On Feb 7, 2008 3:28 PM, Daniel Schwen <lists@schwen.de> wrote:
If it just boils down to "I feel cozy using C# on windows and never had a look
at mono", then I'm sorry, that doesn't cut it for me.
I had to acquire a considerable amount of expertise and put in a substantial
amount of time to do the stuff I'm doing on the toolserver. Shelling out even
one dollar just because someone is to lazy (sorry) to learn new things seems
unacceptable to me.

It's kind of lovely how you feel that you have the right to judge how other people should spend their time. This is especially interesting in the light of the fact that you have no idea what range of commitments and engagements other people have that also occupy their time and how that compares to the task of learning how to program in a Linux environment.

Other than that, it seems to me that the pressing points again are: what would people use a Windows environment for that was beneficial for Wikimedia projects, for that's what the tool server is for. If there are users who are most comfortable with a Windows environment and who have something valuable to contribute, it seems somewhat shortsighted to tell them off because they're "too lazy" to learn how to work with Linux.

Now, while I don't take personal offense, I am actually one of the people who works exclusively in a Windows environment. While I do not know if River has thought about raising the "Windows question" before, but I think him asking here was also prompted when I asked him that question on IRC a few days ago. I've written several bots that are in use on German Wikipedia (plus a few other projects) performing archiving and recategorizing tasks. The archiving bot is the most popular one used on German Wikipedia, the recat bot is tightly integrated in our CfD process. These bots currently run on an external Windows 2003 server I rent, paid out of my own pocket. To make these bots work, I've written a general purpose "bot framework" (similar to pywiki perhaps although I've never once looked at its code) that can do a lot of things. It's written in C# and, because it's based on .NET, can be used without problems by any other .NET compatible language. Do I think there's value in what I created? Certainly. It's closed source at the moment though but I've been toying with the idea of opening the source for a while now.

If there was a toolserver with a Windows environment available, these bots could be run on that server and managed just the same way as they are on my own. Porting them to Linux would require quite a bit of work mostly because all the logging is done with a local SQL Server 2005 database which is accessed by an ASP.NET website on the same server (http://sebmol.de/bots/log.aspx if you are curious). This porting work would not really add any value to the actual bot, it would also mean that I couldn't be involved in it anymore since I do not have time to learn how to use and program in a Linux environment.

I hope this makes somewhat clear what we're talking about. Comments are greatly appreciated, provided they don't burn down to something like "Microsoft is evil, Linux FTW".

Best regards,