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Red Hat apparently warms to Mono

Red Hat programmers apparently have accepted the Mono software infrastructure into the company's Fedora Linux project, a notable move given Mono's roots at two Red Hat rivals. Mono, sponsored by Linux seller Novell, is an open-source implementation of Microsoft's .Net software foundation.

Chris Blizzard, manager of Red Hat's desktop group, announced the change late Monday night on his blog. Red Hat didn't immediately comment on its Mono plans on Tuesday.

Some greeted the news with skepticism. "I'll believe it when I see it," said one person posting to the Fedora-test mailing list. But indeed, Mono appears in the Fedora source code download site.

Another poster wondered what changed that meant Mono wasn't allowed in Fedora Core 3 and 4 but was in the upcoming Fedora Core 5.

Mono includes software called the Common Language Runtime to execute programs written in the C# programming language. The approach, theoretically cross-platform but today used chiefly with Windows, was first popularized by Sun Microsystems' Java. With Mono, developers can write C# applications for Linux.

Miguel de Icaza, vice president of developer platforms for Novell and one of the powers behind Mono, was happy with the change. "We're glad that Red Hat has validated our strategy and glad they're following our leadership," he said in an interview. "There was a fork in the road for developers: Should I use Mono or not? We were both pushing different directions. That is gone. That's pretty good for a Linux desktop standpoint."

De Icaza believes the applications written using Mono provided the main impetus to adopt the software. Among those applications are the F-spot photo management software, the desktop search tool, the iFolder for sharing files on a network and the Banshee digital music player and management software.

Update: on the Mono issue.