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How are chances that this will not be another doomed emulation effort of a proprietary MSFT API the got stuck at the 99% mark (Remember Sun's WABI, Linux WINE, the MS Office filters in StarOffice)? That there will be a 100% full-featured .NET implementation for Linux that lives longer than the next MSFT update?


1) WABI was not an implementation of Windows API. It was a x86 emulator for Sun. It required a full install of Windows to work. It worked just fine from what I've heard, it's just kind of silly to pay for Windows AND Solaris.

2) MS Office filters in StarOffice are just fine. I have NEVER had a problem with them. In fact, I have had more problems in porting documents between MS Office versions than between Star and MS.

3) Wine is actually a less-than-90% effort, but is progressing nicely. This is the only real point here.

First of all, the GNOME project is NOT trying to implement .NET. Why? because .NET doesn't mean anything. .NET is a buzzword. What they are implementing is the ECMA standard CLR (common language runtime) and IL (Intermediate Language), both of which were first defined and developed by Microsoft. Their reasons for doing so have nothing to do with Microsoft compatibility, although, if they manage to do that it would be a bonus. The reason they are switching to this is because they think it is a good technology. The reasons for Samba and Wine on the other hand have nothing to do with technology - the developers generally don't like the technology they have to deal with - they are only developing it for compatibility reasons.

The reason that Miguel has decided to go with Microsofts CLR is simple - GNOME has always been a platform for easily supporting multiple languages, and the CLR makes that even easier. All the CLR is really is an executable format based on object-oriented programming rather than on procedure-based programming, and including a large standard library. Having a strongly-typed, object-oriented ABI and executable format keeps you from having to write wrappers for every language - you can just import them directly. This is really what Miguel is after.

Personally, I think it's a bad idea. However, I don't think it has anything to do with trying to make Linux compatible with Windows. I like the fact that each language has their own bindings, because it allows them to each implement the bindings in their own way, rather than some general way that suits all languages. Basically, when new language features come out that aren't around now, we will still be having to write wrappers, even with the CLR, because it is made to support only current language featuresets.

As for Sun being scared of Linux, I do partially retract my statement the other day. I wanted to write my modified view based on the opinions put forth here, but I haven't had the time. I still think Sun is quite worried about Linux, and thus are hesitant to put out all of iPlanet's features on Linux. "Scared to death" was probably a little extreme, I admit.
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