Subject: RE: shameful censoring of mono opposition

Davyd McColl davydm at
Mon Jun 8 12:33:39 UTC 2009

Personally, as a programmer, I welcome MONO into the Linux fold. Here's my 2
cents' worth (and they are good old ZA cents, so really not worth all that

When I first tried Linux some years ago, it was Debian, the glorious giant
upon whose shoulders we Ubuntu users stand. I came from a win32 background
and sorely wanted to program on this shiny new Linux machine. I was a
very-much junior developer and I loved (still do!) making little utilities
that I could use and give away. Problem was that I hadn't learned C or C++
as yet. Python was available but barely beyond what you could do with bash.
Perl (*shudder*) made me afraid for my life and the lives of others.
Powerful it may be, but Perl is not a friendly language. The whole concept
of learning by reading code is very difficult (imo) for someone trying to
learn from Perl -- perhaps some of the reason is that Perl programmers revel
in their ability to make their code ugly and unreadable. But I digress, and
I also apologise if any Perl programmer out here has been offended. Perl
just scares me.

Now that I have about 7 languages that I regularly use (and some others,
including perl, which I can read but prefer to avoid), Linux is a really
nice dev platform. I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but .NET really
took off on win32. There are a plethora of .NET devs who would try a good
Linux distro if they can still program their own homebrew apps on it. MONO
fills that gap quite nicely (I think, but C# is in the sub-list of "some
functionality, but not a pro" with respect to my list of programming
utilities). Sure, a lot of the real M$'isms (WPF, for example) aren't in
MONO -- and I can't say that I miss 'em, to be honest. Gtk# beats WinForms
hands down -- perhaps a win32 dev will see that and Gtk# will gain some more
traction under win32? Dunno.

The bottom line is that MONO provides a tool for a lot of people who would
otherwise not have something that they want in their desktop OS: a
development environment. MonoDevelop is a freaking good IDE, and supports
standard c/c++ projects now as well! Bravo!

I think it boils down to: If you don't want it, apt-get remove it. I
personally don't use Beagle or Tracker or whatever. I personally won't use
ASP.NET via mod_mono. But I can see how someone else certainly might! As a
programmer, it's very frustrating to find a new OS and not be able to
create! And the same people that a blathering on about "MONO this" and "MONO
that" -- I hope all of you are just as fervent about anthing Java? I mean,
not just the Sun implementation -- goodness no! If you want to complain
about other platforms polluting our precious GNU/Linux, then please, by all
means, go completely Stallman and refuse anything which isn't totally 100%
free in all senses of the word. We do need radicals like RMS to tip the
scales -- but we don't need everyone to be a radical. The best road (again,
IMO) lies somewhere in the middle. Oh, and I also hope that the MONO-haters
aren't using NVIDIA or ATI binary blobs -- otherwise the hypocrisy must be
eating them alive.

Personally, I like things that work. Free is better than non-free -- but
working beats them all. Hate me for not being a hater. I don't care. Big up
to Miguel and his team. Big up to distros which make functionality a higher
priority than pure freedom. Big up to freedom fighters like RMS who help us
to maintain perspective.

Truth doesn't cease to be just because you don't agree with it.
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