A reverse engineering case study

Posted by Anton Hughes on Thursday, September 08, 2005 with No comments
The Mono project could be considered an interesting case study in reverse engineering which would demonstrate the lead time to be expected on a large scale software development project. I think it took a a year to 18 months to release the 1.0 version after Microsoft .NET was released (including substantial APIs which made reverse engineering much easier). In that time, MS had released a new version of .NET and was well on the way to the next version. It illustrates that in software, independent creation is still a slow process.

Also, it is interesting because .NET is a patented technology, but I doubt that there would be any evidence to suggest that the Mono project relied on the patent document in order to implement the technology. I've read it, and it is extremely vague.
Finally, the positive competitive effects of an open source project are evidenced by the project - it brings .NET technology to competitor platforms, circumventing Microsoft's monopoly (and typically anticompetitive lock-in strategies).
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