Miguel de Icaza

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Miguel de Icaza
Miguel de Icaza.jpg
Born c. 1972
Mexico City, Mexico
Occupation Software developer
Employer Xamarin
Title Chief Technical Officer
Spouse(s) Maria Laura de Icaza
Website
www.tirania.org/blog

Miguel de Icaza (born c. 1972) is a Mexican free software programmer, best known for starting the GNOME and Mono projects.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

De Icaza was born in Mexico City and studied at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM) but never received a degree. He came from a family of scientists in which his father is a physicist and his mother a biologist.[2] He started writing free software in 1992.

Early software career[edit]

One of the earliest pieces of software he wrote for Linux was the Midnight Commander file manager, a text-mode file manager.[3] He was also one of the early contributors to the Wine project.[4]

He worked with David S. Miller on the Linux SPARC port and wrote several of the video and network drivers in the port, as well as the libc ports to the platform.[5] They both later worked on extending Linux for MIPS to run on SGI's Indy computers and wrote the original X drivers for the system.[6] With Ingo Molnar he wrote the original software implementation of RAID-1 and RAID-5 drivers of the Linux kernel.[7]

In summer of 1997, he was interviewed by Microsoft for a job in the Internet Explorer Unix team (to work on a SPARC port), but lacked the university degree required to obtain a work H-1B visa.[8] He declared in an interview that he tried to persuade his interviewers to free the IE code even before Netscape did so with their own browser.[9]

GNOME, Ximian, Xamarin, and Mono[edit]

De Icaza started the GNOME project with Federico Mena in August 1997 to create a completely free desktop environment and component model for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.[10] He also created the GNOME spreadsheet program, Gnumeric.

In 1999, de Icaza, along with Nat Friedman, co-founded Helix Code, a GNOME-oriented free software company that employed a large number of other GNOME hackers. In 2001, Helix Code, later renamed Ximian, announced the Mono Project, to be led by de Icaza, with the goal to implement Microsoft's new .NET development platform on Linux and Unix-like platforms. In August 2003, Ximian was acquired by Novell. There, de Icaza was Vice President of Developer Platform.

In May 2011, de Icaza started Xamarin to replace MonoTouch and Mono for Android after Novell was bought by Attachmate and the projects were abandoned. However, shortly afterwards Xamarin and Novell reached an agreement where Xamarin took over the development and sales of these products.[11]

Advocacy of Microsoft technologies[edit]

De Icaza endorsed Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) document standard,[12][13][14] disagreeing with a lot of the widespread criticism in the open source and free software community.

He has also been a longtime advocate of using Mono - a free software implementation of Microsoft's .NET Framework developed by Icaza - in GNOME.[15] This has raised much disagreement due to the patents that Microsoft holds on, and related to, the .NET Framework.

For advocating Microsoft technologies, de Icaza was criticized by Richard Stallman on the Software Freedom Day 2009 as "Traitor to the Free Software Community".[16] Icaza responded on his blog to Stallman with the remark that he believes in a "world of possibility" and that he is open for discussions on ways to improve the FOSS pool.[17]

Preference for Mac OS X over Linux[edit]

In August 2012, de Icaza criticized the Linux desktop as "killed by Apple". De Icaza specifically criticized a generally developer-focused culture, lack of backward compatibility and fragmentation among the various Linux distributions.[18][19] In March 2013, de Icaza announced on his personal blog that he regularly used Mac OS X instead of Linux for desktop computing.[20]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Miguel de Icaza has received the Free Software Foundation 1999 Award for the Advancement of Free Software, the MIT Technology Review Innovator of the Year Award 1999,[21] and was named one of Time magazine's 100 innovators for the new century in September 2000.

In early 2010 he received a Microsoft MVP Award.[22]

In March 2010, he was named as the fifth in the "Most Powerful Voices in Open Source" by MindTouch.[23]

Personal life[edit]

De Icaza has had cameo appearances in the 2001 motion pictures Antitrust and The Code.[24]

He married Brazilian Maria Laura Soares da Silva (now Maria Laura de Icaza) in 2003.[25]

De Icaza is critical of the actions of the state of Israel towards the Palestinians in the Middle East, and has blogged about the subject echoing the same statements made by Jewish-American philosopher Noam Chomsky, like saying that Israel is a "terrorist state".[26][27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert Young; Wendy Goldman Rohm (1999). Under the Radar. Coriolis. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-57610-506-1. 
  2. ^ "Interview with Miguel De Icaza". Linux Journal. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  3. ^ Midnight Commander authors. "Midnight Commander FAQ". Retrieved 2010-09-06. "Midnight Commander was started by Miguel de Icaza and he is the maintainer of the package. Other authors have joined the project later." 
  4. ^ "Wine History". wiki.winehq.org. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  5. ^ David S. Miller, Rutgers CAIP, and Miguel de Icaza, Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (1997). "The SPARC Port of Linux". Usenix Proceedings. USENIX Association. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  6. ^ Miguel de Icaza. "graphics.c". Retrieved 2011-11-19. "Author: Miguel de Icaza" 
  7. ^ "raid5.c". "Copyright: (C) 1996, 1997 Ingo Molnar, Miguel de Icaza, Gadi Oxman" 
  8. ^ Nat Friedman (2009-10-31). "Startup Visa". Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Mark Mamone (2005). Practical Mono. Apress. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-59059-548-0. 
  11. ^ Friedman, Nat. (2011-07-18) Xamarin mobile products available now! | Xamarin Blog. Blog.xamarin.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-19.
  12. ^ "OOXML. (Score:4, Informative)". Slashdot. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  13. ^ "The EU Prosecutors are wrong". 
  14. ^ "OOXML: The Wins". 
  15. ^ "Mono and Gnome: The Long Reply". LinuxToday. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  16. ^ Holwerda, Thom (2009-09-21). "RMS: De Icaza Traitor to Free Software Community". osnews.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  17. ^ de Icaza, Miguel. "On Richard Stallman". tirania.org. "I want to say that God loves all creatures. From the formidable elephant to the tiniest ant. And that includes Richard Stallman. As for me, I think that there is a world of possibility, and if Richard wants to discuss how we can improve the pool of open source/free software in the world he has my email address. Love, Miguel." 
  18. ^ Finley, Klint (2012-08-27). "How Apple Killed the Linux Desktop and Why That Doesn’t Matter". wired.com. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  19. ^ de Icaza, Miguel (2012-08-29). "What Killed the Linux Desktop". tirania.org. Retrieved 2012-08-30. 
  20. ^ de Icaza, Miguel (2013-03-05). "How I ended up with Mac". tirania.org. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  21. ^ "1999 Young Innovators Under 35". technologyreview.com. 1999. Retrieved 2012-09-02. "1999 Innovator of the Year: Miguel De Icaza" 
  22. ^ "Miguel de Icaza's web log". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  23. ^ "MindTouch.com". Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  24. ^ Miguel de Icaza at the Internet Movie Database
  25. ^ Jurandréia Santos (2005-09-10). "Entrevista Maria Laura De Icaza". Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  26. ^ Israel: terrorist state. - Miguel de Icaza. Tirania.org (2002-09-03). Retrieved on 2013-09-19.
  27. ^ : Information Clearing House - ICH. Informationclearinghouse.info (2009-02-21). Retrieved on 2013-09-19.

External links[edit]

Interviews[edit]