Genuinely Interesting Hack

by Miguel de Icaza

John Luke blogged about Lazlo. Lazlo is very similar in spirit to Macromedia's Flex: it is a server-side XML markup for creating applications with JavaScript as the programming language for it.

Like Flex it produces Flash files dynamically, and it is implemented using Java. An adorable project, worth helping those guys out.

A demo of Lazlo can be seen here.

Spanish Mono Article

Jordi Mas (from our Windows.Forms team) has written an article in Spanish about Mono: Beyond .NET.

Happy Anniversary Jackson

Jackson has been with the Mono team at Novell now for a year.

Most Missleading Foreign Policy Statements from the VP debate

Someone had the patience to do it: here. This one is particuarly packed with jewels.

And for healthcare, there is this one.

Since am linking, a new Mark Fiore episode: The Few, The Contractors.

Farenheit 9/11

Got my Farenheit 9/11 DVD yesterday and I watched the beginning of the movie again. As awesome as it was when I first watched it, and comes with some extra footage and complimentary material.

Watching it for the second time, I felt that there was so much more that could be added to the movie and spice it more with what we know since the movie was released. It is still a very powerful movie.

Posted on 07 Oct 2004

C# Precisely

by Miguel de Icaza

Peter Sestoft and Henrik Hansen have published their new book `C# Precisely', a pretty concise book from MIT Press and it covers the C# 2.0 language including generics, iterators and anonymous methods.

Peter is one of the developers of the of the C5 class library: a library of generic classes for C# (We package this for Mono as the Mono.C5 assembly).

Posted on 05 Oct 2004

Mono Success Story

by Miguel de Icaza

I mentioned a few days ago Joshua's web site. This web site is data intensive and was ported from Perl to Mono, according to Joshua the porting experience was a joy.

Joshua is one of the XSLT magicians in the Mono project, the man who turned 3,000 lines of C# code for pretty-printing our documentation into 300 lines of XSLT macros.

But Joshua did not use ASP.NET to write the new site, Joshua rolled out his own processing model using Mono and the low-level hooks of System.Web, he discusses the porting process on a recent article:

Websites have some of the same design issues as programs. One common issue is how to avoid duplication, but while software developers have solved this issue with functions, website developers are still struggling for a solution., my new website, solves this problem using XSL transformations and the Mono framework.

The article is interesting for anyone interested in extending and hooking up to the HTTP processing pipeline in Mono and also discusses how to extend Mono's XSLT with C#-coded functions.

Joshua has a blog.

Linex (Debian) packages for Mono

Users of Linex can download packages for Mono from here. The rumor on the street is that Alo himself packaged Mono. Maybe he has finally reached enlightenment.

Posted on 04 Oct 2004

Spreading Freedom

by Miguel de Icaza

While watching the debate, president Bush made a statement about how spreading freedom was the right thing to do. And how eventually freedom will help fix things in the world. The CNN blog had a funny remark:

I love the way Bush talks about "spreading" liberty and "spreading" freedom. Like they're this peanut butter and jelly that can just be piled on top of slices of other countries.

A point that I think people have been missing is that the major source of the problems around the globe have to do with quality of life, freedom comes in a distant second place.

The focus on the war on terror I believe is completely missguided. Dropping bombs or shooting people will only exacerbate the dislike for an invasion. On the other hand, if social programs to reactivate the economy, to improve health-care, to improve schools, to create jobs, you will increase the number of happy people and minimize the discontent.

There is a whole debate about what "freedom" means, and it probably means different things to different people. Every once in a while I ran into people who miss the days of living under a dictatorship: from the Franquistas in Spain who think the country was better off with dictator Franco, to chileans that believe that dictador Pinochet was the best thing to happen to Chile since sliced bread. These people were enjoying their lives and hence had no problem with the imperfect states of government they had.

My point is that some people did not care about their freedom rights as long as they themselves were doing fine. Another example are some americans today. They seem to be just happy to reduce their own rights and freedoms for the sake of security (Patriot Act) or the sake of capitalism (The DMCA).

A better strategy to fight terror around the globe would be to revisit US foreign economic policy, to help organizations like the FAO, give economic relief and revisit the free trade agreements to level the standard of living around the globe.

The subject is explored from an economist point of view: here and here.

And of course, at the core of the problem I believe strongly is ultra-capitalism: companies and practices which are only concerned in increasing shareholder value with no social compromise (The movie "The Corporation" digs into this issue more).

Other post-debate links

On Korea's nuclear proliferation.

Last night I watched , very interesting documentary on the relentless effort to bring Clinton down. The ironic bit of the movie: while Clinton was preparing to do a speech at the UN on terrorism as the biggest threat to the world, the republicans were airing and promoting his deposition on the Lewinsky case.

The most interesting tidbit comes in the DVD: at the premiere of the movie, Clinton got to speak to the audience, and had great bits of insight. What makes the man most admirable is that he respects those that disagree with him, and proposes to engage in a discussion to understand the different points of view.

Posted on 02 Oct 2004

The Debate

by Miguel de Icaza

Enjoyed pretty much the debate, I was surprised at Kerry's articulate intervention. Bush did try the whole show to point out Kerry as changing opinions, I wish Kerry had pointed to Record Shows Bush Shifting on Iraq War.

Alex (of Tomboy fame told me today on IM:

Alex: ya, he was damn good Alex: if he had been able to speak that way throughout the campaign he'd be winning Alex: the problem is that bush's progeny is much better at spin Alex: so by this time tomorrow the people will be convinced that bush won the debate

Posted on 01 Oct 2004


by Miguel de Icaza

Joshua is a long time contributor to Mono and on his copious spare time he works maintaining the GovTrack.US web site. He has just completed his port from Perl to Mono.

Let me quote Joshua:

So now if you go to, you get my new and improved Mono-powered site. I probably said this last email, but using Mono has been unbelievably easy and helpful.

Congratulations to Joshua! And we will keep an eye on Monologue for his comments.

Mono book at XML conference

Edd reports that his Mono book was the top seller at the XML Open conference:

O'Reilly had a book stall at XML Open, and I was very glad to hear that Mono: A Developer's Notebook was the best-selling book during the conference. Very amusing, for an XML conference!


The way that people can help best is to ask for the book in their local stores and get them to order it. If lots of requests show up from stores, then it really helps make a case to the central buyers for ordering it.

Posted on 29 Sep 2004

Chomsky on Video

by Miguel de Icaza

In the last couple of years I attended a couple of talks from Noam at MIT and Harvard. Excellent talks, if you were not able to attend these, you might want to get the DVD.

It comes with the presentation at Harvard and a Q&A section from both events.

Duncan sent me a link to The Life of Joe Republican, very funny, excerpt:

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

On the other end of the spectrum

On the other end of the spectrum, multi-billionaire George Soros gives his opinion on Why We Must Not Re-elect President Bush.

Follow up: Bruce Springstein interview detailing why he had to take a position on this election.

Interview with Mikael Hallendal

Mikael is the founder of Imendio, there is an interview with him at OSnews on the subject of Gtk+/Gnome commercial support.

Solaris and the Linux kernel

I read with alarm the discussion between the Solaris kernel engineer and some Linux dude. I have to say that it is a bit sad that the Linux dude did not understand the points of the Solaris kernel developer.

It was a bit embarassing to read the arguments from the Linux dude. And I found myself agreeing more with the Solaris engineer which clearly articulated the rationale for his decision. On the other hand or Linux friend just launched a long tirade of fanboyism and flames.

This is the wrong way of advocating Linux. I have always maintained that to effectively compete you should never compare the downsides of your competitor with your advantages, that just leads to the placebo effect you can see from the Linux guy: "everyting we do is fine, there is no need to improve". He got defensive. But this is exactly the wrong attitude to take because in this mode of operation you do not react and do not take steps to improve. What the Linux community should do is compare the strengths of Solaris and the weaknesses of Linux. Maybe there are things that can improve, maybe there are cultural changes that can take place but dissing someone else on these grounds is not going to improve our loved kernel.

When Sun decided to adopt Gnome as their desktop environment there was a big discussion about API stability, an issue that many of us although peripherally aware of, did not take as seriously as Sun did. We have to thank Sun for bringing that culture into Gnome, and I wish that the same culture spead further to other projects.

Reverse Migration Linux to Windows

The slashdot thread at +5 has some very interesting insight on the latest Get the Wrong Facts campaign from Microsoft. The best responses: one, two but in general everything at +5 is worth reading.

We are all stoned slackers

Awesome Interview Transcript: Jon Stewart being extremely classy in his replies to the ad-hominem comments from O'Reilly.

According to O'Reilly viewers of the Daily Show are stoned slackers, research apparently proved the opposite: the audience of the Daily Show is more likely to have completed four years of college as opposed to the O'Reilly audience. Me not having completed college probably puts me on the `stoned slacker' category.

In other news:

Posted on 28 Sep 2004

Managed Windows.Forms update

by Miguel de Icaza

Jackson just posted an update on Mono's new managed implementation of Windows.Forms.

JavaScript update from Cesar

Cesar has posted an update on his work on the JavaScript compiler for Mono, it is here

Jon Stewart's new book

I own it now.

Johannes Software Page

Mandatory link to Jon's blog. His software page has various C# programs.

Two more things to go

Todo list getting shorter: parameters missing, fix iterators (which I broke), switch statement, write rationale and author ChangeLogs:

  Test passes: a-call.cs
  Test passes: a-capture1.cs
  Test passes: a-capture2.cs
  Test passes: a-capture3.cs
  Test passes: a-capture4.cs
  Test passes: a-capture5.cs
  Test passes: a-capture6.cs
  Test passes: a-capture7.cs
  Test passes: a-capture8.cs
  Test passes: a-event.cs
  Test passes: a-instance.cs
  Test passes: a-nested-anon2.cs
  Test passes: a-nested-anon3.cs
  Test passes: a-nested-anon4.cs
  Test passes: a-nested-anon.cs
  Test passes: a-nested.cs
  Test passes: a-parameter2.cs
  Test passes: a-parameter3.cs
   Test fails: a-parameter4.cs
  Test passes: a-parameter.cs
  Test passes: a-simple.cs

Code drop

Posted on 21 Sep 2004

Trip to M�xico City

by Miguel de Icaza

I will be talking to some Novell customers in Mexico City about Novell Linux initiatives and some of the Novell offerings on Thursday September 20th, if you want to come, register here.

A Nation Divided

I found this link from Jon Udell's blog: Valdis Krebs has graphed the books purchased in online retailers and has come up with a pretty interesting view of the nation based on the book purchasing patterns.

It begins in 2003 continues in early 2004 and there is a recent update

Atsushi Enomoto on the Move

Super-hacker Atsushi Enomoto is on the move. He will be at the XMLOpen conference in the UK representing the Mono team, and later will land in Boston for couple of weeks to do some local hacking and consume lobster sushi.

Evolution 2.0 is out

Evolution 2.0 has been released.

Shame about the shortcut bar being gone, I never use the folder list, I have my life organized using shortcut bars.

Posted on 20 Sep 2004

MD5 security: great blog entry

by Miguel de Icaza

Sebastien has posted his thoughts on the MD5 vulnerability. Check it out!

Robert Cringely

I always find Robert Cringely engaging on his articles, and his last installment follows this tradition. Some would say its nothing short of insanely great.

Anyways, a couple of thoughts:

  • 50,000 or so geeks over at Microsoft spend some portion of their time thinking `How can we defeat/block Linux' and they come up with some pretty crazy ideas. In this installment Robert makes the point about the new USB system, but this is just one angle.

    It is clear from Chris Anderson's last post that it is an ongoing strategy to come up with schemes that will lock Linux out (even if they are highly inadequate for the world where scams are the rule of the day).

    Avalon's feature set is one of these creative things they come up with. I am convinced that they see Avalon as the tool that will replace the Web (the marketing folks will step in and claim that they `augment the user experience').

  • The software industry like no other one has a tremendous flexibility to create completely new models and abstractions, roll out prototypes and such.

    Maybe we are reaching a point where we need government regulations on the software industry or in some of its components. An explicit acknowledgment of Linux and open source players as an important player in consumer choice.

    Ah, not only had I suggested that when Slashdot posts a link to the MS lobbying efforts.

Speaking of augmenting the user experience. It is clear that plenty of work can be done today to augment the user experience of the web: GMail and Google Local services is leading the pack in smooth user interfaces. Everyone is raving about the keyboard navigation, the clean look and the good interaction of GMail, while am delighted to see the clever hacks to explore maps without doing page reloads.

And finally there is A9 who also sports a great user interface on the Web.

Firefox reaches one million downloads

Firefox reached one million downloads ahead of schedule. Congratulations to the Mozilla hackers!

Java APIs too academic

Someone else also thinks that Java APIs got too academic: here

Posted on 19 Sep 2004

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