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05.06.08

Why Novell Became a Threat to Java and the GNU GPL

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Red Hat, SUN, Ubuntu at 1:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Novell wants you to know that selling its soul to Steve Ballmer was a really good idea.”

The Register, 2008

A reader has just contacted us, pointing to the following forgotten article.

Microsoft is in the process of applying for a wide-ranging patent that covers a variety of functions related to its .Net initiative.

If approved as is, the patent would cover application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow actions related to accessing the network, handling Extensible Markup Language (XML), and managing data from multiple sources. APIs are the hooks in software that allow applications to work with another system.

Microsoft declined to elaborate on its plans for the patent, but intellectual property attorneys said that if it’s granted, the company could dictate how, or whether, developers of software and devices can link to the .Net initiative.

Say No to MonoThe patent can be found here. “That was 2003,” said the reader, then adding: “It’s especially pernicious when you notice that underneath the smoke and noise about ‘linux’ Novell signs onto and commits to spreading .Net patents at the expense of Java.” This issue was covered here recently.

Our readers continues: “The claim that .Net is a multiplatform standard is rendered false: .NET developers are further locked into a single vendor. Java, in contrast, is fully open source and has the developer community.”

Mono users — especially those who are also developers — love to rave about .NET like it was the second coming, but only yesterday we find articles such as this one from OSNews.

In part one, Bright heavily criticised the Win32 API, saying it was filled with legacy stuff and hindered by 15 year old design decisions. In part two he explains that as an answer to the complaints, Microsoft introduced the .Net framework, which was supposed to replace the Win32 API as the API of choice for Windows; in fact, the next release of Windows, Longhorn, would make heavy use of .Net. “It could have provided salvation,” Bright writes.

But it didn’t. According to Bright, .Net was fine technically, with a “sound” virtual machine, “reasonable” performance, and an “adequate” language (C#), but the library – “used for such diverse tasks as writing files, reading data from databases, sending information over a network, parsing XML, or creating a GUI” – the library is “extremely bad”. Bright explains that this is due to the target audience of .Net.

Knowing all about and bearing these deficiencies in mind, why would anyone ignore Java? Novell buys (pays for) Mono protection from Microsoft although at the same time Java is free (gratis and libre). In fact, last week’s announcement from Sun about the inclusion of Java in GNU/Linux distributions included the prominent mention of Fedora and Ubuntu, along with their parents (companies). Conspicuously missing was Novell/SUSE. Who is Novell kidding?

Meanwhile, also from the news, Sun bends backwards to make GNU/Linux developers and users happy(ier), unlike Microsoft which welcomes SCO staff (more on that very shortly). Here is what Sun has had to say:

Sun also had to cope with unrealistic expectations about how much time it would take to offer Java via open source under the GNU General Public License Version 2.0, a move made in November 2006.

“There was the expectation that it would be immediately carried into the universe,” Green said. But it has taken time to free up the bits and pieces of Java to make it available via open source, Green acknowledged.

Now, the Ubuntu Linux distribution includes OpenJDK, featuring open source Java, Green noted. This move announced last week means the open-sourcing is complete, he said.

If Novell refuses to help the GPL-licensed Java defeat .NET, then Novell will once again demonstrate its role as nothing but a Microsoft vassal. It has already done a lot of work which helped Microsoft cause damage to OpenDocument format.

Does anyone still believe that Novell is a pro-Free software company? As opposed to a company that uses Linux (with the lenient and permissive Linux philosophy) to promote Microsoft’s agenda?

Bad Novell

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32 Comments

  1. Alex H. said,

    May 6, 2008 at 2:08 am

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    It’s an interesting opinion, but I don’t see how Novell could “become a threat” to free Java: mono predates free Java by seven years.

    If you like Java, shouldn’t you instead be thanking Novell (and to some extent MS) for providing a sufficiently advanced system which pushed Sun into making Java available under the GPL?

    There was never any plan to free Java before .net started eating its lunch…

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 6, 2008 at 2:34 am

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    I accept your point, but why pretend that .NET is the same as Mono? If Java was losing market share, that would not be because of Ximian or Novell. Or do you have a different opinion?

    The same convenient (to Novell) arguments are made to justify Novell’s support of Microsoft’s XAML. Adobe’s pressure did not come from Moonlight.

  3. Alex H. said,

    May 6, 2008 at 3:34 am

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    .net certainly isn’t the same as Mono, and certainly I accept that most of the pressure has been coming from .net. However, there is no pressure from .net to “open” Java: in 2001, when Mono started, they were both pretty much equally proprietary. There were plenty of people asking Sun to make Java free software too, so it wasn’t like it didn’t occur to Sun.

    Mono put the pressure on Sun to open up because suddenly there was a high-quality implementation of C# and the Ecma standards, and it was _free software_.

    I would actually say that this pressure has been brought to bear in a number of ways over the years:

    - FSF/GNOME pressuring Trolltech to make Qt free software,
    - mono pressuring Sun to make Java free software,
    - MS/XPS pressuring Adobe to standardise PDF,
    - FSF/Gnash/swfdec pressuring Adobe to document Flash

    I don’t think your example of XAML is actually that relevant: XAML isn’t a Silverlight technology; it’s something which was re-used there in a watered-down format and is equally relevant if you want to run Windows apps on Mono. You’d want to implement XAML whether you were doing Moonlight or not.

  4. Alex H. said,

    May 6, 2008 at 3:41 am

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    I would also point out that had Java been free software originally, .net probably wouldn’t have even happened: Microsoft only started the project because they weren’t allowed to make changes to the system and still call it “Java” – Sun took them to court over it.

    Obviously, in the free software world, we recognise that the ability to modify software to do whatever you want is a basic software freedom, so Microsoft could do that to Java now.

    Interesting to note that Sun could have avoided all of this if Java had been free software…..

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 6, 2008 at 3:51 am

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    According to my knowledge (and many exhibits from Comes vs. Iowa), Microsoft’s intent was not merely to modify Java but to create platform lock-in. The executives said so explicitly on numerous occasions, which is why the company got fined.

    Sun’s response with the GPL is partly motivated by the shift in the industry as a whole towards FOSS, not just the presence of .NET. To put forward articles from yesterday alone:

    Open Source Embrace Gives Sun New Fans

    Sun’s first stab at open source was via the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) — a modified Mozilla open source license recently approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). That didn’t go over very well, so Sun switched to the more popular General Public License (GPL), and suddenly, it was getting Richard “St. IGNUcius” Stallman’s blessings.

    http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3744916/Open+Source+Embrace+Gives+Sun+New+Fans.htm

    Tim Bray provides a bridge between Sun and developers

    “For all the difficulties, Bray suggests that he often sees at least incremental improvements in Sun. For instance, after he observed “ferment in the Python world,” he says that his advocacy “helped commit Sun to really open up their hardware to the [Python] project. And then we just a couple of weeks ago hired two Python people. We’re starting to get our feet wet there.”

    http://www.linux.com/feature/133149

    Developers love tinkering. Well, many of them do and it’s more of a culture change.

  6. Alex H. said,

    May 6, 2008 at 4:36 am

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    I think you’re confused on the Microsoft/Sun/Java issue. For one, there were two main lawsuits, covering two different issues:

    - Microsoft’s ability to modify Java,
    - Microsoft locking Java out from the desktop

    The second one was the antitrust one, but it was much later. The ‘modify Java’ case was settled in 2001 and was simply Sun enforcing its trademarks etc. against Microsoft:

    http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-01-2001/jw-0124-iw-mssuncourt.html

    The later suit was settled in 2004, and involved Sun paying Microsoft large sums of money:

    http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/2004-04/sunflash.20040402.3.xml

    Both of these cases pre-date Comes by some considerable degree too.

    The articles you point to about Java are really red herrings. The CDDL is irrelevant; Java was never under the CDDL and Sun never intended to make it available under that license. Ditto Sun hiring python developers – of course Sun does some free software stuff, but it’s not relevant to Java.

    Sun is entirely dualistic. It makes software available under free software licenses *where it suits Sun*, and otherwise keeps them proprietary.

    As a good example, look at Solaris. Linux has put huge pressure on Sun, and they were basically forced to make Solaris free software because Linux was totally eating its lunch. However, notice that they ensure Solaris is licensed incompatibly with Linux so that Solaris code cannot be contributed to Linux.

    Java and Solaris are basically the same; forced out into the open due to pressure from free software projects.

  7. Miles said,

    May 6, 2008 at 11:12 am

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    To add to Alex H.’s excellent summary, Mono put pressure on Sun to release Java under a free software license also because of the fact that it worked well on Unix platforms. If Mono hadn’t come along and implemented .NET for Unix platforms, then there would have been a lot less pressure to change the licensing terms of Java as Java is mostly used as a server-side software development platform (which is where Unix and Linux have a lot more market share) which means that it became a serious threat to Sun.

    I also find it quite humorous that the modifications that Microsoft introduced to Java 10 years ago that Sun rejected are now making it into Java 6 & 7.

    As Alex mentioned, if Sun had made Java free software back then instead of trying to keep it on a tight leash, then we likely never would have gotten a .NET and Miguel & Co. would be writing applications in Java right now instead of implementing Mono and applications in C#/.NET.

  8. Google said,

    May 6, 2008 at 11:36 am

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    @Mikes

    Java GPL or not – there would have been .NET for the windozz developers.

    Only mistake SUN made was to not release it under GPL sooner – we would have far more adoption today.

    Its hard for larger companies to change so fast. Atleast SUN is doing a lot of right things lately.

    Its a slow process.

    I also find it quite humorous that the modifications that Microsoft introduced to Java 10 years ago that Sun rejected are now making it into Java 6 & 7.

    ?? Like…

  9. Google said,

    May 6, 2008 at 11:47 am

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    Java has to ensure compatibility across many systems (mobiles, desktops, etc).

    Latest build of Open Office works on Windows 98 !!

    SUN is doing the right – by going slowly and steadily – not just rushing half baked products out of the door and shoving them down the throat of customers for nothing.

    Java is going at the right pace. Only implementing tried and tested technology and not risking too much – to cause compatibility nightmares.

    Trust me its really hard to make money on support – rather than direct software purchase. Unless the product is good – nobody will pay.

    Check MS strategy – buying box pack software – if its not good – you cant do anything – they have already made the money – who cares about the customer. Plus they charge a lot of their crapy software.

  10. Google said,

    May 6, 2008 at 12:02 pm

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    Mind you Java works on Win 98 !

    So Java supports Solaris, Linux, Mac OS, Win 98 upwards – and it works great on all of above system – never had a single issue with it !

    Cant say the same for .NET – it has zero backward compatibility with its own OS – forget the multi platform compatibility. Microsoft makes a lot of noise of everything they do – its just too much talk and no show. Plus it cost a bomb in licensing issues. Just a PR Hype machine Microsoft is.

    How many products break across every service packs – forget the OS issues.

    SUN is not getting any direct upfront payment for Java – I really appreciate their contribution to the FOSS – although it did took them some time to get there.

  11. AlexH said,

    May 6, 2008 at 1:00 pm

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    Sun might be doing some right things recently, but I don’t believe that they’re any friend of free software.

    I think the MySQL situation is an excellent example of this; they’ve bought a free software product but aren’t committing it to a fully free software future:

    http://www.cnet.com/8301-13505_1-9936820-16.html

    I’m not saying Sun are an enemy of free software at all, but I don’t think they deserve to be held up as some kind of poster child. Sun have entered into massive patent licensing programmes with Microsoft too – see the Sun flash link I posted earlier:

    “The agreements involve payments of $700 million to Sun by Microsoft to resolve pending antitrust issues and $900 million to resolve patent issues.”

    Not just Microsoft; Sun have paid patent holders such as Kodak too, it’s all documented. But for some reason, people don’t see Java as a patent minefield…

  12. Miles said,

    May 6, 2008 at 1:01 pm

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    Windows98 is EOL’d, why would they bother making .NET work on a platform they don’t support any longer? Doesn’t make much sense.

    Seeing as how Mono works on Windows98, I see no reason Microsoft couldn’t support .NET on Windows98 if they cared to, they just don’t.

    As far as what new features are/have been added to Java from C#/.NET?

    here’s an incomplete list:

    1. Generics
    2. Closures
    3. Automatic Resource Block Management
    4. Properties
    5. Events
    6. Type Inference
    7. invokedynamic
    8. foreach loop
    9. Auto-boxing
    10. Varargs support
    11. Annotation syntax

  13. Miles said,

    May 6, 2008 at 1:06 pm

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    But for some reason, people don’t see Java as a patent minefield…

    It’s even more concerning that Sun is specifically licensing Java under the GPLv2 which does not grant patent rights.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 6, 2008 at 6:12 pm

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    GPLv3 was not out when they made this decision, which some developers are not happy with. OpenOffice.org, on the other hand, was recently moved to v3 (nightly of OOo 3.0) and parts of xVM too.

  15. Xanadu said,

    May 6, 2008 at 11:36 pm

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    a company that uses Linux (with the lenient and permissive Linux philosophy) to promote Microsoft’s agenda?

    Hi Roy, I think you are wrong, I think I have finally figured out what’s going inside Novell’s mess of a corporate mind, it is easy actually. Novell is not -intentionally- working hard for MS to take over the world, even though the consequences of their actions are negative to everyone (including Novell) but Microsoft.

    What Novell wants, is plain and simple. First of all they think they own Mono, which is true license wise (They can change the license whenever they want, for example) And they also are certain they got MS blessing to use Mono.

    I’ll tell you what Novell’s problem is, they were just planning to sell unix like in the past, so they got into the Linux business, the problem (to them) is that they don’t control Linux, they don’t really control gnome , GNU, and they have no control at all whatsoever on the main parts of LAMP. Those are things they’d really like to control since they sell servers.

    So, to them it is important to hook everyone into this platform that they -think- control, Mono. As a matter of fact they would also like to slowly get rid of those other dangerous things they don’t control, or make sure they eventually become dependent on Mono, which passes them the control automatically.

    Novell’s agenda is to let Mono to take over the world in detriment to the FOSS projects and platforms we have now. It is just a matter of power and being able to top the rest of Linux “vendors” in profit.

    Microsoft’s agenda is to let .net control everything, the difference is that they plan to eventually stab Novell, they could do something like suing over patents. But they can also try something else, if there are sufficient costumers, they just release their own .net implementation for Linux, stripped down from windows’ but still advertised as necessary, this piece of garbage won’t be FOSS or open source, and will be “free” for any non-commercial use, all those mono apps will immediately run on “.net” .

    Microsoft will advertise it as being more efficient and being the one and only way to use .net in Linux without getting sued.

    That’s what goes on, both Novell and Microsoft want Mono to become a prerequisite on every place in the Linux world, the reasons are quite different though. At the end of the day, mono dominance would lead to MS taking over and perhaps Novell

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 7, 2008 at 12:41 am

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    I agree with what you say and let me clarify:

    I did not insist that Novell does this deliberately, but someone at Novell is surely aware of the side effects.

    Novell goes as far as using copyrights in Mono for ‘harder’ ownership

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/03/01/novell-dot-net-copyrights/

    To Microsoft, as you say, it’s primarily about making .NET the ‘standard’, i.e. creating another dependency like .DOC, CIFS, AD, etc.

    It’s a win-win for Novell and Microsoft perhaps, but they spit at the enabler, which is Free software, in order to get where they want to be. It’s a shame that not many people can see it; not even some developers who are paid (exploited) by Novell and keep quiet as long as they are paid.

    Novell is motivated by shareholders, not Freedom and goodwill. Those two things are certainly not mutually exclusive, but therein lies Novell’s philosophical gap. The management needs a radical makeover to facilitate change not only at the technical level (SuSE acquisition), but a managerial level too. Simon Phipps commented on this recently. He politely pointed out that Novell’s CEO is clueless.

  17. LinuxIsFun said,

    May 7, 2008 at 1:53 am

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    Hi Mikes,

    Those feature are already available in other OOPS since a long time (python, smalltalk, perl, etc..). They are common to OOPS paradigm – only the implementation differs from language to language.

    For a decent comparison

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

  18. Google said,

    May 7, 2008 at 3:28 am

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    Yeah and MS copied the entire VM idea from Java. Even C# borrowed a lot of ideas from Smalltalk, C, C++. Every language is going to borrow ideas from others – nothing new here – each one is good at a particular domain.

    Windows98 is EOL’d, why would they bother making .NET work on a platform they don’t support any longer? Doesn’t make much sense.

    Yeah. so why does SUN support those ? Any ideas ? Maybe they have lot of money and time to waste supporting legacy platforms.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 7, 2008 at 4:50 am

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    Microsoft reinvents a lot of things, poorly. From the early days of the UNIX server, which NT was supposed to be a copy of (Gates/Microsoft marketed it “Better UNIX than UNIX”, IIRC) to present day:

    Now we have this copy of Java (first VM, then .NET), the copy of the GNU/Linux command line (Monad), a copy of Netscape (Allchin said that IE needs to copy all the features and then be bundled with the O/S), a copy of Flash (Silverfish), a copy of PDF (XPS), a copy of ODF (OOXML) and a copy of security software that was intended to protect Microsoft’s poorly-constructed O/S (OneCare, Stirling, etc.), which still does it badly.

    There is this myth (FUD) that Free software is cheap imitations of other companies’ ideas, but if Microsoft ever makes this claim, it ought to just look at the mirror. Microsoft simply assimilates to competitive trends and then uses its monopoly power to phase out the competition and shove its own shoddy replacements down people’s throat for a critical mass to be secured.

    Another thing Microsoft is good at is buying something for advancement, not actually coming up with ideas. To quote something from last year.

    “Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products”

    Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager

  20. Xanadu said,

    May 7, 2008 at 2:56 pm

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    It is scare to take a look at Miguel’s blog: http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2008/Apr-17.html

    Beyond hack-value, there are in my opinion many reasons why this is valuable. Powerful .NET programming model, powerful graphics and animation framework, reuse the same code base for Web and desktop development, and a sandboxed execution model.

    Imagine it, how , let’s say… gnome will now also bring silverlight applications in the desktop because they are soo cool! Of course it sounds like a good idea, it is an awesome idea…

    Look at the details area:

    The orange pieces were built by the Mono/Moonlight team at Novell. The green pieces are provided by Microsoft (and only for use in the browser context, we will get back to this later) and the blue stuff is stuff that we consume from the community.

    I think he meant “exploit”.

  21. Sidehow-Bob said,

    May 7, 2008 at 4:04 pm

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    The problem with Roy and some other folks here is that they are completely ignorant about the technical side of Mono and willfully ignorant about the legal side of Mono and Java.

    There is nothing to discuss with people who are willfully ignorant.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  22. Xanadu said,

    May 7, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Gravatar

    Let’s see:

    Technical
    Technical side of Mono : clone of .net
    - .exe, .dll
    - multilanguage
    - Garbage collected, JIT compiling
    - C# comes with a wide variety of features
    - Assemblies are multi language.
    - You require Mono to run whatever you code in it.

    Legal
    * Mono head Miguel Icaza seems to dislike the GPL and actively attacks it and makes it look as adding evil restrictions to developers [1]
    * Novell reserves the right to relicense as they wish

    When a developer contributes code to the C# compiler or the Mono runtime engine, we require that the author grants Novell the right to relicense his/her contribution under other licensing terms.

    This allows Novell to re-distribute the Mono source code to parties that might not want to use the GPL or LGPL versions of the code.

    Particularly embedded system vendors obtain grants to the Mono runtime engine and modify it for their own purposes without having to release those changes back.

    * Parts of what Mono implements are patent encumbered:

    The .NET Framework is divided in two parts: the ECMA/ISO covered technologies and the other technologies developed on top of it like ADO.NET, ASP.NET and Windows.Forms.

    Mono implements the ECMA/ISO covered parts, as well as being a project that aims to implement the higher level blocks like ASP.NET, ADO.NET and Windows.Forms.

    (For both last point and this one see: [2]

    * Alleged FOSS Moonlight requires you to either download it directly from Novell or to buy SLED. [3]

    * Most of Java is GPLed and it is confirmed it will soon become GPLed. Once that happens it will be a true open platform In opposition to .net which is optionally-open just like OOXML.

    * I advocate GCC and python as platforms, not Java. Those were GPL for a long time.

    * Novell signed a FUD deal in the past with Microsoft, some how people like to ignore this fact.

    * I get quite mad at people like Miguel who seem to love the idea of replacing LAMP with some sort of Microsoft-Novell hybrid clone using Mono and ASP.net.


    It is interesting to see how the opposition of this site often falls into ad hominem attacks and many other diversion attempts rather than fighting the actual argument made by it.

  23. Miles said,

    May 7, 2008 at 5:26 pm

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    * Mono head Miguel Icaza seems to dislike the GPL and actively attacks it and makes it look as adding evil restrictions to developers [1]

    You failed miserably at providing evidence to your claim. The link you referenced, had you actually read it, doesn’t state that Miguel hates the GPL at all or even dislikes it.

    It merely states that he has relicensed more Mono components under MIT/X11 to allow them to be used in places where it was not previously possible to use them. This has nothing at all to do with dislike/hatred of the GPL.

    In fact, Miguel has contributed quite a number of projects and incredible amounts of code under the GPL and LGPL. If he didn’t like the GPL, why has he licensed so much code under it?

    * Parts of what Mono implements are patent encumbered:

    How disingenuous of you… Just don’t install or use the patent encumbered bits, they aren’t hard to avoid.

    * Most of Java is GPLed and it is confirmed it will soon become GPLed. Once that happens it will be a true open platform In opposition to .net which is optionally-open just like OOXML.

    Given Mono’s license, anyone could fork Mono and relicense under the GPL. Would this make you happy? If so, do it. A simple shell script would solve your problem in mere seconds.

    * I advocate GCC and python as platforms, not Java. Those were GPL for a long time.

    Python is not under the GPL, although it is GPL compatible. Then again, so is Mono ;-)

    * Novell signed a FUD deal in the past with Microsoft, some how people like to ignore this fact.

    No, just that some people tend not to have knee-jerk reactions to things they don’t fully understand without getting the facts first ;-)

    You and Roy feel it was a FUD deal, people who fear patent suits feel it was a necessary precaution. While Red Hat’s patent protection plan may be enough for you, it might not be for someone else. Some people would prefer not to even have to go to court. That’s what the Microsoft-Novell deal does.

    There are always 2 sides to every coin.

    * I get quite mad at people like Miguel who seem to love the idea of replacing LAMP with some sort of Microsoft-Novell hybrid clone using Mono and ASP.net.

    I don’t think that’s what Miguel’s plan is at all. If it is, they are doing a pretty poor job of marketing Mono for that purpose. Miguel also points out that ASP.NET is one of the technologies that might not be safe from patents. With him saying that, I don’t see how he’s going to convince corporate customers to take that risk (and home web developers seem really unlikely to want to use ASP.NET in the first place as the average home web developer is just going to use PHP since more hosting sites support that than mod_mono).

    Also, it’s clearly not working if that is his goal, so you shouldn’t be as worried as you seem to be about it. Or am I just not aware of an increase in ASP.NET sites running on Mono on Linux? I can’t think of a single one, in fact. Certainly don’t recall any news on that topic.

    -
    It is interesting to see how the Mono opposition often fall into ad hominem attacks and many other diversion attempts rather than sticking to the facts.

  24. Miles said,

    May 7, 2008 at 5:33 pm

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    LinuxIsFun: Yes, some of those features are common to other OOP languages, but not all.

    The pressure for Java to gain these features, though, is largely from C#.

    As in, developers see these features in C#, find they are really nice & useful, and then demand that they be added to Java.

  25. Xanadu said,

    May 7, 2008 at 5:56 pm

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    You failed miserably at providing evidence to your claim.

    I have provided a small subset of facts and linked to Mono and Novell’s own sites with the exception of that boycott novell link that just takes you to one post by Miguel and some other stuff so I thought it was better to link to it. I was not able to get why apologists chose to blatantly ignore these things, I guess time will tell.

    How disingenuous of you… Just don’t install or use the patent encumbered bits, they aren’t hard to avoid.

    Another ad hominem , why include them in the first place?

    No, just that some people tend not to have knee-jerk reactions to things they don’t fully understand without getting the facts first ;-)

    So, Novell pays Microsoft Mono protection, and makes sure it is the only one able to get this mono protection. SLED users are the only ones allowed to have this protection, Novell and Microsoft advertize these protections as necessary even in countries with no software patents.

    You and Roy feel it was a FUD deal, people who fear patent suits feel it was a necessary precaution.

    It wasn’t necessary for God’s sake. Ask Samba and the EU.

    While Red Hat’s patent protection plan may be enough for you, it might not be for someone else. Some people would prefer not to even have to go to court.

    That’s what the Microsoft-Novell deal does.

    And hence it is a FUD deal. You are just saying that red hat users are endangered to go to court while Novell aren’t. I would be shocked but this is not the first time it is said, Novell itself loves to use it as an advertising method.

    The FUD deal and MS-Novell’s own statements (really, Mono belongs to Novell here, not the community, so we must really be interested in their statements regarding this issue) imply that Mono requires you to pay both novell and Microsoft for protection (and based on your last paragraph, I would say you agree), that alone is enough reason not to welcome Mono in the FOSS world.

    There are always 2 sides to every coin.

    No comment.

  26. Xanadu said,

    May 7, 2008 at 6:02 pm

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    Regarding Miguel, perhaps the old one liked the GPL or perhaps he used it to pose or something, what I know is that the current Miguel is but a danger. You should have seen him celebrating the “OOXML wins for the community” (I guess he meant the MSDN community or something like that)

    My conclussion is (and I am not speaking facts here but just opinions) that Miguel Icaza just hates everything truly free, he would only like stuff that either mimic Microsoft technology or were made by Microsoft or somehow depend on Microsoft. Then he might every once in a while use the term “open source” just to make sure he still has followers, to him “open source” is but a platform where he can built his stack of MS-flattering software.

  27. Xanadu said,

    May 7, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Gravatar

    I had a very strange slip about python, I stand corrected, I was intending to say have always been free software or something like that, must stop typing this fast.

  28. Xanadu said,

    May 7, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Gravatar

    Anyways, let’s assume that Mono does not come from any danger from either Novell or Microsoft, it is still lame to use it. Some people feel the need to break all our perfectly working applications and replace them with Mono apps that require the OS organization to mimic windows’ , not only is it ridiculous it is also an insult to all the hard work we had in FOSS.

    Lest all run non-native apps just for such a lame reason as “C# is cooler”.

    “f-spot.exe” and you remove it and you break your ubuntu install, will have to install it if you want an smooth upgrade later, thanks Mono!

  29. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 7, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Gravatar

    I think that Miguel still cares about Freedom, but he has a conflict of interests because of his employer. Recall the “pay grade” remark. If he cares enough about Freedom, then he should work for a company that does not use exclusive ‘protection’ to market itself.

    As far as his love for everything Microsoft goes, he is said to have been brainwashed and his role at Novell makes it an obligation to support some Microsoft technologies.

    Miles, the issue is not patents alone. Microsoft wants to simply use Novell to make its technology the ‘standard’. This includes things like OOXML, which are a case against Free software (OSP/RAND). By obeying this, Novell instantly becomes a foe of the GPL, which it already became when it signed the deal, conspiring to find workarounds against its obligations.

  30. Sideshow-Bog said,

    May 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Xandadu; you are stark-raving mad foaming at the mouth.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from a possible incarnation of known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  31. Xanadu said,

    May 7, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Gravatar

    Those were two wonderful contributions, Sideshow-Bog, I like you because you make the opposing side look very lame.

  32. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 7, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Gravatar

    Sideshow-Bog, please stay on topic. No insults.

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