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The Mono Mystery That Wasn't 268

Posted by Soulskill
from the context-is-everything dept.
jammag writes "It was shocking news, or so it seemed: Miguel de Icaza, the Mono creator, was switching his opinion about his life's work — he now seemed to agree with the free software partisans who oppose his Mono work and his Microsoft connections. The story flamed across the Internet and even got picked up on Slashdot. But Bruce Byfield reports that 'De Icaza has not changed his opinions.' De Icaza calls the rumors 'a storm in a teacup.' Tracing the misinformation trail, Byfield concludes that 'the FOSS community excels at communication. However, in this instance, that ability was used irresponsibly.'"
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The Mono Mystery That Wasn't

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  • by RingDev (879105) on Friday March 26, 2010 @11:44AM (#31627136) Homepage Journal

    Inflammatory headline supersedes mundane content? Say it ain't so!

    -Rick

    • Wow, take time to spell check the comment, and completely forgot the header, excuse me while I seek atonement from my old English teachers... This is going to hurt.

      -Rick

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jurily (900488)

        Don't worry, "headling" still sounds smarter than the whole .NET vs. Mono debate.

    • by WED Fan (911325)
      The original article was a piece of wishful thinking that turned into much more than intended. That said, I don't think Mono has legs. It's too far behind the curve of .Net development, with .Net 4.0 hitting the streets soon, developers can never hope to easily port their latest and greatest over to Mono.
      • by miguel (7116) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:02PM (#31627388) Homepage

        We have announced that our upcoming Mono release (2.8) will default to 4.0:

        http://www.mono-project.com/Roadmap [mono-project.com]

        For the first time in Mono's history our C# compiler and its supporting engine and core libraries were done before Microsoft released the product, we were usually one to two years behind. This time we are some five months ahead of time:

        http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2009/Dec-09.html [tirania.org]

        There are still a handful of loose ends here and there, but luckily, nothing major.

        • How about WPF, then? When are you going to develop it? I know: never. The scope of it is way too large for your team.

          Same about complete WCF, WWF (and other WTFs).

          So in reality, a Mono application will probably work on Windows, but almost none of Windows C# applications will work on Mono.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by BassMan449 (1356143)
            They aren't implementing WPF for the same reason that Microsoft is not adding anything to WPF. MS considers it a dead technology and is pushing SilverLight. Mono is much better off putting the resources into Moonlight than it is into a Mono implementation of WPF.
            • by Cyberax (705495)

              WTF?!?

              WPF is VERY alive. You're confusing it with WinForms (which is dead).

              Aaaand Silverlight just uses a subset of WPF for drawing. So you're in essence saying that WPF is dead because its subset is alive :)

              • Well, maybe because Mono client-side apps, for the most part, are using GTK# (which isn't in MS's stack). Honestly, with increased support for desktop apps in Silverlight/Moonlight, I don't see much point to creating a full WPF implementation.
                • by Cyberax (705495)

                  Not having a WPF implementation created a one-way street - Mono applications will work on Windows, but not vice versa.

                  That doesn't help Linux.

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                I don't think WPF is really that alive, although I agree calling it 'dead' is a bit dramatic.

                Microsoft, as is there frequent pattern, has moved on from WPF in that it's stable but won't be invested in significantly anymore.

                Example: If you take a look at the last major Microsoft conference (MIX10) then you'll see there we no new WPF features added, while a whole bunch of new Silverlight things announced. Even Microsoft realizes that the web is having an impact on their desktop UI strategy, i.e. Silverlight i

                • by Cyberax (705495)

                  "Example: If you take a look at the last major Microsoft conference (MIX10) then you'll see there we no new WPF features added"

                  WPF is definitely not going away. Look at VisualStudio 2010, or to be precise, look at its editor. Yes, it's WPF.

                  Not much new features are added to it because it's in the stabilization phase for now. So yes, it's just resting.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  Example: If you take a look at the last major Microsoft conference (MIX10) then you'll see there we no new WPF features added, while a whole bunch of new Silverlight things announced.

                  That's because the new things in .NET 4 (which includes WPF 4) were announced a long time ago on PDC. There's no point in hashing them over again on MIX in March, when the final version is going to come out in April, and there has been two public betas and RC already, the latter being feature-complete.

                  Here [microsoft.com] is the high-level changelog for WPF 4. As you can see, it contains totally minor and irrelevant features typical of a product being deprecated, such as "the WPF text rendering stack has been completely re

            • by D4MO (78537) on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:45PM (#31630370)

              Visual Studio 2010, a core flagship MS product, is written in WPF [onedotnetway.com].

        • Why not call it Mono 4.0 then?

          • I think that would probably be a good move... Though, Mono has followed a much more sane version-scheme than MS's marketing driven versions. IMHO .Net 3 should have been 2.3 and 3.5 probably should have been 2.5, since they were based on .Net 2's base libraries. .Net 4 should be 3... but it's too late for that. I would support making the next Mono release 4.0 to have better version parity with MS's framework.
        • by Jerry (6400) on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:15PM (#31628770)

          Five months ahead?

          How can you maintain and guarantee compatibility? Divination, or do you actually work hand in hand with Microsoft .NET developers?

          And, has Microsoft added ASP.NET and its other IP to the EMCA 334 & 335 specifications, so that you can legally add them to MONO?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Most new features have been announced on PDC'2008. Since then, there has been a public beta of VS2010 / .NET 4 in May 2009, a second one in October 2009, and RC in February 2010.

            It's still impressive that they have implemented it all in slightly over a year, but there is no mystery here.

            There haven't been any updates to Ecma-335/335 so far. This doesn't preclude Mono from having an ASP.NET implementation, though - in fact, it's probably the single non-Ecma library that Mono has the best (most compatible etc

  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Friday March 26, 2010 @11:50AM (#31627220)

    Didnt you hear? Stallman converted to scientology and Linus is accepting patches from NAMBLA!! Oh and the EFF finally released its spec for its homegrown DRM scheme.

  • by DMiax (915735) on Friday March 26, 2010 @11:53AM (#31627272)
    I can see the editor thinking "we already know this is fake news, but let's publish: we are missing a good Mono flamewar since forever!"
    • by OzPeter (195038)

      I can see the editor thinking "we already know this is fake news, but let's publish: we are missing a good Mono flamewar since forever!"

      Nah .. I think at the moment it is more like "lets break up the run of slashvirtisments and Apple fawning stories so we can seem like a reasonable website". As after all the editors have proven time and time again that they don't know real news from fake shit.

    • by Megaweapon (25185)

      I can see the editor thinking "we already know this is fake news, but let's publish: we are missing a good Mono flamewar since forever!"

      Should be modded Insightful, not Funny...

  • by Voulnet (1630793)
    Wow, grow up, guys. So he has Microsoft connections? So what? If open source affiliation is a valid reason to hate somebody, you might start rethinking your life priorities. The Mono project gives Linux developers more choice, especially if they have been working with .NET tech for a long time. Would you forfeit years of .NET training and experience because you want to use a Linux platform? That, or I am missing a bigger picture, in such case maybe someone can elaborate in the implications of said "teacu
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wow, grow up, guys. So he has Microsoft connections? So what? If open source affiliation is a valid reason to hate somebody, you might start rethinking your life priorities.

      I don't think it's his "open source affiliations" anyone is worried about, so much as his affiliation with a dangerous monopolist that has been incredibly damaging to the industry and state of the art.

      The Mono project gives Linux developers more choice, especially if they have been working with .NET tech for a long time.

      Yeah, sort of the same way crack dealers give kids more choice of entertainment.

      Would you forfeit years of .NET training and experience because you want to use a Linux platform?

      If I wanted to develop for Linux, I'd absolutely learn new frameworks and tools to do it, but then most people already know multiple languages, tools, and methods of programming.

      at, or I am missing a bigger picture, in such case maybe someone can elaborate in the implications of said "teacup storm"?

      Look up the phrase, "embrace, extend, extinguish". It

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        /pulls up flame proof long johns/ "crack dealers"?Can we pleeease quit with MSFT being the "big bad" crap already? Yeah old Bill was a bad mofo, but he has been retired for how many years now? Ballmer monkey is about as threatening as the PHB on Dilbert, throwing buzzword bingo at everything and hoping something will stick.

        I case you missed the memo it is 2010 and the web is the arena, NOT the desktop. And on the web MSFT sucks, has always sucked, and doesn't look to be changing that anytime soon. Cell phon

  • But Bruce Byfield reports that 'De Icaza has not changed his opinions.' De Icaza calls the rumors 'a storm in a teacup.'

    In other words, that check from MS finally cleared. :)

    In actuality, I think that De Icaza actually believes in what he is doing and not a paid shill. However, I is still don't want anything to do with .NET on my computers.

  • That's a shame. I'd thought that after all this time he was finally wising up and accepting what everyone else on the planet was saying. I guess either he hasn't put his fanatical devotion to his employer aside (does anyone really believe that he didn't get the job he applied for at Microsoft?) or that his boss told him to back down. Either way, too bad. He's a talented guy and I wish he would work on something useful and less poisonous.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:35PM (#31628024) Homepage

      I'd thought that after all this time he was finally wising up and accepting what everyone else you agree with was saying.

      There, fixed that for ya.

      I know, amazing! Some people might *actually* disagree with you, oh wise and omniscient one!

      • I know, amazing! Some people might *actually* disagree with you, oh wise and omniscient one!

        That's fine when the subject at hand doesn't matter. In this case, no one with a sense of history and a functional intellect disagrees. The only counterarguments are from people who are ignorant of the fact that Microsoft has threatened to use their software patents to destroy FOSS projects, or who have reason not to care.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          In this case, no one with a sense of history and a functional intellect disagrees.

          You forgot "or gives a shit about FOSS as a 'movement'". I don't care about FOSS as a movement in any way. I could give less of a shit...but I don't know how. I think people who hang out at SlashDot get lost in some kind of reality distortion field and think all other professional developers are greasy neckbeards like them. Most people don't care about any of this, and would use Mono in a heartbeat if it suited their technical needs. You are a minority.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      I'd thought that after all this time he was finally wising up and accepting what everyone else on the planet was saying.

      I wasn't saying that. Don't put words in my mouth.

  • His life's work? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Punto (100573) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (botnup)> on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:07PM (#31627484) Homepage

    Didn't this guy start Gnome (or maybe KDE)? that is actually "life's work" worthy, not something nobody cares about like mono.

  • List of all open source iconoclasts --

    Miguel de Icaza
    Theo de Raadt

    notice any similarities between the names?

  • by Timbo (75953) on Friday March 26, 2010 @12:41PM (#31628140) Homepage

    ...I'm amazed at how obtuse (and in some cases, downright insulting) the majority of the comments on this story are. I think it's highly likely that if .NET didn't come from Microsoft, nobody would be getting quite so emotional about the whole thing.

    For the record, I'm categorically not Microsoft's greatest fan, but you cannot deny that .NET/C# is a damn good platform. Having a portable version of said good platform is therefore a Good Thing. It doesn't matter if Microsoft decide to fuck Mono over; it's still a good platform and therefore still a Good Thing. If you disagree and you don't like it, then fine; don't use it and stop whining.

    • by Vahokif (1292866)
      Mod parent up. This is pathetic.
    • I agree with you, but you have the arguments wrong. The problem people had was that Icaza was pushing Mono so hard for things that didn't need it (Tomboy) that he came off like a shill. And that he was convinced there were no patent issues and everybody should start using it, despite the fact that patent issues are/were a real problem.

      So he came off as a guy who was working on an inferior implementation of a Microsoft product and was strongly pushing for its infiltration into the Linux desktop, and giving h

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:04PM (#31629706) Journal

      I think it's highly likely that if .NET didn't come from Microsoft, nobody would be getting quite so emotional about the whole thing.

      As a matter of fact, that'snot true [gnu.org]. The '.net trap' is just another version of the Java trap, only made more dangerous by the fact that Microsoft is known to be hostile to open source.

      If you disagree and you don't like it, then fine; don't use it and stop whining.

      The problem is that mono is included in Gnome, and if it spreads it will get harder and harder to avoid. Some of us would prefer to keep that from happening, because we know what the potential consequences would be.

  • Is that supposed to imply that if it appeared on Slashdot it has some kind of legitimacy? You must be new here.
  • by segedunum (883035) on Friday March 26, 2010 @03:05PM (#31630656)
    Whatever way you cut it, this is an admission of defeat and it has been exactly what everyone has complained about regarding .Net and the nonsense surrounding Mono for years. De Icaza has sought to paint over it at every single turn until now. Maybe the penny seems to have finally dropped:

    "The most important part is that Microsoft has shot the .NET ecosystem in the foot because of the constant thread of patent infringement that they have cast on the ecosystem. Unlike the Java world that is blossoming with dozens of vibrant Java virtual machine implementations, the .NET world has suffered by this meme spread by Ballmer that they would come after people that do not license patents from them.

    Sun on the other hand said from day one: we will not sue you over patent infringement if you implement your own Java. Google does something similar with their APIs and Google's Wave: they are giving everyone access to their stuff.

    As the only implementor of the ECMA standards outside of Microsoft, I sure would have hoped that they had given rights to everyone to implement. They would still be the #1 stack, but it would have encouraged an ecosystem that would have innovated extensively around their platform.

    Instead, people went and innovated on Java or other platforms that might not have been as advanced as .NET, but at least they were not under Microsoft threat."

    It's very clear. The part in bold I find most damning. This indicates that he knew all along that you couldn't create an open source implementation of even the CLR without permission from Microsoft. There is a lot in here, but people like Bruce Byfield obviously havent read it properly. He's tried top backtrack and cover up a bit by saying that it's all nothing, but it most certainly is something.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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