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

Wallace B. McClure

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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

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