There has been a lot of FUD in the past week about the future of the Mono Project after Attachmate announced layoffs at Novell’s Provo, UT headquarters. The consternation revolves around a rumor started last week that the layoffs included the entire Mono team.
My colleagues and I have been working closely with Miguel and the Mono Team for many months now, and I can definitively tell you that nothing has changed from our perspective. MonoTouch 4.0.2 was released this past week, and activity on the Mono for Android IRC remains active — with all the core Mono team members at Novell participating. Our support requests are handled as quickly as we can post them to the community. There is simply no evidence that any of the rumor is true. In fact the only official information from Attachmate is a statement from their CEO, Jeff Hawn, stating that “all technology roadmaps remain intact”.
The Mono Project has been in the crosshairs of many in the open-source movement for years because of it’s close ties to Microsoft. As a result there are many bloggers and journalists out there with a bias toward damaging public opinion of the project. As always, calmer heads will prevail: Johnathan Allen at InfoQ has managed to cut through the noise, and get to the root of the matter in an article posted earlier this week. It is the fairest, most accurate reporting of the facts I’ve seen yet.
I expect as time passes this rumor will be relegated to the dustbin with all the past rumors of Mono’s demise. Only a year ago the same people were predicting the death of MonoTouch after Apple modified the iOS developer agreement to prohibit third-party frameworks. Apple eventually reversed that decision, under scrutiny by the Department of Justice. Mono is alive and well, with a committed community of developers all over the world. It will take more than rumors and speculation to bring it down.