VSJ – Feb 2003 – Sounding Board

Michael D. Mitchell saw John Ellis’ comments on the missing PWS mystery and says:

I was shocked to discover, on reading John Ellis’ article in the November issue of Visual Systems Journal, that XP no longer supports PWS. I recently installed it on my Win98SE PC in order to experiment with some Active Server Pages development, having used PWS and IIS many times in the past few years. But my suggestion to John would be, ‘Don’t play their game!’ The ‘their’ being Microsoft, of course. I am fed up with how this company treats us in such a cavalier fashion and just shrugs its shoulders when small fry like me dare to complain. But all the while we just moan into our beer and go along with what they serve up to us, well, they’ve won, haven’t they?
To anyone contemplating an upgrade to XP – Home or Pro – I say, ‘Have you asked yourself the searching question, why do you think you need it?’ Many consumers just upgrade because, well, they have done it so often in the past that it’s become second nature like brushing one’s teeth in the morning. PWS is ideal for testing out ASP before uploading a suite of pages to a hosting service. If that is what John really needs, along with classic Visual Basic and not the abortion they are desperately trying to push on us, then I would either stick with Windows 98SE or perhaps consider Windows NT 4.0 or 2000. But let Microsoft beat me? No way!
Meanwhile, John himself offers a solution:
A light has appeared at the end of the tunnel!
‘Web Matrix Editor’ is a simple package that is only 1.1 MB big, although you do need the .NET framework and that’s quite bulky. But it is free, and it will run in only 128MB of memory.
The package contains three main components:

  • A Class Browser that lists all of the classes in the Base Class Library, including their methods, properties and events.
  • The Web Matrix Editor, a visual editor that allows you to build ASP.NET applications using familiar drag-and-drop techniques.
  • A lightweight Web server for testing your Web applications (that’s the bit we want).

Why Microsoft could not have done this themselves I do not know but at least we can continue to develop on our laptops and those who are learning to develop Web sites have a cheaper alternative to IIS. You can download the ASP.NET Web Matrix from www.asp.net.
John Ellis FIAP
[Something you’d like to get off your chest? Email me (Robin Jones) at eo@iap.org.uk.]
f m8� o ��+�*ms was the potential inconvenience to end-users. People were simply not prepared to tolerate such high levels of “policing” and the subsequent inconvenience. Microsoft appears to have struck a fair balance between protecting its interests and the needs of the end-user. I believe PA will become a fact of life in Microsoft products and I am sure it will not be long before other software vendors follow with similar methodologies.
As for the take-up of Windows XP, I can’t see there being a significant reduction in the number of copies being sold owing to the incorporation of PA once people understand the mechanism behind it. Let’s face it, sooner or later, most personal computer users will be using it, whether they like it or not.
Interesting project or development? Let us know at eo@iap.org.uk!

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