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2002 OSCON .NET Report


At the 2002 O'Reilly Open Source Convention's Emerging Technology track, there were several developments on the .NET front.

Rotor Unleashed

The OSCON 2002 hosted a number of sessions on emerging technologies, including one on .NET. The .NET session was on Rotor, Microsoft's shared source .NET Common Language Interface (CLI) project ported for FreeBSD. The project manager, David Stutz, conducted the session, which included information on Rotor's history, architecture, and more. It's interesting to note that the CLI and C# could be formally accepted as ISO/ANSI standards by the end of the year, when the final ballots have been submitted.

While Rotor is not open source, this shared source project allows developers to develop, port, and compile .NET applications in C#, Perl, Java, or other programming languages, using metadata and/or Web services standards on a non-Windows OS; that's currently FreeBSD. In recent weeks, however, there have been ports to Linux and others; however, David Stutz would not comment, except for saying that he was open to other ports besides FreeBSD. It's also interesting to note that the Mac OS X kernel is FreeBSD. Given this and Microsoft's investments in Apple, will we see .NET on Mac? It's certainly possible.

For more on Rotor and .NET, check out these articles:

Apache Server .NET?

In terms of news, Covalent's open source Apache 2.0 server will support ASP.NET, as well as potentially other .NET technologies. On the surface, this move may seem surprising, but isn't, really. With Rotor, look for Microsoft to incorporate .NET programming language interoperability to both FreeBSD and Windows .NET Server in the next major release of Visual Studio .NET. Look for Visual Studio .NET to be available to the Mac OS X developer community sometime in 2003. Additionally, I still think it's possible that Windows .NET Server will be redesigned so that it's built on a FreeBSD kernel sometime in 2004. Why? Because Microsoft sees the success of Apple's Mac OS X, and would like to emulate it in order to achieve some success in expanding its developer pool to even the open source community.

For more on this, check out "The New Promises That Come with .NET".