Miguel de Icaza

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



Early years

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

Early software career

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. He declared in an interview that he tried to persuade his interviewers to free the IE code even before Netscape did with their own browser.

GNOME, Ximian, and Mono

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.[3] Earlier, de Icaza had created the Midnight Commander[4] file manager and worked on the Linux kernel. 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, Inc. There, de Icaza is currently the Vice President of Developer Platform.

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