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

06.28.09

Responses to Richard Stallman’s Verdict on Mono

Posted in FSF, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman and the GPLv3

Summary: Mono developments to be aware of

Richard Stallman’s advice against Mono (by default) has made the front page of Slashdot where it received over 700 comments, which is exceptional even for Slashdot. The updated summary also links to an overview of Gnote, which concludes with:

To me, this is a huge victory for Anti-Mono supporters. Users get just as much functionality out of their old apps, and are rewarded a freedom from code patents at the very same time! It’s a win-win situation!

One of our readers, Toros, writes:

“!fsf !gnu @rms – http://fsf.org/: Why free software shouldn’t depend on #Mono or C# – http://ur1.ca/6d0x”

Brad Kunn from the SFLC passed on this message:

“c.f. Tomboy C++ rewrite effort as well ♻ @toros: !fsf !gnu @rms: Why free software shouldnt depend on #Mono or C# – http://ur1.ca/6d0x”

John Sullivan (FSF) adds:

“!fsf rms warning about !debian and others depending on Mono: http://www.fsf.org/news/dont-depend-on-mono”

Other core people in Identica remark as follows:

[1]:

“@gnufs He’s talking talking about the risks faced by including mono by default. He never says not to use it. Just don’t depend on it. !fsf”

[2]:

“We know #Microsoft plans to attack free software with patents because they’ve said so. Implementing MS tech carries special risks. !fsf”

[3]:

“Should the !GNU system support #NTFS? Yes. Should the GNU system _depend_ on NTFS? No. Same with #Mono or any other #Microsoft tech. !fsf”

[4]:

“It’s not a matter of “here @rms supports inclusion of patented software, and here he doesn’t”. !fsf”

Over at LinuxToday, Rainer Weikusat correctly points out that the pro-Microsoft/pro-Mono crowd goes to great lengths to characterise Mono opposition as “crackpots”. We wrote about this before. The only thing worse than this is personal abuse from Novell employees.

As an added bonus, it doesn’t even work: Helping
‘dubious comrades’, like LinuxInsider, with
painting all people who are critical of Mono
as crackpots by virtue of drowning any attempt
at a serious discussion of the associated issues,
eg Microsoft-controlled APIs, especially,
bad Microsoft-controlled APIs in, in “Patents!
Patents! Patents!”-shrieks is likely to rather
help than hinder the proliferation of C#/.NET.
.
But this is certainly entirely coincidental …

It has become abundantly clear that Mono advances Windows [1, 2, 3]. We published something about this yesterday and this new post may serve as further evidence.

How to build MonoDevelop with Visual Studio in five easy steps…

The above post is not so innocent. The author says he works as a developer for Novell as part of the Mono team where he leads the MonoDevelop project. They sure spend a lot of time improving the Mono experience for Windows and integrating it with Microsoft’s .NET, which won’t be available for GNU/Linux.

“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, 2007

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

18 Comments

  1. JohnD said,

    June 28, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Gravatar

    I find interesting that most Linux supporters are willing to rewrite any code that’s proven to infringe on patents, but they aren’t willing to do the same for Mono. I followed one of the links on the Slashdot post that leads to a doc that makes some very interesting points about Mono and it’s detractors. I’d suggest giving it a read.
    http://www2.apebox.org/wordpress/rants/124/

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This only contains slurs against Mono opposition and wrongly characterises BN as a site “Calling for the deaths of Microsoft employees”.

    More cheap smears from an increasingly-miserable group that simply cannot defend what it’s doing to GNU/Linux with Mono, so it daemonises those who disagree, even with lies.

    aeshna23 Reply:

    The pro-Mono article makes arguments that miss the point. It compares Microsoft as the monopolist responsible for .NET with AT&T as the monopolist responsible for C. Of course, no one is concerned about AT&T suing over the use of C. C was developed in the innocent days before crazy notions of software patenting were rife in our political economy.

    The article makes the calumnious insinuation that people such as me who would object to the Microsoftization of Linux–regardless of patent issues–are simple haters of Microsoft. No, it is that we care that the FOSS wins on it own merits. Copying Microsoft or, as Microsoft would have it, ripping off Microsoft would be to say that FOSS is inadequate, that Linux does not deserve to win the OS wars. I strongly believe Linux is able to win on its own.

    I could go on, but it’s rather easy to tear holes in the article’s argument.

    Jose_X Reply:

    The Linux Today news discussion thread corresponding to that posting is this one: http://www.linuxtoday.com/developer/2009061201035OSCYDV . It includes discussion missing from other links.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    @JohnD: It looks like you are just trolling, but the troll post does bring up a common mistake: In contrast to coyright, patents are about what the code does, not where it comes from. So re-writing the code will *not* help anything in regards to patent problems. Using Java and not Mono will. Java is not encumbered, Java is free software and Sun has granted use of all necessary patents.

    So why the hell should free software use patent encumbered .NET? Screwing up FOSS development might be one reason, it might be fine for Redmond, but it’s not a worthy reason for us end-users who *use* computers.

    That aside, Mono/C#/.NET applications are drag-ass slow. Java’s much faster, C++ much so. Drop the ideology and let the technologies live (or die) according to technical and legal merits. The experiment with M$ is over. Leave it behind.

    G. Michaels Reply:

    Bravo “Needs Sunlight”! Rarely does one encounter a comment that encapsulates all that’s wrong with this operation. Accusation of “trolling”, vague FUD about the danger of patents (applies to Mono only, of course), suggestion that Mono is an Evil Plan To Disrupt Goodness (only 11 years in the making!), will someone think of the users, philosophical and religious arguments expressed as lame technical objections… and the IQ-ravishing “M$” thing.

    Evangelism at its best.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    We probably ought to process some more Java exhibits (Comes trial) to remind people what it is that Microsoft (and Novell) are trying to fight and why.

  2. David "Lefty" Schlesinger said,

    June 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Gravatar

    Funny to see you complaining about “cheap smears”, Roy. Ever planning on correcting that article on Jimmi Hugh…?

    aeshna23 Reply:

    Some people just love playing simple-minded accusation games about minor incidents half a year old.

    And I checked and Roy did cross out the claim about Jimmi Hugh. I do think he should make a point of explaining why he crosses out some text. It may confuse some people, and I suppose give ammo to people like Lefty.

    Jose_X Reply:

    This was the last I remember of this Jimmi conversation: http://boycottnovell.com/2009/06/17/steve-ballmer-crimes-vs-os2/comment-page-1/#comment-66982 .

    You had left off at:
    >> We’re clearly not going to agree on much else, and I sense that pursuing this further is a less worthwhile use of my time…

    What specifically are you looking for today beyond what was recounted there?

  3. Nobody Real said,

    June 28, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Some might think that Roy deliberately used CSS to admit his mistake so that Google (which ignores the CSS) will not see the alteration and continue to publish the slur.

    One has to wonder why Roy chose the method of ‘correction’ he did, but oh well.

    Jose_X Reply:

    I wanted to check up on that and tried googling various things including:
    “jimmi hugh wikipedia censorship vandalism site:boycottnovell.com” and could not get the link to that page to appear.

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/12/29/jimmi-hugh-wikipedia-censorship-on-ms/

    How do you get this link above to appear on google as an individual search result link?

    G. Michaels Reply:

    Try another search engine perhaps? Yahoo, Ask.com, Live/Bing, AllTheWeb.

    The URL was removed from Google, which is interesting in that according to Roy there was nothing to apologize for and in fact he hadn’t even read the evidence that he was wrong. Fascinating, don’t you think?

    I’m fairly sure that only the owner of a URL can get it removed from Google without a DMCA takedown notice. Of course that didn’t remove all the mirrors and USENET comments that link to the article, which still show up in Google anyway. If I were a potential employer looking for information on Mr. Hugh it would take me three clicks instead of just one to get to Roy’s hit job.

    When you enter your real name into Google, do you see a smear? I thankfully don’t. Hugh isn’t that lucky. But it’s OK, right? It’s all in the name of freedom. Collateral damage is to be expected. The journalists that see smears about them having been “bribed” with a $1,500 laptop should also be sympathetic to that. And so should everyone else that has ever been targeted by BoycottBoy.

  4. monomania said,

    June 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Oh, now look what’s happened. Just as I was warming to Ubuntu. Just when I had moved all my machines over to their warm and cuddly system, I discover the slow encroachment of Mono applications into the default system. Right now, I can remove the items in question, but it seems clear what’s intended for the future.

    It’s not the patents that bother me. It’s the fact that the mono proponents are attempting to transform Linux into a second rate cousin to Microsoft.

    It reminds me of the film Bridge over the river Quai in which the British officer, mortally wounded, as the allies attack a bridge which he and his fellow captives have built – to show their captors just what discipline and organisation can achieve – suddenly realises that they have also contributed to the enemy effort by building the bridge so well and so effectively, The officer stumbles, stares in amazement at his own realisation, and asks rhetorically with his dying breath, “What have I done…” then, rather fortuitously, falls on the plunger that sets off the explosive charge which destroys the bridge.

    I don’t suppose we can trust the Mono developers to do something similar? Probably not.

    I’d go back to Debian, but horror of horrors, even they can’t be trusted. Who would have thought it.

    Thank goodness for Fedora.

  5. contextfree said,

    June 28, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Gravatar

    your statement that it’s not the patents that bother you, but (as far as I can make out) some kind of vague cultural bigotry (Unix is the only Real Operating System? C and various cheesy dynamic languages are the only Real Languages used by Real Programmers?) typifies what bothers me about some of the anti-Mono etc. sentiment out there.

    apropos of patent concerns, though, you guys may find this blog comment from James Plamondon (of “Evangelism is WAR!” fame) of interest:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/somasegar/archive/2007/10/17/f-a-functional-programming-language.aspx (about 1/4 down the page)

    “My brother Peter Plamondon and I started Project 7 at Microsoft, which was the code-name for an effort to (a) get the .NET & Visual Studio.NET products opened up to non-Microsoft languages and (b) get non-Microsoft languages implemented on .NET. [...]

    There was a LOT of resistance. Microsoft had just been burned by a non-Microsoft language — Java — and there were those who felt that Microsoft should be actively suppressing the emergence of new languages, not facilitating it. Fortunately, Paul recignized that the emergence of Java proved that Microsoft could not suppress the emergence of new languages…and that it shouldn’t WANT to do so. Better to encourage their emergence, and to make it super-easy for them to emerge first, best, and only on Windows. This is what’s happening now with languages such as F#.

    One of the main reasons I wanted to open up .NET and VS.NET this way was to facilitate the miscegenation of programming languages — the mixing together of ideas and features that can only happen on top of a platform (the CLR) that provides a simple, open, flexible DNA for programming languages). [...]

    This modular approach to language functionality would (a) allow the more-rapid evolution of programming language functionality, and (b) be available first, best, and perhaps only on Windows, because no other platform has the necessary infrastructure (and presumably Microsoft has patented the holy shit out of the CLR and VS.NET).

    If, at the same time, Microsoft were to aggressively support the use of VS.NET as a cross-platform development tool, implementing redistributable .NET equivalents (“the .NET Platform”) on other operating systems, then this would de-commoditize programming, establishing Windows as the most efficient platform for developing applications for the .NET Platform (and thereby all other OS’), thereby ensuring that the best applications were developed first, best, and perhaps only for Windows. This could make it possible for Microsoft to regain the Cool Factor Cup than Linux et al. have recently captured.

    Of course, this de-commoditization only happens if VS.NET, the CLR, and the novel re-engineering of programming languages allows such a big jump in programmer efficiency that programers who don’t use it are outcompeted in the marketplace. That’s what de-commoditization MEANS.”

    Don Syme (the principal designer of F#) talks about this as well:
    “Right back in 1998, just in fact as our research group in programming languages started at Microsoft and I joined the team and then other 10 of us joined the team, we were approached by a guy called James Plamondon, who started the project called Project 7, which was about getting 7 academic and 7 industrial programming languages on each side to target the .NET common language runtime and really check out if it was good enough, to see if design changes could be made early on in the design process of .NET to make sure it was good enough for a range of programming languages.

    Some of those design changes were made, like tail calls were, for example, were added in the first version of .NET and that was a very interesting project because they gave a lot of way to our group and researchers at Microsoft to make connections between the academic programming world and .NET. We have seen that there are a lot of people working on .NET over the years, and also let our group work directly on .NET with regard to .NET Generics and other proposed extensions to .NET – we got these researchers engaged with the system.”

    aeshna23 Reply:

    your statement that it’s not the patents that bother you, but (as far as I can make out) some kind of vague cultural bigotry (Unix is the only Real Operating System? C and various cheesy dynamic languages are the only Real Languages used by Real Programmers?) typifies what bothers me about some of the anti-Mono etc. sentiment out there.

    If you’re not willing to take the time to understand other people’s arguments and just want to label them “vague cultural bigotry”, don’t expect me to read what you have to say.

    contextfree Reply:

    I’m not sure what I’m not understanding. If it’s not an actual patent/freedom issue (for him), it sounds like a cultural-symbolism thing and indeed he appears (to me at least) to say it is.

  6. Sean Tilley said,

    June 28, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey, thanks for plugging my article, Roy and Twitter! It’s gotten roughly over 900 views on Linux.com!

What Else is New


  1. Links 26/11/2014: Docker Patched, New DragonFlyBSD

    Links for the day



  2. Message to the Corporate Media: Bill Gates is Not an Ebola Expert

    Brainwash in the corporate media, including media that the Gates Foundation bribes in exchange for sheer bias, paints the super-rich as the solution rather than the problem



  3. US Government Finally Probes Microsoft Over Financial Fraud, Microsoft Then Bullies the Government With a Lawsuit

    Microsoft is finally being investigated -- perhaps properly too -- for its well-known tax abuses that have so far proved that Microsoft is "too big to jail"; Microsoft is suing the investigator, exerting its abusive power to discourage further investigation



  4. Gagging Critics: Micro Focus-Run SUSE Bribes Journalists in Exchange for Positive Coverage

    Amid the takeover by Micro Focus, SUSE pays journahayess (especially critics) who in turn become some kind of advertisements feed of Novell



  5. Links 25/11/2014: Tizen News, Jolla Tablet Past Million

    Links for the day



  6. Links 24/11/2014: Linux 3.18-rc6, Qualcomm Eyes GNU/Linux Servers

    Links for the day



  7. Boycotting Micro Focus International

    Microsoft's "Partner of the Year" is taking over the patron of SUSE and all of Novell's remains, except the patents (Microsoft has already grabbed those)



  8. Vesna Stilin's Remarks on Željko Topić: Part XI

    Vesna Stilin speaks about her confrontation with EPO Vice-President Željko Topić, who has criminal lawsuits against him in Croatia



  9. Links 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  10. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  11. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  12. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  13. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  15. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  16. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  17. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  18. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  19. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  21. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  22. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  23. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  24. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  25. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  26. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  28. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  29. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  30. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts