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Still Bringing Windows Developers Over to Linux, Mono Gathers Speed

Still Bringing Windows Developers Over to Linux, Mono Gathers Speed

The managing editor of XML.com, Edd Dumbill, has just published an account of a 2-day meeting held last week in Novell's offices in Boston under the auspices of its Ximian division in Boston, MA.

The focus of this meeting was on the development of the Mono runtime, which is an implementation of the Common Language Infrastructure standardized via ECMA for use of which Microsoft has granted a license under so-called "reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms. The meeting was open to anyone interested in meeting the Novell Mono team and interested in Mono, C#, Gtk#, ASP.NET on Unix, Dashboard and other related technologies. It was the first time that the entire Mono team of 12 core developers had actually met face to face, and was therefore a historic occasion. Fifty or so people attended in all.

Mono now has a completely new user interface, MonoDevelop, which "looks and feels like a GNOME application," writes Dumbill.

"Also," he adds, "it can't be ignored that the Mono compiler is blisteringly fast." 

Dumbill's report of the meeting ends with the following musings:

"Linux development is going to look very different if Mono succeeds in its goals. There's no doubt in de Icaza's mind: "To me C is dead. Except for the JIT!" Where does this place the future of the Linux desktop, and in particular, the project de Icaza himself founded five years ago, GNOME?

GNOME is currently pursuing a series of incremental point releases, with 2.6 due any moment now. The expectation for GNOME 3.0, however, is that a lot of the platform will use Mono, rather than the C implementation it has now. While no formal announcements have been made to this effect, it seems to be the strong hope of Ximian personnel."

"That will be an interesting journey," Dumbill adds, "as two other major backers of GNOME are IBM and Sun."

"The attitude of these companies to .NET is at the moment uncertain," he continues, "with both having a substantial interest in Java. The irony of Sun's successful (yet oddly-named) GNOME desktop - the 'Java Desktop System' - being based on .NET might be a little too much for them to swallow."


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