Co-authored with G. Forbes
Summary: Monetary losses make Mono less appealing to developers; Mono’s future is uncertain enough to deter some people
A while ago in our IRC channels, G. Forbes stated that BZFlag developers were considering using Mono for future releases. After further investigation it turned out that this idea had come just days before AttachMSFT laid off the entire Mono team. To quote this page from the BZFlag forums, “C# was a serious suggestion. With the help of Mono, we could use a single set of binaries across Windows, OSX, Linux, and whatever else supports Mono. We could write a lightweight launcher application for each supported operating system and have that handle downloading the latest version automatically and starting it.”
Mr. Forbes told us today that, based on follow-up research, BZFlag has given up on the idea. A more recent message on the forum enquired, “Will it be built using .NET/Mono? Because considering the current situation surrounding uncertain future Mono development, as well as the looming patents issue, I wouldn’t think it would be a wise decision.” The answer, provided by a developer, is “No”.
While we are discussing Mono, we ought to clarify about our Fedora-Mono article from yesterday. When we said “removing Mono”, we meant “removing it from the default installation”. By comparison, Debian does include Mono in the default installation. Someone from the Fedora community has asked us to clarify this. As an aside, another member of the Fedora community has just recommended a Mono-based application, Sparkleshare [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]
Relying on anything Mono right now is risky because Mono has no financial security, with funding provided only from Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza and another as-yet unnamed party. It is also proudly headed by someone who used to work for Microsoft. Moreover, Novell’s patent deal with Microsoft expires within months, which enhances the magnitude of the patent threat. █