[Mono-devel-list] Pascal compiler?

Michael Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Mon Mar 14 23:04:03 EST 2005

On Tue, 2005-03-15 at 04:38 +0100, marc hoffman wrote:
> Let me close by saying that i think and hope that there's room here for
> open source (Mono) and commercial (Chrome) software to co-exist and
> support each other for mutual benefit - rather then working against each
> other. 

Of course there is.

However, I don't believe there's ever room for a single closed-source,
de facto-standard compiler.  There must always be a free and open
alternative.  That's the reason why mono exists in the first place.
It's not that anyone is necessarily working against anyone else; it's
merely that having free and open tools is essential to a healthy
software ecosystem.  

I have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to code in a
language for which there is only one compiler controlled entirely by one
vendor on a given platform.  Thanks to Mono, which although is
controlled by Novell is free and open, I can now consider developing in
C# without fear of being completely at Microsot's mercy.   If I develop
in C or C++, I can rest easy knowing that my code can be ported using
any number of commercial and free compilers.  Java, until recently, was
much like Chrome--a great product to use but one was completely beholden
to Sun's whims and wishes ultimately (despite the java community
process).  Now of course we have a free alternative gcj coming along
nicely which makes Java now more palatable.

So no one is saying that Chrome shouldn't exist or shouldn't be sold as
a closed source product.  What is being said, however, is that Chrome
should not be a de facto standard Mono component, nor should it be
promoted as such, unless it is open and part of the mono source
repository.  Faced with that, I believe that the development of a free
Pascal compiler should proceed if there is a demand for it, even if it
means competing directly with Chrome.

Despite all the assurances about not doing to the community what Borland
has done, there are too many years of software history behind us to make
some developers feel comfortable about this kind of vendor lock in.
Having a free and open system, such as Mono is, goes a long ways to
sooth these fears.  The same rational behind the Gnu Compiler Collection
applies in this case.  By your logic the FSF should never have wasted
their time on such an endeavor because we had perfectly good vendor
compilers on all the major platforms.  What a mistake it would have been
for Stallman to have succumbed to that logic.


> It's not my place to judge the use of anyone's personal time, but given
> the fact that we all have a limited amount of it, it would seem to me
> it's much better spend working together rather then rewriting things yet
> again, just for the sake of it.
> But that's just MHO.
> marc hoffman
> Chief Architect, .NET
> RemObjects Software
> http://www.chromesville.com 
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Michael Torrie <torriem at chem.byu.edu>

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