Microsoft makes Mono tastier

Microsoft

Here's some news to pacify (perhaps) the anti-Mono crowd: Microsoft will apply its Community Promise to the C# language and CLI execution framework. Essentially, this means that anyone can implement a C# compiler and the CLI without the threat of Microsoft jumping in and throwing patent claims around.

Miguel de Icaza's response is good reading - "I am overflowing with joy right now." Of course, Mono is more than the language and the CLI; consequently the Mono team will now split the codebase up into two parts, those which are covered by the Community Process and those which aren't.

What do you think - is this the end of Mono-bashing? Should Gnome move over entirely to C#? Or are you responding to Microsoft's moves with a deeply furrowed brow and standard dose of scepticism?

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Your comments

this is good news

I think this is really good news for Open Source. The whole .NET/Mono argument inside the Open Source community is just a misunderstanding. It's about how people want to achieve the same results with different tactics. Miguel de Icaza and the Mono crowd are no sell-outs: they want to win the battle against development barriers with .NET that was lost almost a decade ago with Win32.

Microsoft had an edge in terms of the applications ecosystem for many years over Linux and Mac, and Linux only achieved a partial victory with tools like Wine, but very minor. The whole idea of having a competing Mono stack against the closed-source Microsoft-owned .NET is that the ecosystem is a lot more open now for application providers to produce cross-platform products. Cross-platform products have been limited for many years to big companies like Adobe, producing a Windows and Mac general-purpose product, but not much more has happened in this context since Microsoft emergence and dominance over Apple.

For example, Miguel de Icaza has been blogging a lot about cross-platform gaming with Mono. People care about games and if Mono makes .NET cross-platform for game development, then Linux will be able to compete with Windows on the gaming ecosystem.

That said, Apple is not sitting on their laurels and has a tremendously powerful momentum with the iPhone SDK. I personally think that it's also why Google was forced to push Android out the door. Platform dominance in the mobile computing area is very important, because mobile computing is finally making inroads into the paid applications market to a scale that was just not there with the blackberries.

I trust Microsoft.

I trust Microsoft.

No, this is not good news

If you honestly think this will lead to cross-platform development, then you need your head checked. Since when has Microsoft had any sincere interest in cross-platform anything?

From a business perspective, Mono plays right into Microsoft's hands, even without patent threats. By using Mono, developers promote the .NET platform. .NET is intricately linked with Microsoft and Windows, and Microsoft's own business strategy with .NET shows that they never had an interest in creating a runtime for anything other than Windows.

The moment .NET reaches critical momentum, Microsoft will simply extend the .NET platform with proprietary technologies and force Mono into obscurity, creating a mass migration of (mostly server-based) .NET software onto Windows.

It looks to me like a classic trojan horse. And Miguel de Icaza is a tool.

Fork

I'm glad the decision has been made to split the codebase into EMCA and then everything else. Those who wish to stick to the specs have the choice and can avoid extensions.

FUD

Anything useful in Mono will *not* be covered by this, GJ Microsoft.

No complete changeover

No complete changeover please, but it is good news

So... what does this mean?

So, we get the CLI and C#, but not ASP.NET, ADO.NET, WinForms or any other libraries/extensions?

What can I do with just C# and the CLI? If I don't use ADO.NET, how do I connect to a database? If I don't use ASP.NET, how do I run a web server based on Mono? If I don't use WinForms, where is my GUI portion (GTK#?)?

I'm waiting till I hear a legal opinion

While it does seem like good news for the mono people, I'm still going to wait till I hear from someone with a legal backing. It's always best to be sure that there aren't any gotchas.

Cunning Ploy

Just a cunning ploy to make us use microsoft stuff and make sure that cool linux apps can be ported to Window$

This does make the use of mono with Gnome and Linux 100% safe

Most people just don't seem to get this. While yes, this doesn't cover everything. This does cover gnome and Linux parts of mono.

Using Tomboy as an example (Cause everyone is talking about it). Tomboy does not use ASP.net or Winforms or any extras besides basic C# and GTK#. Because of this new statement by MS, there is no legal reason not to included it in a Distribution. (Not saying you can't still argue over personal preference. I'm fine with those arguments.)

I'm not saying that Microsoft's .net platform is completely free, and that there are still not problems with using mono for development when using things not covered by this statement. But as far as Linux and gnome are concerned, we're 100% free to do what we want. Plus any additional libraries that mono makes out side the .net implementation, are completely 100% free now.

Credit should go where credit is due

I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy, but credit should go where credit is due. The fact that so many people want to use .NET technologies means that they aren't all bad, and if it were anybody else we would be applauding them for their contribution to the open source world.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has tried to appeal to the open source community. Remember the once expensive and now free Visual studio tools? I think Microsoft knows its loosing the key 20 something college graduate market and this is just another attempt to make Microsoft attractive for new coders. If they like it on Linux, maybe they can like it on Windows too.

This doesn't mean we are all buddies now, but if we turn our noses up at this olive branch, they may not offer another.

I hate to append an already posted comment but....

If you are using Mono now and think anybody is a tool who approves of this deal is a tool then you are a tool as well. If you think the stuff is so great then go use it on Windows, otherwise use the free and open source stuff and keep your mouth shut. You only want it when it seems to hurt Microsoft. In my opinion there is no room for fundamentalist on either side of the fence. If you don't like Microsoft then you should have stayed away from Mono to begin with.

Anybody That Supports Mono Is A Blind Fool!

When MS-DOS first appeared Microsoft practically gave it away for free.

When Windows first appeared Microsoft practically gave it away for free.

When Microsoft realised the value of the Internet they bought a web browser, ruined it and gave it away for free and bundled it with their OS.

When multimedia took off Microsoft built MediaPlayer, gave it away for free and bundled it with their OS.

When virtualisation began to fly Microsoft gave Virtual PC 2004 SP1 away for free.

When Linux threatened to dominate the netbook market and all the Asian OEMs were pledging their allegiance to Linux Microsoft practically gave Windows XP away for free. Most netbooks are now sold with Windows XP.

This is no different. Microsoft are doing the minimum they need to do to keep developers and end users interested in the Microsoft Windows platform.

If Windows doesn't turn a profit, the good ship Microsoft sinks into the murky depths of the Redmond Sea. Using Mono only helps Microsoft stave off the inevitable fate that awaits all technology giants.

Hang on...

"Microsoft are doing the minimum they need to do to keep developers and end users interested in the Microsoft Windows platform."

As stated one doesn't need to develop on a Windows platform? The target platform is irrelevant.

This is a specification at the end of the day, just as (say) STL defines a library for C++. Could SGI turn around and start patent threats? I doubt it! With an official mono.split(), a developer can be as idealistic as they like, just using the specification with some free (as in speech) libraries and framework thrown in for good measure.

mono may be one-to-one compatible with the .Net framework but nobody is forced to use it yet if one does, it's only a small jump to cross-platform glory. Choice is good and this is a positive move to prove how open the specification is.

I'd like to think that as C# and the CLI are ECMA and ISO standard, it is beyond the control of Microsoft and anyone can truly do as they please. That's what a specification is, right? I really doubt Microsoft would put a ban hammer on the use of the language specification!

Great! But Vala for me.

I like something that's efficient, without controversies, and has little requirements (in this case, it uses standard C libs - no need to install a vm and etc. Just great!)

Is there any reason to trust M$?

I'm just a user and mono is completely off my installation until all this becomes clear. Maybe I'm wrong, but is there any reason to trust any thing that M$ says? Really. Look back and think about it.

Look Ahead!

I'm fairly new to Linux and don't fully understand the mono debate but have done extensive reading on the history of Microsoft. I fail to understand why people believe that MS would do anything that would be beneficial to Linux in the long run.It has to be a planned strategy to be detrimental to the growth of Linux.

Yeah, right...

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Microsoft's behaviour in the past shows that nobody in their right mind should trust them. Those who ignore the lessons from the past are fools and - hopefully - evolution will take care of them and their kin.

Unfortunately, until that happens, others will suffer. Before Microsofties and sympathizers are extinct - if ever - they will still cause a lot of problems for everybody else. Instrumental to their evildoing are the naïve, the misinformed, the stupid, those of bad faith, and such.

Among those Microsoft servants I count De Icaza - which I loathe and despise as a lowly traitor - and the Mono supporters, advocates, defenders, and their like. You guys, at Linux Format, seem to also have your own: Paul Hudson.

To those with a little bit of common sense left: please don't let your guard down. The Evil Empire's bag of tricks has no bottom, and we must do our best to prevent Microsoft and its "partners" from sneaking into our freedom and breaking it from the inside.

I still won't use Mono

I don't like the M$. Neither I believe it.

What it is, what it isn't..

My experience with M$, isn't any better. I am stuck with Windows for some of my requirements. However they are becoming fewer - Somewhat.

As to Trusting M$.. WHY? I mean really, they have stuck so many in the back while shaking their hand not a minute earlier.

I use MS Windows. Not so much that I want to, but because it is stuck in everything. Hell even peoples phones have it in them now. NOT mine! ever!

I simply do not believe any good or even "good" can really come from M$. And I fully believe that anyone suggesting otherwise .. must work for them still.

What would you say to AT&T/Unix? vs MicroSoft/anycompanytheyscrewedortriedto?

The spawning of several *nix variations that all have some interportability one way or another, regardless of platform vs The SPAWN consuming everything it can with no regard for those that get in their way or other, regardless of IT'S platform?

I think there could be some spinoffs. Good? That will remain to be seen.
For all the good that could happen, the only "good" will favor M$.

They are NOT Open Source friendly. Ever try getting a simple driver for what is obsolete hardware? Hell.. even for running on their own Windows platform?

ok..consider: have you looked at the X-box? ANY hardware that "came with MS support"?How about their software; their own OS?!

I would rather help the large car companies.

Even for M$'s _OWN_ technologies.. Oh never mind. They didn't really own them to begin with. And for some, were abandoned once they had the "rights".
THAT should be WRONG.

I almost forgot...

This is just a short point to ponder..

Where I forgotten to mention Ethics;
Who believes that M$ HAS them?

No really.

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