Friday, September 2, 2011

Mono Touch and Mono for Android

I am supposed to write something on Linguistics now, but my plans fail every time when I come to a topic which love somehow. Mono is a one of the topics I always love to explore and talk about. It is the only thing which links me to programming on Linux because I can use my limited C# programming skills in MonoDevelop using Mono. It is a great application, and despite criticism from certain open source 'lovers', the merger of original company to Novell and now separation as Xamarin, this project kept on going. I am in love of this project and C#.

Once upon a time Mono was considered a rival of Java and other Virtual Machine based programming languages in the open source world. It was debated, re-debated and criticized. I remember the time when Ubuntu was even criticized on including mono packages in default installation CD. But those were simpler times. There were no 'intruders' in Adam's Heaven, there were no Tablets and so called touch devices. There was no Android. There was no hype to buy iPads, ThinkPads, TouchPads and like. So, all that people talked about was how much C# has been implemented by Mono, how much is there chance of Microsoft suing Novell over its patents regarding C#, how MoonLight is gonna fail, what kind of new applications are built on Mono lately, and whether Linux distros should adopt F-Spot, Banshee etc etc. The life was simpler at that time.

And now, when market is flooded by touch devices and people are mad to have one. There are new platforms and new software development kits. iOS is providing and promoting Objective C on its own SDK, Android is promoting its own SDK. Although Windows Phone is out there, but its only on 1% devices still in US (as I was reading somewhere today). Its true as far as Windows Phone is alive C# is alive (somehow). The libraries may change, names may vary whether it is Windows Presentation Foundation or SilverLight but the underlying language syntax would remain same. But this is about Windows world. What about Mono and Linux? As far as I know, Mono could never be a main stream application development framework in Linux world. It was appreciated by many, it was used by many, it produced very good and popular applications e.g. Banshee (I really liked this elegant media player), but the fact is that (for desktop users at least) applications written in Python or other such languages keep on appearing more often as compared to Mono and C# based applications. So it was natural to move towards touch devices for Mono to create its existence in a wider space.

There were other reasons as well. Mono always tried to target those developers who had C# skills and now wanted to create enterprise or other applications on other platforms e.g. Mac, Linux. Mono promised to provide support for porting existing .Net applications, to develop new ones, and to provide commercial support for Suse Linux Enterprise. The same theme was carried forward when Mono moved to Mono Touch. The idea is fairly simple, as the website also states that "use existing skills to create native iOS applications". They had good experience in joining C code of GTK with C# code of Mono to create GTK#, and joining other Gnome APIs to C# Mono framework. They've used the expertise to link Objective-C to existing Mono framework. You write in C# but the code generation would be in Objective-C. That's very cool idea, you do not have to re-learn Objective-C and a hell lot of APIs specific to iOS platform. Simply use Monodevelop to create an App and deploy it on the App Store.

Same is the case with Mono for Android. A few years back there were efforts to convert Java code to C#, and vice versa using IKVM and this was used on Mono also. Developers might be still using this technology to call Java APIs through Mono on a C# application. But the point here to mention was that Mono is trying to do something similar regarding Mono for Android. Most of the code for Android is in Java, so the Apps require Java and Google's platform specific APIs for Android. Mono for Android provides same thing here as well, as it does for iOS. It translates the code written in C# to one that is acceptable by Android.

This way, Mono is being alive and going forward. I have my best wishes that this platform should keep going on this way on new platforms. Thus the original i.e. Mono for PCs can be guaranteed, because no one will develop Mono if there is no money. So best of luck Mono. I love you ;-)

Making Money Online in Pakistan

In this post I am not concerned with how they do things in other countries to make money online. I want to discuss a few trends of online money making in Pakistan. And most of them I would rather avoid to use personally (or simple words I don't much like them).

The first way of making money is the so-called online money making companies one can see in every city. I've never worked for them, but from the rumors and second third source opinions I've made a picture. They provide several kind of jobs e.g. Form Filling, Typing, Article Writing (wrote to build links for SEO, in other words creating meaningless junk to promote your website), Adsense Click. First two ones can be justified somehow, but they require a lot of time and effort for very little money. Article writing for SEO as I mentioned, its just creating junk to promote a website on internet. The intention is not to promote knowledge, but to create formula articles, so people do it very efficiently. The last one is that you make a website, place adds on it and ask your users to click on adds once or twice per day. The clicks yield money for your website and you in turn pay them in rupees. I hate this method of earning. This is unlawful.

People start websites. They are link building directories, article submission sites etc. That's a good idea to promote websites, because link building is a significant part of SEO. But frankly speaking, I always have a stingy and smelly feeling of these websites. They have nothing but links, and copy pasted introductions of websites. And upon all this junk you've placed the adds from Google. It reminds me of a trash yard which is fully decorated with multicolour banners as if it were a cricket stadium before a match. Forgive my imagination, I just wrote how do I feel about these so-called link building directories. And let me explain one thing, some of them are doing great job, the older ones actually. They are descent and have a simple, clean, elegant GUI to categories websites. My 'negative' feelings were evoked by a recent such 'creation', clearly in the wake of making money online, but with least experience. The site seemed to say I AM CREATED TO MAKE MONEY. I am not providing site link, you may find such site around you while walking on facebook, google+ etc, just keep your eyes open.

People start article submitting directories in hope to make money. As you can see the effort is from Pakistan, they try to target Pakistani writers/ bloggers to write articles for them. And again they place adds on it. They have no guidelines or rules, just write something and dump into the hell yard they've created to make money. Sometimes these 'directories' look like an empty showcase with just banners of adds and nothing to view upon. I hate such newly and inefficiently created money making machine sites which are created because there are 'other' out there making money same way. I know there are some good examples of article submitting directories, but my experience have been quite unpleasant with them. Sometime back google could be easily deceived by such formula articles and they appeared on first page. I do not feel good about such things since then. Although search engines have now got the ability to bypass such material and provide quality material. But me is me... me still feels taste of a bitter almond whenever comes across an article directory, and it worsens when a newly created article directory is seen from Pakistan screaming with its full strength of lungs CLICK HERE SUBMIT HERE WE SELL LINK BACKS WE SELL LINKS BACKS.

Hopefully you are not bored with my jealous talk, because I cannot create such things so I prefer to 'hate' them. :-D Well there is an other thing, and that's to start writing on technology, and keep on writing, citing everything that appears on internet, writing about anything and managing to create relevance out of anything irrelevant. I have an eye to recognize such 'formula' blogs which are solely created for money making. And I (sorry again) feel rather unsatisfied from such 'things'. I cannot write on technology alone (perhaps cannot write on anything consistently, built in fault ;-) ), I cannot start a blog which announces on first arrival that its made for money making (forgive me, perhaps its my perception that there is a difference between money making and non money making blog, but that's how I feel). For me, blogging is to write your own feelings, blog is personal expression and you can add a touch of technology, your own professional experiences and tales, thus making your blog more live. On this blog, I try to to the same. I do not (actually cannot) write solely on linguistics. Because there are lots of topics at a given time T (lets make it a bit mathematical), which keep on dancing in upper portion of my body in the number N. So I select from the total of T*N to write on my blog each day. ;-)

Ok, expressed my hatred for every professional who is trying to make money, what's next? Well there is nothing more. I just wanted to say that make money but don't label on your website that you are here to make money only. Make it a bit descent, or become a high level professional e.g. start writing a blog on Ubuntu or any other very specialised area. This way the content wouldn't be available readily on internet, you'll have to create e.g. tutorials, analyses. Simply mentioning news reports from primary sources is not a challenging thing, at least for me, to earn money (I've a subscription of top technology magazines online as well in my google reader, and I usually know what has happened today on internet because I happen to check it several times a day). My apologies if you think my words are inappropriate, that's what I thought about it and I wrote. Perhaps a very big reason of this, is my background, when it comes to writing I like to sit down, take a while to think on the topic, add my feelings to it, try to make it lively and then write it down. Its not just reporting something from a primary source. That's why I could not continue this formula blog. Even if I see it today, it was a good effort and if I had continued since then, it could have yielded me lots of dollars from Google. But I couldn't, there were other reasons obviously, time, interest etc but one of the reasons was that I couldn't simply report from other sources, I couldn't add content for the sake of content to make money.

So folks, make money but do not write for money making only, write for both i.e. your personal pleasure and expression of thought and money would be there as well. After all this is English, the elite language, you can make money even by coughing in English :-D.