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Miguel Plans Silverlight on Mono & Linux by Years End 350

El Lobo writes "The Mono open-source project will create a Linux version of Silverlight by the end of year, said Miguel de Icaza, a Novell vice president and head of Mono. Asked about plans for Linux, Microsoft executives have been non-committal, saying that it will depend on demand. But de Icaza, who is attending Mix, was able to commit without hesitating."
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Miguel Plans Silverlight on Mono & Linux by Years End

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  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:17PM (#18980447) Homepage

    Care to tell me why we need something that's a copy of something else that already runs on linux, to run on linux.

    Yes. Because Silverlight does not run on Linux.
  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:21PM (#18980493) Homepage
    You've clearly got a lot of talent, so why are you wasting your time making Open Source versions of all of Microsoft's products? All you're effectively doing is giving Microsoft the foothold in Linux that they need.

    Well, because I believe that Siverlight will become an important component in future applications. The majority of people will probably be happy to spice up their web applications with a little silverlight as it will run on Windows and MacOS.

    But if there is no Silverlight for Linux, we will be prevented from getting access to content and applications that will be available.

    So we got a couple of strategies dealing with this:

    (a) the ostrich strategy also known as the "i-cant-hear-you" strategy: pretend that Silverlight does not exist and hope that by ignoring it, it will go away and vanish.

    (b) Hope that nobody adopts it. I seriously doubt that Silverlight will not be adopted, in particular the CLR version shows a lot of promise.

    (c) Be proactive and implement it ourselves: we got most of the hard bits of the technology already (a CLR, a JIT, the GC, the core class libraries, even up to some parts of LINQ).

    Considering that we are very familiar with the technology, we can do something along the lines of (c). You can feel free to pursue avenues (a) and (b).

    In fact, you can ignore Mono completely, nobody is forcing you to use it; Nobody is asking you to contribute to the effort, and nobody is in any position to force you to stop using whatever other technology happens to be your favorite one.

    I loved the Silverlight announcement, it is a way of bringing my favorite platform to the web (the CLR and now the DLR) and it seems like a natural fit and extension to what Mono does.

    There are plenty of Linux apps out there that could do with your skills and that don't infringe on Microsoft's patents. Why not write a program that'll do something with that number that everyone's been talking about recently. I can't remember what it is, but I'll find it in a moment...

    And why exactly would I care about your pet project?
  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:28PM (#18980581) Homepage

    They didn't. They instead chose to pull the rug out from under you by open sourcing their own CLR (to some extent) and making it cross platform (to some extent).

    They did not open source their CLR, you are confused.

    They open sourced a chunk of code that we do not have, the DLR and as I said on my blog post, we will be shipping the DLR together with IronPython and NRuby (when it becomes
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:30PM (#18980619)
    Because the real goal of the mono project is staying perpetually one step behind Microsft.
    That way, marketoids can sell .NET as "multi-platform" to clueless managers, if they ever want to switch to Linux a simple "you know, it won't support 100% of your application, your TCO will go up while trying to adapt" by a support drone a few years later (probably to a new manager) will be the way to keep them locked.

    And let's not start in the legal minefield that some vital parts for REAL cross platform support are, it does not matter how many promises Microsoft makes, how can anyone trust Microsoft to stick non legally binding statements these days is beyond me.
  • by overshoot ( 39700 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @06:38PM (#18980737)

    Yes. Because Silverlight does not run on Linux.
    And, assuming that your plan comes off, it still won't. It may run on (paid) copies of Novell/SuSE, but that's not the same thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2007 @07:34PM (#18981525)
    Web Projects Using Mono

            * Fiducial ( Their new site uses Mono and ASP.NET.

            * Wikipedia ( WikiPedia uses Mono for its search facilities. The indexing and the actual searching is done by Mono-based applications.

            * GovTrack.Us (

            * GotMono.Net (

            * ( is an AJAX-based English-Japanese dictionary site that uses Mono.

            * [1] ( A web-based schedule for sailing events like racing and training.

    More can be found at: ho_uses_Mono.3F []
  • Re:Not buying it (Score:5, Informative)

    by miguel ( 7116 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @08:32PM (#18982125) Homepage

    The problem with your argument is that no one has even tried to make something better. You jump on the Microsoft bandwagon every single time.

    People have created tons of fantastic development platforms, are you kidding me?

    I can name a few:

    * The whole python universe.
    * The Javascript/Ajax revolution in all of its forms and shapes.
    * Smalltalk/Squeak
    * Java/Swing
    * Java/SWT and the Eclipse platform
    * Ruby on Rails
    * Pylons/Dojo/TurboGears
    * Flash

    Aa for jumping into Silverlight, the explanation is very simple: it has a high resonance with what we do: it is an incremental upgrade to the Mono platform.

    We work on Mono, and on many technologies based on the CLR (both for .NET and Mono-unique), and this seems like a natural next step.

    I miss the Miguel from the Gnome project. This new Miguel is just a Microsoft sellout.

    Brother, am sorry I have shattered your childhood dreams. You are going to find yourself a new role model to fight the system and stick it to the man [].

    Silverlight hasnt even begun to take root, not by a long shot, and yet here you are already working hard to make sure it does.

    If you think that /us/ supporting Silverlight is really what will tilt the balance in the Flash/Silverlight/Ajax universe you are giving us way more credit than we deserve. You might want to revisit your assumptions.

    Microsoft is not unbeatable. They have failed at everything they've tried over the last 5 years, whether it's Vista, IE7 or Zune. Making the stupid assumption that Silverlight is the next greatest thing is why people have lost respect for you.

    From reading this dialog, I get the feeling that fear and hatred have overtaken you. I can appreciate Silverlight and at the same time dislike Windows, I know that this might cause a bit of cognitive dissonance, but my evaluation of technology is not binary. I think Silverlight is a very nice use of the CLR, resonates with our work, and is relatively simple to implement.

    My recommendation: "The Art of Possibility" from Benjamin Zander, one of my favorite books. Either that, or going on meds.


  • Re:ffs (Score:5, Informative)

    by miguel ( 7116 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:09PM (#18982507) Homepage

    It's only a useful piece of technology if you want to abandon the UNIX programming environment and switch to one that's based on the Windows API and isolates you from all the rest of the UNIX tools you're used to.

    When was the last time that you used the "UNIX programming environment" in your web browser? Last I checked, you had to write in a subset that isoaltes you from the operating system and only allowed DOM access and Javascript.

    Flash, the other major tool for RIAs, does not give you access to *any* Unix facilities.

    You seem to be confused as to what Silverlight is.

    One of the nice things about Silverlight (as I pointed out in a blog entry a few weeks ago) is that you can actually generate Silverlight content with any Unix tool you want.

    You can easily generate it with PHP:

    header ("Content-Type: application/xaml");
    print "


    Or you can generate it with shell, perl, python or assembly language.

    The server side is probably as Unixy as anything else can get.
  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:33PM (#18982691) Homepage

    IronPython provides a direct bridge to communicate with .NET, so it is a more natural choice for .NET developers to use IronPython. Also IronPython is being used as a test-bed (together with new implementations of Javascript, Ruby and Visual Basic) for the Dynamic Language Runtime.

    Part of the realization is that web developers use dynamic languages, and they are doing an effort to make sure that there is good support in the platform (in particular Silverlight, a technology targeted to the web developer community) for these kinds of languages.

  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @09:39PM (#18982745) Homepage

    We already do that; Although Mono has an incredibly rich ecosystem of libraries that are Unix-specific, Linux-specific or Gnome-specific we usually try to make our libraries cross platform.

    This means that we tend to make our code run not only on Mono/Linux but also on .NET/Windows, as it expands the developer base, and the contributor base (see Mono.Addins for a recent example).

    Or and to view the Mono ecosystem of libraries.

  • Re:I would rather (Score:3, Informative)

    by miguel ( 7116 ) on Thursday May 03, 2007 @10:32PM (#18983123) Homepage

            You might want to look at our release announcements (they come out about every six weeks) as we have been making a lot of progress on Windows.Forms, we have a team of six developers working on it and they commit on a daily basis.


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