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Handhelds GNU is Not Unix Hardware

DotGNU Ported to PocketPC 167

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the little-yellow-different dept.
t3rmin4t0r writes "The Pocket PC# group has ported DotGNU Portable.net to PocketPC. This is a significant step because the .NET Compact Framework SDK is heavily licensed, unlike the .NET SDK available for free from MSDN. Thanks to PocketPC#, now you can build Window.Forms C# applications for PocketPC without submitting to Microsoft's exhorbitant SDK licensing fees. Portability to embedded/low-end hardware is one of Portable.net's stated goals. DotGNU Portable.net also works on 9 major CPU architectures according to gentoo's portage. The Darwin-ports features a cool package with Windows.Forms for Mac OS X. Handhelds like iPAQ or Zaurus have also ports (the iPAQ one features Windows.Forms). Esoteric hardware like the Sony Playstation 2 or the Microsoft XBox can also run Portable.net."
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DotGNU Ported to PocketPC

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  • Good News! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CommanderData (782739) * <kevinhi@NOspam.yahoo.com> on Saturday June 12, 2004 @09:25AM (#9406460)
    This is great for people looking to develop on handhelds and smartphones such as myself. Programming for these devices really brings me back to the good old days in the 80s where one person could create a killer app or game!
    • Re:Good News! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306)
      Good News! This is great for people looking to develop on handhelds and smartphones such as myself.

      Is it? They haven't even finished the bleeding platform, and they're already spreading it thin. Focus, people, focus!

  • Patent s (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 12, 2004 @09:27AM (#9406475)

    isn't DOT NET full of patents though (not that its gonna effect 90% of the globe)
    doesnt it strike anyone as odd that i have to pay MS to make their product successful

    licensing means its never yours so why bother

  • by RoundSparrow (341175) on Saturday June 12, 2004 @09:32AM (#9406499)
    These two companies have been beaten by Microsoft playing the game better then them.

    So what are they doing 15 years later? Playing back with Linux.

    Open Source is not about free for these guys, it is increasing becoming a corporate game (Novell and IBM) with big profits.

    Mono / dotGNU is about trying to treat the application developers equal. This is a chance to start over with Java-like technology.

    Like it or not, don't ignore C# / dotNet. It likely has more users than Sun got in 10 years, anyone have numbers to share on that?
    • by dekeji (784080) on Saturday June 12, 2004 @10:02AM (#9406646)
      Open Source is not about free for these guys, it is increasing becoming a corporate game (Novell and IBM) with big profits.

      It is about "free", as in "freedom": without the free and open source licenses that this software comes under, companies like Novell, IBM, etc. could never cooperate on these kinds of projects--by the time their lawyers have worked out their IP agreements, the market opportunities have evaporated. It is the freedom guaranteed by free software licenses that allows big companies to cooperate. The fact that they also don't have to pay licensing fees is related, but it isn't the deciding factor: everybody knows that free software still has non-zero cost of ownership (and companies like Microsoft are just stating the obvious when they point that out).

      Like it or not, don't ignore C# / dotNet. It likely has more users than Sun got in 10 years,

      I suspect it's not up to Java levels yet. But it will be: C# offers exactly what Sun/Java lacks: the freedom to do with it whatever you want, and the freedom for big companies to contribute to the same piece of software without getting lawyers involved and without having one contributor benefit disproportionately.
      • I suspect it's not up to Java levels yet. But it will be: C# offers exactly what Sun/Java lacks: the freedom to do with it whatever you want, and the freedom for big companies to contribute to the same piece of software without getting lawyers involved and without having one contributor benefit disproportionately.


        Oh, lawyers will get involved :) Patents and stuff will be the next area of dotNet portability. Microsoft so far has let it slide, but is that because law is slow or because they intend to let
        • Oh, lawyers will get involved :) Patents and stuff will be the next area of dotNet portability. Microsoft so far has let it slide, but is that because law is slow or because they intend to let it go?

          Because of the large amount of fear of Microsoft that exists, this has been extensively examined by lots of people, including the Mono developers and their lawyers, and the conclusion seems to be that Microsoft simply does not have any patents that generally read on these kinds of implementations. So, the ans
          • this has been extensively examined by lots of people, including the Mono developers and their lawyers

            Did they ask Steve Ballmer?

            Here's what he said [ffii.org] in 2002:

            Responding to questions about the opening-up of the .NET framework, Ballmer announced that there would certainly be a "Common Language Runtime Implementation" for Unix, but then explained that this development would be limited to a subset, which was "intended only for academic use". Ballmer rejected speculations about support for free .NET impleme

            • Did they ask Steve Ballmer? Here's what he said in 2002:

              We don't have to guess what patents or patent applications Microsoft had in 2002 because they are public by now; that is exactly what the Mono lawyers looked at. And when you look at that set of patents and patent applications, you'll see that Ballmer was either wrong or lying.

              So, in light of the fact that this is an issue that has a clear answer, why do people like you keep talking about non-existent patents threatening open source C# efforts? W
              • 1) Which "Mono lawyers" and what review are you referring to? Have these findings been made public? If not, on whose authority are you asserting that Dotnet is unthreatened by patents? And which of MS's patents have they told you they regard as Dotnet related? It seems to me rather cavalier to assume that MS will not use expensively acquired patents to protect their core platform, especially as Ballmer is on record as saying that it is precisely their intention to do so.

                2) No you didn't say that Dotnet was
                • Which "Mono lawyers" and what review are you referring to? Have these findings been made public?

                  The Mono project is public. If you participated or at least followed it, instead of badmouthing the project from a state of ignorance, you'd know the status of the review (and, no, the review isn't complete, but they haven't come up with anything related to ECMA C#).

                  If not, on whose authority are you asserting that Dotnet is unthreatened by patents?

                  You seem to have trouble distinguishing authoritative lega
                  • The Mono project is public. If you participated or at least followed it...

                    Fortunately I have better things to do than participate in the mindless cloning of products merely to extend Microsoft's mindshare in the development community.

                    I take the above as confirmation that there is in fact no such legal opinion available able to offer any assurance on the patent question and that this "advice" is therefore just more arm-waving.

                    If you want a legal opinion, go pay for it.

                    I guess you offer the same advice
                    • Fortunately I have better things to do than participate in the mindless cloning of products merely to extend Microsoft's mindshare in the development community.

                      Mono isn't "mindless cloning", since the most important part of it is the development of a fully open source set of C# APIs--a better set of APIs than either .NET or Java provide.

                      [If you want a legal opinion, go pay for it.] I guess you offer the same advice to all prospective users of "your" platform?

                      I give the same advice to anybody who wants
      • I suspect it's not up to Java levels yet.

        You are right - its no where near, and will never be until, like Java, all aspects of .Net are under multi-organisation control and available for hundreds of platforms.

        But it will be: C# offers exactly what Sun/Java lacks: the freedom to do with it whatever you want, and the freedom for big companies to contribute to the same piece of software without getting lawyers involved and without having one contributor benefit disproportionately.

        You seem to have little
    • Like it or not, don't ignore C# / dotNet. It likely has more users than Sun got in 10 years, anyone have numbers to share on that?

      Yes. This is nonsense.

      As far as I can see on most USA job searches new C# jobs count for less than 1/3 the number of new Java jobs. In non-USA job markets (where there is usually a stronger desire to be independent from Microsoft) the ratio seems to be about 10 java jobs for every C# job.

      The phrase you should have used is 'has a lot less users'.
      • You need to broaden search for .NET, not C#. A lot of .NET jobs are VB.NET, and a small percentage account for COBOL and FORTRAN .NET as well (a lot of mainframe migration projects use those languages).
        • There was no need to broaden the search.

          The number of COBOL and FORTRAN .NET jobs is virtually non-existent on job search engines.

          Visual Basic.Net job ads occur with frequency about 1/3 of C# jobs.

          The plain fact is that .Net still has not had a huge impact in the commercial coding environment.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 12, 2004 @09:33AM (#9406504)
    I'd never heard of a runtime fee associated with .Net compact framework.

    Is this a lack of research or is there truth to this?
  • Clickage.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) on Saturday June 12, 2004 @09:36AM (#9406516) Journal
    Take a look at the screenshots page. Spin through those shots and just try to keep a smile off of your face. Seeing OSX, windows, and foss all on the same screen and system? C'mon, it wasn't that long ago that all of this was just little dreams in some heads. Seriously, the linux kernel and gnu software have started what i see as pretty serious revolution. Did it not strike anyone that MS is finally, and visibly showing concern about the gnu/linux advances? This is really exciting stuff, well, to me anyway.

    i know i'm wandering, but think about it, longhorn is a long way off, linux is moving....and very fast, i might add, and besides the ridiculous prices, OSX/Apple will be the only real competitor in the next few years. This nonsense involving Sun's current flip-flopping is merely hope confused with death throes.

    So, the window is open and with more tools like DotGNU wrapping systems together, damn, i'm looking forward to what will happen in the next few years. Good stuff, i think.
    • DotGNU has about 5-6 developers working on everything :)... lend a hand ...
      • " DotGNU has about 5-6 developers working on everything :)... lend a hand ..."

        You know, i just might. i've recently graduated with a computer engineering degree and am rather enjoying my evenings to myself, but have been thinking of which, if not my own, open source project i would like to give some time to. i've used the work of thousands over the short time i've used linux, i figure, i'd be my right place to give something back. So, today i'll look into the DotGNU and see if that's where i'd like to put
        • visit irc.freenode.net #dotgnu ... talk to t3rmin4t0r

          **Disclaimer**
          I'm a recent CS graduate who has been working on DotGNU for the last 3 years (yes, three years this August).

    • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win"

      --Gandhi
  • How long... (Score:5, Funny)

    by JessLeah (625838) on Saturday June 12, 2004 @09:46AM (#9406560)
    ...before the Nastygram(TM) from MS's lawyer corps arrives?
    • What legal basis would Microsoft's lawyers have to complain? C# and large parts of the libraries clearly are not Microsoft intellectual property.
      • Microsoft's legal basis to complain would be, basically, that they are Microsoft. Hardly any well-heeled (read: well-bribed) politician in the world could argue with that "logic".
        • Microsoft's legal basis to complain would be, basically, that they are Microsoft.

          Microsoft has engaged in all sorts of questionable business practices, but they have used the legal system to intimidate other companies comparatively rarely. Usually, Microsoft has been at the receiving end of such threats and lawsuits, for example from Apple or Sun.

          So, going by their corporate history, Microsoft seems less likely to send legal nastygrams than other companies. The Microsoft way would be to change .NET inc
    • ...before the Nastygram(TM) from MS's lawyer corps arrives?

      Probably not long at all. My understanding is the Microsoft can port a legal offense to different platforms cheaper, faster, and more robust than any of their code base or innovative technologies.
  • Some screenshots (Score:5, Informative)

    by Simon (S2) (600188) on Saturday June 12, 2004 @09:51AM (#9406597) Homepage
    here [dotgnu.org], here [dotgnu.org], here [dotgnu.org] and here [dotgnu.org].
  • A dangerous idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Decaff (42676) on Saturday June 12, 2004 @10:15AM (#9406711)
    This is using open source to provide free marketing for Microsoft. First, take a microsoft technology (.Net), then spend a lot of time and effort duplicating a subset of .Net, which will never be a complete implementation as Microsoft haven't given out all the libraries. Microsoft then have cut-down versions of '.Net' distributed on a range of systems, with no effort required from them, and they can say 'for the real, full, professional .Net experience come to Windows'. I view the .Net clones as persisting the (wrong) impression that open source software is an amateurish attempt to copy professional software.

    There are better ways. Why not use Java? Its free, and there are many Java clones that are full-featured and run on Pocket-PC and PalmOS.

    If you don't like Java.. why not actually be innovative and develop a new portable bytecode and languages to run on it? If not a new bytecode, why not help the work on parrot? Why not show that in VM technology open source coders can do more than simply play catch-up with Microsoft?

    • by Gopal.V (532678) on Saturday June 12, 2004 @10:29AM (#9406762) Homepage Journal

      DotGNU Support in Parrot CVS [perl.org] | Parrot Support in DotGNU CVS [gnu.org]

      *g* -- I like parrot -- In fact I want Parrot to become the FreeSoftware VM :)

    • "DotGNU will be a complete replacement for .NET (and not just a Free Software implementation). The goals are to provide a reasonably compatible system and then improve on what Microsoft is offering."

      In other words, they're trying to embrace and extend DotNET. Once they get enough of the .Net market, they can start innovating. There's certainly room to improve .Net, and with backwards-compatible free software there isn't much of a barrier to switching away from MS's version.
      • "DotGNU will be a complete replacement for .NET.."

        I seriously doubt this. For example, where are the enterprise libraries of .Net? I can't see them on the DotGNU website, and Mono state clearly they have no plans to implement them for now.

        This is what seriously worries me. There is nothing to stop Microsoft from continually adding (or pre-announcing) new extensions to their .Net and forcing DotGNU and Mono to keep playing catch-up. Microsoft are in a hugely powerful position to control other .Net imple
        • Microsoft are in a hugely powerful position to control other .Net implementations by changing things arbitrarily.

          You have to remember that has a huge installbase of .NET and while they can add new features, making breaking changes will have a negative impact on their customers.
          • You have to remember that has a huge installbase of .NET

            There is no evidence of this. Only a very small percentage of PCs and servers have .Net installed.

            making breaking changes will have a negative impact on their customers.

            That has not stopped them before. I speak from 25 year experience with their developer tools. Microsoft have been adding incompatible features and screwing about with APIs for decades.
          • > You have to remember that has a huge installbase of .NET and while they can add new features, making breaking changes will have a negative impact on their customers.

            Not really.. .NET's installbase won't become "huge" until Longhorn. When that arrives, Windows Update will take care of whatever Microsoft wants to do in terms of extending .NET.
        • There is nothing to stop Microsoft from continually adding (or pre-announcing) new extensions to their .Net

          Yeah there is. They can only force independent application developers to rewrite their apps so many times. They'll need this especially in the short to mid term as a newish technology looking to gain traction via mind share, competeing against the established Java community.
          • Yeah there is. They can only force independent application developers to rewrite their apps so many times.

            They are not interested in independent application developers - they want the corporate developer. Microsoft frequently introduce new versions of products that require significant re-writes to remain compatible.
          • Yeah there is. They can only force independent application developers to rewrite their apps so many times. They'll need this especially in the short to mid term as a newish technology looking to gain traction via mind share, competeing against the established Java community.

            On the other hand, multiple versions of .NET can be installed and coexist, so old applications can continue using .NET version 1.0, for instance, while newer applications that want to take advantage of new features can be updated to u

            • On the other hand, multiple versions of .NET can be installed and coexist,

              I'd be impressed if they can - my personal experience of installing multiple versions of anything under Windows makes me doubtful...

              All other APIs I've seen have been fairly stable across versions.

              Perhaps I'm so bitter and cynical about Microsoft because I have experienced such changes :)

              Here are some examples:
              Win3.51 to Win4.0
              The whole mess of Win32s on Win3.1
              Visual Basic, Basic for Application compatibility.
              At least two round
  • by xot (663131) <fragiledeath.gmail@com> on Saturday June 12, 2004 @10:21AM (#9406732) Journal
    I just bought a new Ipaq which is pocket pc based.I've been trying to find good apps for it but theres hardly anything thats free and good.Most Pocket PC apps come to you with a "relatively" hefty price tag.
    So like many others wondering about this, would DotGNU Ported to PocketPC bring more free and good applications for the users?? I think thats the bottomline rather than the C# or C++ issues.
  • by Aphrika (756248) on Saturday June 12, 2004 @10:36AM (#9406805)
    I may be wrong here, but last time I looked, the only 'heavily licensed' part of developing for the .NET Compact Framework I could find was that I had to buy Visual Studio.NET 2003 in order to use it. There are no licenses per se for developing/deploying with the .NET CF, so what exactly does Pocket C# exist for?

    Now, as far as I know, no SDK exists for Compact Framework 1.0, but one is slated for 2.0, as mentioned in this post [msdn.com]. It seems an SDK doesn't exist due to time constraints, rather than licensing requirements.
  • by puppetluva (46903) on Saturday June 12, 2004 @12:16PM (#9407317)
    I'm getting some guys together to port Microsoft Money to Linux. We think its going to be a really interesting project and Microsoft will really love having their stuff ported for free! We don't think they'll care when we give it away for free either so we aren't asking for any patent releases or anything!

    Who's with me?

  • What? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 12, 2004 @12:25PM (#9407380)
    Hehe..:)

    Who writes these news?

    "The Pocket PC# group".. Author of this port is me, Vitaliy Pronkin.. I'll think about changing my name to "Pocket PC# group" :)

    More.. This port doesn't allow you to write .net CF applications FOR PocketPC (you already can do this for a long time) - it allows to write them ON PocketPC, I ported only C# compiler and tools.

    Regards,
    Vitaliy Pronkin
    pub-at-mifki.ru
  • The problem is that the .NET "standard" is still going to be maintained by Microsoft. I know that C# has been given to the ECMA; but that's only part of .NET. The APIs are still going to be dictated from Redmond, so any implementation of it, including open source, is supporting Microsoft as a standards setter.

    This is how they created a near monopoly in both the desktop operating system and office software markets. Do you want this to continue to development platforms, or do you want open standards base

    • Yes, C# is only part of .NET. It's not the only part that has been submitted to ECMA though - there's ECMA 335 as well, which is the CLI, including the basic standard libraries. Of course, there's still more to .NET - the "standard" libraries are fairly small compared with what MS describes. Better than nothing though.
  • The compact framework has no licensing issues other then it's not open source. This is a pointless waste of time.

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