04.09.09

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Project of the Day: GNote

Posted in Fork, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 1:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: The trailblazing route away from Mono seems clearer thanks to GNote

A NEW Free software project called GNote has received a lot of deserved attention recently [1, 2]. It rescues GNOME from some of the unhealthy Mono dependency it has developed (Tomboy) and it comes at a good time because Señor de Icaza is running a series of posts that he calls “Embrace and Extend.NET” (his friends and colleagues at Microsoft sure would be proud). In the German press by the way, an article titled “Novell in coopetition with Microsoft” presents the words of Philippe Desmaison from Novell. It was published a few days ago and it confirms what a reader of ours has just called “the Novell-Microsoft vision.”

“GNote is GPLv3-licensed and nothing in its development involves Microsoft or Novell.”In order to prevent Novell from hijacking (‘embracing’) GNU/Linux using its own software which is ‘licensed’ by Microsoft, namely Mono, more projects like GNote are needed and apparently they are coming. The Mono proponents are unhappy to see their projects ported out of Mono and they miserably cling onto misunderstandings about copyright assignment.

GNote is GPLv3-licensed and nothing in its development involves Microsoft or Novell. Tomboy might not like this competition (or co-opetition, as Ray Noorda would have called it), but if Tomboy is Mono dependent and the licence is unattractive, then the project is bound to be forked. That’s just what Free software is about; it enables the community to take over in case it feels dissatisfied with the direction a project is taking.

If anyone is looking for a fast-growing project to contribute to, this may be it. GNOME is used by tens of millions of people and many are candidate users of GNote. The project just needs more contributors (in case Johan Sørensen welcomes them), promotion and support in order to gain momentum and leapfrog its Mono-based counterpart, Tomboy. It could, as a matter of fact, even replace Tomboy in default GNOME desktops and thus eliminate the heavy and controversial Mono stack.

The initiator of GNote is already working on an f-spot replacement too, so there may be a pattern here — a pattern of rewriting Mono applications in languages that are more appropriate and make use — as well as distribution — considerably safer (especially after the TomTom case). GPLv3 is the icing on the cake because it defangs patent aggressors.

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15 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    April 9, 2009 at 4:43 am

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    How hard is it to convert c# to Java? I know when Lucene was ported from Java to Mono (Wikimedia used a Mono-based Lucene for a while, until Java was sufficiently free) it was relatively easy.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 9, 2009 at 4:50 am

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    There are projects that achieve this, but they were not very active the last time we checked.

  3. dd said,

    April 9, 2009 at 9:32 am

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    you should check out the gnote page

    http://www.figuiere.net/hub/blog/?2009/04/06/657-gnote-010

    miguel tries to talk down the project that had absolutely nothing to do with him, and he pretty much gets flamed like a bitch.

  4. aeshna23 said,

    April 9, 2009 at 1:11 pm

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    Between GNote and Tomboy could have reached the tipping point for our victory? I think I’m feeling optimistic, but I’m not the kind of person to be optimistic, so I’m only guessing this is what optimism feels like.

  5. seller_liar said,

    April 9, 2009 at 1:17 pm

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    The next step is to do a proposol to ubuntu devs and other distro devs.

    Remove all mono thing and put libboost + pygtk for deluge (deluge uses libboost) , remove f-spot to put gthumb and put gtkmm+ libboost for gnote.

  6. Apogee said,

    April 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm

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    There is any list with all projects based on Mono? then users can check where they can contribute to remove mono from gnome… I think Vala is a good choice..

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Here is a very partial list.

  7. NotZed said,

    April 9, 2009 at 5:58 pm

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    I never understood the point of ‘note’ apps. Sure sticky notes are great when all you’ve got is a pen, but when you’ve got a filesystem and a text editor and a shell and grep, why not just write your own little file in a decent editor?

    Back on topic … Oh the irony …

    Considering the entire reason GNOME started in the first place was because KDE was using a toolkit that wasn’t `free’ enough. Whether these little trivial projects get any traction or not like GNOME did is another matter. For example GNOME benefited greatly in the early days from being written in C rather than C++ as KDE was.

  8. Charles Oliver said,

    April 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm

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    Trying to find the source for the claim that the same guy is working on an f-spot replacement, I failed entirely.

    I really hope this is true. It seems like a lot of work to rewrite f-spot in c++ but I know a lot of people would be thankful if it happened. Then there’s only Banshee to go …

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Someone told this to me privately.

    Charles Oliver Reply:

    So I guess the question is were they speaking out of their ass.

    Gnote is nice. I hope it makes it as a default app (replacing tomboy) in karmic.

  9. Ed Landaveri said,

    April 9, 2009 at 7:44 pm

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    Though I’m a Fedora guy. I install Ubuntu for whoever asks me for free. Relatives, friends and they’re completely happy. I haven’t used Tomboy for years more after learning that was written using mono eventhought Fedora/Centos have it (I think the older versions without mono) I do not install them. I used gthumb or gwenview to manage my pictures instead. The first thing I do when installing Ubuntu for someone is apt-get remove –purge lib-mono mono and installing alternatives for Tomboy or F-spot. Thanks OpenSourcer. Miguel && Ron may claim that mono is a “community” project yes it’s true: the Microsoft community” Miguel its shameful to hear you claiming “mono is safe to use” continually. You lost whatever shame you got left! Well the nice salary and the seven million dollars Ron got for selling out explains it. To promote and use mono expands the Microsoft agenda whether Miguel likes it or not!

    Linux grows by committed people. More of my relatives and friends are using it. They’re surprised to see how fast && reliable they’re systems are. This work is growing strongly in spite of all the FUD and lies that MS try to convey. You can’t get this commitmment unless millions are given like the ones that Ron, Miguel, analysts && every MS bloggers.

    Thanks for the list of mono apps its nice to have a list of what to avoid:
    Projects done using Mono
    by mono — last modified 2005-09-23 08:33 PM

    The following are programs that use the Mono API and C#.

    Beagle,
    Bless (Curse I would say),
    CDCollect,
    F-Spot,
    Galaxium,
    GLyrics,
    iFolder 3,
    Imendio Blam,
    Monodevelop,
    Second Life,
    SkyNET,
    smuxi,
    Tomboy,
    Virtuoso Universal Server

    Roy It would be nice to have a permanent link with these and any others that use this MS crap listed. Peple need to be informed. Thanks

    Charles Oliver Reply:

    It’s such a pity about Miguel, really. If you think about Gnome and Gnumeric, it shows the guy has a good brain. I wonder when it turned to mush. Maybe if you spend many hours reverse engineering MS file formats it addles your brain.

  10. Bobby Hunter said,

    April 12, 2009 at 12:16 am

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    I’m pretty sure Gnome Subtitles is also a mono based app. Whenever I install Linux for friends, I usually go with Debris Linux (which is Ubuntu Hardy stripped down to less than 200 MB. To acheive this they left out mono and compiz and a few other things.) and then I add GPicView and other non-mono apps as needed.

  11. Johan Sørensen said,

    April 24, 2009 at 8:24 am

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    more contributors? sure, that’s part of the point of Gitorious. it’s entirely up to you whether to accept those contributions or not for your project, we just provide the service to enable you to do so :)

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