08.19.09

Moonlight and Mono Lack Demand

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Virtualisation, Windows, Xen at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Strike

Summary: Novell does not eat its own dog food and Mono is still negligible

Moonlight has made some headlines recently [1, 2] because of a new beta which is hardly worthy of news coverage. As ITWire points out, even Novell continues to show a lack of demand for it. It goes further than this:

If Moonlight is so hot, why isn’t Novell using it?

[...]

Novell’s lack of trust in its own products seems to extend to its Netware and Linux products to some extent as well.

According to Netcraft, the Novell websites run a mix of Windows Server 2003, CentOS, Debian GNU/Linux, Netware, SUSE and Solaris.

It is not exactly news that several of Novell’s Web sites did not use SUSE; some used the products of a direct competitor. We wrote about it years ago.

Speaking of scarcity in terms of demand for Moonlight, watch how little developer interest there is in C# or Mono, at least in the Free software world. Mono proponents love to pretend that Mono is vital owing to developers’ preferences, but the facts just don’t add up or stack up. Like its ally Microsoft, Novell exaggerates using perceived demand that they hope will be self-fulfilling.

C# Open Source popularity not what one might think.

How does one measure success?

The success – roughly defined as “popularity” – of C#/Mono/.NET is something we’ve kicked around in comments here. Now, there are numbers from Black Duck that have got some blogs picking up on some “harder” numbers.

C# squeaks into 10th place, with a 1.24% share – virtually equal to assembly language (1.23%)!

It ought to be emphasised that these numbers from Black Duck are skewed because it recently started funneling in heaps of Microsoft-oreinted projects, which then gave the impression of (relatively) less GPL acceptance and probably increased acceptance of C#. If only GPL-licensed projects are accounted for, it is likely that C# will have closer to 0%. This cannot be checked, however, because Black Duck insists on black-box surveys and proprietary scanning/cataloging software. As one reader often reminds us, Mono/C# programmers are only dozens of people, many of whom are Novell employees.

Over at The Register, Timothy Prickett Morgan seemingly advises Novell to join forces with Microsoft’s Partner of the Year (2008), namely Citrix.

What is commercial Linux distributor Novell going to do about server and desktop virtualization?

It’s a good question, and one that the company’s top brass has not really addressed.

In July 2006, with the launch of SUSE Linux 10, Novell was the first commercial Linux vendor to ship a Xen hypervisor tuned for Linux. And it is arguable that Novell probably jumped the gun, given the state of Xen, its management tools, and Novell’s support of other operating systems beside SLES 10 at the time with its embedded Xen product.

[...]

Circling high above the server virtualization space here at El Reg, it sure looks like Novell and Citrix need each other. They need each other as much as Citrix needed to closely ally itself with Microsoft to put out its Essentials tools for managing both XenServer and Hyper-V hypervisors, and as much as Novell needed to make a pact with Microsoft to distribute $340m worth of SUSE Linux support contracts into Windows shops.

If Novell and Citrix grew even closer, it would most likely lead to even greater entanglements with Microsoft. Citrix is no friend of GNU/Linux, to say the very, very least.

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2 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    August 19, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Gravatar

    How can you say that? Mono is essential! Free software just can’t go on without yet another media player and a really, really fat and slow note-taking app!

  2. JohnD said,

    August 20, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Gravatar

    1. Nice how you leave out the fact the numbers are based upon open source projects. This leaves the door wide open when it comes to closed/mixed source projects.
    2. I like how you reference an article that states Novell isn’t using Mono, then later state that most of the Mono/C# developers are Novell employees.
    3. In earlier posts you’ve stated the Java is the #1 language – according to your new numbers it’s C/C++.
    4. You’ve left out the context for the “We eat our own dogfood” reference. That was made when Novell was making an internal switch to using Linux where ever they could. Because most of their products have Windows and Linux versions they will never be completely Windows free.
    I would also point out that the article quote you have at the top states the Novell doesn’t have faith in it’s products, but then states in the mix of servers it uses that they do in fact use Suse and Netware.
    Lastly I would suggest that you are using “reverse psychology” in stating that no one using Mono in the hope that people will believe you and abandon it. After all, if no one is really using it – why waste diskspace on stories about it?

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