posted by Eugenia Loli on Tue 28th Sep 2004 08:46 UTC

"Interview with Mikael Hallendal, Page 2/2"
5. You recently started evaluating C# and Mono while developing Blam!. How did you find Gtk#? Is it mature? Fast to develop? Interesting? Would you recommend it to new Gnome developers or to your clients?

Planner, Blam, DevHelp and Gossip Mikael Hallendal: I found developing with Mono and Gtk# to be a really nice experience. I would say that it's very mature and a great way to develop applications for GNOME. I developed the first version of Blam in about a week of hacking and have since spent a couple of days updating to Mono 1.0 when it was released and fixed a few issues. So I'd say it's pretty usable for developing applications fast.

Whether it's the right tool for the job really depends on what you are developing. From what it looks like some important distributions are not planning on shipping Mono so if you want your application to be included there at some point it's probably not the best solution.

As for recommending it to customers I would probably not do that at this point due to legal issues that no one seems to be able to give a straight answer to.

6. Which distro do you normall use? Do you standardise on a specific distro when you serve clients and specifically test for it? What kind of tests do you employ to test your engineering work?

Mikael Hallendal: We use both Red Hat 9, Fedora Core and Debian on our machines. I currently run Debian PPC on my laptop that I use for most developing these days. What distributions we use when developing for clients is based on their requests.

7. What would you like to see change in Gnome and/or GTK+ from a developer's point of view? And what from a user's point of view?

Mikael Hallendal: As a developer I would like to see a nice higher level language such as Java or C# being more integrated with the platform. A nice integration to all the desktop with such a language would really improve GNOME as an application development platform. This together with a nice and powerful IDE would make developing applications on GNOME much more efficient.

Most of the parts I'm missing as a user are being worked on or was included in GNOME 2.8. Most noticable HAL and the volume manager, it's nice to be able to just plug your camera in and have GThumb automatically import your photos, *finally*.

Another thing that I really miss is syncing with PDAs. I'm terrible at remembering appointments and having good syncing with PDAs would really help. That together with a nice stand alone calendar application, like iCal in Mac OSX. So if anyone has time that might be a nice application to build on top of evolution-data-server.

8. What is your opinion on Qt and KDE? Do you see their platform as a competitor for your business or as a parallel ally to a greater cause?

Mikael Hallendal: I can't say that Qt and KDE has any direct impact on our business but in a way it's probably a competitor to us since some potentional customers might choose Qt over GTK+ and go to some other commercial partner.

The fact that GTK+ and GNOME are LGPL makes them great for a lot of companies to build upon and I think that's a real winner in the long run.

As for Linux on the desktop I think that it is great to see freedesktop.org earn so much trust from both GNOME and KDE. This is really necessary for Linux to gain acceptance on the desktop. In the current situation I think KDE and GNOME attracts different people and together we reach a broader market so that's good. I also believe in competition and that it really pushes both projects to do better.

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