10 May 2002 chalst   » (Master)

Joel Spolsky thinks Bertrand Meyer's article on .NET language independence supports what he says about the weakness of language independence for .NET. I disagree, I think, while .NET doesn't support many of the reasons that Joel cites for moving to other languages, as Bertrand says it is a good framework for most modern languages: it's good enough to support LISP and Scheme, which as Paul Graham says is the model new programming languages are evolving towards, and which the JVM doesn't support due to its lack of tail recursive function calls.

While I'm on the subject of .NET, I want to say again that I don't think Gnome on Mono is a good idea, for two reasons:

  • MS's aims with .NET are anti-competitive and will hurt free software;
  • Free software support for Java is better advanced, and it is better to build on what we have already than support .NET.
However I do think .NET is innovative and important, and so is something the free software world should properly understand. A better strategy would be to put more effort in free software Java based efforts, and pressurise SUN into remedying Java's defects (eg. the prejudicial framework for J2EE certification, the weakness of the Java Community Program, the lack of tail-recursive calls in the JVM). Sun is not an ideal free software partner, but it's a damn sight better in almost every respect than MS.

Postscript #1: Since reading this, I read the Interview with Danese Cooper on Slashdot, which seems to suggest that Sun is at last dealing with the open source J2EE problem. Didn't say anything about the problems with the Java Community Program, though, more's the pity.

Postcript #2: The Stallman factor: spot on!

Postscript #3: Certified of shlomif as Journeyer because I like his diary entries (a lot), and apparently he has good skills and makes worthwhile contributions to free software.

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