EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Mono Critique Almost a Taboo in Ubuntu Forums, Ideas, Bugs, and Mailing Lists

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 5:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”

Robert Scoble, former Microsoft evangelist

Summary: There is no route through which to communicate with Ubuntu regarding the Mono problem

IN the Ubuntu Web site where ideas are being proposed, some appointed moderators were seen diverting people who raise concerns about Mono to bug reporting sections. But Jeff Enns makes the fair point that: “you are not describing a bug with mono. The forums would be a better place for discussion, not bug reports. Thank you.” Tony Manco spotted this one yesterday.

“[P]eople who voice concerns about Mono are sent around in loops and their freedom of expression is hence compromised.”So basically, people who voice concerns about Mono are sent around in loops and their freedom of expression is hence compromised. It’s the same in the forums and even in the mailing lists (although raising the issue more politely would not hurt). Thanks to Tony Manco for noticing and notifying about this. Those who express dissatisfaction with the inclusion of Mono by default* are treated as though they are enemies. But why? By whom?

A Microsoft-born company (well, created by former Microsoft employees**) that advances Mono further is now given a spot in OStatic. Their article is not about their advancement of Mono***, but it does show how Microsoft can intersect with channels of communication about Free/open source software.

Another one of our readers says that Miguel de Icaza “FUDS Google Chrome. He’s concerned that it might violate the LGPL.” Here is part of his message:

We are on a similar situation with Moonlight where we ended up distributing proprietary codecs for VC1 (also MPEG-LA licensed) instead of the open source ffmpeg.

Today our answer for those that want to use ffmpeg (and it is my personal choice as well, since I rather dogfood open source software) is to compile Moonlight from source code and use the ffmpeg code themselves instead of depending on proprietary codecs to be installed.

The codecs that the user relies on are imposed by the publisher, not chosen by the receiver. This means that pretending that Microsoft Moonlight is fine without Microsoft binaries is purely deceit. It ought to be added that APIs too (e.g. Silverlight) can be a patent liability, with or without codecs.
* Choice is fine, but to force patent liability upon people is plainly dangerous, maybe irresponsible.
** MindTouch was last mentioned here as it helps a certain Microsoft land grab.
*** There is at least one Microsoft employee who is even working directly on Mono.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 9, 2009 at 7:21 am


    I’m concerned that there’s been an upturn in de Icaza interviews and quotes. M$ marketing companies usually only pull his chain when they need him to make noise or distraction. Recently, an editor tried to piggy-back him into a summary with respectable people.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The same goes for Mono (and Moonlight) at a less personal level.

    Remember that Microsoft said that Silverlight is not available for GNU/Linux because of Novell’s work. Regulators would have otherwise forced Microsoft to properly support GNU/Linux, so it’s not as though Novell saved the day. It only keeps a proper (first-class and indemnified) port of Silverlight away.

    Mackenzie Reply:

    You say that as if a version of Silverlight released for Linux would be DFSG-free, like Moonlight is. Yeah, right! This way, we get Free Software, not proprietary junk.

    The general concensus on that Ubuntu mailing list thread is that there are currently no good, let alone BETTER, GTK replacements for those applications. If you want them to be replaced, write something worth replacing them with. Whinging doesn’t cut it.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    You say that as if a version of Silverlight released for Linux would be DFSG-free, like Moonlight is. Yeah, right! This way, we get Free Software, not proprietary junk.

    Microsoft cannot distribute software for GNU/Linux and say “touch this and we’ll sue you.” If someone clones it, then it’s another story. See the Moonlight covenant for details.

    The general concensus on that Ubuntu mailing list thread is that there are currently no good, let alone BETTER, GTK replacements for those applications. If you want them to be replaced, write something worth replacing them with.

    Mono applications being better is a fallacy. And by neglecting ‘non-Mono’ applications (through exposure to userbase) you guys are leading to self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Mackenzie Reply:

    Uh…why can’t Microsoft distribute closed-source software for Linux?

    It is not a fallacy. Look at your Mono alternatives list. Do you honestly believe that GThumb can do everything (and more!) that F-Spot can do? I guess you took the TARDIS for a spin and grabbed some amazingly good version of GThumb that actually has features from 2015.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Uh…why can’t Microsoft distribute closed-source software for Linux?

    I said the opposite. They can. Like Adobe Flash.

    Bear in mind that Moonlight is not Silverlight. It’s hardly intended to be on par in legal and technical terms.

    Do you honestly believe that GThumb can do everything (and more!) that F-Spot can do?

    I have never used F-Spot myself (I install kde-desktop on all my Ubuntu machines), but based on what I hear, F-Spot is not a leader in its league.

    By the way, I don’t know who Fink is. If rude messages/language are used when linking here, it’s not to be attributed to me and I don’t control this, either. And thanks for debating this, Mackenzie. It needs an open discussion because there are eternally unanswered questions and TomTomVFAT as precedence.

    Like all of you folks, my goal is to spread GNU/Linux and I like Ubuntu. But I fear that you refuse to see obstacles simply because you don’t want them to be obstacles. It neither about will nor faith; it’s about the facts.

    Chris Reply:

    > If you want them to be replaced, write something worth replacing them with. Whinging doesn’t cut it.

    This will never happen cause then those sad fuckers actually would have to do something productive instead of insulting other peoples work.

    And we all know that’s a no go for boy & his shills.

  2. Juan Pablo Angamarca said,

    June 9, 2009 at 10:51 am


    Mark Shuttleworth himself said that Ubuntu wouldn’t live under the fear of threat until it arises. Maybe that could be a valid position *for the time being*, but they should start doing something about the threat that comes along with Mono *now*. I have Mono installed on my Ubuntu machine, just for one application: Gnome Subtitles. And I do that just because there’s no other subtitling software that works properly on my machine. I wish someone would do with Gnome Subtitles what the Gnote team did. I think Gnome Subtitles is the only application that outperforms any other patent encumbered-free application, and it would be nice to see an effort to replace it too.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Mark Shuttleworth himself said that Ubuntu wouldn’t live under the fear of threat until it arises.

    He thanked me for information that I sent him last month regarding Moonlight. They are at least listening. For what it’s worth, PJ from Groklaw also criticised that stance of Mark Shuttleworth (the context being Mono).

    Juan Pablo Angamarca Reply:

    Yeah, they are at least listening. It would be awful to not even have a response. They should do what Fedora and Debian are doing.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    A lot of people mistake “remove from default installation” for “remove from repository”.

  3. DOUGman said,

    June 9, 2009 at 11:00 am


    I use Ubuntu derivatives as well, the ONLY mono application that I use is Gnome Desktop. I do know that there are other terminal clients applications available, but I have never taken the time to do any sort of comparison, perhaps I should, based on how much more bloated Tomboy was as opposed to G-Note.

    On another note, pun intended. I have have been using Basket Notepad for almost a year now and in my opinion it is very good.


    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’m surprised we didn’t have it on the list already. I’ve just added it.

  4. Aaron Fulkerson said,

    June 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm



    Thanks for the link-love on my post about Collaborative Networks (http://cli.gs/cn). I think you might also appreciate a post I wrote about enterprise open source at the MindTouch Blog: http://www.mindtouch.com/blog/2009/04/22/80-of-the-functionality-for-500-of-the-cost/

    At MindTouch we employ what I think of as an open core business model. I write about this here: http://www.mindtouch.com/blog/2009/04/22/an-open-core-licensing-model/

    I think you’ll be pleased to know MindTouch saves a penguin for every upgrade of MindTouch core: http://ostatic.com/blog/upgrade-mindtouch-or-the-penguin-gets-it :-)

    Finally, has it ever occurred to you that Mono could actually be subversive to the Microsoft business model and revenue generation? #justsayin

  5. eet said,

    June 10, 2009 at 8:19 am


    This whole blog entry is nothing but whining about a free process of forming of opinion where Anti-Mono agitators don’t get any special preferred treatment.

  6. Marcus Koze said,

    June 10, 2009 at 9:05 am


    Why would they be agitators ? Why should we welcome software from m$ and it’s accolites without a single “hmm”, as you, the mono-defenders wish would happen ? as i;ve said it, i’ll say it again: unlike the claims that FOSS (Linux and other projects) violates some hundreds of m$ patents, i truly think this mono *is* a “trojan-horse” for m$ and “poor” little novell to milk some cash in courts and as a side-effect, slow the adoption of free-software (at least).

    As far as i stand, you can take your slice of mono and go into your dark corner on your windoze machine & do whatever you want.

    And to Ubuntu/Canonical… at least open up some discussion channels and talk about the issues… if so many worry about it, why not listen, as you always did ?

  7. eet said,

    June 10, 2009 at 9:29 am


    According to you every programmer that doesn’t work on Linux is an MS-accolite, hm?

    Well, do whatever you feel like, and good luck for your search of the last of that dying race – the mono-less distributions. You are part of a very vocal but nonetheless shrinking minority; bear your fate like a man and cut back a bit on the cursing-and-whining part.

  8. Marcus Koze said,

    June 10, 2009 at 9:40 am


    By accolites i’ve meant Novell and the other companies that became slaves of Micromoft. (yes, no quotes around the _slaves_ word, that’s how i see them… would you disagree ?)

    I didn’t mean at all to say something like that (“According to you every programmer that doesn’t work on Linux is an MS-accolite, hm? “) , sorry if it sounds like so, told you about my not-so-good english.

    Roy Bixler Reply:

    Your English seems fine to me.

  9. eet said,

    June 10, 2009 at 9:49 am


    ‘Slaves of Microsoft’ – give me a break… How old are you? This is not ‘Lord of the Rings’…

  10. Marcus Koze said,

    June 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm


    Yes, slaves. No, this isn’t Lord of the Rings, but what m$ does these days (i mean more ferociously than they used to) isn’t quite from this world… or do you find their acts suitable for the old excuse of “they’re a company and companies are set to make money” ? If so, feel free to go your way, in my fantasy world they’d end up hanged, shot, poised, sliced and then thrown in an active volcano.

    Regarding my age, i’m not some next-door-kid, trust me. When i say slaves, i mean those companies that went into “agreements” with micromoft don’t have their original identities anymore… instead playing blindingly according to the will of m$, from what i see…

    Anyway, eet, in the end you’re an advocate of mono, probably arguing with “productivity”, i’m a guy protesting against it because… well, i’ve iterated my reasons above too many times … let’s see who’s right (time will show us)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Anyway, eet, in the end you’re an advocate of mono..

    A better description would be “protester against this Web site”. It is best not to feed the trolls.

What Else is New

  1. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  2. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  3. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  4. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  5. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  6. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  7. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  8. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  9. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  10. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  11. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  12. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  13. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions

  14. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

  15. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  16. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  17. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe

  18. HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it's the proprietary software lobby that's responsible for that

  19. EPO President Battistelli Now Intimidates Even National Delegations

    Report about an embarrassing incident implicating Benoît Battistelli and some angry comments cast over the witch-hunting of a judge, using all sorts of questionable tactics

  20. A Look at the Latest Gross Deletionism at the EPO's 'Media Partner', French Newspaper Les Échos

    The EPO's bogus 'journal of record, which Team Battistelli likes to cite in order to bolster its warped version of events at the EPO while maintaining a close secret relationship with the publisher, keeps censoring its own reporters (spiked paragraphs, silently self-censored or censored after publications)

  21. Rumour About Efforts to Dismiss a Board Judge by Intimidating Boards of Appeal

    Comment found online accuses the Administrative Council of pressuring, by threats, Directorate-General 3 to dismiss a judge who is silently accused (with selective 'leaks' to the media, reportedly orchestrated by EPO managers) but not even proven guilty

  22. President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who 'Dare' to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

    Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French politician, unleashes an angry letter from Benoît Battistelli and reveals just to what lengths the EPO's Team Battistelli is willing to go in order to crush political backlash

  23. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part IV

    Some more background information about Elodie Bergot and Gilles Requena, who are married whilst also sharing positions of power at the EPO (and also strong connections/ties with the EPO's President, Mr. Battistelli); Rumours afloat at the EPO -- some with ever-increasing circulation too -- are worth noting

  24. Translation of Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann's Article in the German Media, Urging European Politicians to Intervene in EPO Chaos and Lawlessness

    Frankfurt-based media presents an opinion piece written by a Munich-based economic correspondent, Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann

  25. German Press Says Broken EPO Lets President Severely Punish Staff Not Even Guilty of Any Wrongdoing

    Juve publishes an article which attempts to be 'balanced' (meaning it believes everything that EPO officials say) but at the same time reveals unacceptable practices that go in inside the EPO

  26. German Media Reveals That Out-of-Control EPO Management is Even Threatening and Abusing Lawyers Now

    The EPO's longstanding fight against justice escalates to an unprecedented war on lawyers themselves; “After this latest move,” says a German newspaper, “even lawyers are starting to feel threatened by the Office.”

  27. Washington Post Only Entertains Debate About Patent Trolls (But Not Patent Scope) Whilst US Lawyers Trick the System to Patent Software

    The Bezos-owned Washington Post continues to help those who wish to eliminate patent trolls (which bother Amazon amongst other large conglomerates) but remains void of any coverage about patent scope, including software patents that patent lawyers work so hard to defend

  28. It Pays (Off) to 'Bribe' the Media: Watch How Les Échos Covers EPO Matters and Self-Censors

    French newspaper Les Échos is self-censoring yet again and it is framing the EPO scandals as the fault of employees, not the fault of abusive managers who are working with Les Échos as a so-called 'media partner' (the EPO management is French-dominated)

  29. 'Leaked' PDF Shows How EPO Management Tried to Crush Judge Who 'Dared' to Criticise EPO Management

    The EPO's management continues to chill potential critics and is now making an example of a board's judge, despite having no such authority over him

  30. Links 21/11/2015: Community Appreciation Day, Jolla's Problems

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts