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Re: [DotGNU]Call for a truce over mono vs pnet

From: Norbert Bollow
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Call for a truce over mono vs pnet
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 10:48:15 +0100

Rodrigo Moya <address@hidden> wrote:

> On Wed, 2002-03-20 at 17:52, Norbert Bollow wrote:
> > (I'm trying to mediate between Rhys and Lupus)
> > 
> I just speak for myself, not for ximian :-)

I think it's a good idea to point this out, to avoid any
possible misunderstandings.  I similarly speak for myself,
not for Rhys.  I'm not even "DotGNU's Inofficial Minister for
Relations to the Mono Project" -- that's Barry, not me :-) 

> > No... I think you misunderstood something there.  When DotGNU
> > uses Mono's higher-level C# class libs, then (as long as we
> > don't fork them) the Mono project has some degree of control of
> > those libs.  This "control" isn't a huge practical issue as long
> > as Mono wants to cooperate with DotGNU, especially since if it
> > really should happen that there is a problem that cannot be
> > resolved cooperatively, then it's still possible to fork. It's
> > free software after all!!!  The reason why people still care
> > about this "control" even when it's not of great practical
> > importance is that it is also a matter of who gets public
> > recognition etc.
> > 
> > Rhys doesn't like the situation where Mono gets some of this
> > "control" over an essential piece that we're using, while we
> > don't have any similar "control" over anything that Mono is
> > using.
> > 
> > I believe that I can understand Rhys' frustration with this
> > kind of situation.  (Those who can't should perhaps be invited
> > to walk in his shoes for a month or two :-)
> > 
> I still don't understand it, sorry :-( That is, I am developing gnome-db
> (, and depend, as people depend on oxygen, on
> Bonobo. That is, any change in Bonobo affects me. Should I, in this
> case, ask the Bonobo maintainers to depend on gnome-db so that I've got
> the same control over Bonobo than Bonobo has over gnome-db?

No... I don't think that would make any sense.

Let's try to put ourselves in Rhys' shoes for a moment.
Suppose you're living on your savings and spending your
time on a free software project of developing a free C#
compiler, runtime, class libs, and assorted tools.  The
scope of this project is so big that you can't do it
alone, you need help from other developers.  But before
you succeed in recruiting much help, a profit-oriented
company with resources vastly greater than yours starts
a competing project.

Scenario A:  This profit-oriented company essentially says:
"Your code is essentially worthless, we'll start over from
scratch, and do everything our way.  You're welcome to help
us as a volunteer if you want, or you can do your own thing,
but we're not going to listen to you on how things ought to
be done."  Then you go doing your own things, and you see
how that profit-oriented company is much more successful
in key areas like PR and recruiting contributors than you
could reasonably hope to be with the resources that you
have at your disposal.  You begin to fear that the success
of this competing project could totally exclipse your
project in the public perception, thereby dooming it to

Scenario B:  This profit-oriented company essentially says:
"Your code is of good quality, but our goals are different
from yours, and for such reasons we want a C# compiler that
is implemented in C# and not in C like yours.  So we're
building our own compiler, and as a consequence of that
decision, we won't use most of what you're doing.  However
we like your xyz, and would be happy to use it, and give
you public recognition for it.

As I understand it, Rhys has been asking for a transition
from Scenario A to Scenario B.

Anyway, now that DotGNU seems to be picking up good momentum,
this whole issue may be of much lesser importance now than it
seemed to have not long ago, as now IMHO Rhys no longer needs
to be afraid of the success of Mono possibly resulting in his
work becoming a total failure.

Greetings, Norbert.

A founder of the project and Steering Committee member
Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet   (near Zurich, Switzerland)
Tel +41 1 972 20 59       Fax +41 1 972 20 69
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