Thursday, November 1, 2007

Re: Squandering one of the industry's best open source talents

Matt Asay, in a recent blog on CNET, tries to imply that Mono/Moonlight are a waste of Miguel's time/talents.

For these reasons I can't help but wonder why he's squandering his talents on writing largely irrelevant code (Mono, Moonlight) that appeals to himself, Novell, Microsoft, and no one else.

Really? No one else? Are you saying that the thousands of users and developers involved in the Mono community are nobodies? Are you saying that OTEE, the developers of Unity3D, are nobodies? Are you inferring that Codice Software and the growing list of companies/projects basing their software on Mono are nobodies?

Miguel says that he's doing this to bring the proprietary world into the open-source camp. It's not working, Miguel. You don't convince by capitulating. You convince by winning

Based on the growing number of users and developers getting involved with the Mono project (and recognizing that there are probably far more out there that just haven't made their presence known), I would say it is working. Because of the Mono project, more people are taking an interest in Open/Free Software, which I and many others would call "winning".

Rather, Miguel de Icaza can turn the industry on its head by putting his knowledge of interoperability and open source to work on developing the next-generation desktop (and not by recreating the "best" of Microsoft on Linux).

It's unfortunate that you are so short-sighted, Matt. That seems to be one of the more important differences between you and Miguel. Miguel sees the big picture. He knows that in order to create the "next-generation desktop", he'll need better tools in which to do it. He also sees that "winning" takes "developers, developers, developers!" He knows that you can't "win" if it takes developers on Linux 2 or 3 times as long to write an application as it takes to write on Windows with proprietary tools.

I think Miguel de Icaza is an exceptional developer. He's also a fantastically effective community leader.

All the more reason to let him continue doing what he does best.

Update: Joe Shaw makes an excellent point.

Update: It appears that Matt Asay has retracted his post and made an apology.

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