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Gnote’s Objection to Mono and Microsoft’s ‘Embrace’ of Java

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, Java, Microsoft, Mono, SUN at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Java book

Summary: Analysing the rationale for Gnote; Microsoft’s latest ‘embrace’ attempt of its competitor, Java

A FEW HOURS ago we wrote about Gnote's rapidly-increasing popularity and in this new article Bruce Byfield explains that Gnote’s lead developer does not like Mono for technical reasons. That too has always been a consideration.

Not that Figuiere is a Mono advocate. But his opposition over the years has been more practical than philosophical. For instance, in several discussion threads about Including Mono in GNOME on the desktop-devel-list in July 2006, Figuiere objected to shipping Mono-based apps on the grounds that the language required a lot of disk space, but was supporting only minor applications — and he made the same objection to Python, a far less contentious programming language.

This objection, incidentally, is one that he continues to hold today. Gnote, he tells me, “has all to do with the burden of carrying runtime systems designed to make the programmer’s life easier (but not the users’). Had Tomboy been written in Python, it would have gotten the same treatment.”

Of course, Figuiere might have soured on Mono after being laid off at Novell in February. But, if he did, it would be strange if he continued to use what he describes as an “openSUSE 11.1 custom build with SUSE Studio with some custom packages” — free software versions of Novell’s own products.

Didn’t he leave SUSE and moved to Fedora, which was the first major distribution (or first ever) to accept Gnote? It might even be put there by default in the near future.

In other news, we previously saw (in Egypt) how Microsoft had invaded a Java conference despite its infamous sabotage of Java. Now it intends to deliver a keynote at JavaOne.

Here’s a first: Microsoft will be giving a keynote address at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco next month.

This article is from IDG, so it portrays its client [1, 2, 3, 4], Microsoft, as though it’s a friend of Java. Microsoft would be pleased.

Microsoft would also love to harm Java. .NET is a wannabe of Java and Mono is a wannabe of .NET. Java is GPL-licensed now, so for object-oriented programming, why not embrace Java rather than its wannabe-of-wannabe (Mono), whose licence is weak as well? Not to mention Microsoft patents and virtual control over Mono’s direction…
[1] Project of the Day: GNote
[2] Tomboy is Afraid of Gnote, Its Mono-free Sibling
[3] Gnote Supports 6 More Languages, Does Not Support C#
[4] The Role of Mono and Moonlight Revisited
[5] Did Tomboy Learn from TomTom? Project Forked, Moves Away from Microsoft ‘Standards’
[6] Novell Partners Promote Silverlight, Zeitgeist at Risk of Mono(polists)

“We do NOT want to ship the ’standard’ with Windows because we want to make the native APIs more attractive. We want to evolve the standard APIs rapidly, and not have ISVs [independent software vendors] spending time on something that is cross-platform. Java standard server APIs are bad news for us. I veto any cooperation with this group unless someone comes and convinces me otherwise.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

“Don’t encourage new, cross-platform Java classes, especially don’t help get great Win 32 implementations written/deployed. [...] Do encourage fragmentation of the Java classlib space.”

Ben Slivka, Microsoft

“The core of this trial is consumer choice and the premise is that consumers ought to make that decision, not Microsoft. Microsoft’s argument that says Java would have died anyway is a little bit like saying if somebody shoots you they can defend [themselves] by saying you have cancer.”

David Boies

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  1. Jose_X said,

    May 27, 2009 at 7:37 am


    Ref section “Microsoft on How it Deliberately Ruins Competitors’ Conferences by Attending” at http://boycottnovell.com/2009/02/08/microsoft-evilness-galore/

    I think part of the idea also is to learn who to target with their sales pitch and to gain credibility and trust right while they are at it. Monopoly money is likely funding this effort.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, but who is the organiser that pockets the money? Microsoft’s James P explained how he used mortal disease to buy his way into Mac conferences/events.

  2. reece said,

    May 27, 2009 at 11:38 am


    There is the Vala project (http://live.gnome.org/Vala) that looks quite interesting. It is syntactically similar to C#, but has better integration with the Gnome/GObject type system and generates native C code as its output!

    Personally, I’m not convinced about using the C# syntax and some of its semantics. Not just for the potential patent/licensing issues (can you patent programming language syntax an features, especially ones that have been around since programming began?) but for aesthetic reasons.

    On the C++ side, GCC 4.4 has support for several C++0x features that make programming in C++ simpler and cleaner (even if some of it does mean more work for the compiler). It does not yet support lambdas, although that is currently in the works IIUC — lambdas greatly simplify the implementation of signal/slot handlers that are used for callbacks in Qt (for KDE) and Gtkmm (for Gnome).

    Anyway, kudos to the GNote developer. Here’s hoping for an FSpot replacement — there is a command line tool (can’t remember what it is called) that allows you to grab the pictures from a digital camera if you really don’t want to use Mono and are not terminal shy.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Try gThumb, digiKam or even Gwenview, which is my favourite.

    Roy Bixler Reply:

    Here’s hoping for an FSpot replacement — there is a command line tool (can’t remember what it is called) that allows you to grab the pictures from a digital camera if you really don’t want to use Mono and are not terminal shy.

    I can’t recall the name of command line tool either, but it may no longer be necessary. I use digiKam and I remember that older versions would call this command line tool to download pictures from a camera. However, instructions for the current version simply say to set up Linux for USB Mass Storage devices (most modern distros will do this for you automatically), plug the camera in and just access your photos as you would from any other filesystem.

    David Gerard Reply:

    If you can stand loading KDE libs, Digikam is really nice ;-)

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