[Mono-list] evangelizing mono

Jeffrey McManus jeffreyp@well.com
Sat, 14 Feb 2004 11:57:48 -0800

Hey team,

Long-time listener, first-time caller. I wanted to get your advice on
something...I'm helping a high-energy team of Linux ninjas who are
interested in creating an OSS app that makes it easier to sell stuff on
eBay. (Giving developers this kind of help is actually part of my job at
eBay.) These guys just got into the planning stages of their project and are
trying to settle on a choice of language/framework/etc. They want to use a
client/server architecture which actually makes a lot of sense for a variety
of reasons mostly having to do with caching and handling eBay data from
eBay's API in an intelligent way.

It's my intuitive sense that C#/Mono may be a good choice for this kind of
project. Maintainability and developer productivity is a big deal with
custom eBay clients that use the API because eBay changes so frequently, and
I've had to agonize with developers that have made sub-optimal language and
architecture choices in the past and paid for it dearly as their
applications implode repeatedly.

However, they're gravitating to C++, at least for their server piece, which
may be a good choice for the lead developer(s) who I think already knows
C++, but may be a sub-optimal choice for the project in general. I fear that
they may be in "when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail"

One tactical thing they seem to be getting hung up on is the fact that you
need to run Mono apps with a command line (and, secondarily, an executable
that ends in *.exe reeks of evil Windows; I explained to them that this is
what chmod +x is for, but anyway).

My questions are:

 - Do you have good evangelism tactics for Linux developers who evaluate
Mono and find it somehow "un-Unix-like"?
 - Is there a technical answer to the "mono my.exe" command-line objection?
 - Is there an elegant solution for distributing the Mono framework onto
client machines today?
 - Are there examples of functioning high-performance client/server apps
running on Mono today?

I suspect that this kind of discussion will be useful in a general-purpose
sense as you take the message of Mono out to the rest of the universe, but
feel free to respond to me privately if you like.

If you're interested, the original discussion is over on the Gentoo forums