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Re: [DotGNU]flexible for users, or flexible for developers? (wasRe: User

From: BioChem333
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]flexible for users, or flexible for developers? (wasRe: User Interfaces)
Date: 11 Jul 2002 20:10:40 -0400

On Thu, 2002-07-11 at 09:54, David Bradley wrote:
> That's interesting. The articles I've been reading have been critical of 
> Mono and dotGNU success because they're afraid MS will add extensions 
> that will become commonly used but, not part of the standard. So is it 
> bad when Microsoft does this, but ok when GNU or Mono does this? I 
> thought this was why Sun was jumping all over Microsoft because they 
> added some extensions to their JVM?

MS has already added extensions to the standard; in fact, they were
there before the standard was even submitted for ECMA review. Being
compatible with the standard and with MS extensions, is a goal of both
the mono and DotGNU projects, although the MS extensions support for
pnet will be provided mostly, if not entirely, by using mono's higher
level class libs, as things currently stand. What I was trying to say
was, we would hopefully keep on top of providing support for all MS
extensions while still adding plenty of our own.

Since, historically, GNU extensions have always been anywhere from good
to great, developers and end-users would find DotGNU a much more
attractive option than MS.NET. As a result of their (hopefully)
wide-spread use, anyone using MS.NET would require at least some DotGNU
extended libraries, making it all the more likely that they would go the
easier route of just dropping MS.NET altogether and use DotGNU instead.

This, of course, requires us free software developers to continue to
improve upon and add to our current software base, at a much faster pace
than the proprietary developers can keep up with. That isn't much of a
problem since we already have a strong foundation, a lot of good people
who go out of their way to help, and a superior model of software
development. We're also a lot more wallet-friendly, making any temporary
technical short-comings in our software base, in comparison to
proprietary counter-parts, less of an issue for most people.

Unlike the MS vs Sun situation with extensions to the JVM, we don't have
a legally binding contract with anyone not to extend the CIL, C#, or any
other component of .NET; MS did have such a contract with Sun. As for it
being 'bad' or 'evil' to embrace and extend these components, who ever
said the good guys have to play fair? The bad guys certainly don't.

> I'm not against adding extensions, but it appears to be a concern of 
> many. I think people can make informed decisions on whether to use them 
> or not. We've been doing it for ages in C and C++.

I don't think we're going to force anyone to use them; we are, after
all, all about freedom. We can, however, encourage people to use our
extensions, just as MS encourages people to use theirs. No sense in
playing fair with a dirty underhanded cheat. ;)

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