[Mono-list] Is Mono serious? Is Mono still alive?

Ben Joldersma ben at skullsquad.com
Mon Nov 2 19:26:56 EST 2009

I'd like to chime in on this one.  Your position has many valid points, to
be sure.  VS is an amazing tool.  .NET has better tools support.  Companies
tend to go with all MS or all OSI / Java.  But certainly not all companies.
 My company, 5to1.com, is one example.  The .NET Framework is certainly not
the obvious choice for our business, nor is it for a growing class of
businesses and projects.

The biggest disadvantage to us of .NET is it's lack of support on non
Windows platforms (specifically we happen to care about Linux.)  I'm not
going to get into a general discussion of the independent merits of Mono,
there are those on this list far better qualified than I on that note (I
think some of the coolest Gnome software coming out these days is Mono based
- Banshee, Gnome-Do, Tomboy, MD itself, what else?)  Rather, I'll focus on
why *we* use the framework.  Have you ever tried to maintain a windows
server farm of 150 nodes?  200 nodes?  500 nodes?  Your casual language
speaking about .NET as something enthusiasts might like and would likely
have no problem deploying to production in Windows suggests to me that I
doubt you have.  If you have, you've got a staff of about 1 sysadmin for
every 15 - 25 machines, if you're industry standard.  We use Amazon EC2 for
provisioning, and the excellent Chef configuration management tool from
OpsCode to mange our clusters.  Using Linux, EC2, and Chef, I can add 20
machines in ~10 minutes, fully configured, correct versions of mono, apache,
mysql, solr, memcached, custom application code to meet increased demand.
 Think about the cost savings - nothing in the windows world comes close.
 Maybe .NET's garbage collector is faster than Mono's, but since I can
optimize my whole data center at safe but minimal over capacity, my company
doesn't pay for rackspace and watts for machines that sit idle 90% of the
time (not to mention licensing fees) - in the long run, that means we win.

So yeah - linux is great, cloud computing is all the rage, azure is
vaporware, so why use the CLR?  Why not use Java or PHP?  To avoid a flame
war, I'll politely say both of those languages leave something to be
desired.  And this is again where we intersect completely - LINQ, lamda
functions, delegates, extension methods, appdomains, generics in dotnet, the
DLR, built in support for truly running multiple languages, that long list
of excellent innovations that Microsoft has so excelled at.  Those are the
reasons to choose a platform for development.  Some of our guys use Visual
Studio on Windows here - good for them.  They get a great debugger (although
for script debugging, I'd take Firebug over VS any day) better profilers,
code coverage, so on.  Being on Linux, I get other tools that are great -
better git support, Meld, vim, having an OS that starts up in 12 seconds, in
short, all of the reasons why I love linux.

At the end of the day, Mono let's me develop my programs in the platform I
love, and deploy them in the best server environments in the world.  Thanks

ben joldersma
[o]: 206.973.8003
[c]: 206.349.2852

On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 3:27 PM, Mike Christensen <mike at kitchenpc.com> wrote:

> A few comments:
> First, I think Mono is a fantastic platform that's making huge advances
> with each release.  However, it simply doesn't compare with Microsoft .NET.
> The .NET Framework has hundreds of people working on it, a near unlimited
> budget, and is the obvious choice for running .NET code.  It has one of the
> most advanced garbage collectors ever written, has a huge arsonal of
> profilers, code coverage tools, debuggers, third party frameworks, etc.  The
> way I see it, the .NET name is associated with Microsoft and Microsoft has
> somewhat of a bad rep in the open source community.  For this reason, those
> who have made the decision to go open source most likely already steer away
> from Microsoft based technologies.  Companies who are .NET enthusiasts most
> likely have no problem running Windows servers at which point you might as
> well just run the .NET Framework and runtime since it's free and is always
> cutting edge.
> Second, MonoDevelop is probably my favorite open source/free IDE (more so
> than Eclipse or anything else I've used) but it's still far, far behind
> Visual Studio.  VS looks great, is extremely flexible and has hands down the
> most advanced debugger I've ever seen.  I can debug web apps, unmanaged
> code, script code, whatever.  The only thing I've actually witnessed MD
> being able to debug is managed console apps.  I work 99% on web applications
> and until MD can debug web apps (on all platforms), it's totally useless to
> me.  Until it can debug script code, it's severely limited to me.  I imagine
> by the time it does all this, VS 2010 will be out and set an even higher bar
> for MD to follow.
> To summarize, Mono is a great platform and I appreciate all the effort that
> goes into it, but I think companies either "embrace the Microsoft world" and
> use Windows/.NET/VS or they "embrace the open source world" and use LAMP or
> Java and Eclipse.  Trying to say "This platform Microsoft invented is great,
> we've ported it over to the open source world but it's of course not as good
> as the real thing" is a tough sell to many companies..
> Mike
> On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 9:03 AM, Stifu <stifu at free.fr> wrote:
>> Mono is alive and kicking. Other than the number of posts here and on
>> monologue (http://www.go-mono.com/monologue/), which clearly shows Mono
>> is
>> nowhere near dead (unlike, say, dotGNU), the gap between Mono 2.0 (last
>> year) and Mono 2.6 speaks volume about how fast things are moving.
>> 1) I take it you saw roadmap? http://mono-project.com/Roadmap
>> As far as I know, other than WPF, pretty much everything in .NET is
>> planned
>> for implementation in Mono.
>> The class status page (http://go-mono.com/status/) is also interesting,
>> although it doesn't tell you about future goals.
>> I believe Miguel said about a dozen of Novell devs worked on Mono (+
>> contributors), I don't know much other than that.
>> 2-3) I agree about the lack of updated content / documentation... I
>> believe
>> Olive (or part of it?) was merged with the main Mono branch at some point,
>> but I don't know the details.
>> 4) I'd pick MonoDevelop over Eclipse, personally. Although less mature,
>> MonoDevelop is lighter and faster, and has just the features I need. It
>> just
>> needs to be polished some more (stability improvements, bugs fixing, OS
>> parity by, for example, adding debugger support for everything on every
>> OS...). MonoDevelop has been worked on for years, and with the relatively
>> recent additions of debugging + Windows and OSX support, I guess the bulk
>> of
>> the work has already been done. If MonoDevelop had only just been started,
>> I
>> may agree with you, but MonoDevelop is there right now and already works
>> fine.
>> That said, that doesn't prevent Eclipse-enthusiasts from looking into Mono
>> with Eclipse, but I don't think Novell should bother at this point.
>> All of that said, few companies use (or even know) about Mono... which is
>> a
>> shame. Hope that ends up changing.
>> cmdematos wrote:
>> >
>> > I don't want to stir up a hornets nest. It is my intent to see Mono as a
>> > strong enough offering to be able to recommend medium to large companies
>> > to commit to an Open technology stack that includes (and relies on)
>> Mono.
>> > Forgive me if I am not well informed, I am definitely well intended.
>> >
>> > The following are issues that stop this from reaching any sort of
>> reality:
>> > 1) There is no visible Mono timeline and release plan. What is Mono's
>> > intent and stated goals for the future? Will it try to maintain parity
>> > with Microsoft Dot.Net to some level, and if so what level and by what
>> > time-line?
>> >   1.1) What are mono's resources?
>> >   1.2) Who are mono's sponsors?
>> >   1.3) Are we resourcing up to maintain pace with our plans?
>> >
>> > 2) Many projects that should be enablers of achieving a reasonably
>> parity
>> > with Microsoft Dot.Net have not been updated since Dec 2008 (such as
>> > Olive) If these are no longer strategic the thinking behind this should
>> be
>> > made transparent.
>> >
>> > 3) The mono site has a mix of outdated pages statuses and some (very
>> > little) new content. I agree that the code is more important than the
>> > site, but it is less than professional to not date each page edit and
>> > structure the site so that the latest status and pages are always
>> > guaranteed to be clear and navigable. Please fix this.
>> >
>> > 4) Is mono executing the best strategy (as in - what is best for Mono
>> and
>> > the Open Source community) by relying on Mono-Develop? Could we not
>> > implement (or at least explore) mono on Eclipse or Netbeans IDE's and
>> > concentrate our efforts instead on integrating to a fully mature IDE
>> > infrastructure instead of developing YAIDE from scratch without a
>> > snow-balls hope in hades of keeping up with the other IDE's? Just a
>> > thought. I suggest that the Mono-Project look into the other IDE's, it
>> > wont slow down Mono-Develop any and more choice would be good here.
>> >
>> > Thoughts? Ideas? Comments?
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> --
>> View this message in context:
>> http://old.nabble.com/Is-Mono-serious--Is-Mono-still-alive--tp26132878p26133629.html
>>  Sent from the Mono - General mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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