How I Got Tired Of User Group Posts Like This And Answered One.
> As someone points out, this is super depressing that an experienced
> C++ developer can't afford a copy of VS.net.
You do not need Visual Studio.NET to learn and do .NET programming. You can do a lot for free.
P.S. A lot of discussion was generated from my article. You will find some of it in the comments and some in microsoft.public.dotnet.faqs (my original post was Number 9 in the “Trivial question - Visual C# .Net vs Visual Studio .Net “ thread):
I will simply reiterate here that the key takeaway from my article is basically a “Thank you!“ -- firstly to Microsoft for “giving away“ the .NET Framework SDK, with all of its tools, and secondly to everyone else in the .NET community for creating and contributing so many other free tools and samples. The .NET community has fully enabled even the poorest among us to learn and do .NET programming If you can afford a modestly capable computer running either Windows 2000 (or above) and the SDK or Linux with Mono, you can program in .NET.
No, you cannot do everything for free. Yes, you can learn .NET programming in a staggering array of languages. Yes, you can create excellent software using the .NET Framework SDK and a huge combination of free tools.