C# or Mono?

Well, my good friend Riaz has started up our usual chat debate of MS vs non-MS technologies. So what is wrong with C#? Nothing at all, I mean, I think having Mono as a .NET platform alternative for Linux is a good thing since people can take their Windows learnt C# skills to another platform if they chose. MS pushes some good ideas, the problem is they’re usually not MS born ideas, but MS bought or MS copied.
Open source is about community born ideas, free for all to use, and adapt, and evolve. MS ideas cost money to adapt. MS determines how it evolves, if it evolves. Sometimes they kill the right ones, like MS Bob. Sometimes they don’t (Clippy still exists). Sometimes they take an idea that should be or was free before and decide it’s popular enough now to charge a price for.
A simple example is today in our discussions, I was talking about how Visual Studio Express was cool because it was a free IDE and I could finally learn C# with the free videos MSDN is giving out as well their Coding4Fun website. Then Riaz gave me the news I should have expected….Visual Studio Express 2005 for C# isn’t going to be free much longer, it’s in beta, so it’s a free download for now, but MS is planning to charge $50 fee for it when it goes final…of course I’m sure my beta won’t work really long past the date the final is released, although I’m perfectly happy with it.
So there goes my C# experiences with MS IDEs (again)...I’ll go back to learning about SharpDevelop, my choice because its good enough for a newcomer to C# like myself, it’s open-source, and it’s an IDE for C# that also has a derivative called MonoDevelop for when I’m ready to try my hand with Mono on my Linux desktop at home.
Already there is a live-cd called Monoppix that has the full MonoDevelop, Mono XSP server add on for Apache and Knoppix Linux preconfigured, along with basic tutorial videos to get you started. All done by the community and released for the community without cost to the user. C’mon MS, you could have at least kept the Express versions free and given me some hope there was a real attempt to change the strategy of doing business in the face of the Linux/Open Source competition.