.NET Reference Code of No Use to Mono Project, de Icaza Says

Lora Bentley

Novell's engineering VP, Miguel de Icaza, is speaking out on Microsoft's decision to release .NET libraries under a reference license, according to ZDNet's Paula Rooney. In a blog post last Friday, she quoted de Icaza, who co-founded the Mono project, as follows:

The release of the code does not help us. The release of the code helps Windows developers using Visual Studio ... It will not help in any way. It only helps Windows .NET developers.

Yes, the release may prove to be an asset for bug tracking, but companies with large .NET deployments already have reference access to the code for those purposes. Regarding the release's affect on interoperability efforts, Rooney says:

de Icaza said there might be some benefit, but he minimized its importance. "If someone ever had a question about how to interoperate with .NET, this certainly would address that issue from beginning to end," de Icaza wrote in his e-mail.

But de Icaza reiterated that access to the .NET code would be of no help to Mono developers because they can't use any of it, or anything gleaned from it, without running the risk of license infringement. A statement on the project Web site includes the following, according to ZDNet:

If you have seen Microsoft .NET source code in any shape or form (source code, decompilers, through NDAs or research licenses), you will not be able to contribute patches to the Mono implementation.

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