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DotGNU and Mono Continue 190

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-isn't-that-exciting dept.
saurik writes "After what has been a strange few weeks of converse between the DotGNU and Mono teams (including a small PR SNAFU that involved the banning of a member from the DotGNU mailing list), DotGNU has now announced that they will be forming a partnership with Portable.NET." Frankly I like that there are 2 efforts going on. Maybe one will succeed.
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DotGNU and Mono Continue

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  • Do you ever wonder if these open source projects are actually helping Microsoft? I mean Microsofts coding standards are pretty low (check out Windows ME, IIS, well, everything from Microsoft)... They are probably studying the source code from these two projects and stealing ideas from them as far as better ways to implement the same frame work. Implementing any large scale project (and this one is big) raises many technical problems, and there are many different approaches to solving them. I wouldn't be surprised if MS is looking for ways to improve their own code by reading the source from these other projects.
  • people here thing dotGNU will be as wildly successful as GNU Hurd?
    • *cheers*

      Damned good point. Yet another example of a group of people wanting to do something to prove that theirs is bigger, longer, and stronger then someone elses.

      Theres no itch scratching going on here, and they sure dont seem to have a focus on 'WHY' they want to do this.
  • by Karma Sucks (127136) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @03:11PM (#10587)
    For those who didn't read it through, here's some scoop from the Portable.NET faq:

    3.2. Why not co-operate with Mono?

    I tried suggesting that we divide up the work to prevent too much duplication of effort, but Mono seems set on re-inventing all of the wheels that I already had several months prior. Mono's idea of co-operation at the moment is "do it our way or no way". Therefore, I will co-operate with Mono when they start co-operating with me.

    3.1. Mono

    The Mono project that is run by Ximian has many of the same goals as Portable.NET.

    Mono is oriented towards building a .NET-capable framework that works well with GNOME. This means that their system is unlikely to work well with any other desktop environment, or with PDA's that don't feature GNOME.

    Portable.NET is designed to be more general purpose than that. It has very few dependencies on other libraries so that it can be integrated with any desktop or PDA operating environment.

    Mono's C# compiler and other tools are written in C#. While academically interesting, this will incur a severe performance penalty on the toolchain compared to Portable.NET's use of C. It also means that it will be longer before Mono can natively host a .NET development toolchain on Linux.

    Future versions of Portable.NET will also support compiling C# to the JVM, which isn't something targeted by Mono as yet.
    ---------------

    I think it is really interesting that Portable.NET intends to target the JVM. Now we are getting somewhere. Also their version of .NET does not create needless desktop dependencies, so more power to them. I am a bit surprised at Ximian's attitude at the whole thing though, where is the logic? To read the full faq go here:

    http://www.southern-storm.com.au/pnet_faq.html
    • by miguel (7116) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @03:28PM (#12114) Homepage
      Those statements on the FAQ are incorrect.



      We believe in writing as much code as possible in C# i
      nstead of C, because we believe we can write more code, more robust code which in the end could be reusable as a components if we use C# instead of C for pieces like the compiler and its associated tools.


      This seems to contradict what we have in our web page about the class-library. The class library is being built in a way that would allow the GUI toolkit to be plugged.



      It is also plain FUD that we do not want to make Mono work with other desktops (hey, even GNOME works on other desktops).


      You do not want to get a Gtk+ toolkit on MacOS, nor on Windows. You want to get a native interface, from http://www.go-mono.com/class-library.html: [go-mono.com]


      For classes that might differ more (for example, the implementation of Windows.Forms), we might have different directories altogether:
      System.Windows.Forms/Win32,
      System.Windows.Forms/Gtk+ and
      System.Windows.Forms/Cocoa.

      • You do not want to get a Gtk+ toolkit on MacOS, nor on Windows. You want to get a native interface

        That's what Sun first thought when it first created Java ... They soon realised the limitations (taking the lowest common demoninatar of each desktop) and created a Java native toolkit called Swing.

    • I believe that the only thing that could be remotely called a Gnome dependency for Mono is glib and glib is just a library of data structures and other such things. From what I have seen, the plans are to MAYBE ONE DAY have Gnome depend on Mono but not the other way around.
    • The JVM is as much of a "needless desktop dependency" as Gnome is.
      • Except that the JVM currently runs on most platforms. Gnome, to my knowledge, is Unixen-only, with some parts of GTK ported to Windows. As such, the JVM can be viewed as something that breaks a desktop dependancy.
  • ..why I couldn't care less about the efforts to duplicate .NET, or .NET itself. I'll stick to my Smalltalk, where various implementations manage to remain civil with one another, and Free Software flows freely from one to the other.
  • Frankly I like that there are 2 efforts going on. Maybe one will succeed.

    A brilliant commentary by Mr. Taco. Thank you sir, for gleaming such insight upon us inferior souls.
  • Yes, my friends, fight against each other. If you don't agree the way a project is running, leave the project and make another one by your self!

    That's the spirit of Variety. That what keep our Freedom of Choices. I like to choose Window Maker, and I also like that my pal prefers Gnome. That's the variety that I love to see!

    Imagine a world where there are no differences, where all window managers look the same! This sux! I prefer to see a good fight, I prefer to see people getting out of a project and building their own. But I'm sad about that horrible happening about baning (too sad...)

    Of course, freedom is hard to manage. Ditatorial government are much easier than a real democracy. Be fair is much more difficult, look all around is much more difficult, but IMHO is much much much better!

    Let's fight and build several .NET projects. Can I see a third project in the horizon? Maybe I'm right, maybe it's just a dream, maybe everybody fits into dotGNU and Mono. That's ok too, the point is, we still have a choice!


    FREEEEEEDOOOMM!!!

  • good olchannel ops (Score:4, Interesting)

    by coaxial (28297) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @04:12PM (#12609) Homepage
    I've been reading the threads from the archive regarding the banning (oh I'm sorry, "manual moderation").

    I don't like it admins on lists that feel like they need to exercise power over the list in the name of "harmony". You see it all the time on IRC.


    joeuser> Hey I have a question about KDE.
    {joeuser has been banned by @^freak: KDE sucks}


    Whether Martin Coxall was being an idiot or not
    isn't really the point. Everyone should be entitled to read what he has to say, and killfile him if they want. Afterall that's what killfiles are for. I don't like it when someone makes decisions like that for me.

    Also what's the point of "nonpublic" lists when the whole process is supposed to be "open" and allow anyone to join?

    It's this hypocracy that keeps me from joining
    the selfrightous schlong measuringfest that is IRC, or any of these projects.
  • I've been trying to persuade my company to start using open source products. My company will eventually move to .Net, I would love to get them to consider open source alternatives, but how can I convince them that open source can produce superior products when pointless arguments like this contiue and make open source look childish. I'm sure bickering goes on at Microsoft behind closed doors but we don't have that luxury. Come on guys get it together.
    • I'm sure bickering goes on at Microsoft behind closed doors

      And plenty more bickering goes on between proprietary software makers in public, and indeed in court.

      Good luck in your quest for a world of harmony where nobody ever disagrees... actually no, I'm not sure I'd like a world like that at all. Good luck in coming to terms with the world, imperfect as it may be, hope it's not too much of a disapointment to you.
  • Did anyone else read the supposed "PR snafu" [ximian.com] link? The author was good enough to link to it, but I think his summary was a bit off. PR snafu makes it sound like dotGNU screwed up or did something wrong.

    All I have to say is read the link. Really.

    After reading the link, unless you are socially brain-dead, you will see that Martin Coxall (the "banned" member) was being a total ass. No really--read it yourself. Keep going until you get to the end of the thread. You'll see. Unfortunately, the dotGNU people felt they needed to defend themselves on the mono list--and with people like this guy, that is only adding fuel to the fire. He's definitely a Tireless Rebutter [winternet.com].

    Note of clarification: he was put on manual moderation after stiring up trouble on the dotGNU list. Not banned, moderated. Now before you cry "Oppression!", remember that this is exactly what moderation is for. If you don't understand what I am talking about, read the thread and imagine a constant onslaught of email coming from Martin Coxall sniping and being a jerk--as a developer, it would make you pretty upset.

    Moderation is in place on lists to keep flame wars to a minimum. Martin Coxall was just sounding off and got moderated--that's internet life, kids.

  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @04:07PM (#14470) Homepage
    What would you say if asked to justify the idea that creating two different .NET implementations is a more valid use of manpower/volunteer time than devoting that same time to the Linux and Windows versions of GNUStep [gnustep.org], with the goal of getting them to the point where GNUStep can be presented to corporations as something to develop for one platform & compile for three OSes? The head start given by the work already done on the Foundation would be enough that if the Community was to try to help GNUStep, they would probably have the time to add support for the java and python programming languages. (Cocoa supports java already.)

    Is the c#/.net framework really any better than gnustep would be with a slightly updated objective c or java?*

    Why accept Microsoft's conception of the universe and bring it to linux when you can bring your own conception of the universe to Windows with about as much work?

    And do you think that Sun will recognize the two or three tiny valid threats in .NET -- a VM that is designed to be compiled to from any programming language, things being seen as slightly more "open", a thought-out system for meshing different object-oriented programming languages-- and move to fix these things?

    What would it take to push apple into making NeXTStep a truly cross-platform development environment again? If they did so, would anyone actually use it? (i.e. which is greater: the dirty feeling coming from using an MS platform, or the dirty feeling coming from using an apple (NeXT) platform.) Or is .NET better than *Step/Cocoa anyway?

    Will apple or sun actually move to ensure that they remain with products that are better than microsofts', or will they just assume .NET is vapourware and will fail, and pretend it isn't there?

    In the upcoming war, which product is X and which is NeWS? Is that an appropriate anology? Are there any third alternatives outside of java/.NET?

    What would it take to get the universe to a point where the API and VM for the next generation of operating systems (as well as a system, such as c# offers, where objects can be inherhited across operating systems-- CORBA generation 2, maybe, except actually usable?) is determined by a truly open, inclusive board of experts representing the entire industry, along the lines of an idealized version of the w3c or opengl?

    What would the software industry be like *right now* if at the time that Sun began to release Java, they had had the money, resources and ability to get products installed on consumers computers' "by default" that microsoft has right now? I.E., how much better would java be if Sun had been able to rapidly mature it the way Microsoft will be able to rapidly mature .NET? Or is java just inherently doomed because it was the first product of its type, and microsoft is able to learn from Sun's mistakes with 20/20 hindsight?

    Is microsoft doomed because rather than attempting foresight, they're just trying to replicate java, slap on an authentication mechanism, with little attempt to do more than fix sun's mistakes?

    What the hell is going on?
    I'm going to go curl up now.

    (please do not respond to the following. i am just trying to explain where i am coming from in wondering these things:)
    *(I would honestly like to know the answer to that one. I have used Cocoa and love it to the point i would make my OS choice based on it solely. I haven't looked at C#/.NET because i don't trust MS and believe that if they are given power, any kind of power, they will abuse it. This is nothing more than internal bias and i am not attempting to justify it as "true", or start a discussion on that subject. I just want answers to the questions above. And i am secure, because after programming some Cocoa i know that NeXT will never die the way that the Amiga will never die.) .. here goes nothing.. *submit*
    • What would it take to push apple into making NeXTStep a truly cross-platform development environment again? If they did so, would anyone actually use it? (i.e. which is greater: the dirty feeling coming from using an MS platform, or the dirty feeling coming from using an apple (NeXT) platform.) Or is .NET better than *Step/Cocoa anyway?

      Apple currently needs Microsoft for Office. Microsoft would not like Apple invading Windows by putting Cocoa on Windows or giving Linux a boost by putting Cocoa on that.

      So Apple needs something to replace Office to get out of under MS control. The only real possibility is OpenOffice, but of course there is no Mac Version of OpenOffice and they report [slashdot.org] they need help porting to Mac OS X

      I alternative to Word that could actually defeat .doc as the "standard" format is AbiWord [abisource.com] free and small, so it is a easy download. But, it has the same problem OpenOffice has no Mac Version.

      I think these two programs have no chance becoming wide spread without a Mac Version. Because basically anyone using any Macs can't use it. It is not "cross-platform" to them. Also us Mac Users would be very likely to go preaching the OpenOffice-Abiword gospel. We hated Microsoft before Linux existed, and I believe there are more of us then there are Linux users.

  • Here's the one thing I take away from .NET that looks like new technology to me, and it looks like a good idea that wouldn't be super hard to do: .NET lets you provide a public interface for VB and C# objects ("Windows services", web services - guess they haven't thought of an acronym for it yet) without adding another compile/curse/compile step. That is, the interface you write for the C# class is publicly available without writing a separate IDL.

    This is a good thing, as I'll bet a large chunk of most development projects is spent writing/debugging this damn translation layer. App servers like Resin let you run applets, but you've gotta set up an agreed upon message format, parse some XML/HTML/binary message format, and do reflection (if you're doing Java).

    Why not write a module that maps a XML DTD to a Java interface, then does the RPC for you?

    IMHO, this is what .NET is trying to do. For all the marketing BS in there (the whole certified email thing seems hokey - PGP gives you the exact same functionality now), the general idea seems to boil down to be something small and simple.

    As far as C# goes, the standard MSFT development practice seems to be "prototype in VB, ship in VC++" because of VB language restrictions (OO in VB looks like a whole lotta duct tape). I'll bet C# is an effort to address these restrictions, while continuing to use a VM, which makes it much easier to tie the whole shebang together:

    As one can see from this sample .Net Framework application, what was previously only in the realm of Visual C++ programmers is now possible in a simple, object-oriented program. Although this article focuses on C#, everything written here can also be written in Visual Basic and Managed C++. The new .Net Framework has enabled developers to create highly functional, scalable Windows applications and services from any programming language.

    Note that using a VM also makes it easier for MSFT to restrict developers to use only published API calls - no more hitting the hardware. :)

  • I'm still wondering why people need .NET, let alone any open source alternative...

    IMHO, wouldn't it be better for the community to create a "internet service" solution (if we even need internet services) that works, rather than try to duplicate the work of Microsoft?
    • Re:Why??? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JanneM (7445)
      I know this is a trite argument, but it is appropriate (and no, I'm not trying to flame anybody, or even single you out or anything):

      If you really think another way is the way to go, please start doing it. You don't even need to be a programmer yourself; write up a paper detailing the failings of the current efforts and propose a better way. Disseminate this text, and persuade other coders to join in and implement it. Even if you do not succeed in getting your project started, your work will not be wasted as your analysis will be helpful in guiding the current projects.

      The people working on Mono, DotGNU and Portable.NET are all doing it because they believe their project is the right way to go about it. Any productive feedback - in the form of a design document or a competing project - is very helpful for all involved. A random 'I don't like this', on the other hand, is likely to be ignored.

      /Janne

    • Re:Why??? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RevAaron (125240)
      For me, as a developer, .NET isn't about having "internet services." It's about easy interoperability between languages. I program in Smalltalk (and some LISP), and while I've not had a hard time finding the changesets (read: "libraries") to do what I need (db access, &c), I'm sure one day I'll run into a wall and have to reimplement functionality that has been already done in another language. .NET would allow me to use a lib written in C++ or Python in a version of Smalltalk or LISP or whatever language I feel would be appropriate targeted for the .NET CLI. It means I can do this easily, without having to hack together some IPC or write a C wrapper for the functionality in question.

      This has a lot of potential, and I see "internet services" as a small part of it, at least in the way it effects me.

      Then again, I'll probably never bother using it, unless there's Smalltalk and CL implementations as good as or better than the ones I use now. :)

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @04:14PM (#22054)
    With .NET , Microsoft successfully managed in a very short period of time to :

    Make the community disperse its efforts on copying what is little more than vaporware

    Make the community look like a bunch of childish "I can do that too" people.

    The only thing that comes to my mind when I look at the mono and dotGNU projects is "monkey see, monkey do". One of the projects can't even come up with an innovative name for itself. Well, I'm sorry but copying .NET is just dumb and it plays in favor of Microsoft, who looks like the real innovators that legions of unimaginative free-software geeks always try to copy.

    In short, the community has to stop copying and being toyed with by Microsoft, and begin innovating and proving that there are much better things than what Microsoft comes up with.

    • Make the community look like a bunch of childish "I can do that too" people

      I agree that this seems to be what the DotGNU people are seemly try to do. Mono, on the other hand, is more looking at having alternative langauges, etc, on the *nix based OSs. Porting the CLI means nearly everything else can be ported with ease. They are looking to actual WRITE most of the infrastructure in C# after all, after getting a decent CLI up and running..
  • by RestiffBard (110729) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @03:58PM (#22056) Homepage
    I'm just so involved in evangelizing for vi vs. emacs and gnome vs. kde I just don't have the time to get involved in another holy war. so you guys fight it all out and let me know in 20 years what you came up with.
  • Another reason... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chester K (145560) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @03:01PM (#22973) Homepage
    ...it's hard for people in business to Open Source seriously.

    This is no different than the Gnome vs. KDE debate, or Debian vs. RedHat, or hell, even Linux vs. BSD. We fight amongst ourselves so much that we can't present a unified front against (much more organized) Closed Source efforts.

    Will somebody at one of these .NET-clone projects get off their high horse and just merge the projects together? All this stupid in-fighting just goes to show that Microsoft has nothing to fear from Open Source.
    • As sometime user of my SuSE distro (no net access but still fun) and avid fan of Linux in general I have to agree that the a big problem for Linux in general is the highly divided internal life of the community. I feel that some sort of "united front" or clearinghouse would simplify accessibility for non-Linux literate souls who are interested. Lost Archivist
    • We fight amongst ourselves so much that we can't present a unified front against (much more organized) Closed Source efforts.

      Right, Microsoft, AOL, and Oracle present a big unified, organized front for proprietary software. In other news, the Yankees and Red Sox are merging to defeat the hated Blue Jays...

    • We fight amongst ourselves so much that we can't present a unified front against (much more organized) Closed Source efforts.
      You mean like the "unified" database market -- Oracle versus DB2 versus Sybase versus Cloudscape versus MS SQL Server? Or the "unified" enterprise OS market -- Solaris versus HPUX versus AIX versus Linux/BSD versus NT? Or the "unified" web application market (too many products to list)?
    • by gmhowell (26755)
      OTOH, by infighting, the end products are arguably better than if there had been only competition against M$, Sun, etc.

      As with most things in life, a balance must be struck. Yes, Gnome and KDE should have differences. Differences of design philosophy, goals, implementation... As long as they keep in mind the larger goal: world domination.

      :)

      But seriously, there is no way to have a discussion with M$ regarding technical merits. And so what if they get heated? Some of the best discussions I've had have been heated.

      If everyone's itch were solved by one product, we'd all be using M$ Bob. They aren't, so we don't.

      People who matter take Open Source seriously. And in the end, IBM (among others) are a voice that people still listen to, even if the face of M$.

      I do think that some of the fighting (and I went back and read the threads on that mailing list) are pointless, and much along the lines of "I got my feelings hurt". And that is pure bullshit that accomplishes nothing. And yes, *that* sort of argument doesn't look good. Thankfully, most arguments are mostly substantive.

    • Ah yes, you are so correct. If only we could all get along like the closed source folks do.

      Everytime I see Bill Gates, Larry Elison, and Steve Jobs give each other big hugs and slobbery kisses at their many public appearences together, I know that the open source community can never equal their amazing co-operation and unity.
  • by dwlemon (11672) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @03:47PM (#23288)
    Mono is a GNU port of C# and the CLI runtime. What people think this has to do with authentication, I have no idea.

    Porting a language means making it available to another platform. With mono, you can develop C# on gnu/linux. Why is this such a terrible and confusing thing to so many slashdotters? Is the availability of another development platform a bad thing? The only thing that would really bug me is if the KDE team decides to write their own separate implementation. The fact that Mono will be tied to Gnome is iffy, but what are you gonna do? Gnome has to make strides of some kind or another to stand out.

    When Gnome says they have customers, I believe them.

    I don't give a shit if my Mono applications don't even work on Windows. I'd like an alternative to Java that doesn't feel like a toy.

    I don't know if dotGNU is needed. I guess if it means I only need one username and password to log into any sites that have accepted their standard, then that's just super.

    But wether or not I am going to be able to go to Amazon.com and identify myself with a dotGNU login, I don't know. Frankly, I don't care.

    Mono interests me, dotGNU doesn't.
  • by kypper (446750) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @03:02PM (#23323)
    We are encouraging Microsoft's .NET strategy with it.

    It would be really nice to see other companies such as Sun invest in Mono and push it far beyond what .NET plans to do.

    For once, open source can publicly set the standard and let Microsoft catch up.

    • by Jason Earl (1894) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @03:51PM (#21778) Homepage Journal

      Unfortunately Microsoft has all the leverage in this particular case because they control the client. We could come up with something a hundred times better than .NET and .NET would still win because the client bits of .NET will be on every new PC firmly embedded into Windows.

      The Samba developers really have the right idea. Instead of creating a network file system and then trying to create a Windows client (which Microsoft could break at every .dll update) they instead took the route of emulating Windows servers. Even with a crufty protocol like SMB this turned out to be the easiest route. Microsoft doesn't want to break their own clients, and so they are limited in what they can really change.

      One of these days Linux (or some other open system) might very well have enough client side market share that the Free Software folks could create a client side standard and actually have some weight behind it. The closest we have ever come was with browser based applications, and even that was marred by Netscape-isms and the even more overwhelming IE-isms that are cropping up more recently.

      Free Software is getting closer, however. My guess is that it is only a matter of time.

    • Does anyone know how e.g., IBM plans to approach C#/CLI? For example, are there plans on the part of IBM to create JIT compilers for the framework as they have with Java?

      • I haven't seen any major announcements concerning C#/CLI from IBM. So far they've been content to create the Web Services implementation (UDDI, WSDL and SOAP) in Java to enable the use of Web Services in their J2EE platform (WebSphere).

        One article I've seen was this:
        Comdex Canada: No Web Services 'Revolution' for IBM [sun.com].

        The article indicates IBM is going ahead with its strategy to enable interoperability between platforms by the use of XML and Java.

    • It would be really nice to see other companies such as Sun invest in Mono and push it far beyond what .NET plans to do.

      Sun wouldn't touch it with a bargepole unless it was written in the Java language, for the Java virtual machine, targeting the J2EE Java class collection. In short, you can use any language you like as long as it's Java, and run it on any platform you want as long as it's Java.

      (I am well aware that there are many languages targeting the JVM. Not one of them receives so much as recognition from Sun, much less moral support, far less technical support)
      • stranger things have happened.

        And I didn't mean only Sun. Other companies have much to gain from forcing their own method though, making Microsoft adjust instead; it'll keep them in the running.

      • by acroyear (5882) <jws-slashdot@javaclientcookbook.net> on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @03:23PM (#29313) Homepage Journal
        Actually, as I stated before, Sun has their own environment they're developing, Sun ONE, and I belive it was announced before .NET. .NET is a reactive strike against Sun just as its key language, C#, is a reactive strike against Java.
        • You're kidding, right? The whole Sun ONE pipedream wasn't even announced until this past February. If you know anybody actually excited about it, please let them be heard, because they're pretty hard to find. Sun's nursing some pretty bitter feelings right now after watching the developer community scramble to support .NET while for the most part having given Java the cold shoulder. Heh, think Sun's now regretting having pulled back so many times from submitting Java as a standard? 'Cause I guarantee you, that's what's caused the big upswell in .NET plans. There are a ton of people working on .NET projects now who would have totally written it off as a Microsoft-only technology if not for Microsoft submittting this stuff to a standards body.

          Seriously, Sun's got a lot to worry about. Where's the excitement about Sun ONE? What happened to the "web tone," the "big freakin' switch," JINI, and JXTA? Most importantly, what happened all those dumb Java-enabled rings that Scott MacNealy used to wear? Anyone actually miss 'em? Sun's just become a follower, finally coming around to SOAP, UDDI, etc., after getting over the bitterness of adopting technology that Microsoft developed. Not sure why they mind now, though -- J2EE's just a Microsoft Transaction Server ripoff, and it's not too hard to guess where JSP and JDBC come from.

          Trivia time: Sun is on ECMA Committee TC39 Task Group 2 (TG2), as well as being on TG3. The purpose(s) of these two bodies is to:

          • (A) Produce a standard for Java.
          • (B) Produce a standard for C#.
          • (C) Produce a standard for the .NET CLI (Common Language Infrastructure.

          If you chose B & C, you're absolutely right! Now remember players, you must've chosen them both to win. Don Pardo, show the people what they've won! :)

          • Sun's nursing some pretty bitter feelings right now after watching the developer community scramble to support .NET while for the most part having given Java the cold shoulder.

            I doubt Sun is nursing any bitter feelings. Their J2EE platform has more than 20 commercial implementations available, and several Open Source ones. It seems .NET has some catching up to do.

            Where's the excitement about Sun ONE?

            Well, honestly the Sun ONE looks just like a marketing effort that puts an IDE on top of the already existing J2EE platform. J2EE is the existing platform that .NET is competing against, and J2EE seems to gather plenty of excitement. It has established itself well in the market place, and pretty much taken over the application server market.

            J2EE's just a Microsoft Transaction Server ripoff

            That is not what J2EE is. If you need a comparable Microsoft platform, it used to be called Microsoft DNA, today its .NET.

          • Judging from your previous posts you're obviosuly a die-hard Microsoft supporter, but even so this statement:

            "Given Java the cold shoulder"?

            I was with you on most of the rest of the post (SunONE? Who Cares?), but I can't see that. I've seen a lot of people switch to Java development and a things like a myriad of J2EE app servers. I personally don't know of any Java developers jumping to .Net yet. (Do you know any Java developers to start with?)

            I think the battle will be lot more evenly fought than you make out, and not based at all on which one submitted something to a particular standards organization. Frankly, the ECMA origazization seems about as good as the Java Community Process stuff to me. Also, for all of those interesting standards like SOAP and UDDI Java provides the leading implementations at the moment (and Sun is the company heading the UDDI effort!!). JSP and JDBC are indeed similar to MS counterparts except that they work and are pleasant to use (OK, actually JSP's suck as much as ASP and neither should be used by anyone). As for J2EE being a Transaction Server ripoff, I don't know where you got that from but you'd better buy a new J2EE book and re-read things a bit harder.

            .NET has a long way to go over ground that Java, J2EE and other standards have already broken - the winner is my no means predetermined yet, either way. At this point Sun is pretty much obviously the leader and MS is struggling to keep up or overtake them. Just because Sun is helping them define the language and common set of libraries is no reason to think they are even close to abandoning Java - more like making sure that the final standard can be easily implemented on top of the JVM so they can dump .NET and have a clear strategy of running legacy .NET code in the Java VM.

  • Joined forces (Score:2, Insightful)

    by andres32a (448314)
    "Frankly I like that there are 2 efforts going on. Maybe one will succeed." Well in a sense it is good that the projects have comed together specially when the outcome seems so young. Later on when the technology does become usable there will be other similar projects even based on the original.
    • Then again, the division of effort may lead to both failing because neither can quite reach getting enough outside developers involved to move it forward at a pace that will keep up with M$'s future (expect it, 'cause its how they do things) consistent changes and updates (many incompatible with early versions -- again, its how they work so why should .NET be any different).

      I take as a prime example the issue of the simple email client for GTK/GNOME. A glance @ the gnome software list shows 25 email clients. Do we really need that many? And are ANY of them solid/robust enough to put on someone's desktop and say "you can do anything you want with this that you could do with Outlook, and at the same time be safer than Outlook".

      My opinion: no.

      The "Not Invented Here" syndrome is still pretty rampant, and I feel it'll be the same between these two .NET clones as well (as the "PR Snafu" demonstrated), and that will likely kill both projects in the mid-range, so that neither survive in the long term when M$ really gets version 3.0 of .NET going (knowing again, that their 3.0 is always the first version of any M$ product that really actually works...).

      Then again, by that point they may realize .NET is a crock of crap and have moved on completely -- .NET is a strategic move to take on Sun and J2EE and ONE, not an effort to really change the world for the better).

      It would be better for OpenSource to stop cloning stuff that already exists (or doesn't exist and has no real driving need to exist) and come up with its own killer app. Apache as a spokesman for OpenSource originality only goes so far. The world is waiting for something new, not a rehash of what's old, or a clone of something that isn't even done yet.

      • Then again, by that point they may realize .NET is a crock of crap and have moved on completely -- .NET is a strategic move to take on Sun and J2EE and ONE, not an effort to really change the world for the better).

        Do you honestly think J2EE and ONE (whatever the hell ONE is, I couldn't get any info on what it really was when I worked for Sun) are some kind of philanthropy or some great cultural contribution like Michaelangelo or Shakespeare? Good freakin god, is there anyone left who is capable of evaluating platforms on objective criteria?

        I see Coxall with a persecution complex, Bollow with a control issue over the word "we", and a whole lot of rah-rah Java boosterism on the dotgnu side from people who don't even know what operator overloading and generic programming is. Then gratuitous mono-bashing in the FAQ's (simply saying you have a difference in opinion should have been fine). I don't see a lot of hope for dotgnu, and frankly not a lot for mono if Coxall is allowed to set the tone on the list.
        • Lemme amend my post about Bollow and Coxall and just say Read the thread [ximian.com] (search forward for "dotGNU banning"). This guy has some serious anger issues.
        • Hey, I never said I liked J2EE and ONE, only that Sun put them out, and M$'s .NET is a reaction to them. If ONE fails because of .NET, then M$ comes out a winner yet again, like they did when they cloned Netscape to make IE 3. If ONE falls flat on its own face, then M$ can cut work on .NET 'cause they know (after ONE's example) that the whole idea was garbage (M$'s done that before too -- in some cases the vaporware alone killed the competing product). Take your pick. I personally don't see the use of either of them, and plan on playing with a lot of the stuff from Jakarta in the next few months...

          And what is an objective criteria? Application-development platforms are judged on something that varies greatly : developer opinion. Because that opinion varies greatly, the vendors of them try their damndest to bypass the developers and sell to project managers of companies instead, letting them mandate the platform. And certainly that's objective criteria that manager might use...but its not going to be the most informed because he's not the one who's going to have to use it.

          Developers rarely respond well to "marketing". They respond by using the product, then judging "how much easier was my project because of this product?" against "how much did this thing cost, and do my end-users have to pay extra to use my product because I used this thing in it?"

          The .NET clones have removed the cost factor (if they actually ever work), but at the same time, nothing M$ has done has shown that .NET itself will make anybody's development job easier.

          • > And what is an objective criteria?

            How fast is it, how fast is it at xxxxx clients (where xxxxx is a big number), how much memory does it take up (and at xxxxx clients), how much code has to be rewritten to support it, how much support does it have for future target platforms, how many platforms require admin intervention to roll it out on (usually in the form of installing dependencies). How many existing technologies in use does it integrate with, how many technologies will have to be migrated to something else?

            A java platform may win on some of these points, and I'd really appreciate seeing those points argued, not vagaries like the Betterment of Society. That along with spelling "Microsoft" correctly, or at least the two letters MS. C'mon, you can do it if you try (though perhaps there's a certain Randroid charm in M$)
      • It would be better for OpenSource to stop cloning stuff that already exists (or doesn't exist and has no real driving need to exist) and come up with its own killer app. Apache as a spokesman for OpenSource originality only goes so far. The world is waiting for something new, not a rehash of what's old, or a clone of something that isn't even done yet.

        I don't think that's ever going to happen. Open Source (at least, non-commercial Open Source) does not have any kind of central authority to tell it what to focus on. Open Source is really a community of people scratching their collective itches. So if someone has an itch to replicate Microsoft frameworks, why not do it? If I were involved with Mono or dotGNU, I'd probably have a very good, practical reason for it, with a far higher priority on *my* agenda than that "something new" you're talking about.

        Well, I personally will not use anything .NET-related at least until it becomes enough of a standard for me to become unable to avoid it in the UNIX world (as any self-respecting Microsoft-bashing Free Software zealot will do), but since there are people working on it I guess at least it's useful to them.

        Now if you were actually talking about commercial Open source, that's a completely different story...
      • the division of effort may lead to both failing because neither can quite reach getting enough outside developers involved to move it forward

        Then the developers will probably realize this and coalesce around the one that shows most promise.

        • One could hope. But that may be unlikely. Again, "Not Invented Here" -- the developers who left the dying project might not go to the surviving one. They'd probably be sick of the whole thing and move on to something else entirely.
        • Then the developers will probably realize this and coalesce around the one that shows most promise.

          Of course. That is what happened with GNOME and KDE ;)

  • DotGNU? Come on guys. .Net was a stupid marketoid wet dream. If people are going to chase after tail lights, the least they could do is try to come up with a decent name.

    But hey, what do I know. I'm not working on the project, and I guess if I'm not part of the solution then I'm part of the . . . (fizz)

    andy
  • Doesn't having two open source versions of .NET validate Microsoft's .NET strategy?
    • Yes, but Microsoft's strategy here was perfect, because they know it's too much of a gamble for the open source community NOT to make an open source version of .net technology. Certainly if we did nothing Microsoft would have to work that much harder to gain universal acceptance of .NET, but if we have an open source alternative at least nobody has to be under the iron grip of MS. That's not too high a price to pay to avoid MS dominance even if it plays into their hands to an extent.
    • Microsoft's .NET vision is very cool. Imagine all the advantages of the Java platform, without the one huge disadvantage of that platform, you don't have to write everything in Java. It's even possible that their implementation of this vision will work as advertised. If that is the case then having a competing implementation isn't just a good idea, it's going to be critical to the success of Free Software.

      Even if .NET is horrific, there will undoubtedly be some sites that use .NET technology, a useful .NET client would therefore be useful even if .NET turns out to be less than Microsoft is advertising.

    • Marketing dollars and a virtual monopoly provide pretty much all the validation they need. There's no point in waiting for it to succeed before implementing it, you'll just give them a bigger head start. Better to start early and have something credible to show earlier.
  • Someone wanna tell me why anyone should care? .NET sounds like a lot of Microsoft hot air designed solely to remove Java from the marketplace.

    For instance: What compelling features does it offer the customer? Why would I want those features, as a customer?

    Miguel seems to think it's a way to escape the GTK/GNOME/Bonobo architectural limitations, from what I've read -- but so what? Why not fix GTK/GNOME/Bonobo instead?

    Seriously, please clue me in, cause I don't understand the fuss.

    • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @04:14PM (#25091)
      1. XML RPC. You can debate the value of XML over other RPC methods, but the .NET model appears to be simpler than CORBA and more easily extensible.

      2. Pervasive Object Model. Looking at the ActiveState site, you can see the power of being able to bind to .NET services written in any of the supported languages. Yes, you can compile Python to the JVM, but Sun won't officially support this type of activity - Microsoft on the other hand is funding cross-language support from ground zero.

      3. Mostly open architecture. C#, SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI are all open specs. Some of .NET is not open, such as the source of the compiler, but at least with a spec you can write your own, and perhaps even influence the design.

      4. A nice OO language. You get this with Java too. Hopefully memory-managed languages can become the norm for application development with all these tools available.

  • I still think this is a good idea. Eventually MS will make a huge public blunder by trying to stomp out MONO. Unlike the Bristoll case (and countless others) MS has entered a very high profile and public 'partnership' where EVERY move will be watched.

    Sooner or later MS will eat crow or this.

    • You know if this .NET thing works out it could lead to truly cross-platform apps. That could realistically lead to it backfiring on Microsoft and allow alternate systems like Linux, like FreeBSD to come in and steal MS's pride and joy, the Windows Market Share. So think about it that way when criticizing Mono and DotGNU.
  • This is stupid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gillbates (106458)
    Open source software has lost its creativity and usefulness. DotGNU and Mono are just clones of a bad design in the first place. Must the OS community copy everything that Microsoft does? Or do we lack the intelligence to come up with something unique and inspiring?

    It is rather unfortunate that nothing new and interesting has come out of the free software movement. It seems like open source projects are nothing more than cheap knockoffs of existing commercial software.
  • It won't work out because of things like this. [ximian.com] Everyone wants their piece of the glory of being the next 'big thing' by being able to replace .NET, but because they are greedy, they lose sight of the real purpose and try to twist is to their personal gain instead of trying to write code that will actually help users and developers
  • by ink (4325) on Wednesday August 01, 2001 @02:55PM (#33039) Homepage
    The Portable.NET project becomes the "DotGNU Portable.NET" subproject of the DotGNU meta-project.

    Am I the only one that thought of the gladiator scene in the Monty Python's The Life of Brian when I read that? The bit where they are bickering over the 'splitters' and changing their names from the Liberation Party to the Party of Liberation or some such nonsense. Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled /.

    • Reg Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the
      Romans are the fucking Judean People's Front.
      PFJ Yeah
      Judith Splitters.
      Francis And the Judean Popular Peoples Front.
      PFJ Oh yeah. Splitters.
      Loretta And the peoples Front of Judea.
      PFJ Splitters.
      Reg What?
      Loretta The Peoples front of Judea. Splitters.
      Reg We're the Peoples front of Judea.
      Loretta Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.
      Reg Peoples Front.
      Francis Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
      Reg He's over there.
      --------[A single old man sits on a lower seat.]
      --------{Some POPULAR front, eh?}
      PFJ [To the old man.] SPLITTER!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      so wish the competitor to M$ .Net was called .Org
  • Is their name--"Mono". At least it's not G.NET or Portable.NET or Opensource.NET or Somethingelse.NET.

    The name might seem like a lame reason, but to me it makes all the difference in the world. .NET is a huge cloud of MS initiatives, some of which I am interested in, others of which I consider dangerous.

    The choice of name, as far as I'm concerned, says a lot about the mission and mindset of a project. I'm much more interested in a project with a function goal than an emulation goal. "Mono", to me, would beg the question, "what are they trying to do"? X.NET would beg the question "how are they trying to copy .NET?"

    Trying to emulate .NET as a vague entity, I believe, will fail.

    Trying to emulate or provide alternatives to elements of the .NET initiative, on the other hand, might work well. A good open source CLI implementation, for example, seems great. So does a good authentication system. But trying to do everything at once in one project I have problems with.

    Maybe I'm wrong here, and maybe I really don't know enough about the projects (I _know_ I don't know enough about the projects, actually). But I'd rather see one project trying to accomplish X, another trying to accomplish Y, etc. than one huge project trying to copy MSs latest vision of world domination.
  • why all these projects seem hell-bent on writing thier own C# compilers, when it's probably a _lot_ simpler to write a GCC frontend.

    Now I know, GCC is not perfect (by a long shot...). But it seems reasonable (to me) that C# be part of GCC. I mean, not all compiled languages are supported by GCC, but it seems to do a decent job of supporting C-like languages, C, C++, Java, Objective-C, plus odd and ends like Fortran, Ada, Pascal (?), etc. And as a bonus you immediately get native code generation.

    And the whole idea of writing a C# compiler in C#... I mean... c'mon people. Must we repeat the lesssons of Sun's JDK and Jikes once again?

    I image that the (hypothetical) C# GCC frontend and the (already existing) Java GCC frontend could probably share a pretty decent amount of code, as well.
    • A gcc front end and back end is certainly a part of the goal of DotGNU. This means both a C# front end that can generate native binaries like was done for Java, as well as potentially a back end tool chain that can generate common runtime out of any gcc supported language.

      What this does not mean is a gcc compiler that can parse source secret binaries into native code (such as bytecode) for that would allow one to create source secret applications compiled thru gcc.
    • > it's probably a _lot_ simpler to write a GCC
      > frontend.

      If you go look at the dotgnu.org website, you will see a plea for a volunteer to write the gcc bytecode backend for a stack-based vm.

      This is not a simple problem, and no one has volunteered to date.

    • But it seems reasonable (to me)

      That's probably because, well, you are not a compiler author, are you?

      It comes down to this, and I am trying to be diplomatic.

      GCC is and was designed for typical machine language code generation of real world processors - x86, Sparc, Motorola, PPC, etc. The Sun/MSFT VM's are not designed as such. They are not register based "machines", but rather, highly abstracted conceptilizations of stack-based architecture.

      When an IL compiler creaters code, it creates it not for the native processor, remember, but for the IL. The IL translates that in real-time to native code. This is highly-non trivial, its not a matter of a new "frontend".

      I image that the (hypothetical) C# GCC frontend and the (already existing) Java GCC frontend could probably share a pretty decent amount of code, as well.
      Nope, try again. The author of the only currently existing C# compiler (other than MS, of course) talks about it in this FAQ [southern-storm.com.au].

      If you take a peek at the FAQ, it pretty much blows out of the water your entire post, as a matter of fact, right down to the "Fortan" comments.

      Hope that is clear enough explaination :)
  • I've been looking at the DotGNU projecft recently, and something occured to me..

    They're not interested in anything their doing for technical reasons.. They just want to build something simular to snub their noses at Microsoft, and prove a point. This is absolutly the WRONG reason to be doing this effort.

    Proof is in the pudding. Heres some excepts:

    This list (the DotGNU "arch" list) on the other hand is about
    creating a something much more powerful than what Microsoft has,
    something that Microsoft cannot easily copy because it is
    totally incompatible with the business model they've chosen for
    .NET



    Mono will have a place in DotGNU for providing ".NET emulation
    functionality", but I don't see .NET or Mono doing anything that
    comes close to the Distributed Execution Environment that we've
    been talking about for DotGNU.


    Oh, and heres something where they aren't quite getting this, I think:


    Microsoft has an advantage over us at this point because they hold the
    keys to the client OS. This allows them to insert their authentication
    and .Net framework at a low level and distribute the entire thing with
    their OS. This allows the .Net infrustructure to be entirely
    transparent to the user. Dotgnu, by it's very nature, will not be
    entirely transparent to the user because we don't have access to the
    source code - and because of the increased control we're going to have
    to give the user.


    I mean common, someone has to send a message, tell them that theirs are quiet long enough, and they can stop it with the rulers.

    They're not looking for a good, sound, technically superior product. They're looking to prove their right, and someone else is wrong. I truely hope it succeeds, but at this rate, we're gonna end up with the Windows Terminal Server of the Open Source world.
  • Portable.net and Mono don't validate Microsoft's .Net. They are a reaction to it, and perhaps the only chances we've got to wrestle control of the Internet from Microsoft.

    Many Open Source projects tend to be re-implementations of someone's commercial products. In this case, Microsoft designed a framework that is likely to become the standard in years to come. It's not a matter of whether we like it or not. It's simple economics. Microsoft has the following advantages going for it:

    • Market penetration
    • PR mindshare
    • A coherent plan
    • An almost endless supply of cash

    Rather than complaining about "validating Microsoft's position", we should all take this as an opportunity to do what Microsoft does best: Embrace and extend. The products from DotGNU meta project, and every subproject or related effort, can be leveraged by us to wrestle control from Microsoft.

    It won't be an easy battle, but we may win it. We need to achieve the following:

    • Participate in a coordinated, constructive and coordinated manner. The in-fighting only hurts our chances.
    • Focus on delivering products and services as fast as possible.
    • Companies have evangelists; some of us will get to evangelize (and educate) the uncultured IT masses. Are we up to the task? We need to create mindshare, high-visibility commercial projects, and promote our success stories.
    • Most important, don't fight with Microsoft. Let them get comfortable. Focus our energy on improving our results, not on pissing contests with the Redmond Giant. Remember: If you wrestle with a pig, the pig just has fun and you just get dirty.

    Remember also that this is not only a technology fight. Hailstorm/passport are services. That means that, after we implement the technology, we must convince real world organisations (businesses, non-profits, government, whatever) to adopt it instead of .Net et. al.

    Let's charge on!

    E
    • Good luck.


      What MS has, you didnt mention:

      A boat load of software, already ready to go for .NET, including server platforms, desktop platforms, palm platforms, Internet services, application servers, database servers, development tools, a pile of documentation, and as you mention, a cohesive, ready-to-present, plan.

      For all the MS bashing that goes on this place, MS does a damn good job of presenting itself and its products. If you ever have a chance to take a look at the promotional materials they give to certified partner companies, it will really blow your mind. They have had partnerships, programs, events, marketing budgets, engineers, support and sales, business models and research all neatly in a row before the OSS community had time to collectively get its shit to even this beginning point.

      .NET will be the dominant force in computing in a few years, and it will remain so until MS makes a huge gigantic mistake of unseen proportions OR until something better comes along from a competitor (Sun, HP, etc etc).

      The key will not be in any of the details, but in the big picture. I want my boss to look into GNU software. You know where he decided it wasn't for his company? The acronym - "what the hell type of company would do something so stupid as 'GNU = Gnu's not Unix'? We dont have time of this hacker crap, call MS and get them to send over some more copies of Windows".

      Its time for OSS to grow up. Statements like this, from the Portable.NET FAQ ("Therefore, I will co-operate with Mono when they start co-operating with me.") show exactly where the OSS movement is in terms of maturity. My estimates place it somewhere between first and second grade. When real companies see a need for collobration, the two head people call each other up, have dinner, make a deal, and then make it happen. None of this "I'll only play with them when they call me and apologize" stuff. Its stupid and petty and useless.


      So you go ahead and "charge on" and me, and the rest of the real world IT people that make things actually work will stick with MS. Maybe someday OSS will group up, be a real comprehensive viable alternative, and stick it to MS. Till the, best of luck.


      --dan
      • Dan,

        I couldn't agree more with you. It's disheartening discovering that many people in the Open Source and a great many in the Free Software movement lack the maturity to approach this as a real-world problem. They don't realize that they could take the cause further by showing some restraint where appropriate and focusing their energy in their creativity.

        I personally agree with the term and precepts of Open Source rather than Free Software. There is a rather childish quality to their public announcements (tantrums?) that I don't see as often in people adhering to the more open-minded people in the OSS movement. In general I can present something produced by a non-GNU but open sourced group to a customer and have it accepted. I cannot always do that with GNU products, Linux itself included. I think it's a shame that hollering distracts the intended audiences from the substance.

        Thanks for your response to my comment.

        E
  • isn't it true that no matter who provides the front end, the back end authentication will be done with microsofts passport? isn't this a bad idea? is everyone hoping that an open source version of passport will be available at some point? doesn't anyone else feel that if someone designs an open source passport app that microsoft will sue using the DMCA?

    i mean, things like the samba project cannot be done anymore, thanks to the DMCA.
    please, someone correct me!
    • i mean, things like the samba project cannot be done anymore, thanks to the DMCA.

      please, someone correct me!
      Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Samba is alive and well [samba.org]. If I recall, the DMCA outlaws reverse engineering for the purposes of bypassing copy protection. Now I know SMB is a little crufty, but it is ostensibly an open protocol. It may be de facto copy protected in that it's near impossible to get at the data, but as far as I know, Microsoft has always maintained that it's an open standard. Sheeah! Right! And monkeys might come flying out of my butt!

      For those who are keeping track, that's two (2) Wayne's World references. Thank you.
    • You clearly don't have much of a clue about:
      .NET
      Microsoft Passport
      DMCA
      I'd suggest doing some reading. There's plenty of freely available information about all of these topics.

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