cat /dev/DiBona/brain: Considering Mono
This may be stating the obvious for a number of users, but I thought I'd spend some time pointing out that Microsoft needs Mono a lot more than it likely is comfortable acknowledging. We Linux users can become very single OS-focused at times, thinking of the world as being black (XP) or white (the penguin, natch). I do not mean this as a criticism per se, but it is something I myself have been guilty of, having barely gotten my toe wet in the FreeBSD waters. So, I thought I'd project it onto a number of my colleagues in the Linux community--you don't mind, do you?
Languages, however, don't have this luxury; they must work on as many of the major platforms as they can to attain the popularity and ubiquity necessary to be used on a large scale by professional software developers. Exceptions abound, of course. Consider, for instance, embedded languages--small c and the transputer language Occam (specifically designed for old school multiple processor inmos transputer cores). But, for the most part if you look at how languages spread out and become popular, you can see them spread from platforms ranging from the largest machines to the smallest handhelds.
If your goal is ubiquity--and when has ubiquity not been Microsoft's goal?--then the ability to run your code on other platforms is vital. Thus, Mono is vital if Microsoft wants .Net to overtake Java, which it seems to want real bad, but perhaps not bad enough to make a version for Linux, BSD and the other major UNIX platforms. For Microsoft, reaching out to UNIX seems to include only investing in it and not actually porting tools.
My excuse: I've been thinking a lot more about .Net and Mono lately, because I am advising a company using Mono as a backend framework for a really cool piece of software. I've also looked into the suitability of the language for a teeny side project that I'm looking at as an excuse to learn the language.
After some consideration and a little bit of coding, I've found there are some very real barriers to cross-platform .Net adoption. I'm thinking mostly of the lack of a cross-platform UI toolkit. The only people addressing this lack seem to be the Mono guys. Thus, if .Net is to succeed as a preferred language where Java currently holds sway, then Mono is a vital part of that equation. If it didn't already exist, Microsoft would have to make sure that it did.
Regarding user interfaces, GTK for Mono isn't there for all platforms and winforms running on top of winelib, and the rest is underway. Is that an installable, maintainable way of providing winforms? It strikes me that this might be too brittle a solution, but I haven't found any real holes in the approach. If you have, say so in the comments, but this could be a real barrier for software with real user interfaces attached. A Mono winforms-compatible layer is key to Mono being able to compete for desktop applications and for Linux to act as a first-class platform for .Net applications.
The question for the Free Software community to ruminate is this: Is supporting Mono supporting our own desktop downfall? A statement attributed to Steve Ballmer at a party a few years ago would support this possibility. To paraphrase, when asked about Mono, he shrugged it off with a statement alluding to the fact if Mono got too popular, that's what lawyers are for. Mind you this is friend-of-a-friend kind of hearsay, but it is worth noting regardless.
Because Mono works off the ECMA spec for C# and the CLI, and because Novell has the legal resources to make the idle-lawyer threat less effective, I don't think this is some long-plotted submarine trick designed to disrupt free software adoption. In the long run a healthy Mono that can run .Net apps natively is as important to Linux as a good JVM is--that is to say, very important.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.View Now!
|The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database||Jul 29, 2016|
|Stunnel Security for Oracle||Jul 28, 2016|
|SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager||Jul 21, 2016|
|My +1 Sword of Productivity||Jul 20, 2016|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!||Jul 19, 2016|
|Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)||Jul 18, 2016|
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide