Re: Some more thoughts on Java vs Mono debate

This is kind of irrelevant

Whether the goal of achieving cross platform compatability is achived or
not, this doesnt stop it being used in its own Linux/GNOME specific way
and no changing of standards by microsoft will affect that

Mono isn't just a clone of .NET, it is its own thing.


>  The biggest problem with Mono is not the legal issues IMO, at least it's covered 
> under GPL license and Microsoft hasn't been too fond of using software patents 
> aggressively to kill competitors (and Mono is by no means a competitor to MS.NET).
>  Rather, it's the question of who controls, or has power to control the 
> specification. If we're to adopt Mono to develop open source applications on it, 
> we're on great risk of submitting ourselves under MS's rule. Of course C# language 
> itself and some part of .NET platform are ECMA standards. But if you want to 
> develop anything other than console applications, you need those missing parts 
> which are proprietary APIs.
>  Here's the dilemma Mono is facing. If all we want from adopting Mono is a nice
> high level language with GTK/GNOME bindings, there'd be no problem at all. 
> Actually we have GTK# already and I don't find anything wrong with it. But obviously 
> people who advocates the Mono's cause seem to have far more things in their mind. 
>  From the homepage of Mono, it is stated cleary that they're intending to provide 
> *nix developers way of creating and deploying a cross platform applications, and at 
> the same time help Windows developers migrating MS.NET applications to *nix 
> platform. So I understand that compatibility with MS.NET platform has been a very 
> high priority in Mono developers.
>  However, to achieve such level of compatibility they need to copy MS.NET 
> implementation including the proprietary parts. Actually they're implementing 
> many of the non-standard part of the MS.NET API like Windows.Forms or ADO.NET. 
> Indeed this fact alone puts open source applications developed on Mono platform on 
> somewhat dangerous position regarding patent issues. Even if MS plays nice and let 
> Mono freely copy all of their proprietary APIs, it's MS not Novell, Miguel, or any of 
> the Mono developers that decide the future direction of the .NET platform and 
> innovate the technology.
>  It's a ever lasting catch-up game that can't be won by the Mono's side. If the 
> .NET platform succeeds, and if Mono plans to be a viable alternative to the MS.NET 
> implementation for enterprise developers, they need to faithfully represent every 
> single important new features and APIs MS might add to the platform. On the 
> otherhand, MS.NET has no reason at all to support Mono specific features and APIs 
> like GTK#. And as long as MS.NET application developed on Windows platform with 
> VS.NET can be deployed on Linux without much changes, I don't believe many of the 
> Windows developers want to learn GTK# or Monodevelop to create Linux applications.
>  MS has long history of playing with the 'embrace and extend' strategy, and I believe 
> they'll play it again with the .NET platform if it gains momentum. One only needs to 
> see why there're so many web sites look ugly in anything other than IE even if IE 
> conforms to the W3C standards, and why you get so many javascript errors in certain 
> web pages so you can't navigate at all with non-IE browsers even if IE supports 
> ECMAScript which is an open standard. Anyone remembers how they tried to take 
> over the control over Java by creating Visual J++?
>  I believe MS will add more and more Windows specific extensions to the MS.NET 
> platform so many developers who're not very careful or not very interested in cross 
> platform .NET development begin to tie themselves down to MS Windows products.
>  I see Mono as a future version of Wine plus nice C# language bindings to GTK+ and 
> GNOME, but no more. If they continue to copy every API in MS.NET including 
> non-standard ones, they'll end up as a nice tool to run many of the native Windows 
> applications on Linux. However, as few dream about developing Linux applications 
> with Visual C++ with Wine today, there's no reason many would love to develop 
> them using a direct copy of MS platform and an IDE in the future.
>  Innovation by free contribution of the community is an essential part of the open 
> source movement. If we were to copy blindly what MS has done, there'd be no Linux 
> or Mozilla today but maybe GnuWindows or OpenExplorer. Adopting Java has its own 
> problems in this regard, but compared to only subset of .NET APIs are covered by 
> ECMA standards, all the Java specfications are defined by an independent commitee 
> in open manner. And most importantly, Java has far more momentum behind it from 
> both coporate developers and open source community than .NET has.

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