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02.22.08

The Overlooked Issue of Development with .NET in GNU/Linux

Posted in BSD, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Windows at 6:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono Microsoft brain

“I’m in a New York Microsoft Mono State of Mind…”

A few moments ago, someone expressed some thoughts about Mono as an issue that revolves around software patents. He was referring to Mark Shuttleworth's response to our query. We wish to share a bit of correspondence which is only an hour old. It should be attributed to Beranger, who has permitted us to share this in public.


Roy,

I suppose your fight against Mono has [at least slightly] different motivations than mine; whereas your stance seems to be [strongly enough] related to patents and other risks coming from Microsoft, I am primarily focused on some other concerns.

First, I think that BSD and Linux and generally open-source operating systems & software were invented for providing people with freedom, and freedom means “out of the Microsoft Konzentrationslager”.

From this standpoint, it’s obvious that people don’t want to get “blessed” with Microsoft technology anymore. Sure thing, many Linux users will consider that they need Samba connectivity, some other would require NTFS-3g, but this is not only optional, it’s required in some cases because they are “de facto” technologies in some environments, and “interoperability” is at times just that.

Microsoft .NET is however more than a protocol (Samba) or a filesystem format (NTFS): it’s a whole new concept that changes almost everything: it invents a new language (C#) midway between C++ and Java; it creates a unified CLR; by introducing the CLR as a runtime, it introduces a new layer of abstractedness between a binary and the operating system, just like Java does.

Note however that the Java hype didn’t managed to impose silly small Java programs on everyone’s desktop; instead, the best use of Java is for large enterprise applications, and several Java application servers are available for that.

“With .NET, everybody started to write silly small C# desktop gizmos.”With .NET, everybody started to write silly small C# desktop gizmos. And then it came Miguel de Icaza to clone it as Mono, and many people thought it was good this way: “Hey, if I can run this on Linux, I can get rid of Windows!”

It is all wrong. Notice the proliferation of all kind of Gtk# applets and small applications. If Miguel’s Mono were created for interoperability, for replacing .NET, and for cross-platform compatibility with regards to serious business approaches (i.e. to replace Windows 2003 Server with a Linux/BSD/Solaris box), then ASP.NET should have been made the #1 priority, not the silly GTK+ bindings for Mono!

Instead of creating freedom by making possible the replacement of a Windows Server with a Linux/BSD box, Miguel’s Mono is doing exactly the opposite: it creates an unhealthy dependence of a Microsoft technology!

If there are really people in this world who genuinely believe that the Microsoft .NET technology is so very much revolutionary that we should really be using it, as if Microsoft were the one and only company that would save the IT from the lack of vision and lack of future it might have had, then… why aren’t they using the original .NET platform? Is it only for the price? Are they feeling better to use the open-source Mono, whose compatibility with .NET is mediocre at best?

I would very much like to see a big ASP.NET application running on Mono, and without modifications. But no, what I can see is an increasing number of Gtk# applications that are making a lot of GNOME users dependent of the (otherwise unnecessary) Mono framework.

Are we really running Linux on our computers, or are we running a mix of Linux and “Windows under disguise”?Maybe Python (PyGtk) is less effective than C# (Gtk#). Does it mean we should rewrite everything Python in C#? And that we should thank Microsoft for it has had “the vision”?

I know that .EXE and .DLL are simply conventions for naming PE files. Nevertheless, before Mono there wasn’t any way to see such files on a Linux/BSD box other than because you wanted to run a genuine Windows applications through an emulator. Nowadays, we’re more and more impregnated with those brilliant DOS/Windows concepts that made Microsoft so popular.

Are we really running Linux on our computers, or are we running a mix of Linux and “Windows under disguise”?

Instead of the bravado self-sufficient attitude of “Hey, you can run on Linux the same stuff you can run on Windows, so we win!” (not entirely accurate, as Mono doesn’t perfectly match .NET), we should rather be aware that in the long run the winner is Microsoft: its concepts and technologies will be present not only on Windows systems, but on no matter what systems.

Maybe people shouldn’t *hate* Microsoft that much. But should they *love* when F/LOSS people are embracing Microsoft technologies and they’re also imposing them to a desktop environment like GNOME, who was born for the licensing fears with regards to KDE?

Patents and licenses are completely different matters; but giving credits to Microsoft is a little too much. What will be the next step: will Novell reimplement the whole Vista, supposing it would be covered by a few ECMA standards? And how about NTFS, why isn’t Linux adopting it if reimplementing Microsoft’s projects is the right thing to do?

I can choose to send DOC files to people who can’t open other kind of documents, and I definitely want to be able to read such files when I receive them. But again, this is only a file format for a document; when I will see that my Linux box is using EXE files to give me the information I need (no, I don’t use Tomboy), then I will know that Microsoft is never going to die.

Mark Shuttleworth is seeing Mono only from the legal side: non-important patent risks, not more than with the rest of a Linux system, so why worry. He is a business person, and the principles guiding him are not the same that are guiding RMS for instance.

I am so very amazed that open-source people (once again, I’ll mention RMS) are not bothered at all by the cloning of a Microsoft platform. UNIX was not supposed to mimic anything. We’re living hard times, where common sense is gone.

Best wishes,
Radu


My personal response to this is perhaps worth adding as well. From what I can gather (it is somewhat of a speculation, so be warned in advance), Richard Stallman is not too happy about Mono, but he does not make too much noise about it, either. Smears are risky and Microsoft (sometimes the BSDs too) attack him whenever they get a chance. So, be careful what you read and also believe about his stance.

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36 Comments

  1. Woods said,

    February 22, 2008 at 7:33 am

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    And back to pessimism…

    Beranger is right of course. Whilst FOSS can survive patent attacks by rewrites, it becomes a lot more painful the more there is to rewrite (which is what RMS warned us about)

    Another valid point he makes is the spread of MS mono-culture (pun intended) If at the end of the day everyone uses something that for all intents and purposes is Windows with a FOSS-technology implementation then Microsoft really has won.

    This wouldn’t be so bad if all MS tech truly was the paragon of information technology but it isn’t, not by a long shot (I remember once reading something from Linux kernel-mailing list about the thread implementations…apparently there was some influence from how NT does them and some developers were miffed by the fact. Torvalds, quite rightly, pointed out that Linux should use the best solutions, no matter who has come up with them. However, like I said, I’m not 100% certain I remember the matter correctly…)

    Rather than try to win market-share by catering to Windows users/developers we should be proud of our UNIXy heritage and strive for our own identity in a world increasingly more open, hopefully one day free.

    In the end, what need is there for highly integrated environments/applications when there are open standards with free implementations? UNIX’s modular approach wins in the end (aa-and back to optimism, it’s a beautiful day outside…)

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 7:49 am

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    Rather than try to win market-share by catering to Windows users/developers we should be proud of our UNIXy heritage and strive for our own identity in a world increasingly more open, hopefully one day free.

    Riddle yourself this: which might we wish to ‘copy’? Mac OS X (Leopard) or Windows Vista? Mind the review from PC World, which was published yesterday, I suspect. Vista got canned, Ubuntu did well and Mac OS X was praised. Does this indicated that what you call UNIX-type systems are inferior to grossly-advertised Microsoft sophistications, many of which are catchup work (e.g. sudo -> UAC)?

  3. Woods said,

    February 22, 2008 at 8:33 am

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    >which might we wish to ‘copy’?

    Why copy anything (actually, any existing system)? Use the best solution possible. If this means copying eg. Mac OS X when it comes to ease-of-use, then so be it, or Windows for that matter (assuming there is anything there copy these days…) or better yet, implement something from the research departments that never made it to mainstream systems. Pie-menus being my favourite example. Superior but never implemented anywhere (except games, the user-interface testing labs du jour) because box-list menus have such historical inertia.

    We can be “realists” and cater out-dated paradigms from the 80′s to a large user base excepting a look-and-feel similar to mainstream OSs (Mac as well as Windows) or we can be “idealists” and bring out our own UNIXy identity for people who are ready to embrace the 21st century. We’ll see who gets the last laugh…

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 8:51 am

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    GNU/Linux thrives in diversity (WMs, DEs and whatnot), so I’m sure that all paradigms will be /available/ for those demanding them rather than be forced as ‘standard’. Consider radical paradigms such as the ones introduced in Metisse.

    That’s just the beauty of choice.

  5. Mark Fink said,

    February 22, 2008 at 10:53 am

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    Figures that the GNOME people banned me. They have definitely all sold out to Microvell. Take a look here:

    On Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 3:22 PM, Mark Fink wrote:
    > (which begs
    > the question, why was Tomboy started if sticky notes already existed?
    > To poison GNOME with MONO? Hmmm?)

    Damn, he’s on to us lads, quick burn the secret documents, cash your
    shares and we’ll all meet up at the predesignated safe meeting
    point…

    iain
    iain@microsoft.com

    This guy works for M$. No big surprise there.

  6. Mark Fink said,

    February 22, 2008 at 11:15 am

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    As far as Mark Shuttleworth’s response – I respect what he has to say, but I have to say that I’m quite disappointed.

    If Alexander Larsson’s (a Red Hat employee going by his email address) pro-MONO attitude is any indication, I fear that Red Hat may also be a complete let-down.

    Also, I think it’s best to avoid PLD Linux as well as one of their developers is definitely pro-MONO.

    Are there any distributions which are safe from MONO?

  7. Hernan said,

    February 22, 2008 at 11:55 am

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    Since I am not a programer; I can not say much about Mono nor any technical issues, but I can say that RMS fought and fight for free software freedom…..

    He is every day doing heavy work for free software freedom, every day he has lot of things in mind, he can not do everything but he almost does.

    “…………….I am so very amazed that open-source people (once again, I’ll mention RMS) are not bothered at all by the cloning of a Microsoft platform. UNIX was not supposed to mimic anything. We’re living hard times, where common sense is gone.”

    In fact RMS is very concious about what Mono is and Its dangers ( http://www.gnu.org/software/dotgnu/danger.html ). That is why he created the “DotGNU Project” ( http://www.gnu.org/software/dotgnu/ )

    DOTGNU

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 12:11 pm

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    Mark,

    There was an attempt to make Gobuntu Mono-free, but the guy who pushed for this left the project, so I don’t know where things stand. Any KDE- or Xfce-based distribution should not have dependencies on Mono.

  9. Mark Fink said,

    February 22, 2008 at 1:44 pm

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    Yea, I saw Berenger’s article on XFCE – I’m gonna install that this weekend.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 1:54 pm

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    He has a PDF version now. I haven’t used Xfce since 2001, I think..

  11. soot said,

    February 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm

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    @soot: Are you really to thick that you haven’t realized you’ve been had by the GNOME guys there? They didn’t take you seriously, and to be honest, I see why.
    @others: Haven’t you realized, either?

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 8:04 pm

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    soot, it seems as though “GNOME guys” = “Microsoft employee/s” in this case, which I actually find shocking (yet not too surprising).

  13. soot said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:06 am

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    Your bloody paranoia starts to get on my nerves,

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:23 am

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    In a rushed response I phrased this rather badly. let me say it differently.

    I am shocked to find that the very same company that compares Linux/FOSS/GPL to a cancer is actively participating in the development of that ‘cancer’. It gives it various powers inside the group which is supposedly a rival. Let me be more specific.

    There have been examples in the past where proxy wars enabled one company to be using another (rival) to attack another or to have it serve another (or self). This is common.

    A company or a project is driven only by the people who run the show, not by something such as a constitution. As such, I worry to find that Paul Maritz, a very predatory Microsoft mind (with history to show this such as the statement about “cutting Netscape’s air supply”) has just become a top executive at VMWare, a Microsoft rival.

    For the same reason I worry about Microsoft insiders in Nokia intercepting Ogg Vorbis and Theora (more on this shortly) and Microsoft employees in Google apparently doing their thing. We saw what happened in XenSource. Yahoo is another one that is under siege at the moment.

    See what it says here (memo from Microsoft):

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/01/30/evangelism-is-war-memo/

    We’re here to help Microsoft

    # Microsoft pays our wages
    # Microsoft provides our stock options
    # Microsoft pays our expenses

    Read it. Learn how it works.

  15. Mike said,

    February 23, 2008 at 7:31 am

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    We need something better than C++ for applications development, and right now. I looked at all the alternatives, and C# is the best there is, with Python/IronPython for scripting. In particular, Java and Objective-C don’t cut it (and neither, for that matter, does KDE).

    If you want something different, roll up your sleeves and put in the necessary work. But endless complaining isn’t going to work.

  16. soot said,

    February 23, 2008 at 8:48 am

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    Roy, let me rephrase: “you have been had!” Iain Holmes does NOT work for Microsoft and is real e-mail is …@gnome.org

    It is embarrassing to see you fall for so obvious a joke. I hope it gives you some stuff to think about; that your desire to see conspiracies makes you so blind as to fall for something that obvious.

    The same of course goes for Mark Fink: How can anybody be so stupid as to fall for that?!?!!?

    You really and utterly made yourselves look like a bunch of fools in this discussion, congratulations. *sigh*

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 8:54 am

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    @Mike: what about Java?

    @soot: my bad. I took Mark’s word blindly.

  18. Mark Fink said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:33 am

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    He signed his email with iain@microsoft.com and it wasn’t much of a stretch to believe it.

    You call me stupid? At least I’m not supporting the destruction of Linux via MONO.

    The only fool here is you.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:45 am

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    A minute ago I posted a comment which hopefully explains personal views about long-term objectives with Mono. This parallels the ‘Windows addiction’ Microsoft loves to rave about.

    Remember what Microsoft said about:

    1. Having to control the standard (they meant de facto standard)
    2. Having to get people “kind of addicted” so that Microsoft can “collect some time in the next decade” (Gates reference)

    I see the same patterns in Mono, which Microsoft views as its IPR, regardless of your personal views on IPR. Do not underestimate the power of Washington and Brussels lobbyists, let alone the influence of a Foundation that invests in political candidates through their pet charities.

    I’d feel safe about Mono only if Larry Lessig ran for president and got reelected for a lifetime.

  20. JP said,

    February 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm

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    The one thing that everyone here forgets is freedom. You are free to boycott Novell and everything related including MONO and everyone else is free to use MONO and everything Novell.

    Too bad this site is a waste of this country’s precious resources and you guys are taking up way too much crack.

  21. Miks said,

    February 23, 2008 at 9:51 pm

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    Doesn’t take much work to find an alternative to C¤:

    D – a better C++. Google “D programming language” or go to

    http://www.digitalmars.com/d/

    and read up on it. Compiles to native, runs at C/C++ speeds, has a bunch of bindings, garbage collection, and is fully buzzword compliant. Of course, it doesn’t run in a 100 MB vm, but what…

    If you want something different, try Perl, Python, OCaml, Clean, Haskell, ML, Lisp, Scheme, Erlang, Pike, Ruby, BETA, Ada, Free Pascal, or any of a huge number of alternatives to C# out there.

    If you think you need a vm to write software, you are ignorant. If you think C# is the best language because it supports generics, you need to study the alternatives. Nothing in C# is new, nothing is particularly inventive.

    Learn to code in C. Write your own compiler. Write your own parser. Then help the Parrot people out – see if Larry (Wall) needs a hand. Or talk to the guys behind Clean – they are short on money (low salaries) and could need a hand on developing their i/o library. Or how about lending the X.org guys a hand? What’s with all the “hands”? You’ve got two – use them. Don’t know C yet? Well, what are you waiting for! Linus does it, so can you.

    Now you’re helping the F/LOSS community. Be inventive, for once.

    Or believe in the holy cow of the Church of Gates *yawn*

  22. Woods said,

    February 25, 2008 at 1:01 am

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    Heh, well Miks already answered this point quite well but here goes…

    KDE seems to be doing quite well writing applications in C++.

    Mac OS X does quite well with Objective-C applications.

    And, if performance isn’t #1 issue, then Python (w/ PyGtk for instance) does quite well for writing applications (even on Mac OS X with PyObjectC)

    And thats just in answer to the disparaging remarks about those languages. As Miks quite nicely pointed out, there’s a plethora of others to look at. Let Windows developers write Windows applications with C# if they like, we as Roy quite nicely put it, have a choice (of so many better languages in this instance)

    Just my 0.02$…:-)

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 25, 2008 at 1:10 am

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    Bear in mind that a common line of arguments you’ll find used by Mono developers is that Java sucks and .NET is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Not only is this unhelpful, but it’s also easily perceived as effective Microsoft marketing and praise.

  24. Miks => Mike said,

    February 25, 2008 at 6:40 am

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    Typonically speaking, writimg tooo fastt onn yoor keeyboqrd jusrt rocks!

    Mike’s the name, but Miks will do :-)

    Below is a quick draft of a piece I wrote for a blog I’m finally getting around to setting up – “You’ve gotta have a blog!”. It’s about the argument that .NET is the greatest thing since sliced bread…

    ————————————————————
    “.NET – the (not so) new religion”

    My absolute favorite of comedians, George Carlin – the most to-the-point guy, who, by the way, also does naration for children’s DVDs(!) where he sounds just the nice guy he is, has this to say about the phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread”:

    “So, this is it? A couple of hundred thousand years [of evolution of the human race] – ‘sliced bread’?! [...] Even a lava lamp, to me, is greater than sliced bread. What’s so great about sliced bread? You’ve got a knife, you’ve got a loaf of bread…slice the f*¤%#ng thing, and get on with your life!”

    Now, this guy, arguably, has a way with words; an ability to put into perspective the things we take for granted. And he has an important point to make, not only with his musings on the things we say: Its about the repeated patterns we practice but aren’t really in control of. And control, of course, is what it’s all about.

    First things first:

    To me, .NET is a religion, with all that being a religion entails. It’s as popular and as easy to establish as any other religion is, in a society where most people are brought up to be self-centered. And self-centered we most certainly are- brought up or not. Religion just plays on this, exagerates it and makes it so pronounced an attribute of human nature, that we cannot but live by it. Here’s the deal:

    In any country of the western world, the average citizen honestly believes that he or she is special; that is YOU I’m talking about, be you religious or not. The modern marketing machines, of which the establised, organized religions are perhaps the most effective representatives, cater to your need to feel SPECIAL.

    Thus, you believe that YOUR life out of roughly 6 billion, in one country out of close to 200, on one planet out of possibly trillions, around one star out of definitely trillions, in one rather insignificant part of the Milky Way, which is one out of an estimated 500 billion galaxies, in one remote part of the universe – that THIS life is SO special that SOMEONE who is larger than EVERYTHING (this “god” thing) actually took the time to care about YOU.

    It’s anthropocentric to the MAX, and it’s the joke of all times!

    But the same people will cast their vote on anything that makes them feel special, and in the US, this includes ITEMS. The golden calf from the “good” book is old news, but all we’ve done is substitute the old “primitive” form of item praise with the praise of technological “wonders”. Anyone that actually knows his stuff (anyone who cares to take a look or two – ask a question or two), and doesn’t have that need for security in feeling special – that “there is pre-determined, special purpose to my life”, will recognize such practice for what it is: Established to fulfill a basic human need; the need to be in control.

    This is why people will jump the latest pre-packaged box in the store, pay to have the colored carton box with the nice logo and the 2 cent slip of regular paper called “Quick Install Guide”, so that they may feel in control. It’s why some people still think vinyl records are better than CDs – “they sound more together”…when actually, they just sound “different”, and that “different” is the sound of the scratches, white noise, flutter, wow, and the compression that the medium lends to the music. We may like it, but it’s not “better” in a general sense, just different.

    And the need for control comes out of one thing, and one thing only: FEAR.

    This is what policitians, market strategists and other nice representatives of the human race realized long ago: If you want to get something done, strike FEAR in people – make them think they’ll burn in hell if they don’t do what they’re told. Thus we see the FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt – strategies of Microsoft at work – because they do work!

    So, how come we hold on to vinyl records and other old stuff that “works better”, but seem to constantly grasp for new things to hold on to? More importantly, if the latest thing was really that great, how come new things are popping up all the time?

    The answer is strikingly obvious – the new stuff is there to establish new markets to saturate. That is the sole reason for .NET.

    Microsoft never made money from software that works. Given a choice, from a purely business perspective, what would you rather sell: An item that lasted 50 years once, or an item that lastet 5 years 10 times?

    Problem with the 50-year item is, it would have to cost the consumers a fortune to pay for Microsoft employees’ salaries for 50 years, and to uphold the huge dividents the Microsoft stockholders demand. This, your average consumer cannot be asked to shell out. But paying a fraction every 5 years is entirely within the average consumer’s grasp. We see this at work in the banking world. It’s known as a “loan.” The 10 x 5-year items are much better from a logistical business perspective, but more importantly, they are a way to make you buy things you can’t afford up front, by distributing the cost (at a further cost) over a much longer period.

    So, how do you establish the demand for new things every 5 years? Well, in Microsoft’s case, the answer is simple:

    Write crappy software(!).

    - Then tell people (the consumers) you’re “discovering” new solutions that will make their life easier (than your former product did!), when in fact, all you’re doing is inventing ways to make people dependent on fixing problems you created in the first place!

    So here’s the oddest part:

    The people behind Linux – and the other open source software – work the OPPOSITE way, and are driven by an entirely different set of needs: They strive to find the BEST solutions (as opposed to “most expensive”), the “truth” if you will. In this respect, they work quite like scientists, chipping away at the rocks to uncover more truth about the world.

    In other words, what drives them is something which is at odds with large corporations like Microsoft; something you CAN’T BUY. Thus, from Microsoft’s perspective, something that doesn’t play the game they excel (no pun intended) at playing; the game of POWER through PURCHASE.

    So, saying that big corporations selling software can benefit from supporting free, open source software, is ludicrous – that is, unless they stop selling the software and start selling services. Microsoft could do that, but that’s not nearly as profitable as sellling software. You need more employees to provide better service, and employees are, by far, the biggest expense a company has.

    Compare that to spending a few billion dollars ONCE every 5 years writing a piece of software containable on a 50 cent CD, then selling 100 million copies (CDs) at $199-399 a piece. This means your investment may be, say 10 billion dollars (Microsoft quote), but your revenue is 20-40 billion. Quite nice for 5 years of work, isn’t it? And the development costs include salaries, mind you. The earnings solely benefit the stockholders.

    From these figures, one would be entirely excused for asuming that our public establishment Microsoft was in fact part of the entertainment business. Hollywood does generate large revenue from the Big Ones (Titanic, The Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars, Matrix, etc.), and it does come in a slick package, with nice advertisements – sometimes years ahead of release, usually only mentioning the best parts, and pushing the merits of “award winning” and “from the makers of”, as if these same referential arguments through testemonials ever proved a thing.

    But Hollywoord never generated earnings like these…

    So where does it originate, this ability to generate revenues that belittle that of Google, Sun, Apple, Oracle and Adobe combined? What makes 40,000 employees generate more revenue, and thus far greater earnings, than the good 300,000 employees of IBM?

    This is where the oldest of strategies comes into play:

    Constantly selling the congregation (the consumers) new versions of the same old story, in ever nicer packaging, but with the same flawed innards, is the tried and true purpose of THE CHURCH. It’s NOT what open source is about, and it’s not what the ACTUAL seekers of truth – the scientists – are about.

    It’s quite as Richard Dawkins so beautifully lays it out, in his books and many lectures: Is religion and science able to “work together”, co-exist? No. The goal of science is, by definition, to abolish belief and in its stead present knowledge. This means that, as science progresses, religion will have to degress.

    This is precisely what we have seen over the past 400 or so years. Using referential arguments like “Newton was religious” or “Einstien said ‘God does not play dice’…” says nothing of the matter. Science will uncover, religion will always try to cover up.

    Microsoft is, therefore, most easily understood as just that – an, arguable very well established, church. Watching Steve Ballmer do his stunts on stage only serves to underline this fact.

    It’s “testemonials” that litter the Microsoft campaigns, not “facts”. It’s the machine of american marketing practices that forces us to believe. It’s NOT, and never will be, about the absolute truth (if such a thing exists outside of logic and mathematics). It’s about selling a product, preferably at a very high price. And I’m not talking about the price in dollars.

    What Microsoft is selling is chains, cells, prisons and guards, and what we’re buying is a place in one of those prisons. Our most prized possession, our freedom – the ability to think for ourselves, to make choices for ourselves, to live our own lives, we are selling at $199 for something called “Windows”…

    And if this seems as scare tactics from some lunatic fanatic (me) with the (not so) hidden agenda of persuading people to choose an alternative that allows them to retain their freedom – be it Linux, BSD, Haiku, Syllable, or any other of the many good choices available, if it seems like all I am doing is trying to create another fear in you, you should go to the local library and pick up a book or two on history, a couple on marketing, at least one on the structure and psychology of large corporations, and most importantly on evangelical organisations.

    Have fun reading, and look yourself in the mirror afterwards. What you’ll see will hopefully be a representative of an intelligent species, not an ignorant excuse for a life that needs others to define its existence so desperately, that you are eager and willing to pay someone to take your freedom away from you, so that you may live happily ever after, in blissful unawareness.

  25. Fredrik said,

    February 25, 2008 at 6:36 pm

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    Well said Mike.

    A bit on the ranty side as you yourself note, but on the whole a pretty amazing association-feat between FOSS, Richard Dawkins, freedom, marketing and religion/science. I like it. Thank you.

  26. Fredrik said,

    February 25, 2008 at 6:38 pm

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    Uhmm… yeah.. Mike would it be OK if I added your text to my blog if I give a reference here??

  27. Miks => Mike said,

    March 3, 2008 at 1:22 pm

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    Fredrik – thanks so much. Of course you’re welcome to quote the article – I’ll notify here when my blog is up too.

  28. Jim said,

    March 7, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Gravatar

    20+ years as a software developer mostly writing C/C++.

    .NET / Mono and C# are revolutionary software development technologies.

    Apple ignored pre-emptive multi-threaded to the point it nearly destroyed their company. I don’t advise the Linux community to do the same. Linux should take the best ideas and use them without respect to their source.

    Ignoring .NET/Mono is the classic “biting you nose to spite your face” response.

  29. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 7, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Gravatar

    What are those .NET ‘adverts’ that we keep seeing from posters who defend it? There are many excellent programming frameworks, paradigms, and languages for those who are not easily deceived by marketing.

    You mentioned Apple. Is OS X being built using .NET? Heck, even Vista was not built using it (and that in itself became a mockery at the time).

  30. CoolGuy said,

    March 7, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Gravatar

    evolutionary…u mean copied ?

    most of the kick ass languages and frameworks are available for *FREE* in FOSS, and m$ charges a hefty price for everything.

    most of it goes in the hands of lobbyist, politicians, patent dogs, PR people, lawyers, management and personal wealth of the top dogs at m$.

    check out ruby, python ,rails, php, perl , mysql, openoffice, firefox …all available for *FREE* !!!

    Linux should take the best ideas and use them without respect to their source.

    yeah right…and then get sued by those same people i have mentioned above.

    do you want your money to end up in those hands who claim to serve you, but their only goal is to serve themself first ?

  31. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 7, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Gravatar

    .NET is a Java ripoff. Recall the Sun/Microsoft agreement. You forgot to mention it among the P/Ls. It’s GPLv2-licensed now and growing in terms of use (according to Evans Data).

    Those advocating .NET are probably just justifying their own choice/company.

  32. Jim said,

    March 7, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Guys, flame all you want.

    .NET/ Mono and C# are clearly rip-offs of Java, which is a ripoff of C and small talk.

    So what? Thats how the world works. Humans take what came before, then we make it better.

    What makes .NET / Mono revolutionary is that it combines the best of all that came before it in a way no other solution has. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see this, other, less religious, humans do.

  33. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 7, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Gravatar

    can’t see this, other, less religious, humans do.

    Well, all righty then…

    “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

  34. CoolGuy said,

    March 8, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Gravatar

    What stand will ubuntu and redhat will take on mono ?

    I hope they do what is right…

    The cat is out of the bag :P

  35. CoolGuy said,

    March 8, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Gravatar

    this should sum it up from a posting in slashdot.

    “Actually Microsoft paid Novell the $350 million dollars. Which is why Novell isn’t interested in backing out of the deal.

    In other words, Microsoft was willing to pay Novell $350 million dollars to put a cloud over Linux and Free Software. Novell, in return has to pay a token amount for each commercial distribution sold. Novell is as happy as can be with the situation. After all, Novell can tell its customers that it has taken care of the Microsoft patent issue. So when Microsoft starts talking trash about Free Software and patents Novell can say that it has the solution.

    The real problem is that Novell relies on a lot of hackers that aren’t part of Novell, and that, in many cases, actually compete against Novell. Now Novell has a deal with Microsoft that makes it look dangerous to purchase your Free Software from anyone but Novell, and that doesn’t make these third party hackers happy.

    Make no mistake, Novell made out like a bandit. It received well over a quarter of a billion dollars in cash, it became the “preferred Linux vendor” for Microsoft’s sales associates, and SuSE Linux is now differentiated from all of the other Linux vendors because Novell has a patent deal with Microsoft. This differentiation has allowed Novell to snag some big clients that almost certainly would have gone with Red Hat otherwise. Novell doesn’t have even a tiny bit of buyer’s remorse. Novell just wants to be able to keep the Microsoft deal and not lose the trust of the Free Software community that it relies on for more Free Software.”

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=479898&cid=22681124

  36. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 8, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, that pretty much sums it up.

    What stand will ubuntu and redhat will take on mono ?

    Yes, their response after the Mono spill-all-beans would be fascinating.

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