Reports: Attachmate lays off Mono developers; de Icaza won't confirm

Has Novell's Mono project, that ports .Net to Linux, been laid to rest by Attachmate?

Reports are flying today that Attachmate laid off about 30 developers responsible for Novell's Mono project. Mono ports the .Net environment to Linux. When Attachmate bought Novell's assets, in a $2.2 billion deal that was sealed last week, pundits wondered at the eventual fate of Mono.

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UPDATED 05/11: Interestingly, the one person that seems to have no insight to offer is Mono's main developer and open source famous guy, Miguel de Icaza. de Icaza's blog says nothing on the topic and he has been tweeting all day, business as usual, however a few days later he promised a blog post explaining the situation to come on Monday, May 16. On the day the news broke, May 4, the closest he came to any admission of what's up with the Mono staff was this Tweet:

@hkarthik wait, what rumors?less than a minute ago via web

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Miguel de Icaza

migueldeicaza

... and later a tweet that jests about a Twitter squatter who has grabbed the name @MonoGlobalPR

Bummer. Someone now owns @MonoGlobalPRless than a minute ago via web

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Miguel de Icaza

migueldeicaza

Meanwhile, InternetNews.com yesterday published a blog by Sean Michael Kerner that says the layoff did occur. It offers this quote by Attachmate's CEO:

"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 InternetNews.com. "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."

Michael Larabel, founder of the open source hardware blog, Phoronix, says he has received confirmation of the Mono layoffs, too.

"This morning the first signs of changes were announced when over one-hundred employees would be losing their jobs as part of the streamlining process. Later on in the day I was then to first break the news -- a rumor at the time -- via my Twitter feed that all of Mono's developers would be losing their positions. I'm now settled in for the evening in Germany and the news of the Novell Mono developers being let go has been confirmed. Mono is out at Attachmate."

Yesterday Attachmate laid off as many as 700-800 former Novell employees, according to a story in Utah's Daily Herald. Most of these workers were said to be in administrative roles such as human resources, finance, accounting and legal departments. But the Herald also mentions other "under performing" departments ... aka Mono? Attachmate did not release a statement with official headcount totals.

If the thoughts posted on Twitter today are any judge, developers aren't happy with the situation. Here's one that summarizes the sentiment by David House, aka @davidahouse, an iPhone, Mac and .NET developer in Atlanta, GA.

Novell abandoning mono is not a good situation for us. Maybe time to re-think our C# dependency.less than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac

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David House

davidahouse

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