William M. Klein wrote:
> I was just wondering if any of the ".NET" fans in this forum have any
> opinions/input on this. I have my Windows XP environment set to
> "automatic updates" and this came in this week. It was a HUGE
> download; took a larger hunk of my hard-disk; and significantly
> increased my "system managed" pagefile.
> I don't know enough to know what, if anything, *I* get from this and
> just thought that someone in this forum might be able to point me to
> a summary that I would understand.
> doesn't help me, but maybe it should <G>
The full framework is around 300 MB. Normally it would not install all of
that and what it does download is highly compressed, nevertheless, it is
Automatic Updates are kind of a two edged sword. For people who are not sure
about configuring PCs it best to have it on, but as knowledge grows you may
want to filter this a bit. I have mine set to notify me when updates are
available and then I take them if they are relevant.
When you say it took a large hunk of your hard disk, you have to remember
that 200 GB hard drives are pretty much "normal" these days (I have a laptop
with more than that), so .3 GB is really not so tragic...
What does it get you?
Nothing at all if you are NOT using Windows software developed for .NET.
If you have bought any recent applications (say, in the last 2 years) they
are probably targeted at a .NET framework (read the box...). So, as a User,
there is NOT a lot of gain in installing .NET, UNLESS you have a fairly new
machine and are running fairly new applications, or intend to do so in the
near future. Software that needs it will probably install it automatically
anyway, as I did with the COBOL Structure tool. The problem then is that it
won't be up to date. Between framework releases, this doesn't really matter
too much, as your next automatic update will detect it is installed and
update it for you.
When there is a major new release (as 3.5 is...) then the updates can be
large. However, this doesn't happen every week... once a year is probably
For you, Bill, you can visualize it as a large runtime system. It provides
services and facilities that ensure improved security, less vulnerability,
improved performance, and no more abends and BSODs. Applications which run
in the framework are said to be "Managed". They CANNOT blow away your system
and crash, are properly multithreaded, and behave properly. However, the
framework can also run "Unmanaged" code (legacy and native code
implementations) and these of course, CAN misbehave. Usually, the framework
gives them what they need and then leaves them to it; it takes no
responsibility for them.
From a DEVELOPER perspective, the view is quite different. The .NET
framework provides a level playing field for components written in any
language to interact seamlessly. COBOL can talk to C#, VB can interact with
C++, and so on. Added to that you have around 70,000 fully developed and
debugged Classes that you can use. Just about anything you could want is
already there, all you have to do is connect the dots... Development is many
times quicker than with COBOL (partly for that reason) and maintenance is
But most importantly, the whole thing is MUCH more stable and it looks and
feels better than standard Windows.
Should you run with Automatic Updates enabled?
For most people, the answer would be "yes". (Most of the updates are closing
vulnerability or fixing known bugs, so you probably DO want them.) However,
if you are bothered by having resources consumed by updates you don't
understand and may have no use for, then drop it down a notch and go for
"I used to write COBOL...now I can do anything."