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The Free Software Foundation No Longer Interested in .NET Cloning?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

.NET Slipping through

A bad penguin -- Novell

This year’s list of high-priority Free software projects excludes DotGNU, which was there before. An article from last year explained the controversy surrounding this.

The Free Software Foundation’s ‘High Priority’ List: A Key Guidepost


# DotGNU:
GNU/Linux already has a partial implementation of Microsofts .NET (AKA C#) language in the Mono Project. However, many people in free software are concerned that Mono could face patent attacks from Microsoft. Just as importantly, some view Mono with suspicion, especially since it is sponsored by Novell, Microsoft’s chief partner in the community. DotGNU is an effort to provide a technical and political alternative.

AVRS2 is not hurried in jumping to conclusions. Yesterday he clarified that “it could just have fallen down because it works well (don’t know) already.” Dan O’Brien writes: “maybe because of Mono.” Either way, it’s not there anymore. Looking at readers of Linux Today, some people vehemently dislike Mono and several other people begin to understand a Mono injection vector called Moonlight, so there’s no happiness.

I won’t even install mono on my system.
If a site is built using silverlight, it will get the same treatment from me as any site that caters to IE-only: I will not use it.

Further, says Jeff Cobb:

I agree with the above poster and the article which states that Linux will always be behind the curve WRT Mono/MS version compatibility.
What I find disgusting though is the reasoning behind why we should do it: because “everyone else is doing it”.
Doesn’t this make you glad that Linus, RMS, et al didn’t share Miguels casual moral attitude?

Mono is not a wise way to proceed given things that we already know. What GNU/Linux is in danger of is ending up with a poor man’s .NET (Mono) and poor man’s Visual Studio (Novell’s MonoDevelop). It makes it a follower, inferior and subjected, to the merciless hand of Microsoft. One person has just called this “ignorance”.

i guess miguel still does not realize that linux will always be a second class citizen when it comes to M$.. if it was up to M$ linux would even be a citizen….. so the fact the you do have to WAIT for MS to throw you a bone with specs tells you that you will always be playing catchup.. and the day the M$ decides that they no longer need to satisfy any antitrust deals.. your out of luck…… MAN.. i just can;t understnad how this guy can be completely ignorant of this..

Moreover, based on an interesting recent post, those Microsoft licences are a menace.

So where does this leave us? GNOME has been encumbered with Microsoft patents. Microsoft clearly has no regard for anyone’s intellectual property, albeit their own, and will stop at nothing to gain control or draw the life from new innovations in order to keep afloat their failing ideal. What can we do about it?

Abandon Microsoft entirely, abandon their attempts at ‘open source’ and give complete non-compliance. Through all their underhanded tricks and lies there remains one feature inherent to all capitalistic business…

This warning comes at a good time because Microsoft has doctored and begun spreading GNU/Linux-hostile licences. One reader wrote to say: “Maybe I read this wrong, but this strikes me like the scenario we were trying to warn the pro-mono folk about. As long as Microsoft is in the mix, free isn’t going to be free for long.”

“Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. “Don’t bother us with politics,” respond those who don’t want to learn.”

Richard Stallman

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  1. newkon said,

    October 5, 2008 at 12:27 pm


    thanks good blog and post

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    October 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm


    Good post and welcome back.

    I hope that the FSF goes from ignoring .NET and C# to actually rousting them, and other toxic payloads, from mainstream linux distros.

    Java and Python seem to be the markets MSFTers are trying to break into with their proprietary imitations.

  3. seller_liar said,

    October 5, 2008 at 1:10 pm


    DotGNU is gplv3 .Mono is not.

    But gplv3 is not the panacea box.FSF know this and dotgnu is not a priority anymore.

    Thanks Roy and FSF!

  4. bob said,

    October 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm


    I think a more likely reason is that the FSF are no longer interested in having a .Net replacement as a *high priority project*. They are still interested in providing a free .Net implementation, but now they have other more important things to worry about such as a free Skype replacement and free 3d card drivers.

  5. joe said,

    October 5, 2008 at 2:13 pm


    Likewise, Anjuta and KDevelop are just poor man’s Visual Studios too.

    People should just use GNU/Emacs for development, who needs GUI clicking IDEs? GNU/Emacs + gdb is so much more powerful than anything Microsoft has and only newbs need a clicky interface.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm


    Likewise, Anjuta and KDevelop are just poor man’s Visual Studios too.

    The end product is very different though. You can’t really compare Eclipse/Beans to Visual Studio, which is “write once, run… well, on Microsoft Windows.”

    I personally use Kate or nedit for development.

  7. Dan O'Brian said,

    October 5, 2008 at 3:32 pm


    Visual Studio is no more “write once, run only on Microsoft Windows” than Eclipse is “write once, run only on Solaris” or KDevelop/Anjuta are “write once, run only on Linux”.

    I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at your ignorance.

  8. Dan O'Brian said,

    October 5, 2008 at 8:04 pm


    It should be pointed out that any patents that affect Mono also affect DotGNU, regardless of what license DotGNU chooses.GPLv3 does not protect DotGNU users from any patents that the DotGNU developers do not have rights to.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 6, 2008 at 1:42 am


    Visual Studio is no more “write once, run only on Microsoft Windows” than Eclipse is “write once, run only on Solaris” or KDevelop/Anjuta are “write once, run only on Linux”.

    I was referring to programming languages and platform-specific ‘extensions’.

  10. DanielHedblom said,

    October 6, 2008 at 8:20 am


    The only party that has something to gain from a GNU implementation of dotnet is Microsoft who can claim its cross-platform when its really not. If it was, how come Moonlight sucks so horribly?

  11. Dan O'Brian said,

    October 6, 2008 at 9:40 am


    I’ve actually been using Moonlight to view some sites. It works rather well. What is so sucky about it? Have you even used it? I highly doubt you have.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 6, 2008 at 9:56 am


    It’s not about practicality alone. You’re ignoring the fact that it’s seen as an unacceptable legal risk.

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