By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2005-06-20 Print this article Print

.Net Programming Beyond Microsoft OSes"> Believing in the usefulness of bringing .Net programming beyond Microsoft operating systems, the Mono programming team had planned on releasing open-source versions of Avalon and Indigo. Since both technologies are still very early in their development cycles, "they are not in the radar at this point," according to the Mono Project Roadmap.
Still, work recently began on an open-source version of Indigo on Novell Inc.s sponsored MonoIndigo site.
Novell acquired the Mono project as part of its purchase of Ximian in 2003. To read more about Novells acquisition of Ximian, click here. The project administrator, Rodrigo Mazzilli, announced the projects launch on June 3 on the main Mono mailing list. In this note, Mazzilli said, "MonoIndigo will be a free implementation of Longhorns communication stack [code-named Indigo] on top of Mono." "MonoIndigo will require Mono 2.0." This update of Mono isnt due out until 2006. Nevertheless, "Ive also started developing some straightforward things of Indigo, like its most common attributes and classes. We plan to first implement the default BasicProfileHttpBinding, which conforms to WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 [basically HTTP-SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)]." Thus, BasicProfileHttpBinding is the .Net equivalent to one of Web Services fundamental protocols. A few weeks later, Microsoft told The Register that "developers planning to clone Indigo or Avalon will have to first engage in talks on licensing the companys Intellectual Property." A Microsoft representative confirmed that "while Microsoft is quite open to discussing with Novell the licensing of potentially applicable intellectual property, Novell has not licensed anything or even approached Microsoft on this topic." And, as far as Microsoft is concerned, any attempt to reverse engineer Avalon or Indigo will require a license. "Intellectual property is something any cloner needs to think about," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "While a license is not required to install Avalon or Indigo on Windows or to build an application that calls them; if someone wanted to clone Avalon or Indigo from top to bottom, then they should approach Microsoft about the licensing of potentially applicable intellectual property." Not everyone is sure that Microsoft will be able to make this stick. Microsoft clearly wants to maintain strict control of its APIs, its middleware, and its operating environment features. Its not at all clear that this will be a successful endeavor for Microsoft, said Dan Kusnetzky, IDCs VP of system software. As for Novell, the company is now claiming that its not seriously interested in porting Indigo anyway. "Miguel and I discussed this a couple of weeks ago, and the answer [is] basically we do not have plans to implement Indigo, so this discussion is more or less moot," said Kevan Barney, Novells senior PR manager. That isnt because of Microsofts IP stand, though. "The reasons we wouldnt do Indigo have to do with its usefulness (or lack thereof)—not because of IP issues," said Barney. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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