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 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  3. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  4. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  5. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  6. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  7. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  8. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  9. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  10. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  11. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  12. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  13. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  14. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  15. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  16. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  17. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  18. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  19. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  20. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  22. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  23. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  24. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  25. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  27. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  28. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  29. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  30. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux


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