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From .Net back to.?

How hard to rebuild in something else?



12:30 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a little application, a desktop thing but since this is the .net forum I was kinnda hoping they're the same thing and someone could advise..

Basically I paid someone to produce this little application to my own design, and it's peachy. My problem is it requires .net 2.0 to run and no-one on the planet appears to already have this on their PC, meaning my little 5Mb prog' requires a 40Mb download.

This is killing my demo-trial rate. People searching for exactly this program don't bother to download it when they see the sheer BULK of the thing. These are normal people, they don't want to spend the next few hours waiting.

So my question is, just how difficult is it to re-write the thing in some normal sort of language or whatever so it actually works without downloading a new OS?

And what sort of language should I be looking at?

I know zip about programming languages, as evident by the fact I let the coder do this in .net.. so what would actually be the best language or languages for this? Just needs to run on Win98 onwards.

And would the fact the coder would have a fully functional version of the prog, with source, be a real help and make things super easy or not be much help at all and require a total rebuild?

I don't want to offer the work out to anyone until I have at least answered those 2 questions?

Please don't tell me how great .net it, it's a total non-starter for me at this time. I wish I'd never heard of it.



12:39 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi P

You can probably write in C or Pascal for a simple executable which won't need anything else installed on the PC. However it may cost you a forune to get a GUI rich application developed in these languages.

I would sugges getting it written in Visual Basic 6. There are loads of developers who can write in VB and you can easily deploy the application on client PCs.



12:42 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That's really helpful and just what I needed, thank you.

Can I ask, just what sort of size would Visual Basic be, if the current application is something like 5 meg?



1:48 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Pibs

May I suggest that if its been coded with the .net libraries already

1, it may need almost complete re -writing


2, Must be re written in a .net language. C#.net, c++.net, vb.net

Why, because there is a good reason that the majority of your program is in the 40mb download. You little program is probably entirely reliant on pre programed pre set widgets in the .net 2.0 framework

Anyways, what does your program do, if I may ask,

Also, are you familiar with the redistributable licensing options available from microsoft? I haven't had a look at them for a while but thats another option


2:51 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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These net thingies you mention, do they require the .net framework as well or what?

What exactly are they?

Specifically, would the user need to install anything to run them or do they run in normal Windows?

Basically my view at this time is if i see '.net' then I don't want it. When the coder was producing it he said "you'll need to download this from MS" which I did, thinking it was some developer's tool and the end user wouldn't need it. Discovering that anyone wanting the prog needs installer 3.0, itself huge, in order to install .net 2.0, also huge, is a nightmare.

Other progs of similar design are around 5 to 12Mb.

What actual advantage does .net give anyway? Perhaps if there were something super-duper about it I could give it as a reason to love the prog but I don't see it doing anything that normal software doesn't.

Is it just something that makes coding easier or what? Sort of like Frontpage for coders, easy to use but not compatible with the real world kinnda thing?



4:19 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It like building a house,

builder uses bricks, bricks are made by someone else

Plumber fits central heating an bathrooms, sinks which are all made by someone slse

Similarly with .net programming, most of the code exists in the .net framework, ,,

Can you tell what niche its for,


4:54 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'd rather not discuss exactly what the software does,

These .net languages - I'm unclear what the point would be of re-writing in one of them?

Would this make the file a lot smaller?

Do away with the need for .net, only use parts of it or what?

Currently the program has installer 3 and net 2 as part of the download, I could remove those and just leave the core program but I know that 99.999% of users will get a "Ah, you don't have .net 2.0" and then find even if they get it.. "ah, you don't have installer 3.0.."

Which frankly is a joke.

I can't expect people to keep going to and from MS and if I give them the stuff they need, 40Mb.

How would re-writing in somelanguage.net help this?



8:32 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Dude, hire a VB, Pascal or C programmer as advised. There were the same problems back in the 90's when not everyone had the VB runtime on their computers. If you wanted people to use your program they would need to download the VB runtime, which allowed your programs to work.

The same thing with .Net programs, it just happens that .Net 2.0 is the latest and not installed on everyones computers by default.

What does your application do? In the future it may be good for you to some research or get advice before hiring someone to write your programs.


9:11 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

this is from a MS Forum and blog

Our marketing team tracks this kind of thing regularly. I thought it would be valuable to share some of the recent data, which shows very broad penetration of the framework:

More than 120M copies of the .NET Framework have been downloaded and installed using either Microsoft downloads or Windows Update
More than 85% of new consumer PCs sold in 2004 had the .NET Framework installed
More than 58% of business PCs have the .NET Framework preinstalled or preloaded
Every new HP consumer imaging device (printer/scanner/camera) will install the .NET Framework if itís not already there Ė thatís 3M units per year
Every new Microsoft IntelliPoint mouse software CD ships with the .NET Framework

2.0 now comes pre-installed with almost all new PC's on the market. By the time you re-write it, your audience may have already made the transition to 2.0.


12:07 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can you use Java? If your programmer wrote the application in C#.NET, this is a pretty easy switch. Or, if your application is simple enough to allow it, go with Flash, which allows for a very nice UI and is installed on something like 480% of all computers.

If you're worrying about Windows 98, unless you have a Windows-only product, I'd think you'd want to worry about the large percentage of Mac users who haven't gotten around to installing the VB or .NET runtimes. I'd choose something platform independent, if it's at all possible.


3:17 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Research - yep, I agree. Hiring a professional with glowing references wasn't enough, I should have known enough about the technical aspects of the language he'd use - and that's not sarcasm, you're right, I should have researched.

Everything said about .net being installed bounced clean off me as I was thinking "yeah, .net 1.0" but then you say .net 2.0?

Do all those figures include 2.0 or mostly 1.0?

I know when a friend tried to install it on his laptop, a pretty old machine, it wouldn't go, he went to MS, was able to download .net 2.0 (this was during development) and then found he needed installer 3.0, tried getting that and got told his Windows wasn't genuine. He ended up waving his Win98 CD cover in my face and blaming ME for the fact that "Now MS doesn't think I have genuine Windows!"

He later phoned me to say he was still getting updates but he wasn't a happy bunny.

I think at this stage I'll have to enquire about Visual Basic, try and get some pricing etc.

Thanks for your input. :o)



5:48 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have been following this thread as I am in a situation of deciding which version of VB.Net (2003 or 2005) to develop a new application in myself.

I think the article oxbaker was talking about is at [blogs.msdn.com...]

This article is from March of 2005, so no telling how much the 1.1 Framework has been isntalled since.

I haven't seen similar numbers for 2.0 Framework yet though.


10:27 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Actually, looking back I distinctly recall the coder stopping work and saying he had decided to switch to the newer version, I presume 2.0 - "for long term development"

I didn't mind the delay as I thought it sounded helpful but it aint helping one bit.

I'm still a little unsure of this point, can someone give me structured answers please

1. If C+.net or something of that nature, is that basically .net 1.0?

Which most people already have?

2. Is "vb.net" some kind of blend between visual basic and .net, using 1.0?

Would this be the cheapest and easiest option?

I'm happy to go with .net 1.0

3. I always thought of java and Flash as web software. Do they handle databases with graphs?

I'd love to make it Mac friendly but my inution tells me java/flash would be any use for this - but like I say, I dunno?

Yes, I could read up or research on the net - but that's what I'm doing here :o)

Right now I'm busy working on the site's conversion rate but when I get going with this I want to steam ahead knowing I have the right choice this time, so if I know just what to look at I can research it better. I'm not after exact details, just some pointers, in clear language to a guy who knows nothing of computer languages, where I should look or what I'm looking for.

For example what's the difference between VB and VB.net? Which would be cheaper to code, presuming my app relies on .net 2.0 at present?



11:11 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>Is "vb.net" some kind of blend between visual basic and .net, using 1.0?
>> Would this be the cheapest and easiest option?

Wow... sorry about all the problems you're having. Going to vb.net isn't going to buy you much because you'll still need the .net framework. The framework can be packed into your application so that users don't need to go find it themselves. I know that doesn't do much for your download size but at least you get a consolidated intallation routine.

I've been using ms tools for over ten years and I'm not thrilled at the frantic pace that this stuff is hitting the market at. The 2.0 adoption has been very slow and 1.1 stuff doesn't just simply migrate to 2.0. I've not seen a clean app migration yet. Especially, when it comes to security.

Now, we have 3.0 steamrolling towards the market. These frameworks(1.1, 2.0, 3.0) are different; leaving us in a position where we have to decide the minimum framework that we're willing to support. Now isn't that interesting? .Net was supposed to make it easy and get us out of versioning hell. I see it coming right back at us.


11:40 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That's really helpful and just what I needed, thank you.
Can I ask, just what sort of size would Visual Basic be, if the current application is something like 5 meg?

Hi P

This really depends on what the application does and what sort of components you use. The application distribution can range from a few 100K to few MBs.



11:52 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

If you get it remade have it remade entirely using software which existing in 1998. That's about the current level of most machines.

Same goes for both Flash and Video files, if it wasn't a commonly used in 1998 it's too new for most people.


4:00 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

OK... forgive the noobiness but erm.. what software was available in 1998?

Was visual basic around then?

Lemme draw you a picture - professional manager, relocates to another country, cannot get conventional work permit but can work on web, so hires peeps who know the stuff he doesn't. That worked peachy for me in bricks and mortar.

I've heard of C+ and such stuff but in the same way you may have heard of H20 - you want to drink the stuff, you're not really into the chemistry, right? So I know my coffee contains H20, I know some programs contain C+ and I know the fuel in my car has additives and yes I'm a webmaster - but I don't know jack about software.

Project management, interpersonal skills, closing the sale, some stuff I'm good at, though having to re-learn selling on the net as it's a whole new ballgame.

Now I'm learning not all software is equal. OK. So I'm thinking common denominator, in other words what I said to the coder right at the start "It must work on any Windows PC". He told me this net thing would only work on 98 onwards but I said OK, if only cos 95 is so damn buggy I wouldn't want the technical support issues anyway.

But now it seem it only works on machines with Vista, which aint come out yet..

The download already has installer 3 and net 2 in it, and auto-installs where (everywhere) needed.

I think Visual Basic sounds like my best bet, if only as even I've heard of it and recall it from a long time ago. My question is just what is VB.net? Would something made in that run on net 1.0, net 1.1, and net 2.0.. net 3.0?

Because I have heard that upgrading to net 2.0 may stop some earlier stuff on your machine running. Quite aside from cash-making I just don't want to do that to people. I'm genuinely trying to make this software useful, not screw people's PCs up.

OK, let me clear my thoughts..

1. What if any downsides are there to using Visual Basic, not the .net version?

2. Will VB stuff continue to work in the future?

3. Aside from easy programming, what does .net stuff actually offer? What's the point of it, what's it's USP?

The prog is basically just a database that graphs input, it doesn't do anything particularly dynamic aside from graphs. I supplied my own graphics for buttons and stuff. The most complex thing it needs to figure out is a score or prediction number which I was able to make work on Excel so nothing super-computerish. We're not talking Deep Blue here, just Excel with a pretty interface really.

The prog itself does work fine, does everything it's meant to. It's the download and compatibility issue that's killing it.

OK, 4th question - anyone with any experience of what happens if you offer people a choice? A kind of "If you know you have .net 2.0 installed, click here - If you're not sure, click here and come back tommorow sometime.."


Do people that download the lean version then bother to download the MS stuff? Did they with VB?

Marketing 101 tells me 'Don't offer choices, they cannot say Yes to both but can say No to both if confused, unsure etc"

Does that apply to downloads or are people tolerant of downloading extras stuff just to make it work? I know they hate it with websites.

Should I just offer the 5Mb file and hope a large percentage will then upgrade to 2.0 when they get a helpful "Your PC aint up to it" message?

Ya know, even as I'm typing this I know the answers. They hate downloading large files, they hate having to upgrade, they'll be really pissed when they then find they also need to download a new installer to install the thing they downloaded to install the thing they already downloaded hours ago.

OK, scrap those questions - simply, what's the downside of using Visual Basic, circa 1998 or whenever?



5:28 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We have done a similar work related to forex but all work was browser based. We pulled info from some live feeds and used database and formula's in an excel sheet to display graphs/indicators as they change. Colors in the graph changed based on the score. We were able to do it all web based. Basically, info that was in an excel sheet was displayed to paid members in a nice looking interface.

Why do you want to develop a windows application for that? Why it can't be a web application?


6:46 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's certainly an option worth looking at but right now I'm more comfortable with a standalone product.

If rebuilding is going to be a major issue it's something I'll look into closer.



9:17 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And here's my short-term solution - I've rewritten my copy to stress how the user gets the benefit of this HUGE download. Later again I stress they should start downloading this MASSIVE download right away as it'll take some time but TONIGHT, in hours, not weeks, they'll have their hot sticky claws on it.

I'm hoping it I make it sound super-huge they'll be thinking "What's super huge like? Microsoft office is super huge, that 400Mb game was super-huge..."

Then they see 40Mb and go "Oh that's OK"





2:48 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


>>But now it seem it only works on machines with Vista, which aint come out yet..

That part is not accurate. I've got the .net 1.1 and 2.0 framework running side by side on w2kpro, xp pro, xp home and w2k3 server w/o any issues. I've also go 1.0 beta and 1.1 running on win2kpro w/o issues.

Your app should run fine in these environments (framework provided of course but I think that goes w/o saying at this point).

Sticky me if you want a download tester.


6:52 pm on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

3. I always thought of java and Flash as web software. Do they handle databases with graphs?

I'd love to make it Mac friendly but my inution tells me java/flash would be any use for this - but like I say, I dunno?

Glad to see you found a solution. :) But to answer your question, both Java and Flash can run outside a web browser. Java works the same way .NET does and has been used for desktop applications for ages. Flash runs in its own player. Java can connect to a database, generate charts and other graphics, etc. Flash needs to receive data from other code, like a web service would. And both will work just fine on a Mac. Hope that helps!


8:16 am on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well it opens up new doors anyway :o) thanks

Is programmng in Java likely to be a lot more expensive than Visual Basic?

I'm figuring the Mac market could help justify that expense but not if so high I just can't afford to get it done.



8:51 am on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Interesting thread.

Just thought this might help with some decisions.

VB6 - needs you to install VB runtime, however as this is now quite a mature language (its been around ages) nearly all pcs have it installed.

VB.Net - needs the .net framework either version 1, 1.1, 2 depending on verion you are using

C# - needs the .net framework either version 1, 1.1, 2 depending on verion you are using

J# - needs the .net framework either version 1, 1.1, 2 depending on verion you are using

Java - needs the java runtime, this is a bit like the .net framework about 12 - 14 mb download I think. However this is installed on most pcs these days.

Delphi - This will compile to its own .exe file that requires no other files. The only problem with this is that as the exe file has to contain all the widgets it needs to run the exe file can be quite large. But the size of the file will depend on what you want to use.

C++ - Much the same as delphi, will compile down to own exe file.

Pascal - not sure

C - Much as C++ and delpi but it is harder to develope Graphical user interface, which puts the cost up.

If your program is in C# there is no point using VB.net as it still depends on the .net framework.

I used to feel the same way about the .net framework as you do. However I have found that if the program does something interesting / useful / different, people will go through the pain of that one time download (which I think is 22mb for the redistributatle framework).

I now develop in .net I'm not going to tell you how great it is as you didn't want that.

Please note this isn't a definitive guide of these languages capabilities they should all be able to achieve what you want with varying degrees of success, depending on your requirements. But I would say that if you are happy with the software and it does what you want stick the the framework and see what happens. I think long term it will be worth it.

[edited by: Red_Eye at 8:52 am (utc) on Aug. 24, 2006]


2:16 pm on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Over 3,000 visitors, 26 downloads, with the file weighing in at 39mb and the total downloads of zipped files, there's only the one, being 257Mb, making an average of about 10mb per download - meaning most gave up on it.

How can I stick with that?

No-one's given me any reason why it's good for the end user?

I've had some quotes now for Java. One said he could do it in some earlier edition which everyone has, another said it would only work on Win98 SE (second edition) using a later 'JVM'. Are most PC's updated to that or is that going to cause a problem?

And how popular is Mac "OS X"? Is that the standard or latest thing or what?

It does seem it would be pointless doing it in any language with .net on the end as I'd just be rewriting what I already have, with the exact same problem.



4:55 pm on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think your quotes are on the right track. They can re-write your code in an earlier version of Java which would have been available to Win98 and up. As mentioned in the excellent breakdown of languages above, most people tend to have a JVM installed, and those are backwards-compatible, so even if someone just installed Java yesterday, your application would run. So if you can find a Java coder at a price you're happy with, I'd consider that.

Mac OSX is just the latest version of the Mac operating system. It's very different from OS9 and previous versions. It's becoming standard for Mac users as newer Macs get cheaper, but I think Mac is still less than 10% of the desktop market and, depending on your industry, may not even be a factor.


12:14 pm on Aug 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I really dont understand why you are making this sound so difficult.

If you are writing and promoting an application you must have a rough idea who you are targetting it at, right? The type of user (Novice, Intermediate, IT Superuser). Age/Location, primary users (80%),seconary users (20%) etc,, etc. Then you need to make an educated guess about primary users machines/config.

Dont worry about Mac, Pre Win98, or .NET unless you need to support every user in the world and have the budget to do so. Remember unlike home users, most businesses are not early adopters with new client operating systems because of costs.

If profiling is too difficult up front ,then your log files can tell you precisely what platform the users have.

Just make a decision about the hardware/software requirements tell the programmer what platform to develop it for.


5:48 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Profiling, logs, yep, that's exactly what I did last time, and ended up with a file no-one wants to download. Even coders looking for me to pay them ask "Can't up supply a version without all the .net stuff to save me downloading it?"

I told the coder it needs to run on fairly basic machines, 98 onwards. He told me .net 2.0 would be ideal. He was wrong.

So this time I'm trying to get it right.

Coder 1 - I can do it in Delphi, only $$$$$$

Coder 2 Don't use Delphi, use C++. Much cheaper! Can I have your source code?

Coder 3 Don't use Delphi/C++, still be a large file, use Java, everyone has java, java's cool! Can I have your source code?

Coder 4 Don't use Java, it's too slow, use Visual Basic, everyone has visual basic..

Coder 5 Oh no don't use VB, that's really ancient, you need VB.net!

Me - erm, wouldn't that need .net?

Coder 5 Yes. Is that a problem?

Coder 6 I can do it in QT, it's cool and works with everything!

Me - Do you have a commercial *license* for that?

Coder 6 No, it'd be open source. Is that a problem?

Coder 7 Give me your source code and I'll give you a quote..

Coder 8 Oh you should definetely use VB, but I can do it in Java if you like, which version of Java would you prefer, or I can do it in C++. Can I have your source code?

Coder 9 You should definetly use C#. If it is already in C# I can easily transform it into Java! Java is certainly the best but you might want to consider C++, which would be better.

I've come to the conclusion that asking coders is a bit like asking a politician who I should vote for.

And which part of *IF* you get the job you get the source code, was difficult?

Java is looking the cheapest option but there seems to be a suggestion of it going open source or something, some hotly disagree but there also seems to be the view that it's slow. I also don't like having the java icon on my task bar for apparant reason (beyond advertising) when using java apps.

I'm losing interest in supporting Macintosh, so Visual Basic is looking good. I think.

Yet peeps keep saying "VB.net" which just takes me back where I started.

If I get it rebuilt for .net 1.1 and only supply the basic app, no framework, would this solve my problems? ie small download that works on most consumer PCs? Are there any problems with such a route I need to know about?



10:44 pm on Aug 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Have you tried offering the existing (.NET 2.0) version without the framework bundled with it? If you think the lack of downloads is due to the file size, that seems like the easiest route.

And I have to side with the coders you're talking to on the subject of source code. If I were going to give a quote for rewriting someone else's code, I'd need to see it first. If they've written the logic themselves, rather than using a lot of questionable built-in .NET functions, it would be an easier job. You could always ask people to sign an NDA first.


1:49 am on Aug 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Visual basic might be ancient but it will run fast, do the job, and very few machines lack VB runtimes having had them bundled in everything for the last 6 years.

Programming languages shouldn't be chosen for fashion but for end result. I've spent a lot of time writing Fortran 77 recently (standardised in 1977), purely because it's the best performing language for the job I'm undertaking.

It's not your job to be an early adopter of .net languages. Let programmers play with new toys on their own time. Are you paying them to be cool and have the latest software, or to be good and get the best result?

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35

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