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Reddit Accommodated by Mono Boosters, Including Novell Employees

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono is Novell

Summary: Mono defence and advocacy in social networks, courtesy of Novell/Mono staff

A recent promoter of Mono-based applications is now pushing for Novell’s Banshee to be included by default in Ubuntu 9.10. This person’s name is “snorp” and he is currently backed by Novell’s Sandy Armstrong, who only joined the Web site 20 hours ago. Armstrong is one of the developers of Banshee.


* karma: 1
* comment karma: 4
* user for 20 hours

For those who don’t know Sandy Armstrong, here is a more complete introduction:


Sandy works on the Mono Accessibility team, where he is responsible for the implementation of the UI Automation Client API on Linux. In his spare time, he is the lead developer and maintainer of Tomboy, the popular open source note taker and personal wiki. In his extra spare time, he helps maintain Tasque, contributes to Banshee, and tweets clever quips. He currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife Ellery, Ellery’s German Shepherd Tycho, and Tycho’s Border Collie Maggie.

Sandy Armstrong says in Reddit: “Rhythmbox is stagnating, doesn’t seem to be actively developed. It’s a fine piece of software but it seems to have no future.” He is not alone. They are pushing for their employer’s Mono-based program to replace GPL-licensed software.

“These are people with direct vested interests (their job at Novell, which is partly funded by Microsoft now).”Tomboy’s developer, Armstrong, has concerns about Gnote, which performs a lot better and gains popularity very quickly. Our informant suggests that articles about Gnote may be the reason that Sandy jumped into this discussion where he is joined by a fellow Novell employee* (a Mono colleague whom we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). His comments can be seen in Reddit under the nickname “jstedfast”. To quote him: “For me, using Free Software has nothing to do with “morality” (I don’t see anything wrong with charging money for software nor writing closed-source software), it has to do with having access to the source code more than anything else.

Typical Novell.

These are people with direct vested interests (their job at Novell, which is partly funded by Microsoft now). They comment in social networks on issues that affect them directly, so caution might be required when reading. It’s similar in Ubuntu Forums, for example. Watch this from a critic of Mono:

edit: less than a minute after posting and i see myself and the parent already downmodded. our comments are relevant and widely held. wonderful sense of integrity you must have.

Who is responsible? Mono fans or just mischievous Novell employees? It is impossible to tell.
* There might be more employees there, but it’s hard to identify them by nicknames alone.

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  1. reece said,

    May 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm


    Mono Accessibility – LOL. The UI Automation API is a Microsoft accessibility API that was written for Vista. It is unclear if MS have any patents relating to this API, and why provide this in Mono anyway? So that more programs can run?

    Accessibility APIs should either be used by the screen readers or other assistive technologies (and what Linux-based screen readers use UI Automation?) or by testing frameworks (which are used as part of the test cycle).

    A more productive approach would be to implement support for the IAccessible2 (http://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/Accessibility/IAccessible2) APIs — which, although are mased on Microsoft’s MSAA interfaces at least have backing from the Linux foundation and will be available from applications like Open Office and Firefox (I haven’t checked to see if they are available from Linux, though).

    Alternatively, since this is the Gnome project, where is the support for the Gnome accessibility APIs (unless this is already implemented, in which case supporting UI Automation is pointless)?

    I also like the jstedfast quote — so when does closed-source software give you access to the source code?

  2. Mikko said,

    May 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm


    all mono apps gets removed when you uninstall mono

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 27, 2009 at 5:42 pm


    Mononono is a tool that may be of interest to some.

  4. twitter said,

    May 28, 2009 at 1:18 am


    No sensible person is a mono fan. Pragmatic people use languages for their feature sets and ease of use. Others languages have Mono beat hands down. People who worry about freedom would not touch mono or it’s corporate backers with a 10 foot pole. So there are very few people who are mono users and even fewer of them motivated to speak out in public about it.

    Astroturfing, on the other hand, is a widespread practice of dishonest and failing companies.

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