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Re: [DotGNU]Gnome to be based on .NET

From: Barry Fitzgerald
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Gnome to be based on .NET
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 18:14:55 +0000 (UTC)

On Sat, 2 Feb 2002, William G. Thompson, Jr. wrote:

> (This is exactly what M$ want us to think.)
> Why not? Because compiler/runtime is not enough. Without the tools and
> the framework you will not win over the folks who don't yet understand the
> importance of Freedom and Free Software.  They only care about fast
> implementation.
> Now, of course you will say, ok, so build the tools and the framework.
> But that would be just adding to the problem.  If we prove that you
> can create, deploy, and maintain apps easier, faster, and more efficiently
> than you could using dot net (and the m$ tool chain) then we are
> taking the battle to them on _all_ fronts;  dot net matters less, the
> desktop matters less,  and their twisted idea of how people should run
> a technology business matters less.

The strange thing is that you're acting as if there's some kind of
conflict here between doing this and working on DotGNU.  If you wish to
evangelize for your project in a productive fashion -- great. :)  However,
you're basically coming here and telling people not to work on DotGNU
because it's 'wasting cycles'...

I take issue with this for a number of reasons:

1) It borders on flaming and self-promotion.  I wouldn't come to your list
and do it, why would you come to ours?  If you care to promote your
project -- fine.  If you care to discuss issues with our approach -- fine.
However, it appears improper to do things in this fashion.

2) We seek more than just compatibiltiy - we've always seeked to create
that framework that you're referring to and .Net compatibility and
technology are amongst the goals - but we're not chasing .Net like it's
some golden goose. :)

3) I've heard the'wasting cycles' argument time and time again -- I don't
buy it.  Was it 'wasting cycles' for Bjarne Strousstrup to create C++
since C was already functional?  I think that many would argue that it
wasn't.  How about Lary Wall and Perl?  I can do most of what Perl can do
with many other languages -- isn't that 'wasting cycles'?

And that's just on the language engineering end.  What about Free
implementations thereof?  It would be amazingly efficient if every FS
developer put their efforts towards building one amazing programming
language!  Or would it?

Could you imagine every single developer in the world arguing over
implementation features in C?  Would that actually be more efficient?  I
sincerely doubt it.  So, putting all of your resources into one basket is
ultimately a dubious proposition.  Telling people not to work on something
is just a veiled intro to that -- looking at it from a good perspective.

I've also heard the "C# exists to further MS' anti-Java agenda" argument.
And it's probably true -- however, it's not our battle.  That's between MS
and Sun and the developers of each infrastructure.  The Free Software
community has to be in a position to embrace whichever one wins that
battle.  I suspect, though, that it won't be a "won" battle -- both will
find their niche and both will find use.

Also, the statement concerning C# being an arm of MS' political agenda is
problematic for the following reason:  it's blaming the weapon for the
intentions of the user.  A hammer can be used for many things.  It can be
used to build houses, or kill people.  This is true of most if not all
tools.  The ethical implications of the use of a tool/object rest with the
user of that tool/object, not with the object itself.  The same is true of
programming languages.


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