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Mono “..and still nothing on whether WinForms is legally safe to use.”

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 6:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Says a voice in Slashdot

Novell et al released a complete implementation of WinForms and the Slashdot crowd reacts. The Mono/.NET advocates respond in the same typical way that reminds me of Richard Stallman’s talk where he says that people are taught to judge a program by criteria like “How powerful is it?” Not things like “how does it affect my freedom?” (as a user or developer)

Have a look at this new comment from Free Software Daily, which says that “better development methods are meaningless without being able to own the software.

“Without the ownership of the software, you will continue to be at the developers/corporate overlord’s mercy.”

In this case there are two overloads. One is Microsoft which owns software patents and the other is Novell, which has copyrights.

A bad penguin -- Novell

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  1. AlexH said,

    May 14, 2008 at 7:09 am


    There is plenty available on whether or not it is legally safe:

    “For people who need full compatibility with the Windows platform, Mono’s strategy for dealing with any potential issues that might arise with ASP.NET, ADO.NET or Windows.Forms is: (1) work around the patent by using a different implementation technique that retains the API, but changes the mechanism; if that is not possible, we would (2) remove the pieces of code that were covered by those patents, and also (3) find prior art that would render the patent useless.”


    GNU are also working hard on getting Windows Forms working; take this latest news:

    “April 04-15-2008: Libjit runs Windows.Forms Applications native on X86-64 !”


    The comments about copyright are meaningless. All free software has copyright owners.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 14, 2008 at 7:21 am


    Speaking of “Mono/.NET advocates respond in the same typical way” (just fixed a little typo there), here is another one I did not mention: The GNU project. It’s rather irrelevant.

    Why would a person wish to enter Mono as a development platform as opposed to a legacy/compatibility thing? That’s the question we ask. We see Novell developing using Mono (developing a reliance on Microsoft). Mainsoft, for instance, is more about migrations.

    At the end of the day, Novell seems to be arriving from Microsoft’s side to develop GNU/Linux the ‘Microsoft way’. That’s just the problem. Let me know when GNU emacs gets rewritten in C# and signs a patent deal with Microsoft.

  3. AlexH said,

    May 14, 2008 at 7:27 am


    Actually, no. Have you tried reading the dotgnu FAQ?

    “Just like it’s the goal of the GNU project to create a complete operating system that makes it completely unnecessary to use a non-free operating system like e.g. Microsoft Windows, it’s the goal of the DotGNU project to be a complete competitor to Microsoft’s “.Net initiative”.

    The DotGNU project will compete with Microsoft for end-users, business customers and developers.

    http://www.dotgnu.org/danger.html , my emphasis

    This isn’t a “legacy/compatibility” thing – they want developers, for example, so they do see it as a development platform. They’re actively trying to improve the .net platform with decentralized services, for example.

    So, not so irrelevant.

  4. akf said,

    May 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm


    When Mono becomes a tool to port Windows Software to other systems, I actually think it is something good. It should just not be advertised as environment for programs, which are not primarily targeted at Windows.

  5. Niklas (sic!) Koswinkle said,

    May 14, 2008 at 5:27 pm


    Roy; WinForms is not more patent-encumbered than the next software. Have you seen Samba and WINE being sued by M$ lately? Well, I thought not…

    So stop acting like a headless chicken.

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

  6. Dan O'Brian said,

    May 14, 2008 at 9:36 pm


    Also note that the legal safeness of Windows.Forms has little impact on the legal safeness of the rest of Mono. Let’s also note that Windows.Forms is a separate Mono package, separate from the core.

    If that’s not enough, DotGNU also implements Windows.Forms.

    If that’s not enough, Windows.Forms is only meant for porting, not for writing new applications on Linux (that’s what Gtk# is for).

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