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.Net compatibility and Apple

A News.com reader writes that Chris LeTocq's column on Apple's embracing .Net overlooks one important factor: .Net compatibility is going to be implemented as an open-source project.

     

      
    .Net compatibility and Apple

    In response to the July 26 column by Chris LeTocq, "Time for Apple to decide about .Net":

    The article on Apple's embracing .Net overlooks one very important factor: .Net compatibility is going to be implemented as an open-source project (I believe by Ximian). .Net will likely be made available to all the BSD variants, including Darwin--thus the "walled garden" analogy breaks down entirely.

    Those who want .Net on their Macintosh computers next year will at worst just need to type "fink install dotnet" at a terminal prompt and just let things download, configure and compile. It is much more likely that somebody is going to eventually take the trouble to distribute an OS X package of the OSS version of .Net.

    You can find the Fink project (package manager for open-source software ported to OS X) at http://fink.sourceforge.net/.

    The open-source project to replicate .Net is available at...I take it back. There are currently at least two open-source projects of which the Ximian backed, Mono, is only one. The other is Portable.net.

    The Ximian effort seems to be dominated by GTK-specific considerations, while Portable.net is designed to be cross-platform and should slip right into OS X without major modifications.

    One other note: It is possible to compile and run Gnome through Fink right now, so the Ximian code will likely work through that route.

    .Net as a collection of new services (as opposed to the marketing label .Net, which should be "shipping" in a few months) is not going to ship for some time as useable software. Apple will likely polish Portable.net in the same way that they have polished SAMBA, Apache, GCC and the several other world-class open-source applications for inclusion into Mac OS X/Mac OS X Server, and they are likely to ship reasonably soon after .Net is finalized.

    TM Lutas
    Oak Lawn, Ill.