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

06.29.09

Microsoft and Novell Still Fight for .NET Inside GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Soviet Microsoft
Reversal of a rather famous joke

Summary: An assemblage of new writings that show who is promoting Mono

Yesterday we gave a sample of responses to Richard Stallman’s advice against Mono and C#. The SFLC and FSF are absolutely behind him. It is around the same time that we also find Linux developers scrambling to avoid Microsoft’s VFAT patent. It is a timely reminder of reasons to avoid software from Microsoft. As Bradley Kuhn from the SFLC put it this year, “Microsoft is unique among proprietary software companies: they are the only ones who have actively tried to kill Open Source and Free Software. It’s not often someone wants to be your friend after trying to kill you for ten years, but such change is cause for suspicion.”

Regarding the FAT situation, LWN reports:

Andrew Tridgell has posted a new patch intended to enable the kernel to work around the VFAT patents. Unlike the previous version (covered on LWN in May), this patch preserves the long filename functionality which is at the core of the patent. There’s an associated FAQ which describes the patch and the approach which has been taken in its development and posting.

APIs too can be patent traps, but Canonical carries on ignoring the warning signs. Well, Canonical’s desktop engineering manager is from Microsoft, so maybe it’s to be expected. Via Sam Varghese:

The Ubuntu technical board appears to have decided that there is no significant cause for IP concern over Mono, the contentious clone of Microsoft’s .NET development environment.

Varghese adds that Richard Stallman considers Mono to be risky.

The founder of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Matthew Stallman, has termed Debian’s decision to include Mono as part of its default desktop task a move that “leads the community in a risky direction.”

[...]

Red Hat’s community Linux distribution, Fedora, recently decided to throw out Mono altogether from its default install, and replaced Tomboy with Gnote.

While pro-Mono zealots often claim that it is possible to obtain a royalty-free, reasonable and non-discriminatory licence for the use of Microsoft patents which may be part of Mono, in reality, it is extremely difficult to even find out how one can do so.

Another person, who describes himself as an “intern at Microsoft [who is] writing an extension to the MonoDevelop project,” has just written about this. “Fuck you, Richard Stallman,” screams the headline of his blog post where he complains about Stallman’s stance on Mono. It’s interesting to know that Microsoft is helping MonoDevelop, which helps Windows of course [1, 2, 3]. The foul-mouthed rant also links to libel about me (personal attacks) and about this subject in general. Not bad for proponents of Mono who are also working for Microsoft, eh? At least there is a pattern.

In other news, Tomboy may be getting yet another decent replacement called KeepNote.

Best Linux Notetaking Application

[...]

I know a lot of people out there like to take notes with Linux, and probably didn’t come across this program yet, as it look me a bit googling to find it again. The program is called KeepNote, and is a fantastic program for taking notes. I use it with Dropbox, and store all of my notes there and that way it is synchronized to all of my systems. The program itself is open source and free, and you can support it by making a donation on the homepage.

Other good note-taking applications are Gnote, zim, knotes, and Basket.

We wish to end this with an ongoing discussion about licences. It is based on conversations where it has emerged that when it comes to Mono/Moonlight (to quote Novell), “In addition to the GNU LGPL, [Mono] code is available for relicensing for non-LGPL use, contact Novell for details (mono@novell.com).”

According to one of our readers, “this basically means that at your option you can acquire a proprietary license instead of using the LGPL. This is similar to e.g. MySQL or Qt.”

The opinion of another reader is very different. “I’m aware of that,” he says, “but it’s wholly irrelevant to my argument. I am not claiming, nor have I ever claimed, this software is not available under different licenses.

“The point I take issue with is Novell’s interpretation of non-LGPL use, which as I indicated, would preclude LGPL distribution on something as innocuous as a LiveCD. There is absolutely nothing in the LGPL which precludes distribution on inherently immutable systems, so this clause is a “further restriction”, as explicitly prohibited under the LGPL. Therefore Moonlight is explicitly non-Free software, regardless of any potential patent threats.

“Distributing LGPL software on inherently immutable systems is not “non-LGPL use”. Period. Novell’s assertion is a lie.”
      –Anonymous reader
“Non-LGPL use means just that: use under terms other than the LGPL. If you don’t like or don’t want those terms, you can convey those in the LGPL instead.

“Notice they also want to support distribution on tivoized systems, not just inherently immutable ones. But this is not LGPLv3, so such wording is unnecessary. Maybe Novell’s legal department is paranoid, or incompetent (or both).

“Novell need to force, through licensing, distribution of Moonlight in a manner in which they can guarantee it will be updated with a certain specific component that they push to users – something not possible on immutable systems. And on immutable systems, Novell can ensure this mysterious component is either preinstalled, or paid for in lieu anyway (at ISV level), due to their “non-LGPL use” redefinition clause.”

Adds another reader: “Distributing LGPL software on inherently immutable systems is not “non-LGPL use”. Period. Novell’s assertion is a lie.

“The fact than Novell wish to fool people into seeking non-LGPL licensing, where it is totally unnecessary, is quite palpable, but that does not make their assertion true. I don’t care that other licensing is available as an option. I don’t care that I (or others) may distribute and use this software on immutable systems if we/they are fooled into accepting a proprietary license. The fact that “other licenses are available” is completely and utterly irrelevant. Novell is perverting the meaning of the LGPL, and abusing that bastardisation to “sell” the false premise that Moonlight is Free Software, when it clearly is not.

As a last remark, adds one reader: “Guess what that component is, where it comes from, and why Novell “need” Moonlight users to deploy it.

“Yes, that’s right, it’s Miguel de Icaza pushing yet more of their proprietary and encumbered standards down Free Software users’ throats again. Not content with poisoning us with their .NET Silverlight (Moonlight) garbage, they also want to coerce us into accepting their proprietary licensed, patent encumbered media codecs, via a “push” to all Moonlight users to install “MICROSOFT MEDIA PACK 1.0″.

That is the real reason for all this “we consider non-LGPL use…” nonsense. That is why these systems need to be mutable, so they can install this “media pack” at Microsoft’s behest. De Icaza and friends are simply trying to force people to install proprietary Microsoft codecs. No doubt this is in fact part of the “arrangement” de Icaza has come to with Microsoft, in order that they tolerate this Silverlight “Cloneware” from Novell. Although I deeply suspect that there is little coercion on either side. Novell and Microsoft now have the same agenda.”

Speaking of Silverlight, Microsoft appears to have bought itself another contract for excluding GNU/Linux users from yet another Olympic event [1, 2] (or forcing them to install Mono for inferior and risky experience).

He also points out that the Olympics, which are being held in Vancouver, will be using Microsoft’s (MSFT) Silverlight standard, and its Smooth Streaming technology, which he notes the company worked on with Akamai.

This is another fine example where Microsoft uses Free software stacks (Linux at Akamai) to serve content. Microsoft never succeeded with CDNs, which it tried to pollute with Microsoft patents.

“There is a substantive effort in open source to bring such an implementation of .Net to market, known as Mono and being driven by Novell, and one of the attributes of the agreement we made with Novell is that the intellectual property associated with that is available to Novell customers.”

Bob Muglia, Microsoft President

Addendum: the gentleman who insulted Stallman has expressed regret about it and the statements should not be attributed to Microsoft.

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

8 Comments

  1. G. Michaels said,

    June 29, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Gravatar

    Here is the link you petulantly didn’t want to include in your post. Thanks for providing the title :)

    And look, your attack troll and nymshifter-en-masse “twitter” is already there, shilling the “Roy rocks” line as usual. His “foul-mouthed” rants are legend on Slashdot as well. I take it you’ve never had the pleasure of reading them.

    The author of the blog even bothered to reply, wow. Did you send anyone else? He needs to be warned, especially if a few other of the BoycotBoys are going to show up as usual to troll his blog.

  2. Anirudh said,

    July 1, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Gravatar

    Hello,

    Please please please modify this article. It has been taken out of context and I contribute to open source outside my day job. I wrote the article only because I was feeling hurt about the whole issue.

    I contribute because I like the project and have been doing so before I even got my internship. Taking it out of context will hurt my involvement in my community as well as in my company. I’m a lowly intern in the Indian Research lab, that’s all.

    Please do not hurt my career by taking this out of context. I appeal to your human side to modify it.

    Thank you,
    Anirudh

    lalala Reply:

    HA! While he’s at it, he can remove Jimmi Hugh’s name from that wikipedia “article”. Roy doesn’t have a human side.

    Moo Reply:

    Would you mind pointing to the sections that you consider to be out of context. Would you mind putting these sections into context so that we can understand your point.

    Anirudh Reply:

    “Another person, who describes himself as an “intern at Microsoft [who is] writing an extension to the MonoDevelop project,” has just written about this. “Fuck you, Richard Stallman,” screams the headline of his blog post where he complains about Stallman’s stance on Mono”

    I have been contributing to monodevelop even I took up a small research internship at MS, and do so in my own time. This article takes my *disclaimer* out of context and makes it look like MS is directly involved. My day job involves some experimental language translation, that’s all.
    I even have a summer of code project with mono.

    Unfortunately, this seems to be Roy’s brand of justice, which I guess I deserved because I made some personal attacks against him which wasn’t right.

    Atleast I learned to stop writing opinions and stick to writing code.

    Anirudh Reply:

    oops, typo in my comment.

    I’ve been contributing to MD even *before* I took up my summer internship.

    All my code is on github/ninjagod and is licensed under MIT/X11

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Anirudh,

    Don’t worry about it. You’re a nice guy, it’s all forgiven for. We all happen to write things we later regret. It doesn’t change one’s character.

    G. Michaels Reply:

    You’re a nice guy, it’s all forgiven for.

    That’s so magnanimous of you. Would you mind explaining what it is you need to forgive here?

    By the way, have you by any chance contacted Jimmi Hugh and asked for his forgiveness as well? And David Sleschinger as well? What about all those “bribed” journalists? The owners and employees of companies who became a target of your smears because they have someone who used to work at Microsoft on their staff?

    Just wondering.

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  2. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  3. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  4. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  5. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  6. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  7. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  8. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  9. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  10. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  11. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  12. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  13. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  14. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  15. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  16. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  17. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  18. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  19. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  20. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  21. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  22. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  23. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  24. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  25. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day



  26. Links 8/8/2014: Qt a Separate Company Again, KDE Frameworks 5.1 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft's Android Lawsuit Against Samsung Shows That Windows is Dead Beef

    Microsoft resorts to AstroTurfing, lawsuits, vapourware, and attack ads, revealing that it is a feeble aggressor whose only remaining hope for revival is destruction of rivals



  28. Only Foolish Governments Would Choose Microsoft or Apple

    China bans Apple's operating systems (just like Microsoft's) while Apple retreats on it litigation strategy from 2010, showing perhaps where Microsoft is heading now that it is suing Samsung (as Apple did some years ago)



  29. Links 6/8/2014: Linux 3.17 Features, Ubuntu in India

    Links for the day



  30. Latest Attacks on Android From Apple/Microsoft and Their Network of Trolls/Partners

    Net Applications (Apple- and Microsoft-funded) makes a misinformation comeback, Apple retreats from some Samsung litigation battles, and Microsoft dives deep into it


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