[Mono-list] Embrace and extend.

Peter Drayton peter@razorsoft.com
Sun, 22 Jul 2001 23:56:06 -0700

Jonathan LaCour <panix-lists@skinnee.net> wrote:
> Okay, I think that its clear that the best option is to implement
> anything apart from the standard in a separate namespace.  

100% agreed. 

> It seems to me that diverging from the standard could potentially 
> hurt us down the road, and could confuse developers attempting to 
> write applications that will run on both Mono and Microsoft's 
> implementation.

100% agreed in principle. In the browser wars, people got pi**ed when
Microsoft and Netscape each innovated ahead of the standards, leaving
web developers to try to make sense of it all. The last thing the world
needs right now IMHO is an open-source .NET that is similarly
incompatible (by virtue of being a superset) with Microsoft .NET.

However, your comment raises the question "which standard - .NET or

I feel like a stuck record here, but Mono hasn't come clean on this yet.

Is Mono building an ECMA CLI implementation, or a Microsoft .NET clone?
Either is fine, but let's be *explicit* about it. :-)

> Secondly, I would like to note that in cases such as the cited
> System.Security.Cryptography it would seem to make senes to make
> proposed changes to the standard to the ECMA. 

I agree that adding classes to the namespace (and getting ECMA to
standardize them) would be great. However, the
System.Security.Cryptography classes are *not* part of the CLI as
publicly described, and therefore aren't being standardized *at all*

If anyone's interested in what classes are currently included in the
CLI, see [1]. The real list may have changed slightly, since the TG is
working on it, but this is the last public info on what's included.
There are ~250 types, and if it's not there, it's not in the CLI. This
means CLI implementations aren't required to provide it, and
applications using the CLI shouldn't depend on it. 

> I know very little about the ECMA, but for a standard to be 
> effective and widely accepted, opportunity for positive change 
> should be available.  Would this be possible?

At least one of the ECMA TG members is listening on this list (Sam
Ruby), and he has said that they hope to expand the standardized
coverage of the class library over time. My hope is that if there were
general community interest, ECMA or Microsoft would react accordingly. 


[1] http://msdn.microsoft.com/net/ecma/Allmembers.asp