Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The State Mono : Enter Xamarin

Ok, so you remember mono right? 

They're the open source project that provides binary compatible .net framework implementations on Linux, Android, iPhone etc. that allows us to easily port our .net applications to other non-Microsoft platforms as well as supporting non MS implementations of Silverlight under the moonlight project along with all sorts of other projects.

Mono was sponsored by Novell, makers of SUSE Linux among other products, and they employed the core Mono engineers.  Notice I say was sponsored...

Attachmate acquired Novell last year and people were wondering what the fate of Mono was to be.  Things looked pretty bleak, and it was believed that many or even the entire mono team was to be laid off.

The fearless leader & founder of mono, Miguel de Icaza, stayed pretty mum on the subject on his twitter/blog until yesterday.

He announced that the mono team was going to become a startup called Xamarin.

Here's some facts I've gathered:

  • Mono will still be open source
  • Attachmate is still currently selling the MonoTouch/MonoDroid mobile development products, but since they laid off the entire mono team, they are most likely incapable of properly maintaining them.
  • Xamarian claims they will have initial versions of the MonoTouch/MonoDroid products ready for testing in 3-6 months
  • They also claim that it will be compatible with the MonoTouch/MonoDroid product currently offered by Attachmate.

Looking forward, I would venture to guess that the mono team will innovate better and faster now, they have lots of community support and loyal followers who will invest in them.  But this will revive the talks of Microsoft's role in the mono-sphere, and if they would ever consider suing Xamarin over any of the patents they hold on the .net framework.

Interesting when software & business collide right?

Enjoy, T.J.

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