Well, that didn’t take long. I had thought that after Attachmate bought Novell
it would be keeping its open-source teams working. Indeed, Attachmate CEO Jeff Hawn had told me that, “Business will operate as usual.” While Attachmate will be keeping SUSE Linux as a spin-off company, Mono
, the open-source implementation of Windows’ .NET, is being shut down and there have been hundreds of additional Novell layoffs. So much for business as usual.
Mono, since its implementation of a proprietary Microsoft software stack and C# language, has always had its enemies in open-source circles. Frankly, I didn’t like some of .NET’s licensing ; I wasn’t comfortable with how close it brought open-source programming to Microsoft; and, having nothing to with software development politics or licensing, I didn’t like that Mono would forever be trying to catch up with its proprietary big-brother .NET.
On the other hand, there have been several great programs written in Mono. As far as I’m concerned, Banshee is the best open-source media player out there. I’m not the only one to think that since Canonical decided to make Banshee its new default media player in Ubuntu 11.04.
But, without its corporate backer, what happens now to Mono? I really hadn’t expected this. Microsoft sponsored Attachmate’s purchase of Novell. I had presumed they’d be happy to see Mono keep going. I was wrong.