[Mono-list] Ask Microsoft: Mono support

Paolo Molaro lupus@ximian.com
Thu, 28 Oct 2004 00:59:03 +0200

On 10/27/04 Ed Burnette wrote:
> Paolo Molaro writes: "Compatibility and interoperability are nice side
> effects of us choosing the CLI ECMA specs as a foundation, but, while,
> important, they aren't our primary interest, which is to write and use
> a good development platform on our preferred operating systems."
> Of course that's your primary interest. If it wasn't, you could have
> used any number of other "good" development platforms (like Java or
> python) on your O/S (like Linux).

Python doesn't have the features we need (speed, security and compile-time
Java would be close, but it's limited in many ways, so it wouldn't be good 
enough. There is nothing new in the CLR: it just collects in a single system
most of the stuff we need and it got enough marketing that many people
know and start using it.

> Nobody is mentioning the part where Ms. Morgan says: "Microsoft [has
> not] licensed anything to Novell/Ximian". I read the position basically as

We don't have any specific license from MS. Mono is free software, so
getting a license just for Novell/Ximian would be useless (_iff_ any license
is needed).

> (my words) "Microsoft is happy that the Mono project gets more people to
> learn and use .Net. We can point to it if anybody complains that .Net
> isn't portable. But it ever poses a threat to us we reserve the right
> to pull the rug out from under it".

The rug they can pull is the one where their costumers stand on, all the
people that choose .net because mono is an alternative and allows them
to reach users that won't use windows.
Of course they are free to screw their own costumers, but a company
can do that only a few times before they all jump over.  Linux is
very competitive on the sever side and it's starting to eat on their
desktop sales, thanks to OpenOffice.org, Gnome etc. MS will have to learn
to compete with features, support and price like the other companies.
IMHO, if they decide to attack Mono, as detailed in the FAQ, if they
have patents that can stand in court, we'll remove the features or
work around the patents. This may break compatibility, but we have our
own code and we'll adapt it. They'll just screw their costumers who wanted
to deploy both on windows and Linux and those develoeprs will use Java
instead or they'll make their programs compatible with mono, with the only
result that MS would have destroyed the little confidence they built in the
last couple of years among developers.
Just my 2 cents.


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