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Mono is dead, long live Mono!

Mono Project is (was?) at forefront of bridging the gap between Windows in Linux world for .Net developers. The latest release 2.10.7 supports Solaris, MacOS, Windows and various flavours of Linux + Android; the MonoTouch project allows developers to create native iPhone/iPad apps.

And yet Attachmate decided to throw the baby with the water! The official end of Mono at Attachmate came Friday, May 13, which was the last day of employment for the Novell’s Mono team, a move announced on May 2.

Miguel de Icaza ventured out on his own with the new company Xamarin

This would be a great opportunity for Microsoft to bring .Net Linux development in house,their real chance to compete with Android/iOS.

But if the past is any indication of the future they will pass on it. What a shame…


.Net as Will and Representation

It's been a long run for .Net in the wild... The experiment with letting go is about to end, and .Net is to become yet another Windows "component".

The update to .NET Framework policy states that beginning with .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (SP1) the .NET Framework will be defined as a “Component”. As a Component, .NET version 3.5 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will assume the same Support Lifecycle policy as its parent product or platform.

As Yogi Berra might have remarked: "It's déjà vu all over again!"  Yes, I am referring to Internet Explorer 4.0 being "integral part of Microsoft Windows".
I think this is a major blunder on Microsoft's part, and an opening for Java to regain some of the lost ground (the last time I've checked JVM was still a separate product...)

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Who’s got Web Services right

Once in a while, Microsoft does the right thing, and the rest of the programming community ought to simply acknowledge the contribution, and move forward. Consider web services: creating a webservice in .Net is [almost] as easy as marking a function with WebMethod attribute .

Here're some well taken points emanating from Mark D. Hansen - a bona fide Java developer and architect (and the author of SOA Using Java Web Services book)

"Adding web services to Java applications should not require programming. There should be a simple ON/OFF switch. You should be able to select some business logic, flip the ON switch, and publish it as a web service.  Unfortunately, Java isn’t designed that way. Java requires you to write code, annotate classes, recompile, and redeploy. And it isn’t simple coding either[md]particularly when you run into problems with Java/XML serialization."

Mark goes on quoting in his book the blog of Dave Podnar - a hilarious summation of the problem!

Dave Podnar's Five Stages of Dealing with Web Services

1. Denial: It's Simple Object Access Protocol, right?
2. Over-Involvement: OK, I'll read the SOAP, WSDL, WS-I BP, JAX-WS, SAAJ, JAXB, … specs. Next, I'll check the wiki and finally follow an example showing service and client sides.
3. Anger: I can't believe those
#$%&*@s made it so difficult!

I could not find the remaining two stages on the Net, but would speculate that they either deal with either reaching nirvana or switching to COBOL programming...


.Net turns 10 years old

Ten years of .NET - Did Microsoft deliver?

[... If the goal of .NET was to see off Java, it was at least partially successful. Java did not die, but enterprise Java became mired in complexity, making .NET an easy sell as a more productive alternative. C# has steadily grown in popularity, and is now the first choice for most Windows development. ASP.NET has been a popular business web framework. The common language runtime has proved robust and flexible ...]

 [... Job trend figures here show steadily increasing demand for C#, which is now mentioned in around 32 per cent of UK IT programming vacancies, ahead of Java at 26 per cent ...]

My own non-scientific trend analysis (both manual search on and using Google Trends) shows that demand for Java skills is tapering off, and that for Microsoft's .Net is rising steadily. I foresee approximately equal adoption rates for both, with developers feeling at home in both worlds while focusing on one. Or maybe Oracle makes Java an open standard, and Microsoft will be able to roll it into .net family of languages...:)

With the ever increasing levels of  cross-pollination, the technology is quickly becoming interchangeable, and so do skills.