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06.05.09

Fedora Leaves Mono Out, OpenSUSE Has Second Thoughts, and So Should Ubuntu

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 4:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cute monkey

Summary: Mono loses ground as it gets increasingly removed and Ubuntu should follow suit (regarding Mono inclusion), argue some of its own users

OVER the past week, quite a lot has happened. Most importantly, Red Hat decided that "it's better without Mono" and Ubuntu users opposed Mono for the same reasons (bloat). OpenSUSE and Hubert (formerly of Novell) are both showing signs that Mono loses its luster (as if it ever had any) and to quote Sam Varghese:

Miguel, looks like there are traitors to the Mono cause within your own ranks. Or is it that, just for once, commonsense and logic has asserted itself at Novell and its associates?

DaemonFC from Boycott Novell adds:

Linux Distro: “Can we distribute this?” Miguel De Icaza: “*shrug* Go ask Microsoft” [...] so Ubuntu goes whole hog and proceeds to crap up their OS with Mono everywhere [...] if it’s really “free software” you shouldn’t even really need to ask if you may distribute it.

Neighborlee writes in response: “as long as MOST people don’t notice whats going on.. they can do it. It’s when people that notice make up the majority, that they can’t procede.. so that’s why it [has] been so important to try to get the word to average joe and cindy.

Fred Williams writes in LinuxToday:

It would be nice if Ubuntu also took Mono off the live CD. They can leave Mono in the repos for people who want it.
To get rid of the trojan horse
sudo aptitude purge mono-common libmono0

“Definitely seconded!” says another person, who agrees with the above and adds:

I’ve been creating a custom Ubuntu live CD, and I was truly astonished how much space was wasted by this.
I believe it could even be as high as in the 5 to 10 percent range.

In other news, Novell is busy developing MonoDevelop. What is it doing now? It makes an installer for Windows. It’s nice to know that Novell spends its time developing Windows software that encourages development in .NET.

There are still some stability issues, and are several add-ins are still untested, but MD is starting to look great on Windows. GTK+ with the Vista theme looks really nice.

“Look really nice,” eh? So why not just use Windows? Whose platform is Novell promoting? Whose API?

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26 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    June 5, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Gravatar

    So why not just use Windows? Whose platform is Novell promoting? Whose API?”

    Exactly the point of all this! People who want to use .Net technologies should just use Microsoft products. If the point of Linux is just to produce a free Windows, we deserve to lose.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Indeed. .NET and C# were a cheap copy of Java, and Mono is a cheap copy of .NET.

    If people really want an environment that’s easy to develop in, at the price of a fat runtime (which is after all the sort of thing Moore’s Law is for) – why don’t they just use Java? IcedTea is proper genuine free software all the way down, and Sun has been disentangling Java as fast as they can. Why not use the original?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It doesn’t have the “Microsoft” logo? Why would Ximian favour it? Remember that Nat Friedman is a former Microsoft employee.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    deIcaza isn’t “we”, he’s most actively demonstrated membership in “they”

    People who try to use .not in place of java are just plain stupid, gullible or malicious. Or maybe have a bit of all three characteristics. .not isn’t even a quality copy of java.

    http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/biztech/12/06/microsoft.sun.ap/index.html

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    That URL is broken. I was once shown how all the Linux articles in CNN vanish over time.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It seems to be an AP article that expired.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “Bang on the knee” is an understatement

    http://boycottnovell.com/wiki/index.php/Jim_Allchin:_piss_on_Java

    About two weeks ago:

    http://hyperbored.com/steve-ballmers-brain-goes-chop-chop-chop/

    souskel Reply:

    “If the point of Linux is just to produce a free Windows, we deserve to lose.”

    But wasn’t the whole point of GNU to provide a free compatible version of UNIX? That’s how Linux displaced UNIX and brought freedom to the server. Surely the same strategy is not only tenable but necessary for the desktop.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s not that simple. UNIX is not Windows. Windows is the properly of one ‘master’, whereas UNIX is UNIX. There is no one UNIX.

    Let’s see how Microsoft reacts if ReactOS beats it at its own game.

  2. BW said,

    June 5, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Gravatar

    It’s good to see some of the distros coming to their senses about Mono, and I think Gnote is probably a good part of that motivation. There is though the additional question of F-Spot – is there a native GNOME alternative to F-Spot already, or should somebody get started building one?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There are some suggestions here (thanks for the edits, aeshna23).

  3. NotZed said,

    June 5, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Gravatar

    Porting most projects to windows is actually a recipe for success.

    If success is measures by lots of (whining) users I guess.

    Well before long it probably wont even run on mono, because it’s so far behind .NET and always will be.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Remember that this is not an ordinary port of an application like Firefox. Here it’s a development tool which gains Windows-only capabilities.

    David Gerard Reply:

    *in general*, cross-platform is good for application robustness and quality. Particularly the huge leap between Unix and Windows, which are such utterly different beasts. Porting to a severely different platform is excellent for deep examination of your design assumptions and the problem space.

    As Roy notes, this one is a bit different in practice.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Wine is also very different from Mono. Wine is for running, Mono is for developing. It’s a common misconception and vector of deception.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    WINE is a re-implementation of the Windos API, such that there is one. It includes the documented and a fair amount of the undocumented crap. The success of Wine is an essay in how poorly MS products are actually documented, how poorly they work and how much effort MS spends to prevent third parties from developing anything at all.

    http://lwn.net/Articles/154451/

    Wine is a fantastic piece of engineering, but would have been finished in months or weeks had MS actually documented its products. In spite of all that, it is an excellent bridge to freedom if one or two key apps is holding back a larger migration. Just be sure not to get bit on the ass by closed data formats.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Exactly. It’s a migration/legacy tool, unlike Mono/MonoDevelop.

  4. Will said,

    June 5, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Gravatar

    Re: F-Spot and the other mono infections, Gnome 3.0 is as good a chance as any to clean house. It has already begun with Gnote. It would be great if we could see developers rally to do the same thing to F-spot, Gnome Do, etc. Since Gnome 3.0 is still months away, there should be plenty of time to get things going in time, especially if the other projects grow at the pace Gnote did.

    eet Reply:

    You have no idea about software development, have you?

    Robert Millan Reply:

    The obvious troll is obvious (and because of that, nobody feeds it) =)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, this one goes years back. “eet” is a pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Some say it’s better to encourage existing software which has no roots in Mono. Gnote was an exception due to its position in GNOME.

  5. eet said,

    June 5, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Gravatar

    It seems Will wants to KEEP his F-Spot, Banshee and Gnome-Do…

  6. shlomil said,

    June 8, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Gravatar

    I am the author of Ubuntu Hebrew Remix and blogged about these issues for a while:

    http://shlomil.blogspot.com/2008/09/why-you-probably-dont-want-to-get.html
    http://shlomil.blogspot.com/2008/10/more-thoughts-about-mono.html
    http://shlomil.blogspot.com/2009/02/sometimes-dog-will-bite-ms-sued-tomtom.html

    Although ,AFAIK, these SW patents are not applicable in Israel , I will consider removing Mono from my remix if Ubuntu keeps it just because I don’t feel like being (even partially) responsible for one of the major drawbacks in Linux adoption in the future.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Some distributions like BLAG already do the same thing for the same reasons.

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