also fit into various parts of these other frameworks. I prefer .NET for building Web Services as it has been easy to get up and running quickly for me.

  6. garumphul

    I think anybody writing a desktop client in anything should be worried, because those skills are required less and less.

    For my money Blazor has a better chance of being the default UI choice than Maui or anything else. Wrap the browser based UI in a Windows container that can call directly into a .net "service" running locally. I feel that is the future.

    I've written code professionally in Silverlight, WPF, UWP, Blazor and about a hundred flavor of the month Javascript frameworks.

    However messed up you think MS is, everything else is just as bad.

  7. jwpear

    Like others, I'm less worried about the .NET platform given it is open source and managed by the .NET Foundation. I also doubt Microsoft would drop their support of .NET given they have little else interesting to offer. I'd venture to guess that Azure is attractive to many because they're .NET shops and Microsoft has made it easy to move apps written with .NET and SQL Server to the cloud. It would be foolish, in my opinion, for them to drop support entirely. .NET is a gateway stack for Azure.


    The article very much seems focused on the UI frameworks. I agree, this is an area that is an absolute mess in .NET and virtually everywhere else. My team and I switched to HTML/JS about 10 years ago and have never looked back. This is the one true cross platform for UI stack and it virtually forces you to architect your applications in a way that you should be able to easily shift the UI tech platform should the need arise.


    WebAssembly is interesting, but I'm still not convinced of its viability over JS. I'm in a wait and see pattern. I see some great corner cases for WebAssembly. But I continue to be amazed at what can be done in JS through the contributions of many open source projects. Granted these constantly shift as others point out.


    Blazor seems like a perverted use of WebAssembly and too tempting to mix concerns. Or its Microsoft's attempt to pull WebForms into the future. It's just odd to me after building SPAs for so many years. I get it. Some people want the simplicity. Probably entirely warranted for department level apps, so not saying there isn't a good use case for it.


    I'd also argue that Microsoft needs to keep things fresh. If they aren't moving ahead and trying new things, folks will lose interest or grow frustrated with their ability to evolve with, or ahead of, the market. I too was upset with the loss of Silverlight, but I've moved on. Today, I think it was the right choice to stop development of it. That really wasn't Microsoft's decision to make--the browsers forced it. Losing it was the best thing that happened to my team. We're a better shop using HTML/JS on the front end and C# on the back. Our apps are more scalable, more adaptable, and can reach more users across an array of platforms and devices.

  8. phjeong

    I love that there are some languages that have changed and I hope that it continues to be done with this. It’s really cool and I hope that it works out with the things that we have seen. Is there any other option better than this with the stuff that we see everyday here?

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