[Mono-list] Using Mono and IKVM.NET as a Helma runtime

Asbjørn Ulsberg asbjorn@tigerstaden.no
Sun, 15 Aug 2004 02:09:03 +0200

I am posting this message both to the Mono[1] and Helma[2] mailing lists  
because they concern both, so first, I'd like to introduce both lists to  
each other:

   Mono is a comprehensive open source development platform
   based on the .NET framework that allows developers to
   build Linux and cross-platform applications with
   unprecedented productivity.

   Helma [...] is a scriptable open source web application
   server written in Java.

These descriptions are just copied off of each project's web pages.

I've been briefly discussing the issue of Helma not being a (stable)  
Apache module on the Helma mailing list, and got some response from Hannes  
Wallnoefer. He explained that there is ongoing effort to have Helma run as  
a native Apache module, namely Mod-GCJ[3]. As a sort of «challenge» to  
this project, I asked if mod_mono couldn't be used instead.

The benefits I see from using mod_mono as an Apache module for both Mono's  
ASP.NET and Helma, is that just one codebase needs to be developed. More  
people working on one project usually makes that project better, than if  
the team is split in two and working on their separate projects.

And as I wrote on the Helma list: «What's so brilliant about this, that I  
don't even know how to express it, is that you'd not only be able to run  
the heaps of existing Java code, but you'd be able to run all existing  
(and hopefully future) .NET code as well!»

I also think that mod_mono is far more complete than Mod-GCJ, which will  
benefit Helma greatly. Mono, again, will benefit from having Helma as a  
dependent project, since Mono then will be more used, and thus more bugs  
will be discovered, etc. As Helma is a dynamic scripting language  
environment, it will bring Mono to its test with performance as well,  
which Mono in the long run will benefit greatly from.

But before pursuing this path, Hannes Wallnoefer had some questions I  
couldn't answer, which is why I post this to the Mono mailing list:

   Does Mono have a native JScript implementation?

   I'm a bit sceptical about the performance characteristics of
   Mono and IKVM.NET. What is the memory footprint and startup
   time of a simple Hello World IKVM.NET program?

   You won't write a PHP replacement if this is equal or worse
   than ordinary Java VMs. On a gut level, I think that Mono
   isn't what I'm looking, but I might be wrong.

Is it possible to prove Hannes Wallnoefer wrong, or isn't Mono, mod_mono  
and IKVM.NET fast enough to handle Helma at this point? What do you, the  
developers of Mono, think? Is mod_mono a good alternative?

[1] <url: http://www.mono-project.com/>
[2] <url: http://www.helma.org/>
[3] <url: http://mod-gcj.sourceforge.net/>

Asbjørn Ulsberg         -=|=-        asbjornu@hotmail.com
«He's a loathsome offensive brute, yet I can't look away»