[Mono-list] Mono in the mainstream

Tony Gravagno s7oawcn02 at sneakemail.com
Mon Mar 23 17:24:59 UTC 2015

After all of these years there are still very few shared hosts who support Mono. I'm talking about the typical LAMP provider of web space for small sites, with FTP, SSH, and other services for upwards of US$10/month. In addition to PHP, these hosts may support Java, Perl, and/or Ruby. They may run over CentOS or Ubuntu, Apache or Nginx. They're used to mod_perl and mod_php, but not mod_mono, and they may support FastCGI. But they refuse to consider Mono, thinking it's either a Microsoft product, that it requires IIS, or that it's an experimental curiosity that's still unstable (based on what they read from 2004).

There are a couple aspects of what "support" for Mono means. Personally I'd be happy with a proxy from PHP to Mono which allows me to accept LAMP requests and then use C# for my business logic. Or I'd just like to be able to fire up a cron job once in a while that runs my C# code rather scripts. So a host can adopt Mono without XSP. But support for XSP would simply be a bonus. And as a Xamarin developer I'd really like to be able to write cross-platform code which I could deploy over a Linux server, and to build end-to-end mobile solutions with Mono/C#. It would be ideal if Mono could be installed as a per-account option, so that a server admin doesn't need to install Mono for all users, but individual account users could add Mono for use with their own domains.

I'm hoping to find or foster the collaborative development of information targeted at the management and technical people at these hosts. Referring them here is not effective. http://www.mono-project.com/docs/web/aspnet/ They need to understand what's involved in supporting the platform, from installation and updates through to security and performance monitoring. And they need to be convinced that some rewards could be earned for their efforts. In other words, we need to be able to say "offer Mono, you'll get new business, and you it won't cost you a lot of technical grief". Of course we as a community need do our part to drive business to companies that adopt Mono and to minimize the technical burden.

The benefit to us as C# developers is to get more exposure, get more FOSS which runs in more sites, make C# as popular as PHP for CMS like Drupal or WordPress, and to get more paying work for developers who are skilled with the stack. These are exactly the reasons why Java, Ruby, and other languages (platforms/frameworks) have been proposed and adopted.

Given all of that, frankly I'm rusty on the state of Mono over Linux. The last time I installed it some years ago, I got mired in a dependency nightmare and I gave up trying to implement it myself. That cannot be the experience that's waiting for shared hosts.

So - does any of this exist? What can be done to make it happen? Is this the wrong place to start with this inquiry?


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