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The Original Coder blog Posts

JavaScript == Spaghetti Western

The world of JavaScript is the like the Wild West in that there are few constraints and nearly anything goes. Some frameworks are trying to make it better, but regardless a whole lot of JavaScript I’ve seen is Spaghetti_code (a mess).

Random thought that I had while I was writing something else. I hadn’t heard the term “Spaghetti code” in years but it popped into my head when thinking about JavaScript.

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Adventures in .NET Core

I’ve been slowly moving towards .NET Core for awhile and have decided now is a good time to try and take the full plunge.

Initially it was just too new and incomplete to be of use. When .NET Standard reached v2 I started writing most library code in that instead of .NET Framework. By targeting .NET Standard those libraries could then be used by not only .NET Framework and .NET Core applications but also Mono, Xamarin, etc. Plus there are some other advantages to the way .NET Standard library projects work that I won’t go into here. But beyond libraries I only dabbled in .NET Core applications mainly because of Entity Framework.

Entity Framework has become an awesome, almost indispensable ORM in no small part due to the integration of LINQ. Entity Framework 6 is very capable and mature; It works. Entity Framework Core is a complete rewrite and lacks some of the capabilities present in EF6. Plus I personally find the emphasis on Code First and at best limited support for database first rather alarming. As someone with strong experience in both Software Engineering and Database Administration I’ve always suspected Code First would lead to compromises in the database. EDMX files may not be fun but they allow for a very productive workflow and don’t require any compromises.

Given the above and the fact that .NET Core has reached a good level of maturity I’ve decided it is time to set off on an adventure to explore what it can do, can’t do and how it works. In addition to .NET Core I’ll use this adventure to also try out some of the other new Microsoft technologies such as Xamarin.

To do this I’m going to come up with a small but meaningful (non-trivial) application to build. I’ll use SQL Server 2017 for database storage and make sure that the database schema includes important capabilities such as keys, indexes, GUIDs, etc. On top of that I’ll use ASP.NET MVC Core to build a RESTful API backend which will provide all the capabilities clients require. Then I’ll build multiple client applications using various technologies that access the backend API.

Now that Microsoft is finally playing nice with others there is literally a myriad of client possibilities! Just in the realm of web applications there is an almost daunting list of possibilities:

  • Old school ASP.NET Core with MVC, Razor, Bootstrap and jQuery
  • ASP.NET Core with Angular 2
  • ASP.NET Core with Knockout
  • ASP.NET Core with React
  • ASP.NET Core with React + Redux
  • Non-core ASP.NET MVC with Razor, Bootstrap and jQuery (for comparison)
  • Non-core ASP.NET Web Forms since they are still used in some older systems

There is also an impressive list of non-web client possibilities:

  • WinForms
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
  • Universal Windows Platform
  • Android using Xamarin
  • iOS using Xamarin
  • Mac using Xamarin
  • Unity if I wanted to dabble in the world of game programming
  • Maybe even a Linux client using Mono

It would be really interesting (and fun) to build all of those and then compare them. That would be awesome, but in reality I probably don’t have that much time to spend on this. At least for now, maybe I’ll keep this going and get to all of them eventually.

Regarding web applications Angular 2, React, and Knockout apps on ASP.NET Core is a really interesting and helpful blog post by Steve Sanderson.

I’ll detail my journey through the world of .NET Core in upcoming posts.

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What is the difference between Application Programming vs System Programming?

Low level infrastructure software (aka system programming) is what makes up the foundation of operating systems and development platforms. This type of software requires machine code that runs directly on the CPU and can effectively communicate directly with the various hardware components. The end users of software built using system programming is mostly technical people and other programmers.

The vast majority of developers working today write applicaiton code. Application programming is the practice of building software that runs on an operating system or runtime platform. Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS and web browsers are examples of platforms that applications are built on. Application code doesn’t interface directly with hardware, instead it relies upon the OS / platform to provide all the required services. Applications are built for end users and business people who may possess little if any technical knowledge.

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Blender is pretty cool

I first played around with 3D modeling and rendering way back on the Commodore Amiga. That cool little computer was ahead of its time. Messed around with 3D Studio Max years ago while building a game engine for Cyberdyne Interactive. But haven’t given it any thought in at least a decade.

I love my OOriginal Coder logo and wanted to get a 3D version of it. My skills are way out of date and last I checked a decent 3D system was a couple thousand dollars so I hired someone to create a 3D model and render it. In the middle of that I discovered Blender. Its an extremely capable full blown 3D modeling, animation and rendering system that is completely free. This thing has way more features than the old version of 3D Studio Max I used years ago.

The 3D model I got back of my 2D logo was pretty good but I didn’t like the angles and lighting on the rendered images. So I tossed the model into Blender and rendered my own output. Took me less than 30 minutes to watch a quick YouTube tutorial, setup the scene and render it. My modeling skills still suck but now I know that if I ever want to mess around with 3D I could do it for free without having to sacrifice capabilities.

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Now I’ve done it. I’ve gone and started a blog.

This (dreaded?) day has finally arrived. I’ve started my own blog. More than that, I’ve started a “professional blog”. Which means this is going to take work. While I find writing C# professionally fun the idea of having to write English prose as work doesn’t sound appealing.

Sure, I’ve thought about doing this numerous times over the years. I kinda feels like at my experience level I’m rather expected to have a blog. Long ago I did have a LiveJournal that I posted to regularly. That used to be a thing, if you never heard of it that should indicate how long ago that was.

On the bright side I am passionate about and do love software development. I have an insanely large amount of experience and have worked on a wide array of systems spanning the entire spectrum of scale. And I care about software development and producing the very best architectures and code possible for any given situation. So maybe having a blog won’t be so bad.

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Featured Post

Welcome to my blog!

I’ll mostly be posting about software architecture & development since that’s what I know best. There will also be some posts about IT, the cloud, the Internet and similar stuff. Occasionally I may toss in a piece of trivia or a quote. If you have thoughts, ideas or questions please leave a comment!

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