Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Update on GNOME/.NET Great thread on slashdot critiquing Miguel's lame explanation for Mono .NET support. Alan Cox himself puts it well: Be assured that the day [Microsoft] decide[s] you are a nuisance the [.NET] VM will acquire a patented neat feature that kills you off. Just ask the Samba people. Or Kereberos.

Also, if the pixie-dust magic of a runtime environment converting all languages into compatible bytecode sounds too good to be true: it is. Repeat after me--there is No Silver Bullet.

But if you don't like reading 15 year old refutations, here's a sanity check from the Java Lobby. They get the essential point--C# is a runtime environment, or operating system middleware, that binds applications (or "experiences") to a single platform: Windows. This is equivelent to saying it's an Internet fork, splitting the world of networked bits between Microsoft, and everyone else (i.e. *nix platforms). Half-baked cross platform language compatibility, which is really the only sort of compatibility you can expect, cripples languages, for exactly that reason.

Further update RMS writes explaining what really went on: he was saying he didn't want the GNOME license changed, didn't beleive Miguel would change the license, and is fine with free software supporting as many languages as possible, including C#. Also, a friend of mine beleives the CLR is less lousy than the above suggests, and says the true test will come when it tries to handle the ramshakle C++. We shall see.

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