.NET 4 is on the horizon

As you probably know, OCTGN 2 is built upon the .NET framework from Microsoft. We are using the latest version, which is 3.5 SP1.

Right now there are a lot of discussions about .NET 4.0, which should be in beta soon and released at the end of this year, or maybe early next year.

Of course, this is very interesting for me, as I keep looking for stuff that may help me build OCTGN faster or add cool features. To be honest, so far I’ve seen lots of very interesting additions to the framework, but none that seems compelling enough to upgrade.

Currently there’s only one thing, which makes me want to use the 4.0 release when it’s out: I think Microsoft totally messed up their version numbers since 3.0. Every two weeks someone asks (either in the forum, the bug tracker, by PM or on this blog) why they can’t install OCTGN. And it always comes down to the same problem: you have .NET but not the *3.5 SP1* release (and it’s a mess to actually find out what version exactly you have installed). So being able to say “Requires .NET 4.0” seems very appealing to me.

No worry, the .NET 4.0 release is still relatively far away. I won’t upgrade OCTGN before the final release, because I don’t want you to install a beta .NET framework. Right now I’m not even 100% sure I will upgrade at all.

How do you feel about it? Do you mind installing the .NET 4.0 release when it’s out?

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7 Comments on “.NET 4 is on the horizon”

  1. pyyhttu Says:

    As long as .NET 4.0. is backwards compatible and stable, it really doesn’t matter as the installation of the framework is pretty straight forward already, even for the Average Joe.

  2. jclsvvecvw Says:

    I would be slightly bothered to download a new .net framework.

    However, just as you’ve already said, the most important thing about this is to enable more people to have less problems. When I try to get friends to play octgn I have to hand-guide them to install a million different separate pieces, and having .net SP or whatever add to the mix is one more trouble to worry about.

    The important thing to realize is this: People who use your software now have already managed to go through all the installation loopholes – ergo, one more will not be an issue; the users who have not been successful in using this program for various reasons will have something less to worry about, and the software’s reputation and userbase will only grow because of it.

  3. Indy Says:

    I’ve always viewed the .NET framework similarly to OS service packs or DirectX upgrades. Sooner or later you’re going to upgrade anyway (with a new PC, or because another app requires the latest version). Although I’m sure it happens, I’ve never had a .NET upgrade break an app built on an older version. I would not be hesitant to upgrade to 4.0.

  4. Kempeth Says:

    Well, there’s no guarantee that .NET 4.0 won’t have a similar problem like 3.5 and you would just end up saying .NET 4 SP1 instead…

    Not upgrading would also give Mono the opportunity to catch up with what is necessary to run OCTGN 2.

    Sure people will “have” to install .NET 4 sooner or later but that’s not the issue. As long as you don’t really need something from .NET 4, I’d welcome OCTGN staying with 3.5.

  5. jods Says:

    Thanks for your comments!

    @Indy:
    regarding compatibility: .NET 1.x, the .NET 2 family (which is 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, 3.5 SP1) and .NET 4.0 can be installed and ran side-by-side. That is to say, if an application is broken on .NET 4, you could still run it on 2.0 if you have it installed.

    @Kempeth:
    I hope that starting on a clean number again with 4.0 they won’t do the same mistakes they did (I’m not making it up, “.NET 3.5 SP1 GDR” does exist). Anyway as long as I stay on the 4.0 I can say “requires .NET 4.0” and hopefully prevent people from asking me why it won’t install altough they *do* have .NET 3.0 or even 3.5 😦

    Regarding Mono, as much as I’d love to run O2 “natively” on Linux and Macs I quote their page regarding WPF:
    “At this point, the Mono project does not have plans to implement Windows Presentation Foundation APIs as part of the project.”
    So currently it’s not really worth waiting on them. (Sometimes I wonder how difficult it would be to create a Silverlight Octgn2 client…)

    Final word: don’t be too worried about this post, nothing is changing in the near feature.

  6. johan Says:

    I have not tried the program yet but I just started looking into it. I noticed you mentioned not much going on with .NET 4. I believe it has support for multi touch screens. You might want to look into that. A while back when multi touch was new I envisioned a large multi touch capable screen where up to 4 players (more?) could play. The screen would allow touch commands to perform and action needed, and one could use makeshift card blockers so your opponents could not see your hand etc. This idea has been in my head for quite some time. Think about it. I realize this would be a costly endeavor for most people purchasing a table top multi touch screen… right now. Mostly I wanted to mention this so you would consider it far far off in the future when these types of monitors are more commonplace.

  7. jods Says:

    Don’t misunderstand me, there is actually a lot of good stuff coming with .NET 4. But there seems to be little, that is very relevant for OCTGN.

    Indeed support for multi touch screens is one of the big deal in WPF 4.

    I think it would be cool to have touch support in OCTGN, but as long as I don’t have such a screen it’s not going to happen. (Hint: I’m not going to buy one any time soon.)


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