< March 2007 >
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Wed, 28 Mar 2007:

Really, I need a word for this concept. ESR might have gotten his just desserts with such efforts as Everybody loves Eric Raymond, but I still need a word to describe ex-programmers who have looped into their own brain-stem for feedback.

The urge to find a suitable word (in the spirit of The Meaning of Liff) came from reading Miguel De Icaza talking about Mono. I've been watching that project from its very beginnings and I've not been impressed by the way Miguel deals with anyone who doesn't toe the party line. Slashdot comments put it a bit more bluntly than I'll care to be.

A Sharp# Divide: I was quite saddened when I read jdub's blog post today about the gtk# ribbon SoC submission. Building new composite controls in C# basically makes the widget useless for other languages as it cannot be wrapped easily into C, python, java or $insert_language. But it does make sense for Miguel to suggest it as because it makes people want to use Gtk# over something like java-gnome or php-gtk (*cough*).

Wrapper Hell: Now, if you look back at the history of mono, you'll see that avoiding the multitude of hand-coded wrappers was the so called rationale behind mono in the first place. Read his 2001 interview and the part about "Making Programming Interfaces Language-Independent". Now pull yourself back to today and look at Jdub's blog post. I can see why Miguel is losing traction with the rest of the community, albeit after 5 years or so of work on Mono.

A GPL'd Java: With the emergence of Java as a proper f/oss VM subsystem, I don't think there is any need to introduce an unacceptable risk in the form of mono. When you combine a decent fork-mode java VM implementation (i.e start VM, JIT compile classpath, listen on domain socket, fork for each application to reduce memory footprint with multiple VMs), with a bunch of decent wrappers for C-based GTK widgets - you can create a non-sucky Java user experience. I don't see the point in pulling along mono in a world with Java, python and whatnot to develop gnome applications (read last three words again till the point is taken).

Honestly, I do have a huge axe to grind about Mono in general (because of my brushes with lupus and miguel while working on dotgnu) - but the project is doing some decent work in re-implementing .NET system libraries, which is in fact a good thing. My only beef is with pushing mono into gnome and peddling it as a target platform for F/OSS applications ( tomboy, f-spot, muine etc...).

So, like I said ... I need a new word.

You'd better smile when they watch you, smile like you're in control.
                -- Smile, "Was (Not Was)"

posted at: 12:12 | path: /rants | permalink | Tags: ,