Re: Plans for 2.8 - GNOME Managed Language Services?

On Fri, 2004-03-26 at 23:54 -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:

> In particular many people do not want to see customers and ISVs coding
> to the .NET APIs. Even if you stick to ECMA core, there's perception
> that this makes it a lot easier to start using the whole of .NET. And
> currently the ECMA core is not legally unencumbered; standardization
> does not guarantee that.

I don't want to code to .NET APIs either, and I don't recall
recommending we do so. ECMA CLR/CLI != mono != C# != .NET, and I feel as
if some people are confusing these pieces. My suggestion is that we ECMA
for the CLR+CLI only. Mono is the easiest way to do so. C# works best on
mono, but Java works just as well. NO ONE is suggesting .NET libraries
go anywhere near GNOME.

MY understanding that all ECMA bits are unencumbered insofar as they
*must* be licensed under RAND terms. Is my understanding incorrect? RAND
is not great, but it is very possible that Novell could work some deal
with MS that would guarantee mono is clean. Heck, given the anti-trust
problems MS is having, we could probably *demand* concessions from MS
ourselves and they would be afraid to say no in front of anti-trust
regulators. ;)

> > Is this about not pissing off Sun?
> It's not just Sun. Major Java supporters include... just about everybody
> except Microsoft and Microsoft allies. All the major Linux-supporting
> companies. And most large Linux-using customers are using Java on the
> server.

I can understand Sun feeling an emotional attachment to Java, but I
thought that for other companies the issue was more about technology, or
whether the VM is free software. I sometimes think people are way too
blinded by the place where ECMA CLR+CLI come from to consider this
rationally. Just because GNOME implements an ECMA standard (which also
happens to pave the way for using Java in GNOME, sans bindings), does
not put GNOME in some "for vs. against" camp in some grand struggle. Its
just a standard VM + object system, taken from a standards body. No
more, no less. I can't see it any other way at the moment.

> This is only my opinion and you're welcome to go talk to people
> yourself.

Don't know any of them. Thats why I'm in the dark and you're not. :)

> "Fork" is probably the wrong word; more like "not ship and use/develop
> an alternative" or "add patches to remove Mono dependency" or whatever.
> It's not like anyone will tell GNOME what to do, they will just quietly
> exercise their right to use other software.
> > Gtk# is a starting point. So is CLASSPATH. ECMA core would allow either
> > C# or Java (via IKVM) to work out of the box, all free software. We
> > could do more, or stay with what C# or Java supplies. Once the _common_
> > _platform_ is there, the community can take it where it pleases.
> If we're going to use choice of C# or Java, plus GNU Classpath, what is
> the point of the C# part? It loses support for GNOME, in order to get an
> incremental improvement in language syntax.

If we choose a open source JVM, then we get no language other than Java
and get Novell mad at us. If we choose a ECMA CLR standard VM and ECMA
CLI standard object system, we can implement a library stack in any
compliant language, and use it from any compliant language, including C#
or Java. How does that "lose support for GNOME"? If the objects are
highly interchangeable between languages, what does it matter what
language they are written in?? 

Choosing ECMA gives us choice. Choosing Java gives us Java.

I really wish that some of the mono guys would back me up here, because
I'm hardly an expert at .NET, but as I understand it from my .NET book
in front of me, and IKVM examples: If the language knows how to speak
with the VM and Common Type System, and plays nicely with the Common
Language Specification, then any library implemented in that language
can share objects like they are next door neighbours. Is your
understanding different? Why choose to exclude C# when we can have them

> Havoc

Like I said before, I am happy we can have this debate out in the open,
instead of behind closed doors where we have no input, so your time is
greatly appreciated!

Who wants to start a Havoc fan club? ;)


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