Mono 2.0 released with .NET 2.0 compatibility

David Worthington
October 6, 2008 —  (Page 1 of 2)
Novell’s Mono project has been chasing Microsoft’s .NET Framework since its inception. In a turnabout, Novell now intends to standardize some innovations that it developed during the course of its work toward parity with .NET 2.0, leaving Microsoft to follow Mono.

Mono 2.0, set for release today, is a Linux-based implementation of the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), an open specification developed by Microsoft and published under Ecma-335.

The Mono 2.0 release, in development since November 2006, is compatible with Microsoft’s .NET 2.0 framework, and includes a debugger and an implementation of Language Integrated Query (LINQ) from .NET 3.5.

The Mono team received no assistance from Microsoft; rather, it relied on guidance and public documentation from Ecma International, and ran tests against .NET when the specifications were unclear, said Miguel de Icaza, vice president of developer platforms for Novell and leader of the Mono project.

He acknowledged that Mono 2.0 is not an exact duplicate of .NET, but he said it comes “as close as [the Mono team] could get it.” Meanwhile, the team did more than just copy .NET: It added some unique features to its implementation that it will contribute to the CLI through Ecma, de Icaza said.

Brian Goldfarb, director of developer platforms at Microsoft, said the company “is an active participant on the [Ecma-335] committee, and we are delighted to have others—including our partners at Novell and others in the industry—participating.” He added that Microsoft is committed to openness with .NET and that it fully intends to support all evolutions of the CLI specification with subsequent releases of the .NET Framework.

“It does not behoove Microsoft to adopt a siege mentality toward open source,” said Laura DiDio, a principal analyst with Information Technology Intelligence Corp. “They have to be flexible and not alienate enterprise customers that want interoperability.”

Returning to a familiar pattern, subsequent releases of Mono will continue to validate against .NET. The Mono project has received test suites for the Common Language Runtime (CLR), Microsoft’s implementation of the CLI, to create Moonlight, a Linux runtime for Silverlight. Microsoft is supplying the CLR in accordance with its partnership with the Mono project.

Related Search Term(s): Linux, Mono, .NET, open source, Microsoft, Novell

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