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Ars Technica Tours Mono

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the git-some-edumacation dept.

Programming 465

Kevin Francis writes "Over the coming weeks, Ars Technica will be taking a look at Mono, including a basic introduction to Mono, MonoDevelop, and C#, and then branching out to GTK#, database access, ASP.NET, advanced C# topics, and conclude with a discussion of the future of Mono, and the C# standard. All the examples will work on Windows and Linux, with OSX support coming shortly. Part 1 of the series is online now."

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Will the coders use it though? (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709295)

As you can clearly see, Mono brings almost limitless possibilities in breaking down the barrier between desktops: a commercial software provider would target Mono and it would "just work" on all platforms that Mono supported. How is this different from Java? In my opinion Java makes things harder than it needs to be. For starters, enforced exception handling can't auto-box/unbox primitive types and doesn't support arbitrary length parameter lists String.Format() style.

The framework of Mono provides the ability to make a very tedious task in C/C++ almost trivial in C#. As the above example, RegEx, shows, it helps the programmer concentrate on the program itself, rather than the logic supporting the code.


Yes, it is very exciting to have developers be able to easily write code that will work both on Linux, Windows, and OS X (obviously with the correct libraries) but will the coders utilize Mono when doing their work? Will they be concerned enough that Linux and OS X users are worthwhile supporting to make sure it is cross-platform?

OMG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709310)

ARSE TECHNICA ON THE SPOKE!

NO YUO!!!1` (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709955)

Re:Will the coders use it though? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709337)

MODS: He's trolling/karma whoring. YOU MUST STOP HIM!

Re:Will the coders use it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709467)

I thought it was insightful. What's your problem? If he's bringing content to the table, don't complain. Amazed how many retard moderators out there are listening to your nonsense.

-Aaron

Re:Will the coders use it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709513)

your nuts are MINE!

Re:Will the coders use it though? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709348)

Yes, it is very exciting to have developers be able to easily write code that will work both on Linux, Windows, and OS X (obviously with the correct libraries) but will the coders utilize Mono when doing their work? Will they be concerned enough that Linux and OS X users are worthwhile supporting to make sure it is cross-platform?

Yes, it is very exciting that you used your Slashdot subscription powers to come up with an on-topic first post. But couldn't it be a little more insightful, interesting or informative? Did you really use your 30 minute advantage to come up with two (!) crappy karma whoring questions?

Re:Will the coders use it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709398)

I guess after reading the entire "article" and seeing that it was nothing more than a bunch of Mono code and screenshots of what it did I was unable to come up with something that you could write home about.

Then again, this Ars Technica article shouldn't have been linked on the front page of Slashdot as it isn't really that interesting.

Re:Will the coders use it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709468)

then why bother posting? other than karma whoring of course. if you have nothing interesting to say, dont waste my time with your garbage

Re:Will the coders use it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709493)

I own you and you know it.

Re:Will the coders use it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709521)

at least i know how to karma whore effectively~

Re:Will the coders use it though? (4, Interesting)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709386)

Clearly one of the biggest concerns is the degree of compatability between .NET and Mono & the lack of many of the API's that exist on Windows - which face it will be the primary development environment.

I'm sure someone will point out that MS will extend .NET beyond the standards thus marginalising Mono, but i'm sceptical of whether this will happen - it's in their interests to keep the core platform and language specs consistent, the API's are another matter...

Re:Will the coders use it though? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709470)

it's in their interests to keep the core platform and language specs consistent, the API's are another matter...

ummm... sure. Until it's time to change things again. Remember, .Net is nothing more than the lastest version of DDE. There's DDE, several versions of OLE, ActiveX, COM, DCOM, .Net, and the rest I'm forgetting.

Re:Will the coders use it though? (5, Insightful)

caspper69 (548511) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709889)

I'll bite, even though you're an AC. You must understand that everything evolves in the computer world. We do not simply make new things up. The tools available at our disposal are the result of an evolutionary process that has gone on for 50+ years.

That being said, .NET is most certainly not any of those things you presented. .NET is the new version of Win32, which we all know, as a subsystem to a pretty amazing kernel (nt/2k/xp), really drags the entire system down. You should be excited that Linux is getting in on the ground floor of a fresh, robust, and USEFUL framework so early in the game. Heck, how many Windows apps are written in .NET right now? How many will be in 5-10 years? Exactly. How many years did it take to wean people from Win16? I can tell you that I still have a couple of apps that haven't migrated, and that it took a LOT of other apps more than 3-4 years after Windows 95 was released to make the switch.

The lesson? MS is going to win, because they have the advantage, at least on the desktop. Paradigm shifts (unix->dos->windows->linux) don't happen very often, and you need a lot of geurilla tactics to even have a fighting chance. The best thing I can see is to support .NET on both sides of the coin (hey, you'll soon even be able to throw OSX in there too), and in three or four years, when someone says: "I can't switch from Windows, because app X won't work, or is too slow through Wine," or blah, blah, blah, you'll be able to retort that all of their favorite apps will run natively on Linux or OSX, thus freeing them from any sort of platform dependence.

As an added bonus, .NET is a great tool. C# really does allow some very neat and timesaving features for development. That's the number one reason more people don't develop for Linux/Unix. Some people are too young to remember WHY we left Unix on the big-iron all those years ago, but if we insist on repeating those mistakes, let's at least provide an evironment that can muster some developer support. Not everyone is writing a Word/Excel/Photoshop. Some people like to site down and bang out a few lines of code, and be confident that it'll work as intended, where intended. VB has gone a long way toward keeping the Mom & Pop development shops on Windows. If we can begin to get these folks to consider making cross-platform apps, then half the battle will be over. Now we just need to convince the users of those apps that there are advantages to running them on Linux. Better hurry before Longhorn comes out, too... That may set OSS back 10 years or more, but at least MS has given us an extra three years to innovate in the meantime!

Re:Will the coders use it though? (1)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709393)

Will they be concerned enough that Linux and OS X users are worthwhile supporting to make sure it is cross-platform?

I will. And you?

Re:Will the coders use it though? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709410)

fuck off, geek.

Re:Will the coders use it though? (1)

surreal-maitland (711954) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709412)

obviously, there's no way of knowing, but as the linux and mac userbase grows, it seems likely. as soon as managers hear that it's easy to write code that will work on these other platforms, it'll become a standard aspect of software. it has to not crash, not fuck up, and work just as well on one platform as any other. java is certainly popular (granted, not as popular as c++), and this is apparently easier. so my official answer to your question is yes. :)

Re:Will the coders use it though? (5, Informative)

Random Web Developer (776291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709436)

I am writing an app for mono that is supposed to run on linux mac and windows in the end. From what I see it's nowhere near just starting a .NET app on linux using mono.

The app clearly has to be written with crossplatform execution in mind. (I know this goes for c and java too, but some people seem to think they will run office on mono in the future.).
You need to steer clear of anything that depends on a platform.
- if you define a path, make sure you use path.combine or path.directoryseparatorchar instead of a / of \.
- don't depend on environment variables
- pay attention to casing, don't say "file.ext" when it's "File.ext"

I know it should be ovbious to any cross platform dev out there, but I just thought I'd bust some bubbles with some of the less informed.

Re:Will the coders use it though? (1)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709980)

don't depend on environment variables

Why, because they don't work the same way in both Windows and Linux? Is there some fundamental difference I'm missing...?

Re:Will the coders use it though? (5, Insightful)

Kithraya (34530) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709441)

I certainly am. I am required to use C# in a Windows environment, and since I've discovered mono for my at-home-just-for-fun stuff, I'm able to leverage the experience and education from my day job. I find myself doing far more of this for-fun work in the linux environment now. For me, this has been the greatest boon of having mono, and hopefully other developers forced to work in Windows will also leverage mono to bring even more great software to other platforms.

Re:Will the coders use it though? (1)

Negatyfus (602326) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709898)

Cool! I'm starting a job in October coding C# in an entirely Microsoft-based environment. I'm glad to see someone who uses Linux enjoy C#, because I was kind of worried that I would be wasting all my skill on a pure Windows lock-in. I really don't want to see OSS getting killed off. Your post was somewhat of a reassurance. Thanks.

Re:Will the coders use it though? (2, Interesting)

iseff (797269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709660)

I'm currently building a nice web server, much like Tomcat for .NET in C# (yes, I realize a lot of it could be done currently using ASP.NET and/or Apache with mod_mono or XSP -- but this server has some features I really like; plus it's a good exercise). I hope to build some web app's for the server after it's complete (I'd say its just about ready to enter alpha stage), but so far developing between VS.NET during the day in my office and MonoDevelop at home at night on FC2 is a really fun process. They both have their quirks, their plusses, and their minuses -- but really if you're just careful how you program there's no worrying about whether or not it will work cross-platform -- it will. Of course, this isn't including Winforms or GTK#.

Re:Will the coders use it though? (1)

nusratt (751548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709671)

I think the poster has a valid point. A lot of people are basically lazy, inertia-bound, inclined to take the path of least resistance.

The benefit will be minimized if Mono is used only by the already-converted ("preaching to the choir"). It's greatest potential is as another step toward shattering the MS shackles -- and for that to happen, developers need to have the interest and the vision, and to have the necessary latitude provided by their PHBs.

[As for the flurry of "whore!" "troll!" name-calling posts attacking "garcia (6573)": pathetic. Go outside in the fresh air and get some exercise, even if it's only by torturing some ants.]

Right here... (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709764)

Yep, linux coder here and moving to mono for new development.
So far, it is pretty damn cool and I am very happy with it. It is exciting starting fresh in a new language. I recommend it.

Re:Will the coders use it though? (5, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 10 years ago | (#9710022)

How is this different from Java? In my opinion Java makes things harder than it needs to be. For starters, enforced exception handling can't auto-box/unbox primitive types and doesn't support arbitrary length parameter lists String.Format() style.

Right. Of course that's all about to change - from the Java 1.5 ("5") new features site [sun.com] :
Autoboxing/Unboxing

This facility eliminates the drudgery of manual conversion between primitive types (such as int) and wrapper types (such as Integer). Refer to JSR 201.
Varargs

This facility eliminates the need for manually boxing up argument lists into an array when invoking methods that accept variable-length argument lists. Refer to JSR 201.
You still need to deal with exceptions - that's a bad thing?

NO FOR YOU! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709303)

No first post for garcia (6573) this time. Troll!@@! YOU suxorz!!?!?

Re:NO FOR YOU! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709334)

You're pwn3d, AC. Not only is he a first poster, he actually has something intelligent to say. Try thinking of something intelligent, then posting. Then you'll be cool. Really cool.

Re:NO FOR YOU! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709381)

he actually has something intelligent to say.

BWAHAAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA! ROR!

Re:NO FOR YOU! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709335)

Sorry, that's 7 in a row for today. I own the trolling fp'ers.

Bill

Re:NO FOR YOU! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709371)

i blame my boss for my failure! ARGHH!

Re:NO FOR YOU! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709555)

Using the mysterious future to get fp is generally considered cheating :).

'free' interview primer for va lairIE et robbIE? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709359)

lookout bullow

Wechsler Harwood LLP Announces Class Action Against Red Hat, Inc. and Certain of Its Officers with Securities Fraud -- RHAT
Thursday July 15, 12:10 pm ET

NEW YORK, July 15, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Wechsler Harwood LLP announces that it has been retained to file a federal securities fraud class action against Red Hat, Inc. (``Red Hat'' or the ``Company'') (NasdaqNM:RHAT - News), Matthew J. Szulik, Kevin B. Thompson, Timothy J. Buckley, Paul J. Cormier, and Mark H. Webbink on behalf of purchasers of RHAT securities, during the period between March 19, 2002 and July 12, 2004 (the ``Class Period'').

If you have questions about this case or wish to inquire about your rights in connection with this matter, you may contact us through our website, at http://www.whesq.com. Any member of the class who desires to be appointed lead plaintiff in the class action must file a motion with the Court no later than September 13, 2004 on their own or through counsel of their own choice. Class members must meet certain legal requirements to serve as a lead plaintiff. Please feel free to contact Virgilio Soler at Wechsler Harwood LLP, who will, without obligation or cost, attempt to answer questions concerning your rights with respect to this matter. You may also choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.

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The complaint will charge defendants with issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5. Among other things, the complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, Defendants: (i) engaged in a scheme to defraud Red Hat's investing public by prematurely recognizing revenue from subscriptions in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (``GAAP''); (ii) misrepresented its net income and financial results; (iii) misrepresented that its financial statements were prepared in accordance with GAAP; and (iv) reported enormous profits by selling over $77 million worth of personally held stock at artificially inflated prices as a result of Defendants' fraud on the market.

On July 13, 2004, Defendants revealed that they would be restating financial results for fiscal years 2002, 2003, 2004 and the first quarter of 2004 as a result of the change in the way they recognized revenue from subscriptions, noting that they would now be recognizing revenue from subscriptions on a daily basis rather than on a monthly basis. The restatement, Defendants have admitted, ``is expected to result in significant percentage differences in certain items such as quarterly operating profit and net income.'' As at least one analyst has said, this situation ``raises questions about the company's financial controls and infrastructure.''

The Company also announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission (the ``SEC'') had made an inquiry into the Company's results for one year, though the basis for the inquiry has not yet been fully disclosed. Notably, on June 14, 2004, Red Hat announced unexpectedly that its Chief Financial Officer (``CFO'') was planning to resign ``to pursue other interests.'' The Company claims that its restatement is unrelated to its CFO's resignation.

The market reacted negatively to the impending restatement and the SEC inquiry, which news alone resulted in a loss of market capitalization for Red Hat of over $600 million. The stock closed at $15.73 per share, which was $4.62 or 22.7% down from the previous day's close at $20.35. Over 55 million shares traded hands on yesterday's news.

Wechsler Harwood, which has extensive experience in prosecuting investor class actions involving financial fraud, has prosecuted securities, antitrust and consumer class actions for over 10 years. For more information about Wechsler Harwood LLP, please visit its website.

If you wish to discuss this action with us, or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights and interests with regard to the case, please contact the following:

Wechsler Harwood LLP
488 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, New York 10022
Toll Free Telephone: (877) 935-7400

Virgilio Soler, Jr.,
Wechsler Harwood
Shareholder Relations Department: vsoler@whesq.com

don't cry for US miguel (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709542)

mono is more of an annoyance than any real system ailmeNT?

tell 'em robbIE?

Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709394)

When I first read this (slightly stoned) I thought the article headline was reading "Tours Mono" as in the disease...

I was slightly confused, as I thought that required kissing girls / sharing Mountain Dews, and that seems slightly out of place here...

Libraries (1, Interesting)

vontrotsky (667853) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709413)

Even though C# is a standardized language the .Net framework is not. I'm not sure we can be confident that Microsoft can't legally stop open source implementations of the the framework. Does anyone know what protection mono (and .gnu) have against legal threats?

Jeff

Re:Libraries (5, Informative)

ajp (192328) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709474)

Uninformed slashdotters with tin foil hats should click this link.
ECMA-335 Common Language Infrastructure [ecma-international.org] (of which .NET, Rotor and Mono are implementations.)

Re:Libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709534)

not standardized?

http://msdn.microsoft.com/net/ecma/

Re:Libraries (1)

yamla (136560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709780)

Yes, exactly. C# is standardised. The .NET framework is not. You simply provided additional support for this position.

Microsoft and Lawsuits (1)

Azeron (797264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709554)

To the best of my knowledge, Microsoft has never sued anyone for violating a patent, although they have been the target of such suits. Copyrights Yes, Patents no. I don't think that they feel thats its in their best interests to deterring developers from working on microsoft technologies.

Re:Libraries (1)

toccoa (206164) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709584)

To me, this is clearly the biggest worry (certainty?)

Microsoft has not bee bashful about being very competitive using lawyers, non-public APIs and changing APIs.

It seems quite problematic to spend the effort in the hopes that it will not be an issue here.

Libraries-DRM Keys. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709856)

One also has to ask how will DRM fit into the programming picture? With a looser definition of "content". Remember most of the commercial programming community still isn't comfortable with the free-wheeling "programming must be free" mantra of OSS, and still wish to retain control.

Re:Libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709609)

Hey dipship, the Common Language Infrastructure standard covers the base libraries too.

Re:Libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709683)

Right after Mono came out with 1.0, MS released a 2.0 Beta. In short, they can keep moving the goalposts and Mono will always be seen as "behind" or "not quite there yet" as a compatibility solution (even if it is a good platform in it's own right).

OTOH, the existance of Mono gives Microsoft Salesmen a ton of credibility against Java as a "standard" and "cross-platform". The core developer group (VB/ASP) mostly does not care.

Besides, most of this MS Patent stuff is purely vicious FUD spread by the Java/C++ squad. Open Sores types save the worst for their own.

Re:Libraries (1)

melvin22 (523080) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709801)

Even if MS can stop them from using the .NET framework, I'm pretty sure I've seen (on some mailing list somehwere, or on a blog...don't really remember) Miguel talking about the fact one could develop applications using C# and GTK#, and make it run on Windows and Linux. So, one would be developing trully cross platform application without necessarily using the .NET framework.

People sometimes forget that Mono isn't just an implementation of the .NET frameworks, but it inludes much more.

looks promissing but what is it really against? (4, Informative)

urbieta (212354) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709419)

Time for coders to take a closer look!

What are the methods currently used by GIMP, OpenOffice, Mozilla among others that already support multiple OS's?

Maybe Ill start learning coding with this and kill more birds with the same shot :)

Re:looks promissing but what is it really against? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709533)

or make like a tree and get out of here

Re:looks promissing but what is it really against? (4, Interesting)

Graelin (309958) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709550)

What are the methods currently used by GIMP, OpenOffice, Mozilla among others that already support multiple OS's?

Those projects are all written in C++. They all use libraries that are cross-platform but they're littered with #ifdef WINDOWS ... do_win32_specifics(); #endif.

The theory is that with .NET you won't need ANY platform specfic code. If that turns out true, I will be completely amazed.

Maybe Ill start learning coding with this and kill more birds with the same shot :)

That's a really good idea. Mono and DotGNU make .NET really cross platform (which is neat) but a lot of companies will switch to .NET platforms. I know some pretty big ones that already have and are loving it.

What I *really* want to see is mod_mono with class wrappers for the identical IIS hooks. Imagine being able to develop web apps on your WinXP laptop on the road and push up to your Linux server farm without any worries. I'm crushing already.

Re:looks promissing but what is it really against? (1)

kyknos.org (643709) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709594)

AFAIK Gimp is written in C, not C++

Re:looks promissing but what is it really against? (4, Informative)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709803)

I don't know about OpenOffice and Mozilla but your claims are definitely not true for Gimp.

First of all, Gimp is not C++, it's written in C. And Gimp contains very little to no platform-specific code. Gimp uses Gtk and Glib as portability layers. The Gimp maintainer strives to have as little platform-specific code as possible. He even wants to eventually get rid of all of the remaining little #ifdefs.

Gtk and Glib are also not littered with #ifdefs. Gtk uses Gdk as portability layer. Gdk has several implementations: X, Win32 GDI, DirectFB, etc. An implementation is automatically chosen by the configure script (or something like that, not really sure about this one), but there are very little #ifdefs.
I don't know about Glib.

"The theory is that with .NET you won't need ANY platform specfic code. If that turns out true, I will be completely amazed."

My theory is that it will end up with something like Java or all the other portability frameworks for C/C++. The simple things are portable but when you want to do some more complex things, you suddenly face the limitations. And you also have limited ways to really integrate with the platform's desktop.

Re:looks promissing but what is it really against? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709956)

Just as a thought, maybe Gtk/Gdk/Glib could use some more #ifdefs. Because right now, it's pretty 3rd rate on Win32.

RAD tools (5, Insightful)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709421)

What mono needs is a good RAD tool for developing GTK# based apps. I know you can reference GTK# libraries in VS.NET but there's no support for cross platform forms design.

The syntax for building Winforms is completely different to GTK# (as one might expect) but the documentation I've found doesn't really map types and methods for developers familiar with existing RAD tools such as MonoDevelop and the excellent SharpDevelop.

Tool designer support for GTK# is crucial.

Re:RAD tools (1)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709491)

I would imagine it's on the roadmap for MonoDevelop.

Side question, how far along in terms of usability, functionality is MonoDevelop compared to SharpDevelop? It's one of the Apps I used a fair amount on Windows and was fairly decent, not as good as VStudio but decent, and a code editor / ide is something I miss on Linux.

Re:RAD tools (2, Informative)

Random Web Developer (776291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709571)

It does pretty much everything except for the gui designer (and a debugger or help system if it's not built correctly).

Re:RAD tools (1)

Random Web Developer (776291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709522)

I know it's not an integrated forms designer, but using Glade and monodevelop works fine.

Check this out for an intro:
http://primates.ximian.com/~edasque/projec ts/Tutor ial/glade2.html
http://www.tomvergote.be/b2/archi ves/2004/05/01/gl ade-part-2-my-own-experiments/

Re:RAD tools (4, Informative)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709545)

Glade [gnome.org] is language independant. As long as there is libglade for mono it should work very well.

Re:RAD tools (2, Interesting)

dominator (61418) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709977)

Yeah, just to re-iterate, Glade works great on Windows.

http://gladewin32.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

GTK# ships with Glade# [hispalinux.es] , so yes, there is a libglade for Mono.

Re:RAD tools (2, Informative)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9710019)

It is important to remember, though, that if you use GLADE you should have it set to Gtk+/Gtk/Gtk#. If you have it set to GLADE, I don't believe it will work in Windows (yet) due to lack of library support.

Bull (3, Insightful)

tgrigsby (164308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709437)


As you can clearly see, Mono brings almost limitless possibilities in breaking down the barrier between desktops: a commercial software provider would target Mono and it would "just work" on all platforms that Mono supported. How is this different from Java? In my opinion Java makes things harder than it needs to be. For starters, enforced exception handling can't auto-box/unbox primitive types and doesn't support arbitrary length parameter lists String.Format() style.


I find this kind of claptrap irritating. Java is one of the easiest platforms to jump into. If you found it harder than it needed to be, you needed more coffee.

Re:Bull (0)

Woodie (8139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709667)

I disagree. While Java makes some hard things much easier, it doesn't make things which should be simple, simple.

The autobox/unbox and arbitrary parameter lists are just two examples. It's not so much that these things are hard - they're just verbose, and they distract you from solving your real problem with having to deal with dozens of little work-arounds. In short a lot of the early Java language choices result in a less than elegant, less than expressive chunk of source code to do simple things.

This coupled with the ever increasing download size of the SDK leads me to believe it's not just "claptrap" when people complain about Java. Once you open the J2EE and EJB can-o-worms well you can virtually kiss simplicity goodbye. Hence a recent spate of books on simpler Java.

Re:Bull (5, Informative)

cbiffle (211614) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709787)

And, of course, there's the fact that his latter two complaints are kind of sort of fixed in 1.5.

So... :-)

Personally, I think the C# folks make too much of a big deal about the mandatory exception handling in Java. Heard a fellow from Microsoft say "Frequently, Java folks just put an empty catch() block to catch the exception they know won't happen, so why make it mandatory?"

I've got bad news for you. I find situations like that about once a week when auditing my programmers' code, and it's almost always a situation that -can- happen, but the programmer couldn't see it.

Don't trust the programmer. I know, I am one. :-)

Mono and geeks (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709538)

Ars Technica will be taking a look at Mono...

...because most geeks no nothing about it :P

Fills a needed gap (4, Insightful)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709541)

Novell is banking on making Windows->Linux migrations simple as a selling point for their tools. Providing a viable supported .net platform is a key. Do I think that this will become the de facto Linux dev kit? No. Too many users love their kit of choice (perl,pythong,java,etc) and in any case the open source community abhors being told how to develop. Nonetheless having one more option is a benefit. The only downside is potential bloat of distro CDs, but hey we crossed this line a long time ago and its what you have to do if you want to support N dev toolkits.

Re:Fills a needed gap (3, Insightful)

metallikop (649953) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709643)

I dont think the goal of mono is to replace all the other dev kits. Wouldn't it make more sense to write your Windows application in C# and just compile it for Mono while you're at it? Seems to me that this is a very easy way for developers to make their application cross-compatable without any extra work.

So no, this WON'T replace X, it will make it a better decision to use C# in the future. A plus to both Windows application devs, and Linux users alike.

Kill MONO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709565)

Please KILL Mono - that would be the first good thing that comes from Microsoft if they start sueing that messican fag.

blech! (2, Insightful)

shralpmeister (708291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709585)

What was the reasoning behind making the first letter of the method names upper case?

...and .exe on my executables?

When is Miguel going to port the windows registry?

I'm sorry but the thought of microsoft's mangled conventions polluting the linux/unix world is making me ill. :-(

Re:blech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709655)

"making me ill. :-("


You are already a sick-minded slashdotter, why do you get ill over getting a better system anyway?

Re:blech! (1)

metallikop (649953) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709682)

It's called cross platform compatability. It makes perfect sense.

Re:blech! (3, Informative)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709708)

Since when does imposing Windows conventions everywhere by force equal "cross platform compatability?"

We have Open Standards and Open Source for that sort of thing already.

We also have Java for the write-once-run-anywhere thing. I fail to believe that .NET/Mono/.GNU will be better or solve any new problems that have not already been solved.

There's even an official Windows port ofn Java, so I'm told...

Re:blech! (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709802)

If you don't like it don't fscking use it.

blech!-Follow the leader. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709953)

"If you don't like it don't fscking use it."

Please keep the above in mind, next time you read an article about Microsoft's Marketshare, and how Linux will not take off unless it imitates MS, or you can't get a Laptop without Windows.

Re:blech!-Follow the leader. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709960)

Linux is taking off and you can buy laptops that come with Linux.

Re:blech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709807)

Its not a windows convention, camelCase and PascalCase along with hungarian notation are all independant.

Hungarian is used for "unmanaged" langauges mostly and the other for managed and better IDEs that use metadata to give a better informaton UI for datatypes. Hungarian notation is there for developers that use notepad.exe or vi or emacs with no UI cues (intellisense etc) for types.

Uninformed zealot. Whats the matter? DO you feel threatened beceuase youre 1337 status for having unreadable code using hungarian notation threatens youre job safety? Dont feel so big now? Tard.

Re:blech! (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709843)

I was referring to putting ".exe" on the end of the names of executable files. Some of us have metadata in our filesystems for that sort of thing...

Uninformed zealot. Whats the matter? DO you feel threatened beceuase youre 1337 status for having unreadable code using hungarian notation threatens youre job safety?

If only I were allowed to write code. The nearest I get is the odd bash script and a Makefile once in a while :-(

Re:blech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709988)

> Some of us have metadata in our filesystems for that sort of thing...

And those people aren't Unix users. Are you using the BeOS version of Mono or something?

Re:blech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709890)

When is Miguel going to port the windows registry?

That's in Gnome, isn't it?

Re:blech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709925)

It's a case of what you're used to, I suppose.

I personally prefer ThisNamingConvention to theOtherNamingConvention, but I'm pretty sure that it's just because I've been exposed to more code which uses the former.

Of course, I can justify my prejudice: It's more consistant -- if some words are going to be capitalized, then they should ALL be capitalized.

But I can just as easily justify the other one: The capital letter indicates a word-break -- it's a space-less space -- we don't need a space-less space before the first letter (because we've already got a REAL space before it), so it's only logical that the first letter should be lower case.

Great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709605)

Excellent! Java clone for VB programmers on Linux is finally here!

HERE HERE!

I think someone needs to create a C clone called "Q." Make it almost exactly the same, with a little less support, and it would be perfect.

Also, we need to make sure some reputable company patents the technology to ensure it says an open alternative to C (you know, SCO, Infinium labs, etc)!

Linux is catching up (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709608)

It is nice to see Linux catching up with Windows, but too bad it can only do this through continous imitation. When will we see some real innovation from free software? So far it successfully and in some cases illegally copied Unix, Windows, etc... but when will we see free software producing something that others will copy?

Re:Linux is catching up (2, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709760)

I actually agree with this. Linux has some great stuff in it, and a lot of it Windows actually got from older Unixs, but as far as breakthrough ideas, it's been pretty stagnant lately (don't start with Mozilla's tabs, i'm talking real innovation here).

I'd start with a better filesystem first... My ext3 says it's messed up every time I start, but it still boots fine, and if I run fsck it chokes and dies on it. Don't ask me, it's just a Mandrake 9.2 default install. Something like the bfs with unlimited metadata capabilities that's easily searchable would be nice. A FS where you can group objects in a folder by the different metadata, and it will not just sort it, but actually group it within the folder. Now *that* would be nice.

How about an AI instruction taker that you can tell it "Delete all files older than 2 weeks" and it will do it, or "group files by type and sort the groups by when they were created" and it would do it.

How about on install, it checks out the network and checks to see if there are any computers sharing stuff and if so it lets you know and puts the links to the shared resources somewhere easily accessible?

How about themes that you just have to double click on? I can't get that stupid Plastik theme to work, even though it compiled fine...

Sun's "looking glass" project is freakin cool. Now that is some innovation.

Just a couple ideas... No I can't do these things myself, not that great a coder yet.

Re:Linux is catching up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709874)

How about an AI instruction taker that you can tell it "Delete all files older than 2 weeks" and it will do it, or "group files by type and sort the groups by when they were created" and it would do it.


How about
find ./ -mtime +14 -exec rm -f {}\;
?

Re:Linux is catching up (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709920)

Oh ya, that's just as simple!
:)

Re:Linux is catching up (1)

atezun (755568) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709881)

Don't EVER underestimate the innovation of mozilla tabs.

mod UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709675)

and arms aKnd dick

Why should "cross platform" always mean Java/.NET? (5, Interesting)

PommeFritz (70221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709697)

What I don't understand is that when people are talking about "cross platform" programming, it almost always is about Java or .NET/Mono. What is it that those 2 seem to be mutually connected to "cross platform"?

I mean, take Python! (my favorite high level cross-platform programming languate)
  • Python has been around longer than Java (it's from 1991)
  • Python has been ported to a lot more platforms than Java (and certainly .NET!)
  • Python has various powerful language features that Java, C# can only dream of (metaclasses, generators, list comprehensions)
  • Pure python programs will run everywhere a suitable Python is available
What's so special about Java or .NET that makes them the talk of the day, while other much more interesting languages seem to be ignored in this matter?

Re:Why should "cross platform" always mean Java/.N (4, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709732)

The only thing that Mono/.NET has going for it, as far as I can see, is that it is designed to be targetted from multiple languages. Python and Java are both languages and run-time thingies.

It will be a sad say indeed when developers are tied to a specific language for a specific platform just because that is what someone has mandated from on high.

I look forward to the legal and security issues with .NET, Mono and .GNU. We live in interesting times.

The Other Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709842)

The other thing it has going for it is Buzzword value and the fact that it replaces the mess which is Win32

The ONLY thing? (0)

bani (467531) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709989)

Maybe this [ecma-international.org] has an impact?

Also, Sun continues to strangle the life out of Java with its grip of death on all aspects of the language + vm. Sun is holding Java back.

Look at how C# + Mono has exploded in popularity in comparison to Java in the same timeframe.

It will be a sad say indeed when developers are tied to a specific language for a specific platform just because that is what someone has mandated from on high.

Er, PHB's have always done this since the dawn of computing. Before Java and before C#. Hell, they did this before microsoft even existed. Nothing has changed.

Re:Why should "cross platform" always mean Java/.N (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709752)

I agree. And not only Python (which I've personally used for cross-platform stuff) but also Perl and PHP, among many others.

It's perfectly possible to run many PHP-based products (like Textpattern) on Windows/IIS with some work. The key is almost always MySQL, and that runs fine on Windows as well. In fact it kicks the bejeesus out of MSDE for some scenarios.

Re:Why should "cross platform" always mean Java/.N (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709755)

The only Python program on my machine is BitTorrent, and frankly it looks and runs like a piece of crap.

When you manage to out-fugly Java, that's quite a feat.

Re:Why should "cross platform" always mean Java/.N (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709941)

Frankly - because Python IDEs suck.

Re:Why should "cross platform" always mean Java/.N (1)

zaf (5944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709966)

For one, .NET has the Microsoft marketing machine behind it, allowing Mono to piggy-back off of that. Technical merits aside, this gets .NET/Mono more developers, which helps.

Just a bit biased.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709749)

The Mono project was conceived in the Summer of 2001 as an Open Source alternative to Microsoft's .NET development platform. Since then, it has come all the way to a 1.0 release among a flurry of controversy from mostly inside the Open Source community itself. Although we will not outline the reasons here, most of the criticism stems from the fact that .NET is Microsoft, and "we" don't like them.

What a stupid simplification!! There are legitimate concerns over how MS exerts it monopoly power, and many of the resultant concerns with Mono and its support of MS' .Net are not satisfactorily answered. What about MS total control of the standard? What good will the standard be if the company that owns 95% of the desktop starts shipping a .Net that deviates from the standard? What about the parts of .Net that are not covered by the the standard, and in fact have intellectual property encomberances?

Mono's main pull for developers is that it is cross-platform and makes writing applications very fast because of its extensive framework. Mono also has the concept of garbage collection. Gone are the days of using malloc() and free() and recording where you allocated memory and making sure you free() it. Java has GC as well, but Java never really caught on as an application language.

Another biased statement; has C# caught on as an application language? Why not point out that C# is pretty close to a clone of the Java language, and that .Net is essentially the Java runtime environment, with MS additions. Why is .Net any better than Java for application development. Is its speed any better? Is Mono's speed any better than Java's?

I don't mind a review of Mono. I was interested in reading it, and would like to know more about it. But, when the author so casually dismisses the concerns with MS and Mono, or dismisses the legitimacy of Java, I question his objectivity.

Please!! stop the insanity!!!! (1, Insightful)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709754)

This is gobily-gook! How can the Ars Technica crew POSSIBLY provide me with insight (and a possible cure, please?) to mono! These guys have been a member of the biggest sausage party since 2000! (Besides the Bush/Cheney whitehouse). I don't trust a group of hackers to my mono research, no-sir-ee

Indemnify, Indemnify, Indemnify! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709864)

I think indemnification would put an end to all of the legal issues surrounding Mono. If Ximian/Novell would put their money where their mouth is and put their own neck on the line, that would show how confident they really are.

And how is this better than wxWidgets/wxPython? (5, Insightful)

kollivier (449524) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709880)

I've already been doing this sort of cross-platform programming for years with wxWidgets/wxPython. I'm not waiting on Mac support - I'm already using it (and improving it!). What amazes me is that the authors act like Mono is breaking new ground by having a portable programming language that can do GUIs but is easier than Java. Hello? Apparently no one ever told them about Python/wxPython?

And not only can I use it today, I get better results than I would with GTK# or Java in terms of cross-platform interfaces. If you've ever seen the GIMP on Windows, you'd know that GTK apps don't quite look like professional Windows apps. Emulated interfaces will always look out of place, particularly as themes get more common.

I'd encourage anyone who is interested in cross-platform programming to download Python and wxPython, then run the wxPython demo on Windows, Linux or Mac OS X, and then explain to me exactly how it is that Mono is breaking new ground. (Note also that the wxPython 2.5.2 release on Mac will sport a number of nice improvements and is due out soon.)

The only new and unique thing that I see about Mono is that it uses and is compatible with APIs designed by Microsoft. As a compatibility layer, that has some value, but they will always be two steps behind Microsoft and MS will always ensure that the best .NET experience comes from using Windows. And as the Ars Technica article shows, it's going to be a while before anyone can really write sophisticated cross-platform GUI apps using this toolkit. (And will it be GTK# on Mac? Does that mean X11 is needed there? Ugh.)

Anyways, time to go back to making my native, cross-platform apps. ;-)

Re:And how is this better than wxWidgets/wxPython? (2, Informative)

De (39631) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709990)

You're of course welcome to use wxNet (wx's C# bindings) instead of GTK#. Mono doesn't force you to use a toolkit, they just make it easy to use GTK#.

C# compiled to native i386? (1)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709926)

Is there any c# compiler that compiles down to regular i386 code, like gjc is capable of? The language looks very interesting, but I'm not interested in yet another virtual machine.

A strange place to follow Microsoft (4, Interesting)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 10 years ago | (#9709931)

First off, realize that I'm not anti-Linux. I've used Linux both professionally and at home. UNIX, too. And I also know C++ and C#, among other languages.

What has always struck me about .net, C#, and okay Java too, is that they're essentially playing catch-up to what's already out there. People who've only used C++, and the people who can't shake the "everything has to be optimized down to the last microsecond" mindset, tend to really like C# and .net. After all, now they finally have real modules, a clean string syntax, hidden memory management, and so on. Just that the article makes a big deal about the power of this line:

bool matches = Regex.IsMatch( input, regex );

is telling. After all, you could do this--with a cleaner syntax, mind you--in Perl fifteen years ago. Don't like Perl? Well, Python then. Or even old clunky TCL. And so to me, the furor over .net and C# appear to be coming from people who spent the nineties thinking that C++ was the pinnacle of software development. If you look at Perl and Python, though, they still have lots of wins, like no noticible compile times, no need to jam everything into an object framework, less bulky syntax, a lot less fussing about types, and generally more malleable ways of programming. From that point of view, C# doesn't offer much, unless again you stay up late worrying about shaving cycles out of your button handler callbacks.

Perl and Python have always been better supported under Linux than Windows, and I'd even call them the Linux way of approaching software development. Leverage the best tools available so you can achieve more in less time. Microsoft has been playing catch-up here, and .net and C# are what they came up with, a solution that's still far behind what was already available. A solution that feels like something that would have been stunning in 1990 or 1992, but now is mired in an earlier generation of software development. The weird part is that dragging this over to Linux, making it an across the board cross-platform solution, is looked at as a good thing. The effort would be better spent elsewhere, like coming up with a lighter weight GUI toolkit for Python that breaks from Tk and behemoths like WxWindows.

Will work for now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9709943)

Not after Microsoft pulls a couple of patent infringement lawsuits and make the Mono developers look like fools.
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