Linux, Java proponents embrace .NET

Two small development shops are looking to help companies use .NET Web services with Linux and Java.

Ximian Inc., a small, Boston-based developer specializing in user interfaces for Linux, will formally announce on Monday an open-source project to create a Linux version of Microsoft Corp.'s .NET platform.

On the Java front, San Jose, Calif.-based Halcyon Software Inc. is enabling developers to either migrate their Active Server Pages or Visual Basic code to JSP (JavaServer Pages) or Java, respectively, or to deploy .NET applications on Java-based infrastructures.

Ximian's Mono Project will incorporate basic .NET building blocks including a C# compiler, Common Language Runtime compiler, and a complete set of class libraries, all of which will help developers create platform-independent .NET applications.

The Mono Project will enable the creation of both graphical interfaces using Gnome components as well as the development of server applications and Web Services. Source code will be available under the General Public License (GPL) and the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), which company officials believe helps quicken the development of .NET-compliant run-time and development environment.

"Our motivation is purely selfish in that we want to have better tools for Linux. As part of the Gnome project, we have been trying to come up with a new development platform and a number of tools and components that would make it easier for people to develop applications," said Miguel de Icaza, Ximian's CTO and president of the Gnome Foundation. "And with .NET coming along we now have something that works correctly."

He believes there is enormous potential in Web services as well as in Microsoft's .NET initiative. He believes the Mono Project can help the open-source community realize that same potential in the Linux world.

The Mono Project has three central elements as part of its development framework, according to de Icaza.

The first is the C# compiler, which serves to extend the Gnome development platform out, giving Linux developers the chance to create .NET-compatible applications. Second, developers can use the full set of class libraries, which are compatible with Microsoft's CLI, to create applications and Web services. Third is a Linux version of the Microsoft CLR run-time engine that allows Linux systems to run .NET applications built on Windows, Linux, and Unix.

"We are basically replacing Windows calls with the Linux equivalent. By the time the project is done you can copy .NET apps over to Linux and run them untouched on Linux, or develop the apps on Linux and run them untouched on a Windows server," de Icaza said.

Although Ximian will make most of the technical contributions to the Mono Project, it will be seeking help from the open-source community to complete it. In terms of joint development work, the good news about .NET technologies, according to de Icaza, is they can be divided up into subcomponents easily allowing all developers contributing to the project to work independently.

"Individual developers can take care of one component, and as long as the APIs they create are consistent with the Microsoft version, we don't care what happens inside," de Icaza said.

Under the terms of the GPL and LGPL licenses as used by the Mono Project, developers are free to write and distribute commercial and proprietary applications, something that is prohibited under Microsoft's shared source license, according to Ximian officials.

Some developers like the freedom to develop and deliver commercial applications the Mono Project is offering them, compared to that of Microsoft's license.

"Momentum has been building in the open-source community to extend .NET development framework to new platforms without the strings of Microsoft's shared source program. With Ximian's announcement I think you will see a groundswell of support from open-source developers to build a true cross-platform implementation," said Bruce Parens, strategic advisor to Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Linux Systems Operation.

Meanwhile, Halcyon's initiative originally supports Microsoft's ASP.NET, the recent adaptation of its ASP technology for building Web sites to the .NET platform, but they plan to increase support for more Microsoft programs.

"We'll be a small step behind Microsoft in terms of releases," said president and CEO Don Hsi.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ed Scannell

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?