Why I feared Mono

Let’s just add another blog to the growing pile of posts about Mono. Adding something to the more positive tone the debate got lately can’t be bad.

For a while I also was a kind of anti-Mono. Not anymore, although I’m certainly not pro-Mono; I now see the framework as just another framework that you can use to write your application, which has, just like any framework, it’s pros and cons. However, it left me thinking why I actually didn’t like it at first.
I came with the following conclusion: because of the behaviour of some of its advocates.

Why? Well, after years of hearing how bad Microsoft technologies are it can come as quite a shock to see Planet GNOME filled with posts telling you how great those same technologies are. Of course it’s non-sense that everything from Microsoft is bad by definition, but acknowledging the presence of prejudices doesn’t make them go away. This wasn’t very bad, a part of me just found it irritating.

Worse was the attitude of some people; suddenly everywhere developers started claiming their solution, Mono, was the best and demanded applications to be ported to C#, blaming people of spreading FUD when they refused. Not everyone did this, but enough to add more concerns to the natural demur.

Then there was the release of Gnote and the insulting and the incomprehensible attack from Tomboy. Those very same people who said everyone was attacking them now started to attack other people. A little bit later was an article form Jo Shields published that didn’t sound very convincing for me, maybe because of some prejudices, but also because of the slightly arrogont tone some parts had.

This all gave me a bad feeling about Mono and the convinced me that it must be a Very Bad Thing(TM) — with emphasis on the TM.

The anti-Mono crew also behaved very badly, but it wasn’t as shocking to me because they seemed to more often live in the comments, rather than in the post self. I was shocked that it was spreading itself like some kind of virus in the heads of people that played a role in the community.

Of course it doesn’t hold up for long when you give it a good thought. First of all the patent problems seem to have gone away now — although I’d also like the attitude of the Technical Council, lets see if the patent system would hold — and secondly it’s a lot of


A lot of people have grown to not like Microsoft and the fact that Mono is

– based on Microsoft technology

– implementing things like ASP, an concurrent of open-source PHP

– new and strange

makes it generate a lot of fraction.

However, those things don’t make it evil and shouldn’t be the reasons for a crusade against it and its users. If you don’t like Mono, go use GNU’s own implementation of .NET: Portable.NET. Yes, you read it correctly, GNU has an implementation of C# that RMS does like.

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1 Comment

  1. A few spelling errors:
    “and the insulting and the incomprehensible” should be “and the insulting incomprehensible”
    “concurrent” is dutch for competitor
    “makes it generate” should be creates
    “fraction” should be friction

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