Red Hat Inc has quashed suggestions that it is to introduce support for rival Novell Inc’s Mono open source implementation of the .NET development platform following its adoption by the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Linux community.
The Mono code was this week added to the Rawhide development version of the forthcoming Fedora Core 5, prompting Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell to declare that move reinforces Novell’s role as an innovator in the Linux market.
But while the Fedora Core is the base code for Raleigh, North Carolina-based Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux, the company has poured cold water on suggestions that it will officially support Mono.
The Fedora Foundation is a community of users who have a common interest in many technologies. Mono is a technology of interest to this community and the group has decided to include Mono in Fedora Core 5, said Leigh Day, Red Hat director of corporate communications. Much like Fedora promotes choice with other technologies (an example is including both KDE and Gnome), including Mono is another demonstration of choice being offered in Fedora. At this time, Red Hat has no plans for the endorsement or productization of Mono.
Mono was conceived in 2001 as a means of bringing the advantages of Microsoft’s .NET, to Linux and Unix and was initially sponsored by Ximian Inc prior to its acquisition by Novell in August 2003.
After three years of development, the first version of Mono was released in July 2005, offering developers the ability to build Linux and cross-platform applications using a C Sharp compiler and .NET-compatible runtime engine, as well as two stacks of application programming interfaces.
Mono has also been used to build a number of Linux applications, including the Beagle desktop search tool, F-Spot photo management application, and Tomboy desktop note-taking application.
While Red Hat’s official attitude to Mono is tepid, it has adopted Linux innovations developed by Novell and its Ximian and SUSE Linux predecessors in the past.
The Evolution groupware client, originally developed by Ximian, has long been part of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux, while since Enterprise Linux 3 it has also supported the Evolution Connector for Microsoft Exchange following its release by Novell under the GNU GPL.