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. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman



  2. GNU World Order is a Personal Sacrifice, LinuxWorld Just Business

    As the Linux Foundation shows, Linux is just business (and proprietary software) as usual, software patents included, whereas it’s GNU that continues the Free Software Movement’s battles



  3. Links 20/2/2020: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU18, Mesa 20, VirtualBox 6.1.4

    Links for the day



  4. Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

    Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing



  5. Former Microsoft Employees Don't Like Talking About Past and Present Microsoft Back Doors (Designed for Spy Agencies)

    In a typical Microsoftian fashion, once they cannot defend the illusion/delusion that Microsoft values security the 'Softers' run away and block any further debate



  6. Techrights Warns Against Impending Extradition Efforts (Passage of Julian Assange to His Death in the United States)

    Imprisonment of journalists who are effective at exposing crimes (of the powerful, not petty crimes) must never be condoned



  7. Team UPC: Many Mouths and No Ears

    The mental condition of Team UPC gets more worrisome by the week



  8. Team UPC Insults Judges Because the UPC is Dead and UPC Lobbyists Have Nothing Left to Lose

    More judge-shaming tactics are in the mix; Team UPC seems to feel like there's nothing left to lose as the UPC is already dead (hope itself is next to die)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 19, 2020



  10. China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

    The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go



  11. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  12. FFII Press Release: Germany Can No Longer Ratify the Unitary Patent Due to Brexit and the Established AETR Case-law, says FFII

    Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit and the established AETR case-law. The ratification of the UPC (Unified Patent Court) by Germany would constitute a violation of the AETR case-law, which was used during the EPLA negotiations in 2006 to consider a deal with non-EU countries, such as Switzerland.



  13. DRM (Proprietary Software) Already Makes Mozilla Firefox Broken, Unreliable, Undependable (Dependent on Binary Blobs)

    More people are beginning to realise that Mozilla resorted to self-harming DRM and self-inflicted damage that impacts Firefox; can Mozilla (re)join the anti-DRM coalitions?



  14. EPO and Other Patent Updates Over RSS

    Site syndication (over RSS feeds or XML/Atom) is vastly better than what became popular in recent years (censored, centralised, discriminatory "Social Control Media"); here are some feeds of interest



  15. When It Comes to a Unitary Patent System, Bad (or Intentionally Dishonest) Legal Advice Has Become the Norm

    The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent (UPC and UP, respectively) reinforce the old saying about lawyers being liars, doing anything to attract clients (to take their money); the UPC is basically dead, but fiction, falsehoods and outrageous fantasies still find their way into Web sites of law firms



  16. Links 19/2/2020: KDE Plasma 5.18.1, GNOME 3.36 Beta 2 and WordPress 5.4 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  17. Is Linux Foundation a Microsoft Branch Now?

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF) nowadays helps Microsoft cement its monopoly — the very opposite of what ages ago it said the LF would do



  18. Are Songs Property? And Maths Also Property? Artificial Monopolies Are Not Property...

    Patent maximalists continue to face stronger arguments from their sceptics, who rightly allege that words are being intentionally misused and numbers fabricated so as to distort underlying facts



  19. Battistelli Blocked Techrights at EPO (Banned for More Than 5 Years), So CEIPI Won't Respect Access to Information Either

    The use of censorship to confront people who talk about (not even expose) corruption isn't novel; but the adoption of this approach in Europe (not just places like Russia and China) is definitely noteworthy



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 17, 2020



  21. Links 18/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC2, Wine 5.2, GNU Social Contract and Sparky 2020.02 Special Editions

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 16, 2020



  23. Links 16/2/2020: MX Linux 19.1 and MyPaint 2.0

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 15, 2020



  25. Guest Article: Au Revoir, GNU/Linux

    "Funny how OSI just ended up being another vehicle for their takeover of the computing world..."



  26. Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

    A noteworthy message we've received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside



  27. Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft Views 'Open Source' as a Zero-Cost Heist Opportunity (Making Proprietary Software/Spyware Using Other People's Free Labour)

    Making GPL-licensed (copyleft) software and hosting it outside Microsoft’s jaws is the best way to counter the abusive monopolist, which still says it “loves” what it is actually attacking



  29. Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

    A look at what ZDNet tells its readers (screenshot from this morning) and a rare look at how its writers are censored/suppressed



  30. Anatomy of a Crime and Protection From Prosecution

    It’s hard to forget what António Campinos hides for his friend


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

Recent Posts