Centuries ago, Nostradamus foresaw when Chris Gehlker <gehlker / fastq.com> would write:
> As part of my crusade to make Ruby an automation language I read up a little
> on COM. Microsoft and a few others claim that they have COM for most *nixen.
> I don't remember it from my Linux days, but could they be right or is this
> wishful thinking. I don't want to reinvent the wheel I Win32OLE really runs
> everywhere or could be easily adapted to do so. On the other hand, its name
> implies it doesn't.
>
> Anybody have the real story on Unix COM?

If you need "analagous to COM," for mostly-in-the-same-process
interfacing, then you might try Mozilla's XPCOM.
  http://www.mozilla.org/projects/xpcom/

If you need Real Microsoft DCOM, try EntireX.
  http://www.softwareag.com/entireX/faq.htm
  http://www.softwareag.com/entireX/download/default.htm

If you are prepared to pay $15,000 for a developer's license to Real
COM, then look at the Open Group for COMSource:
  http://www.opengroup.org/comsource/

If you're into wishful thinking...
  http://sourceforge.net/projects/opencom/

Of course, it's pointless to _have_ COM on Unix systems if there are
no applications that may be meaningfully automated using COM, and
you'll find that that is in fact the case.

COM is only useful for "automation" if applications deploy COM
interfaces, and on Unix, nobody deploys COM interfaces for this
purpose.

The most analagous thing would be CORBA, and there are only a limited
population of applications associated with the GNOME "desktop
environment" that offer CORBA interfaces for pretty _limited_
automation of some capabilities.
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