[Mono-list] (no subject)

Jonathan Pryor jonpryor at vt.edu
Fri Nov 17 05:52:21 EST 2006

On Fri, 2006-11-17 at 19:12 +1100, Chuck wrote:
> java is gpl
> is this not of worry to us mono users
>  after all java is deeply rooted, say what you like about it
> we may say that mono is superiorior to java.

It's all about the applications.  We think that Mono is superior to
other platforms, but that doesn't make it so.  What makes it a
_contender_ is that it is actually used to make applications.

At present, Java doesn't appear to be used for many desktop
applications; it's primarily a server side framework.

That may change, but decent apps take time to write, so the "eminent
takeover" of Java will be a long time coming.  (Never mind the fact that
it's only Java 7 that is currently GPL'd, not Java 1.1...1.6, and it'll
take awhile for the previous versions to be freed...)

> BUT we would be forgetting that mono being GPL is what made it
> superior, now that java is GPL i fear that mono will be trampled by
> the uncontrollable beast that java is. 

"Trampled by the uncontrollable beast" of Java?

Like Python was?  Perl?  PHP? .NET?

Java isn't doing lots of trampling from what I can tell -- *all*
languages have their adherents, and the freeing of Java isn't going to
cause a Python/PHP user to suddenly pick it up.

Freeing Java also doesn't remove the primary advantage of Mono:
compatibility with .NET.  If you want to share source code between
future versions of Windows (as Microsoft mentioned at one point that
most future APIs would be managed), then Mono is the only option.
Otherwise, you're missing out on future extensions to Windows.  You may
not care, but few commercial companies are willing to ignore 90%+ of the
market.  (Even if you think that percentage will fall, it'll be awhile
-- if ever -- before Windows has < 50% of the market.)

(Note that I said "share."  Mono permits Unix Wars-style portability,
where platform checks can be used to determine at runtime which APIs to
use.  So you might not be able to port your entire .NET app to Mono, but
you'll at least be able to share the core libraries while having
distinct Gtk#, SWF, and WPF user interfaces to satisfy Linux, XP, and
Vista users.  This certainly is better than having completely separate
apps for Linux & Windows.)

 - Jon

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