Managing multiple computers at home

Michael Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Sun Mar 26 23:29:41 MST 2006


On Sun, 2006-03-26 at 21:48 -0700, Andrew Jorgensen wrote:
> > With regards to Mono, it's a new technology, it's not proven to be a
> > stable Linux platform, and frankly it just makes me ask--why not Java?
> > Installing a Mono app requires me to download, install, and run an
> > entirely different VM alongside my already existing Java apps.
> 
> The Yet-another-VM thing bugs me too, but Mono isn't really all that
> new and it's being used in production quite a lot.  Novell's Zenworks
> Linux Management product uses it, and that's an "enterprise" product. 
> I guess Java has been around a lot longer, but I'd be really surprised
> if you ran across a runtime bug while using Mono.  That's not to say
> that it's perfect, just that I doubt it's less stable than anything
> else and that you're more likely to find a bug in a application
> written to it than in the VM.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Mono project is that it
includes a Java virtual machine called ikvm.net (also available for
MS's .NET runtime) that implements a java virtual machine in pure CLR.
This of course doesn't seem to be terribly efficient, so ikvm can
translate whole java .jar files ahead of time to CLR byte-code.  The
upshot of all this is that you can mix java and C# code and classes as
needed.  For example you can write GTK# apps in Java (note that there
already is GTK bindings for Java, called Java-Gnome).  Or, when the GNU
Classpath project is completed, write Swing apps in C# (not sure why
you'd want to do that, but it is an example).  Currently applications as
complicated as eclipse can run under ikvm.  In short, ikvm can give a
java developer a direct pathway to Microsoft's .NET environment (uh oh I
just said a dirty word), but one that is much cleaner than Microsoft's
J# language.

As for running yet another VM, I say whatever tool helps get us quality
apps that have the features and security we need.  The VM's speed can
always be improved, and .NET (and Mono) already supports creating pre-
compiled, native binaries.  As to whether or not .NET holds promise
generally, I'm not sure.  I get the impression .NET is not working out
for Microsoft from the point of view of replacing the win32 API.

> 
> Besides.  C# has everything you always loved about Java and none of
> the stuff you always hated.  (I know, that's an exageration).

I've tried to love java over the years, but I've just never been able
to.  C# on the other hand appeals to me in a way that I can't find any
logical explanation for.

> 
> I'm kind of hoping Java will die off in the Desktop world.  I'm fine
> with it being used in the multi-tier enterprise application world, it
> does great there.

I just wish swing would die off.  I think Java could do fine on the
desktop if paired with native UI libraries like GTK or SWT.

Anyway.  It will be interesting to see what happens with all these
different languages and VMs.  Python is really piquing my interest these
days.  

> 
> > Furthermore there's the legal issues with Microsoft--even if they're FUD
> > they're still there, and I am somewhat doubtful of a large crowd getting
> > behind Mono in the near future.
> 
> Not at all likely that there will be legal problems: 
> http://gregdek.livejournal.com/4008.html
> 
> > I'm not anti-Mono by any stretch of the imagination, but it does make me
> > feel a little "turned off" as I said. (/me hopes not to start another
> > language flamewar ...)
> 
> Gosh, me too.  I probably shouldn't even send this... oh well "too late."
> 
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