March 12, 2004

Will Mono Become the Preferred Platform for Linux Development?

The Mono project has a clear goal: to become the first-choice platform for Linux software development. Considering that Mono is an implementation of
Microsoft's .NET framework, that goal might sound particularly audacious to many Linux fans.

To find out more, I attended a two day developer meeting hosted by Novell's Ximian division in Boston, MA. Led by the energetic and inimitable Miguel
de Icaza, the meeting gave plenty of opportunity for mingling with the Mono developers and listening to presentations on various aspects of the

The meeting was held at the end of a week of collaboration between the core Mono developers. A remarkably distributed team, this was the first time
some of them had met. Even more remarkable is the small number of people involved in Mono's implementation: the core developers total only twelve.

Over fifty people attended the meeting. Many early adopters and interested developers made the journey to find out more. Despite the fact that Mono is
still under aggressive development, there are already some serious deployments being made. Miguel de Icaza mentioned some of these at the introductory
session, covering enterprise deployments, embedded systems vendors, and the open source world. Of particular note was an installation in Munich,
Germany, supporting 350 servers and 150,000 users.


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