Harold Davis has an excellent post about Microsoft dropping standard support for VB6, and the impact of web languages on the adoption of .Net on his Googleplex Blog. He writes:

“To a very great extent, instead of trying to deal with the move from VB6 to VB.Net (or C#.Net), the mom and pop developer decided to put their applications on the Web, using languages such as Javascript, Perl, and (most widely and appropriately) PHP. It’s unwise to underestimate the intelligence of any computer programmer, even the mom and pop developer, and given the choice of the horrendous and dubiously appropriate upgrade, these people probably made a very smart move. The Web is the closest thing we have to a universal platform.”

There’s a very natural sort of ecology here where the increasingly complex challenge of trying to control a platform is balanced against the almost organic evolution of software made possible by open source technologies and the legions of programmers who contribute to them. I see many authors trying to bridge this gap, either moving to open source titles, or working on books that are platform independent.

Standard weblog disclosure, Harold has long been a client of mine. His Googleplex Blog supports his forthcoming book, Building Research Tools with Google for Dummies .

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