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Xamarin announces Mono will be put under an MIT license

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Pretty nice news here. Recently Microsoft purchased Xamarin the creators of Mono, and now it will be opened up under the MIT license.

QuoteSo we are announcing today that we have contributed the Mono Project to the .NET Foundation, including some previously-proprietary mobile-specific improvements to the Mono runtime. Mono will also be re-released under the MIT License, to enable an even broader set of uses for everyone. In addition, to help clarify users’ rights to Mono under Microsoft patents, Microsoft has issued a broad patent promise for Mono. Miguel has posted more details to the Mono Project blog.


Due to this, these previously proprietary extensions will also be under the MIT license:
- ARM64 port of the Mono runtime
- Workarounds for bugs in some ARM chips
- Use of Apple’s CommonCrypto to implement the crypto classes in the .NET API
- Integration with X509 certificates on Apple platforms
- Support for “Native Types” on Apple platforms
- Generic Value Type Sharing
- Offset tool to maintain the cross compiler

It's possible now that Unity3D could update their version of Mono with a much later version. This could benefit a lot of game developers and gamers.

You can see the news source here. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Luke_Nukem 31 Mar, 2016
adolsonJuan Linietsky has mentioned making a C# version of Godot Engine once Mono switched to the MIT license. That should make a lot of people happy, since they inexplicably hate GDScript. More options are good.

Why the heck don't they just jam Squirrel Script or even Lua in there? Hell, anything *BUT* Charp.
Linas 31 Mar, 2016
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Natedawg...will now be able to make iOS and Android builds without the end user needing to pay Xamarin the $1500 yearly fee. Somebody please correct me if I'm misunderstanding the license change :)

They are open sourcing extensions to Mono, the runtime that runs Xamarin platform. As far as I can see, Xamarin itself is still very much proprietary.

Also Visual Studio is the only actual editor for Xamarin projects where you don't have to deal with severe handicap.

I don't really buy into this new Linux loving Microsoft. It all sounds good and nice, but reality is quite different. .Net is still proprietary and Windows-only. The open sourced CoreCLR that actually runs on Linux has a very limited functionality, and is not enough for many real life projects. Mono is another much more complete .Net implementation, but with subtle differences, and missing classes here and there.

There are many nice things in .Net platform, but cross platform compatibility is not one of them. Microsoft either does not know how to properly do cross-platform, or more likely is using open source to bait developers into switching to full .Net.
Purple Library Guy 31 Mar, 2016
To hell with Mono and the .Net it rode in on.
enz 1 Apr, 2016
Sure, Microsoft loves Linux. Now that they found a way to milk Linux users on Android and other embedded devices. They simply charge the manufacturers a tax to avoid their legal threats with bogus patents like the FAT patent.


Last edited by enz on 1 April 2016 at 6:45 am UTC
Hendrin 1 Apr, 2016
Not a fan of Microsoft but do like the C# language, but still very hesitant about this. Having said that, the open source Monogame/FNA has brought us quite a few games like Bastion, Fez, Skulls of Shogun and more. I think in cases like this were you are for the most part avoiding most of the Windows specific stuff and focusing mostly on the game library it works. Would I make a desktop program(level editor, paint program, etc) or even a mobile app with this? No.

Honestly, it bugs me that effective Microsoft with C# and Oracle with Java, effectively sit on what I find enjoyable game frameworks (libGdx and Monogame/FNA) to use and develop with.

Yes, I know I could use other ones but I enjoy these type of languages and the layout of the libraries. Guess when it comes right down to it don't put all your eggs into one basket regardless if it is something patented or open source. The frameworks you use may die out get changed to require licensing and costs.

Anyways, I guess its a slight move in the right direction, but would require a major move further to make me actually trust Microsoft.
Mountain Man 1 Apr, 2016
lucifertdarkMicrosoft can't be trusted to do what's best for anyone but themselves, if they get their claws into Linux/Ubuntu, it's only a matter of time before it's dead & buried.
I don't know anything about the MIT license. Is it possible for someone to withdraw the license at a later date? If so, that could be Microsoft's end-game: get Mono code into competitors' products, withdraw the license, and suddenly everybody but Microsoft is screwed.


Last edited by Mountain Man on 1 April 2016 at 5:42 pm UTC
tuubi 1 Apr, 2016
Mountain ManI don't know anything about the MIT license. Is it possible for someone to withdraw the license at a later date?
Copyright owners can always switch licenses, but not for stuff that's already out there. Once you've released some code under a permissive license it stays free. If MS decides to make the project proprietary at some point in the future, you're free to keep using the MIT licensed older code. Or fork it and keep developing it further, as long as you don't violate the license.
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