Miguel de Icaza

Miguel de Icaza (born 1972 in Mexico City) is free software developers, entrepreneurs and Co-Founder of GNOME.


He studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México mathematics, but without ever reaching an academic degree.

His first successful Free Software project was there in 1994 the development of the still popular Midnight Commander file browser, also he was one of the first contributors to the Wine project.

Interviews in the summer of 1997 between him and Microsoft to port Internet Explorer by SPARC failed due to his lack of a university degree, which the H-1B visa for an appropriate work permit in the United States requires.

Along with Federico Mena he called in August 1997, the GNOME project to develop a free graphical user interface to life. Until that time, there was no clear, unified desktop environment on the computer platform GNU / Linux (except for KDE whose license situation was not clear enough at this time for many members of the community ). Used as the basis of the GNOME desktop, and extended Miguel de Icaza, the free library Gtk, which was originally developed for the image editing program GIMP.

In 1999, Nat Friedman and he the Helix code, which focused on developing GNOME applications. Shortly thereafter, the company was renamed Ximian. In 2003 the company was acquired by Novell.

He was awarded the FSF Award 1999. In 1999 he also received the MIT Technology Review award as Innovator of the Year for 1999. Time Magazine named Icaza in September 2000 as one of 100 innovators for the new century.

2001 Icaza started the Gnumeric project, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet -inspired free.

The well-known as mono free implementation of the. NET framework and the improvement of existing GNOME applications increased in the following years, in addition to his public work, the most time consuming.

Despite his contributions and achievements in the Free Software environment Icaza is not without controversy, since he also technologies from the Windows or proprietary software environment facing potentially open. In addition to the initiation of Nachimplementierungen Microsoft technologies ( COM / CORBA → Bonobo, Outlook → evolution. NET → Mono, Silverlight → Moonlight ), Icaza also defended Microsoft's Office Open XML ( OOXML) document standard compared to the extensive criticism of open source and Free Software community.

He was criticized, for example, 2009 by Richard Stallman during the Software Freedom Day in Boston outright as traitors to the Free Software community for his openness to Microsoft technologies. Icaza responded to his blog left with the remark that he one hand, believe in a world of possibilities and on the other hand, for concrete proposals from Stallman how FOSS can be strengthened in the world, be open at any time.

In early 2010 Icaza the Microsoft MVP Award in the C #. In March 2010, he was determined via a Most Powerful Voices in Open Source metric as the fifth most influential member of the open source community.

In April 2011, Novell was acquired by Attachmate and set all of whose projects with mono- reference in the course. De Icaza then founded in May Xamarin where mono and related projects are now being continued.

2012 Icaza criticized the Linux Desktop sharp than "died"; as reasons he cited the developer -focused culture, the fragmentation of distributions with each other and the lack of backward compatibility. Linus Torvalds and other Linux sizes responded by pointing out that Icaza had contributed to the creation of the Gnome project itself as a further fragmentation of the Linux ecosystem, which is also not for ( API ) known stability - in contrast to Linux kernel, whose first priority has always been getting the userland Binärkompatiblität.

Private life

Miguel de Icaza comes from a family of scientists; his father was a physicist and his mother a biologist.

He is married since 2003 with the Brazilian Maria Laura Soares da Silva ( now Maria Laura de Icaza ).

De Icaza had cameo appearances in the films Antitrust and Codename: Linux.