[Mono-list] Some questions about shared assemlies, strong names...

Paolo Molaro lupus@ximian.com
Sat, 3 May 2003 19:50:50 +0200

On 05/03/03 Luis Fernandez wrote:
> > In mono there is something quite close to the GAC: you can specify a
> > set of paths to directories where assemblies will be looked for
> > (MONO_PATH). The assemblies in MONO_PATH are effectively shared.
> > We currently don't enforce the strong names. Basically mono
> > supports the part of the GAC that is useful;-)
> What do you mean by your statement that mono supports only the part of GAC
> that is usefull? So you think that the ability to transparently install
> assemblies without having to worry about conflicts with other assemblies a
> la DLL "hell" is not usefull?

By 'useful' I mean: what is enough for 80% of the users.
Another 19% of the uses can be satisfied with a directory hierarchy


Where 1 and 2 are the version numbers (there may be more levels for
the minor numbers and the cultures). This is enoguh to solve the
versioning issue and can be coded in half an hour once the design is
refined. MS doesn't implement this, because shared assemblies are
required to have a strong name. The strong name is useful for 1% of the
cases, but I think it doesn't fit the world of free software very well.
Strong names are based on the concept of having a secret key and that of
course doesn't match with source availability. And if you distribute the
private key, 99% of the reason for having a strong name becomes moot
and hence useless. So, take the GAC, remove the strong name from the
picture and you get pretty much what mono has today (barring the
versioned directory levels outlined above).


lupus@debian.org                                     debian/rules
lupus@ximian.com                             Monkeys do it better