GNOME in .NET? – Not on my desktop!

Ive tried very hard to avoid too many mono topics on my blog, Ive tried to see Mono as a good thing and Ive also had faith in the fact that apps of little consequence to me use it and therefore its simply a case of removing it on a new distro.

I must first of all thank http://mono-nono.com/2009/08/21/the-h-gives-mono-a-health-check/ since it was this article which encouraged me to put my views down and hopefully add another voice to the “concerned about MONO” community.  The Mono-nono site is a very good read and its also a very good place to gauge the IMO rather poor behaviour of those who support MONO.

Do I believe Mono is a patent trap?  To be honest no (although I have not delved deep enough into the subject for my answer to be anything other than a superficial one).

I believe the weapon of Mono is to “get Linux users hooked” to the .net environment, always offering the superior and more mature version on the Windows platform.  Just like when you first tried alcohol you would probably start off on lighter products until you acquired a taste for it, progressing later in life to liking stronger spirits.  With Windows having the “definitive version” and users hooked or caught in the .net, Microsoft could effectively remove or hold to ransom the addiction of using .net from non-Windows users.  Just an idea, but from a PR standpoint IMO  it would seem far more viable than MONO being used to trick people into installing Microsoft patent infested code.

I have long been a supporter of Gnome (although recently moving towards more of a love for XFCE) the MONO issue was something that I could ignore, until I read the following, allegedly by Mr De Icazza

I think it’s going to be the next big thing, and I think the GNOME community is going to jump to it, if only because I’m going to make it really simple for them to do it. All of these people are extremely talented, they can see through the bullshit, and they’ll see that Mono is a good thing for them.

Wrong Mr De Icazza, I am one Gnome user who didn’t really get interested (although I should of) in the whole MONO debate, thank you for considering whats good for me but if MONO gets carved into Gnome, I am going elsewhere.  What worries me is that the apathy some will have for the inclusion of MONO will cause it to be entertained and tolerated.

Mr De Icazza, whilst Im sure your words are wise?!?! (even though you have to resort to infantile vulgarity) I think I will pass.  I wonder if others will believe you know whats good for them?

Going back to 2002, its clear to see in my opinion that Mr De Icazza has held these views for quite some time.

From this article Mr De Icazza is alleged to have said:

I’d like to see Gnome applications written in .NET in version 4.0 – no, version 3.0. But Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET,” he told us. “A lot of people just see .NET as a fantastic upgrade for the development platform from Microsoft.

and also its alleged he said:

When it comes to .NET they’ve done a really outstanding job

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/02/01/gnome_to_be_based/

So going back to my view about MONO being the poor cousin of .net and thus in itself an enticement for non-Windows users back to Windows when they are hooked, it was nice to see the following:

When Microsoft ships 1.0 we’re not going to be shipping Mono1.0 for at least a year. So we’re late. If they make changes to the API we’ll try and track it down.

So lets have a look at some other users comments from http://www.workswithu.com/2009/07/07/mono-now-safe/ in regards to MONO and its integration into a Linux distro near you!

Embrace, extend, extinguish. That’s exactly what we are seeing here, except this time Microsoft has found out how to dupe the open source community into being happy about it.

Posted by Josh

I think MS has a history of corporate bullying and monopolistic practices, and going to bed with them is not a good idea…..

Posted by Leo

I don’t care what promises m$ make. I just don’t think it is a good idea to let Mono infiltrate linux distros.

Posted by Slumbergod

I admit that some of the paranoia over Mono is just stupid and over the top. However Microsoft never do anything unless it’s to their benefit.

Posted by Aikiwolfie

Ok, so to top it all off Mr De Icazza has this to say on 8th July 2009:

In 2006, the Novell/Microsoft collaboration agreement took place, and it opened the doors for us to have regular conversations with Microsoft.

and also….

Working with Microsoft has been an absolute pleasure….

I will let you do you own research on the MONO question, but ask yourself this,  why do the counters to MONO concerns seem so strong? Is it just me or are some of the counters just a little too aggressive/insulting merely for enthusiastic supporters?  I will let you decide and end on a lighter note:

Could this be a promotional video for MONO (if MONO was a living human being)? If you listen to the lyrics it certainly contains some of the concerns that other users have made about MONO.  – I am of course being flippant and this video is posted in humor, but I think this echos the feelings of some people that there is more to MONO than meets the eye.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

33 Comments Add yours

  1. David Gerard says:

    But Mono is the coolest thing ever! Just look at the floods of great software that have come forth already! There’s a really slow sticky notes application … and yet another media player … and a photo manager!

    Mono is a cheap copy of .NET, and .NET is a cheap copy of Java. If you’re willing to get developer ease at the cost of a fat runtime … IcedTea is PROPER FREE SOFTWARE without even PATENT TRAPS. What on EARTH.

  2. openbytes says:

    Quote “But Mono is the coolest thing ever! Just look at the floods of great software that have come forth already!”

    LOL. My view exactly! Ive been blown away by the developers who have jumped on the MONO train…even now I find myself in euphoria as I create lines of c# all in the name of MONO being good for me…why?…because Mr De Icazza says its good for me.

    Back in the real world, I think the trick will be to get the developers hooked…the users IMO are not really that bothered and will run the packages they like…what I can’t understand is if MONO is so great and the best thing to happen to Linux, why is it all the best packages we know and love dont use it. FF? Chromium, OO the list goes on…what none of the MONO supporters seem to want to answer is that if its the answer to life the universe and everything, why have we been managing perfectly fine without it.

    I personally moved away from MS code and MS software because I found I liked Linux and its functionality far more than Windows, I am not about to let Microsoft code and dev ethics back onto my system now that I see there is no need for me to be reliant on it. I am sure I am not alone.

  3. First off, thank you for linking to my article (The Mono Now Safe? one). Even if you referred to the comments, it makes me feel like I wrote something worth reading. Hopefully you got something out of it.

    I find myself leaning more toward the anti-Mono side, but I’m still with-holding judgment until I feel I’ve gathered all the facts. I’m trying to see past all the “religious” arguments.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that people make this argument like the FOSS community is at risk. I think nothing could be further form the truth. I think that while certain projects could be at risk by including Mono, I think that the FOSS community would only be strengthened if MS tried to pull off the final “E” in the triple E memo.

    I guess I’m trying to look at it mostly from a strictly legal and technical side too. I’m really tired of Windows bashing. I love Linux. I use it because I like it better than Windows. I don’t use it because I hate Windows. Hating and bashing something has NEVER made a situation better. Only working on something to make it better and attract more people is the best way to “beat” MS. You don’t like Windows or Mono? Direct energy into making non-Windows/non-Mono things better than the alternatives. People started buying Linux netbooks because they were better. Not because they hated something.

    I’m not saying you were a basher or a hater. Actually, I feel, that while you were definitely on one side, you stated your case in a respectful manner. I just wish I could say the same about everyone else. It seems like people are too busy telling Miquel deI. to f’ off and the like, to actually make a point as to why their side is a better choice.

    On the other hand… the Mono crowd has yet to convince me that this is a worthwhile effort.

    Sorry for the long rant. Thanks for reading,
    Pat

  4. Will says:

    A little something I’ve thought about from time to time:

    If mono ever becomes entrenched within a core part of Gnome, I wonder how that would affect Fedora, and by extention, Red Hat. Those two distros have always been Gnome-centric, but they are also 100% opposed to including mono by default.

    In recent years, I’ve heard Fedora has begun trying to give KDE a better standing on their distro, but I’ve not tried it myself to verify that.

    If Gnome were ever to become infected to the core with mono, I wonder: would Red Hat/Fedora switch over to KDE as their primary enviroment? Or would they go with XFCE, assuming it remained clean? What might such a shift do to Gnome’s standing/popularity/familiarity, considering that the default desktop of Red Hat is going to be seen and used by a lot of people? Red Hat isn’t only used on servers.

  5. openbytes says:

    Firstly to Patrick, I should have really mentioned that your article was very interesting and it was a slip up on my part due to the fact that there are many articles which present decent proposals and arguments in the direction of MONO.

    With that in mind, what makes me most suspicious is the following:

    If you post about FOSS/Linux on most boards you get the usual trolls/ms faithful who will remind you about market share, they will often give incorrect facts about and they will mostly do everything they can to cheapen an alternative to proprietary solutions, they will claim Word is better than OO, they will state GIMP is hopeless…..but whats missing?

    MONO. I have noticed that even the MS faithful do not criticize MONO, has a MS faithful member ever said about MONO being behind .net? Have they used .net as an example of why you should use Windows instead of Linux? – In my opinion the absence of such remarks suggests to me that MONO is something the MS faithful want on Linux and if thats the case it certainly is dangerous…..

    Test the theory yourself, see if you can get an MS faithful troll to attack MONO when they are spouting their pro-MS propaganda afterall, if MONO is truely an independent product then they should have no issues doing it…

    Something tells me theres more to MONO than meets the eye and as in the lyrics from the video above:

    “Ill tear (rip) your mind up, Ill burn your soul
    Ill turn you into me, Ill turn you into me
    cause Im a liar, a liar, a liar, a liar…”

    I also liked the coincidence in the lyrics with the part of my post where I theorize that the idea is to get people hooked to MONO in order for the .net to be the “better” version and thus encourage them to back to Windows:

    “Ill come to you like an affliction then Ill leave you like an addiction
    Youll never forget me… wou wanna know why? ”

    Coincidence? Or was Henry Rollins thinking about MONO when he wrote the song?😉

    I joke, of course however that song fits perfectly IMO…

    I think it could even be used in the new Windows adverts….I think it says it all.

    1. While I don’t doubt your experiences with MS fans, I have had different experiences. A friend of mine who programs exclusively in C# was not impressed by Mono and thought the whole idea was rather stupid. “Why program in .Net if it’s not on a Windows platform?” I agree with him. .Net is not even thought of as a “cross-platform” framework. But not all Windows fans are pro Mono fans.

      1. openbytes says:

        Very true, it was more of a food for thought and as I say it could simply be apathy towards .net and MONO. The shame with Windows fans/users (IMO) is because there have been so many dubious postings by people claiming to be Windows users with an honest held belief (Ive exposed some here before) it ruins it for someone who really does find Windows the best choice for them.

        Ive always advocated choice based on peoples own research and whilst some have been busy spreading FUD about Linux what they have done (IMO) is cast suspicion over anyone who champions proprietary software.

  6. openbytes says:

    Quote ” I don’t use it because I hate Windows”

    Such a true statement. I use the software thats best for me, I dont use FOSS simply because its free, afterall if it was no good it would be really silly for anyone to champion it…free is simply an added bonus NOT a reason for using it. Similarly I don’t use Linux because of a hatred for Windows (I have to use it at work and am caught in the .net (sic))

    As has been said, MS does not do anything that is not in its interest or that would be damaging to them (IMO) they are afterall a business and they survive by making money not kind gestures helping the FOSS community…

    Legally speaking (and from a UK standpoint) the MONO patent trap arguement is an interesting one, albeit theoretical one at the moment. I think MONO’s greatest talent has been to divide the Linux communities opinion in regards to using it or not.

    Whilst users should have the choice, it should not be a source of argument or flame between geniune FOSS users otherwise intentional or not it becomes a very powerful weapon for Microsoft.

    I have other opinions about why I dislike MONO, mostly stemming from a more general argument regarding the de-skilling of coders using it, but that probably is a rant on my behalf and my desire for us to return to the days of the A500 asm and Devpac2…happy times….

    Thanks for commenting and visiting.

  7. Richard says:

    Mono isn’t a “poor cousin” as much as it is an “alternative implementation”. In my work, I’m using Mono.Cecil and Mono.Cairo as (IMO) better alternatives to System.Reflection and GDI. At the same time, I’ve used WPF instead of WinForms or GTK#. If anything, the whole situation is one of choice, not one of playing perpetual catch-up.

    Are you sure you wouldn’t like to reconsider your position?

    As far as the “MS faithful trolls” that you mention, well, I think it’s a stretch to imagine that they all share some secret communication channel via which they decide which products are “good” and which are “bad” and so on. That’s conspiracy-theory material. In my opinion, use whatever OS you want. As a developer, it makes me happier if I don’t have to re-code my software so that you can use it.

    1. openbytes says:

      Quote “Are you sure you wouldn’t like to reconsider your position?”

      You obviously havent read my work before. I type nothing on a whim and only when I have an honest held belief in what I am saying.

      Im glad though you bring up the point of “alternative implementation” which of course is true to some extent, however that changes nothing. MONO is intended for cross platform development is it not? is that not one of the “great things” touted? Sure its an alternative as its Microsoft ethos in a Linux environment, however MONO (unless Ive missed something) follows an upgrade path in the footsteps of .net and in anycase the fact that this is ANOTHER alternative when the killer apps used on Linux don’t use it…begs the question whats the point? – I have my views and Ive already put them.

      As to the MS faithful trolls, you didn’t ask me first to clarify what I meant before assuming you could theorize on them. For the record what I call the MS faithful trolls are a select few handles that mostly frequent comp.os.linux.advocacy and IMO DON’T have a “secret channel” because they are all the same person. Of course you didn’t ask so you could only guess at what I meant. That being said critics of Linux never seem (in my experience) to tackle the issue of MONO, which by your reckoning then would show a massive apathy to it.

      Since I do not reveal my ID I would not expect you to do yours, but since its only at work Im trapped in the .net (sic) I would be very interested to hear what apps you are developing which are intended for cross platform….

      I certainly won’t be engaging in any C#, no matter how good Mr De Icazza says it is for me. If cross platform dev is an issue in the future for me, I can simply port the C code to Windows (its not difficult) and instead of using a “one size fits all” roughly speaking, cross platform language, I would spend the time porting it properly to make best advantage of the target OS.

      As far as the end user is concerned, making the developer happy is not a consideration IMO and if an “unhappy” developer shows through in his/her software people will go elsewhere for their software solutions to people that are happy spending the time porting.

      If not having to re-code your software makes you happy, why not simply release source under the GPL, if your work is worthwhile I am sure someone else will do it for you.

      Truth is where MONO will be great(on top of my views above) (IMO) is that developers of proprietary software can save the dev costs by going with mono, you can bet that saving wont be passed on and you can also bet that proprietary software solutions will not be well received in Linux by a FOSS community.

      You also seemed to ignore my point about the major software players not touching it….if its merely ANOTHER alternative, do we really need it? Critics of Linux often say there is too much diversity and maybe the line should be drawn somewhere?

      1. Richard says:

        Hello,

        Thanks for this reply, it’s good to get clarification.

        “Sure its an alternative as its Microsoft ethos in a Linux environment, however MONO (unless Ive missed something) follows an upgrade path in the footsteps of .net”. You have missed two things. Firstly, it’s just a framework, and doesn’t bring with it a “Microsoft ethos”. Technology doesn’t magically carry ethics along with it. Secondly, the upgrade path for a framework is not linear. This is why there’s WPF on Windows, and GTK# on Linux, and WinForms on both. One doesn’t have to be the follower at the framework level.

        “critics of Linux never seem (in my experience) to tackle the issue of MONO, which by your reckoning then would show a massive apathy to it”. Absolutely. If you happen to dislike Linux, why on earth would you give two hoots about what runs on it? If you’re that kind of a person, you’re probably too busy caring about what doesn’t run on a particular platform, instead of what does.

        “I would be very interested to hear what apps you are developing which are intended for cross platform”. Without giving too many details, at present there are a few MVC-derived webapps built on the same foundation, and an inference engine. They don’t HAVE to run on Linux at present, but I run them through MOMA occasionally and don’t use things like P/Invoke so that I can leave the option open.

        “If cross platform dev is an issue in the future for me, I can simply port the C code to Windows (its not difficult) and instead of using a “one size fits all” roughly speaking, cross platform language, I would spend the time porting it properly to make best advantage of the target OS.” — fair enough, that’s your call. My own opinion is that the less time I have to spend accounting for platform differences, the more time I can actually spend doing something useful. YMMV.

        “If not having to re-code your software makes you happy, why not simply release source under the GPL, if your work is worthwhile I am sure someone else will do it for you”. You’re joking, right? You want me to put the burden of porting things on the users of an application, rather than the developer? Call me naive, but I rather thought the point was to make things easier for users, not more difficult.

        “Truth is where MONO will be great(on top of my views above) (IMO) is that developers of proprietary software can save the dev costs by going with mono, you can bet that saving wont be passed on and you can also bet that proprietary software solutions will not be well received in Linux by a FOSS community”. I think that this paragraph needs a rewrite to remove assumptions and inaccuracies. Here’s how it should read:

        “Truth is where MONO will be great(on top of my views above) (IMO) is that developers can save the dev costs by going with mono”. Developing things and running on them on Mono (or Microsoft’s .Net Framework) doesn’t mean that you can’t put them under whatever license you want to.

        “in anycase the fact that this is ANOTHER alternative when the killer apps used on Linux don’t use it…begs the question whats the point? […] if its merely ANOTHER alternative, do we really need it?” No, of course we don’t NEED it. We could code everything in C, or C++, or Java. So I suppose that, to extend your argument, we could also do without OCaml and Haskell and Perl and Python and Lisp and any number of other languages. But the fact of the matter remains that C#, and the .Net set of languages, are really fun — and I code for pleasure (yes, even at work!), not because I must. We don’t NEED another alternative, but we most certainly want it. Frankly, who is this amorphous “community” to dictate what programming language I get to use on my platform of choice? Too all in that sort of community, I have but two words: shove off. If they don’t want to use what I make (for whatever reason), they don’t have to, and that’s fine with me. Dictating to me about what language I must use on my own free time, on whatever platform I want … well, that just crosses a line.

  8. Chips B Malroy says:

    Mono and Net are still searching for the “killer app” to infect GNU/Linux with. The closest that MS and Miguel have come so far is Silverlight and Moonlight. Silverlight itself is still a failure, but by means of appointing the President of Netflix to the MS board, and MS buying 1% of Netflix stock, it is being used by Netflix for streaming movies, despite all the complaints from Windows users. Reading comments on the internet makes me think that this Netflix movie streaming is as close to a must have app as MONO/Moonlight is going get. And since it least Moonlight v1.0 would not play these movies, and the beta of Moonlight V2 (which is supposed to) has just come out, from comments online, it most likely still does not play the Netflix movies.

    The question is, will Mono/Moonlight or Wine/Crossover be the best solution eventually (likely neither will play right now) to run Silverlight, or will Silverlight just fade away (more likely with time).

    From what I see in Windows land with NET, while there are a few popular apps like CDBurnerXP, which are not needed as Linux users already have better with K3B and GnomeBaker. Also, older Handbrake versions (and maybe the new one) in the Windows version required Net v2.0 and up. However the current Handbrake, in GNU/Linux does not require Mono.

    My point is there is no killer app or reason for most people to install/use Mono/Moonlight in GNU/Linux. Even with NET, Windows is not overrun with NET applications, in short NET seems to be a failure. This is a separate reason beyond the patents issue.

    1. @Chips: You are forgetting one very important market. Business. Many custom applications specific to one business are written in .NET. Look at any job board and you will see lots of jobs in .NET. There may not be many popular apps in .NET, but there are mission critical ones in many places. The ability to run those things on Linux would allow MS to E.E.E.

      Having programmed with and without .NET, I can say there is a reason it’s popular in the job market. It allows a programmer to be productive without having to start from scratch. Most businesses run XP so .NET is a good format to program with for them.

      I”m not saying I agree, or even like .NET. I personally love python and everything that goes with it, but I see why it’s popular. Mono and .NET may be searching for the “killer” app, but all Mono has to do is make it usable for business apps and they have a HUGE market. Don’t underestimate that aspect of this situation.

      Pat

      1. openbytes says:

        Patrick I do agree with what you say being caught somewhat in the .net myself at work as I said to Richard its not a case of customers keeping developers happy its the other way around. If a business has migrated towards a Linux model and a software house is not prepared to change with that migration, I am sure there will be plenty of others that will.

        The end-user could care less if their app is MONO dependent or not. They simply have a need for a product. One could argue that this is a case why MONO could be used, however a quick read of the net suggests (IMO) that there is still mistrust by many about the patent trap issue of MONO and if you were a business wanting custom software would you want to run the risk (no matter how small or from what angle) when in these recession times there will be Software houses “chopping at the bit” to develop you software in anyway you like.

  9. David Gerard says:

    @Chips – I suspect it’ll work in Wine first. .NET 2.0 installs properly in Wine and most stuff works (and if it isn’t it’s a valid reportable bug), .NET 3.5 installs with some kicking and I don’t know how well it works. But the one actual .NET app I use, AutoWikiBrowser (a semi-automatic editing client for Wikipedia), mostly works in Wine with .NET and doesn’t do too well in Wine with Mono For Windows.

  10. Chips B Malroy says:

    @David Gerard-some interesting points you made. Yes I would prefer the Wine route with Net (rather without Net) for windows applications. And if, its a big if, Silverlight ever becomes real competition to Adobe Flash, then I would rather it ran in Wine than Mono for me. I always try to remember to state that an application may not be a killer app to most, as sometimes one can find one, although there maybe non-mono apps that can do the same job. Since I am a KDE user, I have less reason to use Mono also, thankfully.

    Funny thing is I know two real Windows fanboi’s in real life, one is a close relative, another was one who also did computer work and virus cleaning. The relative would only use IE and Outlook, and always had viral problems with windows. Advice did not seem to help. That one will never try GNU/Linux, but did tell me that is using Firefox and Thunderbird now, so while it took time, the advice finally did start to sink in. The other is trying Linux, and try to find fault with it, but keeps trying it. I suspect that one is hooked and eventually will become a GNU/Linux user in time. Both of these Microsoft Windows Fanboi’s will not allow NET to be installed on their Windows computers. So its not just the anti-Mono Linux folks that suspect Microsoft of problems, its their own Windows users as well.

  11. openbytes says:

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to have a discussion. I said before I tried to avoid the MONO issue as much as I could and I think the whole issue can be argued without end.

    What I would say is why would MONO be desirable, why should Linux apps look for cross platform compat with Windows at all? I am sure every Linux user believes that we have the better system (else why use it) so why would we want to have apps that make it “easy on the developer” – we already have our own apps that I am sure we agree are far better than the Windows options (isn’t that one of the reasons we came to Linux/FOSS in the first place)

    As I’ve said before I could care less about market share and even if only one other person used Linux I would be happy that I’m using software thats right for me.

    Linux has proved it does not require any dependence on Windows in order to survive and the surge in popularity of late is a testament to that, if devs want to develop apps for multiplatforms then fine, but why should we have a MS .net implimentation of them? I don’t see FF or OO (to name a few) thanking Novell for its “gift to the world” (their words I believe)

    Lets put aside the patent issue with an opinion of – simply don’t use MONO. The excellent work by developers to date proves to me that MONO is not needed.

    If Windows devs want to make cross platform work with less hassle then why not simply ensure Wine compliance? why should we as Linux users see .net as something great to aspire to when in many cases we’ve spent the time proving we don’t need a Microsoft dependency of any kind?

    If I was to gamble, Id say in a years time the argument will still be going on and IMO the only killer MONO app will be yet another Image viewer piece of software for which to show for it.

    1. Richard says:

      I suspect that every developer I know is shaking his head sadly at this post. Let me help you out a bit:

      1. Good developers don’t create applications “for Windows” or “for Linux”. Removing cross-platform compatibility is a trade-off they make, not a goal they move towards. Good developers create applications, period. The OS that an app is running on does not make that application magically better. You get crappy Windows, Linux, and OSX apps. You get amazing Windows, Linux, and OSX apps. The OS does not scatter magic pixie-dust on the application.

      2. Wine, after years of development, can still not run some Windows 98 applications correctly. You want people to use that as a developer platform? Dream on.

      3. A “killer app” does not signify a great language. It signifies a great developer (or set of developers). The software world is not seen in terms of “killer apps” and “the rest”.

      4. Yes, Microsoft came up with the .Net Framework. So what? Technology doesn’t come with the Mark of The Beast, and it will not mystically “convert” or “infect” or [insert other meaningless verb] your system. It is only acceptable to say that it will “run” or “execute” on your system. It will not create a “dependency” on Microsoft. No matter what you run on your Linux box, you will not wake up the next morning as a zombie. It’s just technology. Please do not fetishise it.

      5. Developers are developers. They are not “Windows developers” and “Linux developers”. Someone who develops apps for the Windows platform is not inherently worse than someone who develops apps for the Linux platform, and vice-versa. This may come as a surprise to you, but the ability to write clean, correct, elegant code does not depend on which OS you happen to use.

      1. chris says:

        +1

        Thank you for your sane words; I’m by now really sick of conspiracy theories and ideological camps.

      2. openbytes says:

        Firstly I will address your points and re-iterate that in respect of MONO we are talking if’s and buts nothing more. Do I seek to say MONO is some part of an evil conspiracy? No. I hold the stance of not using it and when I say MS I hope you will let me answer that in response to the above comments instead of repeating myself.

        Point 1. “You get crappy Windows, Linux, and OSX apps.”
        Completely agree.
        “The OS does not scatter magic pixie-dust on the application.”
        Oh yes it does, if you have a platform that IMO if fundamentally flawed with bloated & exploitable code it makes a whole lot of difference…you surely agree with that? Want a simple example? WoW in Wine compared with WoW running natively on Windows….one example (and the only Windows binary I’ve had some serious usage of late,mostly because of my eldest lad) Comparing the spec required to get COMPIZ similar effects on Windows to that on Linux. The list goes on and we all know that the OS is core to the performance of code….why was XP performing the same tasks as Vista far faster….? Ill leave that there.

        Point 2. The subject of cross platform is massive and covers a plethora of genres, the Wine compat was mainly aimed at the games market (since this appears to be the last bastion of salvation for the platform) I repeat again, Linux has an alternative for any Windows util I need to run so Wine is really a non-starter for me in that respect.

        Point 3. Quote “A “killer app” does not signify a great language. It signifies a great developer (or set of developers). The software world is not seen in terms of “killer apps” and “the rest”.”
        Very true, however isn’t it a case of MONO having to be “sold” to Linux users? I don’t see global acceptance (rightly or wrongly) so yes, the Killer app is important otherwise MONO is simply bloat on your distro you don’t need. I thought it would be obvious that unlike Windows, Linux distro’s dont tend to want reduntant code sitting on machines. If the killer app exists that requires MONO people will want it.

        Point 4 Quote “Technology doesn’t come with the Mark of The Beast”
        Please don’t suggest I say that or suggest I implied it. My position about Microsoft is that it does want what any other business does, thats make profit. Its not some charitable cause that lives off kind gestures. In this discussion we are talking about Microsoft but making profit is what all companies do isnt it?

        IMO The suspicion regarding Microsoft would be levelled towards any competitor in any market, why would any company do/let/create something which would be of benefit to its competition, unless it was in their interests to do so.

        If you wish to look further at where suspicion by some stems from, take for example previous actions against Tom-Tom or exhibits from the Comes V Microsoft case.

        I never said anyone would become a “zombie” (bad choice of words in respect of recent Windows exploits eh?)

        I believe the MONO issue COULD be similar to the comment I believe Bill Gates made about “get em hooked, we will work out how to make a return later” (or words to that effect)

        Quote “Please do not fetishise it.” – Maybe you should put that to Microsoft then, theres been plenty of quotes where (IMO) they have used that technique when talking about Linux…

        Point 5 “Developers are developers. They are not “Windows developers” and “Linux developers”. ”
        Since in my experience (sadly) the in house coders have simply been of the MS ilk, I will dispute that but I could not seek to say in all cases a dev is one or the other.

        Quote “This may come as a surprise to you, but the ability to write clean, correct, elegant code does not depend on which OS you happen to use.”

        Never said it didn’t. But my question still stands “why is MONO needed” and my point of elegant and optimized code is great but if your OS is inherently flawed its really a moot point.

        Finally @Chris:

        Quote “Thank you for your sane words; I’m by now really sick of conspiracy theories and ideological camps.”

        Yet you seem to have stuck around for this discussion and mis-read my article. You sure seem to be sick of it……?

        Since I wouldn’t want you ill I will give you a little advice, stay away from theories that make you sick, you will find many views on the net that you don’t like and if you read them all will make yourself very ill.

        I hope you feel better soon.

  12. openbytes says:

    Now I will answer Richards other post (which I am sorry is a little mixed up as it appears WordPress and its threads are a little confused.

    Quote “You have missed two things. Firstly, it’s just a framework, and doesn’t bring with it a “Microsoft ethos”. Technology doesn’t magically carry ethics along with it. Secondly, the upgrade path for a framework is not linear. This is why there’s WPF on Windows, and GTK# on Linux, and WinForms on both. One doesn’t have to be the follower at the framework level.”

    I would disagree, certainly not developer side because as its been rightly suggested code is as clean and elegant as the developer creating it. Thats not the issue.
    If we agree that c# is

    “a type-safe, component-based, high-performance language that is designed for the Microsoft .NET framework.”

    and we agree that MONO is the framework for Linux containing that same c# (or a few builds behind ;)) then I would say yes its Microsoft ethos in a Linux platform, since c# is Microsofts baby is it not? I mention nothing about good coding practice which is not language specific.

    Quote ” One doesn’t have to be the follower at the framework level.”

    and please quote me where I say that.

    Quote “Absolutely. If you happen to dislike Linux, why on earth would you give two hoots about what runs on it? ”

    Er no. The point I was making was that the MS faithful take every oportunity to post FUD about Linux. Check out the COLA NG yourself and see that no subject is taboo for them including making fun of someone’s sexuality and in the case of me, making remarks about insulting my family. They will trawl lines of IRC conversations that often go into pages simply to quote one or two lines out of context…yet what is the one area of Linux they never criticize? MONO.

    I have two idea’s of thought, one is that simply they don’t understand what it is (which is why I made a point about apathy and why your comments seemed to lean towards this being more viable) or the other idea would be that they see the value in MONO creeping into Linux and have the attitude of “If people are going to insist on FOSS and Linux then at least we have left the back door ajar”

    Like I tried to suggest if your comments are correct then the apathy answer is more realistic and also like I said, I believe this argument will still be going strong in a year with only more image viewers or media players to show for it.

    Please give me examples of “killer apps” that people are raving about, or at least respond to my point of “why do we need it?”

    “ou’re joking, right? You want me to put the burden of porting things on the users of an application, rather than the developer? Call me naive, but I rather thought the point was to make things easier for users, not more difficult.”

    I was being flippant. I thought that was obvious. I have no clue on what you develop or how you release it. Of course the suggestion is silly, however I don’t even know the target for your work, is it enterprise or desktop? proprietary? GPLv3?

    Quote “I think that this paragraph needs a rewrite to remove assumptions and inaccuracies.”

    Why? I have put my opinions. If one is not allowed to assume anything or put opinions then theres little chance of debate I make my opinions very clear and make great efforts to highlight they are not fact. So much so I was criticized for using IMO too much in my posts (previous article)

    When you tried to re-write my opinions you added “Developing things and running on them on Mono (or Microsoft’s .Net Framework) doesn’t mean that you can’t put them under whatever license you want to.”

    and I completely agree. Please quote me where I say otherwise.

    So ill now come towards the end of your comments.

    Quote ” But the fact of the matter remains that C#, and the .Net set of languages, are really fun”

    Fun? Thats great, Im happy for you. Although just because you find it fun doesn’t make it anymore a justification for everyone using it than me finding 68k asm fun (infact I still code in the A500 demo scene)

    So I find 68k asm fun (and champion Devpac2 – which is proprietary by the way) should that be my justification as to why we should bring it into Linux tomorrow?
    Of course not (and please don’t remark that its a different architecture, because I am simply using my “fun” as an example. I feel I need to make that comment since you have made incorrect claims in your past posts about what you either believe I think or what you have mis-read)

    I have friends who are z80 asm coders for fun who are involved in the Spectrum scene, should we bring them in too?
    The list goes on, I think Ive made my point.

    You mention Perl and Python that we could do without and I actually agree highlevel languages have (IMO) led to the de-skilling a generation of coders who know how to do something but don’t understand why it works (one of the reasons I still champion assembly)

    Thats going off topic though and in respect of c# the only people who can answer if we really need it will be the ones who release the apps everyone talks about. I haven’t seen that to date and whilst this debate is very interesting it has digressed from the point of my original post which was about MONO being carved into Gnome 4. My point was (and still is) regardless of my opinions behind that decision that I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t want it and I resent Mr De Icazza telling me whats good for me. Simple really.

    Finally you say:

    “Frankly, who is this amorphous “community” to dictate what programming language I get to use on my platform of choice? Too all in that sort of community, I have but two words: shove off. If they don’t want to use what I make (for whatever reason), they don’t have to, and that’s fine with me. Dictating to me about what language I must use on my own free time, on whatever platform I want … well, that just crosses a line.”

    To which I would answer that I have not dictated to anyone anything… Check my articles here where I repeatedly ask people to do their own research and form their own view from a diverse range of opinion.

    If you have a problem being dictated to, maybe you should making that remark to Mr De Icazza who said:

    Quote “I think it’s going to be the next big thing, and I think the GNOME community is going to jump to it, if only because I’m going to make it really simple for them to do it. All of these people are extremely talented, they can see through the bullshit, and they’ll see that Mono is a good thing for them.”

    and Mr De Icazza is not?

  13. Chips B Malroy says:

    Nice reply by Openbytes there which I mostly have to agree with your logic. But you know I have to put my 2 cents worth in. To expand on what you said, I think Wine was really never at first meant to run all Windows apps and games, even Windows 98 ones. More it was an attempt to run a few popular apps and games on Linux, which greatly succeeded, to the point the goal was moved forward a few times.

    The patent issue of Mono/Moonlight is one that is beyond my level of understanding, as such I depend on others who know more on the legal subject, and do not have a vested interest (money) in the outcome. Who else can I trust but the inventor of the GNU system, but RMS and the protector of it the FSF. When they both come out and say there are possible problems with the patents and/or licences, then I believe them. It also adds to my distrust of MS when the FSF offers to meat with them and hammer out a real licence that does protect GNU/Linux, and it users, distro’s, coders, etc, and MS ignores them. For me, the patent issue is minor because Mono is not needed on my machines due to the lack of any app I would want to run that requires it. Mono is never going to be a part of my KDE desktop anyway as there are better software availble IMO.

    Richard says:
    “Yes, Microsoft came up with the .Net Framework. So what? Technology doesn’t come with the Mark of The Beast, and it will not mystically “convert” or “infect” or [insert other meaningless verb] your system.”
    ——————————————————-
    I have no problem with the NET Framework, not sure about Sun, as its my understanding it is somewhat of a ripoff of Sun Java. I do have a privacy issue with MS software in general, as their software seems to like to phone home too much. In this requard, to be fair, MS does not have the only commercial (and freeware) software that does this. Still, in my earilier example of the two Windows Fanboi’s that would not allow an Net 2.0 Framework install on XP, because they, as MS Fans, did not trust the software, or the complicated install.

    Myself, I would trust the Net Framework install in Linux Wine more than the native Linux Mono install, if I was going that route. If that is what you meant Richard, then I would agree. I think there’s only about 150 Net apps know compared to the 70k native windows applications, if I erred on that number please correct me with a link, if you be so kind. So NET or Mono, is not exactly taking off like wildfire.

    Richard says: “Technology doesn’t come with the Mark of The Beast”
    If by this he means Microsoft does not always do evil, I agree. But, I have less trust with MS to do the right thing than most other companies. The rest of Richard’s sentance is:
    “and it will not mystically “convert” or “infect” or [insert other meaningless verb] your system.”

    Not sure I agree with that Richard. If it connects and uses non-open software on the web, binaries, then who knows what it is doing. While Moonlight for example connects to DRM flash Silverlight type media, can anyone but MS say what it is doing, if it is doing anything beyond playing a Silverlight flash file? I do not know for sure.

  14. openbytes says:

    Thanks for the reply Chips.

    Im pleased Richard put his opinions about MONO forward (thats why I made him two long replies)

    I think though with MONO, just like the question I posed with Windows 7 – “Whats the killer feature” is one that is difficult to answer.

    The answer to “why Mono?” seems to be answered with “Why not?” and at the end of the day for me, thats not good enough. I personally could care less what people decide and I think in many cases, the Novells “Gift to the world” has been received with “Thanks, but have you still got the receipt so I can take it back to the shop”

    I sincerely do hope my two responses above are replied to and I may even make another article on some of them raised (whilst I find the MONO subject very time consuming in terms of replying, its certainly an interesting debate)

    Unfortunately that post will have to wait, Chips I am hoping that after the popularity of your article you write another. I have a report which is soon to be sent to the FTC and the pod cast is almost ready for the first show. At the end of August I will let you know exactly how many independent hits you received for your work, I think you will be pleased.

  15. Chips B Malroy says:

    @openbytes,
    Its actually been a good discussion so far. And I think Richard has some good thoughtful points as well and did contribute to the discussion.

    Another problem I see with Mono, as has been mentioned before, is that Mono seems more of a linux drop-in for NET to run Moonlight (Silverlight). As such, it is continually behind in versions, features, and ability to play current Silverlight online media. Not only that, with the possible patent issue, it would seem that MS could pull the plug on future versions of Moonlight/Mono just by releasing new versions of software that they depend on and using different licenses, thereby killing new releases, should MS want to.

    I would like to see MS and the FSF get together and work out the license/Patents issue, sadly although the FSF has made the offer, oh well. Really, it could be that easy, if MS was sincere.

  16. Chips B Malroy says:

    @openbytes:
    You might like this link:

    Quote: “Register Today and Save $500
    Register by September 15 and secure your conference pass for only $1595 USD” But would certain FreeLaptops type have to pay, or rather would they be paid free rooms, travel, and freebies to attend? LOL

    Link:
    http://microsoftpdc.com/

  17. openbytes says:

    Should I maybe ask for a freebie? Goblin at the PDC…

    You have to hand it to Microsoft, charging people an entrance fee to hear them talk about products they want to sell you.

  18. openbytes says:

    Looking at the Wine issue as an option for Cross platform deployment it is in my opinion more than “a dream”

    If you look at the compat charts for Windows software and look at comments users are making about better performance with Windows binaries in Linux I certainly don’t think its too far fetched to see this as a viable option for devs and there are currently shareware titles that employ this tactic with Wine compliance.

    I would guess (if its not already the case) that Wine offers just as good if not better XP compat than XPM in 7. (Afterall XPM is not able to run DX apps and requires a high spec modern chipset to run at all) It will be good to compare XPM and Wine results when 7 hits the shelves. I am betting the better results will come from Wine. Not bad for a FOSS project? Whats Microsofts excuse for XPM?

    1. David Gerard says:

      I’m writing as a happy Wine user who follows the Wine mailing lists and attempts to compile Wine on Windows when he’s feeling particularly bored …

      Wine does surprisingly well. Somewhere around 0.9 it went from “surprising when things just work” to “surprising when things don’t just work.”

      It’s not just for games – the real use for it is that Just One App that you need that’s Windows-only, and you can’t *find* the developer let alone ask them to free it. For that sort of random business crapware, it does really very well.

      Major gaps: 1. Anything that twiddles serial ports or USB has patchy support. 2. The more recent the programming framework, the less well supported it is.

      Wine works on the model of writing functions *as real apps need them*, rather than sitting down with MSDN and trying to reimplement everything in order. For one thing, MSDN is dismayingly full of errors. For another, it turns out that almost all apps use only a very small percentage of the full horror of Win32.

      Programs that work well in Wine will work pretty much flawlessly on Windows. And a lot of open source apps actively support use on Wine – e.g. VirtualDub, which will never be ported to Unix because it’s too big and tied to Win32 … but if you run it on Wine on GNU/Linux, that’s an entire free software stack. Just one where the application’s written to an awful API😉

    2. David Gerard says:

      Oh – and the biggest hole in Wine support in real-world use is probably iTunes, which is frequently updated *and* uses all the latest whizz-bang APIs. At present it installs if you hit it hard enough, and talking to an iPod doesn’t work.

      You could solve most of the 10,000 open Wine bugs by throwing about $20 million at the development effort.

      (Failing that, buy a copy of Crossover – about half the Wine development is done by Codeweavers, and all their changes are in fact released as LGPL, so it’s a very effective way to support Wine🙂 )

      1. To tail in on the Wine discussion a little… It’s my understanding that it was created to be a framework for developers to build against specifically so it could be cross platform. I think in the days it started it was the only truly cross platform effort to create a “unified” target. While it’s taken them a long time… they’ve done a remarkable job.

  19. Miguel de Icaza says:

    Hello,

    I was on vacation and just got pointed to this site.

    The Register article that people love to quote contained several errors that I corrected and pointed out in 2002.

    Here is my reply to the Register articles:

    http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2002-02-06-011-20-OP-GN-MS

    I do not remember making the claim that is attributed to me, but it might have happened, perhaps as an off the cuff remark somewhere but I can not remember making a written statement like that.

  20. openbytes says:

    Firstly I appologize for a late reply, as I said on Twitter I was away for the last few days and this is the first thing Ive responded to on my return.

    Thank you for making your comments clearer.

    It has to be said that the concerns I have are not that you are some agent working on behalf of Microsoft to undermine Linux from the “inside” my concern is that the MONO framework follows the model set down by Microsoft (IMO)

    The question of if MONO is “worthy” is accademic since people will use what they want, its more of an issue since at this stage in its life we have no mission critical apps that use it. For people that don’t want or need mono apps, mono is simply bloat and something which we as Linux users have become aware of and very negative against (IMO) If say OO or FF required MONO then I’d say fair enough, but the point I made about “Do we need it?” still stands.

    I’ve recently done some work with a friends UBUNTU setup and found that even though he had removed the MONO apps (not due to Mono, more that he just didnt want them) found that MONO remained (obviously) and literally was sitting on his machine as orphan code.
    This is one of the reasons why I think MS ended up with Windows as it did (IMO), the acceptance of a little redundant code here and there soon mounts up if you have a flippant disregard for it, thats my opinion of why Windows matured into what we have today.

    I will spend the time to read your corrections in full, but to me (and just as a suggestion) the aggressive manner in which Mono defended (IMO) leads people to further suspect its true intentions.

    Mr De Icaza I appreciate the time you took to post here. I am happy to accept that your intentions with Mono are honorable, however I feel that a/ as a hobbyist coder now, I have no interest in MONO and b/ Microsoft would not stand by and allow Mono unless there is something in it for them. Thats not “knocking” Microsoft because its aim is to make money like any business.

    And again, since Linux apps (IMO) are better than Windows, why should we welcome another vessel for cross-platform code? I truly believe that the benefits of the Linux OS stand on their own merits, I truly believe that Windows can no longer compete with what Linux offers. Why do we want to usher in a another new means of a “brave new cross platform world” when really I think Wine caters for the “rogue packages” people may want to run and we need to be asking ourselves: is the future of Linux dependent on how well it co-operates with Windows? My answer: I don’t think so. Not anymore.

    Maybe thats a little bit of a rant. Maybe there are a whole host of developers using MONO that are about to release killer apps. For me I prefer the traditional coding route and as far as all the other hobbyists and pro’s I know, its the same for them.

    Maybe someone can come here and correct me? – I’d love to hear from them.

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