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Ximian

Miguel de Icaza Interview on MSDN 162

Posted by chrisd
from the what's-a-nice-coder-like-you-doing-in-a-place-like-this dept.
twigman writes "MSDN has an interview with Ximian CTO Miguel de Icaza about Mono and past Ximian projects. It's a surprisingly objective discussion, definitely worth a read." Of course we're not surprised Miguel is objective...
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Miguel de Icaza Interview on MSDN

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  • Dammmm ... what is this world coming to ...

    next Windows .NET release is announced on redhat.com

    Lol
  • Miguel: And on top of things, I always loved various things about Java. I just did not love the Java combo that you were supposed to give or take.

    Java combo? Now I understand why he didn't choose to use Java as a plataform... He wanted to give AND take.

    Ricardo

    • Re:Give or take? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The java combo refers to Sun's inability to seperate their API, their virtual ISA, and their language.

      Each is a seperate entity, but they'd like you to believe that its all one unit. Of course, being a Java programmers, you did believe that. Good boy. Don't think for yourself; we here at Sun Marketing (tm) know far better what you should think.
    • Being a Java programmer for years, I can admit to their being a simple problem with Java: Sun. If Sun would give the API up to a standards board I would be happy. But they hang on to it which raises the fear of what they may plan in the future. Image having to pay per virtual machine. Dont think it can happen? Hopefully challenges from languages like Python and TCL will force them into giving it up. Until then, Miguel is correct.
  • by Chloe Dubois (541434) <chloedubois@@@voila...fr> on Thursday December 13, 2001 @02:54AM (#2697961) Homepage Journal
    I, as a Linux user, am quite glad that the GNOME project continues to prosper as it is doing despite the constant turmoiling between them in KDE. While many people cast off GNOME the project since KDE appears more matur and featureful, this is mainly because GNOME is trying for more interesting features that in the long run will be best for Linux in the desktop.

    This Bonobo architecture is exactly the extension of the classic Unix philosophie of small components that is long needed. My fiancé Yves, who works often programming for Windows, often complains of the oldness of the pipe and socket IPC systems in Unix, which while powerful, are dreadfully simple. When I try to convince him to look at Linux this is his grandest complaint. Unlike Microsoft's COM and GNOME's CORBA-based Bonobo systèmes, there is no handling of the interface, inheritance or other high-level object oriented structures necessary for advanced high-level programming.

    KDE's DCOP and KParts are rather incomplete imitations of CORBA. While I can understand the need to avoid the overheading of CORBA, with modern ORBs like GNOME's ORBit this is negligible, and on modern 2GHz machines who cares about the tiny loss in performance? CORBA has far more of the flexibilitie, allowing for not only better network independence and component structure, but also very important Language independence! This makes Mono very easy to integrate for GNOME since it can already be programmed for any language in common usage. KDE's equivalents are no comparison.

    I am really happy to see that Miguel and his GNOME project are getting such publicity even from the "evil" Microsoft. GNOME is really Linux's best bet for the desktop in the immediate future.

    (You must forgive my english, it is not my best language ^_^)

    • Are you sure you haven't cut and pasted this from a discussion before KDE 2 came out?

      CORBA is a nice idea, but grossly over designed. DCOP + KParts work exceptionally well, as evidenced by the ease with which they have been extending and developing Konqueror this last year. The KDE team are open to using CORBA, but only once GNOME have shown that it is an actual viable solution.

      Multi-language support is already good in KDE 2, and will be better in KDE 3.

      GNOME may be the best desktop alternative in the long term, but it certainly isn't in the short term, and I have my doubts about the medium term as well.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      the pipe and socket IPC systems in Unix, which while powerful, are dreadfully simple

      And this is bad, because...?
      • And this is bad, because...?

        Technology has progressed beyond Plain Text.
      • The complexity (and hence slowness of development time, slowness of maintainability etc) of your software is equal to the complexity of the job that your program has to do minus the complexity of the stuff that you didn't have to write. If you need complex communication, using a simple IPC mechanism makes your program unnecessarily complex.

        Furthermore, if that's all your OS provides (and I don't mean the kernel by this, I include stuff that comes bundled), then you risk code duplication as everyone implements their own complex IPC primitives.

    • by Metrol (147060) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @06:10AM (#2698156) Homepage
      KDE's DCOP and KParts are rather incomplete imitations of CORBA.

      First off, I'm not a developer. At best I just read a fair amount about what folks are doing. One of the things I personally found interesting about this interview was Miguel listing problems with Bonobo and CORBA that sounded a LOT like the reasons KDE doesn't use those technologies. Essentially that bindings such as CORBA are like swatting a fly with a hammer for desktop apps, thus a simpler approach was taken with things like DCOP.

      Again, I'm not in the trenches, but from an observers point of view it seems that Gnome is just needing that next set of bindings to be developed sometime later over and over again. Everything was going to be better with CORBA and Bonobo linking everything. Now that's all the wrong approach, and Mono is needed. I may be way of base here, it just seems like it's the "bindings to be developed" of the month club.

      On the other hand, KDE made the call to move things to DCOP a while ago and they seem to be sticking to their guns on it. The developers are extending where needed, but leaving the core intact as it's doing what they intended from the onset. I honestly don't know if this is a good or bad thing in practice. It seems like a more reasoned approach, and it's certainly produced a wonderful desktop environment.

      Early into next year both projects are looking to have major releases. I guess we'll see which approach provides the payoff of a more robust environment that developers prefer to work on.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2001 @09:25AM (#2698563)
        > One of the things I personally found
        > interesting about this interview was Miguel
        > listing problems with Bonobo and CORBA that
        > sounded a LOT like the reasons KDE doesn't use
        > those technologies. Essentially that bindings
        > such as CORBA are like swatting a fly with a
        > hammer for desktop apps, thus a simpler
        > approach was taken with things like DCOP.

        Actually, he didn't say this. He said, "CORBA is good when you define coarse interfaces, and most Bonobo interfaces are coarse. The only problem is that Bonobo/CORBA interfaces are not good for small interfaces. For example, an XML parsing Bonobo/CORBA component would be inefficient compared to a C API."

        Basically, CORBA is good enough for it's current use (GUI components and general application interfacing) but it's a bit heavy for simple things like a (high performance) XML parsing library. DCOP isn't any more efficient. It's likely less efficient since with DCOP there's a lot of serialization/deserialization to strings whereas that serialization doesn't take place if you're using Orbit (GNOME's CORBA) as an inproc procedure. Even when it happens, it's binary serialization/deserialization so it's likely more efficient.

        > Again, I'm not in the trenches, but from an
        > observers point of view it seems that Gnome is
        > just needing that next set of bindings to be
        > developed sometime later over and over again.
        > Everything was going to be better with CORBA
        > and Bonobo linking everything. Now that's all
        > the wrong approach, and Mono is needed. I may
        > be way of base here, it just seems like it's
        > the "bindings to be developed" of the month club.

        Again, no. Bonobo is still good and it solves problems that Mono doesn't. Bonobo interfaces are being added to Mono, just like Gtk+ bindings and gnomedb bindings.

        One thing Mono has the power to do is unify GNOME and KDE. Mono is getting full GNOME bindings. From what I understand, there are KDE developers who are working on KDE bindings (including DCOP). Because of the way the C# component architecture works, you can use components with little knowledge on how they were actually built, so you can mix and match more easily. Once the work is done, you should be able to embed a KPart in a GNOME component that's embedded in a KDE component that's embedded in a WinForm component.

        I don't know about you, but I think that it's cool enough to be woth pursuing.
        • Actually, he didn't say this. He said, "CORBA is good when you define coarse interfaces, and most Bonobo interfaces are coarse. The only problem is that Bonobo/CORBA interfaces are not good for small interfaces. For example, an XML parsing Bonobo/CORBA component would be inefficient compared to a C API."

          Those were the kinds of complaints that the KDE folks had, as I recall. The notion that CORBA is essentially good stuff, but too much for most uses. I realize this is paraphrasing, but the only thing I was getting at was the similarity in the comments.
      • The KDE folks have at least considered using Orbit. Check it out [zork.net]. In fact the only reason that KDE isn't using Corba right now is that when they started KDE2 development there weren't any useable (read fast) Free Software ORBs available. Which highlights what is perhaps the biggest difference between the KDE and Gnome camps. There wasn't a useable ORB when Gnome started either, so they wrote one themselves (just like they essentially wrote their own widget set).

        The KDE folks tend to look for shortcuts. They used a (then) non-free widget set because it was easier. When they couldn't find a useful ORB they simply wrote something else. Gnome's support of Corba turned out to be a big deal. It's the primary reason why Sun, HP, and some of the other UNIX big names are pouring money into Gnome and not KDE.

        • I was looking at a salary survey not to long ago. Middleware (CORBA/COM) programmers, on the average, have seen a drastic increase in salary compared to the rest of the programming world. It would appear Middleware is the hand that rocks the cradle. Mtrends and general programming / technology trends are gravitating towards middleware.

          Jeremy
      • GNOME != Ximian (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ambrosius27 (251484) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @02:05PM (#2700098)
        "Again, I'm not in the trenches, but from an observers point of view it seems that Gnome is just needing that next set of bindings to be developed sometime later over and over again. "

        GNOME *is* sticking to its guns with CORBA and Bonobo. The developers are actively working on the Bonobo component model and Orbit2, and they plan on using them for the forseeable future. They're actually quite excited at the possibilities these tools are bringing to them and their desktop environment. From what I've seen on the lists, the developers have been hard at work ironing out wrinkles in the inproc/out-of-proc components and are happy with the speed of Orbit.

        Now, I will concede that you're right in that *Miguel* has moved on. Even before Bonobo had fully matured (that's happening with GNOME2 development after the GNOME 1.4 experimentation), Miguel decided that the .NET framework is the way to go. I say, good for him! If Miguel and Ximian can make MONO into a beautiful development platform that is better than Bonobo, that's great! If that does happen (and it's going to be at least year before we can tell how it's doing), GNOME will probably be happy to start using MONO and employ Bonobo as a bridge to the new platform. Until then, GNOME is quite happy with Bonobo.

        Jonathan Ingram posted in a thread that if Orbit really proves great, KDE would be happy to use it. In the meantime, KDE is using their own solution (which they like quite well) and will let GNOME do the Orbit development. You can compare GNOME's stance with MONO in the same way: wait and see.

        Remember Miguel != GNOME and even Ximian != GNOME. Both are big players in GNOME, but GNOME is larger than them. Cheers!
    • often complains of the oldness of the pipe and socket IPC systems in Unix, which while powerful, are dreadfully simple

      Of course, I'd rather avoid the dreaded simplicity of Unix and use Windows and Gnome, which both are buggy and take 2^48 bytes of memory to run.

      Ever heard of KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID?
    • Actually, I think in many ways Microsoft is giving tacit approval to Ximian's Mono project.

      Why? Because Mono would essentially validate everything that Microsoft's .NET initiative stands for, and that means the Number 1 desktop platform (Windows) and the fastest-growing OS platform (Linux) will use more or less the same standard for Internet-wide authentication. .NET plus Mono, IMHO, scares the daylights out of the supporters of the Liberty Alliance project because of this very prospect.
      • (Windows) and the fastest-growing OS platform (Linux) will use more or less the same standard for Internet-wide authentication.

        If you read the Mono FAQ, you will see that it really has nothing to do with "Internet-wide authentication". The Liberty Alliance could easily write .Net and/or Mono classes so developers could handle authentication through the Liberty Alliance system instead of Passport.

        From the Mono FAQ:
        Question 18: If you implement .NET, will I depend on Microsoft Passport to run my software?

        No. The .NET Framework is a runtime infrastructure and collection of class libraries. Passport may be required to access certain web services written for that framework, but only if the programmer chooses Passport as the authentication mechanism.

        I'll admit that some of the things Microsoft does are "scary", but the .Net development platform actually seems to have some good ideas in it. It is just too bad that MS and Sun couldn't play nice in the past. Then we would just be seeing improvements to the Java standard instead of a whole new platform.

    • Chloe,

      [us]
      Perfect English, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
      I just wish some english natives would express themselves as clearly as you do.
      [fr]
      Parfait anglais, n'écoutes pas les mécontents.
      J'esperais seulement que certains anglophones s'exprimaient aussi clairement que toi.

      [En]
      As far as a few typos, it'll remind everyone where the words come from (philosophie!)
      [Fr]
      Pour les fautes d'orthographe, c'est bien, ca rappelles a tout le monde d'ou ces mots viennent (philosophie!)
  • Contrary to what chrisd said, I'd be pretty shocked to see Miguel being objective. Have you actually read any of his GNOME vs KDE rants in the past?
  • It seems like Ximian is latching onto Microsoft to survive. It's not just a gimmick either, Ximian quite recently announced that they had entered the proprietary business with its Exchange Connector.

    So is Ximian abandoning the GNU values? All that big talk and fighting words was for naught? Or was it just about garnering public support before pulling the old bait and switch?
    • by ukryule (186826) <slashdot@y u l e.org> on Thursday December 13, 2001 @03:38AM (#2697999) Homepage
      Why does working with Microsoft imply an abandonment of GNU values? Ximian are clearly deeply involved in open source projects (i.e. Gnome & Mono) - and as a company are busy working out how to make money from this investment.

      You could argue that what open-source needs most is more collaboration with MS. For example, just imagine what it would do for acceptance of Linux if a company worked with MS to produce a reliable up-to-date version of Word for Linux. Of course, if you get into bed with MS, there is a fair chance you're going to get screwed - but that just means that Ximian (or anyone) has to be very careful in their negotiations.

      While branding MS as the devil is easy & popular - it may be possible to work with them without selling your soul :-)
      • They are abandoning their GNU values because they are now involved in proprietary software (original poster indicated the particular proprietary product they sell).

        GNU is about accepting the fact that source code is nothing more than information. This has been gone over ad nauseum. Any, and I mean any god dammit, attempt to restrict access to source code is evil according to GNU Values. Ximian is now evil. That they are now working with the Devil then should come as no surprise.

        Actually, it isn't possible to work with MS without selling your soul. By working with Microsoft you are explicitly telling the world that their licenses and policies and practicies should not be a reason to avoid doing business with MS. They are just another company and we need to be pragmatic about our values -- that's the message Ximian and you are sending.

        I think Stallman would give you a pretty harsh answer to your issue about more collaboration with MS.

        • "Any, and I mean any god dammit, attempt to restrict access to source code is evil according to GNU Values."

          That is a pretty strong statement and smacks in the face of the "Magna Carta" of those GNU Values, ie the GPL. The GPL _does_ restrict access to source code! Albeit, in a way that turns the traditional role of copyright on it's face, but then you are condemining _all_ restrictions on source code right ;)

          "Ximian is now evil. That they are now working with the Devil then should come as no surprise."

          Please read this. [linuxdoc.org] Come on, how can you expect anyone to take you the least bit seriously. Haven't we all been more than reminded of what true evil is lately? Ximian is evil because they intend to sell a proprietary add-on to a product so that it can be used in conjunction with another proprietary product? Come on!

          "Actually, it isn't possible to work with MS without selling your soul. By working with Microsoft you are explicitly telling the world that their licenses and policies and practicies should not be a reason to avoid doing business with MS."

          What would you have us do O'Righteous One? Should we similarly brand IBM as evil? After all they do develop proprietary software... Do you suppose that we should not collaborate with IBM or refuse the fruits of there evil help in developing and promoting Linux?
          • "Any, and I mean any god dammit, attempt to restrict access to source code is evil according to GNU Values."

            That is a pretty strong statement and smacks in the face of the "Magna Carta" of those GNU Values, ie the GPL. The GPL _does_ restrict access to source code! Albeit, in a way that turns the traditional role of copyright on it's face, but then you are condemining _all_ restrictions on source code right ;)


            The poster said restrict "access to" source code, not restrict the ways that source code may be used. The condemnation wasn't restrictions on source code, but restrictions to the source code. The restriction is that you don't restrict access to source.
      • "GNU Values" (Score:2, Insightful)

        by xueexueg (224483)
        You seem not to be very familiar with GNU values

        Ximian are clearly deeply involved in open source projects
        GNU is Free Software [gnu.org], not Open Source.
        just imagine what it would do for acceptance of Linux if a company worked with MS to produce a reliable up-to-date version of Word for Linux
        The GNU [gnu.org]/Linux [gnu.org] system benefits little from "acceptance". The important thing is that the software be free [gnu.org]. If there are ten people using it and it is Free, then it is better than if ten million are using it and it is non-free.

        I know this post is redundant/offtopic/flamebait. But somebody [slashdot.org] needs to get a clue. If all you know about GNU is what you read on linux.com.net.org.mil.gov, spend some time on http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/. GNU is not "Linux". If Microsoft developed a Free version of Word, that would be awful nice. But it would have to compete with real programs, like emacs/vi/OpenOffice/abiword, programs with an established userbase, longstanding reputation, and 90% fewer NSA backdoors.

        • Re:"GNU Values" (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Open Source, Free Software. C'mon, it's just word. I wonder how many hours Richard Stallman have been using writing letters bitching about stupid words.

          Now, releasing software under GPL is a piece of action. And Ximian have given a lot of lines with code under the gpl to the free software world. But this is a company, and they pay people. Therefore they need a way to pay their programmers after the capital is used up, and if they can do that with open sourc... eh free software, that's great. But if they can't manage to do that, it's still a good thing that they use 90% of their time writing free software, and 10% of their time writing propritary software.

          Always give credit where credit is due!
          • Re:"GNU Values" (Score:2, Insightful)

            by sydb (176695)
            Open Source, Free Software. C'mon, it's just word.

            Kike, Jew. C'mon, they're just words.

            The thing about words is that they represent thought processes and attitudes.

            Stallman want's to get people to change their attitudes to software. He uses the term Free Software to represent the attitude he wants to people to adopt.

            Open Source is a different symbol for a different attitude. There are similarities in the attitude, but they are not the same.
            • Hey, who modded this guy offtopic? Any conversation about Ximian, Microsoft, and GNU is going to come down to a discussion about values, and terms used. He wasn't using the Terms Kike and Jew as derogatory, he was using them as a reference.

              Someone with mod points please mod him back up.

              BTW, I prefer the more polite Red-Sea-Pedestrian
        • The GNU/Linux system benefits little from "acceptance". The important thing is that the software be free. If there are ten people using it and it is Free, then it is better than if ten million are using it and it is non-free.

          This is precisely the sort of sentiment that turns me off GNU. Unless GNU is a religous movement, then the whole point should be for "acceptance" ... how does it benefit mankind if only RMS and his 9 disciples use it?

          For me the ultimate goal of Free vs. Open source vs. proprietory software is to find an even balance between letting good developers develop (i.e. give them income or kudos for what they do) and providing users with what they want at a reasonable cost (whether that is $$$s or feedback to the developers community).

          Companies like Ximian do (and hopefully will continue to) play a vital role in this - selling some software to pay their developers to develop both proprietory and free software. Their cause is not helped by zealots (from either the free or proprietory side) branding them as traitors.
          • My comment was meant to encourage you to learn more about GNU before you evaluate people's consistency with GNU values. The FSF qua GNU promotes, explicitly and semi-exclusively, software freedom. That is the reason GNU exists and that a large part of the reaason why you have so much Free Software available to you.
            Unless GNU is a religous movement, then the whole point should be for "acceptance"
            So you're saying that only religious movements prize their values above their popularity? I hope that's not true. The first thing that pops into my head that values popularity above all else is prime-time network sitcom programming. That's not a very good model for a society. GNU is not a religious movement, but it is definitely, and explicitly, a political one. The benefits it promotes are social and explicitly not technological. Yes, acceptance is a goal. But the thing that GNU wants people to accept is not the software, it is the values. It's not about people saying
            "I love this version of 'ls'! It can use COLORS!" It's about people saying,
            "I love this version of 'ls'! It gives me the freedom to use, study, modify and redistribute it, and no one can take that away!"

            Their cause is not helped by zealots (from either the free or proprietory side) branding them as traitors.

            Who branded them as traitors? The matter at hand is just MSDN's republishing an article that orignally appeared on Slashdot. It doesn't sound like Ximian and Microsoft are actually going to make a joint, proprietary release any time soon.

            • My comment was meant to encourage you to learn more about GNU before you evaluate people's consistency with GNU values.

              Taken in the spirit intended. I accept that the GNU principles are quite clearly defined - but is it really the case that "you're either with us or against us"? The original post was asking about Ximian "abandoning it's GNU values" - to which I think pointing out the open-source work it is doing is a perfectly valid response (it shows that the company at least has common ground with GNU). To be fair, I don't know if Ximian (the company) ever supported GNU values ... but if they continue to spend say 80% of their time on GPL'd sw and the other 20% on prorietory sw does this imply they do or don't support GNU values?

              So you're saying that only religious movements prize their values above their popularity?

              No - I'm saying a political movement is of no value unless it gains acceptance. A religion (usually) has no intrinsic need for popularity (i.e. anything that you would be willing to die for even if everyone disagreed with your views I would class a 'religious belief'). In contrast, surely the ultimate goal of a political movement is to improve the world by gaining acceptance of its ideals.
              The benefits it promotes are social and explicitly not technological

              And herein lies the problem for me. The technical benefits of free software are clear to me, the social implications are a lot more complex. The GNU values only address the social benefits for the consumers of free software - not for the developers of free software. OK, developers benefit as consumers of others work, but they lose the right to profit from their work. The issue of 'how do I survive as a software developer, if all the software i develop is free?' is not (as far as I know) addressed by GNU beyond the simplistic 'we should live in a world where this is possible'.

              Until that is sorted out (conservative estimate = 100 years) I admire and support companies like Ximian who strive to find a good balance between freedom for their users, and employment for their programmers.
              • OK, developers benefit as consumers of others work, but they lose the right to profit from their work.
                I am a developer of free software. My day job is developing free software. I was not looking for a job developing free software, but I got one. I feel lucky in this regard but I do not feel that my experience is unique. Months into my job, I explained to my employer that developing free software had become very important to me, and they understood and said they'd already been planning an "open source" release of the software I'm working on. When other people talk about how developers' making a living from free software does not work in theory, all I can tell them is that it works in practice.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2001 @04:20AM (#2698009)
      Ximian has been doing a good job balancing financial practicality with free software ideoligy. They make a GPL'd PIM (Evolution) and sell a proprietary interface to a proprietary server software. They have to make money, right? Exchange Connector only hurts the people who are already using Exchange.

      The idea of using the .NET standard to create a robust component architecture is a pretty good idea. Microsoft is betting the farm on .NET. It is going to succeed. What is the harm in having a GPL implimentation of it? Even if it doesn't help *IX interoperate with the MS world, GNOME (and everybody in the GNU world) get a seemingly good technology. Morover, having Mono will allow the millions of .NET developers to make GPL stuff in the evenings without having to climb a steep learning curve.
      • >Exchange Connector only hurts the people who are
        >already using Exchange.

        I'd have thought it only *helps* the people who are already using Exchange ;-)
        Why else would it exist?
      • I think the reason why the supporters of the competing Liberty Alliance project for Internet authentication are flat-out scared of Mono is that they know that if Mono succeeds, it would essentially validate Microsoft's .NET initiative for Internet authentication, since .NET and Mono operate on more or less the same concepts.

        Can you imagine Windows users and most Linux users using .NET/Mono for Internet authentication? That's where we're headed, more or less.
        • I think the reason why the supporters of the competing Liberty Alliance project for Internet authentication are flat-out scared of Mono is that they know that if Mono succeeds, it would essentially validate Microsoft's .NET initiative for Internet authentication, since .NET and Mono operate on more or less the same concepts.

          And once that validation takes place and MS milks all they can from it, they make changes that break Mono and they are once again the only game in town.
      • Exchange Connector only hurts the people who are already using Exchange.

        Isn't that like rubbing salt into an open wound?
    • I tend to agree that Ximian is latching onto Microsoft. When a company works together with Microsoft it works for a while until they get crushed.

      As proof, please anybody give me a company that has been able to work long time with Microsoft? Answer NONE!

      Microsoft sucks the air out of any company that works with them. All I can say for Ximain is that sure it is your business decision to do this, but RIP. I say this lasts until the DOJ situation is over.
      • "As proof, please anybody give me a company that has been able to work long time with Microsoft?"

        Symantec, Network Associates, Adobe, Dell, Compaq, SAP, Peoplesoft... more than 10,000 other companies...

        It seems as though you are a bit naive.

        What's more likely to happen is Ximian becomes important to Microsoft and they buy them out. Wow will that ever piss off RMS. :)
    • "So is Ximian abandoning the GNU values?"

      It's no secret that Miguel is somewhat disenchanted with Richard Stallman.
  • Devil and God (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by ImaLamer (260199)
    I know, open source, nothing to hide. We can all see the code and which way it's going.

    But I don't understand this interview on MSdn! Why even do the interview? Was he given sodium pentathol?[sp]

    But in the first line the interviewer says that he's into UNIX, but isn't UNIX the proprietary version that we all want to get away from? Read:
    Summary: In this interview, Miguel de Icaza, the founder of GNOME and Ximian, talks about UNIX components, Bonobo, Mono, and Microsoft .NET.

    But my favorite [in the closing about the author]:
    Dare Obasanjo is a senior at the Georgia Institute of Technology working towards his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. He spends his free time posting to online forums like Slashdot, Kuro5hin and Advogato, as well as writing various articles on programming and software. He has interned for various companies including Radiant Systems, i2 Technologies and Microsoft, and is currently debating the merits of a graduate degree but will most likely end up in Redmond when his time at GA Tech is over.

    Posting on /.? I guess I can expect a fanboy reply to this post.
    • But in the first line the interviewer says that he's into UNIX, but isn't UNIX the proprietary version that we all want to get away from?

      Well, depends. *BSD could be considered flavors of UNIX. If you're speaking trademark-wise, the Unix Trademark Page [unix-systems.org] basically says they're not.. OTOH that same page also says you can't use UNIX in the generic sense, so prepare to be sued :)

      • This is what I mean, while Miguel is envolved with Gnome etc. and those projects extend to UNIX, UN*X, Solaris?, Linux, etc.

        The page states he worked on the Kernel project for a while - and he supported making IE open source. I doubt he wants to be labled with UNIX a name that is different than Linux because of a restricive trademark concept.
    • *GASP* who would have thought that a future microsoft drone would read /.? MY GOD. Could it be that even the current drones read /.? Who would of thought of this? Not I!
    • It should also be noted that instructors at the College of Computing at Georgia Tech (which I'm also attending) have been known in the past to accept money from Microsoft in exchange for their appraisal of certain Microsoft products during lecture.

      So unfortunately, this entire school is Microsoft-friendly. Thank goodness we are still allowed to use an operating system (Linux) for project development in most CS classes.
      • Well, at least you can walk right onto the 'Redmond Campus' if you play your cards right.

        Why not work at M$ for a while and make a nice fortune. Then later leave for your true love.

        Follow the money. Think Bill Gates is so rich, and it's mainly based on M$ stock.
  • by Yakman (22964) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @03:10AM (#2697989) Homepage Journal
    This is the same interview as posted on /. back in September [slashdot.org]. I recognised the name of the interviewer and searched the archives on a whim.

    Blah blah.. standard crap about reading your own site :)

  • Deja Vu? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by manic micko (247784)

    Uh oh... yep, it happened again...

    See http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/09/24/171241 &mode=thread [slashdot.org] for the last time this interview was posted. Interesting however than MSDN posted it... but this is old news fellas.

    Interesting how Slashdot seems to be about 5% reposts! Literally!

    • Interesting how Slashdot seems to be about 5% reposts! Literally!

      What's the friggin' problem?? Seriously? No one's forcing you to read it again! I for one haven't seen it before, but I still don't see how 50 people screaming "it's a repeat!!!" helps anyone, with anything.

    • Perhaps this is why chrisd is surpirsed rather than surprised?
  • by bkuhn (41121) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @03:52AM (#2698008) Homepage
    There is a factual error in the interview.

    No one was banned from any DotGNU lists. A few times in the early days of the project, the lists were put into moderation mode when discussion got inappropriately heated or off topic. Martin claimed that having this moderation imposed constitued banning, but that simply isn't the case. It's unfortunate that Martin felt rejected by the need for moderation, but we didn't intend it as such.

    I even personally had some of my posts rejected during one of the moderation periods.

    Bradley M. Kuhn, member of the DotGNU Steering Committee
  • by mj6798 (514047) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @04:52AM (#2698049)
    I'm glad to see that there are open source projects based on a language and runtime that supports a component architecture and runtime safety from the ground up. I think a Linux desktop environment and services platform based on C#/CLR will be so much better, more efficient, and more robust than the current systems based on plain C or C++. This has long been overdue.

    What I am disappointed about is that the Linux community could have started on this several years ago. While there are some cosmetic differences between C#/CLR and Java/JVM, the object models and performance of the two languages and runtimes are essentially the same. And there actually are already several open source, high performance Java implementations already.

    Even today, I think it still makes more sense to use something like GNU gcj or Intel's Open Runtime and maybe the existing native Gnome widgets (for which there are already Java bindings). But Mono is obviously not going to go that route. Too bad.

    • The reasons .NET & mono are being developed now rather than years ago are the developments in inter-connectivity and networking over recent years. Nowadays, it's virtually assumed that every machine will be networked with a reasonable bandwidth. This allows a range of applications and services which are distributed over a range of PCs, servers or toasters [theregister.co.uk] (ok, maybe not toasters for a few more years ...)

      However one of the underlying principles of this is that it should free you from the constraints of programming languages - if one part of your system is written in C, another in Perl, and yet another in java, so what? As long as they can all communicate it makes no difference.

      So why is .NET (and mono) so closely linked to C#? Does it really give you big advantages over FORTRAN? (I'm sure there are business reasons for M$ to want everyone to use their language, but are there any technical ones?)
      • I really don't think Microsoft is specifically trying to push C# rather than all the other languages that are supported under .NET.

        Possible Reasons for having so many C# articles
        1. People want know how C# compares and what it can do.
        2. C# offers the most functionality for the .NET platform.
        3. C# can be compared to Java as a Java like language, plus all the features you wanted in Java.

        So why is .NET (and mono) so closely linked to C#?

        .NET and C# are usually closely linked, because C# offers a wide range of features that .NET is capable of performing. Microsoft designed it to be an all-purpose language that allows programmers who want to focus on optimization to do so, and allows programmers who want to focus on structure to do so. It tries to do everything better than C++, supporting a range of features that many other .NET languages don't support, like operator-overloading.

        Does it really give you big advantages over FORTRAN?

        It gives you the same advantages that C++ would over Fortran. I can't say I'm familiar with modern Fortran, but if Fortran doesn't support operator-overloading, and you LOVE operator-overloading, C# is going to have an advantage over Fortran for YOU.

        It's basic aim is to replace C++, which for a long time as been the choice of millions of Win32 developers or aspiring developers. So, We can pretty much say that C# is trying to capture the magic C++ did in the early 90's.
      • However one of the underlying principles of this is that it should free you from the constraints of programming languages - if one part of your system is written in C, another in Perl, and yet another in java, so what? As long as they can all communicate it makes no difference.

        While RPC and object brokers are all the rage, they impose very high overhead compared to a direct method call, and they require a lot of effort on the behalf of programmers to use. And they also limit functionality in what data you can pass and how you can pass it.

        With a runtime like the JVM or CLR, you can safely run many software components within the same runtime, and they can pass data structures to each other very efficiently and without any constraints. This doesn't have to be all in one language (both the JVM and the CLR support multiple languages). However, it can't be in C or C++ because C or C++ just cannot guarantee runtime safety efficiently. And Java and C#, using the full, native object models of their runtimes, still have a slight edge even over high-quality implementations of other languages on top of the same runtime. So, that's the degree to which languages matter.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      "I think a Linux desktop environment and services platform based on C#/CLR will be so much better, more efficient, and more robust than the current systems based on plain C or C++."

      C# is in no way more efficient then C++ compiled to machine code (in .net you can also compile it to CLR byte code, but then why use C++). C#'s big benifits are that it is theoretically cross platform (by cross platform I mean it will run on all platforms with a CLR), a hell of a lot faster then Java, and a newer, less kludgy language then C++.

      If you want a blazing fast .net service that can handle the most number of concurrent connections, write it in C++. If you want the service to run on multiple platforms write it in C# (or be masochistic and write in C++ and compile to byte code). That being said, the new managed C++ in .net blows ass.
      • C# is in no way more efficient then C++ compiled to machine code

        Neither C# nor Java are usually more efficient for "inner loops" than carefully crafted C++, but they are also not significantly slower. In some areas, C# and Java actually offer compilers significant opportunities for optimization that don't exist in C/C++ (method inlining from dynamically loaded code, aliasing, a few others).

        Where C# and Java are a lot more efficient is component based software: C and C++ lack support for component based software, and that's why people use inefficient and cumbersome workarounds like COM, DCOM, CORBA, RPC, etc. In C# and Java, software components can be just objects, they life safely side-by-side in the same process, and they can call each other and access each other very efficiently. That's the efficiency that matters for desktop applications.

      • Actually, numerous benchmarks are available showing that it is not so.

        For all practical purposes, Java is as fast as C# on Windows and possibly faster...

        They are very similar languages and there is no reason to expect C# to be faster, not if you use it the same way you are using Java, to solve the same problems.

        On the other hand, at this point, Java is lot more mature and really cross-platform (Linux, Windows, AIX, Solaris, small devices,...)

        One we see C# running on Linux, we might be able to finally claim that it is cross-platform... *and* we'll be able to compare perfs...

        Want my guess? C# for Linux will be a lot slower than current, up-to-date Java implementations.
  • by LizardKing (5245) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @04:55AM (#2698053)
    I was pleased to see Brad Cox mentioned - the man who invented Objective C (the lesser known Object Oriented C derivative). His seminal book on Object Oriented Programming was the first thing I read on the subject, and although I was disappointed in one sense - I was expecting the equivalent of K&R for Objective C - it was a great read on why software hadn't advanced in the same leaps and bounds as hardware. The books goals (maximium code reuse through self contained components called software IC's) have still not been fully realised, but Java Beans and Bonobo components are definitely a step in the right direction.
    • it was a great read on why software hadn't advanced in the same leaps and bounds as hardware.

      What the hell is Cox talking about? Software has gotten much, much larger and heavier than hardware over the years. In fact, judging from the most recent releases from both RedHat and Microsoft, it's consuming resources much faster than the hardware folks can put them out. Sheesh!

      Let's face it -- puny cutting-edge hardware is no match for modern developers and their revolutionary notions about the irrelevance of performance! Software will always triumph over hardware.

      (mod +1 Sarcasm)

  • Getting into bed with MS might be more like a sardine swimming around in front of a killer whale....we all know the history of a lot of small companies that have tried to play with MS. One thing we don't have to worry about is gnome being swallowed along with the sardine.
  • MSDN (Score:5, Funny)

    by Marcus Brody (320463) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @07:00AM (#2698218) Homepage
    "An interview with Miguel de Icaza on MSDN?"

    -- I thought --

    "Hey, maybe they arent such a bad bunch after all..."

    Then, I clicked on the link, and my netscape browser promptly crashed.
    • Funny post, sure... but realistically, how is it MS' fault that you "clicked on the link" and your "netscape browser promptly crashed". Come on.
    • by fizban (58094)
      Hmmm, maybe it crashed because Netscape makes a crappy ass browser that can't do shit. Who's fault is it really?
      • ... Netscape makes a crappy ass browser that can't do shit.

        Heretic! How dare you besmirch the good name of the Original Altruistic VolksBrowser.

    • try opera...it whips both netscape and ie into finely mashed browser potatoes.
      • yeah, see my reply above as an AC about netscape being shitty. Its just that i am a browser junkie - ie, netscape, mozilla, opera, k-meleon (looking promising, very promising - but not there yet), konquerer, galeon (my favourite - truly next-gen user interface - IE will be stealing many of their idea's), whatever. I use them all. And my current flavour of the month is browsex [browsex.com] - tiny footprint, liteweight, displays most things perfectly. Not all the bells and whistles, but that can be a good thing. Just a shame the name sounds like some perveted sexual fetish for men who can only achieve orgasm by having copulation with eye brows.

        --MB
    • I found out that the MSDN library section is really good at excluding Mozilla from browsing it. At first, predictably, the Mozilla's view doesn't include the ActiveScript'ed expanding TOC, displaying only the current level topic list (and IE shows a blank page there when its ActiveScripting is disabled! Ugh). But then, at some deep point in the hierarchy, there is a broken link. You are handed a cute error page with a link to the feedback form to vent. But this feedback form fails to provide one minor thing: a field to enter text! They don't want to hear from you, stinky Mozilla punk.
      Come on, you want to learn about coding with MS software anyway; why not use the browser gracefully provided to you by the company?
  • Given that Microsoft percieves Linux as Threat Number One [slashdot.org] one can't stop wonder what Microsofts hidden agenda is.

    Why will Microsoft silently allow Mono or even collaborate?
  • by shaka (13165)
    Dare Obasanjo, who wrote this (great!) interview, has already had it published here on Slashdot a couple of months ago: lookie here [slashdot.org]!
    So, it's already two months old, and it needs to be published on the microserfs' version of Slashdot before we read it!?
    Oh well, Dare, it was a good piece anyhow!

  • by ACK!! (10229) on Thursday December 13, 2001 @09:17AM (#2698519) Journal
    I have always been torn over the whole KDE vs GNOME thing.

    1. I like the look and feel of the GTK, GTK++ widgets better than the QT stuff.

    2. KDE despite all the customizing tools available still feels far too Windoze like for my taste. Ximian Gnome especially with the Doorman option to do a CDE style destop is easily more Unix-like for old timers.

    On the other hand:

    1. KDE is more mature and offers a friendly widget set for programmers. I have heard more than a few programmers say that QT is much easier to deal with than GTK.

    2. The maturity factor jumps out at you when you look at the Control Panel for KDE and the wealth of good solid apps available from the QT side of the programming fence.

    I still use Ximian because quite frankly I like the way it looks and feels. Sure, I keep updating my system and hate the fact that my gnome splash screeen comes up with gnome-question icons because of a bug (it is in Bugzilla) but I love the way Nautilus lets me use my home directory as my desktop at the push of a button.
  • Check this quote from this CNet article [cnet.com]:

    'That means that C# and the CLI are now officially standards, administered by ECMA. But Microsoft will retain control over who gets to license the technology and how it will be distributed, a [Microsoft] company spokesman said.'

    I wonder what they mean by "license" and just how will Microsoft limit the distribution of the technology? Bleh. Ximian better beware of it's bedfellows...

    By the way, the article quoted above is from today, December 13...unlike the Icaza interview.

    I already ranted about Ximian not using Java, so I won't bother with that again... ;-)

    299,792,458 m/s...not just a good idea, its the law!

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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