Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Jul 2009 08:51 UTC, submitted by PLan
Mono Project We've already seen some heavy discussion on Mono and C# here on OSNews the past few weeks, as it became clear the patent situation regarding the ECMA parts of Mono was anything but faith inspiring. This issue seems to be resolved now: Microsoft has made a legally binding promise not to sue anyone who uses or distributes implementations of said ECMA standards. Following this news, Mono will be split in two; the ECMA standard parts, and the rest.
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RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 7th Jul 2009 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

On the issue of the non-ECMA specified parts, I pretty much agree with you. Developers interested .Net as an exit strategy from Win32 are essentially in the same (legaly unclear) situation as before the community promise. And frankly, it would not be in Microsofts current interest to make it easier to move away from their operating system and plattforms. They may have mellowed on the idea of F/OSS developments, but only as long as it happens to target Win32, preferably exclusively.


What hacks me off is the fact that you don't see the sort of patent happy stupidity from the UNIX world if people dare to implement the SUS03 specification, we didn't see Sun sue third parties that implemented the Java framework (as long as they didn't call it Java), and we haven't seen Apple sue GNUStep developers for reimplementing OpenStep. Why is Microsoft the only company who seems to have this desire to be the ultimate prick of the software world?

That being said, a legally safe(r) ECMA C# implemenation is of benefit to FOSS projects like GNOME, which are in need of an alternative to the C/GLib-GObject/GTK+ combo as a first class development platform which (from the outside, judging from comments from the developer community) seems to be possible with C# / CLI / GTK#, if for no other reason than recruiting people who have no desire to get their hands dirty using C.


Ok, lets say they go down the route and develop a uniquely open source framework ontop that is oriented around GNOME - it doesn't answer the $64,000 question: who is going to implement these on Windows? GTK+ right now is a giant mess with little attention being paid by anyone - GTK# is dependent on GTK+, so if the GTK+ is horrid, then the GTK# is going to be horrid too.

It has to be re-implemented or otherwise you loose one of the key features of .NET, add to that the requirement to integrate these frameworks into a decent development environment like Visual Studio (ever used Mono Develop? it is a really bad joke) so that developers can drag, drop and assign code to GTK# widgets like they would with Winforms.

Like I said, I believe the ECMA promise that Microsoft has given to the community but the problem that I have, however, is the stuff that sits on top - there needs to be a compelling enough way of making the mono open source framework (that sits on top) compelling and transparent enough for Windows .NET developers to adopt as to expand the ecosystem to include Linux as a platform to aim for during development of applications.

Edited 2009-07-07 14:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by jpobst on Tue 7th Jul 2009 14:35 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
jpobst Member since:
2006-09-26

What hacks me off is the fact that you don't see the sort of patent happy stupidity from the UNIX world if people dare to implement the SUS03 specification, we didn't see Sun sue third parties that implemented the Java framework (as long as they didn't call it Java), and we haven't seen Apple sue GNUStep developers for reimplementing OpenStep. Why is Microsoft the only company who seems to have this desire to be the ultimate prick of the software world?


We also haven't seen Microsoft suing Mono for reimplementing .NET. In fact, this is them going out of their way to make it explicit that they will not sue, something that I doubt Sun/Java (pre-GPL) or Apple/OpenStep ever did.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 7th Jul 2009 15:39 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

We also haven't seen Microsoft suing Mono for reimplementing .NET. In fact, this is them going out of their way to make it explicit that they will not sue, something that I doubt Sun/Java (pre-GPL) or Apple/OpenStep ever did.


Did you read the article? the promise only covers what is standardised under the ECMA standard - the interesting parts like gdiplus, winforms, asp.net and so forth are excluded - so the threat still stands for those banking on mono to turn their winforms application into a multiplatform solution without needing to do extensive re-coding.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by modmans2ndcoming on Tue 7th Jul 2009 14:41 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

1) Neither Sun nor Apple ever promised not to sue for their patents. It is just the FOSS community's paranoia that is driving the distrust of MS.

2)MONO is not the WINE of .net. Who cares if GTK+ sucks on windows? the goal of MONO is to replace C with C# as the preimire dev technology on GNOME.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 7th Jul 2009 15:46 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

1) Neither Sun nor Apple ever promised not to sue for their patents. It is just the FOSS community's paranoia that is driving the distrust of MS.


You are correct about that but given that Apple hasn't said, "implement OpenStep and die" as Ballmer threatened the opensource community with such an announcement - I feel pretty safe. As for Java, they made it clear; the only request was don't call it Java - call it Chocolate Milkshake if you want but if you want to make it Java you have to pay a fee.

2)MONO is not the WINE of .net. Who cares if GTK+ sucks on windows? the goal of MONO is to replace C with C# as the preimire dev technology on GNOME.


If your goal is to make a replacement to C, only use the ECMA standardised components and create a uniquely GNOME integrated .NET like Framework - then all power to them. The problem is that there will be those who expect it to be multiplatform - something that mono needs to state, therefore, that multiplatformness is a secondary priority when compared to making Mono into *the* framework, and C# the language to use.

Its good that they've split the two but I'd like to see an explicit removal of the non-ECMA components from the mono-project altogether. Make it a pure ECMA + Open Source with a declaration they have no interest re-implementing the non-ECMA components.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[6]: Comment by kaiwai
by niemau on Tue 7th Jul 2009 16:09 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai"
niemau Member since:
2007-06-28

the goal of MONO is to replace C with C# as the preimire dev technology on GNOME.


hah. no, it is not! it's about creating a clone of .NET. period. straight from the horse's mouth:

Provides the necessary software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on different platforms.


i am so tired of people making this just about patents. of course microsoft is going to continue to make shallow and/or vague patent threats in perpetuity. just like they ALWAYS have.

the only thing this 'promise' does is extend novell's insufficient coverage to others. it still doesn't cover everything.

but even if there was NO patent threat, it is flabbergasting that so many people have no problem with playing a constant game of catch-up, forever and ever. mono will ALWAYS be a 'me-too' or a 'second best implementation'. that is the very nature of the project. considering MS's... errr... history, why would anybody even *want* to take that on?

that simple fact is why a good number of people don't want to be any further entrenched in mono than necessary. that is why we shouldn't be pushing mono as a development platform. a compatibility option, sure. but never installed by default. and NEVER critical.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by setec_astronomy on Tue 7th Jul 2009 15:11 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
setec_astronomy Member since:
2007-11-17

Ok, lets say they go down the route and develop a uniquely open source framework ontop that is oriented around GNOME - it doesn't answer the $64,000 question: who is going to implement these on Windows? GTK+ right now is a giant mess with little attention being paid by anyone - GTK# is dependent on GTK+, so if the GTK+ is horrid, then the GTK# is going to be horrid too


As far as I can tell (and I might be completly wrong in this, because it has been some years since I did some GTKmm development and am pretty much out of the loop wrt developments in GTK land since then) the most probable answer to your question seems to be that they (=most of the GNOME devs, including pro-Mono segment) don't care that much about the cross-plattformness of their Apps, e.g. if it runs on *nix systems (up to but not necessarily including Mac OS X) then great, everything beyond that is a bonus and up to the individual developers or projects to handle (e.g. there seems to be no policy of targetting Win32 and OSX as fully supported "alternative" plattforms like for example in the case of KDE4).

There - quite obviously, given the number of times people tout the superiority of C# - is enough interest among F/OSS developers of having soley C# together with either GTK# or - as it would be my preference, if I ever had or wanted to use C# - via Qyoto / Kimono with Qt 4.x and KDE 4.x as an alternative to C or C++, respectively. I can't comment on the quality of the GTK# bindings or the available tools (incl. monodevelop), but if Qt/Jambi is something to go by, then Qyoto does not necessarily has to suck that bad.

To sum it up: If you want to use the C# together with a "pure" F/OSS higher level toolkit / stack, this community promise *might* improve the legal uncertainity considerably. If you think that Microsoft will help anybody writing cross-desktop applications so that their OS is no longer the sole or even preferred plattform for deploying the products: I would not hold my breath while waiting for that happening

Edited 2009-07-07 15:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2