I read an article by Rick Strahl called “ASP.NET Gets No Respect”. Rick stated that ASP.NET offers great flexibility. He said it can be done easily. And although the framework is big, the model is clean. Usually a single machine can handle the load. You don’t need to do load balancing. People call ASP.NET both slow and insecure.

The competing technologies for ASP.NET are PHP, Python running on Apache, and LAMP. A downside to ASP.NET is that it is not free. You have to pay for Microsoft Windows. Most big sites do not use it. However some popular sites like MySpace, Dell, and CareerBuilder do.

Rick did say that you need to make a large up front investment in learning to do ASP.NET well. There was a lot of excitement when ASP.NET first came out. However it has been stagnating ever since .NET 2.0. Other areas in .NET such as WCF, WPF, and LINQ are hot now. But ASP.NET is just not a hip technology. You normally do not see startups using it. Microsoft is, however, very popular in the enterprise.

There were a lot of comments to Rick’s article. Some commented that Microsoft does provide support. But PHP is much simpler. A few people argued that they had to reboot their servers when they ran ASP.NET applications. Others complained that Visual Studio is just plain slow. There were a whole lot of other complaints, mostly about Microsoft.

Some web developers on my team use classic ASP for the web sites they run on the side. They seem pretty content. However I do see these guys having to reboot their servers sometimes when things go awry. They also get their customers to pay for the Windows Server operating system and hardware. So perhaps this is not a fair comparison. I can say that I have neither any experience with classic ASP or ASP.NET. I am really not a web developer. And for work I suspect I may have to go the Java route based on the client’s decision. I still wanted to talk about ASP.NET a little bit today though.