Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Microsoft To Assist Ximian In Producing Mono 268

C-JiPH writes: "There is morning I came across a very interesting article here that describes how Microsoft have agreed to work with Ximian to develop Mono, allowing for 'a version of .NET for Linux and Unix using open source.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft To Assist Ximian Produce Mono

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Open your eyes: Microsoft still retains control.

    I don't care if you code for .NET under Linux. You may as well do it under Windows. The platform is a non-issue. The point is that you will still be coding for .NET which will be authenticated by no one but Micro$oft. In the end, you will still be dancing to their tune, and paying continuously for the use of their servers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:38AM (#82425)
    Anyone remember when Microsoft helped IBM with OS/2 ?


  • Karma Sucks writes:

    Ximian, don't be silly.
    Focus on fixing GNOME so that it can compete with KDE and Windows.

    I find GNOME to compete just fine with KDE and Windows. I use GNOME all the time personally, and usually recommend either it or KDE to people depending on which suits their needs better.

    You *cannot* win with Microsoft, you are in a position of weakness and disadvantage by default. Microsoft will screw you over at the first chance, and along the way you will have helped bolster the mindshare of its questionable strategy.

    If Ximian was entering into a business agreement with Microsoft, if there was any contract between them, I'd wholehartedly agree with this. Microsoft is notorious for making deals which screw over the little guy.

    Hovever, from everything I've seen so far, this is not the case. Ximian contacted Microsoft, basically saying "Look! We're .NET developers too!". Microsoft basically replied with "OK, you get .NET tech support too," and figured that Ximian was a notable enough developer to warrant a press release.

    The worst Microsoft can do here is give bad tech support or misleading press releases. Ximian steering clear of Microsoft wouldn't save them from misleading press releases. As an MSDN subscriber (by work, not by choice) I can say that, while Microsoft tech support is not good, it's less bad than I would have expected.

    You are creating a conflict with your ally Sun by neglecting JAVA. Do not divest your efforts from GNOME. GNOME needs you. Do NOT neglect the ailing GNOME desktop like this.

    If Sun wants the Free Software Community to use Java, it should open up the platform. It's scary that Microsoft has made C#/.NET more accessible to Free software development than Sun has made Java/EJB. They know exactly what they should do to make Java friendly to Free Software, the fact that they don't do it show how much a "fair-weather friend" Sun really is.

    Personally, I'm skeptical that .NET is the Right Thing(tm), but it doesn't hurt me for Ximian to explore it. If because of this exploration, two years down the line, good cross platform development tools that I can use reach maturity, I'll be very happy. If this never bears fruit, I'll just go on the way I'm doing :-)

  • Corrodo asks:

    Would it increase their server platform sales? What about increasing their client platform?

    It very well might. Increasing usage of .NET means that the pie gets bigger. Often, a smaller percentage of a bigger pie is a bigger piece overall. While Microsoft's overall strategy (the pie is mine! mine! all mine!) surely hasn't changed, I'm positive that some people in Microsoft have noticed that enlarging the pie can yield both more sales and fewer antitrust allegations.

    Is this the first step in squashing Java?

    Of course not, the first step was them signing up for a Java license, and distrubiting a broken JDK with the Java logo on it. They are well past the first step.

    Yes, C#/.NET is supposed to help in the "Squash Java" endeavor. I doubt it will work, since Java has some very strong niches (eg. server-side web apps) where .NET doesn't look attractive enough to tear apart existing infrastructure for. New infrastructure must work with what's there already, and .NET doesn't look like it will play nicely with existing Java code.

  • I stand corrected. In double checking my sources for my response to this post, it appears that Sun has stepped back from its earlier stances, and is now allowing Kaffe and GJC to actually call themselves Java, and Japhar to call itself a JVM (or at least these projects *are* calling themselves that anyway and Sun hasn't shut their sites down).

    My point was based on old information, that Sun made it impossible for a Free implementation of Java to call itself Java, so you had to run Free Java programs on non-Free Java or Free non-Java. This no longer appears to be the case. Still, Sun could give a lot more support to the Free Java implementations, so they aren't playing a constant game of catchup to a moving specification.

    There are no guarantees that C#/.NET won't be just as bad as far as moving the specification, so it's too early to say whether Microsoft is better in this respect or not (history predicts not).

  • Microsoft would be much more vulnerable to competing authentication servers than ICANN would be to alternate root DNS servers, for example. A major fork of .NET could be accomplished not only by the Linux enthusiast community, but also by IBM, SGI, or any of the other powerful corporations now ostensibly on our "side" (politics certainly makes strange bedfellows).

    I am not a GNOME developer, and there is a great deal that I do not understand about what is going on. However, I still haven't seen any applications that use ORBIT, and I don't see CORBA or Java having a substantial impact on Linux or GNOME applications.

    But then again, I don't know what I'm talking about...

  • by Tim Macinta ( 1052 ) <> on Monday July 16, 2001 @05:40AM (#82432) Homepage
    What possible reason could M$ have to do this?

    Possibility #1 Perhaps the same reason that they wrote a version of IE for Solaris - they want to be able to say that their software has "cross platform" support. This was originallly done with IE because quite a few companies listed a standardized client across all their computers as their main reason for not switching from Netscape to IE. Microsoft wrote a Solaris version of IE so that they could convince the PHBs at these companies that they provided cross platform support (as if Solaris and the Macintosh are the only platforms besides Windows), but last I heard IE on Solaris is a joke (big surprise).

    I would expect the same thing to happen with Mono. Microsoft could say "if you want to use .Net you can use any platform, but if you want it to be 'optimized' (i.e., to work in a non-crippled manner) use Windows."

    Possibility #2 Microsoft is planning on charging for the use of its services which are delivered over .Net. Linux does hold a very big chunk of the server market. Having .Net on Linux would allow Microsoft to collect a toll on the users who connect to Linux servers.

    Possibility #3 It would also allow them to gain a foothold on a platform where they have no leveraging power at all today. If Linux, Java, or anything else lives up to its promise of make the OS irrelevant, Microsoft will be one step ahead because they will already control the necessary services which sit on top of the OS.

  • > What possible reason could M$ have to do this?

    Expanding into new markets, of course.

    They weren't content to introduce either the technology for viruses in our word processors, or even a prototype virus. Now they're moving into *real* disease. They'l start with mono, then move into chickenpox. Neither of these will be so bad, being the 1.0 and 2.0 releases. But with v3.0 being code-named "cancer" . . .

    And just think of your trips to the pharmacist. "I'm sorry, but you need to upgrade yourself to Microsoft Pancrease 2.7 and Microsoft Liver 3.3 before this antibiotic will work . . .



  • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @07:47AM (#82434) Homepage Journal
    Personally, I'm going to wait for either EDU or GOV.
  • Yes. The most interesting fact is that the later versions with less Microsoft code ran faster, were more stable and required less memory. Hmm...
  • You *cannot* win with Microsoft, you are in a position of weakness and disadvantage by default. Microsoft will screw you over at the first chance, and along the way you will have helped bolster the mindshare of its questionable strategy.

    Couldn't agree more. It's happened too often in the past. Just look at Citrix or Bristol. But then again, Ximian never really did get it. For a start, they don't understand the small, dedicated apps philosophy of Unix. They're trying too hard to copy MS to gain market share, without stopping to think about the technical issues behind what they're doing. They're also following the MS "screw-security-lets-do-features" route. Witness their install instructions -- download something from a web site, and pipe it into a shell run as root. I think not...

  • by bjb ( 3050 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:46AM (#82438) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft plans on having .NET services available on other platforms, and I've even seen them running on Solaris and Linux with my own eyes (unless the uname -a just before the sample was bogus).

    Remember.. it's all about the PASSPORT subscription that Microsoft really plans to get the stranglehold here.. They're promoting .NET as cross platform and open source.. the one key element, however, that is NOT free and open is the identification service (Passport).. that will have a massive stranglehold, and that will be required by any .NET service to identify who is who. If there is any place to make money in this scheme (or control the monopoly), it is this identification service.

  • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:19AM (#82442) Homepage
    How hard would it be to port Mono - if and when it is finished - to Windows? Probably not impossible if things like the GIMP or gcc are any example.
  • Remember, Microsoft are intrinsically vindictive and greedy. Altruism is against their basic nature.

    I'll put on my camel-hair shirt and with locust-and-honey bowl in hand, state that:

    • This is being done tit for tat, the tat being StarOffice/OpenOffice
    • This is being also done to help sink Java. StarOffice supports Java (which may or may not be significant for MS but I bet it is for Sun)
    • There will be a barb in the deal somewhere. In the parable of the frog and the scorpion, Ximian is the frog.
  • I'll say that the bias mostly runs against Microsoft. I'm an open-source advocate who thinks that Microsoft is definitely no worse than Apple or Sun or, god help us, Oracle, in terms of their business practices and even their products - I'm opposed to all of them fairly equally from the perspective that they rely on the control - ultimately arbitrary and draconian - of intellectual property to make their profits, but that being said I don't share any special opprobrium for MS. A lot of the Linux fanboys (who as often as not care more about Team Linux winning than about the principles of openness and freedom) are far more unfair, unobjective and knee-jerk in their attacks on Microsoft than most any MS aficionado I've seen.
  • If Sun wants the Free Software Community to use Java, it should open up the platform. It's scary that Microsoft has made C#/.NET more accessible to Free software development than Sun has made Java/EJB.

    Thanks for swallowing the MS PR like a good boy.

    All of the Java platform is under a published specification, including J2EE. In fact, there's existing open source implementations of most of it, and my guess is that they are looking for more developers, better desktop (read Gnome) integration and so on. Some of the OSS Java stuff is even considered to be of the same quality as many commercial implementations.

    Total Sun control might not be a great thing, but at least they are a vendor with some history with "open systems".

    Meanwhile, Microsoft has submitted *part* of the .NET platform to ECMA, a body with a reputation of rubberstamping things. Key parts of the platform (IIS, ADO, COM/DCOM) remain under the control of Microsoft. Nobody knows if the new, improved, standards-loving Microsoft is for real or if the next version of .NET will deviate substantially from ECMA (which wouldn't affect MS-allied developers one bit.)

    Now, maybe .NET has some features that Java doesn't have that appeals to free software types (like better Perl/Python integration, for example). But the standard argument is a no-op.
  • You mean very few *MS designed* .NET apps. The main thrust of .NET (and Mono) is to provide competetion to Java for writing net services. Third party net services developers are not restricted to coding massive amounts of Win32 dependencies in their applications.

    No, I'm saying that if I were tasked with developing your typical n-tier application on .NET that needed things like database drivers, a web server, and maybe a RAD-built GUI client, I would end up with something that was tied to Windows. (I highly doubt the VisualStudio GUI sends up a warning when you are doing something non-portable :) Maybe if/when MS breaks up and NET gets 5 more years of development, I might have the pluggable-layer approach of say Java.

    'Web Services' in my book is prime example of "Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak". Any web services component would probably a minor part of the whole application package. (And I agree with you in that 3rd party implementations being critical, if only because it will bring out the Windows dependancies in the current platform. Still would probably rather see a full reimplementation of Java.)
  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @07:05AM (#82449) Journal
    * Would it increase their server platform sales?
    No, because people would just run .NET stuff on Linux.
    * What about increasing their client platform?
    No, .NET is supposed to be client agnostic. Right?

    It makes sense if you think about the J++ vs. Java episode.

    I gather that there is such a thing as "Pure .NET" application that purely the VM. However, the .NET platform as Microsoft delivers it will have lots of Windows platform dependencies. For example, database access is through ADO.NET which is a layer that sits on top of OLEDB. ASP.NET sits on IIS of course. Windows Forms doesn't even hid the fact that it sits on Win32. Remote components can still be called through DCOM/RPC. And I'm sure there's plenty more.

    But even with all of this, MS is playing the open standards song for the core parts of the platform (the VM, C#, etc). They can afford to do that because the standard is extended-n-embraced right out of the box. Even with Corel and Ximian's work at building the standard-compliant stuff, very few real world .NET apps will run on platforms other than Windows without significant extra reverse engineering.

    Where this helps Microsoft is that it allows users to connect existing Unix infrastructure to new .NET applications in a much cleaner way that pure COM allowed. But only at the periphery of the app.

  • The reason is that Microsoft wants to get .NET everywhere. It's pretty simple. They get everyone using .NET on all platforms. At that point, given their leadership and origination of .NET they will be positioned to make a LOT of money off it. Kudos to Ximian for jumping in early as the .NET architecture really fits well with Ximian's strategy.
  • For example, database access is through ADO.NET which is a layer that sits on top of OLEDB. ASP.NET sits on IIS of course. Windows Forms doesn't even hid the fact that it sits on Win32.

    However, Mono [] aims to duplicate these APIs using already existing (and modified) Gnome libraries. From the FAQ []:

    Question 25: How is this related to GNOME?

    In a number of ways: Mono will use existing components that have been developed for GNOME when it makes sense. For example on X systems, we will use Gtk+ and Libart to implement Winforms and the Drawing2D API. For database access, we will use LibGDA (not really depending on GNOME, but related to).

    Also, Mono will embrace and extend .NET:

    Question 40: Would you allow other classes other than those in the specification?

    Yes. The Microsoft class collection is very big, but it is by no means complete. It would be nice to have a port of `Camel' (the Mail API used by Evolution inspired by Java Mail) for Mono applications.You might also want to look into implementing CORBA for Mono. Not only because it would be useful, but because it sounds like a fun thing to do, given the fact that the CLI is such a type rich system.

  • I agree that such centralization is begging for trouble, but...

    I'd expect there to be style contests to crack the root M$ keys.

    ... that's completely ridiculous. Let's say Microsoft merely uses a 512-bit key, and you get one billion people with computers fast enough to check 10 billion keys per second to work on the problem around the clock. It would take 10^135 seconds to go through the keyspace. That's 42,515,880 million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million million years, give or take a few hundred trillion millenia.

    Although i guess on average it would only take half that until you hit the key.


  • But protocols are hardly ever broken by brute force: usually you just wait for the other guy to make a design, implementation, or protocol error, and pounce there. Or use human factors.

    Well, yes, of course. But the original comment suggested that distributed computing efforts would crack the key via brute force in a reasonable amount of time.


  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:23AM (#82457)
    If MS helps them, they end up producing something that is .NET compliant, reenforcing the need for MS to supply the server end.

    If MS doesn't help them, they do their own thing, and .NET gains an enemy.

    In the end, it won't be software subscriptions, but .net subscriptions that MS owns.

    Of course, 5 years from now, they'll file tradmeark suits for all domains ending in .net
  • very few real world .NET apps will run on platforms other than Windows without significant extra reverse engineering

    You mean very few *MS designed* .NET apps. The main thrust of .NET (and Mono) is to provide competetion to Java for writing net services. Third party net services developers are not restricted to coding massive amounts of Win32 dependencies in their applications.

    The whole .NET thing could be flop, but do you want to bet your future on that happening? The good thing about Linux getting on board and being ready for .NET early is that Linux can hedge its bets in case .NET ends up being a popular platform for writing net services. If that happens, there will be many more companies than just MS writing those applications, and Linux will at least have a stab at being a platform of choice, just as it currently is for java based net services apps. After all, there are plenty of companies besides just Sun writing Java apps.

    Embracing .NET (through Mono) is definitely a gamble -- Microsoft could start mucking with the standards specifications mid-stream, .Net could end up not going anywhere -- but the worst cost is wasted time. If Linux is left out and .NET is successful, the cost would be much higher as Linux would then not be viable server platform for developing and running .NET-based web services applications, resulting in a huge opening for Windows.
  • if I were tasked with developing your typical n-tier application on .NET that needed things like database drivers, a web server, and maybe a RAD-built GUI client, I would end up with something that was tied to Windows...

    You make a good point. Java already has these things. Perhaps Sun could make a preemtive strike by producing an implementation of the entire Java API (not just the language) that targets the .NET CLI. This way, all of the current Java APIs (Swing, database, etc.) would be available to people developing in .NET, and this would immediately give developers a way of making multi-tier .NET applications that don't need to use Microsoft specific layers for these things. For example, a GUI client could be done using Swing instead of VB.NET (or whatever). If something like this could be ready by the time .NET starts becoming used more heavily, then third party developers would have options for creating portable multi-tier applications.

    There may be technical reasons why this couldn't work, it's just a thought.
  • That looks more like a RedHat Package Manager message than an MS message :)
  • by Basje ( 26968 ) <> on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:15AM (#82464) Homepage
    ... will they use GPL?

  • Same old arguments heard dozens of times before.

    a) You cannot force volunteers (or companies) to work in one direction. There are plenty of developers trying to make GNOME a better product.

    b) Perhaps Ximian thinks this WILL make GNOME a better product?

    c) Perhaps Ximian thinks this will make more money for them then just improving GNOME the "old-fashioned way"?

    d) If .NET is cool technology, it is important to start implementing it now, so that Microsoft won't be alone in the field.

    e) Most of the work will probably be just as functional under KDE as under GNOME, so that your beloved KDE won't be left out. Should people stop developing the Linux kernel, because the desktop needs more work?
  • Microsoft has embraced other peoples standards in the past.. it worked for them.

    Who is to say that the opensource-community cannot embrace and extend?
  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @07:17AM (#82467)
    No... actually even less so.
    You personally have almost no hope in trying to influence the way Windows develops. You DO however have such possibilities in the opensource-world.

    Although I agree that it is easier for managers to force a developing direction when they actually pay people.

  • So the real test (read: battle) will be if they help or hurt the DotGnu project. If the Open Source Community can provide Passport Services without being tied to Microsoft, then it will have struck a very tough blow to Redmond.
  • by anticypher ( 48312 ) <anticypher&gmail,com> on Monday July 16, 2001 @12:59PM (#82474) Homepage
    I can't imagine how MS can use Passport for anything more than a bullet for thier .NET brocuure, let alone dominate an industry.

    You are right there. Pissport is just a beta test of some new ideas. EOL is already planned for next year, to be replaced by newer and costlier and more prevalent technology. They are tweaking the business processes behind the service, to see what flies in the market, and what doesn't produce any revenue, and what pisses off end users to the point of abandoning the service. After the next round of analysis, pissport will evolve into something else with a newly trademarked name and flashy marketing campaign.

    M$ has changed their entire focus from being an OS and apps company, to an internet services and developer support company. If the US courts break off their OS and apps divisions, the core will continue to become the dominant force for intranet and internet authentication, using dotNET as the infrastructure.

    The scale of the project is huge, and will require years for their own in-house developers to write, as well as years for the 3rd party developers to get on board. But if they play all their cards correctly, they will soon be in the center of a new market, earning regular income from a wide variety of licensing schemes. It will take years until this happens, but they started last year while they still had the 95% monopoly of desktop systems, and that monopoly will continue for long enough for them to muscle into the new internet markets.

    The looming battle for the desktop OS will be huge, and largely un-stoppable. Mundie was 100% correct in his assessment of the GPL as "viral" and a "cancer". Soon, FreeOSen will dislodge M$ from their 95% market share, down to maybe 50% or less. But at that point, M$ will be in a new playing field, and will have patented and registered every key technology to lock all competition out. They know they can't compete with a Cisco for networking, or an Oracle for straight-up DBs, or an AOL for control of the cable, or the RIAA for hatred inducing lawsuits. The markets for the 4 A's, Authentication, Authorization, Accounting and Auditing services are very immature right now, and when properly developed will be a new source of revenues. Cisco will be required to license M$ patents on network authentication protocols. Oracle will have to license the patents for DB authentication, or find themselves with no windoze desktop user software. AOL will have to obtain certificates identifying themselves as properly certified by the M$ controlled root, and you can believe M$ will force some concessions before granting a cert. The RIAA lawyers will genuflect in admiration at the gall of the M$ legal team using thousands of newly purchased laws to beat down any free competition.

    Its late, I've now ranted enough about M$ to last me a few weeks. I would love to see some well thought out criticisms from intelligent people, to help me sharpen my arguments and avoid repeating mistakes, but alas, this is /.

    the AC
  • by anticypher ( 48312 ) <anticypher&gmail,com> on Monday July 16, 2001 @08:37AM (#82475) Homepage
    Here is a list of some things that *MAY* be incorporated into XP over the next couple of years. None of them are confirmed, some were tossed out by M$ to see what the corporate response would be, others are just rumours and pure speculation. Predicting M$ future moves is becoming an art form for those of us in the trenches.

    - browsers that will only show banner ads from "certified" advertisers. When suddenly 95% of the machines don't show an ad unless the advertiser purchases a certificate, watch the stampede over to certified ads. So what if FreeOS users can see any ad without checking on certificates, advertisers will still buy them. To avoid anti-trust problems, IE will have a checkbox "block un-trusted banner ads", which when unchecked, allows a luser to see all banner ads :-) IE will NOT have a check box "block all banner ads" :-(

    - checking hotmail. When hotmail servers detect a non-authenticated browser, user gets re-directed to a pissport signup page. Again, since 95% of users will be on XP boxes with an authenticated browser, the loss of only 5% of FreeOS users can be absorbed by increased licensing revenues and re-selling the private data from pissport to spamm^Wadvertising partners.

    - certificates buried in Office documents, which can be lightly encrypted, or just signed. The official Office will check the certificate for every document it opens, and refuse to open any non-certified documents. This will be touted as a solution to wurd macro viruses and increased security and confidence in legal documents. Again, since the algorithm for generating the embedded certificate will be patented, and FreeOS package will be attacked by the courts if it can duplicate the functionality(deCSS), there will never be another starOffice-style package offering M$ compatibility. If a FreeOS version somehow triumphs in the legal arena, with dotNET's DCOM features, M$ could overnight change the embedded certificate functions in every currently licensed application, pushing the changes down the hierarchy to the ASPs and then to the end-users. They can keep doing this every time the FreeOSen catch up to the functionality, and most updates will be transparent to XP using sheeple.

    - Attaching a certificate to every email sent through a licensed gateway, to prove trackability of emails in case of UCE, ILoveU-style virii, or timestamping ability. Certainly sendmail/Ximian/Kmailgate will have dotNET modules to create and verify digital signatures, but the certificates will still only be available from a M$/verisign licensed crypto-key vendor. To avoid privacy laws in the .eu, only gateways would need to add/verify certificates, the end users would never need to see or manipulate a cert. The sysadmins of a gateway would then be responsible for their machines. In case a user started spamming, it would be only the local gateway admin who would know the detail of the user sending the spam, and hopefully take corrective action. ORBS could then become "gateway certificates revocation list of known spam-friendly ISPs".
  • Which clueless are you referring to? Me or yourself?

    You are confusing the simplistic communication tools available to programmers in this early round of dotNET implementation. Yes, there are some cool, well developed XML communication procedures. I'll bow to your point about W3C standards, since I'm not a web coder. I seldom raise my eyes above OSI layer 4, or else I concentrate on policy, budget, and religious issues. But M$ themselves have been quietly letting key developers know that they are positioning themselves to repel the FreeOS attack, by including a lot of additional features in future versions of dotNET.

    If you want to write an app or web page to do simple communication between processes or from a web server to a browser, XML tools can do the job. But if you are going to use the latest authentication goodies to communicate with objects and processes externally, you will have to pay royalties/licenses/fees to M$ at some point. If you are ever going to write a killer app for a website, or a client/server setup, or a P2P function, M$ will be somewhere in the middle of your transactions. Count on it, it is what they are telling the financial analysts, the corporate planners, the CEOs of favored developers, and a few other elite few.

    Passport is a service that is offered to service/content providers.

    Pissport is just one service that M$ offers, where they sit in the middle and collect revenues from those sites that want to participate in this new program. They have a whole bunch of other programs in development right now, all grouped together under various codenames, the latest to leak was called HailStorm.

    As a provider, I can choose whether to use Passport, Vendor X, Vendor Y, my own authenication scheme, or all four implementaions if I choose to do so.

    Great. Use all four. But the market will be dominated by the M$ based one, and few, if any will use a Vendor X. Will you develop for Solaris, Macintosh, HP-UX, SGI, Linux, and a dozen other platforms, even though only 15% of your customer base might use them? As a hardcore *nix person, supporting a huge user base of every kind of machine, I can tell you of the levels of frustration we face every day when popular websites decide to reject all browsers except for IE5 on win98 or 2K. My bank offers banking by internet, and under pressure from M$, they have decided that alienating 35% of their customers is worth the discount that M$ gave them on their web development tools. It is written into their licensing discount they will reject all non-IE browsers, so its no use talking to the project leads, and they reassigned all the programmers who objected, leaving only M$ lackeys.

    there will probably be competition in the authenication service market

    You are showing how naive and blinkered you are, if you believe that M$ will tolerate any competition in the authentication marketplace. Their stated goal is total domination, using their monopoly position to force developers to use only M$ protocols. Those of us on the sidelines who have been burned by M$ repeatedly are hoping the US Justice Department create a remedy to the illegal abuse of monopoly power that will address the newly mutated M$. M$ today no longer cares about OS or standalone application revenues, since they will decline over the next decade, and has shifted its entire focus to dominating the internet services market.

    the AC
  • I just used up my moderator points, or I'd up you to a (score:+6 spot-on).

    Since I was forced recently to attend several M$ sponsored functions to learn about dotNET and the authentication services which will have to pass unhindered on networks, I've come to believe M$ has come up with a winner for their stockholders. As you point out, since M$ has 95% of the desktop market, their only growth will be limited to the slowly expanding installations of PCs, a measly 5%-12% per year. If they continue to rely on software licensing, their revenues will drop steadily over the next few years until the economy booms again.

    So they are moving into services, but not just any old services. The only services where you can control the market are those where they have legal protection from all competitors, including free software. This means software patents, trademarks, service marks, and copyrights (there, I've just included every /. hotbutton :-) M$ has been quietly devising a scheme where they can legally control all of the key services to "valid" communication between all dotNET implementations. By being at the centre of the authentication scheme, they control who can use all the nifty new services, and who will be excluded. They will also charge a subscription service for every end user, so you can go ahead and use *nix, but you will still have to pay your Pissport fee in order to access any new features offered by any value added internet content provider.

    One of the things being pushed in these meetings was the fact that dotNET will not be run centrally by M$, but they will license the authentication, administration and accounting features to ASPs all over the world. So instead of end user fees going directly to M$, local companies can offer a variety of licensing options to their customers, passing a percentage of the revenues on to M$. So M$ will have the master certificates, and thousands of ASPs will each purchase a certificate signed by M$, and their customers will then only need to authenticate with the local ASPs servers. A certificate from one ASP will be valid with all other ASPs, and will need very little communication with the central M$ site.

    Corporate customers can have a "secured" authentication/accounting server (also the application server, and data store) installed locally to keep track of a corporation's use of M$ product use. Unlike the fears of some /.ers, a company's data will never leave the premises, and it will be up the the local BOFHs to perform regular backups of the data. But the A/A server will report back to the ASP on a regular basis to re-authenticate the certificates, and to communicate application and feature usage. The ASP can then bill the corporation for use. The ASPs will be required to purchase large blocks of licenses, which they will then have incentive to sell. The larger blocks of licenses will have bigger discounts. That means that a large ASP will have 50,000 licenses for OXP, and will then have incentive to find as close to 50,000 licensees to have the greatest RoI. Larger ASPs will be able to undercut the price of licenses than smaller ASPs, who will have to compete by offering better technical support.

    The security implications of a huge hierarchical authentication method are staggering, and I'd expect there to be style contests to crack the root M$ keys. The one question micr~1.oft avoided was any details on Certificate Revocation Lists, which to this point are mostly broken in all OS releases. They only said they are developing a system which will be "judicially protected" from any Open Source copies, so the ASPs did not have to worry about pricing pressures of people trying to substitute a "free" authentication scheme. The bane of my existance, XML, was mentioned rather cluelessly at several points, but no technical details at all were permitted during the discussions.

    the AC
    • Are they trying to spread .NET far and wide in an ostensible gesture of magnanimity, all the while planning to use their monopoly on the desktop to wed users to a spider web of Microsoft owned/created/licensed services in the future?

      Yea, that's it $)

  • Yeah, they're passing out nooses for free (and helping others with their efforts to make them), in order to hang us all in the future.
  • by chrysalis ( 50680 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:22AM (#82480) Homepage
    The article only states that Ximian and Microsoft just *talked* together. Nothing more. Microsoft didn't help the project in any way yet, and chances are that they'll never do.

    -- Pure FTP server [] - Upgrade your FTP server to something simple and secure.
  • What else would you expect? It is in Microsoft's best interest to lure all operating systems into its fold.

    "Welcome to my parlour," said the Spider to the Fly.

  • You're digging yourself deeper.

    Read my previous comment for the first two points.

    As far as the class libraries go, you are correct in that traditionally MS has written bad class libraries. However, they have since hired Anders Hejlsberg, of Borland fame (he's the guy that came up with Delphi). The guy is amazing at designing very clean and elegant class libraries and the .Net libraries are a testament to his abilities.

  • by GnrcMan ( 53534 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @07:37AM (#82485) Homepage
    Hmmm....that's completely wrong on all counts. The .Net Class Libraries allow you to do RPC over HTTPD using XML, but you can also do RPC over SMTP using a binary format, or RPC over [insert any transport here] using [insert any format].

    And as to .Nets VM-ness. It has little to do with a VM. MSIL (the intermediate language that the CLR compiles to) does not run under a VM. It is designed specifically to be JITed (email me for an explanation of what aspects of MSIL are taylored toward's a long explanation) to native code. In fact, MS has a concept called Pre-Jiting, which means that the MSIL is compiled to native code *on installation* instead of on execution, which further removes it from the idea of a VM.

    The CLR is, however, "managed" which means it is garbage collected, and secure (in theory anyway. As it is new, the real-world security of the CLR has not been under public scruitiny).


  • by Corrado ( 64013 ) <> on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:28AM (#82488) Homepage Journal
    What possible reason could M$ have to do this?
    • Would it increase their server platform sales?
      No, because people would just run .NET stuff on Linux.
    • What about increasing their client platform?
      No, .NET is supposed to be client agnostic. Right?
    • Is this the first step in squashing Java?
      Hmmm, quite likely. I think it .NET takes off with C# and other CRLs (not Java!) it might give M$ a shot at future Web services. Then they could change the "standard" to fit their needs.
    • Are they being nice?
      Yea, that's it! :)

  • I hope you're trying to be funny.

    Regardless, there are probably lots of silly people out there who think you can't run GPL apps on a BSD system; that is complete and utter bullshit.

    Whether it's a good idea or not is another story entirely.

  • What possible reason could M$ have to do this?

    Isn't the answer obvious? They want to make the minimal token gesture that can be trumpted to the judge during the next antitrust hearing. "Look we've changed our ways" is what they want to say. It's the same reason they invested in Apple.

    Even they realize they've got to make more of an effort to not be completely ruthless in exploiting their monopoly. Now they can hold their heads up, knowing they are only 99.999% ruthless.
  • It's the sound of 50,000 geeks waiting for the other shoe to drop.
  • I don't know about IBM but I doubt Sun feels fucked by the OSS community. There are several Open Source implementations of the J2EE platform or parts of it available and being developed. It's mostly that the Linux community is somewhat ignorant of them. Plus, of course they have more than 20 commercial companies developing implementations the J2EE platform, including IBM, which guarantees competition in the platform implementation and I doubt we will see in the same scale with the Microsoft platform.

    For Open Source J2EE, check the following:
    Jakarta []
    JBoss []
    Enhydra []
    Jetty []
    Resin []

  • You're confusing public-key and private-key technologies. No one uses 512-bit private keys; is currently working on a 64-bit private key. A 512-bit *public* key is *very* crackable, and no, you don't have to test all the possible 512-bit numbers.

    Granted, a 128-bit private key (which is a reasonable size, and one which Microsoft might be likely to use) is still *completely* out of range of any effort, and 1024-bit public keys (also reasonable and likely) are similarly intractable. But protocols are hardly ever broken by brute force: usually you just wait for the other guy to make a design, implementation, or protocol error, and pounce there. Or use human factors.

  • The problem with your rationale is that, from which the data is piped from, could be hijacked or otherwise tampered with. At least with RPM they are GPG (or pgp, not sure) signed by redhat themselves, (and by ximian through red carpet). Debian doesn't have this but I imagine it's in development.

    Facts to be gleaned, piping a url with wget through to a root shell is stupid stupid stupid. But then again, this is the same security model of Windoes 9x and Windows XP-Home edition. Go figure.
  • Look Satan has hired the pope to do some work for him!! We should all throw our money at satan now because he has hired the pope! Maybe Satan isn't so bad after all!!! I'm really starting to love this satan guy.

    (yes. I am being sarcastic)
  • Assuming you run redhat, your distro comes with the public key. With Ximian it comes with red carpet. There is usually a file.rpm.sign file that contains the private key signature.
  • You still haven't given a detailed example.

    I'm waiting...
  • While .NET does allow developers to create web services, so does any other development tool that allows you to create web applications. Instead of sending back HTML, you're sending back XML.

    1. As a monopoly, Microsoft is in a position to twist the standards. In particular, they will be able to add proprietary hooks into their tools and services.

    2. So, you send back XML. Is there a possibility that there will be extra Microsoft tags thrown in? You bet. No one will prevent Microsoft from throwing in extra, "user-friendly" tags. If developers exclude these tags, for whatever reason, then they will not get the full benefit of the network.

    Of course, both of these items are speculation. All disclaimers should be noted. Until we all know more, we are both blowing smoke out our asses.

    Back to the question, how does Microsoft levy taxes on a W3C standard?

    There is something missing here. XML is a W3C standard, but no one is saying that Microsoft will control XML. They might control certain types of tags, as I mention above, but it is not likely that they own XML. Indeed, they don't own HTML either. HOWEVER, they do own the browser market. They used their monopoly position to gain marketshare.

    Now, it is obvious that you cannot easily tax a standard. That is a silly idea and I am not saying that it is possible. Instead, I am saying that you can easily tax access to servers and to data. If Microsoft has your data, and they control the pipes into that data and out of it, then they can make big money.

    Here's an analogy. Microsoft doesn't need to control the water in the pipes (XML), and they might not even to control the physical pipe itself. If they own the values and the water meters, then they can charge people and companies whatever they want. Ultimately, they own the water, even though people are able to drink it and move it where they want, if they have the money.

    Let's stick with the analogy. If Microsoft gets people to build more pipes and supply more water, then they are going to make more money. Therefore, Microsoft will help Ximian because Ximian is not working with valves and meters, they are working on the pipes that move the water in and out of Microsoft.

    Are you under the assumption Microsoft is going to capture revue from Passport and Instant Messaging, or are you misguided assuming MS Office is going to become a web service? (Note: MS Office may not become subscription software, but this doesn't make it a web service)

    (1) Yes, absolutely. Microsoft has made it clear that they plan on making money from services, and therefore Passport and Instant Messenger. Indeed, the Hailstorm whitepaper makes it blatantly clear the IM is one of the backbone technologies [] for developers to move data in and out of Microsoft.

    (2) No, I don't think that Microsoft plans on making a ton of money from Office. Possible, but not probable. I think users want to keep Office activites on their systems and networks, not on the web. There doesn't seem to be an opportunity for this kind of service or ASP model.

  • Let me try answering this again. Three parts:

    1. While Passport is not required, it will make life very easy for users. It is easy to sign up and requires no brains to use. That makes it perfect. The more users use Passport, the more they will like it. The mindless masses will eat it up and the intelligent folks will have to follow suit. Inertia will drag us into Passport, just like Internet Explorer, Windows, Office, and so forth.

    2. Integration and standardization. More and more of Microsoft's services, and data storage systems, will work with Passport. Passport with Hotmail, Passport for MSDN support, Passport for product support, Passport for MSNBC, and so forth. It is a slippery slope (via integration on all fronts, just like Office). Start to use one service, you are hooked and keep on sinking in deeper. Microsoft will make this too damn easy for people and it will simply happen. It will become the de facto standard. No wars with any companies; it will just happen.

    3. I'm not saying that Microsoft will make money directly from services. Instead, they will make money from Passport by providing access (which I suppose is a form of service). However, they will be in a position to "transcend and profit" because all services will require access to your data via Microsoft. If they abuse their monopoly and they do indeed become the central data store, they will own you and they will tax you. And, they'll do it through Passport and related mechanisms.

  • by webword ( 82711 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:29AM (#82510) Homepage
    Microsoft is not helping Ximian. Instead, they are helping themsleves. This is quite clear when you think about what is going on.

    Microsoft doesn't care as much about software as they do controlling network services and collecting payments from various transactions. The idea in this case is to get Ximian to play along so that, ultimately, Microsoft will be able to extract fees from users. Ximian will merely be a small part of the infrastructure that Microsoft controls. That infrastruture will be used to extract new "taxes" from people.

    Microsoft to Ximian: Sure, we'll help you build your software. Sure, we'll get you integrated into .Net, no problem. We're here to help. We're the new Microsoft.

    Microsoft to Microsoft: Ha ha ha! Fools! Don't they understand that we are kind of like a giant cable company now? We don't care that much about the software and hardware, we care about capturing data from stupid users so that we can extract big money. We know that the margins on software are great now, but they are probably going to decline. However, the margins in services are on the rise. World domination... Ha ha ha!
  • .NET web services most certainly are RPC over HTTPD using XML.

    Sorry I didn't mention the multi-language facet. So you can create byte code from multiple languages. The underlying VM concept is still identical to Java (and there are compilers to translate from other languages to Jave byte codes, but I digress). I code in C, C++, Java, Perl, and PHP and I use the one that is appropriate for the job. I don't see how giving all languages the weaknesses of a byte code based implementation accomplishes anything... Those weeknesses make it unsuitable to build large-scale high-performance applications. Period.

    Ooops, I forgot, MS hasn't forced the need for faster processors and more RAM for a while... and Intel needs to sell the P4...

    As for the class library, anyone who's used MFC knows how great MS is at designing and implementing class libraries. And if I recall the CTS basically adds new types to all the languages to achieve the compatibility you talk about... so you're no longer writing Perl, you're writing .NET perl that will not run outside of the .NET environment...

    Note: I'm not knocking Java, most of my day job code has been writing Java for the last 5 years... I just think it's not what you want to build your core applications/OS on =)


  • Some reasonable points... now if your reply was formatted, that would have been even better as I wouldn't have had to crawl through that horrible quoting ;-)

    Also, you're insane to put a system into production to "manage and control thousands of servers" based on a platform that is still early in its beta release cycle.

    And I never stated, or implied, that Java invented the VM idea. However, it is probably the best-known VM based development system in use at this time. If you have a better example let me know.


  • by technomancerX ( 86975 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @05:57AM (#82514) Homepage
    Yes, it's wonderful to see MS doing everything possible to look good so they don't get slammed when a remedy comes out of the anti-trust case.

    Let's face it, .NET is not a very impressive technology... RPC over HTTPD using XML running what is basically Java (sorry, VM based platform-independent byte code is what Java IS) is not a good foundation to build all of your software on...

    It allows some cool applications, but when people are giving examples (Corel's CEO) of using it in a spreadsheet to perform calculations, it's a bad idea...


  • by naasking ( 94116 ) <> on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:52AM (#82515) Homepage
    Or Microsoft could end up saying stuff like, "look, Ximian went under as a company selling and developing free software. We tried to help them out with by contributing, but it cost us $X and what was our return? $0. Free software is bad for business, and we just proved it." How's that for a conspiracy theory? Then again, Microsoft may just want .NET to run on as many platforms as possible. But if it fails, there's always that to cover there asses. Really a no lose situation for MS.

    "Goose... Geese... Moose... MOOSE!?!?!"

  • This could be one of the biggest news stories in the history of software development.

    I doubt it. There are too many more plausible reasons for this move that make sense from a business perspective, which is the only one that matters here.

    For one thing, Microsoft could effectively use the goodwill from helping the Mono implementation; it would help in MS's effort to market .NET to skeptical IT folks that have been embraced and extended into some fairly expensive agreements in the past and who have noted that low end Unix servers cost considerably less than their MS solutions.

    Not only that, but this gesture helps to assuage the concerns of the legal army that is quite ready to assume that .NET is merely another chapter in the same long book that included the Netscape Air Supply Cutoff.

    You'll see some apparent grudging admissions that MS seems to be playing fair from some quarters. That concept will get just enough air time to put off a harsher remedy for a while. Any delay, even for a matter of days, is good for MS' bottom line.

    For another thing, I think Miguel, bless his heart, has a lot more technical ability and great innovative ideas than he has common sense or legal ability. He could very easily end up implementing what turns out to be a subset of .NET, being embraced and extended to the point where Mono is merely an academic exercise and a toy. The analogy of Mono and .NET would be like this: because Linux, *BSD and Windows all run on the common platform of the x86 instruction set has not meant that they enjoy equal footing in the desktop PC OS marketplace. Alternatively, Mono might just replicate that part of .NET that MS is willing to be commoditized, like TCP/IP. MS is really only interested in charging for applications that run on it. An underlying Mono implementation will work with some MS applications, as long as it connects up to Passport and exchanges valid tokens. You'll be able to get valid tokens for Linux by paying for them.

    Finally, Miguel cannot afford the kind of legal talent he will need if Mono is too good and represents a real threat to Microsoft's revenue stream.

    Watch closely how the licensing for Mono is structured, whether strict GPL, LGPL, or BSD, Artistic. This will be the first point of contention that matters.

  • Actually, I don't think Microsoft is coming around. Quite the opposite: They're faking that they're playing well until .NET is widely adapted. At that point, they'll drop any support for .NET on non-Windows platforms, add proprietary undocumented extensions, and force everyone to go Windows. If anyone at Ximian reads this, please don't fall for it, unless you intend to be bought out by Microsoft and do Windows from then on.
  • by bero-rh ( 98815 ) <> on Monday July 16, 2001 @07:38AM (#82524) Homepage
    Call me pessimist, but I think it's yet another
    "Microsoft attempts to buy out Linux" story. They'll
    help Mono until .NET is widely adapted, at that time,
    they drop any support for non-Microsoft OSes and add
    proprietary undocumented functions, just like they
    always did -- and if you intend to continue using
    .net stuff, you have to "upgrade" to Windows.

    I wonder where Ximian fits in though - IMO they either don't realize what Microsoft is up to, or they're trying to be bought out by Microsoft to salvage their company financially.
    In any case, I'd recommend to avoid .net and Mono wherever possible, using it just where there's no alternative (just like we're using wine for some applications now).
  • I think there are some efforts in the XML-RPC community and elsewhere to come up with a nice, free service "just like" passport. There is no reason why free tools developed for passport interaction couldn't be modified to use the free version instead (make this an option).

    Look at Distributed membership and preferences [] for a closer look (it is a good place to start). There has been a lot of traffic on their mailing list about this lately. Very interesting stuff!

  • by Dr_Cheeks ( 110261 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:31AM (#82532) Homepage Journal
    MS don't want to go through an enquiry into having an anti-competitive nature again - this would be great evidence that they've cared and learnt and shared and grown. But what do they get aside from a token competitor in a market that they've created? Well, working closely with Ximian means they can look over their shoulders and keep an eye on things to make sure they stay ahead of the competition (and Ximian are definitely the little fish here). And since their relationship is informal, MS doesn't have to divulge anything it doesn't want to. They get to encourage more people to use .NET systems, but they also get to offer the best option (well, assuming they don't just sit on their asses while Mono improves).

    Sure, MS would like to keep everything secret, but it recognises there's some real competition now (Linux etc.) and now has to try to bring those of us who defected back onto their side again.

    Or am I just being paranoid?

  • I wouldn't imagine this would suffice. Why? .NET apps likely have to be verified/whateverified through Passport, not just any ol' identification service. While you may have almost-.NET apps using a service like XNS, I would imagine that true .NET apps, ones that can run on Win32 and Linux/Unix would require access to Passport.

    And that's Microsoft's strategy.

  • by Karma Sucks ( 127136 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:25AM (#82540)
    Focus on fixing GNOME so that it can compete with KDE and Windows. You *cannot* win with Microsoft, you are in a position of weakness and disadvantage by default. Microsoft will screw you over at the first chance, and along the way you will have helped bolster the mindshare of its questionable strategy.

    You are creating a conflict with your ally Sun by neglecting JAVA. Do not divest your efforts from GNOME. GNOME needs you. Do NOT neglect the ailing GNOME desktop like this.

    This is my fair attempt at talking some sense into you. I sincerely hope you prove me wrong so that I won't have to say "I told you so" in a few months.

    -- A KDE Fan.
  • This just seems like a trick to get us using Windows software on our scared open source platforms.

    I think you have hit on it. When one of us buys a machine with Windows pre-installed and install Linux, sure Microsoft has sold a license (good for MS), it will never have to support (also good for MS). However the down side, for MS is no future revenue, because we will not be in the MS upgrade cycle. If MS can get the Linux community to start using .NET, then we can be put on the upgrade cycle, which means continued revenue for MS. How many of us would start using the .NET version of Office XP or Internet Explorer, my guess is a great many.

    Jesus died for sombodies sins, but not mine.

  • They'll help Mono until .NET is widely adapted, at that time, they drop any support for non-Microsoft OSes and add proprietary undocumented functions, just like they always did -- and if you intend to continue using .net stuff, you have to "upgrade" to Windows.

    Of course, but does it matter? No, the open source community will in the meantime have gained most of the functionality of the .NET platform, and can happily move on in what direction pleases them. There is no fundamental reason for Mono to be exactly like .NET (although it would be useful), but having something mostly like .NET will be a huge gain for open source developers everywhere. Just like gcc and emacs is. IMHO, this is what would benefit both most.

  • by MongooseCN ( 139203 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:21AM (#82544) Homepage
    ...ok now, let's see how long it takes someone to shout conspiracy.
  • >I am not a GNOME developer, and there is a great
    >deal that I do not understand about what is going
    >on. However, I still haven't seen any
    >applications that use ORBIT, and I don't see
    >CORBA or Java having a substantial impact on
    >Linux or GNOME applications.

    If you've used Gnome at all in the past couple years, you've seen programs that utilize ORBit running on your desktop (e.g. the control center or panel applets).

    For a quick listing, you can just cd to /usr/bin and do something like:

    $ for I in *; do if (ldd $I 2>/dev/null | grep -i orbit >/dev/null); then echo $I; fi; done
  • What are these new services which .net will offer ?

    Authentication, identification...well we already have SSL, and browsers which can store personal information locally.

  • For a start, they don't understand the small, dedicated apps philosophy of Unix.
    That's exactly what Bonobo components do. They let small, dedicated components being reused.

    Also Ximian is getting into Mono because it enables code reuse across different programming languages.

  • tal197 was comparing go-gnome to installing from downloaded RPMs or DEBs, or installing from source. All these methods are equally safe since they usually don't come with a signature.

    If you need safety you could have someone mirror them and put a signature online, or you could inspect the source of the scripts.

  • I thought you were trolling too but I came accross one of your previous posts [], which convinced me you are for real.

    However, I still disagree with you :). The reason for that is that Mono in itself would be an interesting platform, even if its not compatible with .NET.

    -- A GNOME Fan. :-P

  • by Drone-X ( 148724 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @07:20AM (#82552)
    That would be very well possible, glibc and GTK+ have already been ported and I figure these two libraries will form the basis for Mono.

    Skimming through the Mono mailing list I've seen people talking about porting Mono to MacOS-X and Windows already.

  • by Drone-X ( 148724 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:59AM (#82553)
    Fortunately there's an alternative [] provided by IBM and put under a non-profit organisation. I'm hoping this will get big.
  • I don't think they're coming around per se. I actually think this is basically the same thing as they were doing backing off on the XP licensing thing -- after the appeal essentially failed someone at MS finally managed to break up Bill'n'Steve's excellent adventure just long enough to convince them that the party might actually be over.

    In essence, this is essentially the same thing as the Apple deal; MS probably is doing no more than knuckling under in the face of the fact that if they don't they're fucked. I imagine Microsoft will find a particularly slimy way of getting around this down the road and screwing Ximian over, but in the meantime they're putting up probably exactly the front they feel they need to.

    Translation: Don't get too excited about this, folks. It's something, but there's almost certain to be an ulterior motive, even if it's just MS playing CYA.

  • and will determine with Ximian whether technical assistance would be appropriate...So first of all, nothing has been decided yet, hence the "will determine". Secondly, if a company directs it whole to a certain tecnology, as is the case with Microsofts .NET, is it so strange that they will try to get their hooks in other platforms as well? As far as I'm concerned the bigger the exposure, the bigger the chance that it will actually succeed. Just see it as a promotion or advertising campaign!

  • Agreed. From what I've read, simple exposure to closed source code (M$ code), even seeing it during the course of work, opens up the developer to charges of IP theft if any code remotely resembling the M$ code shows up in the open source product. Sounds to me like M$ trying to open that possibility in order to shut the whole product down (or tie it up in litigation, effectively the same thing). WARNING... WARNING... DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!!!

  • Possibility #1 Perhaps the same reason that they wrote a version of IE for Solaris - they want to be able to say that their software has "cross platform" support.
    An interesting point. .NET would not be the first product to add Compatibility-With-X on its feature list, without having a feature that actually works. On the same note, every important word processor on the market claims to be able to read files from any version of any competing product. That's literally true -- but I've yet to see an implementation that worked well enough to move most real-world documents back and forth.


  • Yes it is. If you have a jvm that follows spec, and you have java code that follows spec, you have WORA.

    You're wrong. Start multi-platform programming in Java instead of reading articles about it and you'll very quickly understand.

  • mostly to get around firewalls, I suppose, which the net admins will block as soon as they figure out what is going on... hmm wonder who will be the first to implement a firewall that automatically drops all HTTP requests with a tag in the payload...

    Why would you do that? Just to spite Microsoft? Well, you'll be spiting Sun and IBM too, because they are jumping on the SOAP bandwagon as fast as MS.

    As it stands, creating such a firewall wouldn't make any sense in any case, if you have no software capable of servicing SOAP requests, they fall into the ether.

    Sun is winning A) the application server market place B) the developer mind share.

    VB is still the most popular programming language out there, for better or for worse. Java-based environments do hold the app server marketplace, but this market is still young, watch for Microsoft to make a move on it.

    I have nothing against SOAP, UDDI, or WSDL. But they're hardly impressive.

    Duh!! How are they "not impressive"? If you knew even remotely anything about them you would know that SOAP in particular is only as smart as its payload - its a fricking RPC packet wrapper.

    go read some of the white papers and come back with an opinion.

  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @07:53AM (#82568)
    Microsoft is not the only company backing web services - IBM and Sun itself are coming behind a model based on SOAP, WSDL and UDDI. Since you don't give any reasons why "this is not very impressive technology", I will provide you with some reasons why this approach is impressive:

    1. The standards are open, and you can program with them right now.

    2. "RPC over HTTP" is already being hacked out and used all over the web, so it makes sense to standardize it. Maybe a world full of JVMs communicating over ORBs using IIOP would have been preferrable, but it isn't ever going to happen, even Sun conceeds this.

    3. It makes sense to work with Microsoft at this point instead of against it. They control practically all of the desktop computers in the world, and an increasing number of servers. How they came to this position is irrelevant. Strategically, it doesn't make any sense to fight this presence for any group, corporate or volunteer.

    4. Java has failed to live up to its promises. No one believes Java is write-once read-anywhere, regardless of if it is even true at this point, so there is no point in flogging that messasge anymore - it has failed in the marketplace.

  • by decesare ( 167184 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:24AM (#82569)

    ...can be found in this morning's Boston Globe (story link here [])

  • It is not really all that strange. Even though some seem to think MS is the great satan itself, that is not [always] true. There is no reason for them to ALWAYS hate opensource. If they can benefit form it, the use it. They have shown this before [BSD code in Windows] and they will show it again [my guess :-)]

    Just concider this... they must have realized opensource OS'es are here to stay. Its quite hard to compete with an OS which is both free and useful. So.. how do they keep fighting it ? They simply move ontop of it. There is an old computer saying which says that if there is one OS in the bottom and one on top, the one in the bottom will die. (That's what happened to DOS and Windows 95, dos was "assimilated")

    They simply make sure all their "nice" .NET products are available through some MS .NET Browser for opensource platforms, and Woila. Suddenly you're using MS products on an opensource platform. Which one will die ? The product you use or the OS you run in the bottom ?

    [Ok.. perhaps they are the great satan after all, what ever ;-)]

  • by SpankTech3000 ( 194420 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @05:02AM (#82579)
    It is a specification, like COM. Once MS published the spec, they couldn't and didn't want to prevent people from making a Un*x version. With all of the other .NET server apps, they don't really care if you bought your copy of an MS server, if you can run their other server components (ASP.NET, ADO.NET). Throwing 2 or 100 developers (which they won't use that many) is chump change for them. It's a LOT cheaper than the advertising dollars they'd need to spend to convince the Linux community that "they care". All the big corporations are the same. They've all realized that they don't have to spend millions on advertising, they just have to hire a couple of very vocal developers, and let them work on open source whatever. It makes them look good in the trade rags, and the whole open source community has a love fest with them. And once again the developers are the pawns.
  • I think you screwed up your formatting. Instead of:

    blah blah blather blah...

    You wanted to say:
    <b>I'm an idiot who uses too much bold in a futile attempt to hide the lack of content in my comments.
    blah blah blather blah...

    The extra disclaimer is needed for your situation.
  • They already own .gov.

  • Don't forget that .net is going to have a centralized infrastructure, owned (of source), by
    So, even if people using Linux/Mono as both the client and the server, they are still authenticating through Passport and so forth... which means MS is in control and will be able to make a cut from it.
  • Consider Microsoft assisting this way:

    Here's how it works and we'll lend you some experienced design people to work through it, because we really want an alternative to hold down that 5% of the market that keeps the "Monopoly" people off our back.

    Or being a big "Help" (as my mum used to say) and doing this:

    Here's a crew of programmers we're loaning you, (though we'll not tell you that their all prima donnas, used GOTOs freely, write entire applications as one block of code, have no concept of documentation or following specifications) we'll be happy to "help" run it through Q&A in 2005, when you finally have something which doesn't have too many bugs in it.

    Either way, it wouldn't be hard for Microsoft to bend it to their will. After all, if a variant were developed in Windows, Linux or any other platform which had major advantages, why go with their solution? Keep your friends at arms length but hold your enemies closer.

    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • Of course you are trolling ("-- A KDE Fan" gave it away). However, these are standard points, so I will reply to them. .NET is likely, I think, to be central to future versions of Windows-- on the desktop! In no way is this abandoning GNOME. In fact, it could be quite important competitively. This is very important for GNOME.
  • This is due to Microsoft saturating the market, they cant make any more money off windows once they've put it on every machine on earth, so what now (besides the 2 year product upgrade treadmill)? Figure out how to control and tie customer data and applications directly to the operating system. Tie those applications and methods directly to partner company websites (MSN, Expedia, etc) to create a services which are essentially tied to operating system. It makes integrated explorer seem like no big deal when you see how deep this rabbit hole goes.
  • MS has been quietly devising a scheme where they can legally control all of the key services to "valid" communication between all dotNET implementations.

    This is pure crap...

    All "valid" communications between all dotNET implementaions are W3C standards. They don't require Passport or any other authentication scheme.

    You would probably know that if you've written a webservice. You would understand that it's much like writing a web application, but instead of sending HTML to a browser, you're replying to a XML post with XML data via HTTP. Because webservices are as simple as that, you can start writing them in Perl on your Apache server right now.

    By being at the centre of the authentication scheme, they control who can use all the nifty new services, and who will be excluded. They will also charge a subscription service for every end user, so you can go ahead and use *nix, but you will still have to pay your Pissport fee in order to access any new features offered by any value added internet content provider.

    More BS... Passport is a service that is offered to service/content providers. As a provider, I can choose whether to use Passport, Vendor X, Vendor Y, my own authenication scheme, or all four implementaions if I choose to do so.

    Because content providers have this choice, there will probably be competition in the authenication service market, making your assertion that MS will be able to charge end users for Passport baseless, let alone control all authentication for web services.
  • Crushing Java may be partly their aim, but I don't think they see Java as a threat since it's been around for 5+ years and hasn't already become a huge pay-for-sevices platform. After all, the end goal of .net is for MS to have a steady stream of income from rented software and storage of personal information (hailstorm). It doesn't really matter what platforms .net runs on - to them the more the merrier - but that it takes off and allows them to charge for renting software over the internet, as well as charge people to access their personal info from any kind of net-aware device. MS could be satisfied running .net just on Windows, but having it run on Linux potentially means having it work on virtually all embedded systems (cell phone, PDAs, etc.). That just helps opens up the market their creating.

  • So M$ will have the master certificates, and thousands of ASPs will each purchase a certificate signed by M$, and their customers will then only need to authenticate with the local ASPs servers. A certificate from one ASP will be valid with all other ASPs, and will need very little communication with the central M$ site.

    Can you say "security nightmare"? Can you say "script kiddie heaven"? is it just me, or does this whole things (including dot GNU or whatever the hell they're calling it) stink to heaven? Sorry, I just can't bring myself to belive that *anything* Microsoft does is anything but pure evil. Sounds a little extreme (er, well, perhaps not on Slashdot ;) but seriously,.. Miguel... what the HELL are you playing at [ thinking of ], giving credibility to Microsoft? Huh? Can someone explain to me why anyone involved in Free software is backing Microsoft? I just don't get it.

    *shakes head*

    I just hope we're not all sitting around here in a couple of year's time posting "See? I said so at the time!!!"
    "I'm not downloaded, I'm just loaded and down"

  • by darkov ( 261309 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:29AM (#82617)
    "[Microsoft] will determine with Ximian whether technical assistance would be appropriate" = we'll have a look and see if we need to screw you.

    "testament to the openness and viability of the .NET platform." = we have a thousand lawyers and ten thousand programmers poised for attack. Resistance is futile.

    "Microsoft will do everything that it can to ensure that Windows remains the best place to run Windows applications" = Microsoft will ensure Windows is the only platform you can run anything. Period.
  • by tantrum ( 261762 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:20AM (#82618)
    Microsoft helping to develop open-source software? What is happening to the world?

    Well, anyway: was there ever any doubt that .net would be ported to other operating systems? Microsoft certainly want linux users to use microsoft software, espesially as the numbers of linux and *BSD users are increasing.
    I would not expect the linux .net implementation to match the windows version, though.
  • "Microsoft's CLI is not expected to execute Linux and Unix applications" -- Wrong, if Mono applications compile to CIL (Common Intermemidate Language) and makes no Linux spesific calls, they should be able to MS CLI. Mono wouldn't be able to run Win32 applications either.

    "Microsoft will do everything that it can to ensure that Windows remains the best place to run Windows applications. That said, if someone wants to write Windows-based applications for other platforms, we're not opposed to the idea," -- That is hardly surpising, but isn't the *defination* of Windows applications is that they run best on Windows?

    Two witches watched two watches.
  • Should be pretty portable.
    Think about it as Java with much easier JNI.
    The idea is that you don't compile to native code directly, but go through intermediate language (called MSIL or CIL {C for common} ) which you then can compile and ship, ship the IL and compile on install/runtime/run interrupted.
    If you don't make any system specific calls, (that is where the eaiser JNI come into play) it should be portable.

    Two witches watched two watches.
  • I think that this may be about the GPL.
    We help you with this, but only if Mono isn't GPLed.

    It's time to start sending those coats and blankets to hell, anyway.

    Two witches watched two watches.
  • by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Monday July 16, 2001 @04:24AM (#82644) Journal

    Microsoft to provide technical assistance on Open Source project
    VP Mundie's head 'just exploded', say witnesses

    Slashdot readers condemn Microsoft
    Open Source move seen as 'sinister plot'

    World ends, film at 11
    Televangelists express surprise

    Weather forecast for Hell: Scattered flurries, high -2

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault