While Microsoft's Silverlight recently went 1.0 for Mac and Windows users, the last time we got a progress report on the version for Linux called "Moonlight" was early September. In a report by eWeek, who was covering today's XML Conference in Boston, Novell's vice president of developer platforms, Miguel de Icaza, noted that not only is Moonlight set to release within the next six months, but they're working on getting support for all major Linux distributions. De Icaza is also quoted as saying he didn't want Moonlight to lag behind Silverlight in … Read more
Before you read this, you should read this. I regretted this post shortly after posting it.
I think Miguel de Icaza is an exceptional developer. He's also a fantastically effective community leader. And, though he's never displayed his best side to me, personally, I understand that he's a quality person that people like to be around.
For these reasons I can't help but wonder why he's squandering his talents on writing largely irrelevant code (Mono, Moonlight) that appeals to himself, Novell, Microsoft, and no one else.
It's not that Microsoft is a bad company. It's that Miguel could be doing so much more for the industry if he stopped cloning the Microsoft experience on Linux and instead drove forward the Linux/open source experience. Sam Varghese writes:
For a long time de Icaza, who is now on the staff of Novell, appears to have been trying to please the people at Redmond. First it was with Mono, his implementation of Microsoft's .NET development environment.… Read more
I'm all for interoperability. But I have to wonder at Novell's and Microsoft's apparent definition of the term. Miguel de Icaza rightly took me to task for blanketing Novell with criticism yet, as was pointed out today, there is good reason for criticism of Moonlight/Silverlight:
To the extent that it requires Microsoft patent approval to be effective (and it does, by Miguel's own admission), it is shackled in its potential. Interoperability is to Microsoft what prostitution is to a pimp: a great source of control and income.
Jason Matusow (a great friend and Microsoft employee) crows about what a great example Moonlight is of Microsoft's interop work. But Jason, you have actually only succeeded in proving the point of Microsoft's critics: Microsoft can't seem to engage in interop except on its own, very closed terms. This isn't interoperability.
The open-source Mono project will show off an early version of Microsoft's Silverlight browser plug-in running on Linux later this week.
Work on the plug-in, called Moonlight, was started only in May, after Microsoft's Mix conference. Moonlight uses version 1.1 of Silverlight, a browser plug-in for displaying interactive Web applications, which is due in the fall.
Once completed, Moonlight will allow Linux users to see Silverlight content on the Web, such as videos, and run rich Internet applications.
According to Miguel De Icaza, Mono project leader and Novell open-source president, Mono engineers have been working 14-hour days … Read more