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04.01.09

(Mo)NoDevelop is Liked by Microsoft and Novell, Not by the GNU/Linux Crowd

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, TomTom at 1:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monodevelop

Summary: New Mono and MonoDevelop are advocated by Novell and the Microsoft press; many feel differently however

IT DOES NOT take much research to make a distinction and witness the apparent disparity between opinions in the Novell/Microsoft-dominated media and those of ‘mere mortals’. For instance, the latest comments about Novell/Mono in LinuxToday show that Novell’s products are not welcomed by the readers there at all, especially not after the FAT case has been almost concluded (it hasn’t yet, but more on that later). Maybe it’s the implicit assumption that when a product is released you must say something good, or simply say nothing at all. Comments tend to be more blunt.

“Maybe it’s the implicit assumption that when a product is released you must say something good, or simply say nothing at all.”Novell re-released MonoDevelop and Mono a couple of days ago (version bump) and based on the statements made by the company’s executives, this seems like the company’s emphasis at the moment. It’s its ‘added value’, for which it claims to be offering exclusive "peace of mind". Miguel de Icaza is actively supporting and advancing the company which is suing GNU/Linux-using companies.

How does it feel when Novell’s press releases that involve open source are always about Microsoft technologies that they publicly promote (see this latest press release)? There is also Mono in Fox (joining the likes of Rupert) and the Microsoft press too now endorses this infiltration of Microsoft technology into the company’s #1 threat. If Microsoft’s press is promoting Mono, then it must be bad for GNU/Linux. Is it not time to think of it as Ballmer-owned .NET (like FAT) and accordingly refer to it as “Ballmono” (along the lines of Ballnux)?

Look at OStatic today. Go-oo is being called “Novell- and Microsoft-backed fork.” It’s interesting because they acknowledge that it’s a fork [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], and one that’s backed by Microsoft with Novell, which pays Microsoft for unknown software patents.

Speaking of which, Microsoft is promoting its patent propaganda book with a press release from New Jersey. Novell too is mentioned.

The internal debates among top executives over how to deal with the open source software movement — including the first-ever blow-by-blow account of the top-secret negotiations with Novell that led to the world’s first peace treaty and collaboration agreement between a proprietary and open source software company.

In case it’s not obvious, Microsoft is using Novell to impose a tax (software patents) upon GNU/Linux users. The nature of Mono and MonoDevelop (among other things) is that they significantly increase the trouble of willful infringement; the only one to benefit from this is Novell, which will offer and market SLE* as a ‘safe haven’. Bruce Perens too recognises this problem. Two days ago we wrote: [mind our emphasis]

And let’s not forget Microsoft. All of that talk about interoperability with Linux coming from them? It was just talk, because they’ve shown that anyone who tries to interoperate with Microsoft technology even as simple as the FAT filesystem will eventually be sued, or pushed into licensing, for their efforts. The way they act, the Microsoft-internal definition of “interoperability” must be “making the whole world owe us.”

And so, you should be wary of FAT, Office Open XML, .NET (including Mono), Silverlight, and of Microsoft’s participation in standards committees that don’t have a clear royalty-free committment, or, as is the case for Office Open XML, when the royalty-free committment is less than complete. These technologies leave the door open for submarine patents to sink your business.

Do you like Mono? Have you purchased/upgraded your licensed copy to Peace of Mind 11 yet?

Peace of mind

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16 Comments

  1. JohnD said,

    April 1, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Actually I do have a copy of SLES 11 running on a new server for a client. I’m using it as a host for Netware via VMWare Server 2.0.
    One thing I noticed is that it now recognizes the Dell RD1000 drive in Nautilus – way cool. I’ll probably upgrade another client to it later this summer when we upgrade them to Notes 8.5.

  2. JohnD said,

    April 1, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Gravatar

    For anyone:
    This comment on internet news:
    “Reply by Jason Biggs April 1 2009 10:22 AMPDT

    Guy: that’s the biggest collection of FUD I’ve ever seen posted in a single comment, you should be proud.

    Mono is an implementation of ECMA 334 and 335, ALL patents that IBM, Microsoft, Novell, and Intel have pertaining to those specifications are available royalty-free. Thus, none of those companies can sue Mono over patents they may have in those areas.”
    I found the article by following the Linux Today link above.
    Roy how would you respond to Jason’s post?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This is not correct. Moreover, being an ECMA standard (ECMA is corrupt by the way) means nothing for patents.

    saulgoode Reply:

    The question for Mr Biggs can one view a copy of this royalty-free patent license? What are its terms? Is it a perpetual license (extending until the patent expires)? Is it world-wide? Is it non-exclusive? Is it limited at all in field-of-endeavor? Is sub-licensing permitted?

    JohnD Reply:

    http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3812851/Novells+Mono+Gets+Faster+and+More+Visual.htm
    Here’s the link to the article – why not ask him?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Why was the context withheld until now?

    JohnD Reply:

    What context do you think was with held?
    I stated in one of the above posts that I followed a link in your post to the story and I read the comments attached to that story. Jason’s statement was one of those comments.
    It’s all there in black and white. I asked for opinions and I got some. Saulgoode posed a question that I can’t answer, but maybe Jason can.
    This is the first time I’ve heard that that there are parts of Mono that aren’t encumbered by patents (according to wikidpedia and Mr Biggs) If this is true, I think it should be reflected in discussions.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I was not complaining, just a little curious.

    Shane Coyle Reply:

    I, personally, have contacted HP and Microsoft each requesting information on the licensing around ECMA 334 & 335, and have yet to ever receive a response.

    I am in the process of planning a software project, and am requesting assistance with any potential licensing issues prior to commencement.

    Pursuant to the “Patents Statement” letter available on the ECMA web site (http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/files/ECMA-ST/Ecma PATENT/ECMA-334 & 335/2001ga-123 & 2002ga-003.pdf), I would like to request information regarding the process for obtaining any and all required licenses for creating an implementation of ECMA 334 (C# Language Specification) and ECMA 335 (Common Language Infrastructure) for the GNU/Linux Operating System, to be distributed under the GNU General Public License v2 or v3.

    If someone can figure out a physical address to send a mailed letter to, I’d love to try that approach since all I’ve ever received is a few autoreply acknowledgement from HP and no response at all from MS.

    saulgoode Reply:

    Shane, thanks for the update on your pursuit. I have been curious as to how it was progressing but realize that such things take time. This is one of the reasons why if it is indeed true that a grant is given to anyone who want to implement those components for free and for any purpose (as the Mono Project assures us) then it would be incumbent upon such a grant being made public.

    The necessity of every potential user of Mono having to contact Microsoft or HP to request a license for the ECMA 334/5 patents is quite simply not an acceptable condition for Free Software developers, distributors, or users.

    Shane Coyle Reply:

    The only concrete thing I’ve seen public is the pdf file on the ECMA site that indicates that MS and HP

    “…will grant, on a non-discriminatory basis, to any party requesting it, licenses on reasonable terms and conditions, for its patent(s) deemed necessary for the implementation of the ECMA standard…”

    But no word on exactly what those reasonable and non discriminatory terms are, that I am aware of.

    JohnD Reply:

    Perhaps you too should contact Mr Biggs and see what he has to say and if he could follow up the big boys. Maybe if there’s enough press – someone will actually answer.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    What is H-P’s role?

    Shane Coyle Reply:

    I honestly don’t know what their contribution to C#/CLI is, they must feel they have some patents on aspects of 334 and 335 if they took the time to write a letter stating they’d grant rights under RAND terms for as long as the standard remains valid.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    H-P signed a Silverlight deal with Microsoft less than a year ago. It’s unlikely to be related, though.

  3. JohnD said,

    April 1, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Wikipedia seems to support his stance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_(software)

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