Monodoc contributions

by Miguel de Icaza

We are getting some pretty sizable contributions to the documentation of Mono through Monodoc.

Posted on 10 Dec 2003

Python running fast on .NET

by Miguel de Icaza

Jim Hugunin (the creator of Jython) reports that his early .NET compiler for Python is performing very well, in contrast with ActiveState's previous attempt, in some cases better than CPython. It always bothered meb that ActiveState discontinued work, and came to a conclussion on .NET performance rather quickly, with JScript and VB.NET being proofs that better speeds could be achieved.

A copy of Jim's posting is here (the listserv requires a password to read), the details:

The early results with IronPython show that Python compiled to IL can run fast. On the standard pystone benchmark, IronPython-0.1 is 70% faster than CPython-2.3. The numbers for pystone as well as several micro-benchmarks are shown below. For ease of comparison, all times are normalized to Python-2.3. Smaller numbers indicate faster performance.
                IronPython-0.1  Python-2.3      Python-2.1      Jython-2.1
pystone         0.58            1.00            1.29            1.61

function call   0.19            1.00            1.12            1.33
integer add     0.59            1.00            1.18            1.08
string.replace  0.92            1.00            1.00            1.40
range(bigint)   5.57            1.00            1.09            16.02
eval("2+2")     66.97           1.00            1.58            91.33

Good to stop the meme of `.NET is slow for scripting languages'.

Two simple links for the day

Illustration: patent on a simple web app

The simple joys in life

Someone on the net sent me this:

Mono's ASP.NET running on an X-Box running Debian

On the other hand, I do not know how I forgot to blog about a real ASP.NET web site running on Mono:

Posted on 09 Dec 2003

Gnome goes Enterprise!

by Miguel de Icaza

I have not seen this reported yet anywhere, but as I was flipping through the pages of the newspapers on the airplane on the way back from Frankfurt, I noticed that Sun has signed a deal with the UK to provide 500,000 of its desktops based on Gnome, OpenOffice, Mozilla and Evolution.

A second batch of congratulations for our competitors/collaborator friends at Sun. They got one million users for GNOME in China. 1.5 million desktops: not bad, not bad at all.

The guys got a very good review from eWeek: Sun Rivals Windows, Office. An interview from a couple of months ago with Jonathan Schwartz is here. This one about their desktop effort.

XD2 is also doing well

Here is a review of our own XD2 in Open for Business.

Novell article on Mono

Richard Smith has published an intro to Mono in the Novell CoolSolutions.

Posted on 08 Dec 2003

Linux Bangalore is over

by Miguel de Icaza

The conference was awesome. We got to meet a large community of enthusiastic hackers that wanted to participate in Gnome and Mono activities. Nat and myself did in total four presentations, three of them we did together, people really enjoyed the complemented discussion on stage.

Our talks were spaced out so we could spend time to talking to people, which turned out to be a great idea: we spend the three days at the conference answering questions and hopefully giving some helpful hints on how to get involved in open source developement.

The Novell Booth at Bangalore Linux.

The Novell booth was crowed the whole time, and the Novell team here did a fantastic job, they even had a quiz competition for various open source topics.

Posted on 04 Dec 2003

Bangalore update.

by Miguel de Icaza

The conference so far has been fantastic, it is great to meet so many students and developers who are interested in becoming contributing citizens in the free software world. Yesterday Nat and myself did a couple of joint talks on the desktop. Today was Mono day #1 and the talk covered the basics: the rationale for Mono, what is available, and the roadmap.

The Main Room

I spent the next five hours talking to various people who were interested in different facets of Mono and open source development. The Novell booth was packed, and the guys manning the booth were overloaded with questions about the desktop, the bounties (which we are promoting here for the first time in public) and Gnome Bangalore (which was just launched).

Naba Kumar of Anjuta fame has a boot all for himself to demo Anjuta and the locally built PDA is also being displayed on the show. Another important project at the show was the IndLinux effort: they have been working on translating Gnome to ten different Indian languages:

IndiLinux GNOME

Tomorrow we are doing another joint presentation, this time on rapid application development with Mono. We have a little surprise prepared for this one.

Posted on 03 Dec 2003

Mono 0.29 has been released

by Miguel de Icaza

This release took us a long time to go out, but it is pretty exciting, with PPC supported. The best Mono release ever!

Today I do my first Mono presentation at the Bangalore Linux event. I helped Nat with two of the Gnome presentations yesterday at the event, those were fun.

Posted on 02 Dec 2003

Arrived to Bangalore

by Miguel de Icaza

A very pleasant journey to Bangalore. At the lounge in Boston they had Champagne and Burritos:

Champagne and Burritos For the Traveling Connoisseur.

During the six hour layover in the Frankfurt airport, I did some low-hanging-fruit hacking: reduced MCS compilation times and memory usage a bit more. On the airplane I managed to get Gtk# using Cairo# which required fixing various Cairo# issues, and adding some custom features to Gtk#. Will check those in, once we decide on the new name for the `CairoState' object, which we currently call `Cairo.Object' which is just not right.

Barb wire, keeping someone out of something.

Planet Novell

Following the steps of PlanetGnome, Novell now has an aggregated service of Novell blogs at Planet Novell

Monodoc Editing

Added some helper buttons to assist the folks writing documentation with Monodoc, also we have now activated the Monodoc editing web service, so those users that are using Monodoc CVS are now able to send their contributions back from the GUI.

Our web service is running on Mono ASP.NET with the Apache2 module. For the curious, our web service is hosted here.

Posted on 29 Nov 2003

Going to Bangalore

by Miguel de Icaza

Am taking a plane to Bangalore in a few hours. This trip is to meet with my colleagues at Novell/Bangalore who will be working in Mono (starting next week) and also to attend the Bangalore Linux Conference. Will be talking about Mono as a development platform, and meeting with some of the existing contributors to Mono and Gnome that have e-mailed me.

On my way back, am planning on stopping by Germany and Spain, but the exact dates and locations have not been sorted out yet.

The Mono team is in good hands, with a flury of activity on every corner: we are advancing quickly on completing the .NET 1.1 APIs for the Mono 1.0 release, and a few team members have been amusing themselves implementing features from the .NET 1.2 release.

As I write this, am migrating my album from my mPhoto software to Ettore's F-Spot photo management application (both written in C#, but Ettore has done a much better job than I did with mPhoto ;-).

Lastly, I have been playing with Cairo in Gtk#, and having a fun time using it from C#, it needs a bit of loving which am going to be doing on the airplane, and will have something to check in when I land in India.

Cool link of the day, comes from Brad Adams blog:

Posted on 28 Nov 2003

Editorial Prize

by Miguel de Icaza

My friend Mancha (Fernando Magari´┐Żos) worked for two years on and off doing the typography for a physics book in Mexico, and the book was just awarded the prize for the best typesetting, layout and editing in Mexico.

Mancha composed the book with TeX. Will post links when I have them.

Posted on 27 Nov 2003

Sun's Linux Desktop in China

by Miguel de Icaza

Congratulations to Sun on getting the deal with the government of China. We are competitors, but still the software they are delivering is open source.

I know various of the hackers and developers at Sun that have worked hard on this: on Gnome, in OpenOffice and Java, and I am glad that their hard work is going to in such a large deployment.

A few years ago, we met with John Heard and Marco Boerries who were working on various angles of Sun on the desktop. It was back then that John had seen a future for Gtk+ as an ISV platform, and that Marco would bring up the idea of open sourcing StarOffice (which we have been very excited about contributing to). They wanted to see Gnome mature: and they were two important driving forces for the establishment of the Gnome Foundation. Through all these years of work, Sun has funded big parts of development of various components of the open source.

Despite all the criticism they get from Jonathan Schwartz quotes about Linux, Sun is a massive contributor to the open source pool. OpenOffice alone is a big chunk of functionality. But their daily involvement in Gnome 2 has been a pleasure to watch: they were the first to push Gnome to be fully accessible to comply with government regulations.

Anyways, good luck to our competitors. Tonight is a big win: at least 1.3 billion people will be running Evolution.

Royalty-Free Office XML file formats

Microsoft announced the specs for the XML markup for Office, and they are royalty free. The actual license text contains:

If you distribute, license or sell a Licensed Implementation, this license is conditioned upon you requiring that the following notice be prominently displayed in all copies and derivative works of your source code and in copies of the documentation and licenses associated with your Licensed Implementation:

"This product may incorporate intellectual property owned by Microsoft Corporation. The terms and conditions upon which Microsoft is licensing such intellectual property may be found at"

By including the above notice in a Licensed Implementation, you will be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions of this license. You are not licensed to distribute a Licensed Implementation under license terms and conditions that prohibit the terms and conditions of this license.

It appears that the above *might* be incompatible with the GPL. It sounds like the BSD advertisement requirement. Further study is needed to really understand the issues.

Posted on 18 Nov 2003

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