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Linux Today Readers Speak on Chrome, Mono, and Best Beginner Programming Languages

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The level of reader commentary on Linux Today is pleasingly high. Sure, we have the usual trolls, twits, spammers, and pointless wastes of time, but the majority are interesting and worthwhile. Mono continues to be a hot topic, Google's shiny new vaporware Chrome OS, and what is the best language for beginning programmers?

 

 

What's the best programming language for a complete novice who wants to learn Linux programming?

 

 

 

 

"[Yim] [Reason for learning]

If you want to get stuff done right away, Basic, javascript or whatever dynamic language you like can get you going fast.

If you want to be relevant to a particular industry, then java or the others may be useful.

If you want to learn fundamentals, the creator of C++ Stroustrup argued recently that you should learn languages like C.

And I would argue that if you want to learn to program, not just syntax, then choose a good author like Stroustrup who now has a beginner book, Kernighan who has a series of books, and Holub had The C Companion.

If you want to start hacking code, then learn C, Pascal, or whatever and get started experimenting with modifying programs."

 

 

[Ken Jennings] [Beginners?]

"Beginners don't need lightning fast compiled code, or major, overblown network scripting languages, and certainly not object obfuscation languages. Someone who wants to start learning programming just needs a simple language to learn good procedural logic. Whatever happened to BASIC? I guess the closest thing to "ubiquitous" which many people would have available even if they don't know it is the OpenOffice.org scripting feature which is based on BASIC."

 

 

 

 

Google's announcement that they were launching the Linux-based Chrome OS project inspired tidal waves of blogs, opinions, news stories, and analyses. Pretty amazing for something that doesn't exist yet:

 

 

 

 

"[Bob_Robertson] [Thanks, Carla]

I'm glad to see a bit of aggregation here. Just so many, many stories.

Google News search for "chrome OS" gave some 1200 major entries. Ugh."

 

 

[Nomen Publicus] [Disappointed]

"I'm a bit disappointed to learn that ChromeOS will be linux based. That one decision means the new system starts off with a lot of historical cruft that it doesn't need.

I would be tempted to start with Xen and build up the user level services as light weight virtual machines.

Even so, we live in interesting OS times..."

 

 

[Onan the Barbarian] [Where is Chrome for Linux?]

"This is going to be based on Linux and Chrome. So it must mean they'll release Chrome (Web browser) for Linux eventually?"

 

 

 

 

Mono remains alive as a contentious issue, and Linux Today readers outshine the professional journalists in their commentary:

 

 

 

 

[Charles Hixson] [I don't see any case for including mono by default]

"I've seen fairly reasonable arguments that it's quite legal. I haven't seen any that say that it's a good thing, and which I also accepted as valid.

 

 

Also, things which are legal in one jurisdiction are often not legal in another. So I'd be cautious about accepting that it was legal, and REALLY cautious that MS wouldn't sue over it, possibly behind a stalking horse. That doesn't require a valid claim. (Check out the SCOx lawsuit, which MS appears to have partially financed.)

 

 

So I don't think that mono should be included by default. And I'm certain that it isn't going to be on *MY* system. I don't like it, don't want it, and don't trust it. If I want an interpreter language I'll use Java, Python, or Ruby. (Sorry, I haven't bothered to pick up Perl.)

 

 

I can accept that Ubuntu feels that it couldn't be successfully sued in South African courts, and that they think the case would shatter next to immediately. They're probably right. But in the US courts SCOx has been suing for almost 6 years, and haven't yet produced an measurable amount of evidence. And the suits are STILL going on. (They've all been stayed while SCOx is in bankruptcy...but that just means that the last money is siphoned out of SCOx so that the prevailing parties won't get any damages paid.)

 

 

In short, it's not enough to have a good case and clear evidence. It's got to be blindingly obvious that the party that sued you KNEW IN ADVANCE that they couldn't come up with any evidence. And to me that means that including anything associated with MS is unreasonably dangerous...and I don't care that it's totally legal to do so."

 

 

[phred14] [Who is asking for Mono?]

Simple answer - nobody. Mono is being pushed into Linux, not pulled. So far the one application that's dragging it into "default" isn't even very important, and Mono/C# isn't even critical. A Mono-free C#-free clone of that application was built in practically no time.

 

 

Simply put, Mono gives Microsoft control over a Linux desktop API, even without patent threats. The ECMA standard is irrelevant, if only because it's incomplete, and *always* needs extensions. In order to field a functional, complete Mono, you need to start cloning Microsoft stuff. You may as well base the Linux UI on WINE."

 

 

[GreyGeek] [Re: Re: Re: Mono a solution looking for a problem?]

... Theres all this talk about how Mono is needed and it opens the door to better development and more apps. But when you ask for a list of apps they are quite short and don't bring much to the table.

...

 

 

The lack of MONO apps IS glaring, isn't it!

 

 

What's even MORE glaring is that De Icaza has been working on MONO since December of 2000, when he changed the name of his company, Helix Code, to Ximian in order to focus on developing MONO. Yet, NINE years later there is only a handful of MONO apps. IF MONO is the such a marvelous RAD tool, why has it taken so long to produce so few applications?

 

 

Also, if .NET is such a marvelous CROSS PLATFORM tool where code written on one platform can be recompiled with few or no changes on another platform, WHY isn't Linux being FLOODED with .NET applications?

 

 

The answer is simple. MONO is a patent trap and most Penguins realize it. So, just like it did with the ISO committees, Microsoft is flooding the Linux development groups with .NET moles and the Linux forums with astroturfers and TEs.

---

GreyGeek"

 

 

If you're looking for a decent commentary on the good points of Mono (these are very hard to come by) try Paul Ferrill's Why GNOME Do Is Built With C#

 

Thank you readers, keep the good stuff coming!

 


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