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May 2011 - Posts - Wallace B. McClure

Wallace B. McClure

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May 2011 - Posts

What do we do now? "It's over man, Wormer dropped the big one" - #MonoTouch and #MonoDroid

Original post.

As you likely know, Mono, Monotouch, and Mono for Android are in limbo right now.

Bluto: Hey! What's all this laying around stuff? Why are you all still laying around here for?
Stork: What the hell are we supposed to do, ya moron? We're all expelled. There's nothing to fight for anymore.
D-Day: [to Bluto] Let it go. War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: [to Boon] Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...
[thinks hard of something to say]
Bluto: The tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!
[Bluto runs out, alone; then returns]
Bluto: What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer...
Otter: Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic... but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!
Bluto: We're just the guys to do it.
D-Day: [stands up] Yeah, I agree. Let's go get 'em.
Boon: Let's do it.
Bluto: [shouting] "Let's do it"!

This scene has been in the back of my mind since last Friday night when I got the call that I didn't want to hear, but I knew that it would come.  Anyway, the question now becomes what do you do?  I don't have the answers for everyone, but I have my original decision matrix that I'll repeat here with some discussion mixed in.

  • Go the "vendor directed" native route.  This means having to (re)learn Objective-C for the iPhone and Java for Android along with XCode and Eclipse.  I have problems moving between VB and C#, how am I going to keep these two different platforms straight in my mind?  Thankfully, learning Monotouch and Mono for Android and the fact that its a thin layer over the top of the native APIs means that its just not that hard to move.  This has the least amount of risk, but the most amount of learning.
  • Stay the course and wait for Attachmate to improve the products.  Ok, this is an option, but I doubt it is a very good option.  Attachmate doesn't seem to care about their customers in this situation.  They have had two plus weeks to formulate a strategy to communicate with them and there has been no communication.  Can they enhance and support the products?  I don't know, but I don't think that they have the ability to do this.  What about "All technology roadmaps remain intact"?
  • Stay the short course and wait on Xamarin.  This would involve working with Monotouch until Xamarin can produce a product that will allow for C# to work with the iPhone.  What about Mono for Android?  I've worked with it for a while, and it just isn't ready for prime time yet.  If the debugger had been fixed and performance had been resolved, I would feel different.  I just can't recommend Mono for Android as it exists right now.  What about the legal issues?  I just don't know.
So, what am I going to do?  I'm a .NET/C# developer at this point in my life.  I'm not going to Windows Phone 7 (WP7) over this.  WP7 just has not created a lot of interest in the marketplace outside of the Microsoft ecosystem.  The general public has not bought into it.  Things might change in the future, but as of May 17, 2011, I don't see it as an option.  I'm probably going to go the "vendor directed" route until such time as Xamarin can produce a product that allows for C# on the iPhone and Android.  At that point in time, you'll probably see our book(s) again.  Until that time, I expect my hair to be pulled out.  If you see me sporting the Paul Glavich look, you'll know why.Glavich
All Technology roadmaps remain..........except for the ones that we won't tell you about

Original post.

By now, its public knowledge that the Mono team has been fired by Attachmate. I know its been rumor for a couple of weeks, but I got info saying it was true. I think that this is a poor move by Attachmate. They have left their customers swinging in the wind. I feel sorry for the people that have been fired, they are first and foremost in my mind. These guys created MonoTouch and Mono for Android, which are now fully funding the entire Mono ecosystem, will land on their feet. These are smart guys. Someone will want them. They may be able to get Venture Capital to form a company and purchase the rights to all Mono products. While I think about them, I don't worry about them too much at all.

What really has me upset is that Attachmate seems to have mislead us.  They have mislead the community as a whole, their customers specifically, and me! Specifically, Jeff Hawn, CEO of The Attachmate Group, made the following statement:

"We have re-established Nuremburg as the headquarters of our SUSE business unit and the prioritization and resourcing of certain development efforts - including Mono - will now be determined by the business unit leaders there," said Jeff Hawn, Chairman and CEO of The Attachmate Group in a statement sent to "This change led to the release of some US based employees today. As previously stated, all technology roadmaps remain intact with resources being added to those in a manner commensurate with customer demand."

Now, I don't know what he means by "all technology roadmaps remain intact", but it looks to me like they have gutted Mono. How you can fire all US and Canada Mono developers and keep all technology roadmaps intact, I have no idea? Does Attachmate have their own set of mono developers ready to go on this? The above just seems to be a very misleading statement.  Attachmate seems to have nothing, nada, zilch.

Let me tell you why its such a big deal to me:

Books. This basically makes me question if there is any value in the 2 books that I have already published on MonoTouch.  We've put our Mono for Android book on hold.
Training. I have had two agreements so far to provide training for developers on MonoTouch and Mono for Android.  I've been talking with other members of the community about expanding this out.  All of this is on hold.
Consulting.  SDI has been contacted a number of times over the past few weeks about consulting on MonoTouch and Mono for Android projects.  I think we'd get a couple of them.
Startup. I've been looking at a startup for a while now.  I built all the examples on MonoTouch and Mono for Android.
Add this up, and you can guess how I feel right now.  I definitely feel mislead by someone.  I think its Attachmate.  They appear to have mislead the community.

Now, the next question is what am I planning on doing?  I still think that iPhone and Android are the winners in the current marketplace.  Windows Phone 7 is still a huge bet on the future. This is my decision "tree":

Listen to what Miguel and Joe Hill have to say.  I think the heart of the Mono community will do this. Miguel is Mono.  He is the heart and soul of the product.
Listen to what Attachmate says. I'd like to know what they have to say.  Can they do something to work with the "former" Mono team?  How are they going to satisfy their customers going forward.
Review all of my options for iPhone and Android development.  Maybe ObjectiveC and Java are the right ways to go.  Maybe I should do PhoneGap and Appcelerator. Maybe I should look at something else.
Anyway, thanks to Attachmate.

Talking Mobile on Cloud Plumbing - iPhone, Android, MonoTouch, and Mono for Android
I was interviewed by Ryan Parsley last week regarding Mobile Computing with iPhone and Android using MonoTouch and Mono for Android. Hopefully, you enjoy it.
Posted: May 09 2011, 08:00 AM by Wallym | with no comments
Filed under:
Another one is "In the books" - Professional Mono for Android is now AR complete
Mono for Android bookAnd with the upload to my editor at Wiley/Wrox, the book known as "Professional Android Programming with Mono for Android and .NET/C#" is now Author Review Complete, barring any slip ups on my part.  Its always a great feeling to get these things done.  A real load off of my shoulders. 

The genesis of this book has been really interesting.  It started while we were still writing our "Professional iPhone Programming with MonoTouch" book.  We started talking about this due to the Apple self FUD starting last April.  Watching the number of Android devices sold go up each quarter also helped me make the decision to go forward.  Martin Bowling started as the lead author.  Unfortunately, he had family issues and had to drop off during the planning stages. The other authors that joined me on this were Nathan Blevins, Jon Dick, Chris Hardy, and John Croft.

Here is some info from the Amazon web site about our book:

The wait is over! For the millions of .NET/C# developers who have been eagerly awaiting the book that will guide them through the white-hot field of Android application programming, this is the book. As the first guide to focus on Mono for Android, this must-have resource dives into writing applications against Mono with C# and compiling executables that run on the Android family of devices.

Putting the proven Wrox Professional format into practice, the authors provide you with the knowledge you need to become a successful Android application developer without having to learn another programming language. You'll explore screen controls, UI development, tables and layouts, and MonoDevelop as you become adept at developing Android applications with Mono for Android.

  • Answers the demand for a detailed book on the extraordinarily popular field of Android application development
  • Strengthens your existing skills of writing applications and shows you how to transfer your talents to building Android apps with Mono for Android and .NET/C#
  • Dives into working with data, REST, SOAP, XML, and JSON
  • Discusses how to communicate with other applications, deploy apps, and even make money in the process

Professional Android Programming with Mono for Android and .NET/C# gets you up and running with Android app development today.


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