I read Miguel’s post a bit like «My brother is dead, but now at least I get all the chocolate for myself»…

I don’t think having C# running on many closed smartphones brings any credit to Mono (and don’t get me wrong, Mono is technically an awesome technology). Having Mono run on MeeGo (which is already possible) would have been much nicer, since it’d have meant both the developer’s and user’s freedom would have been preserved, at no technical expense1. Celebrating the “victory” of Windows Phone over MeeGo on Planet GNOME does not seem the wisest thing to me2 in the current context, but freedom of expression is one of the rights I respect the most, so how could I complain?

Disclaimer: As a Nokia employee working on MeeGo, my opinion is of course biased 🙂

1 Actually, it would surely have been easier to install mono addons on MeeGo than it’ll be on Windows Phone.
2 “wise” in the sense that as many people have strong feelings about what happened, flamewars are more likely to happen…

17 Responses to “About the relevancy of C# on mobile platforms”

  1. […] Adrien Bustany Posted by Bez kategorii Subscribe to RSS feed […]

  2. Mathias Hasselmann Says:


    Regarding not wise: GNOME once was started as __free software__ project, therefore it’s really very disturbing if one of its founders praises unfree software within this forum. Everyone shall express his opinion, but it might be worth considering where to express it. Surely not a wise or polite thing to — dunno — crash a rose-growers conference to loudly praise tulips…

  3. eTM Says:

    I agree. Although to be fair, MDI loses no word about MeeGo. He seems to be just happy that symbian will go away. MeeGo would have meant 1 additional column in Miguel’s tables, so I guess he is all pro MeeGo.

    From the point of view of a user I fail to see how less mainstream choice (Symbian, MeeGo) opens up “a world of opportunities”. And I give a shit how easy it was for the developers to provide an app. As a Linux user, MeeGo / Maemo are fun to develop on, because I feel right at home.

    • twilightomni Says:

      You are conflating developer “choice” of ecosystems with user “opportunities”.

      The OS to pick is not the only opportunity available to the user.

      • eTM Says:

        I do not consider WP7, MeegGo, Android, iOS, … bundles, that contain the OS, and a philosophy how to handle things (both from the perspective of user and developer).

  4. z Says:

    I absolutely agree. I am a big mono fan myself, but I don’t like this post either. Recently miguels posts are more and more “comercial business” related.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Luis Souto Graña, Zeeshan Ali. Zeeshan Ali said: "My brother is dead, but now at least I get all the chocolate for myself" http://tinyurl.com/6cks64c […]

  6. Miguel de Icaza Says:

    Repost from my blog, in between the “—” block:

    Yes, C# on MeeGo/mobile phones would have been great.

    You can see that we even built a MonoDevelop add-in to deploy MeeGo projects and there are Qt bindings for Mono that would have served just fine.

    But Nokia showing up with a *fifth* development stack in 12 months on a very saturated space with strong entrenched players would have meant the dismissal of Nokia. So it is better to have Nokia on WP7 than no Nokia at all.

    Now, I am sure that a lot of people wont be happy with the outcome, but you guys have a lot of options: (a) Join Intel to work on MeeGo; (b) Start your own company to continue working on MeeGo; (c) Join another Linux mobile vendor (HP or Google).

    Nokia was lucky enough to have recognized the danger of their current path before it was too late. My employer did not, and the company is being sold for pennies.

    • Fair enough, and I really didn’t mean to make you sound like an evil person (and I was sleeping while you posted that comment :p). At most I think you are a bit of a polemist sometimes 😉

      The view expressed in your post is pragmatic in one way. What disappoints me (and does not contradict your post) is that I really don’t believe MeeGo failed for technical reasons (and again, yes I’m super biased), nor do I believe WP7 is better than what I’ve seen inside Nokia. I actually don’t even understand *how* we still fail to deliver Harmattan after what, 2 years of development (and I say “we” even if I’ve only been in Nokia for 4 months) ? And the user base of WP7 is ~0 anyway (who does WP7? HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericson all go Android). I also fail to see how Nokia will survive making WP7 phones. If WP7 ever gets popular, Samsung or HTC will start making devices, in bigger volumes, at a cheaper price, and Nokia will have no other solution than clinging to S40 phones, or dying. But then, I’m no business analyst 🙂

      I think many of the Nokians are already thinking about joining Intel or any other open source friendly company, we ‘ll see what the future reserve us…

      • Miguel de Icaza Says:

        Well, I thought I wrote a funny post, then again, funny is in the eye of the beholder.

        Now, MeeGo for consumers is nowhere the iPhone was when it launched. Last year at FOSDEM, I remember some Nokia engineer interrupting an iPhone conversation to show us how the Nokia system was better.

        He showed us two things: a terminal where he could run Unix commands and some task switcher. Both very pretty. He demoed this to people from the iOS industry that happened to be there. Needless to say, nobody was impressed.

        This demo signals that the culture at Nokia was nowhere where it had to be to succeed in the market. Perhaps things changed in the last 12 months, but after years of changing strategies (Maemo, then Qt, then joint efforts with Intel) there was nothing I could see that really appealed me as a consumer.

        And if all you cared was an open source operating system, Android is already that solution.

        I like my iPhone more than any WP7 or Android phones in the market today, but you can not deny that WP7 learned from Apple that they had to invest in industrial design for consumers.

    • Martin Says:

      I hear people mention the “saturated space”.

      How is that a problem with a market of a few billion devices?

      It will be many more platforms. Specially made platforms for local markets and other variants. It will be room for many more of those.

      Open standards are important. The different vendors devices needs to be able to communicate in a open and free way. Not only as a phone, but as a general communication device and a PC.

      The market in China, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, India, and so on is not necessary the same as North America.

      My Chinese family have devices with brands I never seen or heard of outside China.

    • Tom Says:

      The QT-bindings for mono are discontinued since some years.

      It just doesn’t make sense to use mono on iphone, Android and Phone7. That’s why mono is not OFFICIAL supported there. MeeGo was the only platform where mono had an opportunity. Funny that you are happy to have lost that opportunity. Your hate for QT seems to make you blind and stupid at the same time.

  7. Dave Says:

    The Bridge on the River Kwai comes to mind.

  8. Mardy Says:

    The first line of your post says it all. But MeeGo is not dead — if Intel and other vendors start shipping it, we’ll get a good piece of chocolate back 🙂

  9. T_U Says:

    Miguel is definitely entitled to his opinion ; I respect it and he has a valid point.

    However, I disagree as well with him because I consider myself as a Linux / OSS enthusiast, more than a cell phone user / developer (I even don’t have a cell phone, I waste enough time on computers already).

    So to me, it rather means : KDE may lose pace / Meego may die / QT in danger / no more “genuine” Linux phone, etc. I have no real opinion on Mono and C#.

    I’m really sad because KDE was really becoming an awesome & state of the art environment, but it already lacked manpower. What if they have to find even more people to maintain QT ? I’m sad as well because Meego & a more widespread QT was a unique opportunity for OSS. etc.

    I’m a really matter to fact Linux user, please excuse me 🙂

    (of course, there are more important subjects and serious issues in the world)

  10. Eric Says:

    ZTE is going to use MeeGo (and unlike Miguel seems to think, Nokia is not abandoning it). In few years ZTE will be selling more smartphones than Apple. There’s more saturated space for MDI.

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