NET2Java: Extreme Makeovers for .NET Applications !

My secret agenda is to translate every .NET program on the planet into a Java program. So I'm announcing early access to NET2Java: a new technology for translating .NET applications into Java applications that behave the same way. It translates .NET source code into Java source code.

I've blogged before about the need for this, as has Charles. So for now I'll just tell you a few highlights:

NET2Java translates applications written either in Visual Basic or in C#, 2003 or 2005 editions.
Ya, that much source code.
NET2Java creates readable Java source code; e.g. it preserves class names, method names and code comments.
Because your applications don't stand still, they will evolve.
NET2Java uses the NET2Java Library to translate .NET API calls into Java Platform API calls.
Because .NET programs usually make lots of .NET platform API calls.
NET2Java doesn't sweat it when it encounters an unknown API call: it flags it for later and keeps on translating.
Because many of your .NET applications use custom components that I've never heard of.
NET2Java includes the NET2Java NetBeans Plugin to let you 'import' a .NET project into a NetBeans project.
Because I \*heart\* NetBeans.
NET2Java includes some homemade .NET samples for you to try translating.
Because the best way to understand it is to try it.
I've filled the NET2Java Library with enough translations to translate the samples, and a little more.
Because I haven't had time to fill up the NET2Java Library myself.
The NET2Java Library Editor makes it super easy to add translations to the NET2Java Library.
Because I want to make it easy for us to team together to fill up the NET2Java Library with a translation for every .NET API call.
I've had a lot of fun creating NET2Java.
And I think you might have fun too.
If you're interested in NET2Java, come help !
Because together we can translate all the .NET applications.

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I like the idea. Reminds me of Mainsoft's Grasshopper, though they translate from MSIL to JVML, which is probably more useful in conjuction with proprietary third party libraries. One of my fun little side projects I try every now and then is to take the current dotGNU runtime, and try to cross-compile it using suitable tools to Java bytecode, in order to run a MSIL VM on a JVM. The VM does not work yet, though, but ilasm, etc. do, funny enough. cheers, dalibor topic

Posted by Dalibor Topic on May 08, 2006 at 06:36 AM PDT #

I don't have netbeans, and I'm not about to try and figure it out again, but can you see how it works against something like this:

I'd love to know how it fares against that. I \*love\* Java and I'd love to get away from .net wherever possible, but I'm not going to install netbeans to try it out. :( cmdline please.

Personally I'm not at all interested in VB code migration. Those who choose to implement in VB usually have strong misgivings against C# or Java. And I'm not at all interested in the System.Forms.\* stuff either. I don't know how the rest of your userbase feels but you should probably send out a questionaire or have something on the download page asking which features are important and unimportant to people. You may find that you needn't really work on feature X because no one needs/wants that functionality.

Just my thoughts.

Posted by jeremiah johnson on May 08, 2006 at 08:22 PM PDT #

Hmm...I would be an intersting experiement to try to get Paint.NET being an entirely pure Java application. I think it is open source the code IIRC. I will find out.

Posted by Surya on May 09, 2006 at 03:27 AM PDT #

Also regarding the comment before mine, why wont you install Netbeans? Have you tried Netbeans 5.5 or even 6 lately? Quite stunning IMHO. Maybe not as production ready as is the JDeveloper latest release from Oracle but a lot cloer especially when coupled with the Enterprise Pack (hopefully out soon as a beta!)

Posted by Surya on May 09, 2006 at 03:31 AM PDT #

I've tried every version of Netbeans for the past two years, and I just don't like the look and feel enough to keep it launched for more than a few seconds. Have you guys ever thought of turning on font smoothing by default? My IDE of choice is Eclipse, probably because I've been using it so long.

Most people I know who try to sell me on Netbeans rattle off all these features that they think Eclipse doesn't have, but that Eclipse actually does have. You Sun people know more about Netbeans than anyone I know, so I'm sure you guys can give me lots of features that don't exist in Eclipse, but because I don't use J2EE, I don't need most (if any) of those features.

Eclipse works /perfectly/ for me. I'm not going to change anytime soon.

Posted by jeremiah johnson on May 09, 2006 at 01:18 PM PDT #

Yeah I see what you are saying. Netbeans is useful for JEE and Swing development. I used to use it religiously till a few days ago when I started using Oracle JDeveloper. Now that is one hard core IDE!

Posted by Surya on May 09, 2006 at 05:38 PM PDT #

Whether and there will be a continuation of the project

Posted by guest on October 12, 2006 at 11:05 PM PDT #

I hope this project grow!... Good luck, i'll try it as soon i get home.

Posted by Ironic on April 03, 2007 at 02:57 AM PDT #

sir , we have VB code with us we r unable to convert them in to java .please help us sir. Expecting a favourable reply from you. thank you.

Posted by vinay kumar on April 26, 2007 at 06:46 PM PDT #

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