[Mono-list] Is Mono ready to compete with MS .NET in real business?

Miguel de Icaza miguel@ximian.com
Sun, 03 Oct 2004 00:44:15 -0400


> Mono 1.0 was shipped awhile ago, and I'm really excited
> about that... but now the natural question is:
>   "Is Mono ready to compete with MS .NET in real business?"

Like others have said as follow up replies to your post, it depends on
your needs and your comfort level.  At this point Mono is a subset of
the .NET Framework 1.1 (see the release notes for the details on what is
and is not supported).

To some people what we have today is enough to start building
application, to some to start prototyping and to some to build
proof-of-concept applications.

Some areas of Mono are more evolved than others: those that have
received the most use are likely going to as good (and in some cases
better) than the equivalent in .NET.  Those areas that have received
little attention or are seldom used might still have bugs.

Think of Mono 1.0 as Linux 1.0: it is the first release that we felt
that we could support and that we could guarantee backwards API
compatibility and we would support in an ongoing basis while we moved
our development on the new components of Mono.

>   "Will Novell provide support, documentation, etc.?"
>   "If yes, by when?"

Novell does offer commercial support for Mono users, you can contact
Erik Dasque (edasque@ximian.com) or your favorite Novell channel to ask
for the pricing of technical support or services around Mono.

In the past users of Mono that needed features not implemented in Mono
have funded the efforts to get these things in the runtime (the MacOS
port, web services, the http stack and more were funded by support

Of course, you do not have to pay Novell to get support, Mono has today
a quite vibrant community and third party consultants that have offered
their help and services in the past to individuals that need help. 
Other folks have provided some anecdotal evidence about this in the
follow up thread.

> Behind MS .NET there is a huge development team,
> support, documentation, and continuity... and I
> think Novell should offer the same, but till now
> I don't see anything in that way.

We certainly do not have a `huge' development team inside Novell. 
Although Novell is steering the direction of the project and funding
most of the work, Mono is very much a full open source project with
multiple individuals and companies contributing.

>From the Novell side there are more than 20 developers working full time
on Mono and many more internal Novell users for it.  Today we have more
than 300 open CVS accounts for external contributors. 

> You guys at Novell, could you tell us something more
> about your plans to push Mono into the market as an
> effective MS .NET alternative?

What kind of information are you looking for?