.NET for freebsd

Terry terry at mohimba.com
Fri Jan 31 11:18:04 GMT 2003


Quoting Paul Richards <paul at freebsd-services.com>:

> The thing that's different about .NET is the CLR. Nothing else has
> taken this technology forward to this extent.

Paul, with all the respect, this is just a claim and the phrase ``nothing else''
leads to an overstatement. 

> It's not revolutionary, but it's evolutionary. Java doesn't go anywhere near >
this far since it's not a language independant solution.

Indeed, it is evolutionary. I am affraid I can not agree with your second
argument. To this point 160 (non-Java) languages compile (at least partialy) on
the Java Virtual Machine. To quote Robert Tolksdorf:

`The following is a list of programming languages for the Java virtual machine
aside of Java itself. Currently (spring 2002), it comprises about 160 different
systems. It is a mix of experimental, research oriented implementations and of
commercial ones. I excluded extensions to Java by the provision of class
libraries implementing the functionality of other languages constructs. The
source code of a program executed in the Java VM has to have a syntax different
to Java to be included in this list.'

For more details and a complete list please visit:

http://grunge.cs.tu-berlin.de/~tolk/vmlanguages.html

A good example is Jython, a Python for the JVM:

http://www.jython.org/

Furthermore, there is the PARROT virtual machine:

http://www.parrotcode.org/

> Take Microsoft out of the picture and consider whether Mono has
> benefits to the average application developer. I think being able
> to write components in different languages and to be able to run
> them all withing the same application is a useful feature. This is
> just the CLR, all the API that forms the complete .NET isn't the
> most exciting part of it in my opinion. You could just take the CLR
> and write your own application framework and just not bother with the
> whole .NET framework. 

Taking Microsoft out of the picture and focusing on .mono seems a bit naive to
me. Not only because at any point Microsoft is able to throw its legal weight on
any free software/open source project like .mono that `copies' their
implementation but also because there are similar `evolutionary' technologies to
consider. The benefit of the application developer is at being open-minded and
free to mix and match tools/technologies (based on open standards) to his taste
and skills. It would be foolish to believe that .NET is the only kid in town and
.mono while a great project is a straightforward implementation of .NET. DotGNU
has a much more open-minded approach and a design that can accomodate a wider
range of technologies and solutions. Microsoft stagnated JAVA on Windows and its
users came to believe that .NET is a revolution while `Common Language Runtimes'
are bound to happen anywhere anyway and from many vendors. It the same
stagnation on `not supported by Microsoft' technologies that we want to avoid by
being critical and not running blindly to adopt anything that is being `pushed
down our throat' by the Microsoft marketing department. 
As a sidenote, please have a look at the following projects because half-cooked
CLRs aren't the only happening thing:

http://gridengine.sunsource.net/

http://www.nongnu.org/VRS/ 


> As I said, C# and the CLR is being developed by BSD
> guys using FreeBSD which is why it's a supported platform.

As a programmer, looking at C# I get the impression of looking at Java with a
different name, Windows-centric libs, and a bastard nature, but that doesn't
really mean much. I can't make any comments on who is developing for Microsoft
as I have no way of confirming such information.

thank you

terry




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