Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Ximian Software

Miguel de Icaza on Mono, Ximian/Novell, XAML 481

Posted by simoniker
from the life-in dept.
moquist writes "Netcraft has an interview with Miguel de Icaza, of Gnome and Ximian fame. Icaza expounds his thoughts on Mono (the .Net framework for open source), the current direction of Microsoft's .Net, Novell's acquisition of Ximian, Novell's Linux desktop environment, Linux for grandmas and kids, and "the greatest danger to the continuing adoption and progress of open source" (Hint: it's pronounced "XAML".)."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Miguel de Icaza on Mono, Ximian/Novell, XAML

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:29AM (#9004269)
    de icaza is dying
    • I don't understand this guy. He rails in his previous blogs about how bad microsoft is, yet he goes out of his way to emulate microsoft technology. It's mind blowing.
      • Re:netcraft confirms (Score:5, Interesting)

        by 0x0d0a (568518) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @03:16AM (#9004900) Journal
        Here's how I'd guess at the state of things:

        1) Miguel recognizes the fact that Microsoft is big, doesn't play nicely, and doesn't like having other people in its sandbox.

        2) Miguel presumably believes that Linux is a superior system -- that given the opportunity, users will prefer Linux.

        3) Miguel presumably believes that a primary reason Microsoft retains its position is because of barriers to interoperability established by Microsoft. By promoting their own, closed file formats and protocols, Microsoft makes it difficult for customers to move to other systems.

        4) Miguel improves interoperability between Windows and Linux, reducing the barriers that Microsoft has worked so hard to establish, that prevent people from using Linux as a full or partial subsitute for their own products.

        Then, once barriers to transition have been eliminated, as long as OSS developers and distro providers are providing a superior alternative, users can and will switch.
        • You missed a point: (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Xenex (97062) <xenex AT opinionstick DOT com> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @05:20AM (#9005344) Journal
          5) Miguel is a big fan of Microsoft, and the only reason he doens't work for them is due to a past immigration technicality.

          Oh, you didn't know that about de Icaza? [theregister.co.uk]
          Miguel has told reporters that only an immigration technicality prevented him from becoming a Microsoft employee four years ago - the small print of the H1-B Visa process disqualifies students who haven't completed their degree course.
          Miguel doesn't just like some of Microsoft's ideas - Miguel wishes he were working for them.
          • by doc modulo (568776) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @08:27AM (#9005855)
            Miguel doesn't just like some of Microsoft's ideas - Miguel wishes he were working for them.

            Or maybe he's bitter, maybe he doesn't care about not having become an employee.

            What you said was your opinion but you stated it as fact.

            I don't know if he's got good or bad intentions or wether he'll be good or harmful to the Libre software community. We don't have enough info yet I think, at least I haven't looked into it deeply enough to make a judgement.

            That he failed to get a job at Microsoft doesn't say enough to me. Maybe he just wanted to pay some bills.
        • as long as OSS developers and distro providers are providing a superior alternative, users can and will switch.

          Right. Just like they do with Apple.

          (Karma be damned!)
        • Miguel also makes some very interesting points about how Windows has managed code reusability to a point that allows it to offer a more integrated desktop than Linux. Check out his text [ximian.com].

          That's the one thing about Linux I have to say I find a bit disconcerting: the lack of uniformity among applications (and no, I'm not trying to start trolling about that.) Just read Miguel's text if you're interested.

      • by Haeleth (414428) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @05:05AM (#9005303) Journal
        I don't understand this guy. He rails in his previous blogs about how bad microsoft is, yet he goes out of his way to emulate microsoft technology. It's mind blowing.

        How is that strange or incomprehensible? I see absolutely nothing inconsistent about hating Microsoft's business practices and security record, but liking their programming tools and UI.

        I thing you need to stop thinking in black and white and recognise that it's possible for a bad company to come up with a good product.
      • by GnuVince (623231) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @07:29AM (#9005692)
        I don't understand this guy. He rails in his previous blogs about how bad microsoft is, yet he goes out of his way to emulate microsoft technology. It's mind blowing.

        You don't understand Mono then. Miguel, Nat et al thought that programming for GNOME in C was becoming too hard, not fast enough, etc. So they decided they needed something new. They looked at the available alternatives, but none of them seemed to fit the bill. They then looked at .NET and C# and they liked what they saw and saw how it could be useful to program for GNOME. So they decided to use that. But the goal was not to copy what Microsoft has, it was to bring a better tool to Linux and GNOME developpers, that tool just happened to be made by Microsoft. This has the advantage that they don't need to write as much documentation as other languages' teams because Microsoft does it for them.

        • by SerpentMage (13390) <[ChristianHGross] [at] [yahoo.ca]> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @09:12AM (#9006142)
          One of the things that I like to do is find the Silver Bullet of tools. So I keep searching the internet and keep installing new tools. Yet here is an interesting result, am I closer to getting my app done?

          We developers always like new and neat tricks, but yet it seems we are still building the same apps at the same speed. It took the Mono team about three years to build the Mono stack. Well, you know I could probably write most of my apps in three years.

          I am not trying to rail C# or Java, as my point is that maybe we should be thinking about how to code properly. Maybe the language is not THAT big of an issue....
  • Isn't that the most logical spelling of the word that would be pronounced "XAML"?
    • Re:Zamil? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by NonSequor (230139)
      Or you could just say "ex-ay-em-ell." You don't have to try to pronounce every acronym as though it were a normal word.

      Personally, I think the world needs a 15 year moratorium on the use of acronyms. They need to take a break.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @02:06AM (#9004625)
      All logical spellings of everything have been trademarked by drug companies.

      Zamil, for instance, helps firm up stool for people on low-carb diets.

      Common side effects may include:

      Abdominal pain, abnormal dreams, abnormal vision, agitation, amnesia, anxiety, arthritis, back pain, bronchitis, burning sensation, chest pain, confusion, constipation, coughing, daytime sleeping, decreased mental alertness, depression, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, difficulty concentrating, difficulty swallowing, diminished sensitivity to touch, dizziness on standing, double vision, dry mouth, emotional instability, exaggerated feeling of well-being, eye irritation, falling, fatigue, fever, flu-like symptoms, gas, general discomfort, hallucination, hiccup, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased sweating, infection, insomnia, itching, joint pain, lack of bladder control, lack of coordination, lethargy, light-headedness, loss of appetite, menstrual disorder, migraine, muscle pain, nasal inflammation, nervousness, numbness, paleness, prickling or tingling sensation, rapid heartbeat, rash, ringing in the ears, sinus inflammation, sleep disorder, speech difficulties, swelling due to fluid retention, taste abnormalities, throat inflammation, throbbing heartbeat, tremor, unconsciousness, upper respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, vertigo, vomiting, weakness, abnormal tears or tearing, abscess, acne, aggravation of allergies, aggravation of high blood pressure, aggression, allergic reaction, altered production of saliva, anemia, belching, blisters, blood clot in lung, boils, breast pain, breast problems, breast tumors, bruising, chill with high temperature followed by heat and perspiration, decreased sex drive, delusion, difficulty urinating, excessive urine production, e ye pain, facial swelling due to fluid retention, fainting, false perceptions, feeling intoxicated, feeling strange, flushing, frequent urination, glaucoma, gout, heart attack, hemorrhoids, herpes infection, high cholesterol, hives, hot flashes, impotence, inability to urinate, increased appetite, increased tolerance to the drug, intestinal blockage, irregular heartbeat, joint degeneration, kidney failure, kidney pain, laryngitis, leg cramps, loss of reality, low blood pressure, mental deterioration, muscle spasms in arms and legs, muscle weakness, nosebleed, pain, painful urination, panic attacks, paralysis, pneumonia, poor circulation, rectal bleeding, rigidity, sciatica (lower back pain), sensation of seeing flashes of lights or sparks, sensitivity to light, sleepwalking, speech difficulties, swelling of the eye, thinking abnormalities, thirst, tooth decay, uncontrolled leg movements, urge to go to the bathroom, varicose veins, weight loss, yawning
  • by jsweval (693114) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:33AM (#9004286) Homepage
    Mono means monkey.
  • by amitofu (705703)
    It's massive - I'm so scared.

    What an encouraging way to end the interview.

  • Nice wrap-up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by salimma (115327) * on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:34AM (#9004293) Homepage Journal
    .. the interview summarizes neatly what Miguel has been saying for the past few weeks; it even links to the "two stacks" diagram. Hopefully distributions would start shipping with the unencumbered stack of Mono once Mono 1.0 is out.. between that and gcj/classpath Linux should see an influx of new developers.
    • Re:Nice wrap-up (Score:3, Informative)

      by tarka69 (159890)
      Add to that the fact that Java is rapidly gaining first-class support in mono via IKVM. From the IKVM blog:

      The next Mono release will contain the C half of the IKVM JNI provider and the next IKVM snapshot will contain the C# half of the Mono JNI provider. This means that JNI will work out of the box on Mono (for the parts of JNI that are actually implemented).

      This will hopefully attract developers who want want to go the Mono route but can't afford to lose their existing codebase/knowledge.

    • Re:Nice wrap-up (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jotham (89116) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @03:02AM (#9004834)
      Very nice diagram and it'll continue to grow with other interesting projects such as Tao [randyridge.com] which adds OpenGL, OpenAL, SDL, etc as your opensource alternative to DirectX.

      Hopefully those that still view C# as microsoft lock-in, will see that C# is an open (ECMA approved) language, and Mono is doing a great job of supporting it. The choice (and any potential lock-in) is really in what APIs you use, which is no different from a C++ programmer choosing between DirectX or OpenGL.
  • by Doyle (620849) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:41AM (#9004311)
    How the hell do you pronounce "XAML"?
    • by niko9 (315647) * on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:48AM (#9004339)
      How the hell do you pronounce "XAML"?

      Didn't you read the article?

      "Of course, the only drawback is that this new interaction is completely tied to .Net and WinFX. So we see that as a very big danger. A lot of people today cannot migrate to Linux or cannot migrate to Mozilla because a lot of their internal Web sites happen to use IE extensions. Now imagine a world where you can only use XAML.

      It's massive - I'm so scared.


      It's spelled XAML, but it is pronounced: I'm sooo scared! ;)

      -
      • > A lot of people today cannot migrate to Linux or cannot migrate to Mozilla because a lot of their internal Web sites happen to use IE extensions

        Well whoop-de-doo. Their problem. They were warned, and if they chose to ignore the warnings, they'll have to dig themselves out of it, or pay someone with a clue to do it for them. There are enough clueless designers around to keep consultants in business until Stardate 4096.

        > Now imagine a world where you can only use XAML

        Oh good grief. Get a life. It's

        • by Hard_Code (49548) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @09:45AM (#9006429)
          Let me give you a clue - while it may remain fun for you to "keep it real" by coding on open source, .Net and the Avalon/XAML platform threatens to displace a lot of the progress Linux has made, at least on the desktop. And we know that when MS owns the desktop they have great leverage to push on the server area. Every time MS comes up with something, the first reaction is to downplay it and shout that it has already been done before. IE was a joke too. Windows was a joke to. You can keep laughing, but unless there is a viable open source alternative to what MS is providing, we stand to get our lunch eaten. That is what is scary. That is what is scary for a lot of open source companies which are essentially loss-leading by pouring tons of money into free software and HOPING that by doing so they can open the market and reap rewards later. .Net and Avalon/XAML threaten to crush that. It's not enough to say that it's nothing new or not a big deal. When all of Microsoft developers, and a large segment of the industry that MS influences, starts adopting it in droves, it WILL be a big deal. When MS develops something that will give their customers some value (whether or not you think it gives /you/ value), it is not enough to shout "bogeyman!"... you actually have to compete.

          I am a Java developer, and I for one don't want my career derailed because there was never an open source alternative to compete with .Net.
    • by omicronish (750174) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:49AM (#9004343)

      How the hell do you pronounce "XAML"?

      It's pronounced like "Zammel".

    • Think Jar Jar Binks trying to say "Camel"
    • Welcome to the Slashdot Pronunciation Dictionary.
      Please enter a word to get its associated pronunciation:

      >interview: Pronunciation = "INTEVW"
      >slashdot: Pronunciation = "/."
      >grammar: Pronunciation = "WTF"
  • by jdifool (678774) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:50AM (#9004348) Homepage Journal
    Here is the name of the webpage with the interview.

    interview_with_miguel_de_icaza_cofounder_of_gnome_ ximian_and_mono.html

    I, for one, welcome our new naming convention overlords.

    jdif

    • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:29AM (#9004497) Journal
      It's a Google spamming technique, exactly like spamming your meta tags full of keywords. Google places higher relevance on keywords in a document's URL, so it's suddenly become extremely popular to give descriptive names to documents. This might not be such a bad thing, but it can certainly be overdone.
      • by JimDabell (42870)

        It's a Google spamming technique, exactly like spamming your meta tags full of keywords.

        Exactly like it? I suppose so, seeing as neither work. Google treats underscores as part of words. If they had wanted to "spam" Google, they should have used dashes to separate the words. Google also ignores <meta> keywords, so both techniques are equally useless.

    • by bruthasj (175228)
      I, for one, welcome our new naming convention overlords.

      Well, they're the minority in that they actually create permalinks and follow the W3C recommendation by default. Their content will easily be archived and entombed for eternity while maintaining an easily extractable timestamp.
  • by poptones (653660) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @12:56AM (#9004367) Journal
    Why be so very afraid? Surely this isn't a surpirse to him - I was talking about this same sort of concept nearly a decade ago when hanging around on WIRED's forums. If I thought of it then surely others had, I cannot believe this sort of technology could come as a surprise to anyone who had even read, say, David Siegel's introductions to the web way back in 1995.

    It should also be very obvious to anyone who knows this stuff just how giant a security risk all that sort of technology would present. I'm sure g-man thinks they've got it all sewn up now with these hardware controls, but cracks in the structure are inevitable and one can only imagine a world where just clicking to visit a website, rather than downloading a trojan installer that may or may not complete, instead downloads a robust trojan installer that will complete. And people are already getting pretty damn sick of tithing to both Microsoft and Symantec. Keep selling that crapware until they can't swallow any more!

    Meanwhile, the linux desktop is coming together more and more and Microsoft's uber-desktop is pushed back again to.. when?

    Computers are cheap. And I can tell you from experience it's not that hard to convince someone to try linux after you've helped the reload their computer for the second or third time. It's up to the product to keep them there once they've made that transition - if we can't beat the crap MS has been shoveling with another two full years of development time, it won't be because Bill and Steve are to blame.

    • by Coryoth (254751) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:19AM (#9004450) Homepage Journal
      It should also be very obvious to anyone who knows this stuff just how giant a security risk all that sort of technology would present. I'm sure g-man thinks they've got it all sewn up now with these hardware controls, but cracks in the structure are inevitable and one can only imagine a world where just clicking to visit a website, rather than downloading a trojan installer that may or may not complete, instead downloads a robust trojan installer that will complete.

      What Miguel is afraid of, I think, is not that this technology will be mind blowingly good, but merely that it will be good enough. Let's face it, Microsoft has been very good at "good enough". What do I mean by "good enough"? Well, potentially riddled with security holes that will be sloely patched over the 5-10 years following it's release - a debacle as far as security concious users are concerned - would still count as good enough. You see, the people in management who buy into these things are notorious for their lack of long term planning, and consideration of security. Look at what Microsoft has already happly foisted onto the corporate world - code riddled with exploits, but because it offered the right new features business bought into it.

      The catch with XAML is that if business buys into it in a big way, it's going to be a serious blow to any OS other than an MS produced one. Why? It's the ultimate embrace and extend of HTML to lock people in. It's an HTML extension that is intimately tied to copyrighted Windows code that MS has exclusive control over. It offers enough in the way of new wizzy features that, management ignoring security issues as they usually do, it could easily get serious uptake. Once you take a dose of that drug though, it will be very hard indeed to break the habit.

      Or, to put it another way, this is Microsofts latest and most addictive crack. It has the potential to get a whole new generation of computers hopelessly, horribly, unescapably addicted to Microsoft products. It is worth being afraid of it.

      Jedidiah.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "What Miguel is afraid of, I think, is not that this technology will be mind blowingly good, but merely that it will be good enough. Let's face it, Microsoft has been very good at "good enough". What do I mean by "good enough"? Well, potentially riddled with security holes that will be sloely patched over the 5-10 years following it's release - a debacle as far as security concious users are concerned - would still count as good enough. You see, the people in management who buy into these things are notorio
        • by Coryoth (254751) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @02:23AM (#9004674) Homepage Journal
          Now how are they going to force people to give up millions of dollors in investment. Both software and training, let alone the new hardware that may be required (WinTel). For the so far unproven benifits of LongHorn?

          Shiny things. IT management loves shiny things. As long as there are lots of nice shiny features that they can market to death it will sell. The reason the uptake of XP and Server 2003 has been so slow is because they don't really do a hell of a lot more thna Win2k. Yes, there are some nice new bits and pieces, but I don't know of any major shiny new features that actually break any ground.

          On the other hand, Longhorn is their chance to fianlly add some of these "new groundbreaking" features - it's an all out overhaul rather than the incremental stuff that XP and 2003 have been. Of course Longhorn is, for now anyway, the vaporware repository too: "Objected Filesystem? Sure, in Longhorn.", "Graphics card accelerated desktop with scalable graphics? Sure, in Longhorn", "Uncrackable security model, Dancing bears and World peace? Sure, in Longhorn."

          Some of the talked about features will undoubtedly make it in. Avalon, I gather, is making reasonable headway. Some of them might not - every time I hear about WinFS it has been scaled back even further, and will do even less. The point is that there are potentially enough shiny things to impress managment.

          The thing to remember is that management cares about shiny things. Vendor lock in and ensuing extortion, security issues, and pretty much anything that requires contemplating more than a quarter in advance are irrelevant. Look! Shiny things... oooooh.

          Jedidiah.
          • by Simon (815) <simon@sim o n z o n e .com> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @03:17AM (#9004906) Homepage
            Now how are they going to force people to give up millions of dollors in investment. Both software and training, let alone the new hardware that may be required (WinTel). For the so far unproven benifits of LongHorn?

            Shiny things. IT management loves shiny things.

            I'm not sure if that is true these days. I think IT management are looking much closer at what kind of bang per buck they are getting.

            The reason the uptake of XP and Server 2003 has been so slow is because they don't really do a hell of a lot more thna Win2k.

            And this can work to our advantage.

            As far as I can see, the only real benefit of LongHorn to businesses is XAML and its "zero-install over the network" delivery. Businesses are swimming in custom written in-house applications such as billing systems, stock control system, client record systems, etc. I work as a programmer at a web developement business. We specialise in Content Management Systems and basically web based applications. Our clients absolutely love having these applications running centrally on a server while being immediately available (zero install!) on every machine in the office (and out of the office if needed). This is done via a web browser and HTML+Javascript of course. Now, XAML takes this idea and implements it properly and fixes a lot of problems that come with trying to create applications inside a web browser.

            What Mozilla needs to do is get their browser out there and on desktops, but more importantly they need to document(!) and further develop XUL. Try to use it for making business applications like I've mentioned above (not chat clients, get serious). Find out where the weak spots and gaps are and fix and fill them in. At the same time they need to get things working happening on the server side. OSS is strong on the server, but we need proper libraries and support for XUL apps on the server written in Java, PHP, etc hell even C# if really want to use a window webserver. For the love of god Mozilla, get in touch with Apache.org, Tomcat and friends. Create a full and complete platform (server + client) for creating and delivery business/database applications. We already have the big pieces.

            In 2 years time we want IT management to have to decide between:

            • a massive rollout of LongHorn, vendor lockin, expensive licenses and windows lock in all round
            • or just installing Firefox on their desktop systems (2k, XP, Linux, whatever) with minimum impact and cost, and then using their existing servers to serve their applications.

            --
            Simon

            • by killjoe (766577) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @04:24AM (#9005129)
              I want to ask you a very serious question.

              If you have to install a 7 meg browser (mozilla) to make your application work why not just ship an application that updates itself over the network? Better yet why not just write a java web start application. Either way you have to get some sort of a platform installed on each and every machine and keep it updated. maybe if Mozilla could get their act together and come up with a clever way to share a network installed mozilla amongst the desktops we would have a compelling solution. It's a lot easier to distribute an icon to every desktop then a full blown application and it sure would be handy to just upgrade the network copy and go home. Mozilla really needs to look into centralized management of user prefs, plug ins, bookmarks etc.

              Where MS kills you is in forcing people who have windows to install IE and updating IE when they update their windows. Maybe what's needed is a XUL activex plug in so that XUL will work with IE.

              I do agree with you about the database application thing though. 90% of all business applications touch a database.
              • by cyborch (524661) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @05:51AM (#9005432) Homepage Journal

                f you have to install a 7 meg browser (mozilla) to make your application work why not just ship an application that updates itself over the network? Better yet why not just write a java web start application.

                How is installing mozilla on each and every desktop different from installing java on each and every desktop?

                With java you can have web-start applications - with mozilla you can have XUL applications.

                I may be missing something, but as far as I can see, there is no difference at all.

              • by expro (597113) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @09:52AM (#9006494)

                If you have to install a 7 meg browser (mozilla) to make your application work why not just ship an application that updates itself over the network?

                That would be an option if Java were free, so that the appropriate initiatives could be undertaken to have a decent way to run web applications.

                Starting back in 1995, various companies asked for a number of features in Java necessary for launching web applications efficiently over the web -- licensees of Java paying Sun the big bucks. I was in one of these companies. Sun has never gotten what it would take to make Java a serious advantage for applications that trickle down to the desktop over the web.

                There are many examples of things that would be needed and were repeatedly requested, that I have never seen materialize -- for example (one of many) a really-intelligent class loader that understands how to make applications work instantaneously and reliably over the web. The design doesn't seem that hard, but it is very different from anything that Sun has undertaken. I and other people made presentations to Sun, and they ignored it all, being a server company. Without free software, that leaves no options. This was 9 years ago, and Sun still has not figured most of it out. Companies cannot wait for Sun to get it.

                As it is, I couldn't care less whether Sun or Microsoft wins, because it is 6 of one or half a dozen of the other, they will be limited by their own lack of vision. Licensees of Java were ripped off, believing they would be helped by Sun for all the money they paid.

                It isn't that companies are not willing to pay. It is that Sun isn't willing to deliver even to those who pay who see how to bring Java out of the box where it is now (and have seen since the beginning).

            • by Groucho (1038) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @09:09AM (#9006117)

              "What Mozilla needs to do is get their browser out there and on desktops, but more importantly they need to document(!) and further develop XUL. Try to use it for making business applications like I've mentioned above (not chat clients, get serious). Find out where the weak spots and gaps are and fix and fill them in. At the same time they need to get things working happening on the server side. OSS is strong on the server, but we need proper libraries and support for XUL apps on the server written in Java, PHP, etc hell even C# if really want to use a window webserver. For the love of god Mozilla, get in touch with Apache.org, Tomcat and friends. Create a full and complete platform (server + client) for creating and delivery business/database applications. We already have the big pieces."

              Exactly - you clearly Get It.

              Let's say there's an existing database in MySQL or whatever - if you could write an interface to it in XUL and have the "browser" construct a rich client front that understands transactions, field validation and persistence - that would be heaven. The Eclipse RCP project is very close to doing something useful and usable in this domain but it still seems to require too much hand coding for the front end.

    • Apple had a product in 1988, with the confusing name "MacWorkstation", that let a host application send text messages to a Macintosh and create a rich-client GUI for a mainframe application. If I recall correctly, you would write the event loop in COBOL (as well as other languages) on the server.

      It was expensive, didn't have the simplicity of HTML as a starting point and, perhaps, was a little ahead of its time. (Client/Server was still catching on.) The fact that few mainframe guys liked Macs may have

  • Umm, wouldn't this just turn into another class-action law suit accusing Microsoft of inadequately supporting 3rd party competition? That'd be great, because the schools out there need more free Windows machines to advertise to children and squash the competition further.
  • This guy is awesome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jdifool (678774) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:02AM (#9004394) Homepage Journal
    Honestly, De Icaza is one of the few free software/OSS activist with really clear ideas on the subject and some objectivity.

    He acknowledges that the Microsoft replacement for HTML is a rich user experience to come, despite the fact it certainly is dangerous to a certain extent.

    Do realize that, GNU/Linux zealots : you can say something is good from a certain point of view (usability), and bad from another (interoperability). Isn't that incredible ?

    Really ; isn't that incredible ?

    Regards,
    jdif

  • by bigusputicus (684000) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:03AM (#9004395)
    This new technology is finally going to bring closer to the people with domain expertise the ability to create their own applications, without having to depend on technical specialists. HTML opened the door to many people with limited or no programming expertise. The .Net framework with Avalon and XAML will advance this even further. The Mozilla approach is something the Unix/Linux developers need to better understand and get on board with and contribute towards as the current stack used in the Unix/Linux community is already out-dated. Miguel is right-on-target!!!

    I've worked in Unix engineering environments since 1984 at HP and Sun (Operating Systems, Networking and Graphics). I've observed over the years that the Unix community took Microsoft very lightly and never very seriously. The unix industry has not traditionally worked with the same user community as Microsoft. But Microsoft has matured very quickly and now delivers some outstanding technology for developing applications! The .Net framework, Avalon and XAML in my opinion will have no peers unless the Linux community develops a competitive answer!

    The stack that Microsoft is creating will not only empower more people to create more sophisticated applications, but will increase the productivity of application programmers by at least 30% over todays Unix/Linux development stacks!!!

    Mozilla is a great start in the right direction, but cooperation between the Gnome, Kde, and Mozilla camps will need to occur in sort order to compete with the Microsoft stack when it comes to application interface development.

    GigantanKramePithicus
    • by Eminor (455350) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @03:07AM (#9004861)
      Absolutely 100% agreed with parent. I was thinking about this earlier today. Imagine if there was standard API that desktop applications implementated that allowed other applications to get data from them.

      Example: Gnome could ask evolution for it's contact information. In fact, Gnome could ask for any piece of information, group of information, or all of evolutions information. The information would be returned in an XML format. Gnome could also ask for meta data from evolution.

      If desktop applicatons started implementing this standard, It would be very easy to write interoperable applications. In fact, it would be very easy to implement entire new applications based on the information existing applications have.

      The lines between applications would become blurred, and we would have a very rich environment. In fact, an idea such as this just might be the killer concept the blows the door wide open for Unix/Linux.

      • by Balinares (316703) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @07:29AM (#9005691)
        You've just described what DCOP [kde.org] does in KDE. Contact info is offered by the address book component, which can be queried by the email suite, the IM tool, etc. The entire desktop is built upon this approach, in fact.

        The Freedesktop group has begun working on a generalization of DCOP called D-BUS [freedesktop.org], primarily geared toward exchanging message between backend (hardware detection...) and frontend (desktop environment), if I got it right, but I think that GNOME will also eventually be able to use it to tap into KDE components as well. This would be really nice.
      • Example: Gnome could ask evolution for it's contact information. In fact, Gnome could ask for any piece of information, group of information, or all of evolutions information.

        You're right - that would be a good idea [ximian.com].

  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug@geekazon . c om> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:05AM (#9004408) Homepage
    I wish I could get excited about XAML, because I like the idea of a complete overhaul of HTML. This is the first I've heard of XAML. If you follow the links and look at the material on it, it looks pretty cool. What bothers me about it is that if and when it becomes dominant it will stop evolving, just like IE and every other dominant MS product. Its goal is not to change the world or fix the web, but to capture market share and make competition more difficult.

    Having said that, why isn't there an far-reaching OSS project to replace HTML? For one thing I guess it's a lot easier to impose a standard on the world when you have the dominant platform. Will Microsoft convert the web into a network of C# apps? I hope not.
    • by GarfBond (565331) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:30AM (#9004500)
      I haven't read the article (duh), but from what I remember, XAML wasn't a complete overhaul of HTML. XAML was more like a way of using XML to design your user interfaces, integrated completely into Windows. It's not designed to work with anything but Longhorn.

      Does that technology sound familiar? Oh right, it does! [mozilla.org]

      XUL (pronounced "zool") is Mozilla's XML-based User interface Language that lets you build feature-rich cross platform applications that can run connected or disconnected from the Internet. These applications are easily customized with alternative text, graphics and layout so they can be readily branded or localized for various markets. Web developers already familiar with Dynamic HTML (DHTML) will learn XUL quickly and can start building applications right away.
      Obviously, Mozilla's focus is on "cross platform," whereas Microsoft would much rather just focus on the one.
    • I wish I could get excited about XAML, because I like the idea of a complete overhaul of HTML

      From what I've read, it's not an overhaul of HTML, but a markup language for .NET applications. HTML will probably stay with us for a lonnngg time because of it's widespread usage and relative efficiency. .NET certainly won't appear on my NAT router anytime soon to provide a management interface, for example.

      What bothers me about it is that if and when it becomes dominant it will stop evolving, just like IE an

    • Having said that, why isn't there an far-reaching OSS project to replace HTML?

      Well, that's not really what XAML is, it's a way of marking up UIs.

      Apple does the same thing with iTMS.

      The structure of iTMS XML is similar to the structure of a Gtk app (in fact, I'm currently working on implementing a viewer of iTMS XML using Gtk).

      In general, iTMS XML isn't as powerful as html+css, but it does do some things that html can't do.

      Because both XAML and iTMS XML mix content with presentation, neither is a good
  • So, what does everyone here say? Is XML an acronym?

    I've had an ongoing discussion with a friend on this matter for weeks, and it needs closure.

    I say XML is an acronym. He says it's only an abbreviation. I'm not even sure what he's saying anymore. He's said things such as "SoCal is an acronym", and I'm a bit confused.

    If you'd care to reference the words "acronym", "initialism", "abbreviation", and "word" in Webster's Dictionary (and whatever other dictionaries you use), it'd be helpful.

    Anyway: is XML (an
    • From my reading of the deffinitions, it appears that XML would be an acronym, which is a *type* of abbreviation. So, technically, you both are correct.

    • Re:XML == acronym ? (Score:3, Informative)

      by shadowmatter (734276)
      "Non-pronouncable" abbreviations, such as SMTP and FBI, are initialisms.

      "Pronouncable" abbreviations, such as NASA and FUBAR, are acronyms.

      And if I remember it correctly, that was the gospel, straight from my Linguistics 10 professor's mouth ;)

      XML is an initialism. XAML, although it looks like an initialism at first, is actually an acronym (pronounced "Zammel").

      - shadowmatter
  • I dont get it, MS has failed numerous times before with "exciting" new technologies and i dont really understand why they are bound to success now. XAML might as well just be a failiure. Is it really a threat to linux? Not today and not tomomorrow since its just wapourware on paper as of today. Net was supposed to be the answer to everything but hasnt really gotten much of a foothold yet.

    Sometimes i wonder if Miquel is just a pawn in a game and doesnt understand it. There are more than one way to skin a cat and i find it appaling that we should mimic Microsoft at all times and play catch-up instead of setting the pace and standards ourselves.

    Maybe thats what Microsoft is most afraid of, to loose control over the heading of the software industry. Open source have control over web servers and can take control over the protocols on the web if we just do our own thing. If we only follow what Microsoft do we will always be number two and thats no where to be.
    • I'm not sure if it is a real big threat to linux or *nix operating systems. One thing i am sure of is it is sucking off of the energy of XML and all the buzz around it. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they convince everyone that they (microsoft) created the XML principle/language. .net fizzled out because most people couldn't see any practicle benefits or uses for it outside what is already being done. It was a marketing campain with no products that could be seen/ or diferentiated from whats already the
    • by omicronish (750174) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @02:01AM (#9004608)

      I dont get it, MS has failed numerous times before with "exciting" new technologies and i dont really understand why they are bound to success now.

      And Microsoft has succeeded numerous times with technologies too, such as DirectX and I suppose COM considering its widespread usage throughout the Windows OS. They've failed in the past, they've succeeded in the past. XAML can do either.

      XAML might as well just be a failiure. Is it really a threat to linux? Not today and not tomomorrow since its just wapourware on paper as of today.

      There are a couple articles on MSDN [microsoft.com] that discuss XAML and provide sample code, such as this XAML RSS reader [joemarini.com]. Longhornblogs [longhornblogs.com] regularly has XAML-related entries, most of which link to code, a sample executable, and screenshots. XAML is definitely not vapourware. It exists and people are using it.

    • There are 2 possiblities: 1. An open standard wins over XAML 2. XAML wins, and becomes a de-facto standard.

      If #1 happens, the Miguel has wasted his time. If #2 happens, the FOSS community will NEED his work to be able to interoperate with the majority of the WWW.

      So, on one hand, cloning XAML hedges our bets, but on the other, it helps XAML gain acceptance, because even the FOSS people can use it.

      So, we want Miguel to continue what he's doing, but we also want him to fail!
  • by int2str (619733) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:22AM (#9004470)
    Miguel (and others) tend to over emphesise "competition" and "threads" to open source. In my opinion, there is no such thing. In fact, I would go as far as saying that his focus on XAML and other "competing" technologies is the only thread to open source.

    Open source is _not_ about competing with anybody else. It is _not_ the goal to create a competing technology to win market share or anything. Open source is an exercise in technology, invention and freedom.

    Why should we fear XAML or widespread adaptation of it? And why should we therefore pursue clone technologies?
    We dont have the pressure to compete in any market place! We can look at the software _we_ use and see what we can do better. Maybe an XAML like technology is good. Lets think about the ideas. But maybe it isnt good, then lets do something else. You decide, not some abstract competition.

    Technologies like Linux, Mozilla (XUL+++), etc. came not from the desire to do something that could lure _others_ away from somebody elses technology, but to enable the developer to use hard and software they way he wanted to and the way he thinks others may want to use it. Yes, open source takes lots of ideas, but then they are made better and often different. The drive should come from within, from excitement about the technologies and new ideas.

    Instead of worrying about what others might do and how others will perceive our software, we should get excited about it ourselfs first and make it good and work well. There is no fight, there is no competition. Dont waste your thoughts about others, think about how you can realize your own ideas and make them better.

    Maybe then we can focus on and enjoy development again.
    Let others sleep bad at nights worrying about "the competition".

    Regards,
    Andre Eisenbach
    • by Ogerman (136333) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @02:22AM (#9004671)
      Open source is _not_ about competing with anybody else. It is _not_ the goal to create a competing technology to win market share or anything. Open source is an exercise in technology, invention and freedom.

      That stupid philosophy is precisely the reason why OSS isn't moving faster and providing more geeks with jobs writing Free code rather than proprietary. Yes, OSS is an exercise in technology, invention, and freedom. But, at the same time, that exercise is worthless if it doesn't significantly improve the state of the industry / society. To do that, it must garner market share because that is the only way to diminish the forces that work against freedom. Do you quite realize that if OSS does not dominate the industry in the fairly near future, the powers that be will effectively make it illegal to write software unless you work for a large corporation with patent portfolio cross-licensing? Do you quite realize that an industry dominated by OSS would be a much more pleasurable one to work in? There is far more at stake here than academic toys and utopian musings. Get out of your bubble.
  • by ndykman (659315) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:23AM (#9004477)
    One thing I really give Miguel credit for; he is more than willing to put up with the political heat and flak for taking MS ideas seriously and seeing how they could apply to the Linux/Open Source/GUI world.

    Given the popularity of Perl, Python, etc, it makes sense for a language independent VM and libraries for programming. Is the CLR the best for this? Well, no, but there's a good case that it is best thing right now, or at the least, good enough!

    I think a killer Open Source project would be port Java over to the CLR. To be really evil and fun, make it a JVM->CLR rewriter. Of course, Sun will sue you like mad, but that not why it wouldn't happen (it helps MS too much), but it would break Sun's hold on Java a bit more. Especially with Mono in the mix.

    And now to for the flamebait (This is a post with MS stuff it in, after all).

    Microsoft does have true innovations in Longhorn. (See, I told you). And it is worth paying attention to and evaluating. Passing it off as vaporware or FUD isn't wise, considering the bits are getting into people's hands right now.

    XAML is nicely balanced and really seems like the first truly usable markup-based GUI language (XUL was close, but not close enough. I think it'd be much more popular otherwise).

    Avalon is nice, not totally groundbreaking, but it does kill bitmap-based windowing, and I haven't seen anything that suggest that Linux world is pulling that trigger yet. (X being a obstacle in the way) Apple did, and the results speak for themselves I think.

    WinFX has some very interesting ideas in how you structure components, and has the chance to become the next big thing in components (after COM. Another Microsoft innovation! Flames rising).

    Finally, WinFS is very, very cool stuff, even as vaporware. I'm not surprised they had to scale it back, because what there are doing is nothing short of rethinking the file system from the ground up. This is a bold thought to take seriously. The notion of extensible metadata alone is powerful. (Before, file metadata was fixed.) Add in searching, extensible relationships, etc and you have something worth paying attention too.

    This is innovation, in my book. Invention is coming up with those rare new ideas. I see innovation is taking those ideas and making them applicable, or practical, affordable, widely available, better, used by many and so on.

    I think Ford was an innovator for creating a practical way to mass-produce cars. He didn't invent the car, he made it a reality for many.

    Microsoft has done that, for better or for worse. Not all innovation is a priori good for all.

    Of course, one should never obsess with what MS is doing to the determent of all else. Pay attention, but focus on doing what you can do best, and let the chips fall were they may.
  • ..put them together.

    I do think that the man has a point. The web is just dying for more RIA, we will need to jump out of the request/recieve process, and if MS comes out with this system with no competition it will continue to dominate, and it will be huge.

    However, all the tools to create such interactions are available now. I know many people are going to hate to hear this, but Macromedia Flash provides the framework for all of the things that Avalon envisions to do, the system for developing such apps just needs to be created. The Flash player is installed 98.6% of client systems on the internet. (!)

    So hear is an idea: why not incorporate developent of such flash apps into Mono? The swf format is now open and documented.

    Macromedia recently came out with a system to do something like this called <a href="http://www.macromedia.com/software/flex/">Ma cromedia Flex</a>, however licensing for this product is a nightmare ($USD 12,000) which I think is a grave mistake on Macromedia's part.

    They also have a new (sort of) framework called <a href="http://www.macromedia.com/software/central/? promoid=home_prod_ce_0111903">Macromedia Central</a> which allows flash apps to run naitively and interact with local data (download with one click, save network data locally) and its acutally a great app, but its licensing model is again completely proprietary and closed. This is where we (the OS community) come in..

    So what is the idea? Just incoporate the functionality of Flex into Mono, you can even use the same format used by Macromedia in Flex, <a href="http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/flex/articl es/paradigm.html">MXML</a>, for interopability. It can be free open, and we have a full year to develop such a framework. There is a HUGE market for this. Particularly for people that are not ready to uprgrade their entire OS, but still want to use RIAs. On that not it will also be important to start devloping some of the killer apps (photo browsers, visual forums, real time easy chat for every page, data extractors, etc).

    The drawback is of course speed, and we can't really beat MS there. However if we can get something like this going then it will be a big incentive for Macromedia to offer perhaps a larger + faster version of the flash player. One of the best examples of moves in this direction still has many problems with it, but you can see it here:

    www.ego7.net

    But, the time is def. limited.

    -Ashot
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:41AM (#9004546)
    Avalon/XAML *is* scary - but Mozilla/XUL can/should trump the living heck out of
    it. If the OSS community lets Microsoft
    define the rules, we all lose. We need to
    push the heck out of Mozilla/XUL. XUL needs
    to become a de-facto standard. It should make
    Avalon/XAML look like just yet another proprietary dead end.

    It is time to shift focus
    past the 3GL GUI toolkits (GTK/QT) and move
    on to some much bigger, 4GL, app building
    blocks. This is the only fight the matters.
    The future 4GL "application platform" is being decided. Will Microsoft own the platform or will
    it be open source.

    P.S. Lets put Python into Mozilla/XUL (Javascript *is* a big drag)
  • by openmtl (586918) <polarbear@btinte ... .com minus punct> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @01:46AM (#9004566) Journal
    "XAML enables you to create a UI without using code. You can create quite elaborate documents entirely in markup using controls, text, images, shapes and so forth..."

    Helloooooo, anyone home ?, once you get into creating 'elaborate' stuff in 'markup' then you are smack back into programming and code. Its that kind of thinking that gives us unmaintainable Excel or Word macros, JavaScript, ASP, Perl, Expect/Tk,...list goes on.

    It IS programming and it IS in CODE because it has a syntax , a grammer and a vocabulary. Unless it is a natural language parser then its still a computer language.

    I'm not knocking the language - I just think its being oversold by saying its not code.

  • by RobTheJedi (547899) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @02:11AM (#9004639)
    I am still a realtively new coder, with only around 4 years under my belt all in Microsoft shops, and even newer to the linux world about 3 months.

    When I first heard of the Mono project here on /. I was excited at the possibility of using the development tools and environment that I am familiar with and be able to deploy my code to Linux. The most exciting thing to me was the possibility of running ASP.NET on Apache. In the last 2 weeks I have really began to experiment with this particular aspect and was able to copy my compiled C# ASP.NET web app from my windows box to my Fedora Core box and everything ran with no problems.

    I welcome further the possibility to continue to use the development environment I know while being able to deploy my code across windows and linux platforms. (I am not a fan of Java and say what you wish about C#, but I find it to be a very nice language.)

    I wish the mono team the best of luck.
  • What's scary? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @02:33AM (#9004711) Journal
    Longhorn has kind of a scary technology called Avalon, which when compounded with another technology called XAML, it's fairly dangerous. And the reason is that they've made it so it's basically an HTML replacement. The advantage is it's probably as easy as writing HTML, so that means that anybody can produce this content with a text editor.

    The main application code is supposed to be written in a .NET language like C# or VB.NET if I'm not mistaken. Yes, XAML apps are similar to HTML pages, but they, like HTML, also need a scripting part to actually do something and not just be static. And that's what e.g. C# is for.
  • by MWelchUK (585458) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @03:37AM (#9004980)

    Right after saying:

    "We cannot choose one desktop over the other - Gnome or KDE - because there's users for both code bases."

    He then states:

    "We're making the decision it's going to be OpenOffice, the browser it's going to be Mozilla, the email client it's going to be Evolution, the IM client it's going to be Gaim. So we basically have to pick successful open source projects and put them together."

    The problem is that, as far as I know, these tend to be the default applications used on top of the gnome DE. Granted I would install OpenOffice when setting up a computer with KDE, but it would make more sense to use konqueror, kmail(/Kontact) and kopete instead of the other programs. In fact given time and if koffice manage to convert over to the openoffice file format (which I believe they are doing) it might make more sense to install this for basic users, as like the other programs, it is tied in well to the KDE DE. This leads me to the assumption that Novell will eventually, at least in the short run, ship Gnome as the default as KDE will have to load 2 lots of services (it's own + those for OOo/gaim/evolution/mozilla integration) and will thus require many more resources.

    In the long term I hope that this kind of activity will help to unify the two desktops background services, allowing software to be written that works with an equal level of tie-in with both DE, however I guess this will take a long time and lots of carefull negotitation before it happens.

  • What about XUL? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ManikSurtani (764890) <manik&surtani,org> on Thursday April 29, 2004 @07:35AM (#9005708) Homepage
    Moz developers out there? Excuse my ignorance, but this XAML beast sounds an awful lot like XUL. So in a sense, the OS world has had a XAML alternative for a few years now - just a damn shame the Moz platform isn't ubiquitous enough to promote proper takeup of XUL. And if XAML is such a threat (and I see why), is it being developed along some standards? Is M$ going to submit this to ECMA as well? Why can't Moz/XUL start publishing "HTML New Generation" specifications, get corp buy-in from the likes of IBM, Sun, Novell, etc. to try and get XUL and XAML to converge?
    • Re:What about XUL? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chester K (145560)
      Excuse my ignorance, but this XAML beast sounds an awful lot like XUL. So in a sense, the OS world has had a XAML alternative for a few years now - just a damn shame the Moz platform isn't ubiquitous enough to promote proper takeup of XUL.

      If the Mozilla project were to produce a reasonably sized installer for Windows that would allow you to double-click an .xul document in order to start a fully-capable XUL-based application, and provide easily accessible documentation on how to get started with it, they
  • by Uggy (99326) on Thursday April 29, 2004 @09:49AM (#9006464) Homepage

    The problem with technologists deciding where technology goes is that they are not customer focused. They are technology focused. From the Microsoft blog featured here the other day, MS was at one time (and probably still is) extremely customer focused. Maybe they've lost it a bit, I don't know.

    It's always an internal battle within organizations. Should we embrace some cool tech or not. Boss asks why, IT guy says, "'cause it's the future." Which begs the question.

    Is it going to help ME in MY business?

    I think the beauty of OS in general is that we make commodity blocks, which we can then adapt to a wide range of uses. When I meet with a client, I ALWAYS start with business questions.

    "What are are your current challenges? What would you like to do better?"

    Sometime they respond with specific answers about technology. I usually back them up one more step and try to get them to think about the bigger picture, macro style. They have an "A-ha" moment, and then the flood gates open. It usually boils down to wasted time and effort performing some repetitive task.

    "Ah, well you know, that's the stuff computers are really good at. Repetitive tasks, that is. Let's reduce the time your people spend managing computers, and put them to work managing your business."

    It's so simple, it's revolutionary. Microsoft did a lot for computing, but they mostly were able to make people slaves [altamente.com] to their personal computers.

    OS turns it back into what it should have been all along, Business Automation.

    And all this talk about MS's new tech, or .NET or whatever... I have only question: Can a technology by itself really be a magic bullet?

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

Working...