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Technology Review Profiles Miguel de Icaza 231

prostoalex writes "Technology Review has a feature story on Miguel de Icaza, currently Novell VP of Product Technology, but more known as the leader of Gnome and Mono projects. Miguel is the man Don Box would like to see joining Microsoft for his "amazing amount of raw energy". If you read through the Technology review article, you will see that de Icaza was actually turned down by Microsoft at some point."
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Technology Review Profiles Miguel de Icaza

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  • by Real Troll Talk ( 793436 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:13PM (#9885166) Journal
    I met Miguel, like, back in '98 at a conference in Mexico. Yes, Linux existed there back then!

    We chatted and I quickly found he was more than just a Rob Malda or Rusty Foster, guys who talk the talk and get all the fame but can't back it up when it comes to lines of code per hour counts.

    Miguel simply AMAZED me with his knowledge and skill. He ever opened up a digital projector and messed with the PROM or jumpers or something and fixed it within 20 minutes, just in time for his talk.

    de Icaza is nothing short of amazing. I DO however question his judgement to kind of jump into the MS camp with MONO/.NET emulation, but I know that since he's smarter than me he must be doing the right thing.
    • I DO however question his judgement to kind of jump into the MS camp with MONO/.NET emulation,
      It's the sort of stuff he's liked all along - as using CORBA instead of sockets and gconf resembling the registry has shown - and the best of luck to him. It's in the best intrest of everyone but opposing salesfolk for MS to have a good operating system.
    • by anothy ( 83176 ) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @04:45AM (#9886937) Homepage

      i'm picking on you because you exemplify superbly what's true of most of this thread, and half the posts on this story: intense fanboyism. you deduced that he was a great coder from a short conversation? what'd he do, spend the whole time reciting the Mono headers? great coder, lousy conversationalist. you can't figure out how good a coder someone is without looking at their code ! and we'll ignore for the moment this flatly stupid idea that LoC/hr is some measure of a coder's skill. all the "he's nothing short of amazing" stuff just doesn't "take" without some rationale behind it, all of which is totally missing from most of the fanboy posts. "he's smarter than me, he must know what he's doing" is triangulated somewhere between funny, stupid, and dangerous. reserve judgment for people with a proven track record, but even Ken and Dennis make mistakes.

      and, speaking of track records, anyone know what the current score is for people or organizations that try to "play nice" with our "friends" in Redmond? (hint: it ain't pretty)

      i'm amazed by both the number of "he's the only one that gets it" (c'mon, the only one? there's an awful lot of bright people out there) and "he just doesn't get it" posts. people on both sides seem really animated. i've never met the guy, but most people i know who have ended up kinda violently opposed to him. what is it about the guy that inspires such strong emotion? is it just the fact that he's working on topics that touch on sensitive areas for many FS/OS folks (MS, and playing nice with them)? or is de Icaza the new RMS (people seem to have mostly mellowed about him)?

      i've got mod points, and i was gonna try to even this thread out some, but i couldn't figure out where the -1 Fanboy rating was.
    • "I know that since he's smarter than me he must be doing the right thing"

      One of the single most retarded things I've ever heard.
  • hrm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hot_Karls_bad_cavern ( 759797 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:20PM (#9885202) Journal
    i seem to recall a Slashdot sig or two quoting Miguel saying that he was a MS clipy fan.

    Many a /.'er would burn at the stake a man who had said so, but think for a sec before torching up those flames, kids.

    Clippy might have sucked and annoyed many of you, but think about those moments when grammy was looking about for a movie of the grandkids.

    i know, i know...stretch, strech, but ponder for me your grand parents for a sec: what do they read/write/view email with? Yeah, l33tz as you may be, gramps needs some some help from time to time: Gnome does that. Period.

    Gripe and bitch on the 'spatial this' and 'spatial that' ...your world is *not* ruined by this man: change your that bitch and moan how easy it is to twiddle this and that in /etc/here or /etc/there. Yeah, i'm good with that, but gramps is not - what can he use? Gnome. Or Kde.

    Save the zealotous mass, either is good, but Clippy has helped many a folk get "email"...your ub3r ass needs to realize these are not the folks that care for or about your sendmail/qmail/rfc gripes....they want the pics of the little grandkids.

    Rip on Miguel as you like, but recall, this is a man that wants the linux desktop to prosper, regardless of what fanboy, ub3r wannabies latch on.

    Let the quote go....listen to the do want me to listen to the open source spirit don't you?
    • Re:hrm... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:30PM (#9885254)
      I think the most interesting part of the article was near the beginning, where it described him as being both idealistic and pragmatic. That's exactly the kind of person we need promoting Free software.

      RMS was both at the start of his career - and, interestingly, he started fading out when he seemed to have lost the pragmatism (GNU/Linux, Hurd, etc.). Hopefully Miguel will avoid making a similar mistake.

      To me, at least, it seems like he's got the world's best job: get paid to produce Free software. Not a bad gig.

    • Re:hrm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Teckla ( 630646 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:37PM (#9885292)

      Rip on Miguel as you like, but recall, this is a man that wants the linux desktop to prosper, regardless of what fanboy, ub3r wannabies latch on.

      I have no desire to rip on Miguel; however, I think Miguel may have underestimated Microsoft.

      My opinion is that .NET is a trojan horse: The "best" and "most up-to-date" implementation will always be on Windows, which will give Microsoft a great deal of marketing strength, even if Mono can run a large number of .NET applications (which seems a long ways off: Windows.Forms isn't "standardized" by ECMA, and it's very Windows-centric. Mono needs Windows.Forms in order to run GUI-based .NET applications).

      And if the Linux/Mono combo ever becomes a serious threat, Microsoft can just beat Mono into submission with a fist full of patents.

      Even though Java is proprietary, Sun has bent over backwards for years to get the community involved and keep the community involved. The ubiquity, robustness, and maturity of the Java Virtual Machine makes Java ready right now for what Mono may be ready for some day.

      Don't be paranoid, but at the same time, don't dismiss Microsoft's pattern of abusive behavior over the years. Before you commit to Mono, think through all the alternatives first, and be sure you're not opening the city gates for a trojan horse.

      • Re:hrm... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by njcoder ( 657816 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:56PM (#9885398)
        I couldn't agree more.

        I always wonder what's going on with Microsoft and Mono. I don't think it's any secret that Miguel is pretty enamoured by MS. Microsoft has said some pretty nice things about him too. I know MS seems to be changing a little bit to not be quite the evil empire it was, or at least that's the perception their trying so hard to make, but.... You've seen the movies where one of the cool kids asks some homely, nerdy girl to the prom, only to find out it was some big joke at the end. If I was Miguel, I wouldn't spend too much on a dress.

        • Re:hrm... (Score:5, Funny)

          by back_pages ( 600753 ) <back_pages AT cox DOT net> on Thursday August 05, 2004 @12:36AM (#9886113) Journal
          If I was Miguel, I wouldn't spend too much on a dress.

          Words of wisdom for very nearly everyone named Miguel.

      • I think Miguel may have underestimated Microsoft.

        That would be MIS-underestimated.

      • Re:hrm... (Score:2, Informative)

        by k98sven ( 324383 )
        The "best" and "most up-to-date" implementation will always be on Windows

        Yes. But face it: .NET apps are being written. People are using it. It's not like it's going to just go away if you ignore it. Being "up-to-date" isn't really a big deal either. People don't want to code for a moving target. Platforms reach a certain level of maturity which most people are satisfied with, (Java 1.1 to 1.2 was a big jump, and 1.4 to 1.5 "5" is another one, but between there the differences weren't so big) and that's a
        • Yes. But face it: .NET apps are being written. People are using it.

          And people are also using Windows, eating McDonald's hamburgers, and driving Fords. That doesn't mean that I have to as well.

          There is a need for Mono, simply because there will always be stupid ass PHBs who believe the Microsoft promises. But we don't have to drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid.
          • Re:hrm... (Score:2, Insightful)

            by k98sven ( 324383 )
            And people are also using Windows, eating McDonald's hamburgers, and driving Fords. That doesn't mean that I have to as well.

            Good. Because noone said you did, either.

      • Blah blah blah. C# and .NET is the best dev solution for doing quick GUI apps. To me, it's like the PHP of GUI development.

        The opensource community hasn't the resources to put out a dev enviroment nor langugae like C#/VS.NET (I'm sure 1,000+ people at MS are full time on it).

        Quite frankly the opensource community hasn't came up with anything as quick and as newbie-friendly as Visual Basic. It needs dev enviroments like this to thrive - look at PHP and mySQL. It now has the domanince over the small to medi
      • Re:hrm... (Score:5, Informative)

        by miguel ( 7116 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @11:31PM (#9885867) Homepage
        That is why Mono implements two stacks: s. png

        One is the Microsoft compatible one.

        The other one is where we are pouring our energies:
        An ECMA core with the following on top:

        • Gtk# to build GUI applications.
        • Simias: to write collaborative applications.
        • iFolder: to synchronize your file system and integrate into your high-end applications.
        • Beagle: a platform to provide searching and contextual information at any moment.
        • Novell.Ldap: Focus on open standards for directory services.
        • Mono.Data.*: The API to access open source databases.
        • RelaxNG: Microsoft likes XmlSchema, it is older, but RelaxNG is cleaner and simpler, and we have a stack to use it.
        • IKVM: We integrated natively with Java.
        • IronPython: we can run your Python code.
        • Cairo bindings: to provider advanced rendering.
        • Tao: OpenGL/SDL APIs for your applications.
        • Gconf#/Dbus#: APIs to access the configuration and bus systems on modern desktops.
        • Gecko# to integrate Mozilla into your apps.

        There are quite a few of other open source stacks
        for the ECMA CLI today that range from research
        to practically useful.

        • That is why Mono implements two stacks

          Two stacks means two platforms.

          As many people warned you at the outset of the Mono development, chasing Dotnet compatibility would be hard. But then if you didn't chase it, giving up at only 90% API coverage for example, the missing 10% would be enough to prevent the vast bulk of Dotnet applications from working on Mono.

          So we've ended up with exactly the scenario predicted by some of us three years ago with Mono unable to deliver on its key differentiator.
        • It is amazing how many people discussing Mono here do not get it.
          The future of the desktop programming and programming in general is in managed code and in frameworks / readily available stacks.
          Before Mono, Linux did not have open-source stack to develop managed code. Productivity of someone armed with C# will be loads better than one with C.
          To me, that is where the value of Mono is. Compatability with MS .NET is important but it is "nice", not must-have.
          Thank you Miguel and Mono team. I hope Novell wil
        • Look, he even has a low Slashdot id number. That's proof positive that he's a true hacker!
      • Novell. Energy. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @11:33PM (#9885873) Homepage Journal
        I think it's worth pointing out that Novell are unlikely to have taken such a keen interest and involvement (and ownership) in Mono without a reasonable degree of risk and legal analysis. That doesn't mean we are 'safe' but it should put some perspective on the level of fear that some people seem to have.

        Microsoft are certainly a competitor but the open source community will only be doing itself a disservice if fear of what Microsoft might do is an overriding principle. If you want to avoid treading on Microsofts toes you may as well just give up now.

        If they want to control something they should be made to fight for it.

        For me it is difficult to put my finger on exactly what has hampered Java's uptake in the general open source community. Java certainly has an open source community (as is evident from Apache projects etc) but it seems almost completely disconnected from the general open source community.

        In part it must come down to Sun. It seems insane to me that sheer force of enthusiasm seems to striding towards making Mono an attractive and viable platform for GNOME/GTK development while years of Sun involvement in that project has done no such thing for Java. Quite a lot of posts say "Why not Java?" as an alternative for GNOME. I wonder the same thing, there just doesn't seem to be any energy for it. It's ludicrous to think that some sort of epiphany is going to suddenly divert Miguel or Novells energy towards Java. That energy will have to come from somewhere else. Simply standing there and saying "Look, Java!" isn't going to get anyone anywhere.
        • Re:Novell. Energy. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @01:46AM (#9886333) Homepage
          For me it is difficult to put my finger on exactly what has hampered Java's uptake in the general open source community.

          It's unlikely to be only one reason. These issues are big, complex with many aspects, and every developer that has made a choice in this field probably have their own unique blend of reasons.

          For me, it has come down to a few things, but these hase tended to change as well.

          I started playing with Java looong ago, like 1995ish, and actually wrote a small app as part of a summer job (which didn't really go anywhere). It was pretty horrible at the time. A big problem was that we were doing client-side apps, with an UI, and with Java and its UI libs, our then modern machines ended up with the performance of a CBM64, but with far uglier user interface. I still have dreams about that experience after a night with too much beer and rich food.

          Today, the performance is better. Using Swing (is it? I mix them up), it tends to look better as well. But: any UI is still uncoupled from the rest of my desktop. I have my nice AA fonts everywhere - except in a Java app, which uses its own font settings and no AA. Controls, cutting and pasting and so on also reinforces that the app is just a free-floating guest on my machine and is not integrated one bit. Also, the runtime takes a _lot_ of resources - on disk and in memory. There sould be no need for that, really - all other VM:s I have (mono, perl, python) seem far less resource hungry.

          Oh, and the install is also "too good" for my machine, and plonks down itself in its own private directory, not deigning to play nice with the rest of the machine. If all my other apps can have common resources in /usr/share, libraries in /usr/lib and so on, why can't Java?

          OK, this sounds like a litany. It's not that bad, but you wanted to know why people aren't enamoured with Java the way they seem to become about mono, and this is my personal (partial) answer. In short, I write a GTK# app in mono, and it feels like a natural part of my desktop. I write it in Java, and it feels like an intruder.

          • Re:Novell. Energy. (Score:2, Interesting)

            by jsoderba ( 105512 )

            You should maybe look into IBM's SWT. I'm using Azureus [], a Java bittorrent client using this toolkit, and it integrates fairly well with my Gnome desktop. It even puts an applet in the notification area.

            The flagship SWT app is of course the Eclipse IDE.

            I also hear Java 1.4.2 includes a GTK look & feel for Swing. Hopefully the Jedit texteditor I use for coding will be updated to support this.

          • If you use Swing, try the new Gtk look&feel from Java 1.5.0. It's close to the real thing, including anti-aliased fonts.

            You may also want to check out the java-gnome bindings which let you address GTK/GNOME libs right from your Java code.
        • For me it is difficult to put my finger on exactly what has hampered Java's uptake in the general open source community. Java certainly has an open source community (as is evident from Apache projects etc) but it seems almost completely disconnected from the general open source community.

          As an Open Source Java developer (<shameless-plug>The jSyncManager []</shameless-plug>), I'll tell you what the problem is: it's that end users don't like to run Java applications.

          Here is my take on why this i

      • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @11:37PM (#9885891) Homepage
        Mod me a flamebait, but I feel Mono is just driving users to windows where the best development tools are.

        Development tools are one of microsoft stronger suits. Its going to be hard to get development tools that good for linux, so in the end more users will end up developing on windows.

        I looked at mono for development, and ended up at java/eclipse. Eclipse is one of the most impresive open source projects since apache. I wish sun was more open and every linux distro would come with java preinstalled.

        You can't win with either java or mono(c#).. Maybe its time ffor python/perl/php/ruby.....

        • You can't win with either java or mono(c#).. Maybe its time ffor python/perl/php/ruby.....

          Well, with IronPython [] mono is Python. Alternatively, you can always use Jython [] and have Python being Java. The real benefit here is this: There's no need for constant updates to the pyGTK and pyGNOME libraries every time GTK of GNOME changes if you're using IronPython, because IronPython automatically gets the latest GTK# stack through mono - your bindings are always automatically up to date.

          Of course, you can alw
    • ...MS clipy fan.

      Microsoft is such a thieving monopoly, they wouldn't even cough up an extra p.
      Damn you Bill Gates!

    • At least you didn't use the words 'Aunt Tillie'.
  • by mechsoph ( 716782 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:22PM (#9885214)
    I'd like to thank Miguel for his contributions. I'm a gnome user, and it is quite nice. What I don't get though, is why he seems absolutely fascinated with the boys in redmond. He reimplements Outlook, and now he's reimplimenting their reimplimentation of Java. Why not get behind an OSS implementation of the original ala kaffe or gcj, or push the OSS own Parrot?
    • In my strictly personal opinion, Miguel fell in love with the .Net framework - almost literally. It's never a good thing when a programmer falls in love with a tool: he'll try to make everything work with that tool, even if it's not the right one, or if there already is an implementation based on something else. You know, the hammer/nail thing...

      Not that choice is bad: I do prefer two or more similar implementations of an idea, in order to chose for the best one.

    • by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:39PM (#9885300)
      "now he's reimplimenting their reimplimentation of Java"

      You know, it's not like FOSS programmers just allot time to whatever the masses care about. They program to scratch their itches - and Java is obviously not Miguel's itch.

      Don't view Mono as time taken away from kaffe/gcj/Parrot, because chances are, the time put into Mono wouldn't have gone into any of those.

    • Why not get behind an OSS implementation of the original ala kaffe or gcj, or push the OSS own Parrot?

      Here's [] why [].

      "I do not like Parrot" [] (second paragraph after OSCON subtitle)
    • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:07PM (#9885450) Homepage

      Why do so many people around here seem to think that Java is more free than .Net? This is far from true.

      Java is just as patent-encumbered [] as .Net is. Hell, Sun sued *Microsoft* over some Java patents shortly ago. Who is to say they wouldn't do the same to gcj if it served their interests?

      In fact, it is argueable that it is moreso since a single, commercial body controls it (Sub) whereas with .Net at least you have a standards body (ECMA) who has ratified the spec, which means that an independant implementation of the spec API (Mono) is less likely to have problems than an independant implimentation of the Java API.

      The reality is that everyone is against .Net soley because it is made by MS. Yay for groupthink!.

      • Why do so many people around here seem to think that Java is more free than .Net? This is far from true.

        This academic argument gets trotted out over and over again, and its just as unconvincing every time.

        Back here in the real world, where MS holds sway, the way things go is that if you write your code to run on an MS platform, then every single time someone runs it, MS's cash register gives out a big KA-CHIIING !!!!

        But if you write it to run on Java, then that does not have to happen. It may do, but

      • by abulafia ( 7826 ) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @12:18AM (#9886042)
        First, let me say that I hate Java, with a passion, as a language. The bugs, behavioural oddity, and general shoddy crap one has to put up with in a "modern" language that is supposed to have support for all the neat new bells and whistles appalls me. Also, I'll say I like Perl. There, that should have cut down on most of the readership...

        Java is just as patent-encumbered as .Net is. Hell, Sun sued *Microsoft* over some Java patents shortly ago. Who is to say they wouldn't do the same to gcj if it served their interests?

        You have a nice bundle of assumptions there, but when picked apart, they don't hold.

        • patents. Yes, I believe Sun owns some, and Microsoft also owns some. A significant difference is that (a) Sun has a history of promoting open standards whereas Microsoft has a history of abusing them, and (b) Sun has no stated plan to extract growth via patents, whereas Microsoft does, and is clearly actively persuing those plans. Any large company that didn't hold a portfolio would not exist as a large company, and any company that wants to do something like Java would do well to defend it. Acting shocked that Sun is protecting a 10 year development and branding effort is either naive or disingenuous.
        • Sun sued Microsoft over a contract dispute, not a patent dispute. I know many slashot denizens are not aware of the difference, but there is one, much like the difference between cows and rats - they're both mammals as opposed to reptiles (legal disputes vs. cameros and baseball bats), but you woudn't want to milk the wrong one. I'll be generous and assume you don't know the difference.
        • Raising the spectre of the fact that someone with a history of open sharing might someday sue someone else as a defense of a monopolist who is going on an intellectual property hording rampage puts you in company with such staunch innovationists as Jack "VCRs are the Boston Stranger" Valenti. Is that really a point you'd like to push on with?
        Attempting to dress dot-net up as something that will be a vibrant, open platform (one that thrives with or without Microsoft) is silly. Everyone knows it isn't. If sun dies tomorrow, Java will live on -- just look at it. I hope that Miguel knows what he is doing, and if he doesn't, fails to distract too many people. Java has warts, plenty of them. It works for many people, and the fact that dot-net is such a big talking-point is a great confirmation of this fact- why would MSFT bother if they had the market sewn up like they do with IE?

        Just an addendum...

        For my part, I do Java when I have to, and Perl the rest of the time. (C for interfacing with DBs, modifying code, whatever.) Perl's absolutely the best kept secret of development. I have Perl running in a couple top-100 sites. and many more instances elsewhere. Ask Amazon (I mention them because I've never done any work for them, and they use Perl -- HTML::Mason, actually). Desktop Perl is getting traction, too, lately... I built a Windows installer for a Perl desktop app the other day that, so far, the client is thrilled with. I expect this to be cheap growth for my company. So, from my perspective, please - keep writing PHP and VB. Please make my consulting gigs that much easier to land! The gaggles of people who hate Perl are my company's best competitve advantage.

        • Oh yes, I forgot about how maintainable perl can be:
          -l @i=split//,join'',<>;for$x(0..5){for$y(0..5){map{$ t++if$i[112-21*$_+$x]eq'X'&&$i[119-21*$_+$y]eq'X'& &$i[105-21*$y+$x]eq'X'}0..5}}print$t
          as somebody once said: i would rather maintain somebody else's language than somebody else's perl...
      • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @12:28AM (#9886087) Homepage Journal
        Why do so many people around here seem to think that Java is more free than .Net? This is far from true.

        Java is just as patent-encumbered as .Net is. Hell, Sun sued *Microsoft* over some Java patents shortly ago. Who is to say they wouldn't do the same to gcj if it served their interests?

        The difference is that Sun has generally played nice with others, wheras this is a rarity with Microsoft, who have a history of stabbing its own partners in the back when it suits them to do so.

        Sun isn't in a monopoly position. Sun is practially forced to play nice with Java, because if it doesn't then Java developers will simply go elsewhere (don't forget, Sun has licensed their code and specifications to a number of other companies).

        Microsoft, on the other hand, does have a monopoly on the underlying operating system that .NET is targeted towards, and they can (and in the past routinely have) played bait-and-switch by changing APIs mid-game just to prevent compatible versions from other companies (think Windows 3.1 errors when run on DR-DOS, constantly changing Win32s only to break Win32s applications from running on OS/2, and Microsoft's contract violations in modifying their Java implementation to prevent Java apps written on Windows from running correctly (or at all) on other platforms). They can afford to play "screw the developer", because they know most applications developers are trying to target Windows. Do it the Microsoft way, or get locked outt of the vast majority of systems.

        And don't think for a minute that ECMA ratification of the language syntax is any saving grace. Microsoft can break that specification whenever they want to, with the only detriment to them being they can no longer claim to be standards compliant. Considering how often Microsoft has been willing to break standards to suit their own needs, I certainly wouldn't hold on to any sense of security just because the ECMA has ratified a standard. If Microsoft breaks that standard and stops claiming its .Net complies with the ECMA standard, every implementation that does comply with the standard will be hosed.

        Sun doesn't have the same luxury. It wouldn't make any sense for them to go around breaking licensed implementations of Java, as it would only hurt themselves. Sun doesn't control all the underlying Operating Systems that Java runs on, so they don't have the same monopoly power. Sun needs to be on the ggood side of its developers, as it's the developers (and not the users) that make Java a popular platform. Users make Windows a popular platform (or, more correctly user ignorance), and if you're trying to target those users, you have to dance to whatever tune Microsoft decides to play.

        Java may not be free, but you're not selling your soul to the devil by developing against it.


    • once again I'd like to pull my mother out of my pocket... magic!

      she's been a windows user for over 10 years now - and, like many other older professionals, doesn't use Windows by choice but basically because its there and everyone else uses it and it is what she is used to.

      put her in front of a brand new mail client and calendaring system and it would take her some time to adapt. she cannot afford this time, her "switch" needs to be as seemless and as comfortable as possible.

      this is why i think its great
  • by babasyzygy ( 786926 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:57PM (#9885402)
    A lot of people denigrate Miguel as being a "Microsoft fan."

    That's not fair. What he is, is a realist. The fact is that as long as Microsoft has a vast majority of the desktops out there, any competing system has a choice: between creating their own 31337 world where only the initiated may play, or instead creating systems that work and play well with others. By paying close attention to what system and paradigms users are used to - that is to say, that Microsoft ships - Miguel helps furhter the rapid adoption of Linux as a viable Windows alternative.

    Why he is imporant is not just that he realizes this, but that he does something about it. Real hackers write code for their beliefs, as he does.
    • It doesn't matter how much code Miguel writes. What matters is if it the right code. It probably is the right code for Microsoft, because imitation is still the sincerest form of flattery. But I am still not convinced that it's the right code for Unix. Microsoft may have the vast majority of desktops, but Mono will do nothing about that, because those desktops will still be Windows, and they'll still be running .NET code.
    • Microsoft has a vast majority of the desktops out there

      Gnome is certainly coming from the single user desktop direction, while most of linux has come from the *nix server direction (even KDE started from ideas of what could be done to improve CDE - not from what could be done to emulate win98). That has proved to be a bigger stength than weakness so far - it generally only pisses of those that are aware of system resources (low end machines or constantly busy machines) or those that want to use the system

  • Bravo, Miguel (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rnd() ( 118781 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:43PM (#9885616) Homepage
    Miguel is working on one of the most important and exciting projects in the software world. Regardless of what Novell does or doesn't do with Mono, it will still be open source, and it will forever alter the competetive landscape (by increasing competition for Microsoft).
  • by shadowmatter ( 734276 ) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @12:26AM (#9886075)
    Microsoft software architect Don Box even wrote a song imploring de Icaza to join the company and sang it to him in front of a large audience at a party late last year.

    Maybe they should have just used a stunt by Steve Ballmer instead?

    Steve (onstage): "Miguel, you're a great developer... DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!"

    - sm
  • Hi,

    I was just perusing the comments, and it seems a good bit of you folks are convinced that Icaza is a visionary and Microsoft .NET is the best thing since Java.

    And the people that aren't "getting it" seem to be these people. If you really want to "get it" see the Samba project. That cat and mouse game has been going on for the better part of a decade.

    Mono is a bridge to .NET. .NET is Microsoft's answer to the screwjob that is DCOM. You will need .NET/Mono installed on client workstations to talk to
    • by Wudbaer ( 48473 ) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @05:38AM (#9887096) Homepage
      Mono can be blown up at any time simply with a patch. Is this confusing any luminaries out there? Is this too deep?

      Yeah, by that blowing up truckloads of existing .NET apps, too. Great idea. Also noone forces you to connect to a MS server, you can also write stand-alone programs in Mono, and they can talk to whatever backend you like. So what's your point again ?
      • He means Mono compatibility is blown by any change to the API, like the Dotnet 1.0 to 1.1 changes.

        Assuming that Mono ever got to be 100% compatible (which is questionable) the carrot would be jerked away again. Think of a spanish donkey with features resembling Miguel's.
        • This is a common mistakes the non-developers make.

          Yes, changes might happen. But if the changes
          break compatibility, existing applications also
          stop working. Microsoft does a terrific job of
          keeping backwards compatibility on their platform.

          For instance, they are still maintaining .NET 1.0,
          in addition to .NET 1.1 and releasing service packs
          to it. A simple answer would have been `upgrade
          all your apps to 1.1', but they realize more than
          anyone else that to keep people using their
          platform they can not piss o
    • If you really want to "get it" see the Samba project. That cat and mouse game has been going on for the better part of a decade. ... Mono can be blown up at any time simply with a patch.

      That's pure FUD, and shows a complete lack of understand of the issues involved.

      Samba has had problems with SMB because SMB was an undocumented protocol that changed as new features were added. Not because Microsoft was making changes just to screw them.

      .NET, on the other hand, is a publically documented development pla
      • One that's an ECMA standard, no less!

        Actually a lot less. Only C Sharp and the CLR are standardized, not Dotnet.

        That's about 120 classes out of the 1200 or so in the 1.1 platform.

        Welcome to the Dotnet-is-a-standard standard rebuttal btw, I suspect this won't be the last time you see it.
  • Sorry, but the things claimed in the article about the interview somehow don't quite match what google search for "miguel icaza microsoft visa" gives. _ yo urself_miguel_demands_rms/ or itorial/icaza.htm claim wasn't hired by Microsoft only because he would get the necessary visa.

    I somehow doubt Microsoft would be willing to hire (and probably would, if it wasn't for the visa) somebody for who the interview w
  • RTFA! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If anyone belives mono is evil, downfall of gnome etc etc i recommend you read the article. Listen to what Miguel says.

    We are talking long term. In 10 years will 90% of windows software be written in .net? According to MS that is a yes. What if all that windows code can run on linux to, without problems, seemlessly. Mono is the key. A compablilty layer, just like wine expect better, to allow us to run the next generation of windows applications. Its a drive at the future market itself. Trying to get a hea
  • ...from where I'm standing, Miguel is not an innovator, he just says "wow cool, wish I could have thought of that " and copies it.

    Now I'm not bashing his managerial skills (he got mono done very quickly) or his coding skills, but open source needs idea people, not the "me too"'s of this world.

Air is water with holes in it.