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Attachmate Fires Mono Developers 362

Posted by timothy
from the and-there-there-were-none dept.
darthcamaro writes "Love it or hate it, Novell's open source Mono project has inspired a lot of debate over the last 7 years. Mono brings .NET to Linux, with some interesting patent connections. The project is now at a crossroads, with news today that Attachmate had laid off the US based development team for Mono."
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Attachmate Fires Mono Developers

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  • (I will gb2/b/ shortly).

    • Good. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use.

      The problem is not unique to Mono; any free implementation of C# would raise the same issue. The danger is that Microsoft is probably planning to force all free C# implementations underground some day using software patents. (See http://swpat.org/ [swpat.org] and http://progfree.org./ [progfree.org.] This is a serious danger, and only fools would ignore it until the day it actually happens. We need to take precautions now to protect ourselves from this future danger.

      Thi

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mysidia (191772) *

        The danger is that Microsoft is probably planning to force all free C# implementations underground some day using software patents.

        No, C# itself is covered by an open standard. Your suggestion of Microsoft Patent Ire is entirely academic, and Microsoft's patents covering Linux kernel technology are much greater concern

        And with Java, the danger is not academic. Oracle is actually suing Google over patents for their implementation resembling Java.

        • by Microlith (54737)

          And with Java, the danger is not academic. Oracle is actually suing Google over patents for their implementation resembling Java.

          Except he said nothing about Java whatsoever. Why do you (and the first person to reply) insist on stuffing words in other people's mouths?

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          MS patents covering the MS kernel? Huh? MS has no patents that cover the Linux kernel. Not that I've heard of. What patents are you talking about?

        • It's not so clear. There's still a cloud over C# and .NET implementations not from MS. See Here. [swpat.org].
      • Re:Good. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by black6host (469985) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @08:00PM (#36018432)

        I don't care for proprietary programming languages as much as the next guy. Take away the .net part of it, look at the principal architect of the C# language. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Hejlsberg/> Sorry, URL formatting has me stumped, I've followed the syntax, but that's not the point of this post. You can find him. He was was heavily involved/ perhaps lead architect (I don't know as of now) of Borland's Delphi. A most wonderful development environment, and the only real competitor to VB at the time. So my suggestion is don't bash C# but rather the encumbrances places upon it, like .NET.

        Disclaimer: I still write in Delphi. If I want to update a network of 100 systems I just copy over the .exe. (Still using Delphi 7). No need to roll out updates to every machine. No registry usage. None of the BS that comes with rolling out a .Net application. And my clients find my work very valuable. My impression is that Delphi is much more common in the EU and I don't speak at all to the crap that's happened since then with the selling to this corp or that corp. I only point out that the person developed by C# is a talented individual.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Etrigoth (1119741)

          Erm, Have you actually tried to deploy a .net application recently ?

          Other then ensuring that the framework is installed, it is also generally as simple as copying a .exe file.

          ClickOnce deployment is vaguely more complicated but its complexities exist to counter security problems. One can hardly blame MS for trying to be a bit more proactive about security either.

          The largest (in terms of distribution) .NET program I've ever written had a target audience of roughly 40k computers. Our deployment process ? xco

          • by dudpixel (1429789)

            last I checked MSI files are installers, meaning the user still has to install it once this file is on their pc.

            On linux you could store your program in a self-hosted repository and each client can just sudo apt-get install programname

            Installation all handled automatically so the user just has to click on the icon in the menu and run it. Software updates can happen without the user even knowing.

            This can be done for ALL linux desktop software, not just the ones you create...

            I believe there are ways to do th

            • what rinky dink Enterprise IT department do you work in? Users do not deploy programs to their computers. you push them out and they are just available from the end user's perspective.

        • What are you talking about... you can write .Net/C# apps that don't use the registry at all... and if .Net is installed, and the app is well written, you can do xcopy deploy all you want... I have, and often do...
        • http://www.microsoft.com/interop/principles/osspatentpledge.mspx [microsoft.com]

          That says it only covers patents "that are necessary to implement the Covered Specification." How worthless is that? So if you implement it the same way Microsoft did, or in the most natural and straightforward way, but there was some alternative way of doing it that still meets the spec then you're not covered? As in, even if the only alternative is a crap implementation that will require twice as much memory and 10 times as much CPU?

          Obviously they couldn't have created a patent grant that says 'you can us

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Gadget_Guy (627405) *

        It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use.

        This is the very definition of FUD. You have some assumptions made up of complete guesswork, and from that you try to scare the development community from using this language/platform. You have absolutely no facts to back up your assertions, and yet year after year people keep spreading this FUD and year after year it does not come true.

        The problem is not in the C# implementations, but rather in applications written in C#. If we lose the use of C#, we will lose them too. That doesn't make them unethical, but it means that writing them and using them is taking a gratuitous risk.

        So what is the answer? To avoid applications written in C#? If you do that, then you have already lost the applications without any lawsuits being filed. The paranoia wins.

        I

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          This is the very definition of FUD.

          Sometimes fear, uncertainty, and doubt are warranted. IMO any time you're dealing with MS you should be fearful, uncertain, and doubtful. MS does have a history, you know.

          The paranoia wins.

          You try walking home through the ghetto without being paranoid. I'm not talking about MS here, I'm talking about staggering home from Felbers. Live in my part of town and paranoia is the only thing that will keep you alive. And to tell the truth, I fear MS more than I fear the gangstas.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Gadget_Guy (627405) *

            Sometimes fear, uncertainty, and doubt are warranted. IMO any time you're dealing with MS you should be fearful, uncertain, and doubtful. MS does have a history, you know.

            No, Microsoft does not have a history of breaking their Microsoft Community Promise. They have never created a standard and then sued everybody for using that standard. (No, FAT32 was always a proprietary file system)

            Mono is not going to be killed by Microsoft's patents, just like OpenOffice was not targetted for using Microsoft's file formats (despite being rumoured for years that MS was just about to sue). You are correct that Microsoft do have a history, but it appears to be a history of letting others u

            • So why doesn't Microsoft sue? Because it would be a public relations nightmare - just as it was for SCO. That is the nail in the coffin for this FUD for me. Microsoft are just not stupid enough to put themselves in the position of such a David and Goliath lawsuit by going after the open source community.

              And, really, something like the closest cousin of the Streisand Effect -- by taking an Open Source alternative/competitor seriously enough to sue Microsoft would instantly provide them with more advertising, PR, and usage than they'd probably get in 20 years on their own.

            • Re:Good. (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @01:19AM (#36020672)

              So why doesn't Microsoft sue? Because it would be a public relations nightmare - just as it was for SCO.

              Perhaps you aren't aware that MS funded SCO's lawsuit. [eweek.com] SCO was just a proxy for MS. Nothing to stop MS from "selling" the patents in question to some patent troll and engaging in another proxy lawsuit.

        • by dudpixel (1429789)

          regardless of whether its FUD or not, its been going on too long now to put the fire out.

          And in the open source world, as soon as something is despised or rejected by the community at large, its days are numbered.

          • regardless of whether its FUD or not, its been going on too long now to put the fire out.

            And in the open source world, as soon as something is despised or rejected by the community at large, its days are numbered.

            I don't know about that. The Mono Project has had to wear these accusations since it began and yet it still grows better all the time. Just because a few vocal people are against it does not mean that it will go away. I think that their branching out into the mobile phone arena will keep their profile up and ensure the project doesn't die.

            Let's face it, Windows is despised in the open source community too and yet there is still quite a lot of support for the operating system in open source software. Sure it

      • by hduff (570443)

        It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use.

        The problem is not unique to Mono; any free implementation of C# would raise the same issue. The danger is that Microsoft is probably planning to force all free C# implementations underground some day using software patents. (See http://swpat.org/ [swpat.org] and http://progfree.org./ [progfree.org.] This is a serious danger, and only fools would ignore it until the day it actually happens. We need to take precautions now to protect ourselves from this future danger.

        Miguel says everything is cool so you are wrong and we have nothing to fear. Ever. EVAR !

      • by walshy007 (906710)

        Do you have the same opinion with wine? should we make life harder for those distributing wine so that people cannot try to run windows programs as a compatibility layer so easily?

        Same with mono, many universities teach c# these days in their courses, and if it were not for mono I would have had to actually used windows for once.

        Something of value WILL be lost, the ability to continue using your linux system in the face of being forced to use .net stuff.

      • by tibit (1762298)

        It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use.

        Whoosh. You're utterly confused. C# is no biggie, to put it mildly. It's but one of the languages for which an implementation exists that happens to target the CLR and the .net framework. It's the platform that's the big deal, not a single language.

        It's not dangerous to depend on C#, if anything it may be dangerous to depend on CLR or on the .net framework.

        Free C# implementations do not permit users to run C# programs on free platforms. A free C# implementation is a C#-to-bytecode compiler. To be functional

  • But I think this seals my fate to avoid it and stick with just Java...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rabtech (223758)

      OK so you wish to live without dynamic language support, true generics, query expressions/LINQ, closures, lambda expressions, the new async/await, and a whole host of other features so you can stick with a language that hasn't seen a major new feature in a long time? One that continuously makes the wrong decisions just for backwards compatibility? (type erasure is idiotic, just make people upgrade their JVMs. the "lambda" support coming in 1.7 will suck for the same reason - it isn't true lambda expressions

      • by hsmith (818216)
        Have you used Monodroid or Monotouch? I have been scrounging around for anyone that has (The droid version at least) and been coming up empty. C# is a breeze and I'd prefer to code in it... The attractive part to me was using it to build a common business layer I could leverage with WM7 and save myself some headache.
      • by nmb3000 (741169)

        Basically Java is frozen in stone and will never be updated with anything worthwhile. Apparently anything that requires JVM support is absolutely out of the question.

        When I first read about the type erasure fiasco and now the new lambda mess, this was my exact same thought. The only way they might be able to move the language and framework forward at this point is to have a huge drop-off where compatibility with older JVM is removed cold turkey in favor of improving the language. They'd call it something reasonable like Java 2, or something stupid like Java X, and it would be a fresh new start.

        It doesn't even seem like compatibility would be that bad. Java programs

        • The problem is that Oracle is behind the wheel now, and that just won't happen. As you said, Java is frozen.

          This only means that your hypothetical Java 2.0 won't be called Java.

          I don't know what it'll be called, but I bet it'll come out of Google.

          (and no, Go is not that)

      • Alternatively you could just go back to Common Lisp, and discover that you can now sleep well at night.
    • Indeed, this is the most interesting question now. Screw Mono - while nice in theory it never became popular on desktop Linux, and it's easy to understand why.

      On the other hand, for mobile development, MonoTouch/MonoDroid was shaping up as the only cross-platform mobile development framework with native integration (unlike, say, AIR) and good perf. Now it looks like we're back to square one.

  • Firing the mono developers didn't convince me of this. It's the fact they're basically moving Linux development to all be under a european division and giving them control over all the decisions. It's like they got that odd Linux thing and don't know exactly what to do with it.

    I worked at Attachmate for awhile, and this doesn't really surprise me.

  • by kaoshin (110328)

    I sure hope someone else catches mono.

  • Not many tears (Score:2, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305)

    >"Mono brings .NET to Linux,"

    In a way that lags so far behind current versions and with limitations to make it unsuitable for just about anything useful. I am not shedding that many tears. It was a dangerous road to begin with (patents, not completely open, etc), and it is a shame those resources were not directed to something that would have truly benefited Linux and other Open Source platforms.

    In any case, I am sure development will continue in some way. But without those resources, it will just con

    • Re:Not many tears (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Etrigoth (1119741) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @07:30PM (#36018146)

      Ok, I'm not going to wholesale bite but you really need to bring some Citation to this FUD.

      You see, a simple google search results in this: http://mono-project.com/Compatibility [mono-project.com]

      Which show's that as far as base libraries and feature support, Mono is almost all there with full .Net 4.0.

      Seeing as that's the latest version of .Net and not even the latest version that a lot of businesses are targeting, would suggest that Mono isn't lagging at all.

      • by markdavis (642305)

        I will admit that I based my comments from impressions of what I read over the last few years about things it couldn't do then and things it would never be able to do. There appeared to be a lot more about getting an app to work cross-platform than just the base libraries.

        I can't site a source, and I am not a mono or .NET programmer, so I will shut up and let other people analyze it.

        • Re:Not many tears (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @07:51PM (#36018350)

          As someone that build's cross platform .NET apps using Mono, you should definitely STFU, and you obviously are talking out your ass. .NET compatibility in mono these days is steller. The only things we really lack are features of Visual Studio, not so much mono itself. MonoDevelop however is pretty dang good. In .NET we've been getting some amazing database ORM's that point & click to build your DAL automatically for you. In mono its a little bit more old-fashioned having to invoke command line for auto-generation. WPF obviously is not available, as to be expected when developing cross platform, so you use GTK. Go back to fox news dude.

          • Mod parent up! I've deployed dozens of .NET apps on Linux using Mono, even several OpenGL apps (use the Tao framework). Except for some stupid version differences with Ubuntu (the LTS ships an old version of Mono that didn't support .NET 4.0) it's just been a matter of dragging and dropping a .exe or writing a makefile and building it.
          • by blincoln (592401)

            ".NET compatibility in mono these days is steller."

            I have to agree. The only area I've run into trouble in general is with the XML parser. Apparently the Mono team wrote their own, completely redesigned XML libraries, and so there are areas where it behaves differently than .NET in really weird ways.

            For example, up until about a month ago, if you tried to read UTF-16-encoded XML from a MemoryStream, it would fail, indicating that the first character (the XML byte order marker, I believe) was invalid. I open

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Professional full-time .Net programmer with extensive mono experience.

          Mono's implementation of winforms is shit. But hey, winforms is shit!

          Otherwise, I found mono to be entirely as good as MS' CLR, with the caveat that it lags behind by a short period of time. This becomes less and less important, as new language features are less and less important (generics was huge, linq was useful, type variance is nice...). Additionally, unlike winforms, mono's ASP.NET implementation is actually pretty passable.

    • by samantha (68231) *

      Look, without Mono you can't run serveral projects in the cloud without paying Windows stupidity tax. You can run them on anything but windows if mono falls apart. Like it or not C# is at least as good a language as java and arguably better than c++ for many types of projects. We don't want to lose c# from the non-windows open source world.

      • by markdavis (642305)

        I am not trying to imply that C# is not a good language. I am sorry if my comments sounds as such. It probably is just fine. I have heard/read things that support just what you said. And I would hate to see any project that benefits Open Source platforms suffer. My objections have a lot more to do with the source of C#, patents, past history with that company and what they do, etc. And also what distraction C#/mono could be in siphoning away mindshare or resources from historically more open and more

        • Not sure about that one.. MS has .Net in it's community promise, and I've seen mono bring more windows developers to test/deploy on linus and osx than the other direction.
          • by markdavis (642305)

            It is interesting to read the various feedback from people, such as yourself, that have used Mono productively and for purposes that help instead of hurt platforms other than MS-Windows. Thanks for sharing the info.

      • by terjeber (856226)

        C# of today is in significant areas way ahead of Java. LINQ and parallelism is only two areas. Java might catch up in some areas and will undoubtedly jump ahead in others in Java 7, but Java 7 has proven that the entire Java process is irreversibly broken. The delays and the Oracle ownership are significant problems.

        I build vertical in-house enterprise apps for a living. No environment on the planet currently matches .Net for this. Not even close. Being able to run on Linux servers is something I would miss

        • by radish (98371)

          LINQ is interesting, but I'm not sure what you mean about parallelism being better in C# - can you elaborate?

          The main area that C# (actually all of .NET) lags behind Java is in the core libraries. The collections support is lacking (and only recently became useful in any real way), there's no equivalent that I'm aware of to something like java.util.concurrent (see previous comment about parallelism), etc. The toolset is also lacking - I don't care how many people say VS is awesome, it still needs Resharper

          • I'm not sure what you mean about parallelism being better in C# - can you elaborate?

            I suspect he means Parallel LINQ, which is, of course, not a language-specific feature.

            there's no equivalent that I'm aware of to something like java.util.concurrent (see previous comment about parallelism)

            I'm not saying that it's as rich, but System.Threading.Tasks [microsoft.com] and System.Collections.Concurrent [microsoft.com] namespaces provide similar high-level building blocks in .NET 4.

            By the way, this is about more than just parallelism - asynchrony is also neatly expressed via tasks/futures, and C# 5 will add some nice syntactic sugar [msdn.com] for that.

            As a platform though, .NET has a way to go before it's really mature IMHO.

            It largely depends on the field of application. You have to remember that .NET was originally marketed

            • by radish (98371)

              It largely depends on the field of application. You have to remember that .NET was originally marketed primarily for line-of-business desktop and web apps; in that role, you don't need e.g. a fancy collection framework, but solid database access and a fast UI framework is a must - and so those were prioritized. Consequently, there are areas where .NET is relatively underdeveloped compared to Java, and then there are other areas where it's on par or ahead.

              100% agreed there. What struck me as interesting (aft

              • What struck me as interesting (after years of explaining Swing to WinForms devs) is how much WPF reminds me of Swing, mixed with a little HTML and CSS.

                Do you mean the layouts and model/view separation?

                As far as layouts go, WPF is fairly bland, though I find it easier to reason about what goes where when you write the tree as XML (where it maps one-to-one), as opposed to wiring it all up in code. There are similar third-party solutions for Swing, so far as I know, but I never understood why they didn't do that from the get go - of all the ways XML is misused, UI layout is something that actually is a good application for once.

                As for model/view, I dare say

          • by spells (203251)
            I admit it has been a few years since I developed in Java, but I wouldn't mind reading what your specific concerns are about collections and concurrency in .Net. Here is astarting point for concurrency [microsoft.com] and one for collections [microsoft.com].

            I would also be interested in hearing what you think is missing from the .Net ecosystem.

            • by radish (98371)

              It's not so much concerns (as in things which are wrong) and more that some of the libraries in Java are so powerful. I have a personal soft spot for util.concurrent (which started life as Doug Lea's concurrency package). The executor model effectively gets rid of the need to directly manipulate threads/pools (and are great for DI based apps, e.g. using Spring/Unity), and the concurrent collections (like ConcurrentLinkedQueue) are nice for performance in heavily multithreaded apps. Even the little things -

              • by spells (203251)
                Thanks for responding. The fairness parameter is interesting - I would love to see how it was implemented in java on Windows since all of the kernel objects (mutex, semaphore, etc) are not guaranteed to be processed fairly. I may have to go do some investigating.
            • by radish (98371)

              Realised I forgot the second part of your query. In terms of ecosystem I'm referring to tools (profilers, decompilers, etc), libraries (for example hibernate, spring, jaxp, ANTLR, jbpm etc etc). There are equivalents for many of these in the .NET world now, but in many cases they're non-free and non-open, and also often less mature than their Java counterparts.

              Something I miss as a server-side dev is JMX - if anyone's aware of anything like that for .NET I'd love to hear about it!

    • by spikenerd (642677)
      I don't expect this to happen, but it seems to me that it would be a brilliant move for Microsoft to pick this up and run with it. They wouldn't have to worry about those patent issues (obviously), and it might be a simple way for them to stay relevant in a world where Android eats their lunch. Won't happen--would require them to eat too much pride--but it would have been a good idea.
    • Absolutely correct. .NET was theoretically multiplatform, and enticed Mono developers to make it happen. But there's always just enough Microsoft-sized wrenches in the works to limit the functionality to quick-and-dirty marketing demos.
  • I knew mono was bad news when I found out that Suse/opensuse's automatic update daemon was mono-based (and hence why it hung after running more than a week (or day, I forget which). I had to set up a cron job to make it restart on a regular basis lest it do nothing.
  • As C# is the basis for some very important to me projects this is not in the slightest good news to me.

    • As _________ is the basis for some very important to me projects this is not in the slightest good news to me.

      This is the lesson everybody who hitches their wagons to Microsoft technology eventually learns. VB, FoxPro, mono, etc.

  • sudo apt-get purge cli-common mono-runtime

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      And don't forget

      sudo apt-get install banshee- rhythmbox tomboy- gnote evolution- thunderbird

      or similar.

      • by foxylad (950520)

        Gnote is a GTK version of Tomboy, and pretty much the only reason it exists is for people who don't want Mono on their box. Likewise rhythmbox.

  • by alexmin (938677) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @07:43PM (#36018278)

    By not loading up multi-megabyte runtime to print "Hello world!"

  • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @08:04PM (#36018476) Homepage

    Looking through the Mono application screenshots [mono-project.com], what I believe are the most popular programs impacted by Mono development slowing are Banshee, F-Spot, and Tomboy. Since this trio is easily replaced by Rhythmbox, gThumb, and Gnote, among other options, good riddance to the lot of them. In addition to the standard Stallman concerns [fsf.org], the high concentration of the development team within Novell was always a problem anyway. There are way too many similar applications within open-source operating systems, so culling out some of the weaker ones--from a development risk standpoint--is a net benefit as far as I'm concerned.

  • Now just fire the rest of the idiots that came from Novell and start fresh. Every new Novell product has been a complete disaster thrown together by idiot programmers and idiot managers. Every new version of their existing software is worse than the last version. Please Attachmate, just kill Novell already.
  • by CODiNE (27417) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @10:19PM (#36019594) Homepage

    now hopefully certain distros *cough*ubuntu*cough* will stop requiring mono just so they can put in Tomboy. (Or is it the other way around?)

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