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Salivating Over Silverlight

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 11:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Baby drool

Summary: If Novell’s vice president is “droolingly” Microsoft’s, then how can Mono and Novell be trusted anymore?

SEVERAL days ago we wrote about GIMP getting the shaft for questionable reasons [1, 2, 3]. Rather than remove Mono, Ubuntu decided to demote a very key application.

This is good news for Microsoft. In his typical fashion* Thom Holwerda is suggesting Paint.NET (or Paint.Mono) as a replacement. What an insult that would be. GIMP is actually in the process of adding a Photoshop-like user interface as an option in the main branch.

In other Mono news, “Docky Separates from GNOME Do” and GNOME Do, which is based on Mono, is still seen as a failure by some. From a new post:

Like every other Linux program, [GNOME] Do saves time and effort. Like every other Linux program, Do also costs time and effort in the bugs that it has. The most frustrating bug I’ve had so far is that Do simply disappears on a restart. It runs and in a manner it “exists” since I can resize it on my desktop, but I can’t actually see or use it. Apparently this is a known bug, and I haven’t been able to find a decent solution to it. It’s especially unfortunate because Do provides so much convenience that when it doesn’t work properly, I feel like I’m reverting to some primitive age where I’m dependent on my mouse (the horror!)

And yet, some people would recommend GNOME Do for inclusion by default. The same goes for Banshee, which only Novell customers are permitted to use “safely” [1, 2, 3, 4]. And then there is Moonlight, which is also tied to Mono and contains proprietary Microsoft codecs. Moonlight imitates a Microsoft product that is not cross-platform. From listening to this audiocast which includes Mary Jo Foley, I was able to gather that Silverlight may converge and merge with WPF, a desktop-side environment like AIR, but one which favours Windows and Internet Explorer. Silverlight has turned Miguel de Icaza into a "drooling" fan, to use his own verbal descriptions (where he labels disagreement as “Microsoft haters” [1, 2]). Some find it so appalling that entire posts/articles are composed about it. The latest of which says:

Miguel, Microsoft and the drool factor


When he writes about Microsoft, it resembles the kind of writing that a kid does when he gets a shiny, new toy. De Icaza drools over technology announcements from the big M – and he ensures that people know he is in that state by signing off “droolingly yours.”

“At Microsoft I learned the truth about ActiveX and COM and I got very interested in it inmediately [sic].”

Miguel de Icaza

Novell’s de Icaza does not learn from the fact that Microsoft uses APIs to discriminate against the competition, Novell included. Groklaw has just posted some more Comes vs Microsoft exhibits, showing how Microsoft used APIs to leave Novell out in the cold. As for XAML, it is already made clear that there will be platform discrimination, so why is de Icaza running into this trap? Quite frankly, his evangelism for Microsoft** makes him suitable to become a Microsoft employee.

Microsoft is taking away Novell’s customers anyway. Published a few days ago:

Finally, Trammell said they plan to upgrade the entire district’s servers, probably going from a Novell system to a Windows system.

“After that point, we’re basically going to see how much money’s left,” Trammell said.

According to this news report, another district is “probably going from a Novell system to a Windows system.” So does de Icaza. He abandons the roots of SUSE and dresses up the desktop with everything from Windows. Who benefits from this?
* Holwerda has been promoting the Microsoft party line for quite a while. We last gave an example just two weeks ago.
** A few days ago Miguel de Icaza wrote: “OMG OMG OMG OMG #silverligh4 has everything I wanted on it: full desktop apps with full system access”

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  1. NotZed said,

    November 26, 2009 at 1:56 am


    “Silverlight may converge and merge with WPF, a desktop-side environment like AIR, but one which favours Windows and Internet Explorer.”

    I reckon it’s been the plan to dump WPF for ‘WPF lite’ aka Silverlight, for quite some time. It’s been dying a long slow death since before it was even finalised. I’ve heard the WPF engineers have been jumping the sinking ship for a quite some time.

    WPF is really awful, way over-engineered (even compared to GTK2), slow, buggy, (really) undocumented, often a lot clumsier than it seems it should be. Apparently it’s an improvement over WinForms, but I don’t think that means much (it’s really ancient technology).

    I worked with WPF for about 3 years, and learned to loathe it by the end – particularly the lack of doco. It was a bit fun at first, being something new.

    David Gerard Reply:

    The Microsoft “new programming technology of the week” problem?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Part of the failure of WPF was to do with Vista’s failure.

    David Gerard Reply:

    And that as well. But Microsoft’s “new programming technology of the week” habit and leaving a trail of ill-maintained frameworks behind it is well-known to Windows developers and they’ve become more than a little cynical about it.

    (This is a manifestation of incompetence rather than evil, IMO.)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Remember Popfly? It’s dead too.

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