[Mono-list] Implementing ECMA CLI vs Microsoft's .NET Framework

Peter Drayton peter@razorsoft.com
Thu, 19 Jul 2001 17:28:55 -0700

Would it be correct to say that Mono is not aiming to be an
implementation of the ECMA CLI, but rather Microsoft's .NET Framework?

I ask because the trend on this list seems to be towards replicating
.NET as a whole, not the ECMA CLI. While this is interesting and useful
in of itself, unfortunately it means that the Mono efforts aren't really
a validation of the completeness of the CLI specs. IMHO this is a pity,
since validating the specification through implementation is really
important if the development community is going to use the CLI as a
general-purpose computing platform longer-term. 

OTOH, this means that Microsoft's Shared Source implementation, when it
arrives, will fill a valuable niche (assuming it sticks to just what's
in the CLI). I'd like to see a non-MS implementation do the same thing,
though... :-)

If Mono wanted to fix this, I'm sure it could be done: this would
involve instituting coding guidelines like "CLI types can only depend on
other CLI types", "don't use method signatures that aren't in the CLI
from within CLI types", possibly some preprocessing to break out the
CLI-compliant & non-CLI-compliant methods, etc. 

This would need someone from Ximian to take up the cause, though - if
not, it will just become a "big ball of mud", with .NET and CLI types
inextricably linked. Is it worth the effort? Personally, I think so, but
admittedly my interests lie more in seeing a solid CLI implementation
that we can port *everywhere*, rather than purely a .NET clone on Linux.
Of course, the former does not preclude the latter, it's just a matter
of priorities.

Comments? Am I a community of 1 in my hopes for the CLI? :-)