18 Jul 2006 donscarletti   » (Master)

I havn't blogged for a very long time, possibly because I've had nothing to say.

Anyway, today I'd like to talk about Mono and its inclusion into Gnome. I have not commented on it in my blog so far, because I only use C and thus have no relevant opinion on the technical merits of the platform and have always thought it best to shut up in these circumstances. Today on the gnome-devel-list I read an email on the subject by someone called Tsume who directed readers to his personal web site containing his views on the issue.

Wow, some insightful stuff there. With brilliant points like "I've nothing against Python. I'm a ruby programmer, but would be very happy with Python" this is sure to raise eyebrows. Also the shocking revelation that Miguel is trying to get Mono into Gnome really set me aghast. The IRC logs especially were a great touch, they proved once and for all that mono has bugs and that some bugs are given lower priority than others because they are seen as more difficult or less harmful.

Sarcasm aside however, all is not lost. It does demonstrate by far the largest problem with mono. Technical merits or the lack thereof aside; mono is a political quagmire. Choosing mono is like painting your bikeshed pink, it's a warm colour and it reflects light well, but it will always be obvious that the bikeshed is pink and the conversation will never be over with people with suggestions as to why it should have been painted a different colour. Mono calls its bytecode files .exe and .dll for a start, while that means nothing more sinister than .jar or .pyc do, it is instantly recognisable as something uncool. Every slashdot article, review and blog will mention it and think they are insightful, just like this guy did. The jeering and booing will be annoying and possibly even affect peoples willingness to participate lest they associate themselves with something that is surrounded with spook stories about Novell and Microsoft (especially young people).

However good mono might or might not be, is it worth it?

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