Opinions of and support for Mono on Ubuntu

John Richard Moser nigelenki at comcast.net
Thu Mar 17 14:12:28 CST 2005


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Personally, I have mixed feelings.

I prefer C because:

 - It's a familiar language, so I understand all concerns with bugs,
security, etc when I run a program written in C
 - It's potentially faster
 - It has immediate access to all system libraries
 - I consider C/ObjC/C++ to be the most secure option currently, since
PaX and stack smash protection are easily applied to it; Ubuntu doesn't
use these currently, of course, though I look to the future with hope. . .
 - Most of the stuff falls back to C anyway from Java and Mono; gtk# for
example has to call GTK+, right?

For OOP, Objective-C is my pick because it's a good language and it's a
strict superset of C (thus equivalent to C until you start using objects).

There are advantages to using Mono, either with C, C#, or Java, all of
which have been known to compile to .NET (MS supporst C and Java; C# is
the official .NET language):

 - Portable!  C is also portable, but C# may be portable crossplatform
without recompiling!  Then again, Java claimed this and it was only ever
true for very -simple programs. . . (look at limewire's 4 different builds)
 - It's neat
 - Abstraction layer between OS and code; though this matters not
because any security attack can do whatever it wants due to the way JIT
works (i.e. executing code as native)

. . . so I see .NET and mono as kind of buzz-crap that offers nothing
really.  You can say mono is just as fast as C due to JIT, but you'd be
wrong; Mono is not GCC, mono does not and should not be kludged down
with the assloads of optimizations that take 5 hours to perform that
spit out code that's 5-10% faster (basic optimization makes code that's
5000% faster; beyond that you gain a little, possibly visibly but not by
much).

That being said, Mono is "good enough" performance wise for what it is;
it's not a bloated slow klunky pile of junk like a GCC -O0 program would
be, but it can't match with a -O2 program from gcc 4.0 because those
optimizations would take too damn long.


Matt Galvin wrote:
> Hi All,
> 
> I am interested in starting a project or two for Gnome and would like
> to hear the opinions of others about Mono, C#, GTK#, etc... Its
> viability as a platform for developement as well as its support on
> Ubuntu/Gnome. I know its in the universe and I have played around with
> it a bit. My reason for asking is, sadly my C has become a little
> rusty since I have not done any "serious" C dev in a few years. I work
> a lot with Java (as a professional developer) so the leap to Mono/C#
> seems to be a very short one for me (plus I already have some basic
> knowledge of C#). I also know a host of other stuff as I am sure most
> of you do as well, PERL, PHP, Python, Shell Scripting, the web
> alphabet soup, XML, and more, etc... So, what are your opinions, is
> Mono stable enough, do you think it will last long term, etc... or
> should I just get back into C (which I would like to do at some point
> anyway).
> 
> Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
> 
> Matt
> 

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