Chapter 5. Choosing Between .NET Framework and .NET Core

I first got my hands on the .NET Framework in July 2000. Some colleagues went to Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) and came back with the just-announced technical-preview bits. The installation bricked my laptop, but I wasn’t deterred. Thus began a long love affair with one of the most powerful software frameworks ever built. But now things are changing, thanks to .NET Core. Should you still use the .NET Framework for new apps? How about when modernizing them? In this chapter, we dig into those questions.

A Bit of History Regarding the .NET Framework

Travel back with me to the year 1998. Were you building software with Microsoft technologies? First, you could build apps or components with C/C++ and use big Windows-centric pieces like Microsoft Foundation Class Library (MFC) and the Component Object Model (COM). Another option was Visual Basic. Here, you sacrificed low-level control in exchange for a very simple way to build data-driven apps with a nice graphical user interface. Or, you might have started your web development career building Active Server Pages (ASP) with gobs of server-side scripting.

The .NET Framework changed the game. Microsoft introduced the Common Language Runtime (CLR). This application virtual machine executed code compiled down to an Intermediate Language (IL) and offered capabilities like thread management, garbage collection, memory management, and more. Any app written for ...

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