Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 21:48 UTC
Editorial Politicians. They are a certain type of people. I do not like them. Many do not like them. I think if there's one thing all of man has in common, whether he be Christian or Muslim, black or white, young or old, American or European, is a dislike of politicians. But then-- why on earth do we allow politics to complicate software? Note: Sunday Eve Column.
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Politics are good, when done the right way.
by Nathan on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:10 UTC
Nathan
Member since:
2006-01-10

You may not directly care as a user, but indirectly you do. GNOME and many other projects were founded on the ideals of Free Software. It is important that these ideals be upheld, not just for idealistic reasons but to guarantee the GNOME desktop is always available to you.

What's the biggest thing Linux users complain about - hardware support right? And we all know what the problem is there. Free Software "politics" doesn't seem so silly now does it.

That said, the argument for Mono at its core is about the IP bogeyman: is Mono truely Free? Or as some would argue, could Microsoft knock over the Mono playset whenever they feel like it?

To me, its obvious that Mono is Free; its a clone/implementation of C# and the .NET libraries - Which in itself is virtually a clone of Java with a mixin of a few miscellaneous features from other languages.

Edited 2006-07-23 22:13

Reply Score: 5

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

You may not directly care as a user, but indirectly you do. GNOME and many other projects were founded on the ideals of Free Software. It is important that these ideals be upheld, not just for idealistic reasons but to guarantee the GNOME desktop is always available to you.

What's the biggest thing Linux users complain about - hardware support right? And we all know what the problem is there. Free Software "politics" doesn't seem so silly now does it.

That said, the argument for Mono at its core is about the IP bogeyman: is Mono truely Free? Or as some would argue, could Microsoft knock over the Mono playset whenever they feel like it?

To me, its obvious that Mono is Free; its a clone/implementation of C# and the .NET libraries - Which in itself is virtually a clone of Java with a mixin of a few miscellaneous features from other languages.


See, that's the issue I have. GNOME is supposed to epitomize the ideals of free software, it is after all the official GNU/Linux desktop.

But the problem is that GNOME is dependent upon the largesse of a number of commercial organizations all with different agendas, and I think this has come to a boil with Novell's self-declared positon of the community's best friend.

Mono is Free in concept; in reality it is owned by Novell, and in fact you have to assign copyrights to Novell if you wish to contribute to the project, because Novell reserves the right to allow organizations to waive L/GPL license requirements. For a fee, Novell will waive the license requirements and allow others to use mono in a closed manner.

That last reason alone I think is enough to keep mono from being part of the GNOME core, if only for philosophical reasons. LGPL is one thing, but to have the community endorse and grow a framework that Novell holds proprietary rights to commercially license without a return to the community is hypocritical considering GNOME's original existence was simply a response to Trolltech's ownership of Qt.

As for the patent IP issues, they exist, they're even mentioned on the mono project FAQ. MS owns patents on certain components of .Net, and the only way around it is to create non-infringing implementations, or to just avoid using those components altogether.

Reply Score: 4

IgorKH Member since:
2005-07-13

Interestigly, GNOME is getting itself in the same position it accused KDE of being in when the project started.

Just as KDE was free, but not enough due to the depedency on commercial-company-controled-with-a-dubious-open-source-license Qt, now GNOME is begining to depend on Mono which is (as "elsewhere" pointed) controlled by commercial companies, and is free, but no enough.

Reply Score: 5

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

QT was not a dubious free license at the time, it just wasn't a free license.

Reply Score: 5

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Not sure about the timing, but wasn't Qt available under the Qpl? which isn't that bad a lincense, it's GPL compattible.

Reply Score: 3

borker Member since:
2006-04-04

GNOME is supposed to epitomize the ideals of free software, it is after all the official GNU/Linux desktop

where is this written exactly?

Reply Score: 4

borker Member since:
2006-04-04

So, its part of GNU, but GNU is not unix as the saying goes and linux is not GNU, so its not the offical desktop of GNU/Linux at all, just of GNU.

On the linux side, that project's "owner" seems to have a different take on the preffered desktop.

Reply Score: 2

Just a thought
by The Baron on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:22 UTC
The Baron
Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom, maybe you should have a separate icon for your Sunday Eve opinion piece.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Just a thought
by DigitalAxis on Mon 24th Jul 2006 01:12 UTC in reply to "Just a thought"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

On a similar line, will we ever see the Windows/Explorer rant from your series of "What I hate about X"? I, at least, found those interesting.

Reply Score: 1

What?
by kernelpanicked on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:25 UTC
kernelpanicked
Member since:
2006-02-01

"What is GNOME without F-Spot? Without Banshee? Without iFolder? And, most importantly, without Beagle?"

Now admittedly I'm not a GNOME user in general. I have one box that runs it. This is mostly because of the 20+ computers I have maybe three of them have enough proc/ram to actually run a full on DE. Anyway, of the programs you mentioned, I've found that F-spot, Banshee, and iFolder are pretty much useless and beagle spends most of it's time broken and not functioning properly, so it might as well be useless. I guess my answer to "What is GNOME without these?" is "useable".

Reply Score: 5

RE: What?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:27 UTC in reply to "What?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Forget your own needs, and look at normal users. They need decent photo management, decent music app, and decent instant search (and no, Beagle is not as broken anymore as it used to be).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What?
by Jamie on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE: What?"
Jamie Member since:
2005-07-06

Photo Management - okay yeah Fspot rocks there (Gthumb is a poor alternative in comparison)

Decent Music app - Whats wrong with Rhythmbox?

Decent Instant Search - well we have Tracker (and its a lot more instant, efficient and powerful but does not index as much yet but that will change shortly)

So its not a" Mono or Bust" situation in Gnome.

FWIW, sensible mono apps should probably be blessed but it does not change anything as distro's make their own rules - you could argue thats its irrelevant in the grand scheme of things

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: What?
by aent on Mon 24th Jul 2006 07:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What?"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

Decent Instant Search - well we have Tracker (and its a lot more instant, efficient and powerful but does not index as much yet but that will change shortly)
You know why Tracker is a lot more instant and "efficient"? Because IT DOES NOTHING yet. It loads NO filters, no libraries, nothing necessary to index files. It indexes filenames, you know, like LOCATE. Thats pretty worthless to most people and is not a next generation desktop search.

When Tracker starts loading up a shitload of plugs, an IM log parser for gaim, gstreamer and all of its plugins for extracting metadata out of music files, a filter to index HTML files, office files, calendars, application desktop files, help, etc... its going to use A LOT MORE RESOURCES and not be so INSTANT when the database goes from having only a couple items in it to having probably well over 10000x the number of items in it and a lot more libraries. Guess what, thats what Beagle currently does, its a little bit slower, yeah, but it does everything right now, already. You're not going to see it get any bigger, it only has optimizations to be done. Tracker has a lot of plugins, libraries, and other resource intensive tasks and problems that it does not yet account for, and until it does, don't try to compare it to Beagle, especially for resource usage.

You really are doing the equivalent of comparing bash to X11... bash doesn't do much with graphics... maybe a couple colors for backgrounds and text and stuff, but it doesn't do anything real with graphics. X11 is drawing windows, displaying a full GUI, and maybe even running OpenGL games. Would it be fair to compare the resource usage and memory usage of bash to X11? Just about as fair as it is to compare tracker (currently a filename search index) to beagle (something that searches every little bit of information that we have on our computer).

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: What?
by Jamie on Mon 24th Jul 2006 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What?"
Jamie Member since:
2005-07-06

You know why Tracker is a lot more instant and "efficient"? Because IT DOES NOTHING yet. It loads NO filters, no libraries, nothing necessary to index files. It indexes filenames, you know, like LOCATE. Thats pretty worthless to most people and is not a next generation desktop search.


Tracker fully indexes all files (text contents + metadata).

+ it does way more with a full persistense engine, extensible metadata and tags - its technical superior to any dedicated indexer.

Tracker use libextractor to get at embedded metadata.

Please try it out before mindlessly bashing it. Oh Tracker is more efficient because its written in C and uses highly optimised engine (embedded mysql also in C/C++).

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: What?
by aent on Tue 25th Jul 2006 02:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What?"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

I did try it out a couple weeks. It didn't index my Microsoft Word files, my music files, or instant message logs, my applications, or anything else that I actively really use it for. It did index text files and there contents...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What?
by snowbender on Mon 24th Jul 2006 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What?"
snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

Photo Management - okay yeah Fspot rocks there (Gthumb is a poor alternative in comparison)

I never understood this. For my personal usage, I think Gthumb is superior to F-spot. Maybe I'm old-skool or something, but I really didn't like F-spot and I'm just talking about the program itself. I found it hard to use.

I don't like the current Mono implementation, but my comment on F-spot is without taking that into account.

I don't understand why everybody is so crazy about Banshee and F-spot.... Those apps do have great-looking websites though, and they also get a lot more press attention than other applications with the same functionality. But what does Banshee offer that for example Rhythmbox, gnome Listen and Quodlibet do not offer?

And what does F-spot offer that Gthumb doesn't? Or even GQview?

The Banshee, F-spot and Beagle apps seem to have some kind of coolness or flashy factor... maybe it has to do with some sort of advertising?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: What?
by the_thunderbird on Mon 24th Jul 2006 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What?"
the_thunderbird Member since:
2005-08-19

Personally I don't like F-Spot, I think it doesn't hold a candle to Picasa from google.

There are a lot of applications written in different languages, personally I think gnome have the right idea in keeping gnome in C due to language portability... It means that you can have direct ports to languages. Moving to a .net based platform will alienate Java developers (I prefer java to C#) as an example.

Reply Score: 2

Politics..
by karolus on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:35 UTC
karolus
Member since:
2006-06-13

Wikipedia: "Politics is a process by which decisions are made within groups. "


we actually have a 'leader' who has the final say in the important matters: David. He, in the end, makes the final call.


Yes.. so you actualy propose to give up democracy and erect an omiscient and omnipotent leader...well people try to do this all the time:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidel_Castro
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictatorship

and well, all of them failed after some time as this "crippled" democracy is the best we have, eather in goverment or in OSS. Of course we(oss) should have somebody, who shows us the direction, but its not the elected person but rather "natural born" leader, the person whom others follow ...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Politics..
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:36 UTC in reply to "Politics.."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes.. so you actualy propose to give up democracy and erect an omiscient and omnipotent leader...

Did you even read? I said ELECTED. Do I need to spell it out?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Politics..
by karolus on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Politics.."
karolus Member since:
2006-06-13

Yes.. so you actualy propose to give up democracy and erect an omiscient and omnipotent leader...

Did you even read? I said ELECTED. Do I need to spell it out?


Yup,thats what I ment. Its just a misspeling

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Politics..
by h times nue equals e on Mon 24th Jul 2006 06:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Politics.."
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Re Thom_Holwerda : Perhaps it's me, but the two sequences

And when that day comes, they appear to care about what we think, but in reality, all the time they are debating about what we supposedly want, all they really think about is "what do I need to say to get votes?

and

GNOME has no leaders or an elected board of some sort that can take important decisions after weighing the pros and cons as discussed on d-d-l.

confused me a little bit, esp. when considered that they appear in the same article written by the same person without an odd number of negations relating the two statements.

It's early in the morning here (at least for me after coding until 2 AM ), so perhaps I'm not in the shape to grasp a subtle aspect of your article, but :

You seem to suggests to introduce a board of community leaders which does the final decissions, no problem with that. Further, you seem to have some gripes about the sideeffects of democratic political systems. But you have also stated in at least one reply I've read so far that dicatotorship is no option either (glad to read this, btw).

My question : How should a board be elected, without campagning and dragging the whole discussion once again ? Since it's without doubt a controversial topic, it would definitly dominate the discussions during the election process.

Side note : I don't know about the situation in your country, but here in Austria general elections are approaching in autum, and the signal to noise ratio is trailing pretty fast, reaching even lower levels than usually. And if your only input channels are the evening news and the political discussions featured in in mainstream media,then it can be difficult choosing a party or individual to receive your vote. If (that's only my humble opinion, mind you) more people would pay attention to the day-to-day discussions and decisions in the large time slots between elections, then perhaps it wouldn't be so easy to replace an on-topic discussion (which is more or less the case with the discussion on the GNOME list, at least that's the impression I had) with loud ramblings and oportunistic behaviour.

regards

Reply Score: 1

RE: Politics..
by raster on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:53 UTC in reply to "Politics.."
raster Member since:
2005-07-07

Just on the subject of dictators... in OSS several of them exist - and the communites surrounding those projects seem entirely happy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benevolent_Dictator_for_Life

Suddenly politics don't become as much of a problem - as there is a descision maker who is never worried about saying the right things to become elected next time. They try and make descisions for the best of the project as they have nothing to gain or lose by "pandering" or "rhetoric". Of course this only works if the dictator *IS* benevolent. And frankly - it is open to a takeover or revolution, but that won't happen as long as a dictator remains benevolent.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Politics..
by samad on Mon 24th Jul 2006 06:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Politics.."
samad Member since:
2006-03-31

I really dislike the discourse within the free software community about how there's too much politics. If there's too much politics here, why not switch to a corporate system where the only choices are "Yes" and "No?"

The reason why we have these debates is because we have a choice. We, on an individual basis, get to choose what we want to use. I think it shows a great deal of health within the free software movement that people are having dialogues about there opinions. YOu don't see that in a corporate software system.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Politics..
by Havin_it on Tue 25th Jul 2006 07:18 UTC in reply to "Politics.."
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

Excellent examples, there.

Stalin: his regime outlived him by nigh on 45 years. Third place in this list, but hardly a 'fail'.

Mao: his regime has outlived him and persists to this very day.

Castro: ...um... you do know he's still in charge, right?

Reply Score: 1

Politics are unavoidable
by rayiner on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:40 UTC
rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

Complaining about politics is a little bit like complaining about gravity. You can't just bury your head in the sand and hope it'll go away. It's a law of nature; an inevitable byproduct of human interaction. Politics exists because people have feelings, fears, preferences, prejudices, opinions, and a whole raft of other particularly human characteristics that are often related to rational principles, but are equally often independent of them. Politics are present in every human institution, and as long as GNOME is developed by humans and not robots, politics are unavoidable.

That said, even if it were possible to eliminate politics, it would not necessarily be desirable to do so. Politics, and its friend diplomacy, lubricates the interaction of people working on a common task. The very act of achieving a consensus is a political action. In a project where most of the contributors have no external force to compel them to follow a particular path of action, group consensus is the only mechanism through which progress can be made.

In the case of the Mono debate specifically, politics is serving a very important role. It is keeping many people wary of the technology, which is exactly how they should feel. .NET is not an open standard implemented among a group of peers. There is no governing architecture body, no official licensing mechanism, and no explicit patent grants. There is not even the pretense of these things, as in Sun's Java project. Microsoft controls the direction of .NET and Microsoft alone. Anyone else who implements it is prepetually stuck following Microsoft's lead, with no possibility of offering input into the design of the system which they are implementing. Offering it as a compatibility project, like WINE, Samba, etc, is one thing. Incorporating it is a first-class API in your system is something else entirely.

It is also a memory hog, not amenable to dynamic languages, and architecturally inferior, in many ways, to GNOME's current cross-language interoperation mechanism.

At the end of the day, there are lots of technical, political, and strategic reasons to dislike Mono, and it is a very good thing that people are wary of its inclusion in GNOME.

Edited 2006-07-23 22:43

Reply Score: 5

RE: Politics are unavoidable
by Daniel Borgmann on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:54 UTC in reply to "Politics are unavoidable"
Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

+1, although I don't agree with your negative outlook on Mono... There are valid concerns that deserve to be debated, but it's really unfair to repeat the "Mono has to follow Microsoft's lead" argument all over again. That's simply not true and since Mono is free software, it doesn't even matter what Novell's long-term plans are for it. If Mono is the right technology for a job, then it has to be evaluated on this basis alone. Compatibility to .NET is totally irrelevant concerning the question of Mono-inclusion for GNOME.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Politics are unavoidable
by rayiner on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Politics are unavoidable"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Mono, as a matter of practicality, must retain compatibility with .NET. That's what developers will expect, as long as Mono purports to be an implementation of .NET.

Retaining compatibility with someone else's API is one thing if that API is governed by a formal board, and there is some process for having a say in the future of the design. It's quite another thing if that API is wholly-controlled by a hostile external entity.

"The right technology for the job" is almost never a satisfactory critereon in real life. Last week, I was writing some code at work to generate a KML (Google Maps input) file from some data. "The right technology for the job" at the time was Lisp --- I'm very comfortable with that language for working with textual data and XML. What did I write it in? Matlab. Why? Because all our other data processing code is in Matlab. It was a decision that was entirely motivated by politics, at the expense of technical considerations, but most people would agree it was the right decision to make.

Reply Score: 5

Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

No, only those who actually use Mono because of its compatibility with .NET will expect this compatibility to remain. Developers of pure GNOME applications will not. If .NET compatibility has to be broken without the consent of Novell at some point, then obviously a rename (aka fork) might be in order, but that's about as bad as it can get with regards to this particular problem. Certainly that doesn't justify using it as an argument against adopting it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Politics are unavoidable
by rayiner on Mon 24th Jul 2006 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Politics are unavoidable"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

As long as C# purports to be C#, the expectation of compatiility will remain. What happens when Microsoft introduces features XXX in ECMA C# version YYY? Mono wil either mplement that feature, or remain incompatible with the "standard'. This is of course the case for any standard, but at least in other standards, there is some mechanism for community input into the evolution of the standard. There are no such provisions in C#.''

That's exactly why the Java Community Process, as limited as it is, was introduced. Nobody wants to implement a giant platform without some guarantees that they'll have some input into its design in the future. There are no such provisions in the world of .NET.

Reply Score: 5

Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

If we ever aren't satisfied with the direction C# is going, there is nobody stopping us from calling our language flavour G# instead (or switch to Boo). There simply isn't any such issue for the GNOME project. The situation with Java is completely different, since it is not free software.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Politics are unavoidable
by kernelpanicked on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:58 UTC in reply to "Politics are unavoidable"
kernelpanicked Member since:
2006-02-01

Well said and dead on accurate. You got a +1 outta me.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Politics are unavoidable
by mike hess on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:01 UTC in reply to "Politics are unavoidable"
mike hess Member since:
2005-08-22

Absolutely right Rainer.

The reason Mono is a controversial project has very little to do with being "microsoft technology", and everything to do with the legal landmines associated with using "microsoft technology".

Nobody wants to get cozy with Mono until we are absolutely sure its not going to bite us in the ass later. Especially when there are other perfectly suitable, patent-free RAD languages.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Politics are unavoidable
by butters on Mon 24th Jul 2006 03:06 UTC in reply to "Politics are unavoidable"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Politics are unavoidable, but in OSS we reduce our reliance on politics and consensus by means of a simple and effective principle: he who codes decides.

As Thom contends, users don't care how their favorite applications are developed, they just care that they work well. Developers, however, care about such things, and he who codes decides.

For the most part, at least. In the free software world, if a developer writes poor software, users and other developers will give up on it pretty quickly. There are usually myriad alternatives.

People can argue the technical merits of Mono until their fingertips are bruised and bloody, but in the end, the applications speak for themselves. Many users like applications such as F-Spot, Banshee, and Beagle. Could they be implemented in another language? Sure. But the people who coded it decided on Mono.

Because free software is free, and because there is a wide variety of distributions to choose from, the need for consensus is further reduced. However, there is one area where we do need consensus, an area where we currently have none:

In what sense is Mono currently infringing on Microsoft patents, and under which circumstances could the Mono Project be compelled to infringe Microsoft patents in order to continue to fulfill the goals of the project?

With the amount of money Novel et al is pouring into Mono, you'd think that they'd have smart people working on this, ones who won't give the IANAL response. You'd also think they'd share these conclusions with the GNOME development community.

IMHO, an official project leader for the GNOME Project would be useless in mediating this particular decision, because he/she would have no solid evidence to go on. The decision, for the time being, would have to be no. Hopefully, that would cause Novell to snap out of its coma and defend its baby.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Politics are unavoidable
by elsewhere on Mon 24th Jul 2006 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Politics are unavoidable"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

People can argue the technical merits of Mono until their fingertips are bruised and bloody, but in the end, the applications speak for themselves. Many users like applications such as F-Spot, Banshee, and Beagle. Could they be implemented in another language? Sure. But the people who coded it decided on Mono.

Novell has their fingers in all of those projects, so it's not really an unbiased consideration. The people who coded them may have decided on mono, but it wasn't necessarily on merit. Beagle is worth singling out, along with Novell's zen-manager and ifolder, because I think from what I've both heard and experienced myself, mono is not appropriate for services or core system components. Beagle is an example of a component that probably would have been better off using a different language.

In what sense is Mono currently infringing on Microsoft patents, and under which circumstances could the Mono Project be compelled to infringe Microsoft patents in order to continue to fulfill the goals of the project?

From the mono project licensing FAQ (http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_Licensing):

"The controversial elements are the ASP.NET, ADO.NET and Windows.Forms subsets. Those are convenient for people who need full compatibility with the Windows platform, but are not required for the open source Mono platform, nor integration with today's Mono's rich support of Linux.

The Mono strategy for dealing with these technologies is as follows: (1) work around the patent by using a different implementation technique that retains the API, but changes the mechanism; if that is not possible, we would (2) remove the pieces of code that were covered by those patents, and also (3) find prior art that would render the patent useless.

Not providing a patented capability would weaken the interoperability, but it would still provide the free software / open source software community with good development tools, which is the primary reason for developing Mono.

The patents do not apply in countries where software patents are not allowed."

Basically, patents exist, best to find a way to work around them. Don't get me wrong, I think software patents are ridiculous and outside of the US they would be hard to enforce, but they exist none the less. So you can use mono to port your windows apps, just don't expect to use the windows library APIs.

With the amount of money Novel et al is pouring into Mono, you'd think that they'd have smart people working on this, ones who won't give the IANAL response. You'd also think they'd share these conclusions with the GNOME development community.

Novell is mostly banking on a MAD strategy against MS via the Open Invention Network. Novell purchased some patents from the bankrupt Commerce One that relate to web services, and are basically threatening to use them to sue Microsoft on unrelated patent infringement if they try to sue for mono-based patent infringement. The underlying implication there is that mono use is *not* free from patent infringment, just that MS has something to lose if they attempt to enforce their patents. Might seem like a vague distinction, but for public companies or government institutions it's an issue.

Novell does offer IP indemnification to customers that maintain enterprise licenses, but I'm not entirely sure if mono is covered by that indemnification. Their website doesn't specify, and a buddy of mine that works at Novell couldn't get a straight answer internally.

But even if Novell indemnifies their paying customers, that doesn't help the community.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Politics are unavoidable
by Cloudy on Mon 24th Jul 2006 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Politics are unavoidable"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Politics are unavoidable, but in OSS we reduce our reliance on politics and consensus by means of a simple and effective principle: he who codes decides.

So Hans gets to decide whether Reiser4 goes into the Linux kernel tree or not?

"He who codes decides" becomes political the instant a second person starts working on a similar but different approach to a problem for a given OSS package.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Politics are unavoidable
by karl on Mon 24th Jul 2006 12:47 UTC in reply to "Politics are unavoidable"
karl Member since:
2005-07-06

Rayiner,


For the most part i agree with your comments about politics. But would you care to explain to me, and others, what "anyone else who implements it is prepetually stuck following Microsoft's lead, with no possibility of offering input into the design of the system which they are implementing." has to do with GTK#, which developed for Linux/GNOME and is completely irrelevant to the .Net/microsoft compatibility issues ?

Where exactly does Microsoft dictate, or conversely how exactly are mono developers playing catch-up to Microsoft-in regard to GTK# ?

What exactly is preventing mono developers from freely developing an API which targets the GNOME API(GTK, glib, dbus etc.) ?

Whereas one can make such an argument in regards to the Microsoft specif portions of mono- these issues are irrelevant as pertains to the GNOME desktop and GTK#.

Conflating these issues is tantamount to re-evoking a perpetual red-herring. the patent questions reguarding mono are irrelevant in the question about GTK# and the GNOME desktop- If Microsoft sued tommorow-GTK# and all of the POSIX specific portions of mono would still be here. None of the parts of mono which do pertain to the GNOME desktop are a) subject to patent concerns b) subject to whims and design decisions of Microsoft.

Rayiner-you should know better than to conflate issues and perpetuate misleading, in that such is irrelevant to the topic at hand, information.

I honestly didn't realize that Bill was telling Miguel how to write GTK#-or that Microsoft was dictaing the future of GNOME....How silly.

Mono/GTK# also presents a fantastic set of libraries to work with, is open-ended due to the fact that users can utilize it with a multitute of languages(Boo, Java, etc.), and it is archictectually superior to GNOME's current cross language interoperaton mechnamis.

At the end of the day, there are lots of technical, political, and strategic reasons to like Mono, and it is a very good thing that people are considering its inclusion in GNOME.

The only issue with regards to Mono that I personally have are the licensing issues. But Xorg has the same license and it has not proven particularly problemtic in the context of the free desktop environment...

Reply Score: 1

Right now
by sbenitezb on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:40 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

Right now the leaders are the companies that support GNOME. They take all decissions, like using Mono.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Right now
by GhePeU on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:46 UTC in reply to "Right now"
GhePeU Member since:
2005-07-06

Right now the leaders are the companies that support GNOME. They take all decissions, like using Mono.

Oh, please. Nobody pays you for your comments here, so why do you feel compelled to comment when you haven't got nothing intelligent to say?
The whole Mono discussion originated because Alex Graveley proposed Tomboy, which uses Mono: FYI Alex Graveley is not related to Mono developers or Novell, he works for VMware.

Reply Score: 2

So what ?
by fepede on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:44 UTC
fepede
Member since:
2005-11-14

I don't understand your point of view, Thom.

Of course you as a normal user don't mind about this kind of debates: it's _intended_ to be a discussion within the developers, that of course care a lot about the Mono issue.

Also, i use Gnome as my only desktop (both at work and at home) and I really don't need any Mono application right now

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: What?
by sbenitezb on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:44 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

"Forget your own needs, and look at normal users. They need decent photo management, decent music app, and decent instant search (and no, Beagle is not as broken anymore as it used to be)."

Photo management: digiKam
Decen music app: Amarok
Decent instant search: ?

Run a KDE desktop, as Torvalds suggested. It's more powerfull, coded in C++ (thus compiled, not interpreted) and has most usefull applications. Search is missing (kat crashes).

Reply Score: 1

v RE[3]: What?
by GhePeU on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What?"
RE[3]: What?
by superstoned on Mon 24th Jul 2006 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What?"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

try strigi for search.

Reply Score: 1

Linux needs XPCOM
by jonsmirl on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:47 UTC
jonsmirl
Member since:
2005-07-06

If Linux had a COM layer like Windows does we wouldn't have to have all of these binding layers for each language. A COM implementation already exists for Linux, XPCOM, but nobody is using it except for Mozilla.

XPCOM already can mix Java, C, C++, Javascript and Python. I think there may be support for Ruby and Perl floating around too. It's not very hard to add a new language.

XPCOM can be built standalone from Mozilla CVS so you aren't forced to drag along the browser.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Linux needs XPCOM
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 24th Jul 2006 06:17 UTC in reply to "Linux needs XPCOM"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

COM is a good choice for OS services because it can be deterministic and has relatively low overhead.

But... .NET was originally called "COM99" within microsoft, and really represents the future of COM. COM is not easy to code for and it's hard to make a good build system with it.

The linux DE world already has a COM-like layer: Qt's MOC system seems very much like COM to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Linux needs XPCOM
by jonsmirl on Mon 24th Jul 2006 11:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux needs XPCOM"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

The linux DE world already has a COM-like layer: Qt's MOC system seems very much like COM to me.

And Gnome has GObject. The problem here is that we are missing the C in COM. Each environment is building their own COM. XPCOM is a good choice simply because it is neither QT nor Gnome and most of us are using Mozilla. Picking a netural solution will stop the arguments.

XPCOM also works on Mac, Solaris and Windows.

Reply Score: 1

have to disagree with Thom
by myric on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:51 UTC
myric
Member since:
2006-07-23

I am a "regular" user. I use many different distributions, both at home and at work, but I always use gnome. I like it better than KDE.

As for mono apps, I have never used most of the ones you talk about. I tried beagle when it first came out. Now it's in the list of "things I turn off on install". It always seemed to be taking up system resources when I needed them. As for the others, I can't say that I've used them. Maybe I'll check them out.

Nobody is keeping people from developing applications in whatever language they want. If people want to write in high level languages, let them. If the apps are any good I'll use them.

I think of java/.net/c#/mono and I think slow. I almost always have trouble when running java apps because there are like 100 versions of java and they don't all play nicely. Now these things may be getting better, but should we make our entire windowing environment depend on these languages? Plus, each language we add as a dependency adds what, 100MB? worth of shared libraries? Should we make it so gnome only fits on a DVD? There has to be some reason that all major operating systems (windows,unix,beos,macos) are wrtten in c/c++.

Now I admit I do feel a bit nervous about Microsoft pulling the rug out from under mono, and I do think that's a good reason not to make the use of gnome dependant on it.

Reply Score: 5

What is GNOME without...
by IkeKrull on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:52 UTC
IkeKrull
Member since:
2006-01-24

Well, i've never used a single one of those apps and find GNOME to be reasonably useful (though KDE suits my needs better).

What youre really saying is that the only decent GNOME implementation is the one in SuSE/Novell Linux, and everyone should just STFU and do it Novells way.

But thats not really what open source, including GNOME - is about - open source is a development methodology - by developers, for developers. its got no real implicit advantage for end users, and I guess thats why youre complaining.

So if you dont like open source, and the way open source development occurs, then go spend your time with a customer focussed commercial solution, if thats what you want.

This is the way it is supposed to work - The source for all this stuff is available, and it is up to distribution vendors to package it up and integrate it to meet their customers needs.

There is no requirement for the GNOME foundation to choose a single option, and especially one that is so obviously prone to patent attacks by Microsoft.

I, personally, would prefer to see anything but Mono in GNOME, and yeah, mostly because its a MS technology and I dont trust them. I imagine a lot of others have the same trust issues with MS as I do.

Regardless of your or my personal opinions on the matter, the issues will be worked out by the developers, in a way that favours the developers, on the developers schedule. In the interim, the users will just have to wait.

If Novell can integrate Mono and make 'indispensable' applications available to you, whats the problem? Get on with using your PC like you say you want to, and stop posting this stuff.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: What?
by sbenitezb on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:52 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

I have my right to express my opinion. I haven't read yet that Linus is a troll for saying KDE should be the desktop choice and the environment developers should develop for. It currently has the best framework and applications. There is no debate about mono or not mono, it's no controlled/influenced by companies and doesn't have any lack of leadership. What's wrong with telling the truth? That you don't like it? Well, that's how life works.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: Right now
by sbenitezb on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 22:54 UTC
Pot calling the kettle black...
by HeLfReZ on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:14 UTC
HeLfReZ
Member since:
2005-08-12

So what GNOME includes MONO, i think it would do wonders to advance the desktop as a whole, and when it comes to the IP argument, i think its plain silly...and people cant help but bring up KDe in a GNOME article which isnt much better because KDE utilizes Trolltech's QT...not a great deal different.

Reply Score: 0

Difference
by PHGamer on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:35 UTC in reply to "Pot calling the kettle black..."
PHGamer Member since:
2006-07-23

O theres a difference. Qt is licensed under the GPL and is a freely available and theres no reason to suspect Trolltech being a threat compared to Microsoft.

Reply Score: 4

As Long As It Gets Hot Enough, Who Cares?
by enloop on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:22 UTC
enloop
Member since:
2005-11-13

>> "[Politicians] appear to care about what we think, but in reality, all the time they are debating about what we supposedly want, all they really think about is "what do I need to say to get votes?", instead of "what do the people want/does the country need?""

Well, of course. People seldom pay attention to what politicians do unless it affects them personally. Democracy is premised on the existence of an informed and engaged population. But, today, most voters don't see themselves as participants in government with a responsibility to make informed decisions. They see government as an entity that provides goods and services and themselves as its customers. Democracy can't survive under those circumstance. Such people will welcome a tyranny that meets their needs and keeps them happy rather than endure the vagaries of a democracy.

As for Gnome and Mono, well... that's the reason I walked away from open source. Too much inane patter and conflict about issues that users have no reason to care about. Whether or not Gnome includes Mono is about as important to users as the kind of metal used to make the heating elements in their toasters. As long as it gets hot enough, who cares?

Reply Score: 5

DevL Member since:
2005-07-06

"Democracy is premised on the existence of an informed and engaged population. But, today, most voters don't see themselves as participants in government with a responsibility to make informed decisions."

Indeed. In ancient Greece, 'idiot' meant a person who cared not for politics. Today one could mostly say that the meaning has been reveresed as 'politicians are idiots' is a commen phrase (although it tends to be true if one by 'politician' referrs to the career politicians i.e. the majority).

"They see government as an entity that provides goods and services and themselves as its customers. Democracy can't survive under those circumstance. Such people will welcome a tyranny that meets their needs and keeps them happy rather than endure the vagaries of a democracy."

Also true. Democracy as it is today has lost its appeal to a great many. People tend to get vocal about the rights a democracy implies, but they also tend to be very poor to use said rights.

Reply Score: 2

Why is everyone so scared of M$?
by Josh M on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:24 UTC
Josh M
Member since:
2006-07-23

I have been reading everyones posts regarding Mono. Fear of Microsoft pulling the plug on the C# API's is mentioned or alluded to in a lot of them. I am not a regular user of Gnome or KDE (I don't have machines capable of running them), but I have seen them. Back to the fear factor. I was under the impression that the C# specification was an ECMA standard?

http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-334.h...

Isn't this the same group that manages JavaScript?

http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-262.h...

Does Microsoft push Jscript on everyone? I just wanted to put out that Microsoft is not the only player with the C# language. If I am wrong, please post with documentation to support that Microsoft and Microsoft alone controls the C# spec.

By the way Thom, I really enjoy your articles!

Josh

Reply Score: 4

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

First, that particular version of C# is an ECMA spec, and just C#, not .NET as a platform. Second, Microsoft does indeed control the C# spec. Ask yourself: who has the power to decide what's in C# 3.0? At least with Java, Sun has some mechanism (JSRs) for allowing outside input into the design of the language. Microsoft makes no such provisions for C#.

Reply Score: 5

devtty Member since:
2006-04-02

Because Mono is a copy cat on a shaky ground

Reply Score: 1

Everybody's asking "Why not?"...
by monodeldiablo on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:39 UTC
monodeldiablo
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm asking "Why?" Why use Mono at all? What advantage does it confer? What can it do that any other cross-platform language/framework can't do? What's so wrong with Ruby, Python, C++, etc?

I get the sinking sensation it's just a lot of engineers reinventing the wheel for the sake of intellectual curiosity.

I had begun to enjoy the fact that the Linux/*BSD desktop community had begun to standardize on modular, low-level components to handle repetitive functionality. Innovative libraries like GTK2, Gstreamer, HAL, DBUS, etc. now handle the majority of the CPU-intensive/platform-specific activities that would otherwise render programs written in Ruby or Python unresponsive.

So again I ask, why should we commit to a platform that has no legal guarantee of being there in the future when we have legal, open source, community-driven options readily available? What entity can legally threaten to "take our Python away"? Or Ruby, C++, C, Haskell? What's stopping anybody from writing F-Spot or Banshee in Python?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Everybody's asking "Why not?"...
by siimo on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:56 UTC in reply to "Everybody's asking "Why not?"..."
siimo Member since:
2006-06-22

>'m asking "Why?" Why use Mono at all? What advantage >does it confer? What can it do that any other >cross-platform language/framework can't do? What's so >wrong with Ruby, Python, C++, etc?

It's not whats WRONG with the other languages, its more like whats RIGHT with Mono/C#. It is a highly modern framework with tons of libraries for doing most common tasks. It cuts development time over C++ and when coded right it is almost just as fast.

and to that guy above who has been modded down for trolling about KDE and C++, if you did ANY research you would know that Mono/.NET apps are compiled into binary code before running and NOT interpreted like Java is before the JiT compiler kicks in.

Whats wrong with Ruby and Python? well they are interpreted languages so they are slower than Mono for one thing.

Edited 2006-07-23 23:58

Reply Score: 5

zielaj Member since:
2006-01-11

> It's not whats WRONG with the other languages, its more like whats RIGHT with Mono/C#

I couldn't agree more. Each language has pros and cons. Here's what I
think are main cons of languages mentioned by monodeldiablo (the list
is deliberately biased):

C: No object oriented features.

C/C++: No native garbage collection. No binary portability.

Haskell: Last time I checked, object-oriented programming was a
nightmare. Library coverage is small (in comparison with C#/Java).

Python: No static typing (compile-time errors become runtime-errors),
no native way to specify a Java/C#-like interface. Both make writing
big modular apps more difficult than in Java/C#.

I hope this shows that C# might be the right tool for some projects.
If not, just take a look at the LINQ project for C# 3.0:

http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=114680

Reply Score: 2

monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

Ruby and Python also have tons of libraries for doing most common tasks. They also cut development time over C++.

Furthermore, as I said earlier, most core modules for CPU-intensive computation are actually written in C for Ruby/Python/C++/etc. The speed/capacity argument is less of an issue than we are often led to believe.

However, that still leaves speed as a factor, albeit a small one. Java has an even more impressive set of libraries, a similar design and is faster than C#/Mono (although both are hell on memory).

So why should the GNOME community hitch its wagon to a technology whose freedom is unclear when plenty of OSS solutions already exist and are very active? More importantly, why should the GNOME community choose to incorporate a platform it has no say in the future direction of?

I don't mean to be contentious; I just don't see the logic in continuing to divert resources, time and interest in a platform that's not clearly "our's".

Reply Score: 2

snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

and to that guy above who has been modded down for trolling about KDE and C++, if you did ANY research you would know that Mono/.NET apps are compiled into binary code before running and NOT interpreted like Java is before the JiT compiler kicks in.

Where did you find that information?

http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_General

The FAQ on the Mono website mentions that Mono has a CLI (Common Language Infrastructure) virtual machine with a class loader, JiT compiler and garbage collector (which as of now is still the conservative Boehmgc, if I'm not mistaken, but someone is working on a generational garbage collector). It also includes a class library (I seriously doubt that its current libraries are as extensive as those for for example Ruby, Python and Java). And it includes a C# compiler which targets the Common Language Runtime, thus a compiler which compiles to bytecode for the CLI.

Now, I don't know much about Mono, I never used it myself, but I did read about it at times. I believe there is an option to save the JiT-compiled classes in a file and that the runtime would load these files by preference, but that, by default, everything is still in bytecode and JiTted just like Java.

This changed? Or you read something else?

Or what do you mean with binary code? I think Java and MonoC# have the same mechanism with a compiler from source to bytecode and then a JIT-compiler in the runtime. Ruby currently uses an interpreter, but a byte code compiler and accompanying virtual machine is in the works. I don't know about Python.

Reply Score: 2

v Mono, QT and Open Source Software
by devtty on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:46 UTC
A matter or perception
by jbauer on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:51 UTC
jbauer
Member since:
2005-07-06

Perception is what all this is about. Mono may be 100% legally safe, but in the end it does not matter. As long as people have doubts, there'll be debates and Mono will not be completely accepted by the free software community.

Need an example? Some people still today think KDE is threatened by its using of Qt, even though it's perfectly safe now for FOSS development and it has been for a long time. Again, a matter of perception.

Thom is very right in something: someone has to make the final call or this will go on forever. Be it ditching Mono completely, or saying goodbye to opposing Gnome developers, this has to end if Gnome wants a future.

Reply Score: 4

all politics are local.
by Cloudy on Sun 23rd Jul 2006 23:53 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

The problem with comparing Gnome development to running OSNews is that one's an open process and the other is not.

It is in the nature of open source that its debates be held in public forums.

Besides, if you think the Gnome lists are "bad", you should spend some time sifting through LKML.

Reply Score: 4

Obvious results
by arbour42 on Mon 24th Jul 2006 00:15 UTC
arbour42
Member since:
2005-07-06

Wow. These are the same EXACT arguments that were being bitched over 2 years ago! I knew they weren't going to cease, and here we are, 2 years down the road, and no one can come to a conclusion.

For those 2 years, think if all those Mono engineers could have been helping Python, or the new Perl (which is looking very fascinating). Or, God forbid, just gotten off this insane Linux desktop boatride/mishmash and helped Haiku.

Really, why should Miguel care though? He got the morons at Novell to buy his tiny company, and has had a paying job for 2 more years. He's still totally naive to think MS will allow Mono to reach a critical mass without them suing his pants off. That is MS's modus operandi, and their lawyers are just waiting to pounce on Mono. That's why people are scared, because they remember the 90's, and how ruthless Microsoft is.

And it doesn't matter if you say MS can't sue Mono for whatever inane reason. MS has hundreds of lawyers making $250,000 a year who can easily think of absurd reasons for any kind of lawsuit, and then Gnome is screwed.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Obvious results
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 24th Jul 2006 06:28 UTC in reply to "Obvious results"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Every time I read the news I read about how Microsoft is getting sued by this company or that governmental agency. I can only think of two cases that I have read about in which Microsoft was the plaintiff and they were both trademark issues: they sued Lindows due to its inane name, and they threatened Mike Rowe for his site MikeRoweSoft (but gave him an XBOX in return).

Can you point out an instance in which Microsoft has actually sued an open source project or anyone else for patent infringement? It should be noted the SCO is not Microsoft and in the case of something like C# there is no third-party they would sue through.

Reply Score: 1

Useless debate. Go C++.
by rx182 on Mon 24th Jul 2006 00:16 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

This debate is completely useless.

What should be the next language for Gnome development? There's just one single possibility: C++. That's not debatable.

Microsoft themselves realized that in was not the right time yet to pick up an interpreted language for OS development. Google it up. They clearly stated it. That's one of the reason why Vista was even more delayed: they decided (in 2004, 2005?) to rewrite some of the core stuff in C++. And guess what, C#.NET is the fastest interpreted language when it comes to GUI development. A WinForms GUI is really fast. C#.NET itself is fast. But not _fast enough_ to replace traditional C++/MFC. Is this so hard to understand? Microsoft themselves stepped back. So why one would use a slower implementation and start using it in major projects? That's non-sense.

See. KDE is based on QT. QT = C++.
Most commercial apps on Windows are based on MFC. MFC = C++.
If Apple wouldn't have ObjC, they would go C++.
Why C++? Because it's the de facto OO language. And it's compiled to machine code. Compilers are optimized alot. Etc. Like it or not.

It's not like there are many choices out there. Java and C# cannot be used for the reasons stated above. Python cannot be used for the same reasons. What's next? Nothing.

I hate to say this but there are too many "useless" discussions. Sometimes it's good to come back to reality and realize what is the real problem. Microsoft got it right. Instead of pushing C# eyes-closed, they told the people that someday it will be the de facto language for the Windows platform but for now, C++/MFC developers are still high on the priority list. Anyway, that's why they came out with a new version of C++.NET. They knew that C++ developers wouldn't switch to C# anytime soon and that the first version of the managed extensions for C++ werent good enough to make people look at it.

Thus said: Go C++. You simply cannot be wrong.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Useless debate. Go C++.
by rayiner on Mon 24th Jul 2006 00:19 UTC in reply to "Useless debate. Go C++."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

C++ is probably the worst possible direction to go. It's an absolutely painful language to bind to from real programming languages.

GNOME's current mechanism is actually a pretty decent one. Implement the core APIs in low-level C, allow for a rich binding layer, and allow people to write apps in whatever language they want.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by rx182 on Mon 24th Jul 2006 00:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Useless debate. Go C++."
rx182 Member since:
2005-07-08


C++ is probably the worst possible direction to go. It's an absolutely painful language to bind to from real programming languages.

GNOME's current mechanism is actually a pretty decent one. Implement the core APIs in low-level C, allow for a rich binding layer, and allow people to write apps in whatever language they want.


Of course, the core of Gnome could remain in C. How do you think Windows works? It got a C API (the Win32 API) and a thin layer called MFC to make the whole system a bit more object oriented. Not completely object oriented by the way. for those who used MFC ;-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by rayiner on Mon 24th Jul 2006 00:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Useless debate. Go C++."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

This is not how Windows works anymore. Starting with Avalon, the .NET GUI toolkit is no longer based on top of Win32's controls.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by rx182 on Mon 24th Jul 2006 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Useless debate. Go C++."
rx182 Member since:
2005-07-08


This is not how Windows works anymore. Starting with Avalon, the .NET GUI toolkit is no longer based on top of Win32's controls.


Some of it. Almost everything prior .NET 3.0 just wrap Win32 APIs.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 24th Jul 2006 06:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Useless debate. Go C++."
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Actually, the main advantage of C++ over .NET is its determinism. You have to deal with the memory-management yourself (or use smart pointers and RAII to do it for you), but you are guaranteed not to get bitten by a GC at bad times and you can deal with OOM situations if you code carefully.

C++ is a great idea, in my opinion. Rayiner's complaint about bindings can be pretty solidly solved by a COM-like technology. COM is a great technology for a lower-level public layer of a system because it can be accomodated by most languages, it's deterministic, and it is regular enough to be auto-parsed to form language bindings.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Useless debate. Go C++.
by ma_d on Mon 24th Jul 2006 01:20 UTC in reply to "Useless debate. Go C++."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

No. Why would they rewrite millions of lines of C in C++, or worse, taint millions of lines of C with C++ additions?

Gnome is a C project. The core is written in C now, and it's probably going to be written in C for a long time to come.

So why would you add on a second systems programming language?


Besides that, TMK, Windows is a mix of C and C++.


The second problem is that you believe their GUI's are fast because they're using C++ bindings.. No. No one is talking about writing GUI's in C# (although for all I know Mono's Winforms implementation is in C#, I doubt many people care at this point, they just want something working). Gtk, C; QT, C++... The binding cost isn't much to speak of. Users couldn't notice the binding costs 5 years ago, they certainly can't tell now!

The reason Win apps are so stinking fast is because their GUI toolkit is so stinking simple. I'd consider the implementation being good to be a given, especially from Microsoft. But guess what, people don't care their either. Load up xchat, or gaim, or some other Gtk program and ask people if it feels slower...

There's no reason to add C++ support. They don't need a second systems programming language in Gnome. The idea in supporting one high level language is to concentrate developers on it.
Thom actually makes a great point that because so much is already on Mono (Beagle et al), so much that is so popular, you might as well choose Mono.


Oh well though, I doubt there are more than 2 people developing Gnome who'd even think to entertain validity for your proposition.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by siti on Mon 24th Jul 2006 02:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Useless debate. Go C++."
siti Member since:
2005-07-06

Haskell does not need to be object orientated. It is strict functional language which has a lot of benefits over Java, C#, C++ or any other OO language.

In my opinion Haskell would not be a bad choice apart from the lack of developers. It compiles to native code, it creates less buggy code and it could seem faster to the user due to lazy evaluation. The biggest problem with it is that it's so different to most languages (imperative langs).

My opinion of Gnome is that it should continue with C being the base. The reason for this is it is without any doubt the easiest language to bind with. On a video of Guadec I heard (I can't remember who said it) -- KDE has C++ but they have to stick with it.

Gnome on the other hand has many great bindings. Look at all the cool gnome applications, there are some in C, mono, python, perl and ruby.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by superstoned on Mon 24th Jul 2006 10:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Useless debate. Go C++."
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

actually, KDE doesn't have to stick with anything. They have excellent bindings, autogenerated - so its not a hassle to maintain them. There are even OFFICIAL Java bindings by Trolltech, for Qt 4.2 and higher.

KDE supports python, ruby, perl, java, C# and more.

http://developer.kde.org/language-bindings/

Reply Score: 4

RE: Useless debate. Go C++.
by drdoug on Mon 24th Jul 2006 10:21 UTC in reply to "Useless debate. Go C++."
drdoug Member since:
2006-04-30

Why C++? Because it's the de facto OO language. And it's compiled to machine code. Compilers are optimized alot. Etc. Like it or not.

If it is so optimized, why is every c++ app I use seems dog slow. It would have to be the most horrible language to port between systems. As much as I hate to say it, C# is a huge improvement over C++. Also I think the stats for the last few years show Java having a larger developer base than C++.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by superstoned on Mon 24th Jul 2006 10:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Useless debate. Go C++."
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

well, then, you tried the wrong ones, I guess. For example, Amarok is the fastest music player you'll find - try to let it index and/or load 20.000 songs, and compare its loading time with other music players (if they manage to index them at all). Generally speaking, KDE is rather fast - and its slowness comes mostly from the underlying infrastructure (eg fontconfig, drivers) instead of C++.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by drdoug on Mon 24th Jul 2006 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Useless debate. Go C++."
drdoug Member since:
2006-04-30

well, then, you tried the wrong ones, I guess. For example, Amarok is the fastest music player you'll find - try to let it index and/or load 20.000 songs, and compare its loading time with other music players (if they manage to index them at all). Generally speaking, KDE is rather fast - and its slowness comes mostly from the underlying infrastructure (eg fontconfig, drivers) instead of C++.

I would prefer a music player the play the music at the same speed it was produced at ;) Indexing, you are probably getting confused with algorithms. I would not call KDE that fast. It's speed generally relies on access to the underlying hardware rather than what it was programed in. Have you ever tried to compile it with anything other than g++?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by segedunum on Mon 24th Jul 2006 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Useless debate. Go C++."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I would prefer a music player the play the music at the same speed it was produced at ;)

Yer. I really wish the God's gift called GStreamer would do that, which is why I just use Xine ;-).

I would not call KDE that fast. It's speed generally relies on access to the underlying hardware rather than what it was programed in.

Pardon? Not following you there at all. If the speed of Gnome, KDE or anything relied on 'access to the underlying hardware' then everything would work at pretty much the same speed. It obviously isn't.

Look at what he's said. KDE and KDE applications like Amarok handle large data structures like song lists very well, and its speed is a testament to it. Look at the way Kontact/KMail handles large amounts of e-mail and e-mail accounts in an acceptable fashion.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by PrimalDK on Mon 24th Jul 2006 12:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Useless debate. Go C++."
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

Because C++ is a more complex language, as OO is a more complex paradigm, than C/the imperative/structured paradigm. It is therefore less well understood, thus more easily misused, which in turn leads to slower apps. With that said, would you care to elaborate a bit? I have used Windows XP extensively (which I don't consider slow), BeOS (which nobody considers slow), Sibelius, Opera, Logic Audio (the "fastest" sequencer there is), and a lot of other apps written in C++. And C++ does not make use of a (native to the core implementation) gc or VM, so what's inherently "slow" about the language?

Reply Score: 2

i'm sorry
by systemx on Mon 24th Jul 2006 01:05 UTC
systemx
Member since:
2006-01-20

but why can't we just keep things simple. mono as i see it is an unstable and useless piece of technology. lets move on please to something that actually works on all distro's w/ no fuss...

Reply Score: 1

The article is correct
by tsume on Mon 24th Jul 2006 01:53 UTC
tsume
Member since:
2006-07-24

I'm a programmer, and have used mono extensively for various projects. Mono is not ready to be integrated in to the GNOME project.

Mono is very incomplete, and if you grep for "Not Implemented" you'll see many exception throwing statements.

Mono is meant to help windows programmers port over applications to Linux. Even though this project is great, I wouldn't consider the mono project ready for any type of integration. Mono is not portable to any other OS except Windows, Linux, MacOSX, and FreeBSD(runs but unstable).

If a person is truely wanting to create C# code, I highly recommend the DotGNU Portable .NET project, and help contribute.

My article I did wrote and submitted to the gnome-devel mailing list is listed below

http://tsumelabs.com/articles/GNOME_and_the_new

Miguel has stated to me over IRC Mono can't possibly be included in GNOME, because there is a list of show stoppers.

Anyone wanting to read further on the details should read the mailing list. I've included links on my article webpage for those who are curious about the situation.

I listed in my article a few other languages. Please read if you truely are intrested in learning about the Mono GNOME situation.

Thanks for reading, and have a nice day.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The article is correct
by elsewhere on Mon 24th Jul 2006 03:00 UTC in reply to "The article is correct"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

My article I did wrote and submitted to the gnome-devel mailing list is listed below

http://tsumelabs.com/articles/GNOME_and_the_new


I normally ignore links in threads like this that lead to poster's personal blogs just in principle, but I did check yours and the comments from Miguel were interesting.

I can see his point of view, remember that he is a VP at Novell, he is working with limited resources, but it sort of re-inforces the fact that mono is a Novell-owned project, not a sponsored project. The inference about Sun objecting to inclusion was something I was unaware of and an angle I hadn't considered, but once again underscores the challenge of corporate sponsorship from competitive vendors.

Novell's not likely to disappear any time soon, but their financial performance is less than stellar and they're likely looking at another annual round of re-structuring/layoffs when their financial YE hits a few months from now. Novell is ultimately accountible to their shareholders, change can happen very quickly, and if mono loses it's primary corporate backer, it would be a significant setback. Not an insurmountable one, but significant enough. Something else I'm sure the devs have on their mind.

And not to be overly cynical, but it seems to me that if Novell holds copyright on the code, they can close it at any time as well, and force the community to fork. I don't actually believe that would happen, there'd be nothing to gain, but it's an exposure none the less.

Is there anything wrong with the status quo as it is right now? Mono seems to be doing well enough with distribution support despite not being an official part of the core. Seems to me that given the controversy, it would be better served by having to grow and succeed on merit and capability rather than being made an official standard.

And on a completely unrelated note, I am pleasantly surprised to see that this has remained a relatively rational discussion with minimal trolling. The issues surrounding mono et al. are issues that have always remained cloudy to me since most discussions I ever see denigrate into pissing contests over Gnome vs. KDE. This is good stuff.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: The article is correct
by tsume on Mon 24th Jul 2006 04:12 UTC in reply to "RE: The article is correct"
tsume Member since:
2006-07-24

Well, I don't think Novell would make an intresting move like closing the project. From the meeting over the phone from the new CEO, they are trying to get in to opensource more than ever. The old CEO wasn't doing the job correctly, and hopefully this will give them the boost they need.

I'm all for mono, however I don't like the position they are taking trying to get beta grade software in such an important project like GNOME. Also, by beta grade, I'm referring to the great lack of complete code.

I'd rather have GNOME wait a longer time to let mono mature before making such a fast decision. Else, I'd like them to choose another language framework.

Mono's current focus seems to be the new GC, Winforms, and various other tasks on the list.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: The article is correct
by tsume on Mon 24th Jul 2006 16:58 UTC in reply to "RE: The article is correct"
tsume Member since:
2006-07-24

I can't see Novell making an action as closing the sources or funding to the mono project. Mono has made progress, has potential, but is beta quality software.

By beta quality, I mean there are great amounts of incomplete code where exceptions are thrown "Not Implemented". I've personally ran in to several of these problems. I've never programmed on the windows platform, however my goal was to make my program work on Linux first, then port over to Windows. If you read my article on the matter, I expressed and gave examples on the various flaws which pertain to mono only.

Novell is currently going through a change, hopefully for the better, since Mono is pretty much their big public seller. There is SuSE Linux as well, hopefully they can expand more in the US.

The financial situation. I do see the need to commercial companies which provide good innovation, and hope the best for Novell. The CEO switch is a definite improvement, lets hope for the best.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The article is correct
by tsume on Mon 24th Jul 2006 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The article is correct"
tsume Member since:
2006-07-24

oops, forgot I already replied to the parent ;)

At least theres a bit more information included.

Reply Score: 1

plus-plus
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 24th Jul 2006 02:18 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

You know Thom, of all the editorials you've posted on OSNews, this has to be the one I agree with the most. Particularly:

And when that day comes, they appear to care about what we think, but in reality, all the time they are debating about what we supposedly want, all they really think about is "what do I need to say to get votes?"

There's a great quote from Noam Chomsky that expresses the same sentiments:

"But we're even departing from the point where there is representative democracy, when you have stage-managed elections with the public relations industry determining what words come out of people's mouth, and candidates decide what to say on the basis of tests that determine what the effect will be across the population... Somehow people don't see how profoundly contemptuous that is of democracy."

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Everybody's asking "Why not?"...
by sbenitezb on Mon 24th Jul 2006 03:33 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

"and to that guy above who has been modded down for trolling about KDE and C++, if you did ANY research you would know that Mono/.NET apps are compiled into binary code before running and NOT interpreted like Java is before the JiT compiler kicks in."

Aren't .NET apps compiled to CIL and interpreted by the virtual machine? How is that faster than a real processor? Even if they were compiled to native, I guarantee you that there's a lot of bloat in the CLR to make your .NET application faster than any other C++ equivalent, and would have a big memory footprint too.

Reply Score: 2

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Bloat in the CLR? How much code do you think a JIT compiler and GC system take? Keep in mind that executable code rarely takes that much memory space in a program. Most of it is used for data structures and the program data itself.

Load time IS affected by having more code, since dynamic libs may get loaded and touched in many places before the OS decides that some things can be swapped back to disk. (I'd love to see a comparison article between Windows and Linux memory management and swapping).

GC is generally performance-neutral because it makes allocations and frees pretty fast (it's just a matter of moving a pointer for allocation and queuing a destructor for freeing), but it hits you at unexpected times with memory sweeps. Non-deterministic GC isn't great for situations where you want consistent low-latency.

Reply Score: 1

jmansion Member since:
2006-02-20

You *can* interpret CIL, but it was designed from the get-go to be JIT-compiled: arguably the JVM acquired JIT as an afterthought optimisation. The MS CLR doesn't have an interpreter: I believe mono does (mint?).

Shucks: lets just use Eiffel and be done. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Difference
by sbenitezb on Mon 24th Jul 2006 03:55 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

"and people cant help but bring up KDe in a GNOME article which isnt much better because KDE utilizes Trolltech's QT...not a great deal different."

Qt is GPL, like other GPL libraries. What's wrong with that? In fact, according to FSF, GPL is "more free" that LGPL. GTK is then "less free" than Qt. What was the problem back in the old days when GNOME was created? That Qt was not free enough? Now things have turned upside down!

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Difference
by drdoug on Mon 24th Jul 2006 14:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Difference"
drdoug Member since:
2006-04-30

Qt is GPL, like other GPL libraries. What's wrong with that? In fact, according to FSF, GPL is "more free" that LGPL.

Why do people love dragging up licenses. Is OS News degenerating into another little slashdot wankfest? It would be nice to see a discussion without people getting into a license debate.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by sbenitezb on Mon 24th Jul 2006 04:11 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

"So why would you add on a second systems programming language?"
"Oh well though, I doubt there are more than 2 people developing Gnome who'd even think to entertain validity for your proposition."

Well, Abiword, inkscape, gparted, glom, eiciel, workrave, k3d and some other applications are written in C++. So there's place for C++. Perhaps not for core, sure, but mono is not for core either.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Politics are unavoidable
by sbenitezb on Mon 24th Jul 2006 04:14 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

"If we ever aren't satisfied with the direction C# is going, there is nobody stopping us from calling our language flavour G# instead (or switch to Boo). There simply isn't any such issue for the GNOME project. The situation with Java is completely different, since it is not free software"

Last time I checked Novell was in charge of mono development. Is not like, say, Python or Ruby, that are not driven by a company's interest.

Reply Score: 0

sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

"C/C++: No native garbage collection. No binary portability."

Why do you want garbage collection? It's inefficient. So lazy are you that can't just type a simple delete/free? There are a lot of tools to check memory allocations, like valgrind, that you can use.

"Python: No static typing (compile-time errors become runtime-errors),
no native way to specify a Java/C#-like interface. Both make writing
big modular apps more difficult than in Java/C#."

No static typing: well, when you need static typing you can just do a isinstance(obj, cls) and you get what you want. Most of the time you don't need this.

"I hope this shows that C# might be the right tool for some projects."

C# and Java are too hyped. People invested a lot of time learning them even when better tools where available. Just because anyone is talking about some new language, that by itself doesn't give that language any credit. Look at VB, it's an incredible shit. All "programmers" learnt to use it and now Microsoft is not supporting it anymore. How do you know the same will happen with .NET?

Reply Score: 2

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

No static typing: well, when you need static typing you can just do a isinstance(obj, cls) and you get what you want. Most of the time you don't need this.
Static typing is compile time type safety checking. So, static typing is done at compile time and therefore no runtime function can replace static typing...


Why do you want garbage collection? It's inefficient. So lazy are you that can't just type a simple delete/free? There are a lot of tools to check memory allocations, like valgrind, that you can use.
Have you ever found multiple heap errors in a program greater than 10,000 lines? Often you waste an hour finding something "obvious." It's not a question of laziness, but really, a question of having a computer automate a task that's computationally easy.
Not to mention, malloc/free is not exactly an efficiency wonderland.

Reply Score: 2

h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Memory leaks in C++ can be nasty, but for many occuring leaks, there are remedies. Use smart pointers / auto pointers for ressources, use STL/Boost/.. containers rather than writing your own. Also, there ARE garbage collectors for C++ available (libgc, just from the top of my head). While I'm not sure wheter they are suitable or not, they definitly exist.

C++ is a great language, but one needs experience to tackle the sometimes rather subtle problems that can cause memory leaks (slicing, for example). And, like a teacher of mine told me already 15 years back :
Experience is what you get, when you do not got, what you want to get

regards

Reply Score: 2

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Memory leaks are not what causes C++ to suck. However, my post wasn't about how C++ sucks, it was about how it's not a significant step past C for an existing project to take as a high level language over its current systems language.

The parent to my post had said basically "garbage collection is for pussies."

Reply Score: 1

The worst introduction ever.
by Duffman on Mon 24th Jul 2006 04:29 UTC
Duffman
Member since:
2005-11-23

"I think if there's one thing all of man has in common, whether he be Christian or Muslim, black or white, young or old, American or European, is a dislike of politicians"


lol, I never saw a such ridiculous sentence until today ...

Reply Score: 4

Mono is great, but...
by tapas on Mon 24th Jul 2006 04:44 UTC
tapas
Member since:
2006-07-24

Personally, I love the idea of coding my GTK+ app in C#, and I fully support Mono to be included in the Gnome Development Environment. The major gripe I have with Mono right now, though, is that it doesn't support GInterface so implementing your own GtkTreeModel is a real pain.

Reply Score: 1

The solution is politics. :-)
by negativity on Mon 24th Jul 2006 06:16 UTC
negativity
Member since:
2006-02-23

Yep, sounds like it to me. When something is not done in our normal lives, it's generally because it's a political decision and the current politics don't want to make it.

Reply Score: 1

IP doesn't scare me, but...
by Corey on Mon 24th Jul 2006 06:32 UTC
Corey
Member since:
2005-08-03

I like mono and I use lots of mono programs. I love beagle and tomboy! It doesn't bother me that .NET is created by MS and that mono is an open souce implementation of it. From what I've read the mono folks have done their homework on the IP issues and are as safe as they can be. The reason I don't like mono being part of gnome is because I think a confilct of intrests could arise. .NET is a standard made by MS and they are not at all concerned about multi-platform implementations of it. When MS comes out with a new version of .NET mono is going to have to play catch up so that it can run the new .NET programs. The new features that the mono developers will end up working on may not at all be what we really need in gnome. For example imagine if in a future version of .NET MS alters the syntax so that it works better with directx or something similar. Mono developers will have to spend time making sure that mono can interpret the new syntax as well even though advantage of the new sytax will never be realized in gnome. This is a very hypothetical example but hopefully you can see my point. MS is trying to improve .net with only windows in mind. Mono is going to have to apply those same improvements even if they have no clear advantage in gnome. I'd much rather see an opensouce, cross platform language like python become the official gnome language.

But damn I love tomboy and beagle =)

Reply Score: 1

The moment I stopped....
by kaiwai on Mon 24th Jul 2006 07:34 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Was when you spouted this, well, quite frankly, shit:

I think there are two main causes behind this debate. First are Mono's origins. Mono is based on Microsoft technology and standards, and hence, many automatically dislike it; whether Mono itself is good or not is irrelevant to those people.

It has NOTHING to do with a Microsoft technology and EVERYTHING to do with the risk of getting f*cked by a 20inch dick with no lube - I can tell you that if we end up having 40% of GNOME based on that said platform, relying on patented technology, we run a *real* risk of getting sued to buggery, told to remove the technology, then spending yet ANOTHER 4 years trying to catch up feature wise with whas was accomplished before legal action.

Have a look at the FreeBSD saga in regards to the Unix Labs; that pushed FreeBSD back atleast 4 years thanks to the little dance and song done by a commercial company - just imagine what a company with 40billion under their belt can do.

If there were no patents, or an accord which allowed free opensource implementations to be implemented free of charge - not just the small ECMA subset, but the WHOLE lot; then I would be on the first Mono supporting bandwagon, and promoting it as a viable alternative/replacement for Java.

Until the day that ALL legal encombents are removed, mono will remain on tenderhooks as to whether developers risk their investment hoping that Microsoft doesn't lash out against a competitor using its patents as weapons to criple desktop development and application portability between Windows and the *NIX world.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The moment I stopped....
by JCooper on Mon 24th Jul 2006 08:34 UTC in reply to "The moment I stopped...."
JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

The existing mono applications (AFAIK) could run on the ECMA spec alone if the mono guys had to remove the patent encumbered parts (ADO.Net, SWF etc.)

Until we see applications leveraging the grey areas of mono, I don't see the problem?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The moment I stopped....
by kaiwai on Mon 24th Jul 2006 09:11 UTC in reply to "RE: The moment I stopped...."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The existing mono applications (AFAIK) could run on the ECMA spec alone if the mono guys had to remove the patent encumbered parts (ADO.Net, SWF etc.)

Until we see applications leveraging the grey areas of mono, I don't see the problem?


And the patented parts are actually the important parts, without them, you might as well simply help out GNUClasspath, and be done with it.

ASP.NET, ADO.NET, SWF etc, are the IMPORTANT parts! if you're not even going to provide those, then quite frankly, what is the point of mono to begin with! it makes absolutely no sense.

Oh, and btw, your marking down of my score is pretty damn childish, but unlike you, I don't agree with your comment, but I don't stoop to the lowness of deducting points on posts I disagree with.

Edited 2006-07-24 09:12

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The moment I stopped....
by JCooper on Mon 24th Jul 2006 09:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The moment I stopped...."
JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

ASP.NET, ADO.NET, SWF etc, are the IMPORTANT parts! if you're not even going to provide those, then quite frankly, what is the point of mono to begin with! it makes absolutely no sense.
Those parts aren't required for applications developed for mono (using GTK# etc) ... only to provide a migration path for Windows-based apps.

Having mono means Gnome has a pretty cool RAD framework that people can develop cool apps quickly with. SWF is unnecessary with GTK#, as for the other parts, there are alternatives... unfortunately the only big win would be to have ASP.Net for "free".

Oh, and btw, your marking down of my score is pretty damn childish
I still have my 20 mod points for today, how could it have been me? Please don't assume I'd mod you down just because I disagree with you.

Reply Score: 1

The point of the article
by FlangeR on Mon 24th Jul 2006 08:00 UTC
FlangeR
Member since:
2006-07-24

I think this discussion just proves Thom's point. There has been a lot of discussion lately (and before that) about the mono issue and gnome's indiciveness/lack of leadership, which I see are tied in together. The gnome-board should indeed elect someone. Anyone on here know if and when that is going to happen?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Useless debate. Go C++.
by Torsten Rahn on Mon 24th Jul 2006 09:48 UTC
Torsten Rahn
Member since:
2005-08-20

> On a video of Guadec I heard (I can't remember
> who said it) -- KDE has C++ but they have to
> stick with it.

Of course this is not correct.

KDE/Qt has several bindings. Many of them are successfully used in applications (like the Python / Ruby bindings, e.g.).

The most well-known example is probably our popular music player AMAROK which makes use of Ruby bindings (called "Korundum") more and more these days.

Mark Kretschmann of AMAROK fame has fallen so much in love with Ruby/Korundum that he went so far to say that he will "probably never again start a new GUI application in C++".

KDE will continue to stick to C++ as the core language for the foreseeable future. However there's a wide range of bindings (like Java, Javascript, etc.) for KDE available as well which is is growing and improving in terms of quality each day. For more information on those see:

http://developer.kde.org/language-bindings/

Reply Score: 5

astounding
by pornflakes on Mon 24th Jul 2006 11:20 UTC
pornflakes
Member since:
2005-10-18

Let me clearly state that I am not a developer, nor do I care about philosophical and ideological nonsense when it comes to software.
Then who the hell lets you post stuff on a news site that, among other things, is exactly about this? It's absolutely retarded and offensive to call stuff like the gpl, the fsf or the like "nonsense".

All I want from my computer, is that it works.
And yet you go on talk about mono without any actual points at all. Complete drivel.

...the applications that currently make GNOME a usable home desktop are Mono-based. What is GNOME without F-Spot? Without Banshee? Without iFolder? And, most importantly, without Beagle?
Huh? The gnome desktop I use is considered unusable now?

Ah..
I was going to go into this.. whatever this is.. more but it's just too stupid.
I guess now I know what "editor" to avoid on this site.

And that is kind of sad actually.

Reply Score: 1

Has everyone forgotten D?
by silicon on Mon 24th Jul 2006 11:50 UTC
silicon
Member since:
2005-07-30

Nobody seems to have mentioned the D programming language. I agree it is in it's infancy but it's a safe alternative. It has GC, RAII etc and doesn't need a preprocessor (uses it's own 'Mixins'). I think GTK bindings for it exist somewhere. It would be great to improve and extend them and make D a first class citizen on the GNOME desktop.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Has everyone forgotten D?
by PrimalDK on Mon 24th Jul 2006 12:12 UTC in reply to "Has everyone forgotten D?"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

From the D FAQ at Digital Mars:

"The DMD compiler, back-end and libraries are licensed non-distributable under a DigitalMars license. The D language specification and accompanying documents are similarly copyrighted to DigitalMars. -- JustinCalvarese, additions by AndersFBjörklund"

Which presents a problem to the OSS community, I would think.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Has everyone forgotten D?
by silicon on Mon 24th Jul 2006 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Has everyone forgotten D?"
silicon Member since:
2005-07-30

There is GDC which is based on the gcc codebase and it compiles D apps quite well.

http://dgcc.sourceforge.net/

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Has everyone forgotten D?
by PrimalDK on Mon 24th Jul 2006 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Has everyone forgotten D?"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

That makes D a parallel to Mono. Both are licensed under and open source license. Both have an open source implementation. Question is, does Digital Mars have a history of screwing people over in court? We really should spend more time pondering this before jumping into bed with a corporation like Digital Mars.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Has everyone forgotten D?
by silicon on Mon 24th Jul 2006 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Has everyone forgotten D?"
silicon Member since:
2005-07-30

Okay as I see it the libraries and specs are copyrighted too. Too bad. Which leaves us to only one possible candidate: C++.

Reply Score: 1

The merits of C++
by PrimalDK on Mon 24th Jul 2006 12:00 UTC
PrimalDK
Member since:
2005-07-12

To draw a parallel to a project which could have chosen to use C, like all else would at the time, but chose C++:

BeOS was written in C++ mainly, with a few crucial parts in assembler and C, as is necessary with any OS. It's fast but hard to program against, though mainly because of its pervasive threading. This is well-known and already debated. If a complete OS can be coded with less than 50 engineers working on it in a "high-level" language like C++, produce such a beautiful API and arguably the most responsive desktop experience ever, then it's certainly feasible for GNOME to adopt C++ to write some layers on top of their C libs.

The question is, of course, why? GNOME doesn't have any deterministic execution requirements, except maybe with GStreamer, and the overhead of the runtime produced by a modern day C++ compiler is negligible, so that's one for C++. Hard-realtime systems have been written in C++ anyways, and Linux or FreeBSD can't guarantee a hard-realtime scheduler without resorting to solutions like RTLinux'.

But then there's the object model which differs from C's, and to which there aren't as many bindings. And that IS a problem. C can be bound to by just about any language on the planet. This invites people of all language backgrounds to use the GNOME libs, GTK especially, and lo and behold, that's exactly what they do. You'll find bindings to GTK from all programming languages I can think of (a lot).

Now, this is in the spirit of freedom, IMHO, the freedom to use whatever tools you like the most or contribute to a project, whatever your (language-)background.

Unfortunately, when reality hits in, you're faced with the same strict requirements that professional, payed programmers face - the same need for quality, specifications, compatibility, testing etc. Which leads me to my question:

How come the OSS community is unable to come up with a technology like Mono on their own (and FINISH it), but have to spend the time debating whether to use a technology created by the arch enemy of OSS? It seems like people flock to the "big", corporately backed projects, rather than actively support unique attempts at creating something truely OSS.

I deem this is because OSS is about hobbies more than the afore-mentioned requirements, and you don't have hobbies to have people put more expectations, deadlines, responsibilities and demands on you, rather, to have a breather from all that. It's an idealistic movement, to me, sort of like the world of universities, where brilliant ideas might see the light of day, but the concept of finished, streamlined products are sometimes thought of as an unnecessary restriction of the programmer's freedom and frowned upon accordingly.

Note:

* Unix was created within Bell Labs.
* C was created within Bell Labs.
* GNOME was germinated by people at RedHat.
* The GNU Project was germinated at MIT.
* Python was created by a guy employed at a university.
* TONS of "OSS" stuff was created at XEROX PARC.

"Thanks to a generous professor within the department, Stallman continued to use MIT’s Labs to program and made GNU/Emacs freely available on MIT’s FTP server." - after Stallman gave up his employement MIT.

In other words, the MIT paid for the computers Stallman used to write Emacs - the original Open Source app.

ALL creators (except Stallman) were employed at companies or universities at the time of creation. They had jobs (or were funded). All the mentioned OSS was created by individuals with an inordinate amount of drive. Don't hail this as the result of a community effort. It never was.

Now go finish Parrot (http://www.parrotcode.org/).

Reply Score: 2

missing the point
by Soulbender on Mon 24th Jul 2006 12:32 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"Or better yet, does the average user care about any of the above?
I am fairly confident when I say "no"."

Of course not but that doesn't mean it's not a discussion that's important for the GNOME project.

"What is GNOME without F-Spot? Without Banshee? Without iFolder? And, most importantly, without Beagle?"
What is GNOME without Nautilus? Without Evolution? Without Firefox? Without NetworkManager?
You may now have noticed that those good apps aren't written in Mono yet are usefull for the users.
The fact that a few good apps are written in a certain language doesn't mean an entire project should switch to that language.

"GNOME has no leaders or an elected board of some sort that can take important decisions after weighing the pros and cons as discussed on d-d-l."

So you want to fight politics with, uh, more politics?

Reply Score: 2

RE: missing the point
by eMagius on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:06 UTC in reply to "missing the point"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

You may now have noticed that those good apps aren't written in Mono yet are usefull for the users.
The fact that a few good apps are written in a certain language doesn't mean an entire project should switch to that language.


You certainly are missing the point. No one's arguing that Gnome should switch to Mono at this point. The discussion regards including Mono (and Python) bindings in Gnome so that distributing and installing/running Mono (and Python) applications becomes easier.

There are some that believe that including Mono and Python bindings will make Gnome less focused (as developers will have more options), more bloated (a few more megs of disk space), or less "pure" in the ideological sense (as Gnome was originally C only).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Has everyone forgotten D?
by PrimalDK on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:05 UTC
PrimalDK
Member since:
2005-07-12

I was kidding about the Digital Mars issue, of course.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Has everyone forgotten D?
by silicon on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Has everyone forgotten D?"
silicon Member since:
2005-07-30

I modded you up. I don't know who modded you down.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Has everyone forgotten D?
by PrimalDK on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:28 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Has everyone forgotten D?"
PrimalDK Member since:
2005-07-12

Thanks!

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Has everyone forgotten D?
by PrimalDK on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:07 UTC
PrimalDK
Member since:
2005-07-12

The irony seems to escape people.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Has everyone forgotten D?
by PrimalDK on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:07 UTC
PrimalDK
Member since:
2005-07-12

This does not surprise me.

Reply Score: 1

my vote
by deanlinkous on Mon 24th Jul 2006 13:54 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

I enjoy gnome. I think it is fantastic. I do not have mono and neither does my gnome ;)

For people that want the coolest apps then yes I admit some cool apps are using mono but I personally want to surf/chat/email/officeDocs/music...no mono needed. Let those who want it, install it - no biggie!

If someone writes a few new cool apps in XYZ language then should that also become part of gnome, and EFG after that, and ABC after that.

I think - keep gnome tight, small (as possible), lite (as possible). There are apps we like and we *wish* would become a part of gnome but certainly we can all realize that if we all fulfilled that wish gnome would be a huge blob and likely a mess.

Reply Score: 1

Oh Dear
by segedunum on Mon 24th Jul 2006 16:51 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

There are clear reasons why Mono was and is debated endlessly, and that is because it has some question marks around it. Those question marks, certainly in view of how Microsoft is licensing .Net, were outlined by me here:

http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=15226&comment_id=144457

And no, the ECMA stuff is not safe - certainly not when you look at it.

Quite frankly, I find the way that Mono has been outlined as the second coming and Gnome should just somehow accept it, without considering the wider implications for an OSS project, to be political in the extreme.

People at Novell need to either lay all this out on the line and address it or shut up. The problem is that when anyone has tried to coax them into doing this, all we get is 'This is FUD', 'This has been addressed in the FAQ', 'We will license what we need' or 'This is FUD just because it's Microsoft and you can't accept it'. Miguel offered this whenever the subject was broached. I find that political to be honest.

Gnome as a project simply can't accept Mono as a part of it until those concerns are laid to rest - and it doesn't matter how great you or Eugenia think Mono apps are, or how many of them there are. No sane open source project can, and the people raising those concerns have far less political intentions than those trying to push it.

There are also other non-technical issues, such as if C needs to be ditched like Eugenia says...what do you write the core of the desktop and critical libraries in?! What Gnome actually needs is a way of writing well organised, natively compiled infrastructure in an object oriented way, and then add the higher-level languages and infrastructure needed to write good applications on top. And the issue of C++, Java or C# is not the only thing to argue about. You need the toolkit and the framework available to make that language really work, and it needs to be properly maintained at quality high enough to make a good desktop, quality infrastructure and good applications. KDE solved this about ten years ago - without many people realising it.

Edited 2006-07-24 17:07

Reply Score: 5

matrix
Member since:
2006-07-24

Sorry but your comments are rarely taking into account that gnome is a project existing and working since 1997 in tis way. Yes, next year it's nearly ten years old, and I think it's getting some years older before a better project will kick them out. Nearly every time something is wrong with communication in a group, a leader should resolve it. But sometimes, maybe it's better do make no decision than one of majority or based on a leaders opinion. Sometimes things evolve and sometimes the decision could be made by compromise (and in fact often this brings things further). Maybe Gnome need a procedure for decision making, but there are many more possibilities than leadership. You could make polls, you can create a community, you can have some delegates. The existence of open source is also a part of democratication. No leader tells me what to use, no only the intrest in profit is taken into account. Stop calling for the big leader killing the problems, in many open source projects the leaders are the problem!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Difference
by sbenitezb on Mon 24th Jul 2006 20:04 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

Why? Don't you think licensing is important? There are plenty of differences between GPL and LGPL. The most important being about money.

Reply Score: 0

the author is ill informed.
by google_ninja on Tue 25th Jul 2006 09:23 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

GNOME has been based on politics from day 1. The reason it was created was in response to KDE, which had (as in, past tense) a non-free toolkit. Thats right, GNOME is FREE SOFTWARE, not opensource. opensource is kinda political, free software is ALL about politics.

The reason GNOME went with a C API in the first place had to do with politics as well. So what the author is suggesting is that even though the project was founded to be a Free Software desktop environment, has been completely clear about this, and has stayed true to it from day 1, even when that means using inferior yet patent free technoloy, all of a sudden they should change because of an influx of non-ethical users.

That is at the best silly and uninformed, at the worst its flamebait.

Reply Score: 2

clarification
by google_ninja on Tue 25th Jul 2006 09:39 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

after reading a bit more of the thread, it seems some people here are ill informed too.

The descision to go C didnt have anything to do with performance. C++ is slightly slower, but what is gained in maintainability (finding and fixing bugs, adding new features), and efficiency (C++ is slightly higher level, allowing for easier and quicker coding on high level tasks, like office suits as opposed to drivers). Im going to get flamed to all hell for this, but in the non unix/free software world, C is considered obsolete, and C++ even is rapidly getting there, because even more modern languages are quicker to code in, and more maintainable. C isnt even taught in most schools any more (im talking technical collages and comp. sci. degrees, which is the education most coders get).

In fact, that is the big reason the gnome project needs a high level framework. The barrier for entry for a new coder is really high, because (in part) of the complexity and lack of documentation in GLib, but also because new coders just plane dont know C. many dont even know C++. The world of the future is in C# and Java, and C just isnt that marketable for a junior programmer.

So why did GNOME choose C? Politics. Everything that has to do with GNU is politically motivated. C was developed by academia, C++ was made by two guys. So when the descision was made to found GNOME, of course they chose the Free language.

Last but not least, if politics don't interest you, you really shouldnt be using software made with very deliberate political goals in mind. If you just want "something for nothing", you are a freeloader, and at least have the decency not to criticise what motivated the work that went into what you use. Personally, I admire the free software guys and what they are trying to do. I fall more into the open source camp, but the free software guys have many valid points, and should be lauded both for the work they have done for the good of everyone, and because it is very, very rare nowadays to find a group of people that stick to their ideals and ethics the way they have in these days.

Reply Score: 1