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02.15.08

How GNU/Linux Gets Contaminated with Software Patents from the Back Door

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nomo

Say No to Novell

As history has taught us, Microsoft finds it too risky to attack GNU/Linux directly. It would be too transparent and probably result in backlash from Microsoft’s own customers, many of whom also use and/or stock Free software. Microsoft prefers to use proxies and insiders to do their seemingly-independent jobs that accomplish long-term objectives.

Examples include SCO (via BayStar), Andy Tanenbaum (via a book author) (to avoid misinterpretation here, see this and this. Microsoft tried to use Andy Tanenbaum against Linux, but was not successful because he defended Linus Torvalds), Acacia and its sister ‘patent firms’ which comprise former Microsoft employees, Novell which gently spews out software patent FUD to market itself, and folks from Ximian who plant ‘time bombs’ in the heart of GNU/Linux desktop environments (slowly propagating from one to another). This last element among the whole will be the subject of this one particular post, which may otherwise become too broad.

Microsoft is in serious trouble, but it is fighting. It is not stupid, especially not in the legal department. Most people out there are not aware of Microsoft’s pains simply because Microsoft has done a fantastic job hiding the truth. Again, this won’t be discussed in detail here, especially in order for this post to be concise and focused. These other stories also were covered before.

We received some valuable information from one of our readers and we wish to share it and reach out for some feedback.

Denial and Manipulation

The first issue to draw one’s attention to is manipulation of search engines, news feeds, video sites, social news sites, and the mainstream press. We covered many such examples in the past and these include astroturfing, acquisition of the media, heavy lobbying, acquisition of analysts, political manipulation, malicious intervention, creation of civil wars and at times even bribery, kickbacks and dumping. Of more relevance to the following new bits we have spamming of YouTube with viral videos and search engines manipulation.

Adding to this ‘Hall of Shame’ we have just accumulated some reports about behaviour that was described by a reader in the following way:


Along similar lines, I spotted the other day one method how Microsoft boosters within GNOME are able to affect Ubuntu: They can camp on bug reports and mark them repeatedly ‘invalid’ that way the report never shows up in any RSS feeds or for that matter any normal or advanced searches. One has to specifically search for invalid bugs to find it and at that level of specificity one probably already has the URL and bug number.

My general complaint about Google News falls into the same category. It’s not just a matter of Microsoft gaming the system, pro-ODF or anti-OOXML articles just don’t make it into Google News regardless of the publisher.

[...]

Here’s one from ZDNet:

“Developers warned over OOXML [sw]patent risk”
      http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39292853,00.htm

I bet it won’t show up in Google News. Not that Google News is in and of itself important, but the appearance of tampering, on the other hand, is.

http://news.google.com/news?oe=UTF-8&tab=wn&hl=en&q=ooxml+-site…

http://news.google.com/news?q=opendocument%20-site%3A…


OOXML is not the main issue here, but we will return to it in a moment. In fact, the latter bit turned out to be false just 2 hours ago.

The Real Problem and a Case Study

The same reader talks about the increasingly severe issue which is Mono in GNOME. To give one example of a scenario where Mono dependencies crop up, consider Cheese.


One thing I noticed this week is that the mono group has been able to encumber a growing number of Ubuntu (not Kubuntu) applications with proprietary Microsoft technology. However, the documentation and program descriptions do not warn of this (of course they want to keep it under the radar).

“A risk here is that, especially in regards to media (audio, video, pictures, text, etc.) it will provide a ramp for OOXML, WMA, WMV, HDPhoto, and others along with the prerequiste DRM.”A risk here is that, especially in regards to media (audio, video, pictures, text, etc.) it will provide a ramp for OOXML, WMA, WMV, HDPhoto, and others along with the prerequiste DRM. I would expect that if Micrsooft makes further contracts with Novell or other turncoats, that this will soon start to cover DRM.

In short, mono spreads, becomes integrated into some desktops, then Microsoft formats are rolled out as part of mono.

[...]

Here is not an example of the dependencies, but of more peripheral incursion:
      http://www.gnome.org/projects/cheese/

Note the recommendation of f-spot. digikam, flphoto, kphotoalbum and others would do the job without infecting the machine with mono.

I’m thinking that any kind of confrontation should be avoided, these people are well entrenched in some high profile projects. Non-mono projects should be brought to the forefront.


It was then that a more systematic study needed to be carried out.

Packages Named

Further, from the same reader:


I am loading a list of package dependencies right now and will check the current situation for ubuntu:

  dapper 159 ?
  gutsy 150 ?
  hardy 176 ?

To check an individual package, for example ‘boo’

  apt-cache depends ^boo$

You can do it without the caret and dollar sign, but that just makes sure that you get exactly that name and nothing else.

Methodology:

# freshen data
  sudo apt-get update;

# guess at all the packages
 for i in a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z;
  do apt-cache search -n $i |sed -e “s/ .*$//”;
  done | sort | uniq > packages.txt

# find the dependencies
for i in `cat packages.txt`;
  do apt-cache depends $i >> dependencies.txt;
 echo >> dependencies.txt;
 done

# make a spare
cp dependencies.txt x
# then edit x to be one line per package,
# using your favorite editor or sed or awk

# get the package description
for i in `grep libmono x|sed -e ‘s/ .*$//’`;
  do apt-cache search –names-only ^${i}$;
  done > mono-infected-gutsy.txt


Here is the output:


asp.net2-examples - demo pages for ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0 infrastructure
asp.net-examples - demo pages for ASP.NET 1.1 infrastructure
autopano-sift - Automated control point extraction for panorama generation
banshee - Audio Management and Playback application
beagle - indexing and search tool for your personal data
beagle-backend-evolution - evolution data backend for beagle
blam - an RSS aggregator for GNOME
bless - A full featured hexadecimal editor
boo - a python-like language and compiler for the CLI
cowbell - An easy-to-use tag editor for your music files
dfo - Desktop Flickr Organizer for Gnome
drapes - a desktop wallpaper management application for the GNOME desktop
f-spot - personal photo management application
gbrainy - brain teaser game and trainer to have fun and to keep your brain trained
gfax - GNOME frontend for fax programs
gnome-rdp - Remote Desktop Client for the GNOME Desktop
gnome-sharp2-examples - sample applications for Gnome# 2.16
gnome-subtitles - Subtitles editor for the GNOME Desktop environment
gnunit - frontend for running NUnit 2 test suites
gnunit2 - frontend for running NUnit 2 test suites
graphmonkey - a GTK#-based graphing calculator
gshare - Easy user-level file sharing for GNOME
gtk-sharp2-examples - sample applications for the Gtk# 2.10 toolkit
gtk-sharp2-gapi - C source parser and C# code generator for GObject based APIs
gtwitter - Client for tracking and posting to twitter
hipo - iPod Management Tool
ikvm - Java virtual machine/compiler implemented in .NET (Mono)
ironpython - A Python implementation targeting the .NET and Mono platforms
last-exit - Last.fm audio player
lat - LDAP Administration Tool
libart2.0-cil - CLI binding for libart 2.3
libavahi1.0-cil - CLI bindings for Avahi
libavahi-ui0.0-cil - CLI bindings for Avahi Ui
libevolution3.0-cil - CLI bindings for Evolution
libflickrnet2.1.5-cil - Flickr.Net API Library
libgalago1.0-cil - CLI bindings for libgalago
libgalago-gtk1.0-cil - CLI bindings for libgalago-gtk
libgconf2.0-cil - CLI binding for GConf 2.16
libgecko2.0-cil - CLI binding for the GtkMozEmbed library, unstable version
libglade2.0-cil - CLI binding for the Glade libraries 2.6
libglib2.0-cil - CLI binding for the GLib utility library 2.12
libgmime2.2-cil - CLI binding for the MIME library
libgnome2.0-cil - CLI binding for Gnome 2.16
libgnome-keyring1.0-cil - CLI library to access the GNOME Keyring daemon
libgnome-vfs2.0-cil - CLI binding for GnomeVFS 2.16
libgsf0.0-cil - CLI bindings for libgsf
libgtk2.0-cil - CLI binding for the GTK+ toolkit 2.10
libgtkhtml2.0-cil - CLI binding for GtkHTML 3.8
libgtksourceview2.0-cil - CLI binding for the gtksourceview library
libipod-cil - CLI library for accessing iPods
libipodui-cil - CLI library for accessing iPods (GUI helpers)
libkarma-cil - Rio Karma access library [CLI runtime library]
liblog4net1.2-cil - highly configurable logging API for the .NET runtime
libmono0 - libraries for the Mono JIT
libmono0-dbg - libraries for the Mono JIT, debugging symbols
libmono1.0-cil - Mono libraries (1.0)
libmono2.0-cil - Mono libraries (2.0)
libmono-accessibility1.0-cil - Mono Accessibility library
libmono-accessibility2.0-cil - Mono Accessibility library
libmono-addins0.2-cil - addin framework for extensible CLI applications/libraries
libmono-addins-gui0.2-cil - GTK# frontend library for Mono.Addins
libmono-bytefx0.7.6.1-cil - Mono ByteFX.Data library
libmono-bytefx0.7.6.2-cil - Mono ByteFX.Data library
libmono-c5-1.0-cil - Mono C5 library
libmono-cairo1.0-cil - Mono Cairo library
libmono-cairo2.0-cil - Mono Cairo library
libmono-cecil0.5-cil - library to generate and inspect CIL assemblies
libmono-corlib1.0-cil - Mono core library (1.0)
libmono-corlib2.0-cil - Mono core library (2.0)
libmono-corlib2.1-cil - Mono core library (2.1)
libmono-cscompmgd7.0-cil - Mono cscompmgd library
libmono-cscompmgd8.0-cil - Mono cscompmgd library
libmono-data-tds1.0-cil - Mono Data library
libmono-data-tds2.0-cil - Mono Data Library
libmono-db2-1.0-cil - Mono DB2 library
libmono-dev - libraries for the Mono JIT - Development files
libmono-firebirdsql1.7-cil - Mono FirebirdSql library
libmono-i18n1.0-cil - Mono I18N libraries (1.0)
libmono-i18n2.0-cil - Mono I18N libraries (2.0)
libmono-ldap1.0-cil - Mono LDAP library
libmono-ldap2.0-cil - Mono LDAP library
libmono-microsoft7.0-cil - Mono Microsoft libraries
libmono-microsoft8.0-cil - Mono Microsoft libraries
libmono-microsoft-build2.0-cil - Mono Microsoft.Build libraries
libmono-mozilla0.1-cil - Mono Mozilla library
libmono-npgsql1.0-cil - Mono Npgsql library
libmono-npgsql2.0-cil - Mono Npgsql library
libmono-oracle1.0-cil - Mono Oracle library
libmono-oracle2.0-cil - Mono Oracle library
libmono-peapi1.0-cil - Mono PEAPI library
libmono-peapi2.0-cil - Mono PEAPI library
libmono-relaxng1.0-cil - Mono Relaxng library
libmono-relaxng2.0-cil - Mono Relaxng library
libmono-security1.0-cil - Mono Security library
libmono-security2.0-cil - Mono Security library
libmono-sharpzip0.6-cil - Mono SharpZipLib library
libmono-sharpzip0.84-cil - Mono SharpZipLib library
libmono-sharpzip2.6-cil - Mono SharpZipLib library
libmono-sharpzip2.84-cil - Mono SharpZipLib library
libmono-sqlite1.0-cil - Mono Sqlite library
libmono-sqlite2.0-cil - Mono Sqlite library
libmono-system1.0-cil - Mono System libraries (1.0)
libmono-system2.0-cil - Mono System libraries (2.0)
libmono-system2.1-cil - Mono System libraries (2.1)
libmono-system-data1.0-cil - Mono System.Data library
libmono-system-data2.0-cil - Mono System.Data Library
libmono-system-ldap1.0-cil - Mono System.DirectoryServices library
libmono-system-ldap2.0-cil - Mono System.DirectoryServices library
libmono-system-messaging1.0-cil - Mono System.Messaging library
libmono-system-messaging2.0-cil - Mono System.Messaging Library
libmono-system-runtime1.0-cil - Mono System.Runtime library
libmono-system-runtime2.0-cil - Mono System.Runtime Library
libmono-system-web1.0-cil - Mono System.Web library
libmono-system-web2.0-cil - Mono System.Web Library
libmono-winforms1.0-cil - Mono System.Windows.Forms library
libmono-winforms2.0-cil - Mono System.Windows.Forms library
libmono-zeroconf1.0-cil - CLI library for multicast DNS service discovery
libmysql5.0-cil - MySQL database connector for CLI
libndesk-dbus1.0-cil - CLI implementation of D-Bus
libndesk-dbus-glib1.0-cil - CLI implementation of D-Bus (GLib mainloop integration)
libndoc-cil - Code documentation generator for .NET
libnemerle0.9-cil - Class Libraries for Nemerle
libnini1.1-cil - CLI library for managing configuration files
libnjb-cil - CLI binding for libnjb
libnunit2.2.6-cil - Unit test framework for .NET
libnunit2.2-cil - Unit test framework for .NET
libqyoto4.3-cil - CLI bindings for the Qt 4 toolkit
librsvg2.0-cil - CLI binding for RSVG 2.0
libtaglib2.0-cil - CLI library for accessing audio and video files metadata
libtapioca-cil - tapioca bindings for c#
libtelepathy0.13-cil - CLI library for Telepathy
libtelepathy-cil - CLI library for Telepathy
libuno-cil - CLI binding for OpenOffice.org
libvte2.0-cil - CLI binding for VTE 0.16
libzeroc-ice-3.2-cil - Ice for C# libraries
mono-1.0-devel - Mono development tools for CLI 1.0
mono-1.0-service - Mono service manager for CLI 1.0
mono-2.0-devel - Mono development tools for CLI 2.0
mono-2.0-service - Mono service manager for CLI 2.0
mono-apache-server - backend for mod_mono Apache module
mono-apache-server2 - backend for mod_mono2 Apache module
mono-dbg - Mono debugging symbols
mono-debugger - Debugger for Mono
monodevelop - C/C++/C#/Boo/Java/Nemerle/ILasm/ASP.NET Development Environment
monodevelop-nunit - NUnit plugin for MonoDevelop
monodevelop-versioncontrol - VersionControl plugin for MonoDevelop
monodoc-base - shared MonoDoc binaries
monodoc-browser - MonoDoc GTK+ based viewer
mono-gac - Mono GAC tool
mono-gmcs - Mono C# 2.0 and C# 3.0 compiler for CLI 2.0
mono-mcs - Mono C# compiler for CLI 1.1
mono-mjs - Mono JScript compiler
mono-smcs - Mono C# 3.0 compiler for CLI 2.1 (Moonlight / Silverlight)
mono-tools-devel - Various development tools for mono
mono-tools-gui - Various GUI tools for mono
mono-utils - Mono utilities
mono-xbuild - Mono xbuild
mono-xsp - simple web server to run ASP.NET applications
mono-xsp2 - simple web server to run ASP.NET applications
mono-xsp2-base - base libraries for XSP 2.0
mono-xsp-base - base libraries for XSP 1.1
muine - Simple playlist based music player
muine-plugin-audioscrobbler - Audioscrobbler plugin for Muine music player
muine-plugin-inotify - INotify Plugin for the Muine music player
muine-plugin-trayicon - TrayIcon Plugin for the Muine music player
mzclient - CLI library for multicast DNS service discovery (commandline tool)
nant - .NET build tool similar to Ant
ndoc-console - Code documentation generator for .NET
nemerle - Nemerle Compiler
nunit-console - Unit test framework for .NET
podsleuth - Tool to discover detailed information about Apple iPods
prj2make-sharp - Convert VS.NET solution files to Makefiles
stetic - GNOME and GTK+ GUI designer
sysinfo - Simple GTK program that shows some UNIX/Linux system information
tomboy - desktop note taking program using Wiki style links
youtranslate - Web translator


“Here is the new /etc/apt/preferences. Nuke’m from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure,” our reader adds. He wishes to remain anonymous, but there are no conflicting interests at all, just genuine concern about things which are conveniently overlooked by many.

These ‘Monopendencies’ could soon turn GNOME into MONOME, making it virtually impossible in due time to use basic applications without Mono somewhere in the dependecies tree. Moonlight is a good example of such dangers.

These dependency checks are reminiscent of the one which other people have obtained (and published) for Fedora [1, 2].

Miguel de Icaza and Jeff Waugh get vocal about this when the issue comes up. They seem to be sensitive to this issue which they are certainly aware of. Denial, promises or mitigation ensue.

Ways Forward

At least two bloggers other than ourselves occasionally criticise this direction which is increasingly chosen and then taken with little or no consultation. We need more information about the problem to be made available out there. Only yesterday, one of those fairly prolific bloggers described GNOME’s direction quite realistically:

I don’t consider XFCE as the best desktop environment, however it’s still lighter than GNOME, it’s still not under the contamination attack from the Mono guys, and it’s increasingly tempting in recent times, since GNOME seems to be a captive of Novell…

We were advised and told that contacting Fedora’s new leader might help. We was in touch with Shuttleworth on some occasions in the past, so that might help also. About Red Hat, our reader says:


Red Hat gained a lot of positive publicity way back when they gave a common theme to KDE. I think that was ground breaking in that now, people expect the theme more from the distro than from the developers of the desktop environment.

Red Hat has KDE support already, but I’m still wondering the best way to present the situation. I’m guessing that all the recent news about KDE, and the development, would be a good excuse to re-evaluate the two desktops. KDE has always been ahead in development, Gnome on the eye candy and promotion.

Besides, much of the jubilation about Ubuntu gutsy and hardy is about the window manager and that is a layer below, and independent from, the desktop environment. So if people find out that it’s not GNOME but Compiz Fusion, then they might be more likely to try other desktop environments.

One thing that we don’t have to mention explicitly is that since the formation of the KDE Free Qt Foundation, the original purpose of GNOME has been made moot. (Let people figure that out.) However, stepping around that (at least for a while) the KDE Free Qt Foundation should be mentioned and leveraged.

http://www.kde.org/whatiskde/kdefreeqtfoundation.php

Xfce is out there and gaining interest, since it’s good for low power machines that get a second life with Linux. Fluxbox is also out there and hit 1.0

Gnome has a fair amount of good things, but the direction of many projects and the positions of the leaders (e.g. Jeff and Miguel) is duplicitous at best…

[...]

The holy grail here would be to get Mark Shuttleworth and other key ubuntu people to go for KDE by default. Same for Fedora / CentOS.

If we get into a situation where function is provided only by mono-based apps, then they pave the way for Microsoft incursion. GTK+ hopefully can remain clean. That is all the more important now that Nokia’s competitors are dropping Qt / Qtopia.

[...]

I’m thinking the way to deal with this is to avoid confrontation, or at least high-profile confrontation and instead to promote the heck out of the tools Microsofters are copying. Anything that brings attention to them is free marketing, even it if is ‘bad’. The idea is to steer mindshare and thus developer interest towards the good tools.

Perhaps if we talk about how FOSS could be subverted without mentioning names, or bring up the benefits of GPLv3 and some of the discussion (against lgpl) that went on with the creation of the LGPL.


Take it as you will, dear readers. Facts are being accumulated and hope is that these will lead to responsible action; it’s not intended to achieve hostility, insults and confrontation. OOXML translators, which Novell tries to fool us with, remain Mono-dependent. It would be naive to assume that Microsoft is not aware of this. But if it spoke out, it would scare people away from the bait.

OOXML

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244 Comments

  1. Rasta said,

    February 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Here’s one-liner for that messy “scripting” of yours:
    (depends on “dctrl-tools” package !)

    grep-available -F Depends -ri ‘.*libmono.*’ -nds Package | awk ‘{l1=$0;getline;l2=$0;getline; print l1,” – “, l2}’ | sort

    BTW, nice aricle :)

  2. Rev. Spaminator said,

    February 15, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Gravatar

    Isn’t this the kind of stuff Stallman has been warning about for years? Any effective movement that undermines corporate control becomes the target. FOSS was safe as long as it stayed on the fringe. Now it is mainstream, so by any means necessary, this freedom thing must be stopped. (It could, after all, affect profits.)

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 15, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Richard Stallman posted the following message to the GNOME Foundation’s mailing list.


    GNOME is based on a philosophy, but it is not just a philosophy. It is a project to develop and maintain a desktop environment.

    ”The sort of favoritism that would be improper is to make a decision for the sake of profit (rather than the success of GNOME and the triumph of freedom).“A technical project has to make specific technical decisions. It can’t favor all the options that fit the philosophy; often it has to choose an avenue and follow it. Whatever the choices, some might call them “favoritism”, but that’s tough. Choosing can’t be avoided.

    GNOME is a desktop environment, but it is not just a desktop environment. It is also based on a philosophy of free software and freedom. That philosophy sometimes yields specific ethical reasons for making specific technical choices. To someone who thinks only in terms of technology, these might seem like “favoritism”, but favoring the ethical (or what leads to it) over the unethical is right and proper.

    The sort of favoritism that would be improper is to make a decision for the sake of profit (rather than the success of GNOME and the triumph of freedom).

  4. Slated said,

    February 15, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Gravatar

    That’s a shocking amount of Mono dependants on Ubuntu!

    Here the equivalent under Fedora (requires yum-utils):

    packages=$(repoquery –repoid=fedora -a); for package in $packages; do repoquery –repoid=fedora –requires –resolve $package | grep -qi mono-core; if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then echo $package – $(repoquery –qf “%{summary}\n” $package); fi; done

    I’ll let you know the results from Fedora 8 later.

  5. Patrick Lindsey said,

    February 16, 2008 at 6:46 am

    Gravatar

    1. I use Gnome and Fedora. So after reading the article (via LXer), I checked what YUM had to say about it. I then simply removed MONO and all its dependencies. The only thing I lost was Tomboy.

    2. In question 4 above, why is “Sum” capitalized?

  6. Dean Pannell said,

    February 16, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Gravatar

    Ummm…

    Did Google News search for ‘ooxml’.

    The article you said wouldn’t show on Google News was the fifth article listed.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 16, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Gravatar

    Dean,

    Yes, it’s not me who said that and I rechecked this before posting, then added a correction when I wrote “In fact, the latter bit turned out to be false just 2 hours ago.”

  8. Alanbe said,

    February 16, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Gravatar

    Andy Tanenbaum is no enemy of Linux.
    Read his posts about how the author twisted things.

    http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/brown/

  9. Dean Pannell said,

    February 16, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Gravatar

    >Yes, it’s not me who said that

    My bad, then.
    Sorry.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 16, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Andy Tanenbaum is by no means an enemy of anybody. Microsoft tried to make him one, without success. It’s Microsoft’s attempt that counted. I ought to have linked that part of the text to the actual story for clarification.

  11. Great said,

    February 17, 2008 at 4:44 am

    Gravatar

    Its just not possible to remove mono from ubuntu.

    I just tried to uninstall mono-common from ubuntu using synaptic and it ask to remove even core gnome libraries. libglade, libglib, libgnome… WTF !!!!!

    This is really bad for gnome since i am gnome user.

    WTF WTF WTF

  12. Victor said,

    February 17, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Gravatar

    true, I have been following this issue for some time now… I was a GNOME fan for a lot of time, but I have been thinking of leaving to KDE because of KDE 4 and Icaza’s influence over GNOME… (and gnumeric and abiword, and others)

    it’s also true that you should have explained the Andrew Tannenbaum issue with minix and linux… and how it all was a trap when he said he had no trouble with linux

  13. JanC said,

    February 17, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Gravatar

    You can easily remove Mono using Synaptic, and it will only remove Mono-bindings for the libraries you mention. A lot of people seem to panic a bit too fast… ;-)

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 17, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Gravatar

    From what I have heard, it is still possible to remove Mono from Ubuntu. The concern, however, is that few people will bother to do so. Instead, they will become Mono dependent and their data can be locked in, to to speak, to Mono-based applications.

    There’s a large audit of Fedora 8 on its way.

  15. justpassingby said,

    February 17, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Your poor, sorry sods. You really do have too much time on your hands, don’t you? Get you fingers out of your asses and do some coding!

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 17, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m a programmer myself, but as a (part-time) user of GNOME I’m just concerned that it gradually ceases to be Free software.

  17. Vadim P. said,

    February 17, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Gravatar

    Give me something better than Cheese, F-Spot, and Tomboy, and I’ll use them. Until then, I care about programs that _work_, not “clean” programs that _don’t_.

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 18, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Gravatar

    Moonlight and OOXML translators for OOo are based on Mono. They are developed by Novell and its ilk (companies that signed a ‘protection’ deal with Microsoft). Some people will reluctantly (or not) adopt them. Therein lies the problem and the source for concern.

    On the face of it, Mono is being phased in one gentle step at a time and there’s hope that resistance will have vanished by the time it’s too late.

  19. Randy Anderson said,

    February 19, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Gravatar

    If Microsoft is leveraging Mono to try to take over Gnome, or even if there is a great fear of this, then maybe Gnome and all other Gnome projects should be forked and recoded without Mono.

    As far as I can see, this would be the only way to fight the fear or actual take over of Gnome by Microsoft. There would be Gnome with Mono and a second Gnome (renamed of course) without Mono. If the fears of a take over come true, then people would be able to switch if they so desired.

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 20, 2008 at 4:33 am

    Gravatar

    There would be Gnome with Mono and a second Gnome (renamed of course) without Mono.

    If a fork like this ever became a reality, the challenge would be to convince companies like Red Hat and Canonical to actually adopt it and pass it on to users. It’s not just the vendors that Microsoft goes after with threats; it tries to scare customers too and force them to pay.

  21. Mark Fink said,

    February 20, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Gravatar

    I’m not a programmer or I would fork it.

    Roy, how hard would it actually be to convince Canonical and Red Hat to make the switch? I would have thought it would have been easy. Red Hat (at least) is pro-Java and seems to be anti-Mono, so I would suspect they’d be quick to make the switch. I’m not sure about Canonical, though. I’m sure Sun would be another easy one to switch. I would think that if you got Sun and Red Hat on board, getting Canonical to switch would be easy because I would imagine Canonical’s biggest barrier to entry would be rate of adoption.

    Maybe Randy’s suggestion isn’t so bad after all.

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 20, 2008 at 11:30 am

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    Sun has been using GNOME indeed, but its stance on software patents might be different. Fedora/Red Hat didn’t keep its (semi-)promise to stay away from Mono, so it’s worth raising the issue with the new leader of the Fedora project. A friend of mine is auditing Fedora for the seriousness of what he calls Mono infestation and he will have some results shortly.

    The principal and principle problem is that there will always be some few vocal people who object to removal of Mono (just see some of Jeff Waugh’s postings here) and change of development direction.

    As for Mark Shuttleworth, someone whom I know proposed removing Mono from Gobuntu, but he left some time later after a dispute over Firefox (Shuttleworth sort of insisted on keeping Firefox, which is not Free software).

  23. Miles said,

    February 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm

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    If you guys rewrote F-Spot and Tomboy (and Banshee?) in C++ or whatever GNOME uses, I’m sure it’d be a LOT easier for you to push a Mono-free GNOME desktop to Red Hat and Canonical. And… best of all, if you did that, then if the GNOME board refuses to accept those replacements over the current Mono programs, then you could be sure that the GNOME board members are dirty wrt Microsoft’s influence.

    AFAIK, Canonical and Red Hat only ship F-Spot, Tomboy (and Banshee?) because they are the best programs in those spaces.

    IIRC, John Palmieri (from Red Hat) proposed this very solution on Beranger’s blog a while back, but instead of taking his suggestion, he went ballistic and started verbally attacking John Palmieri instead.

    Read the comments here

  24. sud said,

    February 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm

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    Yes, strangely enough there is a pattern that MONO-critics usually aren’t programmers. It seems that whoever knows what he/she is talking about digs the technical quality of the language? Or, the other way round, the critics are too lazy to actually do any work?

  25. Vadim P. said,

    February 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm

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    Exactly. Give replacements, then complain. Otherwise, nobody is going to cut themselves here for the purity (because we need to do -work-, not argue all day long).

  26. Miles said,

    February 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm

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    Btw, Roy:

    Note the recommendation of f-spot. digikam, flphoto, kphotoalbum and others would do the job without infecting the machine with mono.

    Heh, F-Spot is written in C# on top of Mono. ;-)

  27. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 21, 2008 at 5:38 pm

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    Miles,

    What is your role in Mono? It always turns out that the only ones defending this are those who cause and lead to the concerns raised herein.

    sud,

    I’m a programmer and so is ‘Beranger’.

    F-Spot is written in C# on top of Mono

    Yes, I know. Someone else (a reader) was quoted there.

  28. Miles said,

    February 21, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Why do you always accuse those who aren’t anti-Mono of having some alterior motive?

    Not everyone is anti-Mono, and as far as I can tell – only a a handful of people actually are. There are certainly a lot more people happy with Mono than are against it, otherwise you wouldn’t be trying to convince people to see things your way.

    I’m a happy user of F-Spot and Banshee (I don’t have a use for Tomboy atm), but if someone were to write better alternatives in C, I’d use those instead. I didn’t choose to use F-Spot or Banshee because they use Mono, I chose them in spite of them using it because they are the best tool for the job and they are free software.

    It helps that I’ve personally met Larry Ewing (the maintainer of F-Spot, and, coincidentally, the guy that created the Linux penguin logo that you use everywhere on your website) in person and have on numerous occasions talked with him and other F-Spot devs on IRC to get bugs fixed and have been very pleased with the timely manner in which they fix them.

    You and Beranger may be programmers, but I have yet to see any significant contributions to any free software projects by either of you – the only thing either of you does is bash and insult free software developers and/or their projects. Beranger especially – he’s got a mouth on him that needs a good rinsing with soap.

  29. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm

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    Why do you always accuse those who aren’t anti-Mono of having some alterior motive?

    Judging based on some experience, they often do have some ulterior motives. I see the same names in other blogs too, so the defense appears to sometimes come from core developers with vested interest in Mono.

    Read this news:

    http://blogs.the451group.com/opensource/2008/02/21/what-microsofts-open-apis-mean-for-open-source/

    Be sure, Microsoft will want to collect its share of ‘precious’ fees for things like Mono.

    You and Beranger may be programmers, but I have yet to see any significant contributions to any free software projects by either of you – the only thing either of you does is bash and insult free software developers and/or their projects. Beranger especially – he’s got a mouth on him that needs a good rinsing with soap.

    You can find projects of mine in my personal Web site. I’ve always published my code under the terms of the GPL.

  30. Miles said,

    February 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Oh, also note that my original post wasn’t defending anything. All I said was that if you want things to go your way, you might consider re-implementing F-Spot, Banshee, and Tomboy in C or C++ for GNOME so as to provide Red Hat and Canonical with an easy choice to make.

    Obviously if there are equivalent or better alternatives to F-Spot, Banshee and Tomboy for GNOME that Red Hat and Canonical can choose, they will. Currently there are no such alternatives. For example, gThumb is not a viable alternative to F-Spot. There is nothing even close to Tomboy, either. There are a few programs that could probably replace Banshee, but I think they are behind in functionality as well – just not sure by how much.

    My post was not rocket science, nor was it in any way defending Mono – it was simply stating the obvious.

    If anything, you could even say my post was helping you defeat Mono.

    Certainly encouraging you and Beranger to get off your butts and write better alternatives to F-Spot, Banshee, and Tomboy is not helping Mono to “win” (unless, of course, you guys are incapable of writing quality software…?).

  31. Miles said,

    February 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Yes, I’ve seen your collection of small little utility scripts, but they aren’t widely useful free software projects.

    Do any distributions even ship them? ;)

  32. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 21, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Gravatar

    My post was not rocket science, nor was it in any way defending Mono – it was simply stating the obvious.

    I apologise if I sounded impolite. Such things are never intended.

    Yes, I’ve seen your collection of small little utility scripts

    I’ve worked much larger programs like KMD and Othello Master, among many others.

    http://othellomaster.com/
    http://schestowitz.com/Projects/kmdupdate.html

    You seem to be trying to make my contributions seem minuscule, but be aware that the writings here are intended to defend the Free desktop so that you, Miles, will continue to have it. i sometimes need to ask myself if other people simply fail to see some key facts and I strive to make it clear why Novell’s deed was horrendous. See:

    http://blogs.cnet.com/8301-13505_1-9876061-16.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=TheOpenRoad

  33. Miles said,

    February 21, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Gravatar

    You can find projects of mine in my personal Web site. I’ve always published my code under the terms of the GPL.

    So have the developers you criticize relentlessly on this website.

    The difference is that their software is actually useful, yours is typical “university student utility programs” stuff.

    Every CS student in the world has probably written an Othello program (I, myself, wrote one in High School for an early version of DOS) and many are available on the web – either under the GPL or public domain. Those that aren’t available aren’t necessarily unavailable because the author chose to protect his “IP”, but rather because he didn’t bother to release it somewhere figuring his software was useless (and, quite honestly, most probably are).

    As far as KMD is concerned, seems to me you didn’t write it. Someone else did, you just contributed a few bugfix / typo patches.

    Sorry to “belittle” your contributions, but if you’re going to be throwing stones – maybe you shouldn’t be living in a glass house? :)

  34. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 21, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Gravatar

    So have the developers you criticize relentlessly on this website.

    By name? I suspect not, but raising the name of a project might sometimes be a case of criticising someone’s pet project or ‘baby’.

    The intention here is to make users aware of implications of use.

    I won’t address many of your incorrect statements with regard to projects. You go very far trying to belittle projects, calling them ‘bugfixes’ and ‘typos’.

  35. Mark Fink said,

    February 21, 2008 at 7:31 pm

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    I’ve had enough of this fucking bullshit!

    I’m gonna start a fucking tomboy replacement tonight on sourceforge. We’ll see who laughs last Miles. I’m gonna flush you and and your stupid MONO shit software down the toilet.

    Who wants to help me?

  36. Mark Fink said,

    February 21, 2008 at 9:13 pm

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    Apparently GNOME already has a sticky notes program. WHY THE FUCK AREN’T THEY USING IT THEN!?

    I think we’ve safely concluded that GNOMEies are trying to sabotage their own software to make it infringe on M$patents to fuck their users. It’s the only logic conclusion.

  37. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 21, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Gravatar

    Mark, there are some pages you probably want to explore. Here is a good starting point:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=mozclient&num=50&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&q=site:boycottnovell.com+waugh+tomboy

  38. Vadim P. said,

    February 21, 2008 at 11:31 pm

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    Sticky notes suck compared to Tomboy.

    That’s a good place to start though people.

  39. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 21, 2008 at 11:43 pm

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    How long before they decide to stick Glipper in the core in order to compete with Klipper, I wonder…

    The issue here is a chicken-and-egg one. Many people use Tomboy, so a lot of development rigor will go into Tomboy and not into a lesser known project that is used by fewer people. That’s why the leadership of GNOME needs to take action and reroute focus away from development in C#.

    When Stallman raised the issue in the mailing list, I think it was Shaw who said that he would ask Novell to do this, or at least be aware of the issue. A month ot two go by and we find out about dbus pulling a Mono. Where will this end? Mono expands rather than be sidelined. In fact, it’s in Novell interest to spread the Mono — so to speak — for only Novell has the ‘protection’ for its use. One might say that Novell contaminates GNOME to promote its own selfish agenda. Microsoft watches over Novell’s shoulder gleefully (mind yesterday’s ‘big announcement’, aka “the extend phase”).

  40. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 21, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Links about the announcement, for future reference and ‘historical record’:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/21/analysis-of-a-decoy/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/21/taxoperability-strategy/

  41. Scott said,

    February 22, 2008 at 3:08 pm

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    And I thought I had too much free time….

  42. soot said,

    February 22, 2008 at 3:59 pm

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    It really seems that the less reason there is to be worried they more panicky the guys here get. And they sound more and more crazed because their worries become more and more far-fetched.

  43. Mark Fink said,

    February 22, 2008 at 5:15 pm

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    soot: How much is Microvell paying you? Yea, thought so.

    Go back to your hole and crawl back in.

  44. Vadim P. said,

    February 22, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Gravatar

    I’d pay for a program that’s equivalent to Tomboy (resorted to Picasa instead of F-Spot). Bu equivalent I mean it has the same functions I use, not “designed to” do the same thing and do a bad job of it.

    Is there one?

  45. Mark Fink said,

    February 22, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Just use the GNOME sticky notes program, or maybe XFCE has a notes program you could use. If XFCE has one, it’s probably a lot better than anything those incompetent GNOME programmers could ever write.

  46. Vadim P. said,

    February 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Gravatar

    I did try Gnome sticky notes. The window is tiny and somehow escapes my AWN dock, so I can’t manage the notes easily. It also offers zero formatting, and no linking support.

    (that’s the problem I’m talking about. Lack of features I need)

  47. Vadim P. said,

    February 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Where can I find the XFCE one?

  48. Mike said,

    February 22, 2008 at 7:20 pm

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    Well, come up with a replacement, then: a demonstrably unencumbered safe and efficient programming language with a working implementation, native Linux bindings, and a good C interface.

    Java certainly isn’t it: it has serious performance problems, a lousy C interface, and is patent-riddled. Python isn’t it either. And neither is C++.

    Right now, I don’t see much of a problem with Mono: if you don’t use .NET (and Linux desktop apps don’t), there is no obvious patents that present a problem. And there is no credible alternative around that I can see. Despite all your flaming, you don’t offer one.

    And a switch to KDE is a non-starter because its core GUI library is GPL. I develop some big open source projects under the Apache2 license, and there is no way I’m going to link with Qt. Commercial developers are in an even worse situation with respect to Qt. That’s in addition to the fact that developing GUI apps in C++ is a bloody nuisance.

    So, the ball in in your court: come up with another alternative.

  49. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 8:06 pm

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    What’s with the Qt/KDE FUD? Unless it goes BSD, Qt is possibly going GPL without m/any such conditions. I’ll write about this over the weekend.

  50. Alan McGovern said,

    February 22, 2008 at 8:38 pm

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    Do you know what the funniest thing about all this is? Mark Fink doesn’t even exist. He’s some guys psuedo name created entirely to bash mono on just two places.

    1) This site
    2) The gnome devel mailing list

    He exists in a mere 3 links in google, two for here, one for the mailing list.

    @’Mark Fink’:
    Whenever you make a *real* contribution to *anything* open source, then feel free to make comments on what’s the ‘right’ choice. Until then, quite simply, suck it up and shut up. The only thing poisoning gnome is you.

  51. Hret said,

    February 23, 2008 at 8:45 am

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    Mark Fink seems to be the biggest arse on this site (which is already full of idiots!).

  52. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:06 am

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    Thanks you, Hret, for your very sophisticated contributions and insights (ad hominem attacks).

  53. Hret said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:21 am

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    @Roy Schestowitz:

    I’d be interested to know, what’s your motivation for this hatred-filled website? Got no girlfriend? The most people concentrating on hating others have major personal problems – maybe you feel suppressed or others have more sex or more money than you. But people who are satisfied with their lives don’t create sick websites like you.

  54. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Gravatar

    First of all, there is no hatred in this Web site. Show me signs of anger or hatred. Go ahead. The site strives to deliver objective analysis of a deal (followed by subsequent ones), which was fuelled by selfish desires of conjoined parties. Sadly enough, those who are abused by the seclusive (and sometimes malicious) arrangements are not competing businesses but volunteers, including myself, who comprised a lot to make software which respect one’s freedom and help people adopt it. They wanted to give something to those whom they cared about whereas Novell, as proven more recently, is stuck in its past roots with an entirely different mindset.

    Customers never truly required ‘protection’ (ask more senior people who are familiar with this) and neither did Novell suppliers — programmer whose chosen license Novell conspired to work around.

    Free software relies on trust and on goodwill. That is a mixture of things the which drive development, which give passion. When people put a (patent) price on your head, you are distracted, you cease to work effectively. Just watch what happened 9 months ago when kernel developers saw their work threatened.

    Backlash is inevitable and I knew this from the start. But if we don’t stand up and speak up, then Free software could be held hostage by a fierce competitor whose rigid software increasingly tips over the edge of what’s known as “digital slavery” (watch one of Gutmann’s recent papers).

    The most aggressive of measures are taken when one feels threatened and sees survival at stake. Watch how far Microsoft is willing to go to acquire Yahoo and render (X)HTML moot. It’s now a proxy fight (bullying). In the same vein — only /to an extent/ I’ll admit — a set of proxies are used to subvert a natural evolutionary trajectory of Free software. This happens to include Mono. If you permit Microsoft to put what it perceives as its own property in the hands of all Linux users, it will try to pry it off our hands. Not yet. First it needs it to spread a little and people to get ‘addicted’ to it (Gates’ terminology). Beware the Greek bearing gifts.

  55. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:46 am

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    “If you permit Microsoft to put what it perceives as its own property in the hands of all Linux users, it will try to pry it off our hands.”

    Ah, that happens to be the single fatal flaw in your argument, that (luckily for us) negates your entire argument.

    Microsoft do not *own* the CLR. They do not *own* exclusive IP rights to every .NET JIT implementation. They do not *own* exclusive IP rights to the C# language. They do not *own* any of this.

    It is a fully open and *free* (free as in completely free) platform for anyone to innovate with. Anyone can implement a .NET JIT, anyone can implement a compiler for the C# language. It’s all there in the specification. It’s an ECMA standard. Microsoft has no more claims to C# itself than it does to the CD-ROM filesystem (now known as ISO 9660), which is also an ECMA standard.

    Next time, research before you spout gibberish.

  56. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:02 am

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    Alan,

    A phrase that immediately comes to mind here is “the first one’s free”, but first allow me to explain why. I think of this as a trial version, or even a dual-licensed open source project with support caveats and all sorts of restrictions and gotchas which only emerge as you scale up. Think about Oracle’s interpretation of free, for starters.

    Going back to Mono/.NET/C#, I am aware of ECMA role in all of this, but I am also aware of the so-called ‘premiums’ that accompany a whole framework where cross-platform compatibility plays a vital role (Mainsoft and WebSphere come to mind here). Mono has already been divided into three portions, which I find scary in this context (think “Mono for the poor” and “Mono for the rich”).

    As Mono becomes a more mature and more widely used component in the Free (now just ‘free’ desktop), temptation among the Large Vendors will crop up, urging them to take advantage of more ‘restricted’ features that leave the ‘community’ component of Linux out in the cold. Moreover, as .NET continues to improves and Microsoft gets more worried about looming threats, licenses will be set and reset accordingly. You are letting Microsoft control your destiny, call shots, and make most rules. You are playing their game. They game you. For similar reasons, trying to play catchup with OOXML has always been an awful idea.

    Microsoft /loves/ to control the standard. It said so only weeks ago. It wants you to be dependent on their de facto standards, hence the existence of Mono.

  57. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Gravatar

    “support caveats and all sorts of restrictions and gotchas which only emerge as you scale up. Think about Oracle’s interpretation of free, for starters”

    Irrelevant – this isn’t oracle. There is no comparison here. You’re perfectly right though, there are restrictions and gotchas. The biggest one is that you have to follow the standard if you want to implement ‘C#’. Of course, i don’t think anyone will actually complain about that restriction/gotcha.

    ” ‘premiums’ that accompany a whole framework where cross-platform compatibility plays a vital role (Mainsoft and WebSphere come to mind here)”

    I don’t understand what you mean by this. Could you explain in clearer terms what you mean by ‘premiums’. Also, what do Mainsoft and WebSphere have to do with anything? You’re dragging in completely unrelated things into this discussion.

    “Mono has already been divided into three portions, which I find scary in this context (think “Mono for the poor” and “Mono for the rich”).”

    Once again, explain *exactly* what you mean here. What are the three portions which scare you so much?

    “Moreover, as .NET continues to improves and Microsoft gets more worried about looming threats, licenses will be set and reset accordingly.”

    Once again, this is a non-argument. It’s impossible. It’s pure FUD. Once something has been standardised with the EMCA, you can’t take it back. What is standardised now will *always* be standardised. Microsoft cannot ever undo what they’ve done. I’ll be kind and just say that your worries are completely unfounded, others would describe them as FUD and you as a troll.

    “Microsoft /loves/ to control the standard. It said so only weeks ago.”

    Everyone likes to control their baby. If you ever wrote free software, you’d know exactly how they feel. You’d hate for some nobody to decide that component X is a great idea and then forcibly pollute your code with ill thought out ideas and badly created API’s.

    But once again, the future of the standard *in no way* affects what we have now. Should Microsoft decide to create C# 10.0 and not make it a standard spec, then so what. We still have *everything* up til then as free to use as the air we breath.

    I still don’t see one credible argument against mono in any of your posts.

  58. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Gravatar

    I don’t understand what you mean by this. Could you explain in clearer terms what you mean by ‘premiums’.

    See the explanation below, which refers to a similar question covering the same concerns.

    Once again, explain *exactly* what you mean here. What are the three portions which scare you so much?

    The division to portions were announced around December if I recall correctly. Miguel presented this at the beginning of the month, maybe even at a Microsoft conference (I am not sure if it’s Mary Jo Foley or Paula Rooney who reported this, but a quick search would bring up the answers). There is the promise — however meaningless (non-binding contract) it may be — not to take any legal actions (IANAL, so let’s not discuss the RAND and other related things). Either way, the takeaway appeared to be that you can embrace particular bits that are seen as ‘unsafe’ and Friday’s articles (shortly after Thursday’s announcement) about ‘patents being freely available’ seem to apply here. Think about ‘free’ parts of Mono and ‘not so free’ parts of it (as in “be very afraid” because Microsoft might come knocking on your door).

    Once again, this is a non-argument. It’s impossible. It’s pure FUD. Once something has been standardised with the EMCA, you can’t take it back. What is standardised now will *always* be standardised.

    Will it be implemented as documented in ECMA? Will there be deviation? Extension? To use an overlapping and timely example, are you aware of the fact that ECMA-OOXML was never implemented and never will? In fact, OOXML is a moving target. Microsoft has explicitly stated that it should devise the method of extending protocols in order to deny the entry of FOSS into the market.

    Should Microsoft decide to create C# 10.0 and not make it a standard spec, then so what. We still have *everything* up til then as free to use as the air we breath.

    By then, you are dependent. Just moments ago I spotted the following two comments that echo the very same concerns.

    See: http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2008-02-23-003-26-OS-DB-LL-0000


    Shamar – Subject: Mono+Ubuntu = bye, bye Ubuntu. ( Feb 23, 2008, 11:43:03 )
    While I’m a GNOME fan, Mono makes me sick.
    There is no reason to make Mono apps while we have open-source cross-platforms frameworks that work much better (aka, Python or even Java right now) and with an excelent “CV” of successfull applications running on it.
    It’s just makes sense to promoto Mono if all we want is to help Microsoft marketing campaign.
    All those that help, support, justify or promote Mono (including Miguel De Icaza, GNOME founder) deserve just one adjective: “hypocrites”


    There’s a longer one also:

    http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2008-02-23-003-26-OS-DB-LL-0001


    paul – Subject: NET again?? ( Feb 23, 2008, 12:25:05 )
    Please, put this beast to bed!!

    While I understand the desire of MONO, I question why in the world we would actually want to to tie ourselves to a MS controlled platform (I mean the NET specs and future iterations, not MONO project itself).

    The world would be a much better place if we all just said “NO” to MS and MS based technologies.

    I am amazed why anyone would choose NET to start with. Why do we need a MS based Java anyway? If you want to use a Java like language and runtime, why not just use Java?

    There are so many better alternatives to NET I cannot for the life of me wonder why anyone would want to go down that road! I am not saying NET is inherently bad, I am just asking why not Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, etc?

    Java has a smaller runtime, is Open Source, and has more power and presense than NET. Net is based on the flawed Networking concepts inherent in COM, via COM+.
    Java uses the concept based in Corba.

    If I want better more scalable performance, Java is my choice. If I want quicker Web Development Ruby/JRuby or PHP. Fast native apps C/C++.

    The only reason NET exists was/is that MS was seeing far too many of the Windows developers entertaining using Java, which would mean, that they would no longer be tied to MS.


    Enough said really. These are exactly the same type of concern being rephrased. You become enslaved to someone else’s rules. If it were Sun, I’d be less concerned. I know far too well what Microsoft strives to achieve if the patent deals (contract) are something to go by. I’m not alone and this assessment is becoming more prevalent than you’d feel comfortable with.

  59. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:07 am

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    We need to give Roy credit for this. He is not getting any money but he is spending his time to further a cause.

    Although mono doesnt seem to be that important right now, but the way it is infiltrating FOSS is really worrying. It will be much easier to stop it at this stage rather than later when lot of things start depending on it.

    M$ will keep quite now. Once they know that Gnome is heavily dependent on their stuff they will start their sabootaging and threatening games. They have always done this. Nothing new. The way they killed OS/2.

    “Stitch in time saves nine”

    This is not a hate site, but the harsh reality.

    If novell is not stopped they will really cause a lot of issues in the FOSS. They already did when they signed the death pact with M$ and sold out the FOSS community.

    M$ is very good at playing the legal game. Bill Gate$ father, William H. Gates II, is a Seattle attorney – he is a well seasoned player in the legal games. He has been doing this since he was a kid.

    Lot of people are now aware of the novell dirty tricks because of this site and be on gaurd. If not for this site, novell would have been free to rape gnome.

    Atleast someone among the FOSS community is standing up to this.

  60. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Gravatar

    Then yes, i know exactly the division you’re talking about. Funnily enough, that division was only created to keep people like you happy. Turns out, the very division that you were clamouring to get, and was granted to you, you are now using as some kind of weapon against mono.

    What the hell? That makes no sense. People complained that winforms weren’t explicitly covered in the ECMA spec, so eventually packagers split mono into subsections.

    1) The parts explicitly covered by the ECMA
    2) The parts which have nothing to do with Mono or MS.NET such as GTK# and all that
    3) The parts which are in MS.NET but not explicitly covered in ECMA.

    Section 3 is what people were worried about, however bear in mind that the implementation of items in section 3 is in no way patent infringing. It has never proven to be so, and should it ever be shown that some portions of code do infringe a patent, it will just be rewritten so as to not infringe on said patent. So this is a non-issue. This procedure is clearly documented.

    “Will it be implemented as documented in ECMA? Will there be deviation? Extension?”

    So what? Once again, this does not affect you if you are a gnome developer. This is no reason whatsoever against using mono in Gnome. You are taking a hypothetical situation which has no relation to mono on gnome and trying to make it relevant, but it isn’t. What MS does with the framework does not stop Mono being a good choice in Gnome. Mono is more than just C#, in fact, mono != C#. You can use the Mono runtime with over a dozen different languages.

    So, you need to more clearly define your objection. Do you object to the standardised and documented IL format and the standardised and documented JIT which can not and will not ever change? Or do you object to the C# language itself, bearing in mind that existing specifications can not and will not ever change?

    Besides , if microsoft decides to break compatibility with the spec, it’ll be destroying backwards compatibility with hundreds of thousands of existing applications and libraries.

    “To use an overlapping and timely example, are you aware of the fact that ECMA-OOXML was never implemented and never will”

    Once again, don’t drag in unrelated arguments. OOXML has nothing to do with mono, it has nothing to do with C#, it has nothing to do with the .NET framework. I couldn’t care less about it. It is not even an ECMA specification, C# and the JIT are. They couldn’t be more different.

    “There is no reason to make Mono apps while we have open-source cross-platforms frameworks that work much better (aka, Python or even Java right now) and with an excelent “CV” of successfull applications running on it.”
    How are they ‘better’. Define ‘better’. Less CPU usage? less memory usage? More productive languages? Remember, everyone is entitled to a personal opinion, but it doesn’t make that opinion right.

    Running python on the .NET framework using IronPython can result in significantly faster execution with less memory usage. Wouldn’t that make python + mono a better choice then?

    “Java has a smaller runtime, is Open Source, and has more power and presense than NET. Net is based on the flawed Networking concepts inherent in COM, via COM+.”

    Once again, Java is NOT fully open source. .NET is. Don’t spread lies. .NET is not based on COM. Those are two unrelated concepts. .NET has COM interoperability though, which for some people is very important as they have to communicate with legacy applications. If anything, this is a plus, not a negative.

  61. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:27 am

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    What can a gnome user do to stop this ? Our voices have been silenced. We are dependent on gnome developers for this (and M$ has been funding them)

    I dont even trust Nokia with QT, it might have been a proxy buyout that might have been done by M$. Bill Gates has a lot of influence and contacts. $100 millions is just change for them.

    Lately he seem to have left the technical side and has devoted himself to full time political assult on Linux/FOSS (although media paints this as some kind of charity show).

    After reading the EVANGELISM is WAR document – I think M$ will go down to ANY level of disgusting activity to stop FOSS. See the political buyout at the BRM – its a disgusting mokery of ISO at the best.

    It seems to have been setup by Bill Gates. He kind of has lot of time lately and devoted him to full fledge political and legal destruction of everything that stands in his way and microsoft.

  62. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:30 am

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    @Alan: Get used to it, Roy Schestowitz is a known for being a fear monger. Google his name and you’ll find plenty of evidence of this.

    As some have suggested, it is likely that Roy himself is paid by Microsoft to try and discredit projects like Mono. I can’t think of anyone who has more to gain from the destruction of Mono than Microsoft, so it makes a lot of sense.

    Roy likes to point out that this notion is absurd because he spams comp.os.linux.advocacy with “rah for linux!” news, but being that no one but linux users actually read comp.os.linux.advocacy, it’s hardly helping to promote Linux at all.

    Here’s a conspiracy theory for ya:

    Roy pops up out of no where 2 years ago when Novell and Microsoft made their deal and begins spamming comp.os.linux.advocacy to give himself “street cred” (precisely so he can point to it and say “see? I’m a Linux supporter, I advocate the use of Linux” and thus try to avert speculations that he’s actually a Microsoft paid troll[1]) while simultaneously working to discredit Microsoft’s biggest competitor/projects.

    With Novell, it was easy because they had made a deal – and so he played the typical Slashdotter’s hatred of Microsoft and used it to fuel his anti-Novell campaign.

    Time passes and he starts attacking GNOME, Mono, Mandriva, Fedora and Ubuntu.

    Oh sure, he claims that he was a big fan of OpenSuSE, GNOME, etc etc before the Microsoft-Novell deal, but talk is cheap and a common ploy used by trolls like Roy to try to establish a form of credibility – the idea is to make people assume that you are a reasonable person and that whoever you are speaking out against has crossed some line.

    In fact, Apple used a similar ploy in some of their commercials a few years back to get people to switch from Windows to MacOS.

    1. whenever someone proves that the view that Roy is trying to push is based on misrepresentations of the facts (or outright lies), Roy turns around and accuses them of being paid Microsoft shills in an attempt to discredit all that oppose him while simultaneously changing the subject and confusing the issue.

    As someone wiser than I once said, “those who scream the loudest are often the most guilty”.

    …And no one screams louder than Roy Schestowitz.

  63. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:32 am

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    “What can a gnome user do to stop this ?”

    Write your own software that doesn’t use mono, or just don’t use mono and live with inferior products.

    “Our voices have been silenced. We are dependent on gnome developers for this (and M$ has been funding them)”

    More FUD? Have any proof that any gnome developers are being funded by MS? Secondly, as there are legitimate cases where developers are indeed being funded by MS to work with gnome (i.e. interoperability folk), you need to also prove that they’re forcing mono into gnome.

    Until you have more than thin air to base your arguments on, don’t reply with more FUD.

  64. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:34 am

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    Licensing

    Although the C# language definition is standardized under an ISO standard, only a part of the Base Class Library, which contains the fundamental functions that are used by all C# programs (IO, User Interface, Web services, …) is also standardized. Furthermore, parts of the BCL have been patented by Microsoft,[20][21] which may deter non-Microsoft implementations of the full frameworks.

  65. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:38 am

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    libraries not documented or included in the ECMA specification but are included in Microsoft’s standard .NET Framework distribution.

  66. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:40 am

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    And which of these .NET libraries of which you speak are used by Linux Mono applications?

  67. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:40 am

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    Please don’t copy and paste stuff from other peoples sites without actual links to back up those claims.

  68. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:43 am

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    Hi again Alan,

    Thanks for the quick response. First of all, I have just followed the hyperlink on your name and realised that you develop MonoTorrent. Well done, I have no problem with that at all (au contraire), but let’s set things straight and clarify that you have vested interests here, whereas I have none (trust me, I am omitting no disclosures, of which I have none). I understand that my post must be annoying or frustrating to you and I can only offer my apologies, but not my blind eye. We ought to understand what we have here in our hands.

    “Will it be implemented as documented in ECMA? Will there be deviation? Extension?”

    So what? Once again, this does not affect you if you are a gnome developer.

    This may be true, but let us refocus on the issue. The deviation or extension you cannot guarantee will also be free (gratis). If a large department was to embrace a GNOME-based GNU/Linux distribution, this could lead to ‘taxation’. Remember what Mark Shuttleworth once told Matt Asay about the crucial difference between a $0.00 Linux and a $0.01 Linux. I can find you the link if you want. They spoke about this over lunch in London last year.

    So, you need to more clearly define your objection. Do you object to the standardised and documented IL format and the standardised and documented JIT which can not and will not ever change? Or do you object to the C# language itself, bearing in mind that existing specifications can not and will not ever change?

    .NET can be seen as more than just a tool for development. It comes with licensing, ownership and control as ‘appendages’. When you are not in control, you become more sensitive. GTK is about control, ownership. Mono is an entirely different story.

    I fear that the C# language may be gradually becoming a de facto choice for portions of GNOME (consider C#-based dbus). C#-exclusive bits such as OOXML translators are a big church bell ringing loudly for someone’s attention. The same goes for Moonlight. These technologies are part of the ‘Microsoft Stack 2.0′ and it seems like GNOME permits itself to become a second fiddle and supporter of Microsoft (nervously wait for HD, XPS, DRM, SharePoint and so forth), rather than embrace opposing forces from Google, Sun, and IBM (see this new analysis http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2008-02-22-021-26-OP-BZ-SV ). Microsoft appears to be manipulating a lot of people who lose sight of the Big Picture and they are unable to see how they get used.

    Once again, don’t drag in unrelated arguments. OOXML has nothing to do with mono, it has nothing to do with C#, it has nothing to do with the .NET framework. I couldn’t care less about it. It is not even an ECMA specification, C# and the JIT are. They couldn’t be more different.

    I beg to differ. OOXML embeds various bits and pieces of Microsoft Windows and other parts of the Microsoft stack including SharePoint and media files (with or without DRM). It is no coincidence that C# mimics/emulates things to enable conversions. If anything, this explains why Microsoft has been all along so supportive of Miguel’s work ‘ripping off’ Microsoft’s bread and butter.

    Once again, Java is NOT fully open source. .NET is.

    That’s new to me. Check the licence of Java and then check the licence of .NET. Then we can discuss this. This leads to another serious issue by the way:

    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Linux-and-Open-Source/Microsofts-OpenSource-Trap-for-Mono/

  69. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:43 am

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    If someone pollutes the Linux kernel you will advise them to write their own kernel. Why dont you tell groklaw to stop the SCO bashing and write their own kernel… ?

    Just funny.

    We are users. We are not developers. But IT DOES CONCERN US. We use and support FOSS.

    Telling people to not raise their voice over a legit issue because they cant write code is just FUD. It affects everyone.

    Everyone is not a developer. People come from different background – you need to understand that. it doesnt mean people are stupid or need to shut up if they cant code.

  70. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:46 am

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_Sharp

    That was directly taken from the wiki…

  71. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:50 am

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    I dont even trust Nokia with QT, it might have been a proxy buyout that might have been done by M$. Bill Gates has a lot of influence and contacts. $100 millions is just change for them.

    I will write an analysis of Nokia tomorrow. It turns out that a Nokia employee who used to work at Microsoft is responsible for shooting down Ogg (out of HTML5). But be aware that Nokia has other rivals though. It’s complicated.

    For example, earlier today I read about Nokia grabbing Qt so that Ericsson (among many others) stay ‘Qt-naked’. A week or two went by (after Qt had been ‘hijacked’) and Erikson committed itself to Windows Mobile (signing a deal with Microsoft, just a few days before Microsoft’s long-time head of the Mobile Unit jumped ship). Sony Ericsson is one thing. Another is Nokia, which was approached by Microsoft for Windows Mobile just a week after acquiring Qt. Nokia declined.

  72. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:55 am

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    @CoolGuy: *sigh* this is precisely people should not comment on what they know nothing about. No one is telling you to shut up because your stupid or because you can’t code, you should shut up because you’re clueless.

    Yes, Web Services (referring to ASP.NET) and UI (referring to Windows.Forms) are not covered by ECMA, but they are hardly required for writing applications using C#/Mono/.NET.

    Mono has Gtk# and a Qt binding to use in place of Windows.Forms. As far as the Web Services side, no one uses that to write GNOME apps.

  73. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:58 am

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    Dan O’Brian,

    Where have you pulled those ludicrous claims from? Your previous comment sounded almost as though you reused one of the posts from those trolls who had posted from honeypots to USENET since the OS/2 era (many evidence to suggest they are astroturfing, so you needn’t ask for *my* assessment of this). The theory is so crazy that I won’t even bother commenting to refute it.

  74. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:09 pm

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    Haha, typical Roy response – try to discredit the messenger rather than the message.

  75. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:19 pm

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    “let’s set things straight and clarify that you have vested interests here, whereas I have none (trust me, I am omitting no disclosures, of which I have none).”

    I have made no secret of who i am or what i work on. I included the link deliberately so people can see what it is i do.

    “The deviation or extension you cannot guarantee will also be free (gratis).”
    Yes, but if it is *not* free (gratis) then you simply don’t implement it in Mono. If Mono itself does not support your non-free (gratis) extension, then there’s no way for the developers to use it. Once again, non-issue.

    “.NET can be seen as more than just a tool for development. It comes with licensing, ownership and control as ‘appendages’.”

    Then you’re not talking about Mono anymore. Remember, we’re talking about MONO here, not what microsoft does with it’s 3rd party applications. They have no place in a discussion about the .NET framework and the standardised components such as the JIT and the C# language.

    “C#-exclusive bits such as OOXML translators are a big church bell ringing loudly for someone’s attention.”

    But… it’s not C# exclusive. Anyone who wants to can write an equivalent piece of code in C, or perl, or whatever. If you feel so strongly about this and cannot code yourself, just hire a developer to do it, or find an interested one who’ll do it gratis.

    But (as i’ve said many times before), OOXML irrelevant to the current context. I’m talking specifically about Mono and C#, i’m not talking about OOXML. That’s something completely different. OOXML can do whatever the hell it likes, but that does not affect Mono and C#. Do you understand that? OOXML is a completely unrelated technology.

    “That’s new to me. Check the licence of Java and then check the licence of .NET. Then we can discuss this. This leads to another serious issue by the way:”

    Officially, Java is now under the GPL, but is the code freely available? Bear in mind that this only happened in the last few months. How long has Mono been open source? Why, since the day it started!

  76. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:20 pm

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    I hardly discredited the messenger at all. I see bits of the slander that was spread in a coordinated fashion and repeated to create a Big Lie effect (striving to gain validity through endless repetition of libelous claims). If you wish, I will counter your points one by one, no matter how weird it feels to refute something which is totally made up.

  77. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Gravatar

    I have made no secret of who i am or what i work on. I included the link deliberately so people can see what it is i do.

    I appreciate this. My statement on this was by no means a complaint.

    But… it’s not C# exclusive. Anyone who wants to can write an equivalent piece of code in C, or perl, or whatever. If you feel so strongly about this and cannot code yourself, just hire a developer to do it, or find an interested one who’ll do it gratis.

    The patent ‘promise’ of OOXML is not compatible with the GNU GPL, but that’s a separate issue.

    Officially, Java is now under the GPL, but is the code freely available? Bear in mind that this only happened in the last few months. How long has Mono been open source? Why, since the day it started!

    We compared Java and .NET (Mono aside). Java code is already being released, albeit gradually, IIRC.

  78. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

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    For the record, Roy is noted for changing the subject and drawing in unrelated issues in order to confuse the issue because he can’t win an argument any other way.

    He attempts to keep his opponent off-balance in order to “win” which is why he keeps pulling in OOXML (which is completely unrelated to Mono).

    Anyone with half a brain can se right through Roy’s ploys.

    He’s a professional liar with no moral conscience.

  79. Blue Knight said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:29 pm

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    @Miles

    “Obviously if there are equivalent or better alternatives to F-Spot, Banshee and Tomboy for GNOME that Red Hat and Canonical can choose, they will. Currently there are no such alternatives. For example, gThumb is not a viable alternative to F-Spot. There is nothing even close to Tomboy, either. There are a few programs that could probably replace Banshee, but I think they are behind in functionality as well – just not sure by how much.”

    I’m sorry but are you crazy? gthumb IS a viable alternative to F-spot!

    “F-spot is LESS capable than Gthumb. The interface is easier to use but if you try to go deeper with Gthumb you’ll clearly understand how f-spot is useless.
    Gthumb is the only gnome app I know that can print multiple photos on the same page! Something Windows XP had built-in in 2001.
    So, we can’t replace gthumb with f-spot. (and you can tag with gthumb too).”

    And “it gets my images folder and make a second copy of all the pictures in an irrational and stupid folder tree without asking me if I want that done or how. And why would I want my pics put into folders with different years??? Would you let *me* decide how I want to have my pictures sorted out, *please*? Thank you.”

    Banshee is a crap. Rythmbox is already perfect for newbies and Quod Libet with all it’s tagging goodness, it’s “album view” media library is the best gnome app for heavy use. you have also Exaile…

  80. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:34 pm

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    @Dan: I agree 100%

    He is consistantly dragging in completely unrelated issues whilest i’m trying to find out what exactly he is scared of about mono. It just makes no sense. All i want is straight answer, but he can’t give that. All he can give is a big long spiel containing references to unrelated issues.

    He doesn’t seem to understand the distinction between a language syntax, a runtime and a 3rd party application. With people like that, there’s nothing that can be argued. He can’t be convinced of the error in his arguments because *he has no argument*. He’s just spreading FUD and lies with no foundation of truth that he can prove with cold hard facts.

    I’d be quite willing to accept that there are legal issues with mono if, and ONLY if, they can be backed up with irrefutable facts. Of course, if such an issue were to be found, for example it was found that a patent was infringed, i’d be among the first to remove that code from mono, and thus gnome, and replace it with a patent unencumbered equivalent.

  81. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm

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    Dan O’Brian,

    The issue is trivial and I did not change the subject (definitely not deliberately if you suspect the I did). Allow me to explain again why I associated Mono with OOXML and Silverlight also.

    In order for someone to support OOXML and Silverlight, there are prerequisites that need to be implemented. That’s what Mono is there for. To Microsoft, such a thing is a perfect reason (excuse) to argue that OOXML and Silverlight are ‘supported’ by FOSS (they are not really and can never be). Jody Goldberg has already given them such an excuse/reason that they endlessly rave about. Therein lies the danger of accepting Mono in the core of our DEs.

    Moreover, if people choose convenience over principles of FOSS they will find themselves locked in to Mono for things like OOXML (documents they will not reject from colleagues) and Moonlight (the Web, whose developers will argue that the “freetards” can use Mono to access Silverlight). As things stand at the moment, I see Mono invading not only GNOME but /all/ DEs. I said this several months ago on numerous occasions. This isn’t even just a question that revolves around GNOME.

    GNOME happens to just be the DE where Mono is being seeded.

  82. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Gravatar

    “He attempts to keep his opponent off-balance in order to “win” which is why he keeps pulling in OOXML (which is completely unrelated to Mono).

    Anyone with half a brain can se right through Roy’s ploys.

    He’s a professional liar with no moral conscience… ”

    WoW !!!

    I dont think he is trying to “WIN” over here. That is what M$ does. M$ is the one with no moral except for money and success of windows platform at any cost.

  83. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm

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    Silverlight 1.0/1.1 has no dependency on the open and free ECMA standard for .NET.

  84. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:48 pm

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    “I dont think he is trying to “WIN” over here. That is what M$ does. M$ is the one with no moral except for money and success of windows platform at any cost.”

    Yes he is, in this case ‘win’ refers to convincing someone he is right and they are wrong. He isn’t succeeding. He has offered NO credible evidence, in fact, there is no evidence whatsoever whether believable or not.

    What does MS do? What proof have you that they have done anything? All you have is conspiracy theories. By the way, the moon landing was faked and there are aliens in area 51.

  85. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Gravatar

    LOL. no evidence ??

  86. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:00 pm

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    Yes, no evidence. No substiantal proof. No facts. Nothing except idle words.

    I’m still waiting (after asking on three separate occasions) for irrefutable proof of anything inately ‘bad’ with mono. There has been nothing offered yet.

  87. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Gravatar

    i dont think he is trying to convince anyone about anything. he is bringing the facts to the people. its upto us to do what we want with it.

    its upto you to believe it or not. dont worry…you wont be sued for not believing :)

  88. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:10 pm

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    This is just a warning sign. see how mono has been slowly entering gnome from apps to libraries. thanks to novell.

    if this goes on it will soon be impossible to remove mono from gnome.

    M$ will start their patent threats and litigation to bring FOSS down.

    Its not late to stop this mono infestation of gnome. It will no longer be Free (as in Freedom).

    Maybe C# is a better language. But Freedom is not about that. People have sacrificed a lot – by using inferior apps just because they are under FOSS.

    GTK may not that be that good compared to QT/.NET but people use it since it is Free(dom) software not controlled by a single vendor.

  89. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Gravatar

    Yes, no evidence. No substiantal proof. No facts. Nothing except idle words.

    What evidence are you lacking?

    1. Evidence that Mono becomes a necessity through dependence (e.g. with Silverlight)?
    2. Evidence that Microsoft has a decent level of control over Mono in the sense that it guides the direction of the framework mimicked by Mono?
    3. Evidence that there is a software patent threat looming over portions of Mono?

    Please tell me. I will gladly address any questions that you have or claims that I misled you somewhere. It is my intention to help, not to be a nuisance to anyone but those who try to take FOSS away (and no, I know that Mono developers intend to help and I appreciate their work). Microsoft has been trying to achieve this for a decade. What makes you think they stopped? Thursday’s anti-GPL announcement was yet another reminder of this.

  90. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:11 pm

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    CoolGuy: What facts has he brought to the people? He’s brought no such thing. All he’s done is to spread FUD about Mono and other things. In order for his claims to be factual they must be supported by evidence. He has no evidence, thus they are not facts.

    His claims are what are known as Conspiracy Theory.

    As Alan jokingly mentioned about Area 51, there is no proof that aliens landed there, therefor it cannot be claimed as fact.

  91. Blue Knight said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:12 pm

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    Alan McGovern the defender of Microsoft!
    Yes you are right, Microsoft is a nice boy full of good intentions…

    Alan McGovern if you like and want to use Microsoft’s technology, you should use the “real thing”: Windows

  92. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Gravatar

    Also FOSS user will be under a constant treat of M$. M$ will start threat againts redhat/ibm/ubuntu for this.

    M$ past record has been not that good. Its a litigation machine – althought it doesnt directly threaten in court – but just the threat of M$ will keep other vendors from gnome/foss.

    It will start asking for money for using gnome. Hey you use our patented stuff – time to pay up.

    Look at how novell is paying M$ to use Linux !!!!!!! Samba guy quit novell because of this. Classis M$ style.

    http://news.samba.org/announcements/team_to_novell/

  93. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Gravatar

    If that’s true, then why does Mark Shuttleworth refuse to drop Mono from Ubuntu? Why does Red Hat ship Mono? Why does Mandriva? Etc etc etc.

    Your “proof” is nothing more than fear mongering.

  94. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Gravatar

    “Conspiracy Theory” is a derogatory label used to portray and assimilate some inconvenient truths with other crazy theories about alien abductions and the like, throwing them all in the same ‘mania pool’. Please mind that fact that all our claims that are posed as facts are backed by hard evidence, usually peripheral links and quotes from the people involved. Be more specific before throwing the baby out with the bathwater. “Conspiracy Theory” is just another slur and an attempted hit at credibility. We don’t accept this here.

  95. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Gravatar

    Dan O’Brian,

    Are you aware of the fact that Bob Sutor, IBM’s VC of standards and open source, does not like Mono. Not only that, but on several occasions he asked people about removal of Mono (from Ubuntu specifically at a later occasion).

    IBM signed a deal with Canonical the other deal and Symphony has a healthy relationship with Ubuntu (just watch recent articles). Do you call this a coincidence? It’s likely, but the point to make here is that other people see similar issues. And Bob Sutor isn’t some troll.

  96. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Gravatar

    @Blue Knight:
    That’s not relevant to the discussion. You’re off topic.

    @Roy:
    1. Evidence that Mono becomes a necessity through dependence (e.g. with Silverlight)?

    Mono still isn’t a necessity. I don’t know what you’re trying to show here. Yes, Silverlight has a dependency on mono, but the reverse is not true. If you claim that mono is a necessity through dependence with silverlight, what you’re really saying is that Silverlight is a necessity and in order to use it you need mono. That would be a valid argument. However, silverlight is NOT a necessity, there are equivalents. It’s you’re choice whether to use em or not, as it is your choice whether to use mono or not.

    “2. Evidence that Microsoft has a decent level of control over Mono in the sense that it guides the direction of the framework mimicked by Mono?”

    Yes, microsoft do guide the development of the C# language. But so what? As i’ve said before, as long as MS keep those changes as part of the ECMA process, then there’s no issue. If they *do* decide to split away, well, mono does not *have* to implement those features, and probably couldn’t due to legal reprussions. In those cases, the gnome developer is still unaffected because they can’t use what has not been implemented – therefore no issue.

    “3. Evidence that there is a software patent threat looming over portions of Mono?”

    Yes, i’d love evidence that there is *anything* in mono that actually infringes a patent. Everyone would love evidence. The same FUD has been spread about the linux kernel for years. Their philosophy is the same as Mono’s – if it infringes, remove it. Do you use the linux kernel? Are you aware that it potentially infringes on dozens of patents?

    Do you use an MTP based mp3 player? Do you realise thats an MS format too? One which cannot be implemented without paying licensing fees (for the enhanced version) and yet there are still FOSS implementations of it?

    There are a lot more worrying things which definitely do infringe on IP without adding FUD about things which have no *evidence* of actually infringing anything.

  97. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:29 pm

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    “It will start asking for money for using gnome. Hey you use our patented stuff – time to pay up.”

    What patented stuff. Please point out *exactly* what is patented so it can be removed. Mono is dedicated to removing all patented code from it’s codebase. Please, don’t spread FUD without proof.

  98. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Gravatar

    By the way, before i give ye up for the trolls i really believe you are – Give me proof. Proof proof proof. Evidence. Facts.

    Copy + paste quoting of someones rant on a website is not a fact. It’s FUD. I want cold hard irrefutable facts. If you cannot provide them, then please stop spreading lies and FUD.

    That’s the last time i’ll ask.

  99. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Gravatar

    Simple. They can’t provide proof because there is none. Damn Alan, why do you have to bring logic and reasoning into this? Don’t you know that fear mongering isn’t about facts?

    So silly you GNOME and Mono people are… with your needing of factual evidence and the like.

  100. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Gravatar

    Redhat / IBM / Ubuntu will face constant threat of M$ in future because of stupidity that novell is doing.

    This will help M$ is breaking the FOSS community and hurting its adoption.

    What stops M$ in telling OEM and ISV not to use Linux since its infriging on dubious patents that it paid novell it put it inside ???

    This will drag on in courts for years and split the community.

    M$ will leave no opportunity to brag about how Linux infrindges on some stupid patents where ever it goes. This will generate a lot of negative press and damage the image of FOSS. And M$ is a master of spreading FUD. It is going to take this to every vendor and isv and every media outlet (m$ has huge stakes is them anyway)

    Pay us money for using Linux !!

  101. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Mono still isn’t a necessity. I don’t know what you’re trying to show here. Yes, Silverlight has a dependency on mono, but the reverse is not true.

    Yes, gradually the pieces are being put in place. This has nothing to do with Mono-based applications such as yours, but it’s about the inclusion of the core of Mono, which facilitates all those extra ‘gifts’ (think Greek) from Microsoft.

    Yes, microsoft do guide the development of the C# language. But so what?

    So what? This is what you (not you personally) want to base the Free Desktop on? It’s like marrying someone who would run off and away after the wedding night. You can’t put the cards on Mono, but increasingly that appears to be the case.

    Do you use the linux kernel? Are you aware that it potentially infringes on dozens of patents?

    See the discussion about this in LXer. Mono is perceived as more of an issue. You’re stepping in Microsoft territories when you use a copycat of its framework.

  102. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Coolguy: Microsoft may try, but no one will care or believe them and they’ll just lose more customers who are sick and tired of their antics. Stop feeding the FUD.

  103. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Gravatar

    @CoolGuy:

    I see no facts, i see FUD. I want facts and proof and evidence. Is that so hard to supply? If so, did you ever question WHY it is so hard to provide?

    @Dan O’Brian:
    I was bored today so i decided to see for myself if it was actually possible to reason with these people. Looks like prevaling opinion is right – they’re ignorant FUD spreaders. What they lack in evidence, they supply in FUD.

  104. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Alan: Indeed, they deal in FUD and FUD alone.

  105. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Gravatar

    Dan,

    What would you like evidence /of/? Show me a bit of text that you find dubious.

  106. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Gravatar

    Alan: Indeed, they deal in FUD and FUD alone.

    Have you followed this site at all? The site is /busting/ FUD against GNU/Linux. We strive to ensure not only that it is busted but also that Microsoft has no fuel with which to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt.

  107. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Gravatar

    ” It’s like marrying someone who would run off and away after the wedding night. ”

    No no no no no. No. No no no. No.

    No.

    Remember – ECMA standard. Repeat those two words over and over, ECMA Standard, ECMA Standard. That means you cannot sue someone for implementing it, or for using it. You’re spreading plain lies here. No-one can be sued for using Mono, no-one at all. It’s an ECMA Standard. It’s equivalent to suing someone for using the ISO 9660 standard, which is also an ECMA standard. I know, you probably just realised what a ridiculous idea that is.

    There is no way for standardised C# specification or the standardised JIT specification to ever allow a user or implementor to be sued. Duh.

  108. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Gravatar

    You can’t bust FUD by spreading lies and more FUD… Cmon, i’m not 10 years old here. I’ve asked repeatedly for non-FUD from you, but all i’ve received is FUD.

  109. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Gravatar

    Huh? You do of course realise that GPL developers are excluded from patent promises that are issued wrt OOXML (ECMA), right? There is also nothing that prevents a patent troll from attacking as a third party (even by proxy on behalf of another company)

    IANAL.

  110. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Gravatar

    I describe to you a scenario where FUD against Linux might become possible — a scenario in which people are unable to remove bits such as Mono from their PCs. That is not FUD. It’s prevention of FUD. Prevention is better than cure (rip-and-replace of encumbered bits).

  111. Blue Knight said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Gravatar

    @Alan and Dan

    What proof you want? Anyway no matter what people tell you, you are always right and do not want to understand. So this is useless, unnecessary and unproductive …

    So continue to use Microsoft technologies, back in Windows and be happy!

    Goodbye.

  112. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s obvious you are not a lawyer, Roy, no need to add “IANAL”. It’s so obvious because you are so clueless.

  113. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Gravatar

    Do you concur with Alan’s assessment that ECMA, whom Microsoft merely hires to shelf some specs, gives you legal immunity? Are you aware of the fact that Microsoft is approaching debt and is filing for patents at a mad pace at the moment? This doesn’t necessarily suggest that they will sue, but they will use portfolios to scare customers and what better ‘proof’ of infringement than a framework in GNU/Linux that mimics Microsoft’s and goes beyond ECMA? Can you not see this? Or do you /refuse/ to see it?

  114. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Gravatar

    What the hell does OOXML have to do with mono? Nothing! Absolutely nothing. The last dozen times i told you the same thing. OOXML is not Mono. OOXML is not an ECMA Standard. If it was, then *ANYONE* could implement it as they see fit under whatever license they see fit.

    Do you not understand that? Is that confusing? If you want to submit a specification to the ECMA, the submitter *must* provide a promise that covers *everyone* who implements that standard which protects the implementor from any patents that the standard infringes. You cannot ever be sued for implementing a standard.

    Is that clear? Do you understand that?

    OOXML can NOT be a standard if it explicitly excludes groups from using that standard under that patent promise.

    Savvy?

    A patent troll therefore CANNOT target an implementor of that standard. They can only target the proposer of that standard.

    If it is found out afterwards that the standard infringes a patent, and rights to that patent cannot be acquired, then the standard is cancelled. If this were to happen, then yes, someone could be sued. However there is legal leeway to give you time to respond to the destandardisation.

    http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/codeofconduct.htm

  115. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Gravatar

    OOXML is not an ECMA Standard.

    It is actually.

    If it was, then *ANYONE* could implement it as they see fit under whatever license they see fit.

    No. Search for “OOXML patents” and pay attention to what it all means to the GPL.

    Do you think lawsuits over standards are rare? These happen all the time. I may not be a lawyer, but I do explore this one particular bit. I even write extensively about it.

  116. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Gravatar

    “What proof you want? Anyway no matter what people tell you, you are always right and do not want to understand. So this is useless, unnecessary and unproductive …”

    I want proof that:

    A) Mono infringes patents
    B) Mono allows end users to be sued for that infringement
    C) Gnome developers are being funded by MS to push Mono into gnome
    D) Mono is a necessity in the current gnome environment
    E) There is a looming patent threat over mono, and thus over ever person who installs it

    I think those would be a small proportion of the unfounded claims you’ve made.

    Please let your next post contain proof, facts and evidence for as many of these as you can find. Bear in mind that i do not accept blogposts with rants as valid proof. I only accept what i’ll refer to as ‘evidence’:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/evidence

    i.e. something which would stand up in court. That concept should familiar to you, as you are such an expert on how mono will allow you to be sued.

  117. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Gravatar

    M$ gives novell exclusive rights not to sue. While others are left out in cold.

    Novell can put anything without fear of lawsuites. While other companies cant.

    This will give novell upper hand over other vendors and freedom to implement mono or whatever they choose. No other vendor has those rights.

    So if novell keeps spreading mono in gnome – they will be safe but other vendors threatened.

  118. CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Gravatar

    http://www.itjungle.com/tlb/tlb112806-story06.html

  119. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Novell has never submitted or pushed any Mono application for inclusion in GNOME. Tomboy was not started by Novell nor was it pushed to be included in GNOME by Novell. When Tomboy was accepted into GNOME, there weren’t even any Novell employees on the board afaik.

    Get your facts straight.

  120. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Gravatar

    @CoolGuy:

    Facts, not FUD. All you have is FUD. I see no link to back any of that up. The link you supplied doesn’t verify any of what you claim. I want cold hard quotable evidence. Please read the link you pasted. If it does actually confirm what you said, my bad, but i can’t find anything mentioned in it which does.

    @Roy:
    you’re right, OOXML is an ECMA standard. My bad. I mixed up ISO and ECMA. OOXML failed the ISO standardisation process about 4 months ago, which was most recently in my memory.

  121. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Gravatar

    A) Mono infringes patents

    Show me where we made such a claim.

    B) Mono allows end users to be sued for that infringement

    Ditto. You ask for court-verifiable proof for claims we never made. We spoke about likelihood rather than an already provable reality. Even de Icaza is unaware of actual patents ( http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2006/Nov-04.html ). The intersection between Mono and .NET leads to higher risk, in my humble opinion. Filed patents tend to cover implemented methods.

    C) Gnome developers are being funded by MS to push Mono into gnome

    ???

    When and where did we ever made such a claim?

    D) Mono is a necessity in the current gnome environment

    GNOME is built with Mono components which can be removed. It is not necessary, but GNOME appears to encourage use of Mono or at least assume that it’s a natural inclusion that is in no way harmful. That is not how the Mono saga began where Mono was seen as a bridge, a complement. Its role appears to be getting more considerable as time goes by.

    You ask me for evidence of something which I do not believe is true.

    E) There is a looming patent threat over mono, and thus over ever person who installs it

    Software patents are idiotic and to paraphrase Stallman from memory “every large program will infringe on many patents”. The question to ask here is: *whose* patents might you step on? If you step on Sun’s patents, you are likely to suffer from not foreseeable abuse. With Mono, stepping on Microsoft’s ‘inventions’ is more likely.

    Again, please ask us for proof of statements that we made (not speculations, but factual assertions), not thing which you think we intend to say (but never said at all).

    So if novell keeps spreading mono in gnome – they will be safe but other vendors threatened.

    Yes, Novell gets caught doing this already. Sam Varghese called it “Novell uses Microsoft FUD to market itself.” (that was the headline of his article, IIRC)

  122. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Gravatar

    When Tomboy was accepted into GNOME, there weren’t even any Novell employees on the board afaik.

    Funny. Miguel de Icaza, father of GNOME and a Vice President *at Novell* was also the *president of GNOME* at the time. He happens to also be the brainchild of Mono, who raves about Microsoft technologies like .NET, OOXML and more recently about Silverlight (XAML).

  123. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Gravatar

    leads to higher risk, in my humble opinion.

    It’s not very humble if you use it to attack people and projects.

  124. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Funny. Miguel de Icaza, father of GNOME and a Vice President *at Novell* was also the *president of GNOME* at the time.

    Can you prove to me that his superficial “president” position had something to do with Tomboy getting into GNOME? No? Didn’t think so.

    Nice try though, but again with the mud slinging, huh Roy?

  125. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Can you prove to me that his superficial “president” position had something to do with Tomboy getting into GNOME?

    Shades of Jeff Waugh slinking away from this seemingly ‘unimportant’ presidency (before he called de Icaza an embarrassment to GNOME or something along those lines).

    No, I am not suggesting that de Icaza was behind the decision to include TomBoy, but it may have had some level of impact. We have been through the same type of questions when discussing GNOME’s (Gnumeric) involvement in ECMA, which helped OOXML.

  126. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Gravatar

    Good to know that “may” and “might” and “could” are all that you have.

    Notice that none of these are “will”, “have done so”, etc? Maybe that’s because you got no evidence.

  127. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Ah, so Gnumeric helped OOXML now? Got any proof to back that up other than “might”, “could” or “may”?

    Come on Roy… show us what you got.

  128. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Gravatar

    This was already covered before. http://www.linux.com/feature/122470

    The key point was that Jody’s participation helps and his extremely rudimentary implementation of OOXML in Gnumeric let Microsoft crow about OOXML ‘support in FOSS. This is old news really.

  129. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Gravatar

    No, Roy, that’s not proof – that’s FUD. It is exactly fear, uncertainty and doubt.

    - Fear that it will help OOXML pass ISO.
    - Uncertainty about whether it helps OOXML or not
    - Doubt cast upon Jody Goldberg and GNOME by you to discredit them

    You have no evidence that it helped Microsoft at all. None whatsoever.

  130. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Gravatar

    You have no evidence that it helped Microsoft at all.

    Yes, I do. Have a look at all those MSDN blogs that rave about OOXML support in Gnumeric. That’s a fact. To this date they use his work as reference.

  131. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Gravatar

    No, Roy, again you fail to differentiate between someone’s opinion and fact.

    Yes, those developers blogged about being excited about Gnumeric adding support for their baby, OOXML, but that does not PROVE that it helps Microsoft.

    How dumb are you anyway? I heard you speak on Linux radio and you sound like a mental retard. Maybe that assessment isn’t far off?

  132. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Gravatar

    Resorting to ad hominem, aren’t we? Still refusing to acknowledge that an argument serves a cause (as in Gnumeric’s demo)?

  133. Blue Knight said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Gravatar

    “you sound like a mental retard.”

    hmm Dan, maybe can you try not to insult people? But perhaps it is too difficult for you…

    From the beginning you and your *friend* (you know who I am talking about) insult the people. Please try something else or return to your certainties and quit.

    Anyway, you have always right [joke], this debate is sterile. The only answer will be given by the way things will evolve in future years. So rendezvous in 10 years, then we will see what has happened…

  134. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Gravatar

    You invented ad hominem attacks, Roy – so you should know.

  135. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Gravatar

    > You invented ad hominem attacks

    ???

  136. soot said,

    February 23, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Gravatar

    No, Roy has invented mud-slinging, not ad-hominem-attacks (though he is the only person who thinks that saying ‘ad-hominem’ instead of ‘personal’ would somehow let him look posh).

    Roy, for how stupid do you take us? Do you really and actually want us to believe that Miguel de Icaza could secretly press the elected board-members of the GNOME foundation into doing his ‘dirty work’ and keep quiet about it? Come on, how far removed from reality are you? Have you had a look at the GNOME board? Do you actually believe that these people, who have a hard time agreeing among themselves on things, would conspire to include Tomboy and say ‘hush, hush, mum’s the word’?

    Again, for how stupid do you take us – or do you honestly believe in such shit?

  137. Blue Knight said,

    February 23, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Gravatar

    No Soot, it’s you and friends who invented mud-slinging and ad-hominem-attacks, since the beginning of this “discussion”, if we can call it that…

    To quote your words, are you stupid? Are you morons? (difficult to get off at your level, it is so low ;-) ) Perhaps you do not know anything else…

  138. dan said,

    February 23, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s just funny isn’t it? Instead of complaining and keeping your desktop ‘pure’ go and write something useful! Usually such a fanaticism is being used to cover lack of brains, man.

  139. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Amusing that Roy and “Blue Knight” keep avoiding the issues. They “keep throwing out the baby with the bath water”, as Roy’s favorite saying goes.

  140. soot said,

    February 23, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Gravatar

    Nope, I won’t go for it; no distracting from the topic, please.

    I’m still waiting for Roy to earnestly answer the question of how realistic he himself deems his insinuations: The GNOME board, consisting of very different individuals, none of whom on Novell’s paylist by the time, being steered by a single individual!

    I mean, c’mon; on which planet are you living right now?

  141. Blue Knight said,

    February 23, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Gravatar

    Dan, precisely, given your level and ” lack of brains” it is not even bother you respond…

    Now I have other things to do than talk with people like you! (you have already had too much credit)

    Bye

  142. Slated said,

    February 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Gravatar

    @Dan O’Brian, Alan McGovern and the other Microsoft Mono fanboys who have invaded this blog:

    Does Mono “infringe” patents?

    No.

    In order to “infringe”, one must be acting without permission, and a limited subset of .Net is covered by the ECMA RAND promise. However, it is my contention that this “promise” is worth less than used toilet paper, and has already been broken, since Microsoft offers Novell exclusive patent protections for Mono. This “protection” is in direct contradiction to the supposedly “Non Discriminatory” Microsoft/ECMA promise. Frankly, I trust Microsoft’s promises about as far as I could throw Ballmer.

    IOW, just like OOXML and Silverlight, .Net (Mono) is just another way for Microsoft to infiltrate Free Software to destroy it from within, by poisoning it with encumbered Microsoft “Intellectual Property Monopoly”.

    The “threat of being sued” is irrelevant. Microsoft are not interested in suing anyone … they don’t need to … all they need to do is poison Free Software (with the eager assistance of people like yourself), then terrorize the Free Software community, one disto at a time, into paying Microsoft Tax.

    If the day ever comes that it simply isn’t possible to use GNU/Linux without paying that Microsoft Tax … I’ll know where to send the thank-you note.

  143. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi again,

    I was asleep, so it took me a while to respond. First of all, if there’s a side here that attacks a person rather than a technical problem, it’s not me. I am not interested in people’s lives and I’m not interested in calling names. Enough of that.

    And no, I don’t think there was some secret ‘plan’ to put Mono in the core (it’s removable, I know), but I imagine that the general sentiment of the President did not make it a concern, either. I’ve read several of Miguel’s interviews where he described him stance on patents and Mono.

    I suggest that you read the latest comments about this in LinuxToday. Almost everyone there agrees with my stance here. All I see here is a case of being surrounded by angry Mono developers.

  144. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Gravatar

    A) Mono infringes patents

    ——————————–
    Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm
    ….. what better ‘proof’ of infringement than a framework in GNU/Linux that mimics Microsoft’s and goes beyond ECMA? Can you not see this? Or do you /refuse/ to see it?
    ——————————–

    You explicitly state that because gnome developers innovated with the .NET framework and the .NET runtime that they infringe patents. This is a lie. I want you to back this up with solid evidence, this is maybe the seventh (7) time i have asked you to back up your statements.

    B) Mono allows end users to be sued for that infringement

    You have claimed (directly or indirectly) that if you use mono you leave yourself open to be sued, as per point A above. I ask you to back up that statement that if mono does turn out to infringe a patent, that it leaves users open to be sued.

    C) Gnome developers are being funded by MS to push Mono into gnome

    ???

    When and where did we ever made such a claim?

    ————————-
    CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:27 am

    What can a gnome user do to stop this ? Our voices have been silenced. We are dependent on gnome developers for this (and M$ has been funding them)
    ————————-

    Now, offer proof/evidence of this.

    D) Mono is a necessity in the current gnome environment

    You ask me for evidence of something which I do not believe is true.

    You seemed to be arguing the point that currently mono is required in gnome because of the ‘C#-exclusive bits such as OOXML translators’ which are appearing all over the place. Did i misinterpret. Are you actually saying there are no C# exclusive bits?

    E) There is a looming patent threat over mono, and thus over ever person who installs it

    Software patents are idiotic and to paraphrase Stallman from memory “every large program will infringe on many patents”. The question to ask here is: *whose* patents might you step on? If you step on Sun’s patents, you are likely to suffer from not foreseeable abuse. With Mono, stepping on Microsoft’s ‘inventions’ is more likely.

    Again, please ask us for proof of statements that we made (not speculations, but factual assertions), not thing which you think we intend to say (but never said at all).

    ————————————————–
    So if novell keeps spreading mono in gnome – they will be safe but other vendors threatened.
    ————————————————–
    I’m sorry, i’m confused. I thought you just claimed that you never said that vendors were open to be sued. Isn’t that just what you claimed against my point B above? Keep your opinion straight. Either you agree with my Point B and end users can’t be sued, or you don’t agree with me and they can be sued. You can’t claim one thing at the top of your post and claim the other at the end.

    Funnily enough, this also applies to point E. You said that you never claimed there was a looming patent threat to end users, yet you *just said* that vendors will be threatened. If vendors have no looming patent threat, what can they possibly be threatened with? Microsoft can’t sue someone just because they don’t use windows…

    So, as my last contribution to this, i want to say:

    1) I am completely unconvinced of any patent threat.
    2) I am completely unconvinced of any other kind of threat.
    3) Your argument that MS could stop going via ECMA when releasing new updates to C# or .NET is a non-argument. It has no affect on the existing standardised componants and so is completely safe for everyone to use mono.
    4) You have failed on every account to provide proof of any of your claims.
    5) You claim one thing, then claim the other a mere few sentences down. If you don’t know what you’re arguing about, then don’t argue it.

    Finally, if you really care about gnome, you should know that gnome lives and dies by it’s applications. If developers can create great bug-free applications in a standardised, open specification using open source tools all the way through the chain, who are you to say they can’t?

    As you said yourself, software patents are a dime a dozen. Some of them are so vague and so broad that they can be read so that they cover a massive range of ideas. No one person can avoid infringing these patents. You are no more likely to infringe a patent by writing your application in java, c#, python or ruby. The language chosen has *nothing* to do with whether your application infringes a patent or not.

  145. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Gravatar

    @Slated:

    Whatever promises MS made were in addition to the legally binding terms and conditions they signed when declaring the .NET runtime and C# language as ECMA standards. They cannot revoke those promises.

    http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/codeofconduct.htm

    Read in detail.

    If Mono doesn’t infringe patents, how would MS extort money out of users? Please, explain your position. Give evidence, proof, whatever. I don’t want idle words. Please read all my posts, i’ve asked many many times for proof. I want to believe you, but i am one of those poor fools who need evidence, not idle words.

  146. Alan McGovern said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Gravatar

    Also, please refute my arguments. Calling me a fanboi is hardly productive, as i already said to ‘Blue Knight’ earlier.

    Microsoft are a convicted monopoly. I, unlike others, do know what that means. I understand the ramifications of that. However, all i see here is people spreading FUD about something which is an implementation of a free and open standard.

    I’m still not sure what you’re objecting too. Are you objecting to the C# language? The .NET runtime? The ECMA’ed class libraries? The non-ecma’ed class libraries? The fact that MS is driving development of the language? The fact that it is not *insert your favourite language here* that kill apps are being written in, but rather C#?

  147. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Gravatar

    Alan,

    I’ll try to address each of your points in turn. Let me know if I’ve missed something.

    You explicitly state that because gnome developers innovated with the .NET framework and the .NET runtime that they infringe patents.

    No, it’s more complicated than this. Putting aside other factors like direction and Microsoft’s ambition of suppressing other P/Ls, the problem is one that pertains also to evolution on the framework on which you can to depend. Remember that Microsoft /loves/ to control the standard (even if that standard is a P/L) because it can deviate and discriminate at any moment, e.g. using patents. There is nothing that prevents Microsoft from setting up IPR barriers as it scale up and continues to develop .NET. Under pressure (e.g. Linux gaining significant market share on the desktop), it is more likely to do so.

    See the comment from Slated. Nobody is “infringing”. The claim is not about infringement but about the demands (or “obligations” as Steve Ballmer once put it), which are easier for Microsoft to make when you depend on the Microsoft stack. It can change the rules.

    You have claimed (directly or indirectly) that if you use mono you leave yourself open to be sued, as per point A above.

    Please show me where I made this claim. The point which I stress over and over again is that people become ‘addicted to’ (or locked in to) Mono. They just use the applications they are given. At that stage, Linux becomes a follower of Microsoft, which already has portions of its framework (or the stack) patented. Microsoft will not give everything away.

    “…the first one’s free.”

    >> When and where did we ever made such a claim?

    ————————-
    CoolGuy said,

    February 23, 2008 at 11:27 am

    CoolGuy is not me. I did not make this claim. A reader whom I do not know made this claim, yet you conveniently misattribute this to daemonise me.

    You seemed to be arguing the point that currently mono is required in gnome because of the ‘C#-exclusive bits such as OOXML translators’ which are appearing all over the place. Did i misinterpret. Are you actually saying there are no C# exclusive bits?

    There are bits of software that are being forced upon us because some people welcome these with open arms. These bits of software (I used Moonlight and OOXML translators as examples) are only implemented using Mono, which *could* in this way spread to all desktop environments. To use an analogy, think of offering someone /any/ food s/he likes _as long as it’s cabbage_. Food may be a necessity and in this case it was made a necessity because several people in GNOME open up the gate for the big gift (a Trojan horse) to enter. This puts many people in an uncomfortable position.

    For similar reasons, when Novell signed a patent deal with Microsoft, it sort of validated (only wishful thinking) Microsoft’s claims about patents and permitted Microsoft to pressure, bully and exclude other vendors. In case you cannot see the similarity (I realise now that it’s not very clear), precedence is being set for one’s selfishness and convenience.

    If vendors have no looming patent threat, what can they possibly be threatened with? Microsoft can’t sue someone just because they don’t use windows…

    No, but it will try… not to sue, but to extract money (through negotiations preferably) from people who do not use Windows. And let’s not even go into ways in which Microsoft extracts money from Mac users (Office for Mac and the cross-licensing deals with Apple).

    3) Your argument that MS could stop going via ECMA when releasing new updates to C# or .NET is a non-argument. It has no affect on the existing standardised componants and so is completely safe for everyone to use mono.

    True, so feel free to fork it in the specifications sense. You will hopefully have the same human resources capacity as Microsoft or Sun (with Java).

    4) You have failed on every account to provide proof of any of your claims.

    I beg to differ. I was said, thanks to you, to have said things I never said. There are claims which you argued that I made, but I did not.

    Finally, if you really care about gnome, you should know that gnome lives and dies by it’s applications. If developers can create great bug-free applications in a standardised, open specification using open source tools all the way through the chain, who are you to say they can’t?

    This is very true, but it escapes the issue we’re discussing and striving to resolve here.

    Finally, if you really care about gnome, you should know that gnome lives and dies by it’s applications. If developers can create great bug-free applications in a standardised, open specification using open source tools all the way through the chain, who are you to say they can’t?

    Absolutely true, but again, that’s not the point. Think of it as something which is akin to choosing a /rented/ toolset (or a toolbox) which contains all the things you need for the time being versus /owning/ a toolbox that is shared and maintained by many others. .NET is not about sharing. It’s controlled by Microsoft. Looking ahead, it’s highly unlikely to be GPL-licensed.

  148. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:14 pm

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    Alan: he just wants to bad-mouth Novell in any way he can and it just so happens that he thinks Mono is an easy project to pick on. He’s your typical High School bully that picks on what he believes is the “class weakling” so he can make himself feel all big and strong.

    When people come back and ask him to back up his claims, he is never able to do so. This will never change.

    As Jeff Waugh (I believe?) said some time back, Roy Schestowitz doesn’t bother to ever check the facts because it would totally destroy his position.

    Because he never checks the facts, he can’t argue them either – if people don’t mindlessly believe every word he says, he’s stuck and resorts to attacking the credibility of the people he’s arguing with just like he attacked you because you are the author of MonoTorrent… obviously that makes you a biased liar or some stupid thing like that. As if Roy is some morally superior unbiased person. Yea. Right. Whatever.

  149. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:20 pm

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    The point which I stress over and over again is that people become ‘addicted to’ (or locked in to) Mono.

    This is bullshit Roy, and you know it. Any Mono application put into GNOME now or ever will be Free Software – do you know what that means? It means the source code will be available.

    That is about as anti-Lock-in as you can get.

    If something should happen and the user wants to switch away from said Mono application, all the other Free Software (and maybe even some non-Free Software) alternative applications out there could be modified to be able to read/import/whatever the Mono application’s data.

    What is it, exactly, that you don’t understand about lock-in Roy? This is why I think you’re a mental retard or something because you are unable to even grasp the most simple of concepts.

    How can you call yourself a Free Software advocate and not even understand the implications of what Free Software MEANS!?!?

  150. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:23 pm

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    As Jeff Waugh (I believe?) said some time back, Roy Schestowitz doesn’t bother to ever check the facts because it would totally destroy his position.

    Jeff’s position was different. He believed that bloggers need to ask questions (go ahead and try to figure out /which/ questions) before blogging, i.e. expressing one’s opinion and assessment.

    Me bully? No, that’s Microsoft, which does not permit its competitors to simply live in peace. Show me where I ever bullied someone. The opposite is true. I am being bullied endlessly, usually by anonymous voices on the Web — ones you might call “Anonymous Bully” (not just Coward).

  151. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:24 pm

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    I find it amusing that whenever Roy is backed into a corner and has to provide proof, he always backpeddles. He also always comes out with the “it’s not as simple as that” and then proceeds to spew out a mass of unrelated issues.

    “No, you see, I can’t tell you what color hair that woman has because it’s not as simple as that. OOXML plays a very important role in identifying what color hair she had, but only on some winter days when the moon is a slightly bluish shade. I can’t tell you what color hair she has because it is now summer and the leaves are green, thus altering her hair color. Blah blah blah”

    Bullshit, Roy. Bullshit.

    Stop trying to sidestep the issues.

  152. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm

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    What is it, exactly, that you don’t understand about lock-in Roy? This is why I think you’re a mental retard or something because you are unable to even grasp the most simple of concepts.

    It’s not data. It’s skills, it’s features. Mind an earlier comment made by someone about finding it hard to let TomBoy go because of features.

  153. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm

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    Me bully? No, that’s Microsoft, which does not permit its competitors to simply live in peace.

    Bullshit, Roy. You are endlessly attacking the Mono and GNOME projects – that is called BULLYING.

    You say Microsoft is a bully because it doesn’t leave its competitors to live in peace.

    Guess what, you don’t allow GNOME or Mono developers/users to live in peace – that makes you a bully by your own definition!

  154. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:27 pm

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    Stop trying to sidestep the issues.

    Pot. Kettle, Black. I’m off to grab some tea.

  155. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:28 pm

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    It’s not data. It’s skills, it’s features. Mind an earlier comment made by someone about finding it hard to let TomBoy go because of features.

    Damn, Roy, do you still just not understand the concept of Free Software!?!?

    If one wanted to, one could rewrite the Mono-based application in Java, Python, Ruby, C, Perl, whatever… they have all of the original application’s source code available!

    For fuck’s sake, get a clue!

  156. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:31 pm

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    Pot. Kettle, Black. I’m off to grab some tea.

    I take that to mean you recognize that you have tried to side step the issue. Good, we’re getting somewhere.

    For the record, though, I have no tried to side step any issues.

  157. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:31 pm

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    You say Microsoft is a bully because it doesn’t leave its competitors to live in peace.

    By “bullying” I refer to threats, intimidation and even extortion (Microsoft pulls money from some business for unspecified claims).

    Guess what, you don’t allow GNOME or Mono developers/users to live in peace – that makes you a bully by your own definition!

    GNOME and Mono are separate. Please don’t mix them up by putting them in the same sentence like that. I am not anti-GNOME and it’s certainly not a case of bullying Mono. Critique of Mono goes a long way back and many critics are silenced by opposition from those with vested interests.

  158. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:33 pm

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    Pot. Kettle, Black. I’m off to grab some tea.

    I take that to mean you recognize that you have tried to side step the issue. Good, we’re getting somewhere.

    No, I just went away for two minutes.

  159. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Gravatar

    Critique is based on facts, your libel is…well, libel. It is certainly not a critique.

  160. Dan O'Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:36 pm

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    Roy: if you want to critique GNOME or Mono, then you should do so constructively by getting involved in the development processes rather than slandering GNOME or Mono from the sidelines.

    Take a look over on the Ubuntu forums, most of the people there have already written you off as a complete loon.

  161. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 10:46 pm

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    Take a look over on the Ubuntu forums, most of the people there have already written you off as a complete loon.

    I’m sure that folks like Alan and yourself were ‘kind’ enough to make it so. This isn’t something that comes just from Mono developers. A lot of the slander out there on the Web against me (e.g. that I molest children, that I castrated parts of my body, that I have a police record and all sorts of other outright lies) actually come from anonymous people who have shilled for Microsoft since the OS/2 days.

    Do you think smear campaigns are something new? Just watch how high figures in OLPC had smears against them also. Watch how the American press portrays Neelie Kores. Heck, watch what Microsoft did to Peter Quinn in MA. If you resort to just attacking the messenger, that’s pretty low. If I ever discredit an author, it’s to do with the authors’ sources of funding or affiliations. Disclosure, not personality, is key.

  162. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 5:04 am

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    http://www.gnome.org/~seth/blog/mono

    Its a ecma standard but nothing has been mentioned about the how free is it. Its just a standard but it says nothing about legal rights.

    “The General Assembly of Ecma shall not approve recommendations of Standards which are covered by patents when such patents will not be licensed by their owners on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis.”

    Reasonable and non-discriminatory is a very fuzzy word.

    http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/codeofconduct.htm

    Dan O’Brian – the ball is in your court. Show me where it says the M$ C# implementation is available under “patent/royalty free” to everyone and M$ wont sue or ask for licensing fees or hold hostage mono developers.

    Still people have to get license from M$ to use it. Even though the license is a free (cost) – still M$ calls the shots on who to give license to.

    In this case this has been granted to novell (i suppose under the patent deal it signed) – but not to other vendors !!!! M$ can demand the reasonable fees from developers. ECMA standard doesnt mean that it is free of cost or use…

  163. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2008 at 5:10 am

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    ECMA is a coin-in-the-slot standards org. It has nothing whatsoever to do with full concession of software patents. For that matter, ISO is the same. There are even lawsuits over IEEE protocols the last time I checked (very recently in fact).

  164. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 5:21 am

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    I want cold hard written legal facts the says C# is royalty free no FUD please. I want publicly written statements about this…Its Miguel who is spreading FUD about this (we will see).

    Miguel has repeatedly stated that the patents necessary to implement the standards ECMA-334 (C#) and ECMA-335 (CLI) are available from Microsoft “RAND + Royalty Free”. This seems like an effective open patent grant and encouraged me initially that we could do Mono. I really like Mono. Its terrific technically, and I’d love to be able to use it. But two problems upon further consideration the past couple months:

    1. I’ve not seen an official statement by Microsoft that will let me trust the royalty free assertion. I think we are remiss if we do not assume Microsoft is looking for ways to, quite frankly, screw us. So unless there is a statement from Microsoft that they will have to stick to in a court, I feel (at the very least) uncomfortable.

    I will wait for your genuine reply with proper links backing it up. Lets put the facts to table.

    I will repeat this once again so it becomes more clear and to point :

    “A public legal statement from M$ saying that standards ECMA-334 (C#) and ECMA-335 are available royalty free.”

    ECMA standard doesnt mean it free of cost. They still have to be licensed by their owners on a “reasonable and non-discriminatory basis.”

  165. soot said,

    February 24, 2008 at 5:22 am

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    This is SO ridiculous. I cannot understand why some people don’t see through Roy, yet. He will NEVER be nailed down to come up with facts because he hasn’t go any. More than that, it again became quite visible that he doesn’t have a well-founded knowledge of the subject he is talking about.

    This trolling for me. Non-developers without any expertise trying to bully developers into a direction that they would like to see them go. Out of sheer paranoia, hatred and utter ignorance of the real facts.

    Paranoia really describes it well. 1) Every time someone is poking for him to give hard evidence he evades into something like ‘the pieces are slowly coming together’, meaning ‘the things happening cannot prove wrong my fantasy’. 2) Whenever Roy is actually cornered he acts all coy and damsel in distress: ‘Oh; evil minions have conspired to bash me!’

    This is soooo low for a grown man! And it is quite repulsive to witness.

  166. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 5:26 am

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    well so you give us the right facts then.

    “A public legal statement from M$ saying that standards ECMA-334 (C#) and ECMA-335 are available royalty free.”

  167. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2008 at 5:44 am

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    Funny what you did there, soot. I wrote about this (incidentally) just half an hour ago. Mind the latter bits about “paranoia”.

  168. Hari said,

    February 24, 2008 at 6:27 am

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    Mono is an implementation of .Net, a Microsoft technology, by Novell guys. That’s all!

    And Gnome is likely to become increasingly dependent on Mono (so also with the Microsoft .exe and .dll crap) and therefore dependent on a Microsoft technology.

    It is enough to reject it and resist! We do not want this in Linux!

    No Mono in my Linux box!

  169. Hari said,

    February 24, 2008 at 6:39 am

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    “Take a look over on the Ubuntu forums”

    Dan, you shouldn’t take a Ubuntu forum for Wikipedia…

    To quote a web site (why a quote? Because the guy speaks better than I do, English is not my native language ;-) )

    “What’s almost tragic for the accuracy-minded people is that in various Ubuntu forum threads I could read in the past 2 years plenty of plainly wrong explanations and speculations regarding the cause of some annoyments, and about “how Linux works”. The democratization of the access to UNIX-like systems engendered a lot of garbage from people not knowing anything, yet believing they have found the Holy Grail.”

  170. soot said,

    February 24, 2008 at 6:56 am

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    @Hari:

    >Mono is an implementation of .Net, a Microsoft technology,
    >by Novell guys. That’s all!

    Again, repeating lies doesn’t make them any more true.

    >And Gnome is likely to become increasingly dependent on
    >Mono (so also with the Microsoft .exe and .dll crap) and

    People complaining about .exe and .dll exhibit total ignorance. It really doesn’t matter what extension (if any) you use for executables.

    >therefore dependent on a Microsoft technology.

    It’s an ECMA standard, not a Microsoft technology, that a BIG difference.

    >It is enough to reject it and resist! We do not want this in Linux!

    Well, write your own then, instead of harassing GNOME developers. GNOME can really live fine without you. Let me say it clearly: IMNSHO non-contributors to GNOME have NO right (and no way) to exert any pressure about the direction GNOME is going to take. GNOME foundation members have the democratic right to elect GNOME board members, who to some limit steer GNOME development.

    How in the world did you get the idea that any schmock can tell GNOME-devs what to do? Nor GNOME nor Linux are yours to complain about.

    Again: Go write your own if you don’t like it.

  171. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Gravatar

    @soot

    “It’s an ECMA standard, not a Microsoft technology, that a BIG difference.”

    Its no different. Being a ECMA standand doesnt mean that it is royalty free or anyone can implement it.

    http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/codeofconduct.htm

    “The General Assembly of Ecma shall not approve recommendations of Standards which are covered by patents when such patents will not be licensed by their owners on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis.”

    Microsoft still reserves the right whom to grant the license to and ask (reasonable) fees for that.

    ECMA is just a standard. Its not a royalty free / patent free standard. Thats a BIG DIFFERENCE.

  172. Hari said,

    February 24, 2008 at 7:38 am

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    ” non-contributors to GNOME have NO right”

    hmm soot, no right? Really? People should accept without saying anything that somebody want to impose to them?

    We have seen in History where that kind of “thinking” led us…

    To be as insulting as you, are you moron?

  173. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 7:46 am

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    http://eupat.ffii.org/players/microsoft/index.en.html#links

    Asked by CollabNet CTO Brian Behlendorf whether Microsoft will enforce its patents against open source projects, Mundie replied, “Yes, absolutely.” An audience member pointed out that many open source projects aren’t funded and so can’t afford legal representation to rival Microsoft’s. “Oh well,” said Mundie. “Get your money, and let’s go to court.”

    All FOSS users should unite on this stand. We need to stop using mono/novell. M$ is a litigation machine and wont stop at anything. They will enforce their patents and law suite like a crazy manic.

    They are hell bent on destroying Linux.

  174. soot said,

    February 24, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, let’s all fall for Microsoft’s FUD and run around like headless chickens and screeaaaam! Great idea. That will certainly help. You are free to stop using whatever you choose.

  175. Alan McGovern said,

    February 24, 2008 at 8:18 am

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    A FOSS developer cannot in any way whatsoever impose on a user to install their software. That’s lies. If the user chooses to install an application, or a distribution chooses to bundle it, that is because that application is best in class.

    The microsoft terms and conditions on the .NET reference source code:
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/dotnetreferencelicense.mspx

    Look carefully at grant of rights.

    “The General Assembly of Ecma shall not approve recommendations of Standards which are covered by patents when such patents will not be licensed by their owners on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis.”

    Please note the words NON-DISCRIMINATORY. That is pretty unambiguous. Yes, ‘reasonable’ is pretty ambiguous, it can mean anything. It has no legal implications, however non-discriminatory means that if i wanted those patents license at the same ‘reasonable’ price they license to others, they could not say no. There is no room for misinterpretation there.

    Note that (at the very least) Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel all hold patents on the .NET framework. Here is a public and official statement from one of the authors of one of the patents used within the .NET frameowork:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030424174805/http://mailserver.di.unipi.it/pipermail/dotnet-sscli/msg00218.html

    Finally, there’s some info here, but i’m afraid you’ll probably find it highly biased and full of lies:
    http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_Licensing#Patents

  176. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Gravatar

    .NET FRAMEWORK REFERENCE SOURCE CODE != ECMA-334 (C#)

    That is NOT equal to standards ECMA-334 (C#)

    They are providing the license to the source code of .net framework not the technology !!

    Its like sun open solaris/dtrace. You have the source code without paying royalty but you cant copy it or duplicate its functionality without getting a license from them.

    Please show me where they say that they grant the ECMA-334 (C#) under a similar royalty free license.

    Open source != Free(dom) software

    You gave the link without even reading it yourself. Read it again. See the words that I have highlighted.

    “Reference use” means use of the software within your company as a reference, in read only form, for the sole purposes of debugging and maintaining your products to run on a Microsoft Windows operating system product. For clarity, “reference use” does NOT include (a) the right to use the software for purposes of designing, developing, or testing other software, for a non-Windows operating system, that has the same or substantially the same features or functionality as the software, and (b) the right to distribute the software outside of your company.

    2. Grant of Rights

    (A) Copyright Grant- Subject to the terms of this license, the Licensor grants you a non-transferable, non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free copyright license to reproduce the software for reference use.

    M$ is a master of deception and lies. Its Shared Source License SUCKS !!!!

  177. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Gravatar

    ECMA-334 (C#) is a standard.
    ANSI C is a standard.

    .NET is implementation of that standard (C#)
    GCC compiler is a implementation of that standard (C).
    MONO is a implementation of that standard (C#)

    This will make it more clear !

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANSI_C

    Since the legality of C# is strongly controlled by M$ you can see how risky it is to bring MONO in gnome.

    This is what roy has been telling on this website…

  178. Alf said,

    February 24, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Gravatar

    Read the Ratatosk posts at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=594767&page=25

    Interesting reading…

  179. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Gravatar

    soot,

    Are you aware of the relationship between ECMA and Microsoft? How familiar are you with the way ECMA operates? It serves Microsoft as a paying customer in this case. Its goal is just to serve. It’s like escort. For that matter, I have nothing but contempt for ECMA, having followed their deeds for quite some time.

    Alan,

    Please note the words NON-DISCRIMINATORY.

    That can also mean that the patent fee (not free but fee, as well as “freely /available/” being a verbal spin) which Ballmer spoke about 4 days ago will be the same for Oracle and some poor workshop. Again, it’s the problem of making GNU/Linux not free. Don’t let terminology have you deceived.

  180. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Gravatar

    Every MONO developer developing apps for gnome is threatning the Freedom of GNOME enlarge.

    I dont blame them for this. They have been mis-guided by some very selfish people within our community with FUDS and lies. People need to raise their voice against MONO.

    I have tried rasing the same concerns in irc and other places but novell has spread so much FUD that mono & gnome developers are not willing to see the truth and the errors of their way.

    Thanks to this site that those things are coming to light and people are becoming aware of these issues.

    Even non-technical people can be of help many times :) So please dont pass around the quote “write the code or shut up”. It does not help the Free software ecosystem. We are all in the same boat and need to stand together in this fight.

    United we stand, divided we fall.

    Thanks roy for taking up the stand letting people have their part of say – he have been hurt by the same people he is fighting for. I do feel for it :)

  181. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Gravatar

    ECMA is M$ toy.

    Look at how the OOXML is making fun of the ISO standards. Its all money games and the general public is feed the marketing white wash via the media controlled by monopolies.

  182. soot said,

    February 24, 2008 at 10:48 am

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    CoolGuy, you really are the cream on the top. Why don’t you lead us all to a good ole’ witch-burning where we can get rid of all the Mono-Developers as well as the shop-clerk who looked at you in a funny way?

    Much emotion, little sense. Go fight you holy wars alone, we’re NOT in a war here as far as the rest of the Linux world is concerned. You guy have lost any sense of perspective or proportions.

    Neither M$ kill little kittens, nor does Free Software grant help your undying soul in any way.

  183. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2008 at 10:45 am

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    Just to give you an actual idea of what ECMA is all about:

    From:

    http://www.robweir.com/blog/2008/02/fast-track-versus-pas.html

    So you can see what great power Ecma has over JTC1 — they can submit any standard they want for Fast Track, and no one in JTC1 can stop them, or even remove their right to submit Fast Tracks.

    This may explain why Ecma is able to command such high membership fees. A full voting membership in OASIS, which would allow a company to help produce an OASIS Standard for later submission to JTC1 under PAS process, this costs $1,100 for a small company. To join the US NB and be able to lobby for a Fast Track submission from the US, this will cost you $9,500. But to join Ecma as a voting member (what they call an “Ordinary Member”) this will cost you 70,000 Swiss Francs, or $64,000. That is what no-questions-asked Fast Track service is worth. I think that, from Microsoft’s perspective, the extra $63,900 is money well spent. But what about from JTC1’s perspective? They don’t get this extra money. So what’s their excuse for having such permissive Fast Track procedures that give Ecma such control?

    Also:

    http://www.robweir.com/blog/2007/07/stranger-than-fiction.html

    I’ve joked about the Ecma process before, but I never thought I’d see it written out officially like this. Standards are made available “on time”? Minimize the “risk” of changes? I thought the whole purpose of technical review was to find the problems and fix them? As always, the man who pays the piper calls the tune.”

    ECMA is just another hired proxy. To sum up:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/14/ooxml-madness-latest-examples/#comment-5528

    In fact, no, ECMA TC45 is owned by Microsoft since they are co-chairing it. (Jean Paoli and someone else). If you don’t know what to expect from this guy, just read Tim Bray’s XML 10-year anniversary.

    Whenever you hear about Microsoft employees talk about working in tandem with ECMA TC 45 people, going at great length to refer to them as external and independent persons, you really have to make an effort not to laugh hard.

    On the menubar on the right you’ll find the “ECMA” category with hundreds of other examples.

  184. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Gravatar

    Problem is not with MONO developers. But with NOVELL and few other people who are spreading the FUD about how save MONO is and luring the less legally informed developers into the M$ trap – which will hurt the goals of Free Software.

    M$ is seeking to destroy FOSS. Make no mistake.

    You dont use linux so it does not concern you. But it does to a LOT of people who actually use it in their day to day life.

  185. soot said,

    February 24, 2008 at 11:11 am

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    Of course I use Linux but not everyone using Linux is a paranoiac. Some of us do some actual work.

    Apropos ‘FUD about how save MONO is’; go and look up what the acronym ‘FUD’ stands for. You will find out that actually this blog is one of the biggest FUD-producers in the known universe.

  186. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Gravatar

    Problem is not with MONO developers. But with NOVELL and few other people who are spreading the FUD about how save MONO is and luring the less legally informed developers into the M$ trap – which will hurt the goals of Free Software.

    M$ is seeking to destroy FOSS. Make no mistake.

    You dont use linux so it does not concern you. But it DOES to a LOT of people who actually use it in their day to day life. Yes we are emotionally attached to it. Its the same way a person is attached to his own motherland.

    And ofcource I have provided hard facts not just FUDS. You still havent provided any…remmember.

    I am still waiting for the royalty free legal document covering ECMA-334 (C#) standard. Guess what….you cant provide ..because there is none.

  187. soot said,

    February 24, 2008 at 11:16 am

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    “Its the same way a person is attached to his own motherland.”

    Boy, that certainly is some statement.

  188. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2008 at 11:15 am

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    Of course I use Linux but not everyone using Linux is a paranoiac. Some of us do some actual work.

    As I stated before, there’s great appreciation for all the work done on GNOME, Mono included. You contribution as coders is commendable, so please do not perceive this as something personal. What we seek to establishish is a sort of an agreement, a consensus on what including Mono in a pre-made GNU/Linux distributions actually means to users who then make use of Mono obliviously.

    Unless you can immediately reform the USPTO or reform Microsoft (pray that Ballmer will step down or be reallocated like Hilf), then we have to look at the possibilities.

  189. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Gravatar

    Defending something that is right does not make one paranoid :)

  190. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm

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    It ought to be emphasised that Mono developers can do as they wish and even create a Mono-rich distribution. The packaging of GNOME with Mono therein is what’s surprising and it’s worth addressing before it gets more serious, IMHO. It’s all about choice indeed, so it’s a tricky one.

  191. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 12:40 pm

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    Yes please keep mono out of gnome. It can do some serious damage in the long run.

    With rising popularity of linux, M$ might take some drastic action to protect its cashcow in future.

  192. CoolGuy said,

    February 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm

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    I support the suggestion given by Roy.

  193. Slated said,

    February 24, 2008 at 4:40 pm

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    @ Alan McGovern

    If Mono doesn’t infringe patents, how would MS extort money out of users?

    A RAND promise is not a patent grant.

    There are several problems with .NET:

    Patenting technology then issuing a RAND promise is a very weak protection of rights. What criteria exactly is used to define “Reasonable”?
    I see nothing in the link you offered that guarantees this promise can never be revoked
    If Mono is indeed protected by this RAND promise, then why did Microsoft offer exclusive patent protection for Mono to Novell?
    Therefore aren’t Microsoft basically just planting their IP in GNU/Linux, so they can substantiate “infringement” claims later on down the line, for distros not signed up to their protection racket? IOW they have no intention of keeping their promise, and will redefine “Reasonable” to suit their malicious purposes
    Additionally, introducing a primarily Windows-oriented development framework to GNU/Linux also brings with it Windows-style development methodologies. Do we really want GNU/Linux to become the bloated; insecure; unstable mess of spaghetti code that is Windows?
    Why promote the enemy’s technology over others? Make no mistake about it, MS is our self-declared enemy. AFAIAC that is nothing more than betrayal

    Microsoft is a vicious and criminal corporation, that seeks to destroy or consume everything else to protect its monopoly. Why the Hell would anyone want to help them by spreading the disease of its technology into Free Software?

  194. Slated said,

    February 24, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Here’s the full extent of Mono infestation in Fedora 8, AFAICT:

    avahi-sharp
    avahi-ui-sharp
    banshee
    beagle
    beagle-evolution
    beagle-gui
    blam
    bless
    boo
    bytefx-data-mysql
    cowbell
    daap-sharp
    db4o
    dbus-sharp
    drapes
    evolution-sharp
    f-spot
    gecko-sharp2
    gmime-sharp
    gnome-sharp
    graphviz-sharp
    gsf-sharp
    gtk-sharp
    gtk-sharp2
    gtk-sharp-gapi
    gtksourceview-sharp
    ibm-data-db2
    ice-csharp
    ikvm
    kerry
    lat
    mod_mono
    mono-core
    mono-data
    mono-data-firebird
    mono-data-oracle
    mono-data-postgresql
    mono-data-sqlite
    mono-data-sybase
    mono-debugger
    monodevelop
    monodoc
    mono-extras
    mono-jscript
    mono-locale-extras
    mono-nunit
    mono-web
    mono-winforms
    muine
    nant
    njb-sharp
    tomboy
    xsp

    Not quite as appalling as Ubuntu, but then many of the Mono packages listed for Ubuntu have actually been designated non-Free (despite their GPL status) by Fedora, and moved out of the US to the Livna repo instead (e.g. autopano-sift). If I had included third-party repos then the list would probably have been at least as big as Ubuntu’s.

    We live in dangerous times.

  195. soot said,

    February 24, 2008 at 4:54 pm

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    Oh boy, tell that to people who live in regions where civil wars rage… You really got big worries.

  196. Slated said,

    February 24, 2008 at 7:17 pm

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    @soot

    Right, so I suppose we’re just supposed to forget about issues in the West, because there are wars in other countries.

    Idiot.

  197. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 24, 2008 at 9:27 pm

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    See this comment from 5 minutes ago.

    “Civil wars” is a tactic of diversion.

  198. Mark Fink said,

    February 24, 2008 at 10:27 pm

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    Looks like I missed out on the fun.

    I just finished getting XFCE installed, no more GNOME or MONO poison on my system anymore.

    These MONO trolls are getting becoming rabid, you must be getting to them Roy ;)

    Pretty soon they’ll all be crying home to momma cuz they won’t have a job. Oh well too bad for them, they slept with the enemy and now they have to pay the piper.

  199. CoolGuy said,

    February 25, 2008 at 12:16 am

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    @soot – I am waiting for you to provide us the facts (that M$ has granted the ECMA-334 (C#) under a patent free license). I want cold hard irrefutable facts.

    Till then all your words are just moot. Come back when you have them.

  200. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 25, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Gravatar

    I received the following E-mail 5 hours ago (sender shall remain anonymous):


    Here’s one of the licensing issues at the heart of the mono problem. I have not added my comments yet to the blog and usually read just the articles.

    Username “CoolGuy” wrote this:

    Dan O’Brian – the ball is in your court. Show me where
    it says the M$ C# implementation is available under
    “patent/royalty free” to everyone and M$ wont sue or ask
    for licensing fees or hold hostage mono developers.

    The first few years of the mono project, I used to pose that question to Slashdot when there were mono articles, and got attacked in about the same way. However, none of them were ever able to provide an answer.

  201. DR said,

    February 26, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Gravatar

    You guys are so over the top with the paranoia…

    The vast majority of the mono ‘infestation’ in both Fedora and Ubuntu you’ve listed is programs and libraries for developing mono apps.

    I doubt if there are more than 2 or 3 of those programs that are installed by default, and as has already mentioned, Tomboy is the only one that is a part of the Gnome release. Tomboy is a cool and innovative program, and we need apps like that to attract people to linux and differentiate from Windows and Mac. If somebody writes a better or even equivalent ‘Tomboy’ without mono, it will go. If you don’t want it, uninstall it.

    Instead of wasting hours upon hours of this hand-wringing and worrying and complaining about a few developers who happen to like developing in Mono, do something productive. Write a better Tomboy! Improve some aspect of developing with Python/Java/whatever floats your boat.

    Bitching about Miguel de Icaza or Jeff Waugh is pointless too. You mightn’t like what Icaza is doing now, but he founded Gnome, he wrote huge chunks of the initial GTK and Gnome libraries — QED he has already contributed immeasurably more to FOSS than any of you guys have. AFAIK Waugh is not pro-mono.

    Just don’t use Mono, and don’t worry about it. If somebody tries to get Mono or some mono library accepted as a core dependency, fight then if you really feel that strongly about it. Until then there are plenty of things more threatening to free software.

    Linux distros usually make it easy to install a variety of codecs (mp3, mp4, quicktime, flash, xvid, etc, etc, ad infinitum). Those things are definately patent-encumbered, and Vorbis in all probability is too. Binary drivers in the kernel. Wine and samba. Various other submarine patents that linux and other foss is almost certainly infringing. DVD playback and authoring. Binary firmware loaded to hardware in otherwise ‘Free’ drivers. The list goes on forever — we live in a world of ‘potential’ IP problems, but you can’t worry all about them until they become real, or free software will go nowhere.

    Worry about something real (ie. not mono, which is currently NOT in any way a core part of gnome, and is also NOT anything other than a ‘potential’ ip problem just like all the others I’ve listed.

    Given that Microsoft has AFAIK never in the past used their IP portfolio for anything but FUD (if they seriously wanted to litigate they could undoubtedly have gone after Samba, Wine, or anyone who has reverse engineered Microsoft Codecs), the real danger at present with Mono is in terms of anti-linux FUD rather than litigation. And in that respect you are helping Microsoft immeasurably.

  202. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 27, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Gravatar

    It is not just the issue of software patents. With Mono being adopted, regardless of the effect on Linux, Microsoft earns a great deal. See the following post:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/02/22/net-in-gnulinux/

  203. Logan said,

    March 10, 2008 at 3:58 am

    Gravatar

    “Tomboy is a cool and innovative program, and we need apps like that to attract people to linux and differentiate from Windows and Mac.”

    Tomboy is neither cool nor innovative. And if you think that Tomboy is kind of program that will make user decide to use Linux instead of Windows or MacOS then you’re dumb. Very dumb.

    “If somebody writes a better or even equivalent ‘Tomboy’ without mono, it will go. If you don’t want it, uninstall it.”

    “Write a better Tomboy! Improve some aspect of developing with Python/Java/whatever floats your boat.”

    The old “if you can’t write a replacement in another language, shut up” rhetoric.

    See the following for an answer
    http://beranger.org/index.php?page=diary&2008/02/25/08/52/11-it-s-tiresome-to-stick-to-a-few-

    “Given that Microsoft has AFAIK never in the past used their IP portfolio for anything but FUD (if they seriously wanted to litigate they could undoubtedly have gone after Samba, Wine, or anyone who has reverse engineered Microsoft Codecs), the real danger at present with Mono is in terms of anti-linux FUD rather than litigation. And in that respect you are helping Microsoft immeasurably.”

    This completely idiotic rhetoric is also old and tiresome.
    Reverse engineering is legal. Mono is not reverse engineered.
    Samba, WINE are not the same thing as Mono.
    Microsoft does not need to sue. They only need to BLACKMAIL (threaten to sue). Examples: NOvell; Linspire; Xandros; and others.

    “Linux distros usually make it easy to install a variety of codecs (mp3, mp4, quicktime, flash, xvid, etc, etc, ad infinitum).”

    More idiotic rambling. So these “mp3, mp4, quicktime, flash, xvid” are included by default in any major distro? Flash is hilarious. So Adobe is pirating itself? So you’re comparing Mono with pirating software and that is a point in your favor? And what the hell binary drivers have to do with patent infringement? You’re really dumb.

    Informing the public about the risks posed by adopting Microsoft technology in the software that we use IS NOT FUD. Pretend that no danger exist is DUMB. And worse, helps Microsoft achieve exactly what they want.

    Or perhaps is an illusion the fact that Novell and Miguel de Icaza saying that only safe way to use Moonlight is to download it from Novell because they have patent protection. Is this concrete enough for you?

    So, what exactly are you so afraid about that you don’t want us talking about Mono?

  204. RudieD said,

    March 10, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Gravatar

    I just can’t understand the reason for running your app in another app (Mono/Net).
    I much rather like the idea of Lazarus (like Delphi) where you write your code and at compilation time can decide what widget set to bind to (gtk+/Qt/Carbon/Win).
    It’s so much faster and less resource hungry and easy to maintain.

  205. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 10, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Gravatar

    Pretend that no danger exist is DUMB. And worse, helps Microsoft achieve exactly what they want.

    Case of point (from the horse’s own mouth):

    “I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”

    Robert Scoble, former Microsoft evangelist

  206. Logan said,

    March 14, 2008 at 5:44 am

    Gravatar

    An ironic and hilarious comment by Jakub Steiner:

    “At Novell, we take everything from Redmond as the Holy Grail.”

    from here: http://jimmac.musichall.cz/log/?p=419

  207. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 14, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Gravatar

    Heh. Watch the comments:

    “Do I sense some irony here?”

    “Ohhh it smells like rebellion since Miguel has done his coming-out …”

  208. Sean said,

    April 16, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Gravatar

    I threw Windows away a little over a year ago and have fallen in love with Linux and FOSS. Now all my systems are running Ubuntu/Fedora, and even my mother’s and girlfriend’s computers are running Linux distros that I suggested.

    I’m a programmer, and while I think I understand the fear of using technologies pioneered by Microsoft in GNOME, I’m not sure utterly refusing C#, the .NET Framework, and Mono is really the right answer.

    For one thing, C# is a great, fast, and very easy to use language. I’m already developing several projects using C# for Linux and it’s simply a wonderful development tool! (I despise Java, which by the way is considerably much more proprietary than C#.)

    After moving to Linux, I was extremely frustrated with the lack of a stable and powerful IDE. I’m currently working on a bigger project of mine with nothing more than terminals and text editors (make FTW), but other hobby projects are a pain to play with without an IDE. Eclipse was slow, unwieldy, and the CDT mangled my C++. Anjuta to this day crashes every 10 minutes. Now I use MonoDevelop and I love it.

    As others have already said, create worthwhile replacements and I’ll consider joining the fight against Microsoft/Novell/Mono.

    What I don’t understand is why a similar high level framework hasn’t been developed for Linux. The C# language doesn’t even have to be used, maybe something completely new. I’ve seen and tried Vala, but it lacks a large library (when compared to Java/.NET) and binding it to common libraries like Gtk+, etc., is not always straight forward.

    I find the same issue with Digital Mar’s D, which I find extremely cool but still too hard to work with since the Phobos library is severely lacking and no IDE offers good support for it.

    Simply stated, Mono brings a powerful and easy to use development platform to Mac OS and Unix. It’s just unfortunate that the technology is based in Microsoft ideas.

  209. Alex said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Gravatar

    If anything, Mono’s purpose is to help people move AWAY from MS…

    As someone who had to migrate apps off Windows Server,
    I know from experience that Mono can save tons of time rewriting
    everything in Java etc.

  210. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Gravatar

    Had that been the sole use of Mono (like Mainsoft, maybe even DotGNU), it would not be so problematic. However, in practice, the desktop seems to be *built* using Mono. That’s an embrace, not a migration.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/02/01/gnome_to_be_based/ ( Gnome to be based on .NET – de Icaza )

  211. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 2:45 am

    Gravatar

    Saying that the “purpose is to help people move AWAY from MS” is extraordinary naive, since they will “move away” by bringing poisonous Microsoft IP and the Windows development paradigm with them, essentially mutating GNU/Linux into just another version of Windows (probably complete with all its associated bugs, bloat and insecurity).

    The only people this “helps” is Microsoft … to further spread the disease of their Intellectual Monopoly and spaghetti-code designs.

    Eugh! No thanks.

  212. borgermaster said,

    June 22, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Gravatar

    I think the purpose of any piece of free software is to give people the ability to do whatever they WANT. Forbidding Linux users to use .NET apps – or classic win32-apps – by not giving them the tools they would need to run them (Mono; WINE) – that’s not freedom IMHO.

  213. borgermaster said,

    June 22, 2008 at 3:15 am

    Gravatar

    (continued) Freedom is about choice. Was you people here are effectively doing is telling us ‘no, you don’t have a choice, but it’s better for you that I make that decision for you; trust me’.

    Read Orwell’s Animal Farm…

  214. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 3:26 am

    Gravatar

    Freedom, in this context, is not hinged just on choice. This is becoming a little philosophical but with this definition in mind you can also say that it was Novell’s /choice/ to sign an exclusionary patent deal with Microsoft (against the GPL).

  215. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Gravatar

    @borgermaster

    Here we go again … someone else who thinks changing the distribution method is somehow “forbidding” use.

    That’s a false dichotomy, since users may independently obtain Mono and it’s dependants from elsewhere, without Canonical (or any other distribution) poisoning that distribution by default.

    What about those who want the choice of not having their software tainted by Microsoft’s “IP” out the box … don’t they have a choice?

  216. borgermaster said,

    June 22, 2008 at 5:08 am

    Gravatar

    No, you are actually confusing something here.

    I talk about the freedom to use whatever software I want. You are talking about the freedom of LIMITING what software you allow yourself to use out of higher principle. The freedom to limit ones own freedom is freedom, too, yes. But the freedom to limit OTHER people’s freedom is tyranny. (I’m exaggerating a little in order to make my point clear, of course.)

    You are trying to obey a higher principle of freedom. But the principle of freedom is not immediate freedom of choice but a speculation on how free choice now MIGHT limit free choice in the future.

    Here, again, I demand the freedom to agree or disagreewith your fears for the future, i.e. with your interpretation of IP-threats in Mono. If you restrict anyone’s freedom of software choice because of your interpretation of IP threats you negate those people’s freedom of having their own views about it.

    Essentially, you are not talking about giving people choice but about making the right choices for them, so they can have choice in the future.

    This is a concept of freedom that leads to tyranny, as we know from history.

    In a political context, people don’t VOTE for that kind of choice anymore; political parties who stand for ‘higher wisdom’ of that kind have become irrelevant (thank god). In the Linux context your concept of freedom just doesn’t stand a chance either – because people vote against it by choosing distributions which give them the broadest choice of software, not the ones that willfully limit this choice (like Gnusense or Gobuntu).

    Don’t call it a scandal that the big distributions don’t follow your very narrow (and dangerous) interpretation of ‘freedom’ – because they give the people what the people want.

  217. borgermaster said,

    June 22, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Gravatar

    About the point ‘they can install it from other sources if they want’; you can always turn that around and say ‘they can not use or uninstall what they don’t want’, so this is a moot point.

  218. borgermaster said,

    June 22, 2008 at 5:27 am

    Gravatar

    One more thing: Your argument that the presence of packages with possible IP-problems (as per your interpretation) would somehow ‘contaminate’ or even ‘poison’ the rest of the packages present on your Linux installation; maybe even the Kernel, is absolute nonsense. This is an analogy from medicine that just doesn’t work. IP-threats don’t magically transgress from package to package (no, your computer is no organism and not prone to illnesses). As long as there is no INTENDED dependency among them.

    If you experience an UNINTENDED dependency between Mono-packages and the Kernel or your window manager, please file a bug report. And that’s all there really is to it.

  219. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Gravatar

    @borgermaster

    “I talk about the freedom to use whatever software I want.”

    Canonical (note: Canonical … not me, since I have no special powers over Canonical) would not be “limiting” your choice to use encumbered software merely by changing the distribution method. You still ave access to that software … just not from Canonical.

    “You are talking about the freedom of LIMITING what software you allow yourself to use”

    That’s a very warped way of describing that I make a choice to not use certain software. You might as well say that you are “limiting” your own Freedom by allowing yourself to be restricted by Microsoft’s “IP”.

    “out of higher principle.”

    I take it that you don’t believe in principles then. Well I am hardly responsible for your lack of morality, am I?

    “the freedom to limit OTHER people’s freedom is tyranny.”

    1. I am neither allowing nor disallowing anything. I have no power to do that. I am merely advocating for the principles of software that is both Free and not patent encumbered.

    2. “OTHER people’s freedom” is not being “limited” by merely changing the distribution method. However the Freedom of those who do not wish to be tainted by encumbered software by default (out-the-box) would be protected.

    Also, I find it sickening that you could associate the principles of Freedom with “tyranny”.

    “You are trying to obey a higher principle of freedom. But the principle of freedom is not immediate freedom of choice but a speculation on how free choice now MIGHT limit free choice in the future.”

    What an asinine observation. That’s like saying that locking one’s front door against the possibility of intruders is just “paranoia”. I’d much rather that my door was locked, thanks. I’d also be concerned if the locksmith went around advising his other customers to keep their doors unlocked, prompting me to go around advising them to ignore such dangerous advice.

    Essentially it is that concern that motivates me to campaign against this kind of poisoning of Free Software. If people want to independently poison themselves, well then so be it, but for a supposedly Free Software distribution vendor to facilitate that by actually providing the poison, then even promoting its use, is a grossly unacceptable violation of the principles of Free Software (not to mention common sense).

    One expects as much from vendors like Microsoft, who are after all committed to closed-sources and Intellectual Monopoly … but not from Free Software distributors.

    “Here, again, I demand the freedom to agree or disagree with your fears for the future”

    Go right ahead and disagree. I won’t stop you. I’m not trying to silence you … are you trying to silence me?

    “If you restrict anyone’s freedom”

    Once again, and I hope this will eventually penetrate your thick skull, I am not “restricting” anything. I am merely campaigning. I have no power to force you to do anything. And even if Canonical was to heed my concerns and stop distributing Mono, it would still be available for users to download elsewhere. I’m quite sure de Icaza would make sure of that.

    “because of your interpretation of IP threats”

    I’m not “interpreting” anything. The .NET framework and all it encompasses is Microsoft’s Intellectual “Property” (including derivative works such as Mono and DotGNU). The fact that some parts of that framework is supposedly “safe” because it is issued under ECMA RAND terms, is something I find less than comforting, especially in light of Groklaw’s recent exposure of Moonlight.

    “you negate those people’s freedom of having their own views about it.”

    You, and they, may have any “views” they wish. I’ve never suggested otherwise. I find it very tasteless of you to continuously paint me as some kind of dictator. On the contrary, it is my aim to protect the Freedom of Free Software and those who use it … not destroy it like you seem determined to do.

    “Essentially, you are not talking about giving people choice but about making the right choices for them”

    No, I have no power to make choices for others, but I do have the Freedom of speech that enables me to advise them to not throw away their Freedom by submitting to the will of the Intellectual Monopolists. Would you deny me that Freedom of speech?

    “This is a concept of freedom that leads to tyranny, as we know from history.”

    Again you insinuate that advocating Freedom is “tyranny”. I find your ideals utterly repulsive.

    “In a political context, people don’t VOTE for that kind of choice anymore; political parties who stand for ‘higher wisdom’ of that kind have become irrelevant (thank god).”

    Yes, I think I’m beginning to understand that you are utterly devoid of any principles, because you would deny me the right to advocate Freedom, which (in your twisted opinion), is not actually “Freedom” at all, but is simply “tyrannical oppression” against exploitation, and you demand the “right” to not only be exploited yourself, but to promote; encourage and facilitate that exploitation. Fighting exploitation is wrong, is it?

    “In the Linux context”

    I think you mean “GNU/Linux”, unless you are specifically referring to that single component called the kernel.

    “your concept of freedom just doesn’t stand a chance either”

    Not with anti-Freedom fanatics like you, certainly.

    “because people vote against it by choosing distributions”

    Let them. I have no interest in irrelevant concepts like “popularity”. Freedom is a principle, not a popularity contest.

    “which give them the broadest choice of software”

    Well in fact Microsoft Windows offers people the “broadest choice of software”, so perhaps you should advocate for Windows instead, since you seem to be more interested in your “freedom” to choose proprietary software, than your actual liberty.

    “not the ones that willfully limit this choice (like Gnusense or Gobuntu).”

    Oh please don’t feel obliged to have your “choice” limited by such “evil” things as Free Software. No, you’re absolutely right … proprietary software is best. Go use it. Please.

    “your very narrow (and dangerous) interpretation of ‘freedom’”

    I find your obviously bigoted contempt of Free Software much more dangerous, since you would happily give away (not just your own) but everyone’s liberty to the Intellectual Monopolists.

    Well please feel “free” to make yourself a slave, just don’t take everyone else down with you.

    “because they give the people what the people want.”

    They give the people slavery, and you support it.

    “About the point ‘they can install it from other sources if they want’; you can always turn that around and say ‘they can not use or uninstall what they don’t want’, so this is a moot point.”

    It’s not “moot” at all, in fact it is the crucial and central issue (that you seem to have missed time and again).

    You might as well argue that it’s OK to send people viruses, because they can always uninstall them afterwards.

    I’d rather be virus-free, if it’s all the same to you.

  220. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 6:28 am

    Gravatar

    @borgermaster

    “One more thing: Your argument that the presence of packages with possible IP-problems (as per your interpretation) would somehow ‘contaminate’ or even ‘poison’ the rest of the packages present on your Linux installation; maybe even the Kernel, is absolute nonsense.”

    You seem to be pulling in arguments from unrelated threads (Fluendo’s MP3 gstreamer plugins), since I have said no such thing about Mono.

    The mere presence of Mono on my system obligates me to the terms of Microsoft’s Intellectual Monopoly (whatever those terms might be, now or in the future), irrespective of whether it links to other packages.

    The simple fact is that I do not want Mono, or any other Microsoft Intellectual Monopoly, tainting my system (however briefly) … ever … and I will advise others to avoid it too (as is my right to freedom of speech). You bitching about my opinions will not change that, regardless of how antithetical they are to your own misguided and immoral ideologies.

  221. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Gravatar

    borgermaster,

    I talk about the freedom to use whatever software I want.

    Point made. In that sense, you support hybridisation, unless I misinterpret.

    I attended a talk from Stallman last month and he spoke eloquently about the confusion between freedom and convenience, giving as an example the case where people say “I am FREE to do X and Y.”

    I suggest you watch his good talk and return to this conversation.

  222. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Gravatar

    [quote]
    “This oft-overlooked distinction is crucial. Freedom is being able to make decisions that affect mainly you. Power is being able to make decisions that affect others more than you. If we confuse power with freedom, we will fail to uphold real freedom.” ~ Richard Stallman
    [/quote]

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/freedom-or-power.html

    Forcing all users of a Free Software distribution to become, however briefly, obligated by the terms of non-Free or encumbered software, is an abuse of power.

    Choosing to not distribute non-Free or encumbered software does not limit users choices, since such software may still be obtained from elsewhere, but it does protect the Freedom of those who use that Free Software distribution, who do not wish to be obligated by the terms of such software.

  223. borgermaster said,

    June 22, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Gravatar

    /not answering rants

    The point remains, you are standing pretty alone with your interpretation that Mono and the GPL are somehow incompatible; or even that Mono somehow lessens your ‘freedom’. This is also part of freedom; we disagree about what free software is and we all can live by our own interpretation of free software.

    People like you can always use Gnusense, Gubuntu or whatever you deem ‘free’ enough. The majority of users who, like me, do NOT agree with you can use the big distributions.

    The freedom is there, in the freedom of choice between Gnusense and Ubuntu.

    Asking big distributions to go along with your minority-interpretation of the software freedom means asking to limit freedom of choice.

  224. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Gravatar

    The freedom is there, in the freedom of choice between Gnusense and Ubuntu.

    That’s freedom of choice as in “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC”.

  225. casualvisitor said,

    June 22, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Gravatar

    No, actually I think that is freedom of choice as in “Obama or McCain”.

    I certainly wouldn’t want to use a distro that complies with you guys’ concept of ‘free’.

  226. Shane Coyle said,

    June 22, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Gravatar

    So, does Mono have any non-free code in it, or proprietary blob or anything like that?

    My take is, according to statements in the past about patents by Microsoft, event the frickin Linux Kernel (which most of us here are using in some flavor or other) apparently has a potential MS patent infringement issue (42 of them, they say).

    As has been said by many before, it is difficult to write any software that isn’t these days with all the trivial patents that are erroneously granted.

    Basically, the ‘contamination’ is here and it’s pervasive. That IP Innovations suit is still pending against Red Hat and I presume Novell, and will affect a shitload of us using “Multiple Workspaces”.

    Software Patents are invalid, that is the problem. Getting everyone to understand, that is the solution.

  227. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Gravatar

    @borgermaster

    “/not answering rants”

    Can’t or won’t?

    I think I’m entitled to rant, seeing as you attempted to marginalise me as some kind of loony dictator, for doing nothing more sinister than advocating Free Software.

    And yet apparently you see nothing very sinister about Intellectual Monopolists like Microsoft.

    “The point remains, you are standing pretty alone”

    Again you attempt to marginalise me as a fringe fanatic.

    Even if that were true, and you have absolutely no way of quantifying your claim, then so be it. I have repeatedly stated that I have zero interest in popularity or market share, I only care about Freedom.

    “with your interpretation that Mono and the GPL are somehow incompatible”

    That is a lie, I have never made such a claim.

    “or even that Mono somehow lessens your ‘freedom’.”

    Mono is Free Software (GPL) that contains “IP” from a company with a vicious and proven anti-FOSS agenda (“Linux is a cancer”; “Linux infringes 235 Microsoft patents”; “every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability”; “Red Hat customers owe us money”). I do not want technology from such a company on my systems. Period.

    I cannot say with any certainty exactly what Microsoft’s intentions are (re: “covenants”, “promises”, “cross licensing”, etc.), but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that those intentions are probably not good.

    In light of this, I am further concerned that others who use Free Software may also be in danger, if they are exposed to Microsoft’s “IP”, and I advocate avoiding that software at all costs.

    When I discover that a supposedly Free Software distribution vendor is actually distributing such software, I am naturally inclined to complain about it, and campaign for them to reconsider the possible consequences of such actions.

    But again, even assuming that Canonical were to listen to my complaints, the worst “loss” you (as a fan of Microsoft’s Intellectual Monopoly) would “suffer”, would be the mild inconvenience of having to acquire this poisonous software from an alternative source (i.e. upstream). Apparently this inconvenience is too much for you to bear, so you advocate encumbering all Free Software users’ GNU/Linux experiences with Microsoft’s Poisonware, just to satisfy your own laziness.

    “This is also part of freedom; we disagree about what free software is”

    Well unless you disagree with the GPL exactly as it is written, I don’t see how you could “disagree” with my understanding of Free Software.

    “and we all can live by our own interpretation of free software.”

    There is only one “interpretation”, and that is the wording of the license as written.

    “People like you”

    Like me?

    Another attempt at marginalisation. Let me return the compliment.

    People like you should just switch (back) to Windows and be done with it, since you are obviously so in love with the slavery of proprietary or encumbered software that you would not only gleefully surrender your own (and everyone else’s) liberty to use it, but you would even spend your time condemning Free Software advocacy as “tyranny”, whilst painting those who use such software as fringe fanatics.

    So please, just go back to Windows, and “enjoy” your slavery.

    “can always use Gnusense, Gubuntu”

    That’s “gNewSense” and “Gobuntu”.

    How you can feel qualified to dismiss these distributions in such an out-of-hand fashion, when you don’t even know what they’re called, I have no idea.

    And as for Gobuntu, I’m afraid Ubuntu users no longer have that choice, since Canonical have dumped that distribution due to a lack of commitment from the vendor to the promised “rigorous approach” to the principles of Freedom.

    “or whatever you deem ‘free’ enough.”

    “Free enough” is, not being obligated to those who wish to exploit that Freedom and destroy it.

    “The majority of users”

    Again, another unquantifiable claim.

    At best, you could try to claim that not caring about Freedom is a typical Ubuntu user’s trait, that Ubuntu is at position “x” in the Distrowatch charts, and that therefore “y” percentage of Free Software users don’t actually care about the Freedom of that Free Software.

    However that overlooks the probability that such users are recent converts to GNU/Linux, know and understand nothing about the principles of Free Software, know and understand little about Microsoft’s vicious political agenda against Free Software, and therefore are not really in a position to comment one way or another, until such times as they become better informed.

    I suggest that you are such a person. I further contend that if most of the other users you allude to were more aware of the dangers, that they would in fact “care”.

    There is little I can do about your bigotry, but hopefully there may be something I can do about your ignorance, and that of other (new) GNU/Linux users (mainly Ubuntu users, from what I can tell).

    “who, like me, do NOT agree with you”

    You presume to know what every other Free Software user in the world believes or does not believe?

    How arrogant.

    “The freedom is there, in the freedom of choice between Gnusense and Ubuntu.”

    That’s “gNewSense“.

    And what about protecting the Freedom of those too ignorant to know the dangers?

    What about protecting the Freedom of those who simply do not wish to even receive Microsoft’s Poisonware … at all … not just “uninstall it”, but to not have any part in it, ever?

    A gNewSense user still has the Freedom to taint his own system with non-Free or encumbered software, if that is what he wishes, but Ubuntu users have no choice but to accept such software, even those hapless noobs who don’t know any better.

    Who’s going to look out for their better interests? Who is going to protect their Freedom?

    “Asking big distributions to go along with your minority-interpretation of the software freedom means asking to limit freedom of choice.”

    Again, another unquantifiable assumption (“minority-interpretation”), that attempts to marginalise me as a fringe fanatic, whilst conveniently ignoring your own fanaticism for Microsoft’s Poisonware.

    And once again, you associate Freedom with “limiting”. Freedom is not an imposition (to anyone except those who seek to take it away from you), it is your fundamental right.

  228. holter said,

    June 22, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Gravatar

    If the kernel stands just as much chance of copyright infringement as Mono, then all this discussion is completely un-necessary!

    I also don’t udnerstand how Roy can at the same time yell against ‘unfree’ software and then seems to think Linux-distros with support for unfree codecs like MPEG, WMV and Flash are something good.

  229. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s not just software patents when it comes to Mono. Don’t forget the point that was made here before.

    GNU/Linux has the lead in several important areas. It has an edge because of control, owing to its strengths; playing with Mono is allowing FOSS to return to reactionary development a la Stallman’s early daze (mimicking UNIX).

  230. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Gravatar

    @Shane Coyle

    “So, does Mono have any non-free code in it, or proprietary blob or anything like that?”

    According to the Mono Project, they promise due diligence in ensuring no such violations (with non ECMA RAND covered code) occur:

    [quote]
    Mono’s strategy for dealing with any potential issues that might arise with ASP.NET, ADO.NET or Windows.Forms is: (1) work around the patent by using a different implementation technique that retains the API, but changes the mechanism; if that is not possible, we would (2) remove the pieces of code that were covered by those patents, and also (3) find prior art that would render the patent useless.
    [/quote]

    My concern is not so much that non ECMA RAND covered .NET might slip into Mono, but more that the RAND itself is a meaningless promise granted by a corporation with a proven anti-FOSS agenda.

    A RAND covenant is not a patent grant, it is just a “promise”. How far do you trust Microsoft’s “promises”? Think about who these people are, are what their goals are.

    “My take is, according to statements in the past about patents by Microsoft, event the frickin Linux Kernel (which most of us here are using in some flavor or other) apparently has a potential MS patent infringement issue (42 of them, they say).”

    Well if Ballmer’s FUD is actually to be believed, then by all means lets get rid of that crud from the kernel. It’s not the only such issue with the kernel BTW; see linux-libre for more information.

    “As has been said by many before, it is difficult to write any software that isn’t these days with all the trivial patents that are erroneously granted.”

    Oh yes, and Stallman fully recognises that too, but this particular case is not so much about the patent, as the patent holder.

    The entire premise of the RAND is trust, and I simply do not trust Microsoft. Period.

    Do you?

    And even if I “trusted” them per se, I still wouldn’t want such a morally reprehensible company’s technology in Free Software, since I wouldn’t want such a company to benefit from our adoption of it. Given the litany of immoral (and even illegal) behaviour fully documented against Microsoft (here and elsewhere), they do not deserve our consideration, or indeed anything at all, beyond chapter 11 bankruptcy and imprisonment.

    “Basically, the ‘contamination’ is here and it’s pervasive. That IP Innovations suit is still pending against Red Hat and I presume Novell, and will affect a shitload of us using “Multiple Workspaces”.”

    Yes, and that’s just one attack vector, from a Microsoft shell company (ex-Softies). Why any Free Software user would voluntarily invite such attack vectors into GNU/Linux, I cannot possibly imagine, especially when it can only benefit the self-announced enemy of Free Software.

    “Software Patents are invalid”

    Yes, I agree. Unfortunately the law does not (in America at least, and I believe in certain other countries too now). Also, thanks to the relentless lobbying of Intellectual Monopolists, and certain clandestine global “deals” like the secret ACTA proposal, there may soon be no safe place left anywhere in the world, to escape the greed and malice of the Intellectual Monopolists. You and I may disagree with the law, but how do we retain our liberty in a dystopian future, when such laws are firmly set against us?

    “that is the problem. Getting everyone to understand, that is the solution.”

    Unfortunately those who most need to understand, are those who already understand too well, but simply don’t care. It is those who make law, ostensibly by the will of the people, but actually by the will of malevolent and greedy Intellectual Monopolists, who would need to “understand”, but all such people understand is the soft touch of dollar bills greasing their palms. Unless this corrupt power can be ripped from such corporations and their political lackeys, common sense and the will of the people will never prevail.

  231. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Argh! Can someone fix the all bold in that previous post?

    Thanks.

  232. holter said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Gravatar

    So we agree that it doesn’t make much sense to worry about the IP problem. When M$ or anyone decides its Armageddon day we’ll see fight over the kernel as well and desktop gimmicks will be the last thing we’ll worry about.

    But about ‘reactionary devolopment’: That is a thing we have to worry about with all abstract and scripting languages – also with java and python. All the worries you describe in your mono article just as well hit java and python. At least the Mono-development ide (forgot the name) is reportedly good for creative coding, no?

  233. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Gravatar

    @ Slated: Done.

    @ holter: I think of reactionary development not just in purely technical terms . I think also of things like DRM, OOXML, XPS, XAML etc. Some are tied to the framework/P/L.

  234. holter said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Gravatar

    What has DRM to do with a programming language??? Or a document format??? I really thinck you are very confused about this.

  235. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Gravatar

    No, I am not confused. :-) See the article we are posting these comments on (the original topic).

  236. holter said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Gravatar

    Do you need videostreams or Word-Documents to be able to write in mono?

  237. Shane Coyle said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Gravatar

    I just am saying that we don’t need to watch the back door, they’re here already, with or without Mono. Now, whether you want to play in a baited field, I understand that argument as well.

    And, in the U.S., there is some argument as to whether these spurious software and method patents are going to hold up to scrutiny when challenged.

    (Link is so precious because it has MS’ attorney arguing against software patentability)

  238. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Gravatar

    @Shane

    LOL! Good link.

    Here’s another one for the bookmarks:

    [quote]
    Microsoft claims the settlement vindicates its argument that Internet Explorer is a generic term and cannot be trademarked.
    [/quote]

    Good to know that I can fork Firefox and just call it “Internet Explorer”.

    Gee, thanks Microsoft.

  239. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Heh. I was trying to find that link/story a while ago. Thanks for that, Shane. Bookmarked.

  240. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Gravatar

    @holter

    Ref: DRM

    Yes, at the end of the day C# is just a programming language, and Mono is just another (subset) implementation of the .NET framework (patent encumbered or otherwise), but Mono brings more than just a language to GNU/Linux. It also potentially brings the Windows development paradigm; Windows developers; and supporting Windows technology.

    I worry that we might eventually start to see pre-installed “Linux” distros on OEM machines that are more like Windows than GNU/Linux, both in terms of license restrictions and restrictive technology.

    How long before we see OEMs implement restrictions similar to Windows “Protected Media Path” and “WGA”? How long before we find certain OEM distros prevent ripping DVDs and CDs?

    We’re already (soon) seeing OEM’s shipping “Free” Software encumbered by “officially licensed” codecs, in the form of Fluendo on Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

    What next?

    Now certainly such measures could be implemented using any programming language, but Mono brings a certain unhealthy culture to Free Software that might threaten that Freedom (well apart from the contentious patent issue). And by “unhealthy” I mean less respect for Freedom, and more respect for Intellectual Monopolies (the Windows mindset).

    And even there, patents can be used in and of themselves to coerce certain technical limitations.

    Once we give the Intellectual Monopolists an inch, they’ll grab a mile, then keep grabbing. Patent encumbered Windows-oriented technologies like Mono only encourage and accelerate that behaviour.

    IMHO.

  241. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Gravatar

    I have just published this post, which I believe will have a high impact

    Microsoft would be very much interested in two things with Novell: polluting/diluting the Linux brand and message (Microsoft could also have a dent in the Linux market).

    This was said in 2006, just before the deal with Microsoft got signed.

  242. casualvisitor said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Gravatar

    @Slated: GNU software pre-installed on an OEM machine remains GNU software, whether you personally like the distribution or not.

    “I worry that we might eventually start to see pre-installed “Linux” distros on OEM machines that are more like Windows than GNU/Linux, both in terms of license restrictions and restrictive technology.”

    This is precisely what the GPL, even v2, yes, even the LGPL protect you from. You worry without reason.

  243. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Gravatar

    Several FOSS developers have expressed concerns about the fact that many sub-notebooks get loaded with Ballnux, not GNU/Linux. Would you like to pay Microsoft tax for each PC, no matter what O/S you choose? Bear in mind that the Eee PC is sold for roughly the same price no matter what O/S you choose. It’s a two-win situation: the Gnu becomes a (Microsoft cash) cow and is also more expensive, i.e. less appealing to consumers.

  244. Slated said,

    June 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Gravatar

    @casualvisitor

    “GNU software pre-installed on an OEM machine remains GNU software, whether you personally like the distribution or not.”

    GPLv3 patent protection notwithstanding (not all GPL licensed Free Software is v3 or even v2+), are you absolutely sure about that?

    What is there to prevent Microsoft from revoking its “covenants”?

    Then there’s this:

    [quote]
    It only covers ‘direct’ recipients from Novell
    [/quote]

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080528133529454

    Neither the GPL status of Moonlight, nor the RAND protection seems to have made the slightest bit of difference in this case, which is that Moonlight is essentially undistributable (outside of Novell’s distribution).

    Then, in the same article there’s this:

    [quote]
    it is not limited just to Novell as Mono is
    [/quote]

    And this from another site:

    [quote]
    I read the agreement between Xandros and Microsoft, and one of the excluded products was Mono, so Microsoft promises to not sue Xandros over their distribution but excluding Mono and a few other products, i.e. they reserve the right to sue over Mono. I wonder if this is an interesting preview of on what basis they want to fight the free world.

    Interestingly, the Novell deal seems to be different, Mono is not excluded from the Novell deal. So Microsoft seems to be promising not to sue Novell over Mono, but keeps the option open for Xandros. Weird but true.
    [/quote]

    http://commandline.org.uk/linux/2007/aug/5/be-careful-who-you-kiss/

    Both of these seem to suggest that this RAND simply doesn’t even apply to anyone but Novell customers, and that Mono is a patent risk.

    There’s even arguments to suggest that RAND is, in and of itself, worthless:

    [quote]
    But there is a more insidious aspect. RAND patent licensing conditions are a tool to ban Free Software, which is entirely incompatible with RAND licensing conditions.
    [/quote]

    http://www.digitalmajority.org/forum/t-54546/reasonable-and-not-non-discriminatory

    In this era of manipulative Intellectual Monopolies, I really don’t think it is merely sufficient to claim that “the GPL covers it” any more.

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