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05.30.08

Novell and Mono: The Kiss of Death to Free Software

Posted in Fork, Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, SLES/SLED at 3:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft-Miguel-Novell tag team extraordinaire

A reader contacted us regarding a serious problem. He said that he “pointed out on a forum that .NET had died on the vine and that when .NET projects run out of time and money people turn back to Java to get the task finished. That appears to have got the Microsoft fans going with this one.”

To conclude, he added: “.NET really does seem to have died on the vine, but Microsoft boosters see the value of tainting as many FOSS projects with software patents as possible.”

This reader is not alone. have a look at this new analysis of the direction of GNOME:

When such an important project as GNOME obviously lacks a direction, has a poor governance and a missing leadership, how can I trust it not to get more and more Mono-encumbered?

Some people object that there are very few Mono-based applications in GNOME (mainly Tomboy and F-Spot), however they are always advertised with each and every GNOME release!

* Let’s now take a historical look of how some guy wanted to screw GNOME since 2002 (Red Hat, were you sleeping those days?):
* 2002-02-01: Gnome to be based on .NET – de Icaza. «”I’d like to see Gnome applications written in .NET in version 4.0 – no, version 3.0. But Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET,” he told us.»

* 2002-06-01: Mono and GNOME. The long reply. (Miguel de Icaza). «As you might realize by now, GNOME 4 is not planned, it is not possible to know what is in there. So my comments on GNOME 4 only reflect the fact that I personally believe that people will see that Mono is an interesting platform to write new applications.»

* 2002-06-04: one more message from de Icaza: «I was not trying to force Mono on anyone. The only reason why I thought that GNOME would move to Mono on the long term is because our goals are aligned. [...] But the real reason is that .NET (and hence Mono) was designed to be an evolutionary path for applications. [...] For example, it would be silly to rewrite Gnumeric or StarOffice with C#, that would be a complete waste of time. But one really useful feature for Gnumeric would be to have its VB interpreter running on Mono.»

* If the KDE flock is going with KDE4, why should we assume there isn’t a similar bunch of GNOME sheep to go with Miguel de Icaza’s Mono?

Miguel de Icaza is currently the Vice President of Developer Platform at Novell Inc. That’s the company somebody chose to write a thesis about: Managing Firm-Sponsored Open Source Communities. That’s a company for the future. And Miguel is a smart guy.

So it’s very likely that GNOME 3.0 or 4.0 will indeed be Mono-based.

And no, tiny bugs in Gedit won’t get fixed in the meantime. It’s not “sexy”, you know.

As the first comment states (and to an extent demonstrates too), it’s an eye opener to some.

People were brainwashed by the likes of Slashdot — essentially pushed to the point of believing Miguel was an open source hero. Well, by Microsoft's definition of it, maybe he is.

Shortly afterward there was a less restrained outburst, especially at the sight of Moonlight's legal implications, which we warned about all along (since the project’s inception and even a couple of days ago).

Mono, The Road To Hell: Final Proof

[...]

This is a Microsoft-branded piece of shit.

Now, if there are still Linux users still loving Mono, and still believing they have anything in common with FREEDOM & Open Source, they’re idiots like hell.

Proofs of MALA FIDE from Microsoft’s part:

1. NOBODY interested in a good-faith patent protection would restrict the protection to the downstream recipients of a UNIQUE source — but this is what Microsoft is doing!

2. NOBODY interested in a good-faith patent protection would restrict the protection to the UNMODIFIED AND USED “AS INTENDED” (“for the intended purpose”) for an OPEN-SOURCE project — but this is what Microsoft is doing!

3. NOBODY interested in a good-faith patent protection would restrict the protection in any ways. Simply imposing restrictions means WHATEVER FALLS OUTSIDE THE SPECIFIC CONDITIONS IS SUBJECT TO FEAR, UNCERTAINTY AND DOUBT!

Yes, this is Microsoft. Yes, this covenant is ONLY and ONLY for the benefit of Novell’s SLED and SLES, and for the benefit of openSUSE. This is for people to ONLY consider openSUSE as a “safe” Linux way to use Moonlight and Mono, and therefore to increase the penetration of SLED/SLES as “the” Linux for the Enterprise.

This is the abjection of the Microsoft-Novell fascist conspiracy.

Will somebody. Anybody. Somewhere. Please stop Novell and Miguel already. I’m sure that the typical Microsoft/Novell boosters/apologists will continue to attack this Web site and do gymnastics in logic to deny all of this. That’s pointless. In fact, this item will be closed to comments.

As another reminder of the 'political' corruption that's striving to phase in software patents everywhere, here are some news picks (mostly from Digital Majority):

The following bit is about applying a taxation mechanism to patents. The hope is to hinder abuse/misuse of the system.

Merpel adds, as for patent renewal fees, their adjustment will presumably affect the behaviour of the small fry far more than that of the big battalions — but it’s not the tiddlers that create the thickets and do the trolling, is it?

That all sounds good in theory, but

Patent Reform Act “dead in the water,” eh? So says the following article, which merely repeats what we already know: the system is too corrupt to repair itself (exhorting against the corruption would be a cyclic thing). It seems hopeless, unless the system totally collapses and people take it to the streets.

The efficacy of the patent system is not equivalent across all industries, and appears to be particularly ineffective in software, said a panel at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference held at Yale University last week.

[...]

A lot of unpatented prior art, which does not make it into considerations at the patent and trademark office, said Berger, could add to this problem. She added that EFF is working with open source company Mozilla to crease a wiki-style platform of prior art in software they hope can be eventually used by patent examiners.

Efforts have failed so far in terms of patent reform, she said, citing the status of the Patent Reform Act as “dead in the water” in the US Congress for the time being, and asking what people interested in technology policy might do about this problem.

More debates on software patents in the UK:

Patent attorneys, lawyers, judges and businesses have often had trouble determining exactly what inventions are and are not eligible for patent protection, particularly where the invention involves software. A 2006 ruling in the Court of Appeal was designed to settle the issue by clarifying the rules that patent examiners and judges should apply to assess whether inventions are for patentable subject matter.

[...]

“The election to solicit pre-pay clientele is unarguably a ‘business method’,” wrote Judge Fysh. “The consequence in ‘computer terms’ forms no part of the invention; it is done with appropriate software. Moreover, even if it did form part of the invention, it would therefore only involve the construction of appropriate computer programs and would also be excluded from patentability.”

Lots of the gory details are here. [via Digital Majority] Bear in mind that the likes of Finjan (London-base, sponsored by Microsoft) are already doing what they can to totally ruin the UK as well.

Last but not least, lookie here! Look who’s back. Commissioner McCreevy [1, 2, 3] talks about harmonisation, but one that revolves around legal destruction, not peace and harmony.

Ministers will discuss a progress report on this issue prepared by the Slovenian Presidency. Commissioner McCreevy will encourage Member States to continue to work constructively in this process.

For interesting information about patents and Linux in the Halloween memo, see this document. Mono’s greatest and most vocal among defenders would tell us to just “shut us and code.” Those Mono defenders who ‘know better’ blindly accept the abuse of GNOME by Novell and Miguel. After all, who needs to ever bother with all that tiresome ‘politics’, right? Well…

“Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won’t leave you alone.”

Richard Stallman

No Mo’!

Nomo

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