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back to article Mono delivers Foundation-free open .NET alternative

The open-source implementation of Microsoft's .NET is due to hit its second release today, with many .NET 3.5 features and a few notable exceptions. Mono 2.0 will be announced today a year and a half later than expected but - thanks to that delay - it features an open-source version of C# 3.0 and Language Integrated Query (LINQ …

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Bronze badge

So, does it run Paint.NET?

That's all we care about :)

Oh, and mobile version?

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IT Angle

Bottom line question (for me):

Will this facilitate the running of the excellent Paint.NET on Linux?

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Very slow news day

News like this normally doenst make it to the reg.

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Gates Halo

Seriously.. what's the point?

Just run the .net framework natively.. if it's that good then just bloody use it as it was written... it's free for crying out loud.

Oh no we can't cos it's evil M$ and not oh so wonderful open source.

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I think its interesting

so there.

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IT Angle

"Just run the .net framework natively" - AC@10:16

On Linux? Er... how exactly?

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@AC

It's free... erm, natively? If that's the case for you, methinks someone needs to be reported to MS for one bootlegged copy of windows...

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Linux

Oh dear...

>Just run the .net framework natively.. if it's that good then just bloody use it as it was written... it's free for crying out loud.

It is not free because it has a critical dependency on a non-free component. When Windows is free, then .net will be too. Until then, please keep your "fail"s to yourself.

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RE: AC

>> Oh no we can't cos it's evil M$ and not oh so wonderful open source.

Actually I'd rather they didn't bother, a bloated, incredulous platform that speaks more of it's designers and supporters attitudes than good solid engineering. I'd put up with python dist-utils rather than sully my mind with Mono.

Now that my friend, is real bias.

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Hmmmm

One and a half years too late, still no Monodevelop with Debugger support, instead there will be a Moonlight 1.0 release in a few weeks by the time when Micro$oft will release $ilverlight 2.0. Well done guys.

For linux, what about using Wine and winehacks to actually install MS .NET 2.0 and you should get the same result. (And yes, it works.)

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Law
Flame

RE: Seriously.. what's the point?

Like the others said, some people like to run things on OS's other than Windows. I'm going to be using Mono to port some Window's only applications I've written so that our customer's can use them on their OS of choice... means I don't need to touch Java (oh how I hate Java), which is what people have been asking us to do for a while (free-tards and apple-tards alike).

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Cool

Finally an open source version of the best programming language out there.

However I would like to have seen Microsoft make it open source in the first place and then concentrate their efforts on the Development environment instead. People would still buy into microsoft as their dev environments are leagues ahead of the competition.

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Stop

This annoys me

Fair enough if people want to work on Mono, but what they are doing is letting MS set the standard and define how things are done, and then struggling to keep up. They are re-inventing the wheel instead of doing their own thing. By the time they have implemented all of silverlights features a new version will be out and the Linux boyz will still be 2 years behind the times.

Stick to perl, python and ruby or develop another platform, but whatever you do stop riding pillion. What you are saying is that it is MS in the driving seat, they are leading the way in development.

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Linux

@AC

"For linux, what about using Wine and winehacks to actually install MS .NET 2.0 and you should get the same result. (And yes, it works.)"

Link please!

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Paris Hilton

Let .NET be .NET

There exist not one, but myriad developer communities in the world. Scores exist in academia. Scores more can be found in business. Literally thousands are found in the private and individual worlds. To the uninitiated, these communities may look alike, but they are not.

Even down to the hive from which the codebase originates, these communities are grossly different. By the time we are initiated into a community, we know the difference (or do we) between assembly and C and C++ and C#. We are reminded (incessantly) of the superiority of our own platform and the inferiority of the competing equivalent.

Political and religious factions arise from our community passions: the Big-Endians are superior for this reason; the Little-Endians are superior for that. I am constantly entertained by each side -- but never so much as I am by the constant attempts by one or two of the non-Microsoft religions who attempt to both become and overcome Microsoft.

Mono appears to me to be one such siege for the throne. Other than an assault on the primacy of the platform, for what reason does it exist?

Those behind the Mono project seem to have blurred the difference between these divergent communities. If they achieve acclaim in one development community for appearing to duplicate the .NET framework, they should not expect to find the same acclaim in the most critical and fiercest developer communities: business automation development.

Microsoft's .NET platform is highly successful. Whether or not anyone in the non-Microsoft religions will admit it, it has a deep and wide following and fuels an astonishingly vibrant number of business and personal development communities. It is mature, complete, and thousands of small to large third-party tools are available for it.

It was built by Microsoft to work in the Microsoft operating systems. In its native environment, there exists no possible reason to mimic the .NET platform -- except to knock-off the intellectual property of an industry giant.

Microsoft's .NET platform was not built to work in other environments. This, apparently, is the open-source-community's invitation to copy the product (in whatever form and quality) for use on platforms for which it was not originally made. While an incompetent analogy, this is akin to copying the Chevy 442 engine block such that it could be dropped into a Ford. Chevy never intended for that to happen. If a driver wanted the Chevy 442 engine, they should buy Chevy. And, among the countless other reasons this is a bad idea, the company who built the hybrid cannot be expected to be there next week or next year for maintenance or support.

This point completes the logical circle. Considering the full-spectrum of developers, there must exist some community of rogues who neither care that their tools and platforms are supported, nor work in projects for which such risks are relevant. There must be very few of those communities in business.

JBoss is a haven of support and maintenance for the risk-averse in businesses running on the Linux and Java platforms. But it is not limited to the mere presence of the product that JBoss is a God-send to business. While Marc Fleury must be complimented for his vision, it was not until a full-bodied company, Red Hat, took JBoss under its corporate umbrella that such a product could be trusted by the business community.

Before that, those using JBoss had to be content with the anticipation that JBoss would be there tomorrow, or that it would be maintainable. Businesses who used JBoss before Red Hat's acquisition must have slept uneasily, wondering what additional programmer costs would occur should they lose the JBoss company while having its source embedded so deeply in the corporate automation.

And what, exactly, does Red Hat add to the JBoss code? Nothing. But it adds everything to its business stability. And does Red Hat give away its product? Yes. And No. At the business level, risk-averse businesses are more than willing to "buy" annual support contracts wherein Red Hat promises to support the implementations in which its products reside by promising to support and maintain its products.

In exactly the same way, unless and until a "Red Hat" comes along and renders Mono a marketplace product, Mono will remain on the cusp of respectability. Even so, considering that the ideas and structure of Mono is a direct copycat of products by one of the world's largest and most aggressively-protective companies, it would have to be a blatant, arrogant, and wealthy company who would bring such a product to direct competition in the marketplace.

While rendering an unsupported and divergent platform on which students, the technically curious, and the religiously competitive may experiment, Mono seems, in the short run at least, to be a mirage for businesses. Business, lest anyone forget, is the fortress in which most programmers earn their livings. Programmers, therefore, should see very little Mono at work. Unless it is the virus. Especially so, let us hope then that it is quite rare.

Nonetheless, the allure of the .NET framework is strong. But wait! Do not despair! There already exists a platform on which .NET exists, is supported, is backed by a multi-billion-dollar company, and can be expected to exist in this or larger form for decades. That platform is the Microsoft Operating System platform. That platform is Windows.

For the price of an affordable server, affordable workstations, licensed, maintained, and supported operating systems, licensed, maintained, and supported office productivity tools, licensed, maintained, and supported business ERP products, and the acquisition of reasonably-priced development resources, any business can install, extend, and maintain a custom implementation of their business automation using the Microsoft operating systems platforms and their tools (which nicely integrate and work with each other without so much as a small sacrifice to the gods of interoperability). Business can use .NET!

And if the business has not chosen the Microsoft pathway, for what possible business-friendly reason should the executives insert such a risky unknown in their architecture? And who among the programming communities would advise any business to engage in such risky decisions?

Let .NET be .NET.

Paris, because nobody else could be Paris; or want to be.

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Anonymous Coward

@zenkaon

"They are re-inventing the wheel instead of doing their own thing"

isn't that kind of what your god-figure stallman did with gcc?

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Joke

@phat shantz

>But wait! Do not despair! There already exists a platform on which .NET exists, is supported, is backed by a multi-billion-dollar company, and can be expected to exist in this or larger form for decades. That platform is the Microsoft Operating System platform. That platform is Windows.

I've added the missing "Joke Alert" icon for you.

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Stop

Re: JP Strauss @ AC

"Link please!"

And vidz and/or pics. Or it didn't happen.

It was predictable that someone would whine on about Wine. But it's far from being even close to an answer in oh-so-many cases. Yet people still throw it into conversations about cross platform apps with gay abandon.

If MS had any sense, they'd adopt Paint.NET and promote it (open source or otherwise) as the viable alternative to the cracked copies of Photoshop/Elements that everyday, non-professional, home users have installed.

Otherwise someone will come up with a platform neutral equivalent and the Windows-centric PdN will lose ground severely. (As with Wine, the first person to spew out "but what about Gimp" loses 10 points).

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Paris Hilton

@AC Joke Alert

Thanks, AC.

It was a toss up.

Paris, because ... well, because the punch-line keeps on giving.

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"Stick to perl, python and ruby"

Erm, no, fuck off.

Ruby is just a fucking horrible bastardised, crippled, lovechild of Smalltalk and to much vodka cruelly superglued into a web 2.0 flavoured box and stripped of all the good bits, python is just a scripting language with LISP pretensions, and perl, well, I happen to like perl a lot, but I wouldn't want to write an enterprise class application it, and it's as idiosyncratic as all buggery. I don't especially like coding enterprise apps in C++ either (although I have a serious fetish for it as a language) enter C#.

And as for Monodevelop, well I for one rather like being able to develop and demo .NET apps (which clients require) on my Apple laptop which runs linux (PPC, so there's no chance of a wine based solution)

Horses for course innit ?

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Gates Halo

@phat shantz

"Microsoft's .NET platform was not built to work in other environments. "

Which is why the Mono team did something nice for their community and has built something that lets them run the awesome .NET framework in their OS of choice.

I would probably say the best thing M$ have done in a very very long time is the .NET framework and C# - it is my language and framework of choice, and I was genuinely surprised I liked it because I was dead against it originally.

Not every company runs Windows, infact, some companies are very anti-windows. This will actually benefit M$ because they will get universities and colleges who can't afford Visual Studio and developer licenses etc for their machines to churn out .NET junkies for free, thereby seeding a market with .NET developers who will prefer it to others. I know at uni I was forced to learn Java because the faculty mainly used Linux machines and the department couldn't afford the licenses. I had to spend a few years in the industry before .NET was forced on me.

One last thing - the project is all about copying .NET, that's the aim - so saying it in a derogatory way as if to claim other communities don't innovate is just weird, it was the point all along?!

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Anonymous Coward

@phat shantz

How long did it take you to write that rant?

2 minutes looking for the the home page of the Mono homepage (http://www.mono-project.com/) would have told you that Mono is sponsored by Novell, (You know, the Novell that has some interesting patent arrangements with Microsoft) and that Miguel de Icaza is VP of Development at Novell?

Red Hat isn't much bigger than Novell.

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Wine + .Net

dotnet20 > http://wiki.winehq.org/winetricks

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Paris Hilton

@AC re:rant

How long did it take?

About six days to get it through copyrighting. Three months at the lawyers. It's really a generic rant cobbled together with buzzwords and keywords. If it doesn't seem on-topic, it's because we use Microsoft Live Search internally to find the most appropriate responses.

We discarded the first seven returned documents that were more closely related to turnip farming, colonoscopies, the search for intra-terrestrial life, and cheese-making. We're just pleased LS returned anything we could use. We were entered for a raffle prize for using it, though.

In truth, I think .NET in a non-Windows world is just silly. I bought into the philosophy that the Java JVM and .NET are two similar frameworks on different platforms. Rather than expend effort to play catch-up with .NET, why not enhance and extend the JVM?

And did you know how many ways Paris can make a turnip blush?

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Mono can also run inside an application

The games industry uses Mono for scripting purposes inside some game engines.

Just because you don't see a use then don't think that's the case for everyone.

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@phat shantz

.NET in non-windows isn't silly and mono ( from what I've seen) does a bang-up job of providing what every woman wants, but rarely gets - good interop.

Now as for the JVM, if one could target a half-decent language at it, then maybe it wouldn't be such a eye-piercing knob of a platform, but as it is, oh well.

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Pirate

@phat shantz

"Rather than expend effort to play catch-up with .NET, why not enhance and extend the JVM?"

Or, join forces, and produce the ultimate platform of some description mayhaps

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Paris Hilton

@AC Avast Ye

Alas, AC, me and Paris just aren't that smart. If we lived in an ideal world, we'd all be using Macs. The Orgasmatron in "Sleeper" would be the computer interface for programming, and "services" would imply relaxing massages and sushi to order.

As it is, we pick our poison and deeply wish our choices were the right ones; when all the time we remember how our mothers encouraged us to become plumbers or long-haul truckers. We didn't listen then. We're not listening now.

The only good choice in our industry is becoming an interchangeable, replaceable middle manager whose failure will not be viewed as anything abnormal.

In this context, I cannot bring myself to make good choices.

So I make my declarations based on what I know, and put the proper spin on my opinions to assure myself that I could have done worse.

And I bounce between JVM and .NET and wish I had the best of both and could shed the worst of either. It ain't art, but it ain't wrong. Yet, I still don't like the mixed metaphor.

And Paris, 'cause she'd make a good second choice for programming interface, so long as they removed the speech module.

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Black Helicopters

Strikes me that....

...the Mono guys are just putting in all this work as a punt that someday MS will decide it's a good idea and buy them out for $$$$$.

Seems a sensible plan to me.

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Paris Hilton

Er, what?

>Not every company runs Windows, infact, some companies are very anti-windows.

Could you please provide a verifyable example of a company that does not run windows.

Further more, could you please provide a verifyable example of a company that is anti-windows? And I don't mean "John in the server room, our sys-admin, he hates windows".

Mono on linux? Surely that is the biggest waste of time imaginable?? What about JAVA FFS? Are these guys f*cking NUTS?

Are where are Microsoft? If I were Ballmer/Gates I'd be suing them into none existance... .Net is the intellectual property of Microsoft...

So, Mono is a .Net wannbe? Does this prove, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the Microsoft currently make the best development tools in the world, and the Linux world is a Windows wannabee, in cath-up mode?

Paris: There's no point in Paris, and there's no point in Mono.

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Law
Gates Halo

RE: Er, what?

"Could you please provide a verifyable example of a company that does not run windows."

http://www.zdnetasia.com/smb/casestudies/0,39045711,39254472,00.htm

I could give more... but that's the first google result that I recognised from a long time ago. There was another about a guy who got accused of being unlicensed, and took to court by M$ - they nearly ruined the company - so they because a microsoft free company within a year. Couldn't be arsed finding that story though, it was about 2 years ago I think if you wanted to help out?

Oh - there is also about a dozen companies I previously had to support in my last job which were extremely anti-windows, based on security concerns more than anything else, they were defence contractors mostly.

"Further more, could you please provide a verifyable example of a company that is anti-windows? And I don't mean "John in the server room, our sys-admin, he hates windows"."

I'm guessing Google? lol... just a guess though... I'm pretty sure I read something about Yahoo not liking M$ in the last year or two too... haven't they begun adopting some form of Linux for Oracle?

There is also Apple... and tons of design companies who tend to be mactards exclusively.

"Mono on linux? Surely that is the biggest waste of time imaginable?? What about JAVA FFS? Are these guys f*cking NUTS?"

Because Java is disgusting language, and not suitable for a huge amount of applications. I've duplicated the same functionality of a Java application here in my office in a .NET application - the .NET application footprint was tiny in comparison, load times speeded up a zillion fold (about), and the application was no longer sluggish. One of me over 3 months, compared to 4 Java guys over 3 years - and my application won. Why? I'm not any better a programmer than them - I just had better tools. Recently I decided to get rid of the one last arguement for keeping Java - portability. Using mono - I ran my application perfectly and at around the same speed in both Ubuntu, Windows and OSX. Java never provided the same stability over platforms.

I'm guessing you have never actually tried to port anything using mono - just seen it in an article and started to foam at the mouth?? lol... it's all of one line to take an existing .NET application and have it run on linux or osx... it's the easiest port I've done... early on it was harder, you had to pay attention to their migration tool as they did have pretty big holes in the framework.

"Are where are Microsoft? If I were Ballmer/Gates I'd be suing them into none existance... .Net is the intellectual property of Microsoft..."

Well as far as I can tell they arn't copying the code line for line - they are duplicating functionality, which I don't think is the same thing. Also - M$ seem to be happy with them, rather than hindering them, so they must think it's a pretty decent idea anyway.

"So, Mono is a .Net wannbe? Does this prove, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the Microsoft currently make the best development tools in the world, and the Linux world is a Windows wannabee, in cath-up mode?"

Nope - it just proves that M$ did a decent job with .NET and C# - so much so that it should be ported to other operating systems somehow. And mono is about duplicating .NET functionality so it can be ported across to any OS really - so to claim it's evidence that Linux sucks and wants to be Windows, is like saying because Vista has 3D effects it's a Linux/OSX wannabe because they had it first.

Anyway, it's not all a pissing contest, some people just want to get on with their jobs with the best tools possible. I'm quite happy with XP, OSX, or Ubuntu - I'm also quite happy with C++, C# and to a certain point Java - providing it fits the purpose. Computers are just tools, not a religion, so why act otherwise??

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