Smallestdotnet sizes down .NET 3.5 install

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Smallestdotnet sizes down .NET 3.5 install

Developer ‘confusion’ over the download size of the .NET 3.5 framework service pack one has led to the creation of a free online tool and new client profile configuration option.

Issues were first raised in a blog post back in August, which claimed the size of the framework had grown by approximately 17 percent between the version released to manufacturing and the release of the first service pack.

“The framework is huge and it's only getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” said blogger and Windows installer consultant, Christopher Painter.

Senior program manager, development division at Microsoft, Scott Hanselman, puts the perception of growth in the code base down to a ‘misunderstanding’ of the install options that are available.

“Surprisingly a lot of developers think the framework is bigger than it is,” Hanselman told iTNews.

“A lot of people think there’s a single big green button [they can press] to get .NET.”

To stem the ‘confusion’ – and help bridge the gap until the client profile configuration option in .NET 3.5 SP1 is released – Hanselman created Smallestdotnet, a quick tool that will show you ‘smallest, easiest download you'd need to get the .NET Framework on your system’.

According to Hanselman, the site is able to figure out what version (if any) of the .NET Framework you have (or don't have) installed, then calculates the total download size if you were to choose to install the .NET Framework.

“I’m just trying to build awareness and get people to understand that the .NET framework is around 60 MB download, depending on your system,” explained Hanselman.

The Smallestdotnet web site is achieving a ‘couple of thousand’ hits per day, he said.

The 230 MB-plus sizes quoted in earlier blog posts are offline installation options. These contain the whole .NET framework for all possible platforms, including x86, x64 and ia64, according to a post on Hanselman’s blog.

In reality, the installation can be customised based on the specific needs of the customer’s environment, although Hanselman admitted that before Smallestdotnet, you might have to ‘read the fine print and scroll down’ to work out the best option.

“The download pages on have a lot of detail,” he said.

Hanselman said the new client profile configuration option in .NET 3.5 SP1 would also help developers and IT professionals find the right installation option.

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