Miguel de Icaza On Microsoft's C# Community Promise: 'The Right Direction'Miguel de Icaza On Microsoft's C# Community Promise: 'The Right Direction'
Earlier in the week before everyone went all Google-eyed, I did a quick back-and-forth interview with Miguel de Icaza -- lead programmer for the free .NET implementation, Mono, and leader of the GNOME desktop project --about Microsoft and their <a href="http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2009/Jul-06.html" target="_blank">Community Promise for C# and the CLI</a>.</p>
July 9, 2009
Earlier in the week before everyone went all Google-eyed, I did a quick back-and-forth interview with Miguel de Icaza -- lead programmer for the free .NET implementation, Mono, and leader of the GNOME desktop project --about Microsoft and their Community Promise for C# and the CLI.
SY: There's a lot of unease in the community about how much trust one can invest in any promise that Microsoft makes about their open-source offerings. Do you think things like this make it easier to trust them, or might there be other actions that would be greeted more positively? MDI: For pragmatists, it is another action from Microsoft in the right direction. Microsoft over the past few years has been making a lot of changes to adapt to the web, to open source and to distributed development. They have open sourced very important pieces of code like IronPython, the Dynamic Language Runtime, IronRuby, the Managed Extension Framework, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET AJAX Client libraries, the Silverlight high-level controls, and the Silverlight control packs. They also embraced XML for their office suite, opened up the specifications for the binary file format for office (both are enormous steps for achieving interoperability with their products), brought OOXML, XPS and their HD image file format for standardization and granting patent licenses for developers and users that implement and deploy those technologies. All of these are positive trends, they have real impact in the quality of software being developed and they deserve more coverage than they currently get. Perhaps they get little coverage because they are aimed at developers, and not really at consumers. But there is a sensationalism and tabloid like obsession with Microsoft that permeates some fringe groups and for these there will never be anything that Microsoft can do. SY: What do you feel is the single biggest impact that is likely to come of this? What'll be changed most? MDI: It will settle the disputes between folks that theorized that ECMA 334 and 335 were tainted and could not be used. At least the fear of patent infringement will be removed from the discussion, and we will be able to resume the discussion on technical grounds and actually focus on improving Linux, open source software and the .NET ecosystem. SY: What's the next thing Microsoft could logically offer the community after this as another step in the right direction? MDI: There are a number of technologies that I would like to see covered by
the Community Promise, like ADO.NET, ASP.NET and Windows.Forms. They are not mandatory for Linux as Linux applications do not really use them, but it would be nice to have them. InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of the next-generation Web applications. Download the report here (registration required). Follow me and the rest of InformationWeek on Twitter.
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