Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

Summary: When Novell dropped Mono, even after its founder created a new company to support it, it looked like it was a dead language walking. Now, with support from SUSE Linux, Mono lives on.

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When Novell's new owner, Attachmate, announced that it was letting Miguel de Icaza, the founder and lead developer of Mono go, I assumed Mono, the open-source implementation of Microsoft's .NET was a dead development platform walking. Even after de Icaza launched his own company, Xamarin, to keep Mono going, I had little hopes Mono would survive. Well, it looks like I was wrong.

Xamarin has convinced SUSE--Attachmate's Linux branch--to give it Mono's intellectual property. In return, Xamarin will provide technical support to SUSE customers using Mono-based products, and assume stewardship of the Mono open source community project.

In a statement, Nils Brauckmann, president and general manager of SUSE, said, "This partnership is a triple win--a win for SUSE, a win for Xamarin, but most importantly, a win for our customers, users and community. Our partnership ensures SUSE customers continue to get the best support possible, enables the bright team at Xamarin to achieve success in their promising new Where Novell & SUSE Linux goes from here venture, and provides continuity of stewardship for the Mono open source community project in the very capable hands of its most passionate evangelists."

The partnership agreement will ensures that current and future SUSE customers hosting applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension application server will continue to receive full commercial support for their platform from SUSE, backed by Xamarin. Current SUSE customers using Mono developer tools, including MonoTouch, Mono for the iOS device family; Mono for Android; and Mono Tools for Visual Studio, will receive support and updates directly from Xamarin for the remainder of their subscription period.

For more information about support options for SUSE, customers should go to www.suse.com/mono. For more information about Xamarin support for Mono, go to support.xamarin.com .

That was the first part of Xamarin's news. It set the foundation for what the company must hope will be its future as a mobile development platform. In a blog posting, de Icaza wrote, "We are a young company, but we are completely dedicated to these mobile products and we can not wait to bring smiles to every one of our customers."

Specifically, Xamarin announced that "Xamarin's Mono-based products [will] enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry's most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch."

"Our mission is to make it fast, easy and fun to build great mobile apps, whether for individual consumers or for enterprises," said Nat Friedman, Xamarin's CEO in a statement. "Since the introduction of MonoTouch in 2009, developers have experienced how Mono can streamline mobile application development. Xamarin will continue to innovate to deliver incredible experiences to iOS and Android developers."

In his blog, de Icaza added, "Our immediate plans for both MonoTouch and Mono for Android is to make sure that your critical and major bugs are fixed. We have been listening to the needs of the community and we are working to improve these products to meet your needs. You can expect updates to the products in the next week."

De Icaza also wrote, "In the past couple of months, we have met with some of our users and we have learned a lot about what you wanted. We incorporated your feature requests into our products road-maps for both the MonoTouch [for iOS] and the Mono for Android products."

"Another thing we learned is that many companies need to have a priority support offering for this class of products, so we have introduced this. It can either be purchased when you first order MonoTouch or Mono for Android, or you get an upgrade to get the priority support."

Will this be sufficient to make Mono a viable development platform? I think it might. Mono, despite some excellent programs such as the Banshee media player, never found much traction on the Linux desktop. In the far larger Android and iOS developer markets, Mono may yet find success.

Related Stories:

Mono lives ... in new startup Xamarin

SUSE Studio 1.2 ships, SUSE Linux chief to roll out full cloud strategy soon

Where Novell & SUSE Linux goes from here

Is Mono dead? Is Novell dying?

Novell Deals Done

Topics: Mobile OS, Android, Apple, Google, Linux, Open Source, Software Development

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39 comments
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  • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

    interesting... will Steve Jobs approve?
    tatiGmail
    • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

      Probably, but not in a timely fashion

      Edit: Likely some time next year :P
      Michael Alan Goff
      • MS is behind it.. its DOA in a Linux environment.

        With Eclipse and Android, Mono's opportunity is gone. Too bad the Spanish original developer didnt take time to understand that MS might seem big in Spain, but many shy away from it, because of its taxing system (OS/Office). Not to mention how much trouble it can cause with Linux if it is adopted.<br><br>I will use Visual Studio on MS boxes, though will never include it in any Linux or Android development. It just makes business sense. MS and FOS don't Mix.
        Uralbas
      • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

        @goff256 I do not understand at all what you are saying. You can buy the Xamarin products to code for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android today. In fact, there are already many apps in the App Store and Market written using these tools.

        I use these environments myself. I can (and have) released iPhone apps written 100% in C#.

        What is happening next year?
        tanishaj
    • Job$ does not care of

      @tatiGmail
      something that is DOA.
      Linux Geek
    • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

      @tatiGmail

      There are many apps already in the App Store using these tools. There is also the gaming company Unity that uses Mono to host games on both iOS and Android. Apple frequently "features" these apps so they clearly approve.

      http://unity3d.com/
      tanishaj
  • mono is not supported by the community

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz, an award winning industry expert has already shown why mono & Novell are dead because of their ties with M$:
    http://techrights.org/2011/07/14/xamarin-and-mono-a-dead-end/
    Wise people should use only FOSS friendly tools in the future.
    Linux Geek
    • It's a real shame

      Why do people turn their back on a good programming language based on who made it?

      That makes no sense to me.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

        @goff256
        You can see lots of valid reasons why .net is flawed by design at javalobby.com.
        Linux Geek
      • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

        I go for good references, not a site that is pushing a competing product.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • What are people like Linux Geek so clueless

        @goff256
        or are they pretending, the art of the troll?
        William Pharaoh
      • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

        LinuxGeek isn't clueless.

        Zealots like him can't see the other side.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

        @Linux Geek,

        I didn't see anything specific at JavaLobby.com concerning .NET. Can you provide a more specific link.
        bmonsterman
      • Under Linux having something with MS fingers behind

        Means you will end up like WordPerfect / VisiCalc / Borland / Novell / SCO / Yahoo. Its just a matter of time before you lose significance. Or worse yet, be on the receiving end of an Oracle-Google / Apple-HTC / Kodak-Apple, etc.<br><br>Looked at Mono, its alright, but Android SDK under Eclipse is a lot more versatile than Mono under the same IDE.
        Uralbas
      • Because it's patent encumbered

        @goff256 <br>It would be really easy for MS to license its .NET related patents free to all comers for use under Windows, but charge $500 a copy to license them on non-approved operating systems. This is a company with a long record of hostility to Linux and the GPL. Just because they're not enforcing their .NET-related patents now doesn't mean they won't in the future.<br> <br>I'd just as soon not take that risk.

        Reply to goff:

        They want Windows everywhere, not just .NET. They'll tolerate competition only to the extent that they have to to stay out of antitrust court. Besides, Steve Ballmer and other senior MS-execs have never made any secret of their hostility to Linux and the free software movement, and have shown great willingness to use their large collection of patents as anticompetitive weapons.

        No thanks.
        John L. Ries
      • I doubt they will

        Microsoft wants .NET everywhere.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

        @goff256 Indeed, people love to hate tech that comes from companies they do not like. I do not like Microsoft but I think they did a nice job with .NET and I really enjoy using Mono.<br><br>@Linux Geek - I went to javalobby.com really looking forward to seeing what Java devs do not like about .NET. Sadly, there was almost nothing.<br><br>Amusingly, the only article I found at javalobby on .NET was this one:<br><br><a href="http://www.dzone.com/links/why_java_developers_hate_net.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.dzone.com/links/why_java_developers_hate_net.html</a><br><br>In it, the author says that he really liked C# but did not like Visual Studio. One of the three people that left comments said they are a Java dev that uses C# for personal projects because they like it better.<br><br>So thank @Linux Geek for providing a link that shows that Java devs really like .NET. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">
        tanishaj
    • Come on Linux Geek, you know these &quot;industry experts&quot;

      @Linux Geek
      are right once in thier lives, and wrong the rest, only because they believe their own hype and start talking through their Levi's.
      William Pharaoh
    • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

      @Linux Geek MONO is FOSS friendly: http://www.mono-project.com/Licensing
      DevGuy_z
    • RE: Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on

      @Linux Geek - I will not even dignify Roy Schestowitz as a source. I advise anybody reading anything by him to also read the comments. I am sure you can make up your own mind.
      tanishaj