06.16.09

Case Study: The Harms of Mono

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following chat took place 2 hours ago. Someone who goes by the name “IsBob” shared his story. Here are the unedited logs, which are hopefully as self-explanatory as they need be.

*IsBob () has joined #boycottnovell Jun 16 11:01
splosion https://www.furk.net/ here Jun 16 11:01
IsBob hi there Jun 16 11:01
DaemonMDV you know that Ubuntu has used a DMCA Take Down order once? Jun 16 11:02
DaemonMDV ironically it was used against the MPAA Jun 16 11:02
DaemonMDV so I’m all for it Jun 16 11:02
*fewa has quit (Read error: 60 (Operation timed out)) Jun 16 11:03
DaemonMDV the MPAA was distributing a “University anti-piracy toolkit” which used Xubuntu as its base Jun 16 11:03
DaemonMDV in violation of the GPL Jun 16 11:03
DaemonMDV so Ubuntu ordered them to remove it from their site Jun 16 11:03
DaemonMDV which they did Jun 16 11:03
IsBob I’m looking for some advice Jun 16 11:04
IsBob my boss asked me (not directly of course) to make some public statements about Mono Jun 16 11:04
IsBob we’re in a deal with Microsoft currently Jun 16 11:04
IsBob the idea is to help a client migrate from Mono to pure .NET Jun 16 11:05
IsBob and well, they found the ongoing fuss about Mono is not helping our company’s image Jun 16 11:05
IsBob the fact is, I’m not comfortable with doing such things Jun 16 11:06
schestowitz Hi, IsBob Jun 16 11:06
schestowitz What advice do you need? Jun 16 11:07
schestowitz And how do I know that you’re not pulling our leg? Jun 16 11:07
IsBob huh? Jun 16 11:07
schestowitz We’ve been trolled a lot recently Jun 16 11:07
IsBob My problem is, I’m in an untenable position now Jun 16 11:07
schestowitz So I am being cautious Jun 16 11:07
schestowitz A company using Mono does not have a problem Jun 16 11:08
IsBob I’ve made some public statements about Mono and how Microsoft intends to use it Jun 16 11:08
schestowitz Not in the sense of public image Jun 16 11:08
schestowitz The issue is with packagers who want to force people to spread it Jun 16 11:08
schestowitz Not with users Jun 16 11:08
IsBob and now, either I have to rescind them, or I risk being in a very bad position with my management Jun 16 11:08
*mib_q79ffb has quit (“http://www.mibbit.com ajax IRC Client”) Jun 16 11:08
schestowitz Microsoft spreads its API Jun 16 11:09
schestowitz Mono is good for Microsoft Jun 16 11:09
schestowitz For more than one reason Jun 16 11:09
IsBob I know all of that, I’ve seen it from the inside Jun 16 11:09
schestowitz it is preferable to use Java, Python, Perl, CGI, etc. Jun 16 11:09
schestowitz Depending on the area of use Jun 16 11:09
schestowitz Mono is about monoculture Jun 16 11:09
schestowitz Making all enterprise do it the One Microsoft Way Jun 16 11:10
schestowitz c#, AD, VS, XAML, erc. Jun 16 11:10
schestowitz *etc Jun 16 11:10
*oiaohm (n=oiaohm@unaffiliated/oiaohm) has joined #boycottnovell Jun 16 11:10
schestowitz Hi, oiaohm Jun 16 11:12
IsBob schestowitz: I’ve tried to explain that to my management; we used to have our clients work on free software, and now we’re stuck in a deal where we’re making them migrate away Jun 16 11:14
oiaohm Hi schestowitz Jun 16 11:15
schestowitz IsBob: how deep is this dependency on Mono? Jun 16 11:16
*Tallken (n=f2f93bf5@2001:690:2380:7770:21b:24ff:fed0:3f98) has joined #boycottnovell Jun 16 11:17
schestowitz If it’s some C# code, then you can still port to Java Jun 16 11:17
schestowitz Oracle is very committed to Java Jun 16 11:17
schestowitz It’s one of the main reasons for oracle buying SUN. I read last year that Ellison wanted to rip .NET apart Jun 16 11:17
IsBob there are 500 kloc already, it’s way too late to migrate to another language Jun 16 11:18
schestowitz Oracle is about as big as Microsoft and its market cap is not muchly shy. In fact, Oracle just deliberately spends a lot less on marketing… Jun 16 11:18
IsBob but anyway, that’s not my problem right now Jun 16 11:18
schestowitz IsBob: what’s running it? Mono? Jun 16 11:19
schestowitz Mono is a ramp for VS+.NET adoption Jun 16 11:19
schestowitz Mono too slow? Jun 16 11:19
schestowitz Migrate to .NET Jun 16 11:19
schestowitz Like free supper Jun 16 11:19
IsBob currently Mono, and we’re migrating to .Net yes Jun 16 11:19
schestowitz Or trial versionware Jun 16 11:19
*mib_v1wqax (i=4e965300@gateway/web/ajax/mibbit.com/x-facdafd52c83c84f) has joined #boycottnovell Jun 16 11:19
schestowitz Oracle might do something similar with mysql Jun 16 11:19
IsBob my problem is about my management wanting me to do public statements I disagree with Jun 16 11:20
schestowitz Why migrate to .NET? I’m curious. Jun 16 11:20
oiaohm IsBob: remember this year websites that can run ofline is coming. Jun 16 11:20
IsBob I’m not sure why, since M$ made a deal with our client they’ve been pretty elusive about that Jun 16 11:21
oiaohm I am looking at it for a lot of client side work internal.  OS netural and will need nothering more than a Upto date webbrowser installed. Jun 16 11:21
IsBob one of my co-workers suspects they paid a big trip to Hawaii for some of the managers of our client Jun 16 11:21
schestowitz IsBob: so you think they might come to them and say “look, you’re using our IP and all, so either you pay or move to .NET?” Jun 16 11:21
schestowitz IsBob: yes, Microsoft gifts people Jun 16 11:22
schestowitz It’s a form of bribe Jun 16 11:22
IsBob clearly Jun 16 11:22
schestowitz Common. Many examples in MS’c ase Jun 16 11:22
schestowitz *MS’s Jun 16 11:22
IsBob I don’t think they might do it, i think they already did Jun 16 11:22
schestowitz Mono is a ramp Jun 16 11:22
IsBob assorted with a nice “gift” Jun 16 11:22
oiaohm You are aware as of yet mono does not work on arm and mips. Jun 16 11:22
schestowitz had they used Java, migration would be complicated Jun 16 11:22
schestowitz But this is EEE – embrace, extend… Jun 16 11:23
oiaohm So clients are being locked out of furture more power effective client options IsBob Jun 16 11:23
oiaohm There are technical issues with mono. Jun 16 11:23
oiaohm That can be targetted avoiding the complete IP issue. Jun 16 11:24
*mib_v1wqax has quit (Client Quit) Jun 16 11:24
*mib_kcgay0 (i=4e965300@gateway/web/ajax/mibbit.com/x-fac017cbd0fac013) has joined #boycottnovell Jun 16 11:24
DaemonMDV http://www.macworld.com/article/137… Jun 16 11:24
DaemonMDV The guy buys 2,419 DRM’d 129k tracks Jun 16 11:25
*mib_kcgay0 has quit (Client Quit) Jun 16 11:25
IsBob my N+2 ordered a complete blackout about what happened, and we’re strongly “encouraged” to publish things that will increase Mono’s acceptance Jun 16 11:25
DaemonMDV then complains that he was cheated when Apple wants more money to upgrade him to what he should have had in the first place Jun 16 11:25
DaemonMDV (256k no DRM) Jun 16 11:25
schestowitz IsBob: encouraged by whom? Jun 16 11:25
schestowitz Novell? Microsoft? Jun 16 11:26
IsBob by our management Jun 16 11:26
DaemonMDV dear god, if he has $2500 to spend on iTunes tracks, you’d think 30 cents apiece would be easy to fork over Jun 16 11:26
DaemonMDV :P Jun 16 11:26
IsBob not sure who’s behind Jun 16 11:26
IsBob of course we already have a big contract with Novell Jun 16 11:26
schestowitz It’s the same with MS/Novell cotnracts Jun 16 11:26
schestowitz I know cause I was told Jun 16 11:26
IsBob and they probably don’t want to have to renegociate it Jun 16 11:26
schestowitz They go to clients… Jun 16 11:26
splosion be a whistleblower. this is the sort of thing wikileaks was invented for Jun 16 11:26
schestowitz And they tell them to put “IP” in the press releases Jun 16 11:26
schestowitz As in, we’ll sell you SUSE coupons at a discount is you publicly promote these Jun 16 11:27
DaemonMDV yeah, of course you will no doubt be fired if they figure out it was you Jun 16 11:27
schestowitz I.e. promote ‘Linux tax’ (MS patents Jun 16 11:27
IsBob splosion: I’m pretty sure I could be identified very quickly if anything leaks Jun 16 11:27
schestowitz For a bribe Jun 16 11:27
DaemonMDV (goes without saying) Jun 16 11:27
IsBob I already made some statements against Mono and M$ in the past Jun 16 11:27
oiaohm Does not matter really IsBob.  IBM is gearing up to go after the Small business market with Linux. Jun 16 11:27
schestowitz splosion: +1 Jun 16 11:27
splosion IsBob: bummer Jun 16 11:27
DaemonMDV Easy URPMI is still not back up Jun 16 11:28
DaemonMDV odd Jun 16 11:28
oiaohm Basically your bosses should be asking who is going to win.   IBM and Orcale or MS. Jun 16 11:28
DaemonMDV but shows how much people depend on less than legal stuff Jun 16 11:28
DaemonMDV frankly it kind of sickens me that Vorbis is free and hardly anything uses it Jun 16 11:29
schestowitz So basically, Microsoft lets Linux embrace .NET Jun 16 11:29
schestowitz Then it can start shouting “IP”  and “thieves” and offer .NET (Windows only) Jun 16 11:29
schestowitz It’s so predictable Jun 16 11:29
oiaohm Both Orcale and IBM have cards in play schestowitz. Jun 16 11:29
oiaohm As with all battles there are some wins and some losses. Jun 16 11:30
DaemonMDV I found out this Sansa thing is a PlaysForSure device Jun 16 11:30
DaemonMDV probably why it’s so unfriendly with non-Microsoft media players trying to sync it Jun 16 11:30
oiaohm In the scale of importance a few wins here and there for .net are not going to help MS long term. Jun 16 11:30
IsBob schestowitz: so I will probably have to make public statements about Mono soon Jun 16 11:31
IsBob and I wonder how many of the similar statements we’ve seen recently have been made by people in the same situation Jun 16 11:31
oiaohm Can you still cover emerging techs IsBob Jun 16 11:31
oiaohm like vala from gnome and state of samba. Jun 16 11:31
schestowitz IsBob: bought opinions Jun 16 11:32
schestowitz Microsoft does lots of it Jun 16 11:32
schestowitz E.g. Tesco example from last week in BN Jun 16 11:32
schestowitz ASUS’ fake “Windows is better” Jun 16 11:32
schestowitz “vendor recommends Vista” (Microsoft bribes for this too) Jun 16 11:32
oiaohm Creativity the say not to say anything bad against mono.   There is nothing stopping talking about the competing techs. Jun 16 11:32
DaemonMDV of course it is, you know just what to expect out of it Jun 16 11:32
DaemonMDV *cough* Jun 16 11:32
schestowitz “We’re interested in IP peace of mind” (not exact quote) Jun 16 11:32
schestowitz But I never expected better from a company of thugs Jun 16 11:33
schestowitz Bribing people to utters marketing lies Jun 16 11:33
IsBob I wonder whether similar things are happening at Canonical, given their recent moves Jun 16 11:33
schestowitz And later they point to it.. Jun 16 11:33
schestowitz And say… Jun 16 11:33
DaemonMDV schestowitz: According to Alexa’s site rank, almost every Linux-related site is going up Jun 16 11:33
schestowitz “Look, Dell recommends Vista” Jun 16 11:33
DaemonMDV but Microsoft.com has gone down over 5% Jun 16 11:33
schestowitz and “HP recommends Vista” Jun 16 11:33
DaemonMDV in this quarter Jun 16 11:33
schestowitz And “everyone loves Mono” Jun 16 11:34
DaemonMDV despite all the Windows 7 blitz Jun 16 11:34
schestowitz “Lyons and Enderle and Didio say that SCO is going to win the trial” Jun 16 11:34
schestowitz Don’t get me started on the Vista7 slog Jun 16 11:34
schestowitz They bribe bloggers Jun 16 11:34
schestowitz They bribe journalists Jun 16 11:34
DaemonMDV it still dwarfs any Linux distro’s website hits Jun 16 11:34
schestowitz And they attack those who say the truth Jun 16 11:34
DaemonMDV but it is on the way down Jun 16 11:34
oiaohm Are those hits counting windows update DaemonMDV Jun 16 11:35
schestowitz It plays dirtty Jun 16 11:35
schestowitz [on its way down] Jun 16 11:35
DaemonMDV well, that’s not good for them, that their site is getting less popular despite so much advertising Jun 16 11:35
DaemonMDV no Jun 16 11:35
DaemonMDV only browsers Jun 16 11:35
DaemonMDV Microsoft.com is the 18th most trafficked site in the United States Jun 16 11:36
IsBob it pains me to see all of that because I’m exactly in the same situation, with hands tied Jun 16 11:36
DaemonMDV Ubuntu was like 2400-something Jun 16 11:36
schestowitz Windows Update is Akamai (Linux) Jun 16 11:36
IsBob I wonder what we can do to stop people from using that Mono crap Jun 16 11:36
schestowitz DaemonMDV: nope Jun 16 11:36
schestowitz Alexa is no gold standard Jun 16 11:36
oiaohm People finding out information on patches from windows update show up as hits DaemonMDV if it covering technet. Jun 16 11:36
schestowitz It’s stupid to even make it believable Jun 16 11:36
schestowitz IsBob: join the fight Jun 16 11:36
DaemonMDV technet is a different domain Jun 16 11:36
schestowitz Expose what you can Jun 16 11:37
schestowitz It’s possible to do both Jun 16 11:37
schestowitz Do the job and leaking the truth Jun 16 11:37
schestowitz Many things in BN are based on whistle blowers Jun 16 11:37
oiaohm Just had to ask some stats sites group them DaemonMDV. Jun 16 11:37
*PetoKraus (n=pk@fsf/member/petokraus) has joined #boycottnovell Jun 16 11:37
oiaohm IsBob: when you are forbin to talk about something always ask what you are not forbin to talk about. Jun 16 11:37
oiaohm sometimes the not forbin can block what you are forbin to talk about. Jun 16 11:38
schestowitz Forbidden = “we are doing something bad” Jun 16 11:38
schestowitz Or “don’t ask” Jun 16 11:38
schestowitz Honest people work openly Jun 16 11:38
schestowitz Like here in BN Jun 16 11:38
schestowitz We don’t do PMs Jun 16 11:39
schestowitz And some people still try to trip us up this way Jun 16 11:39
oiaohm I have had to work under all sorts of different conditions. Jun 16 11:39
DaemonMDV http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/06/15/th… Jun 16 11:40
oiaohm Lot of times taking a positive line in a different direction is simpler than dispute and still can be long term effective. Jun 16 11:40
DaemonMDV Also, the comments on the Times Web site are truly disheartening: “This invention is stupid die die die.” Calm down, sirs. Jun 16 11:40
DaemonMDV lmao Jun 16 11:40
oiaohm God that knife is useless. Jun 16 11:41
oiaohm Slash stab method would still work perfectly with it. Jun 16 11:41
DaemonMDV well, it was invented in Sweden to be sold in the UK Jun 16 11:43
DaemonMDV can’t really go too hard on it Jun 16 11:43
oiaohm Besides I do use the point of knife when cooking at times. Jun 16 11:43
DaemonMDV :) Jun 16 11:43
DaemonMDV well, if I bought the knife, why would I have bought it? Jun 16 11:44
DaemonMDV so *I* can’t stab anyone? Jun 16 11:44
schestowitz People will DIY their knives Jun 16 11:44
schestowitz What a stupid idea Jun 16 11:44
DaemonMDV Maybe I’ll just make up my own damned mind whether I want to stab someone Jun 16 11:44
DaemonMDV heh Jun 16 11:44
schestowitz Maybe they should also make hands that work only in the kitchen Jun 16 11:44
schestowitz And ban metal Jun 16 11:44
schestowitz Or… Jun 16 11:44
schestowitz “Honey, will you please come to the kitchen?” Jun 16 11:45
DaemonMDV well get this, you buy them, then get rid of your old knives Jun 16 11:45
DaemonMDV then someone breaks into your house Jun 16 11:45
schestowitz They relocate the crime Jun 16 11:45
*Np237 (n=joss@diva.malsain.org) has joined #boycottnovell Jun 16 11:45
DaemonMDV and you wish you had a knife to protect yourself with Jun 16 11:45
Np237 heya Jun 16 11:45
schestowitz Good luck going to people’s house confiscating all the old utensils Jun 16 11:45
schestowitz Np237: hey, what’s up? Jun 16 11:45
*IsBob has quit (Remote closed the connection) Jun 16 11:45
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10 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    June 16, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Gravatar

    Minor offtopic detail: it wasn’t Ubuntu or Canonical DMCAing the MPAA, it was Matthew Garrett personally as a kernel developer. See:
    http://mjg59.livejournal.com/78590.html
    http://mjg59.livejournal.com/78698.html

  2. the11thplague said,

    June 16, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Gravatar

    That man was looking for an advice… Are you sure it’s right to publish this sort of things ?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s a publicly-logged channel and it states this upfront. So either way, the logs appear the following day.

  3. eet said,

    June 16, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Gravatar

    Whoever is stupid enough to ask Roy for advice doesn’t deserve any better.

    twitter Reply:

    So why are you here all the time? Oh yeah, to harass, threaten and intimidate. What a wasted life you lead.

  4. ddt said,

    June 16, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Gravatar

    So I am reading the log and I could not understand what this is a case study of?

    So IsBob’s company is migrating their code from Linux to Windows, how is that Mono’s problem?

    And how does any other system (Java, PHP, Python) would have prevented this?

    It seems like Mr IsBob is a troll.

    Jose_X Reply:

    The connection is that, of the platforms you mentioned, mono/dotnet is where the better platform and greater hooks exist with the Windows version. That is because of the huge investment and control Microsoft has over that platform but not over Java, php, etc.

  5. Jose_X said,

    June 16, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Gravatar

    Let’s turn this spotlight into a bit of a positive.

    Here is “my” advice this morning.

    I think oiaohm gave the best practical advice. It might be illegal or be bad for the reputation of the company to ask someone to say things that are significantly untruthful. I think, unless you want to risk losing your job (and in some countries you might be able to sue with a good chance of winning.. if you want to take that route), or outright quit, or ask to be moved around (risk job or bonus or something else), then you just need to try to keep to the truth and your conscience by being tactful over what you do say or not. oiaohm mentioned focusing on positives in areas where you can speak. Of course, if you do anything but kiss management’s hiney, you might be risking job, bonus, etc.

    Companies flirt with lawsuits all the time I suppose.

    I also wonder how many of Microsoft’s NDAs would be illegal because they involve illegal actions?

    And the deeper you get into something, the more things you put in play (to risk losing).

    Going along with dirtiness might be (a short-term) positive for your career. I wonder what fraction of management has sold out to even have had a chance to reach a certain position? At Microsoft, it’s tough for me to imagine that Ballmer (Gates, etc) works (worked) with any but those that had proven themselves to get dirty for the sake of the company (actually that would be different than here where perhaps a small number of management might have sold the company short).

    IsBob should also consider going to authorities for advice… or to a lawyer. He might be able to work from the inside, but staying with the law and with law enforcement authorities aware.

    In fact, anyone in a similar position should probably visit the local law enforcement agency. I don’t think they charge money for advice. I don’t deal with these issues, but, then again, I have taken myself out of certain markets.

    You might find a way to communicate the opposite message through some other means (unofficially).

    It’s a shame.

    And why do I get the feeling so repeatedly that Microsoft …hmmm… I wonder how many vendors win major accounts by winning the bribing game? Forget about what is good for your company or for your constituents, users, employees, co-workers, stockholders, etc. Just sign us up and enjoy a much easier path than you might otherwise if you deal with an (more) honest company.

    Glad IsBob spoke up about the issue. And, yes, IsBob might be pulling our legs, absolutely. I assume IsBob is representative of some that might be in such a position.

    twitter Reply:

    IsBob needs to do as he is told just long enough to find another job. He has realized his employers are unethical, so finding another job is the best thing to do. People who tell you to lie to others are also lying to you. As the Slog Doc puts it, developers are “pawns” and “one night stands.” Mono is a dead end, so every day he stays there harms others and himself.

    Collect evidence and publish once you are out isBob. Nothing revealed so far is an NDA violation but publication should be anonymous to protect against retaliation. M$ has ruined people for less and they will target you in the future regardless of what you do. Truth is the best weapon against evil and lies. Good luck and good cheer to you, Microsoft is a dying company and won’t be around too much longer.

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

    June 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Gravatar

    Anyone else beyond Roy’s close circle of friends find this terribly convenient? The same talking points, the same type of writing style, the oblique references to the “situation” at Canonical? The classic “oh help me, my manager is an evil man and wants me to do bad M$ things to hurt freedom”. The easy way IsBob quickly convinced Roy that he was for real and paved the way to the usual additional talking points… and of course a spot on the front page.

    And why remove the IP address from the IRC login message?

    What a coincidence. What a wonderful piece of “evidence” that people out there are being “hurt” by the evil Mono. Waaay too convenient, especially coming in the heels of this just yesterday.

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