Miguel de Icaza is Microsoft MVP

Suprise, surprise. Actually, not. Todd Bishop writes.

Miguel de Icaza, Microsoft MVP?

Yep, it’s true. The open-source rabble-rouser who was prevented from hosting a session inside Microsoft’s 2005 Professional Developer Conference has been accepted into the ranks of the company’s “Most Valuable Professionals” less than five years later. He announced the news on his blog.

De Icaza is the leader of the open-source Mono project, sponsored by Novell, which previously set off alarm bells inside Microsoft for its ability to expand Microsoft .NET applications to other platforms, including Linux. Relations between de Icaza and Microsoft have warmed following the Redmond company’s partnership with Novell.

He’s also on the board of the Microsoft-supported CodePlex Foundation, Meanwhile, Mono spin-off project Moonlight, an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight interactive technology, has won the blessings of the Redmond company.

De Icaza was accepted as a Microsoft MVP for C#, the .NET programming language.

“This will be a great opportunity to build more bridges with Windows developers and show them that there is an ECMA CLI (Common Language Infrastructure) life in the other side of the OS spectrum,” he writes in his post, adding, “Looking forward to the group picture!”

Mono Controversy

There is a raging debate at the moment in the Linux community whether Mono applications should be removed from Linux distributions. Supporters from both sides of the camp have been quick to point out the merits and the dangers of leaving Mono in Linux distributions.

What exactly is Mono? Mono is the open source development platform based on the Microsoft .NET framework. It allows developers to build Linux and cross-platform applications with improved developer productivity. Mono can run on Linux, BSD, UNIX, Mac OS X, Solaris and Windows operating systems.

The Mono project is led by Novell. The project was formerly owned by Ximian. To some Linux users, a simple mention of Novell sends chills down their spine mainly because they thought Novell slept with the enemy. Novell and Microsoft reached an agreement in 2006 to collaborate on technologies, mainly Novell’s eDirectory and Microsoft’s Active Directory.

But there is another part of the agreement that made Linux users more upset. Novell has signed an agreement with Microsoft that guarantees them safety if legal action is taken by Microsoft for patent infringements against Linux. Despite the threat, Microsoft still hasn’t given any details as to which Linux code violates its patents.

The hatred for Mono runs deep in the Linux community mainly because Mono is a platform that spreads its seed. Mono, by nature, create programs that run in Linux. In fact, Mono footprints are all over Gnome and Linux. Tomboy Notes, F-Spot Manager and Banshee are just a few applications that are developed in Mono.

To Linux purists, Mono applications should be stripped from all of Linux. There are other open-source alternatives that can take its place. If Mono is allowed to roam freely in Linux, the potential for legal action is ever present. It just a matter of time whether Microsoft exercises it or not.

Are the Mono concerns well-founded?