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02.15.08

Microsoft Hits Russia Harder with Anti-Linux

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux… they should do a delicate dance”

Joachim Kempin, Microsoft OEM Chief

Back in Novomber we mentioned Intel's and Microsoft's attempt to fight GNU/Linux adoption in Russian schools. Under the disguise of ‘good deeds’ Microsoft appears to be responding to this new threat. [via Bob Sutor]

A Russian mobile-phone operator is the latest service provider to team with Microsoft to offer Windows-based PCs on a subscription basis through the company’s Unlimited Potential program.

See the links at the bottom for more information about “Unlimited Potential”, which by Microsoft’s own admission is a case against GNU/Linux.

Matt Asay adds:

As suggested above, however, the program also offers Microsoft a way to club Linux’s growth in these markets…

Make no mistake. This is merely a ploy for Microsoft to maintain its market share. We covered this before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Selling PCs below cost or giving them away is a case of dumping as means of suppressing one’s competition.

Mainstream Press Still Manipulated by Microsoft-imposed OOXML Deception

Posted in Deception, FUD, GPL, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents, SCO at 6:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It continues. The media/Internet blitz in favour of OOXML shows few very signs of abatement and the breadcrumbs always lead back to Microsoft. To quote one article that addresses the source of this problem:

The Redmond, Seattle-based software giant, is leaving no stone unturned to ensure OOXML gets the extra few votes it needs at the ISO’s ballot resolution meeting in Geneva end-February. ISO members then have a month to change their votes, if they so wish.

Last month, Microsoft invited the international press for a media briefing in Seattle to give its take on the OOXML debate.

Later on, in the Asian and international press in turn, there was plenty of disinformation e.g. [1, 2]. And here is another new example of a Microsoft press release turned into new article despite the fact that the article itself repeats outdated and incomplete information. Have a look.

In another carefully timed move to garner support for its document format still under consideration for an international standard, Microsoft today altered the terms under which use of its Office Open XML format by developers is permitted.

FFII responds to this.

It was pointed out before that the OSP has an unclear scope, is not sub-licensable (=probably GPL incompatible) and is of questionable validity in legal systems of nations other than the United States. Microsoft does everything it can to contribute to market confidence:

OOXML’s software patent issues have already been discussed here endlessly [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It’s not just incompatibility with the GPL, but it’s also the possibility of lawsuits via a third party. Microsoft has done that before, notably with SCO.

OOXML patent issue prompt

Redmond Kool-Aid in Open Source India Week (OSIW)

Posted in Asia, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Novell, Windows at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A couple of days ago, Novell's defense of Microsoft's presence in a Linux/FOSS conference received a quick mention. It is sad to see that others are falling for (or into the) same trap, failing to realise what Microsoft has already revealed it strives to achieve. From the article:

The open source community is literally rocking the world and so is India’s largest Linux and Open Source convention and expo. The community is now being supported by Microsoft, long considered to be the ‘opposing side’. Open Source India Week (OSIW) 2008 kicked off yesterday in Delhi after completing the Bengalure and Mumbai editions. At the occasion, Radhesh Balakrishnan, director, platform strategy, Microsoft, could be seen wooing the open source community, holding an olive branch in the form of promoting interoperability between the two systems.

As we stated and showed in previous posts (in the form of actual evidence from Microsoft), this is a bridge not for symbiosis, but for 'stealing' FOSS developers away from GNU/Linux and making them OSS (without the “Free”) developers for the Microsoft stack.

SUSE SLED GNOME
Novell’s GNU/Linux: now with a Windows-esque Start Menu

OpenDocument Format Already Implemented in the Netherlands; OOXML Crimewatch Tidied Up

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Formats, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As we stated about a week ago, the European Commission is currently investigating Microsoft’s behaviour in pursuit of ISO certification for OOXML.

One good bit of news which comes from Europe is that there is concrete evidence of ODF taking over parts of the continent. From Erwin:

Apparently the adoption of ODF by the City of Heerenveen and the City of Groningen had some impact on the decision.

In other important news, the folks from FFII are accumulating and making more accessible a list of Microsoft’s many sins in pursuit of that rubber stamp for its ‘ODF killer’, which is simply a proprietary format sheltered by a huge deal of bribery, lies, political manipulation and vote-rigging.

You are free to inspect the irregularities website that documents few cases reported by the online press and blogs. We got much more reports on an informal base per email. The Swedish single employee story is not credible, actually committee stuffing took place in Sweden.

On loopholes, that’s another subjective call, but since Microsoft competitors managed to establish control over a standards initiative with potentially dire consequences for one of Microsoft’s most important business domains, we are not surprised that Microsoft (legitimately, albeit with what some consider to be poor standards etiquette) exploited the loopholes. As we noted, we assume ISO will update its procedures to eliminate the loopholes in the future.

What?

Microsoft competitors managed to establish control over a standards initiative…

What?

Microsoft competitors managed to establish control over a standards initiative with potentially dire consequences for one of Microsoft’s most important business domains, we are not surprised that Microsoft …exploited the loopholes.

???

but since Microsoft competitors managed to establish control over a standards initiative with potentially dire consequences for one of Microsoft’s most important business domains, we are not surprised that Microsoft (legitimately, albeit with what some consider to be poor standards etiquette) exploited the loopholes.

This article is actually focused on a Microsoft proxy called “the Burton Group” (mentioned in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25]).

OOXML on the trash can

Proxy Analysis – Bill Gates, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Al Saud and Acacia

Posted in Boycott Novell at 5:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday we mentioned the cash infusion that will refuel SCO's legal battle against Linux. As we said at the time, people would attempt to find various links. The first such evidence (or possibility at the least) is mentioned here.

Not surprisingly people are already trying to work out where the money leads to. Groklaw reckons its found a link to Bill Gates via Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Al Saud. Dana Blankenhorn isn’t convinced.

I will publish an article about this on Monday, but it is hard to speculate much in press. McBride, by the way, is out. Here is one last glimpse at the man who received money from BayStar (after Microsoft's recommendation).

Darl McBride

TrollTracker continues to have its eyes on Acacia, which may be another Microsoft proxy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Here is the latest:

2) When Acacia (a California corporation) sued Apple (a California corporation) for the second time recently in the Southern District of Illinois, I asked out loud in one of my posts, why the SDIL? I think I may know the answer: because it’s faster than Texas. Document Generation v. Allmeds got an 18-month time-to-trial already – June 2009. In Texas, that case would have been slated for trial probably six months later than that, at least. What remains to be seen is if it’s a district that will transfer cases out, like WDWI.

Recall what we wrote about this attack on Apple.

Australia Potentially Corrupted by Microsoft (for OOXML “Yes” Vote)

Posted in Australia, Microsoft, Open XML at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday it was Britain (the BSI) and today it appears to be Australia also.

I am not head of delegation so I have no vote, of course. But I expect some people will not be happy that I am going at all.

From Groklaw (Jelliffe confirms he will represent Australia at MSOOXML’s BRM)

[PJ: Yes, folks. Rick Jelliffe, who just told us that Microsoft hired him ("As I have mentioned, one of my jobs this month is for Microsoft, to play Devil’s Advocate with the Ecma responses..."), is representing Australia at the BRM. "Political issues don't come into it." Don't you just love it?]

How much more corruption will we be seeing and how many times need it be repeated that the BRM in Geneva will be a sad joke [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]?

OOXML is bad

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

Links 15/02/2008: SGI Buys Linux Networx, New GNOME, Cloudbook Out

Posted in News Roundup at 7:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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