Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Attachmate lays off Mono employees

Read this blog post earlier today and thought I’d pass it on:
Attachmate is moving swiftly to re-organize the Novell business it acquired for $2.2 billion. Today Attachmate laid off an unknown number of U.S. based Novell developers that were working on the open source Mono project.

Mono is the Novell led effort to provide an open source implementation of the Microsoft .NET framework on Linux.

"We have re-established Nuremburg as the headquarters of our SUSE business unit and the prioritization and resourcing of certain development efforts - including Mono - will now be determined by the business unit leaders there," said Jeff Hawn, Chairman and CEO of The Attachmate Group in a statement sent to "This change led to the release of some US based employees today. As previously stated, all technology roadmaps remain intact with resources being added to those in a manner commensurate with customer demand."

I've been following Mono since Miguel de Icaza started the project back in 2004. Yes, I know, there are lots of people that don't like Mono and its Microsoft styled technology. I also know a lot of people (including me) that rely on it as a way to run .NET on Linux.

I don't know what is happening to Miguel (yet). I know that without his leadership this project would not be where it is today. The U.S. based developers in the Novell project are the ones that I have interfaced with over the last 7 years. They are a skilled group and it's a real shame that Attachmate is letting them go.

That said, talent like that will likely be picked up by a rival - or maybe even Microsoft. The patent related issues have long made Mono a technology that some vendors (like Red Hat) have avoided.

It is my personal hope that the developers are taken care of financially by Attachmate and that they find new employment soon.

As for the Mono project, I hope that Attachmate has a plan to keep this project growing. Despite its shortcomings, it is an essential part of the Linux ecosystem, providing a critical bridge between .NET and Linux.
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