Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 11th Jan 2009 10:54 UTC, submitted by Hiev
Mono Project Arstechnica reports that Mono, an open source implementation of .NET runtime, is bringing Microsoft's development technologies to some unexpected places, including the iPhone, Android, and the Wii.
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RE[2]: wow, i mean just wow....
by lsls on Mon 12th Jan 2009 20:32 UTC in reply to "RE: wow, i mean just wow...."
lsls
Member since:
2006-11-13

Mono was never a complete implementation of .Net and will never be. They are constantly playing catch up with MS while trying to fit .Net cross platform.

Instead of cherry-picking .Net functionality that works well cross-platform and innovating the rest on their own, they have decided to be a incomplete copy-cat. I strongly believe that Miguel and his talented team are capable of innovating away from MS to provide a better alternative that works as well if not better. I also believe that Mono would be much more attractive if it were to promote itself as cross-platform CLR with a well designed framework, than a mere .Net copycat with a sub-par cross-platform design.


I think that Mono can be useful in many ways, and it is up to the community to make it evolve in different ways. I believe that the focus of the mono project has been adapted over time to the needs of the users.

See for example this interview to Miguel: http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2004/04/28/interview_with_miguel_...

In this interview Miguel says that Ximian was initially focused only on the core and, he says "what we wanted was to empower regular users to build applications for Linux".

also:

"the people who came and contributed software to the project were interested in Windows Forms, or ASP.Net or Web services or databases, which were part of the Microsoft stack"

I think that over the years, the Mono project has evolved from a focus on Linux development towards a focus on .NET portability, and that this shift has been due to user demand. This is understandable since there are thousands of developers and companies out there using .NET for developing their applications, and they see Mono as a fast path for migrating their applications to Linux. Beware that a big chunk of those applications are web applications, and in this area Mono can be a perfect replacement of MS's .NET.

Whatever is the focus, I think that what matters to Miguel is what better benefits Linux. Building a stack of libraries for easing Linux development is obviously good for Linux. Building a framework which eases the portability of applications from Windows to Linux is also good for Linux.

Yes, Mono is not a complete implementation of .NET and will always be playing catch up with MS. So, there will always be .NET applications which won't run on Mono. Is that a big issue? no, because there will still be many others which do run on Mono and Linux will be benefiting from it.


I will give an example where there were initiatives to make Mono more than .Net. The #WT initiative was a good example. But the insistence of Mono stay the course with System.Windows.Forms killed it.


You can't accuse Mono of killing WT#, that's not fair. It is true that the Mono team was focused on SWF and did not work on WT#, but that's probably because there was a lot of demand for SWF and very little for WT#.


Failing to make S.W.F useable with native L&F on platforms other than Windows, they decided to take the Cocoa#/GTK# course instead.


The development of GTK# started long before SWF or WT#.
See the ChangeLog (http://anonsvn.mono-project.com/viewvc/trunk/gtk-sharp/ChangeLog?re...). It started only a few months after Mono was announced.


If they were to stick with #WT, it would have been a real cross-platform contender GUI wise. But no, they decided to take the half-baked approach instead. Till this day they do not have unified cross-platform GUI frameworks that Java enjoys.


I understand that this is an interesting goal for you and other people, but I don't think this is a goal of the Mono team. Building a cross-platform GUI framework like Java would be a lot of work and would not benefit Linux as much as e.g. a complete ASP.NET implementation would.


From my involvement with many experienced .Net developers, I've learnt that they are aware of Mono but consider it an inferior copy that attempts to bring .Net to Linux. Some (like me) have expressed that they would switch to Mono in a heartbeat if Mono would steer their own course. Heck, we would even switch fully to Mono and dump .Net (even on Windows), if Mono would try be an elegant framework and runtime (that is compatible with MS CLR) that works cross-platform as its goal. Some of us took the attempt to share this with the Mono team over IRC to only be shot down.


I don't know how you could be shut down. Mono is free software, and anybody is free to build a new framework on top of it and pursue different goals. The Mono team can't avoid that.


We could understand that Novell has now put themselves in a licensing situation with MS over .Net patents that would make it hard for them to back down. Also providing a much better framework than .Net that is also cross-platform could be implied as turning the tables against MS in its own game.


I don't think that the relation of Novell with MS has much to do with the goals of the Mono project. As I said, I think it has more to do with user demand.

I understand that the current goal of Mono does not fit your needs, but you must understand that it does fit the needs of many other developers and companies. I don't think it is fair to bash Mono for having a different goal than yours, especially taking into account that you are free to take mono and built whatever framework you want on top of it.

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