More than an open-source curiosity

After three years Miguel de Icaza has something to show for his hard work. He has managed to bring some of Microsoft's programming tools over to Linux. While Microsoft isn't overly thrilled about this a lot of Linux developers are.

To the uninitiated, the basic idea behind the open-source Mono project--to bring .Net to Linux--is kind of hard to grasp. How can Microsoft's .Net development platform, which is all about making life easier for Windows programmers, be used to write applications for Linux, Microsoft's bete noire?

Yet after three years of toil, Miguel de Icaza, the founder of the Mono project, has managed to bring at least some of Microsoft's slick tooling to the Linux camp. And now that Novell has taken over the stewardship of Mono, after acquiring Ximian last year, Mono has the potential to be more than just a curiosity for open-source zealots. Mono is not a development tool, like Microsoft's Visual Studio. Rather, it's a port of the guts that underlie Microsoft's development tools. That includes Microsoft's C# development language, "libraries" of prewritten code and Microsoft's common language runtime, software that allows a programmer to combine code written in different languages in a single application.

Q: Now that Mono 1.0 is done, what can you do that you couldn't do before?

A: Oh, Unix is a world of pain for developers. Now, basically what we got is very modern IDEs (integrated development environments) for developing software on other platforms.

News source: C|Net News.com

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