Well, it's official, the Beta 1 of ASP+ has been released. (Or should we say the Beta 1 for ASP.NET has been released. Microsoft has officially renamed ASP+ to ASP.NET and has setup a site dedicated to providing ASP.NET information: http://www.asp.net.
On the evening of November 12th, Scott Guthrie (ASP.NET lead programmer) sent out the following email to the ASPNG Curious ListServ @ ASPLists.com:
I'm pleased to announce that Bill Gates -- in his keynote speech at COMDEX tonight a few moments ago -- just announced that Beta1 of the .NET Framework SDK, ASP.NET and Visual Studio.NET are now available for public download. This marks a key milestone in our march to establish the new .NET Platform.
You can now download and install the .NET Framework SDK (including ASP.NET) from http://msdn.microsoft.com/net. MSDN Universal Subscribers can also download Visual Studio.NET from the Universal Subscriber Downloads section as well.
For those of you with limited bandwidth, you can order CDs of the betas to be sent to you (for a minor charge to cover shipping) from the below URLs:
.NET Framework SDK CD:
Visual Studio.NET CD:
We have deliberately focused on quality with this release, rather than make it a date driven event. I know a number of people have found the time delay from the Preview Release frustrating -- but we think it will be worth the wait. Our goal with Beta1 is to ensure that we "enable the development experience with the platform" -- meaning that there should be nothing stopping developers from developing great .NET applications.
Please make sure you completely uninstall the preview release (by running the uninstall program that it shipped with) before installing beta1. As with all betas, there are standard caveats with installing on systems with existing betas (the standard line with beta software is that you should clean the machine before upgrading). However, we believe that you should be able to upgrade simply by uninstalling the preview sdk and installing the beta1 sdk.
Important Note: those users who have the preview edition of the visual studio.net IDE (ie: those who went to the PDC) should definitely consider reinstalling their system (I've seen a few firsthand upgrade scenarios where the debugger stops working, etc).
ASP+ to ASP.NET Name Change:
One of the first things you'll notice when installing the beta1 bits is that ASP+ is no longer called ASP+. Instead, we've made a slight name change with Beta1 -- to ASP.NET instead. Ultimately we felt that this name more tightly linked the product to the overall .NET Framework. It doesn't imply any technical direction change -- just a marketing thing.
ASP.NET Web Site:
When making the name change, we also took the opportunity to acquire the http://www.asp.net URL (just type "asp.net" in your address bar in IE to get there). Our goal is to use the site as a central place that we can point new users interested in downloading the bits and obtaining pointers to more about the product -- specifically containing pointers to all of the ASP.NET community sites as well as published books and magazines. Our goal with the site is to drive additional traffic towards the great ASP.NET content centers out there today. Our plan will be to go live with the site Monday or Tuesday (November 13th or 14th). Start pointing your friends to it to get started with the product.
ASP.NET Beta1 Platform Support:
ASP.NET Beta1 will now work on both NT4 (with IIS4) and Win2k (with IIS5). Note that our testing in the Beta1 timeframe has been more rigorous on Win2k than NT4 (this will be fixed for beta2 and RTM) -- so the "best" OS to run ASP.NET on in Beta1 will still be Win2k. However, those of you who previously couldn't play with ASP.NET because it only ran on Win2k no longer have an excuse. ;-)
Note that the client pieces of the .NET Framework (WinForms, Data, XML, etc) will also work on Win98, WinME, NT4 and Win2k (as will Visual Studio.NET).
Updated QuickStarts and Sample Applications:
In addition, we will also have a "Intranet Portal" sample available soon. We'll send out pointers to it shortly. We think you will be very impressed with it (it is going to be *really* cool).
Although we fixed about every bug we knew about with Beta1 -- there was one that we were unable to "safely fix" in the Beta1 timeframe. This is the application unloading bug that also existed in the PDC release, and results in a memory leak every time a web application is reset (ie: a file is changed in the
global.asaxis updated, or a config file is modified on a running application). Note that this bug does not effect running applications in production (you only run into it when actively making changes to an application).
We have just checked in the fix to the Beta2 tree -- however, we deemed the resolution too big a change to attempt for beta1 (we want a few weeks coverage on it before we declared it fully resolved). As a result, for Beta1 you will probably see the memory usage of the xspwp.exe process being higher than expected as a result. Note that the ASP.NET process model in Beta1 will automatically detect and recover from this leak once the process grows beyond 40% of the total virtual memory size of the system -- so hopefully most users will remain somewhat oblivious to the issue. However, I just wanted to give people a heads up in case you were wondering why the product seemed a bit memory hungry.
Thank you for all your support and patience! We think this release marks an important milestone. We hope you find it does too. :-)
Well, there you have it! To learn more about ASP.NET, be sure to check out the ASP.NET Article Index!