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Miguel de Icaza and Dragos Manolescu: On Open Source, Mono and Moonlight

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More from Lang.NET 2008:

Miguel de Icaza
is well known for his work on Mono, the open source implementation of .NET. He and his band of merry developers have written a Silverlight implementation that runs on Mono called Moonlight. They really are a creative and talented bunch. I wanted to chat with him about why he is so adamant about free software and why he chooses to implement OSS versions of our .NET technologies. Miguel is very smart. He's also very passionate about software.

You've met Dragos Manolescu before. He's one of Volta people (the Live Labs side of the team) and is a computer scientist who has experience in the open source world and an interesting perspective on the tensions between profit-making business and free software given his years in the consulting business where he managed both proprietary software and open source accounts.

This is a very interesting and casual conversation (there is no battling here, no arguing, but there is debate, of course... Also, it's broad and not a deep dive into Moonlight or Mono). We don't go too deep into the Open Source conundrum (check out Port25 for more heady OSS stuff, from Microsoft's perspective)

Enjoy!

Low res version here.

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  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle
    It was about time that Miguel went on Channel 9. I'm looking forward to this video. Downloading right now. Awesome!!!
  • Xaero_VincentXaero_​Vincent Sexy me
    I was kind of hoping that the discussion would have been a tad more technical.

    I would have liked to have known a timeline for Moonlight development and what features in Silverlight spec it will support.

    One thing to point out, though:

    Miguel is right about people's perception of Microsoft. I think people's negative connotation towards Microsoft stems ultimately from buisness practices and not the technology behind their products. For the most part, Microsoft has proved it can now build decent, reliable products.

    The open source community is overally critical of Microsoft because of their market position and influence in the industry, which has made it astronomically challenging for FOSS technologies to a gain a foothold and adoption. Most notably, however, is Microsoft's IP threat to FOSS community and its ability to inflict a mortal blow; for that reason, Microsoft has positioned themself as the corporate villian to FOSS--second only to SCO, who have already litigated.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    I was kind of hoping that the discussion would have been a tad more technical.

    I would have liked to have known a timeline for Moonlight development and what features in Silverlight spec it will support.



    Well, that's not where the conversation could go at the time it was filmed... This is a broad conversation, not a deep dive into Moonlight.
    C
  • CplCarrotCplCarrot Dust Puppy
    A great video.
    Miguel in his considered and pragmatic approach does more to promote open source than any "beer" loving troll could ever do.
    I do hope we can get more from him.
    Good catch Charles
  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle
    CplCarrot wrote:
    Miguel in his considered and pragmatic approach does more to promote open source than any "beer" loving troll could ever do.
    I do hope we can get more from him.
    Good catch Charles


    ++ awesome discussion!
  • RichardRudekRichardRudek So what do you expect for nothin'... :P
    THIS IS OFF TOPIC.

    I've been trying to wait patiently for the low res link to come live, but no. I'm now downloading the full resolution one.

    But seriously, are you guys keeping track of how many people are downloading the low res one even though it's not well highlighted ?

    I'd suggest that if you swapped the links around (made the low res then main, with the high res being the exception) you would see the numbers change. Often, the hi-res is just way over the top, considering the content.

    It's not that I don't have the bandwidth. I just hate having to manage the disk space so often, and it just smacks of egotism (or should that be pomposity)... Expressionless

  • mtzmtz

    Miguel seemed to be trying hard to not mentioning free software ..open source is a development model and microsoft have some open sourced pieces ..free software is a political movement and that is what microsoft as a propietary softwre company has a problem with ideology, not model ..

    his explanation of those 4 things(rights/freedoms or whatever you want to call them) ..would have been better explained with "free software" and not "open source" ...this is why he had a hard time differentiating microsoft's open source with mono's or free software's open source ...

    free software and open source share the same development model but differs in ideology ..
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    I'll check on the low res link. Sorry about that.

    C

    EDIT: Fixed the link to low res file. Here it is as well.

  • Kevin DalyKevin Daly Because.
    I've just downloaded the WMA file: Miguel is always worth hearing from.

    As for the video, sadly it seems that Channel9 has recently moved to a A Not Realistically Available Outside The US model - remember guys, in most of the world we're stuck with download caps. Whatever happened to those nice manageable 200mb files?
    It's not like this apsires to be great art or anything, I'd rather have bandwidth than video quality.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    Kevin Daly wrote:
    I've just downloaded the WMA file: Miguel is always worth hearing from.

    As for the video, sadly it seems that Channel9 has recently moved to a A Not Realistically Available Outside The US model - remember guys, in most of the world we're stuck with download caps. Whatever happened to those nice manageable 200mb files?
    It's not like this apsires to be great art or anything, I'd rather have bandwidth than video quality.


    Is the low res file provided not low res enough for you?
  • PerfectPhasePerfectPhase "This is not war, this is pest control!" - Dalek to Cyberman
    Kevin Daly wrote:
    I've just downloaded the WMA file: Miguel is always worth hearing from.

    As for the video, sadly it seems that Channel9 has recently moved to a A Not Realistically Available Outside The US model - remember guys, in most of the world we're stuck with download caps. Whatever happened to those nice manageable 200mb files?
    It's not like this apsires to be great art or anything, I'd rather have bandwidth than video quality.


    I'm in the UK and the full bitrate download poses no issue to me.

    Add as many versions as you like, but remember that there are those of us out here that have no issue with the higher bandwith versions.  Infact charles, when you going to go and buy a HD camera? Smiley
  • mtzmtz

    any comments about starting shooting in widescreen? 16:9 is a lot nicer tha 4:3 ..most video here seem to be abnormally streated to 4:3 (to me atleast)

    nice discussion though ...(should have said this in my earlier post) ..
  • littleguru wrote:
    
    CplCarrot wrote:
    Miguel in his considered and pragmatic approach does more to promote open source than any "beer" loving troll could ever do.
    I do hope we can get more from him.
    Good catch Charles


    ++ awesome discussion!


    I would echo those thoughts as well.  he was better advocate for the Oopen Source world then any other advocate out there.  well spoken, well organized and very understanding of both "sides" of the issue.  HOpe too see hime more on here.... been a while since I wathced a video the entire way through.

    Great job team
  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw
    awsome interview, great work as always charles:) one thing tho that i think all interviewers on c9 needs to remember is that alot of people has a very negative view of microsoft as evil oppressors of doom. i know youre just joking around with miguel there at the end but i think some of the people that are in the grayzone between liking and disliking microsoft might be turned of by that kind of stuff Smiley

    same thing when you corrected Dan Ingalls when he said we should "google" the livley kernel. again, i know you where just kidding around and i think most niners got that as well but the people who are demonizing microsoft will jump at that kind of thing i think..
    (then again, one could argue that those people whould find something to prove the evilness of microsoft no matter what was said in the interviews Smiley)

    i've always loved c9 and i always point to it when someone is bashing microsoft to prove to them that real, dedicated, passionate people work there that are not at all evil.

    i think c9 has changed many many peoples minds about microsoft and i think alot of that comes from the complete lack of arrogance in the c9 interviews Smiley i think your mothership jokes are great for breaking the ice and lightening things up, but i guess my point is that it has to be made sure that its obbvious that you are kidding (again, 99.99 of times, it is obvious, but microsoft is on some thin ice with some people:))

    again, great interview, sorry if i sound critical, you havent really done anything wrong, the intreviews are great, i just want to make sure they stay that way Smiley

    i also think its great to hear from miguel at c9 and it whould be really cool to hear more from him and the mono guys.. after all some people will always distrust microsoft or feel more comfortable using other platforms, but with mono/moonligh, .net can reach those people too Smiley 


    mtz wrote:
    
    ..free software is a political movement and that is what microsoft as a propietary softwre company has a problem with ideology, not model ..


    i personally feel that the foss guys has a problem with microsoft rather than the other way around Smiley in my view, microsoft regards foss as any other competitor, no more no less Smiley
    but hey, thats just my oppinion, i dont want to start a war here Wink
  • Nice to see a Romanian on Channel 9! Big Smile

  • Have always been following Linux based open source development and very little on Microsoft's effort, perhaps this is a good time to start by looking at the two open source program by Miguel and the team.
  • Most people misunderstand open source.  They think it's about code, but really it's not, that is just one facet of the debate.

    The core of open source is really a philosophy, and the philosophy they believe in is more along the lines of communism or to be nice socialism.

    "From each according to ability, to each according to need."

    In the same way communists believe individuals should not have property rights, and that all property is the right of the state.  That is why they believe that no company should have "propietary code", and that all code should be open source.  In other words, the indiivudal shouldn't have their own property, and in this case the "code" should belong to everyone, the community, for the "greater good".  The same reason they think IP, copyrights, or patents shouldn't exist.

    They say this is really the only way to have freedom, but the truth is it's the complete opposite of freedom.

    In fact, just about every logical reason they state that they are for "open source" or really a broader philsophy, they get the opposite result.

    The main point here is when talking\debating to a proponent of open source, just remember the debate isn't about code. 

  • One last comment:

    Microsoft, just because we aren't vocal, doesn't mean there aren't a lot of people out there that DON'T want you to open source any of your code.

    You paid someone to write it, you own it.  If you think you did a great job with it, or people could benefit from it and it's not material to your business, then share it with the world.
  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw
    dotservant wrote:
    Have always been following Linux based open source development and very little on Microsoft's effort, perhaps this is a good time to start by looking at the two open source program by Miguel and the team.


    i think the general oss community has a hard time accepting that microsoft actually do have some open source stuff Smiley
    theres the dlr.. iron ruby, iron python, and various parts of asp.net to name a few Smiley also remember that microsoft contributed all their internal silverlight tests to the moonlight project to ensure compat Smiley (at least i think they did Tongue Out)

    there are people like scot guthrie and john lam and many others that are pushing open source with microsoft Smiley

    also check out this great c9 interview Smiley
    http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=235278
  • mtzmtz
    MetaGunny wrote:
    

    Most people misunderstand open source.  They think it's about code, but really it's not, that is just one facet of the debate.

    The core of open source is really a philosophy, and the philosophy they believe in is more along the lines of communism or to be nice socialism.

    "From each according to ability, to each according to need."

    In the same way communists believe individuals should not have property rights, and that all property is the right of the state.  That is why they believe that no company should have "propietary code", and that all code should be open source.  In other words, the indiivudal shouldn't have their own property, and in this case the "code" should belong to everyone, the community, for the "greater good".  The same reason they think IP, copyrights, or patents shouldn't exist.

    They say this is really the only way to have freedom, but the truth is it's the complete opposite of freedom.

    In fact, just about every logical reason they state that they are for "open source" or really a broader philsophy, they get the opposite result.

    The main point here is when talking\debating to a proponent of open source, just remember the debate isn't about code. 


    i dont think this is correct, or its not how i understand it ...nobody should have the right to own air or the sun or _all_ the land ... the debate isnt about code ..the debate is about open standards ...

    as a user of software, i have a right to use my program of choice and you have a right to use your program of choice ...the only way this can happen is if we both use a free standard ..and this is what is all about ..C++ has an open specification ..everybody can wrght their own implementation of C++ ..nobody should be forced to open up their imprementations of it ..as long as we both can use our programs of choice and get the same C++ binary blob at the end ..

    the problem with proprietary companies is that they are holding the base technology or standard which is equivalent to owning the whole world's air or standing btw the world and the sun ..there is really no way around that other than to force this company to either opening up their stuff or to reverse engineer it ..

    FOSS is all about people using their computers the way they want ..and the only way for that to be achieved is for the core technology to be free ..its not about the code its about ..open and free standards and specifications ..

    you are free to own and use your land the way you see fit ..i am free to own and use my land the way i see it ...i will have a problem if you want to own all of it and you should have a problem is i want to own all it ..you should have a problem if i start dictating how you should use your land ...if you control the sun ..they you will have a control over what i can and cant do with my land i willi understandably complain ..you can have your propietary technology, that fine ..but if it becomes so widespread that i cant work around it, then i will have a problem with it and i will work to make it open ..

    anybody who belongs to the FOSS world and is forcing you to use your computer the way they want is misguided becaue thats not what the FOSS thing is all about .. the only reason why i could see that is if that action will at end force you to use free and open standards ..something even you will benefit in the long run ..

    this is my understanding of it ..its not about the code ..its about open and free standards ..something even users of proprietary programs will benefit ..

    good side of open standards is that consumers will get choice because this will not be tied to one company..bad side is that companies will have less power over their users ..
  • Sigfrido Rodríguez Santosidenty Identy
    Microsoft Open source Big Smile Thanks, next step : Open standards! Expressionless
  • Kevin DalyKevin Daly Because.
    Charles wrote:
    
    Kevin Daly wrote:
    I've just downloaded the WMA file: Miguel is always worth hearing from.

    As for the video, sadly it seems that Channel9 has recently moved to a A Not Realistically Available Outside The US model - remember guys, in most of the world we're stuck with download caps. Whatever happened to those nice manageable 200mb files?
    It's not like this apsires to be great art or anything, I'd rather have bandwidth than video quality.


    Is the low res file provided not low res enough for you?


    Sorry, I missed it  - would it be possible in future for the benefit of the apparently blind like me to group the low res link with all the other media links? DotNetRocks handles this quite well (although I occasionally accidentally click on the torrent links, but that's just temporary stupidity)
  • I also completely missed the low res link initially. It was only after the high resolution file could not be downloaded further after 600 mb that I forced to look for an alternative.

    In short the low res link should really be one of the buttons.
  • He he he. Miguel fixed our MicroVax about 15 years ago or more! back at the UNAM in Mexico City (at DGSCAd). He had all the OS cartridges and we didn't have any. He reinstalled Ultrix because we couldn't get the machine to work. He had a similar MicroVax at his dad's lab. He hasn't changed much, except that he used to wear t-shirts and now he wears shirts and glasses, and now he is a more important person that before., but he's still as playful as always. Saludos Miguelón.

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