06.15.09

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Signs of Mono Unrest, Legal Issues

Posted in Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.

“Indeed, every large program implements lots of ideas that are patented. Indeed, there’s no way to avoid this danger. But that’s no reason to put our head inside Microsoft’s jaws.”

Richard Stallman

Summary: The Mono discussion awakens, Mono-hostile assessments outweigh the rest

THE matter broke loose a couple of days after Fedora had said that it was concerned about Mono. More and more bloggers are starting to write about the subject. Béranger, for example, argues that he is fed up with Mono. He writes:

Of course I’m fed with Mono. I am so annoyed by the public passion for this technology that I won’t bother anymore to blog against it. A tiny mention though, in this short post.

First of all, I was exceedingly pissed off by a long pro-Mono plea by Jo Shields, which I have read as posted by Carla Schroder. I can’t comment on it, as I don’t want to read it again. It hurts my guts.

The only thing I can say: we don’t need Mono, the same way we don’t need Java. It’s not just about Microsoft. It’s about stupid people who try to force some technologies there where they’re not needed.

Other sources of opposition suggest that defense of Mono proponents is very weak and a detailed breakdown is offered to explain why Mono critics are right.

Also, sharing pearls for wisdom such as “Double click is patented”, “They’re just doing FUD” does not really help people think you’re serious. DOSsing BoycottNovell also doesn’t help (nor to claim they did it to themselves), nor helps claiming that Fedora included Gnote just for space saving (weird how what make Fedora lose space apparently makes Ubuntu save it, uh ?): I’ve got a nice news for you:

“We do have some serious concerns about Mono and we’ll continue to look at it with our legal counsel to see what if any steps are needed on our part,” Frields said.

“We haven’t come to a legal conclusion that is pat enough for us to make the decision to take mono out,” Frields said. “Right now we’re in a status quo. Gnote is a relatively recent development and unfortunately was too late in the Fedora 11 development cycle to include by default.”

That conclusion was probably drew after some consulting with RedHat’s “oh-so-sophisticated anti-Mono lawyers”.

It’s not that Mono is that bad. Let’s move it to Medibuntu and everyone is fine.

Whether Ubuntu likes it or not, Mononono is now on Launchpad. It is an entry which someone describes as what “seems like a collection of legal issues related to Mono & Moonlight, each well documented.”

For practical reasons too, Mono is not suitable for users (developers aside). Tony Manco has obtained proof that Gnote, for example, can take up less than one megabyte of RAM. See the screenshot below. Compare that to Tomboy, which is a lot heavier.

Other than Microsoft and Novell, who does Mono actually serve? And if OOP is a must, why not Java?

Gnote memory

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10 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Gravatar

    Developers don’t want Mono either.

    When Jo yammers about “developers” wanting Mono in distros he must be in some alternate universe where he is unable to see all questions and complaints about the technology and legal problems from developers around Microsoft’s Johnny-come-lately copy of Java. “Mono developers” != all developers

    Berenger needs to keep up the good fight and not let the bastards wear him down:

    “If not me, then who: if not now, then when?” Hillel

    “The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” Burke

    http://edition.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9911/15/search.engine.ms.idg/

  2. vexorian said,

    June 15, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Gravatar

    OOP is never really truly necessary you know?

    Like Beranger I would oppose to Java as well if it was pushed in the default. I guess the Mono zealots would to. If you think about it, shipping Java apps in a main distro’s default would outrage everyone. It would also happen if we shipped WINE apps in the default. Mono is not any different to these things, yet the zealots have managed to slowly get it into it. I guess it was all caused by Miguel Icaza’s influence in gnome.

    There are tons of FOSS-originated ways to have OOP, I mean really. The KDE guys have OOP without having to stop making native apps…

  3. vexorian said,

    June 15, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Gravatar

    I like that RMS quote. Surprisingly after 2 years, the mono zealots still stick to arguments that are easily defeated by that quote.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Worse — they claim that RMS supports Mono.

  4. NotZed said,

    June 15, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Gravatar

    .NET is pretty sucky – often when people rave about it you gotta wonder if they’re in full command of their faculties, have enough experience to have a clue, or are merely paid to say nice things about it. I guess if you’ve never looked outside of the ms ecosystem it’s a bit of a step up from visual basic and maybe that impresses a certain group of programmers.

    Anyway, I was going to laugh at the ‘it only takes 1 mb’ point.

    Wow, a whole notes application, in only 1 mb!

    Where did we go wrong?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Gnote was idle.

  5. Sabayon User (Sabayon == Gentoo, kthx) said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Gravatar

    DOSsing BoycottNovell also doesn’t help

    So Joe Shields was responsible for that as well now? Nice. I can’t believe you even post these things. And how about some disclosure about the fact that most of the no-name blogs you link to as “support” are operated by people who hang out on your chat room?

  6. Chris said,

    June 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Gravatar

    I still totally fail to see where you little wieners get the right to dictate what language people have to use.

    You don’t like Mono? Simply don’t use it ffs & stfu but stop nagging at people cause they choose a language you don’t like to develop an application.

    Or simply recreate some Mono application you like in the language of your choice to avoid the “Mononono” …. But hey, we all know that wont happen since that would mean that you sad fuckers would have to do something productive.

  7. Omar Abdul-Hafez said,

    June 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Gravatar

    @Chris

    Amazing how some people resort to cuss words when none of what they say actually makes sense.

    Just like RMS once said: “Idiots can be defeated, but they just never admit it.”

    You guys are pathetic!

  8. suresh said,

    June 16, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Gravatar

    As RMS pointed out, there are many ideas that are patented. But the same issue with M$ needs to be seen under different light. Because,

    1. They monopolize every field they enter into and use any means at their disposal.

    2. They see FLOSS as the greatest threat to their monopoly.

    3. Their ugly track record vis-à-vis many free software implementations. Latest eg. FAT-LFN.

    4. They now process enormous reach(financial, political, business-wise etc.) which can hamper the progress of FLOSS development even if it lasts for a temporary phase.

    So, as in the case of mono, there is no paranoia involved because the threat is right in front of you.

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