posted by Eugenia Loli on Tue 1st Apr 2003 11:25 UTC

"Miguel Interview, Part II"
2. Portable.NET and dotGNU is keeping close to Mono's advancements as much as possible. What do you think about their progress? Which implementation do you see to be the most-used alternative to .NET?

Miguel de Icaza: I think they are doing good progress, and am glad that there are other implementations of the ECMA standards available.  They are free to use our class libraries as they are licensed under very liberal terms (the MIT X11 license, which is even laxer than the original BSD license).

Mono is probably going to be the most used alternative .NET implementation, but only time will tell.

3. When you started Mono about 2 years ago, a lot of people were angry at you feeling... betrayed that you chose to embrace a Microsoft technology. However, I heard someone saying that these very same people will thank you for your work when the right time comes in a few years, when Mono will be obvious of its importance on keeping Linux "current" in the technologies of this future time. What do you think about this public outcry you had back when you started Mono and do you agree with the above said person about the future?

Miguel de Icaza: I do not particularly mind the outcry.  It is important to have a dialog and discuss the pros and cons of every approach, and the early discussions were good in that they helped crystallize the vision for Mono.  The situation was obviously not helped by the fact that the name `.NET' had been overloaded to mean different things.

Today I think the situation has changed as people understand that Mono is an implementation of the .NET framework and that the scope of the project is well defined. 

If you like the .NET framework or you happen to have code written for it (GUI, server based or web based), then Mono is a tool you would use.  The Mono team obviously believes that this is a great technology, and you have to try it out, but if you prefer to use PHP, Java, C++ or any other technology, that is fine with us.  In fact, some developers are already working on bridging these worlds together (there are PHP bridges and Java VMs for .NET/Mono in existence today)

Two years ago Mono was only a vision, today people can write code for it, and run it, so the perception obviously changes.

4. How do you feel about Mono on cell phones and other mobile devices? Any thoughts on this?

Miguel de Icaza: Mono is already running on the iPaq, here is a screenshot.

We hope that the new JIT engine will soon be ported to this CPU.

It would be extraordinary to see Mono running on more embedded devices.

You might want to compile a subset of the class libraries when running on machines with limited resources, and am sure that when the time comes, we will see patches that will conditionally compile out parts of the class libraries.

5. I read a long discussion about D-BUS on the Gnome mailing list. What's the deal with D-BUS, what is it, what it will offer and what will it replace (if anything)?

Miguel de Icaza: D-BUS does not replace anything, it is a new addition to the desktop.

D-BUS is a message bus, think of it as a broadcast system for sending messages to applications on your computer.  A bus is a useful abstraction, and it would obviously be useful to have this thing done in an very desktop-neutral fashion.

The debate on the mailing lists was not about whether a bus was important, but what technology should be used for the bus plus other tangential topics.

6. What do you think about KDE and Gnome interoperability/compatibility/common standards? Are you for some kind of technological/standards unity between the two DEs, or do you prefer the two DEs to be separate?

Miguel de Icaza: You have to look at the larger picture.  Gnome and KDE are not the only players in the desktop: Gnome, Java, KDE, Mozilla, OpenOffice, Real, and Wine are all citizens of the desktop, and from our point of view, to make the desktop succeed and integrate, we should work on getting all the players to agree in as much as possible where in the areas where there is an overlap for the sake of the user.

I have not been involved in these efforts, mostly because I have been busy with Mono which is a universe on its own, but the people implementing and promoting the interoperability are key to the success and future of Gnome as a competitive desktop.

7. Is there any serious attempt so far to port Mono on MacOSX and without the use of X11?

Miguel de Icaza: Mono works on MacOS X without X11. 

You only need X11 if you are using X11 libraries, for example Gtk+.  I am sure that eventually a native version of Gtk+ will be done for the MacOS, very much like the WIMP version of Gtk+ that makes Gtk+ applications blend and adopt the user interface of Windows.

Table of contents
  1. "Miguel Interview, Part I"
  2. "Miguel Interview, Part II"
  3. "Miguel Interview, Part III"
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