Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce Of Mono, apologists, and missing the news for the spin

Author's Opinion

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Miguel de Icaza, a vice-president at Novell and the founder of the Mono project, made a number of statements recently that were diametrically opposed to all that he has said earlier about Microsoft's .NET development environment.


His comments were contained in an article written by Software Development Times senior editor David Worthington. The Mono founder is now trying to cut his losses - and appears to have won at least one recruit to his cause.

For the uninitiated, Mono is a project begun by De Icaza, a co-founder of the GNOME desktop project, in August 2001. It aims to create a free implementation of Microsoft's .NET development environment.

The SD Times posted most of De Icaza's comments - and extremely newsworthy ones too given that he has basically been saying the opposite all along - in a separate piece titled "Does Windows cost Microsoft opportunities?" dated March 17.  The comments were noticed by open source advocate Jason Melton who runs a blog under the name The-Source.com. Melton wanted to verify that the comments were made by De Icaza and was mystified to find that the original article had disappeared off the web. It could only be found in Google's cache. He commented on it on March 26.

Alan Zeichick, the executive director of BZ Media, the parent organisation of SD Times, told iTWire that Worthington's story was mistakenly posted as several separate stories. The first of these was dated March 10 and titled "Even with its success, .NET causes some consternation." Zeichick says that after the error was noticed by SD Times, the pieces were reassembled. They are now posted under the March 10 piece. Zeichick says this re-assembling was done on March 23.

I wrote a story on the night of March 25 (Australian Eastern Standard Time), quoting material from the March 17 SD Times article. My piece was posted on the American technology news aggregation site, Slashdot. Following that, de Icaza decided that he needed to put things in "context" and wrote a lengthy post on his blog on March 25 (US time).

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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