EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.23.08

Mono is Too Controversial for Debian

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Ubuntu at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux: Powered by Microsoft?!?!

A

month ago we showed Fedora crossing out Moonlight and moving Tomboy (with Mono) out of the way, at least as far as the Live CD is concerned. So does Debian on the face of it. Watch this:

* tomboy: very nice app, but controversial since it brings the
full Mono stack, so we don’t make it part of
gnome-desktop-environment.

The background of this is that gnome/gnome-desktop-environment metapackages tend to syncronize with upstream GNOME (and this is why they dragged tomboy in when installed). However, tasksel (i.e. Debian Installer) didn’t include tomboy in the default setup.

The necessary harmonisation between GNOME metapackages and tasksel turned out to be in favour of removing tomboy from metapackages instead of adding it to tasksel, because Mono is widely seen as “controversial” (see above).

Nomo

This makes it much less likely that tomboy becomes part of the default install in the future. It’s important because Debian is one of the most influenctial Free software distributions available. Even Ubuntu is based on it and Ubuntu seems to be deep in Mono with the approval of Mark Shuttleworth. Could his mind be changed?

Getting a technical dependency out of the way is different from availability and habitual dependence. There are some other concerns about people getting ‘addicted’ to specific Mono applications because distributors encourage their use through inclusion and/or preinstallation.

Just the other day in Miguel de Icaza’s blog:

My friend Mirco Bauer has been maintaining and coordinating the Mono packaging for Debian for many years.

It now turns out that Tomboy has found its way into Firefox in the form of an addon.

Tomfox is a very cool Firefox extension. With Tomfox, you can directly create Tomboy notes in Firefox.

Whenever the question arise about Mono, Jeff Waugh and others attack the messenger. in fact, Sam Varghese has just complained about these attacks, which may only mean that he was on the right topic all along.

I’ve grown quite used to people from the GNOME Foundation indulging in this kind of attack. I’ve lost count of the number of times the foundation’s media spokesman Jeff Waugh has launched personal attacks on me; GNOME co-founder Miguel de Icaza followed suit a few months back.

What are they so afraid of? The only thing Mono critics are afraid of are the known impact of .NET patents and the gradual move of GNOME/GTK to the #. Watch what Beranger has just had to say:

Let’s revisit the GTK+ 3.0 issue, this time based on what Miguel de Icaza had to say about it. Indeed, «there is no actual plan for which features will be added, and when these features will be added», but I don’t feel de Icaza should be let have a say in the planning of the future GTK+ 3.0 and GNOME 3.0 — or else it will become “Mono Reloaded” within months!

[...]

Looking for some stupid Microsoft patents on a “System and method for activity monitoring and reporting in a computer network”? Here you are: Patent #6519639, Patent #6631412, Patent #7337223, Application #10/629,954.

One of the other dilemmas in the Debian project is also multimedia codecs, so the following new article is worth seeing.

Over 100 million DVD players have shipped in the US, and 100s of millions of mp3 players have shipped, yet Linux distributions like Fedora, Ubuntu and Opensuse don’t include software to create files that these devices can play. The reason is because implementations of the MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3) are considered patented so the Linux Distributors are avoiding a risk of patent infringement lawsuits. I went searching for answers to basic questions like what are all the patents claimed for MP3 and when do the claimed MPEG-2 patents expire and I did not find these on the web, so I decided to create this summary of the patent status of MPEG-1, H.261 and MPEG-2. I’m not a lawyer and I’m not an expert on video or audio compression so there are probably some mistakes in this, but its better than anything I’ve found on the internet. This article is US specific, but the patent databases listed usually have other countries patents listed as well.

As stressed several times before, it’s not the patent(s) itself that needs to be considered in isolation; it’s the holder of the patent too. Other than Microsoft (and SCO maybe), no other company is aggressive enough to attack the work of volunteers with a FUD campaign, let alone legal action (with the possibility of proxies like Intellectual Ventures of Acacia, which host Microsoft employees [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]).

“Pearly Gates and Em-Ballmer
One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave.”

Ray Noorda, Novell

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

12 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    July 23, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Gravatar

    The article on the expiration of the MP3 patents is most interesting. If the MP3 patents are to expire soon, why shouldn’t we just go ahead and use them? Or should we be loyal to the open source developers and continue to use ogg–even after the MP3 patents expire? I suppose some would argue that the technically best codec should win. But there are several dimensions about what is the best codec and the differences the codecs are often so trivial that I’m not sure why competition should lead necessarily lead the victory of the best.

  2. Victor Soliz said,

    July 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Gravatar

    why shouldn’t we just go ahead and use them?

    Cause’ they haven’t expired yet?

    Don’t count your chickens before…

  3. Victor Soliz said,

    July 23, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Gravatar

    Ogg remains a superior format anyway, and it is open, mp3 will not become open after its patents expire. It would be good to include it in distros without problems though. But I think many people will still push for ogg, it is just healthier, ya know…

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 23, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Gravatar

    Ogg comes with a philosophy, too. It won’t tolerate DRM, for example, unlike WMA|V.

    Think of Stallman’s assertion that if we embrace “Linux” rather than “GNU” (or GNU/Linux), then we are not likely to understand and appreciate freedom. The same goes for open source vs. Free software.

  5. self_liar said,

    July 23, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Sun Microsystems does not include Mono in Opensolaris OS

    Yes , This is good!!!

    But this is business ,not philosophy.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 23, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Gravatar

    If true, it’s worth researching to find out the reason. I’ll contact Mr. Phipps.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Okay, I’ve got a reply.

    My query was:

    “I have just been told that OpenSolaris does not include Mono. While it seems possible to achieve ( http://lists.ximian.com/pipermail/mono-list/2008-May/038584.html ) I wanted to know the reason for its exclusion from the default installation. Debian and Fedora appear to be following a similar route, possibly due to software patents and API control. Java is clearly a factor here.

    “Many thanks. Have a great time at OSCON.”

    The reply:

    “It’s not excluded – it is welcome in the repository if anyone is willing to create the package. I don’t believe anyone has made a full release-quality package yet though.”

    So it’s not a case of principles.

  8. self_liar said,

    July 23, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Confusing

    No one have made a package for mono?

    This way is better.I dont like mono.

    TO ALL:

    DO NOT PROMOVE MONO FOR OPENSOLARIS

  9. self_liar said,

    July 23, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Gravatar

    I do not see tomboy on Opensolaris:

    Why people do not promove alternatives?

    Tomboy ->Zim
    Banshee-> Rthymbox
    Beagle-> Tracker ,strigi ,pinot

    Telepathy will be created using mono?

  10. Michael said,

    July 23, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Gravatar

    The problem with codecs is that there is so many to choose from, and they keep ‘improving’ all the time (and thus keep being ever-greened patent-wise). Even though we have at least one free codec, content providers still wrap their data in proprietary formats like flash and windows media – in part because software vendors have a vested interest in controlling the market by excluding free competitors. And if the vendor sees the patents expiring they will just force a new format (with added ‘benefits’ for the content publisher like drm). And whilst companies like Fluendo provide convenience for supporting proprietary formats to all users, the publishers have no reason to use anything else.

    So by the time GNU can play dvd’s freely for example, dvd’s will no longer be the dominant format so you’re still stuck with requiring licensed codecs to play whatever is around.

    I wonder if there isn’t some sort of anti-competitive recourse. Companies like MS and Adobe can ‘give away’ unlimited copies of their licensed codecs for free as a loss-leader – thus effectively undercutting free software which cannot even legally run in the first place (as Free Software), let alone compete on price if they must license each copy. If they were unbundled and the user had to pay for the licenses more directly then it would certainly be a more level playing field. But nobody at the top wants a level playing field.

    If google just switched to embedded ogg for youtube and got firefox to implement it nicely, they could drive the standard that way overnight – but it wont happen. But that’s exactly the thing that MS and Adobe did to enforce a proprietary standard into the web, and they got away with it (and continue to, with for example silverlight). How about that for doing no evil …

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 23, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Indeed. That’s why we go out of our way to popularise Ogg and produce equivalents.

    I suppose you do not know of the European Commission’s investigations into this?

  12. Daeng Bo said,

    August 1, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Gravatar

    I know you like to live in your own reality, but the thread explains itself nicely if you read it.

    Josselin Mouette is the package maintainer for gnome-desktop-environment, which he/she describes in the message as ‘Currently, the “gnome-desktop” task consists of the “gnome-desktop-environment” metapackage (official GNOME release) plus a number of extras. However we already provide the “gnome” metapackage which consists of g-d-e plus a number of extras to make a full-fledged desktop. ‘ He/she suggests INCLUDING Tomboy, but says the quote you use in your summary to show a possible downside.

    Joey Hess (who apparently has privilege to immediate edit the gnome-desktop task) gives the REAL reason for not including Tomboy when he responds “There’s a fundamental difference between the gnome package and the gnome-desktop task. The former is the complere (sic) gnome desktop environment with all extras, as shipped by gnome, while the latter attempts to be the best gnome-based desktop that Debian can put together and ship on a CD/DVD.” Later, “I doubt that the size of [Tomboy's] dep chain (~50 mb) makes it worthwhile to add it to our task.”

    Josselin answers “Yeah, that’s what I feared. I hope someone rewrites it in Vala some day…” He/she understands that there’s not enough space.

    Tomboy (and by proxy, Mono) were reduced to “a recommends,” meaning that tasksel won’t install Tomboy, but aptitude (the recommended method to add software) WILL.

    Mono is just too big a dependency to put on CD1 for one application.
    If you install a Debian standard system, then “aptitude install gnome,” you’ll STILL get Tomboy.

    There is no controversy. Quit stirring up stuff that’s not there.

What Else is New


  1. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  2. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  3. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  4. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  5. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  6. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  7. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  8. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  9. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  10. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  11. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  12. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  13. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  14. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  15. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  16. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  17. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  18. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  19. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  20. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  21. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  22. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  23. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  24. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task



  25. Benoît Battistelli and Persistratos

    Reminds you of someone?



  26. Whistleblower Protection Desperately Needed at the European Patent Office

    EPO scandals are not publicly accessible or known to many people and not many such scandals are known at all because people are afraid of Battistelli's Fabius Maximus strategies



  27. Microsoft and Its Patent Minions at Nokia Still Have Patent Stacking Ambitions Against Android/Linux OEMs

    Weaponisation of European companies for the sake of artificial elevation of prices (patent taxes) a growing issue for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and those behind it are circulating money among themselves not for betterment of products but for the crippling of FOSS contenders



  28. [ES] ¿Que si la EPO Bajo Battistelli Se Arruina Sin Posibilidad de Reparación Como la UPC?

    La última evidencia alrededor del hundimiénto de la reputación de la Epo y su calidad de trabajo, así como la caída del sistema que Battistelli trata forzadamente de imponer (una carrera al fondo)



  29. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli, Quién Quiebra la Ley, Subvierte el Curso de la Justicia y Rechaza Obedecer las Ordenes de la Corte Dice lo Impensable en Medio de los Actos de Terror

    Los terribles ataques hace un dia en Francia están siéndo explotados por el caradura de Benoît Battistelli para comedia negra o un verdaderamente absurda afirmación en la sección de “noticias” de la EPO



  30. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli Continúa Cortejando a Officiales de Países Pequeños y su Propaganda de Beneficiar a las “PYMEs de Aquellos Países”

    El caradura de Benoît Battistelli prosigue desfilando en los países pequeños que tienen delegados al Consejo Administrativo (CA) y los explota para propaganda barata, no sólo para que lo apoyen en las reuniónes del CA


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts