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07.21.09

Revisited: The FSF’s and Red Hat’s Position on Mono

Posted in FSF, Novell, Red Hat at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Another look at notable policies that are still ignored by some

NOW THAT the FSF is more openly a critic of Mono (despite Microsoft’s Community Promise), there are two options for those who strive to characterise Mono criticism as “zealous”; one is to try calling the FSF “zealots” and another is to just come to the realisation that Mono is indeed problematic inside GNU/Linux. Jason has a little new post about this subject and he explains:

FSF on Microsoft’s “Empty Promise”

[...]

Now I’ve been preaching this gospel since Day 1. It is pure dishonesty to pretend like every company present the same risk and hostility to Linux, Free Software, or Open Source that Microsoft does. Microsoft’s hostility and desire to destroy Linux is not the fevered imaginations of wild-eyed zealots. It is documented. It is proven. It is inarguable.

Now, you may want to advance the idea that Microsoft has changed. That is a possibility, sure – but it is not documented, proven or inarguable. The safe and sane position towards Microsoft is suspicion and wariness. Microsoft made it so, not wild-eyed zealots. It also becomes on open question on what type of change it is.

The Linux Action Show, which is FSF-hostile [1, 2], is of course ignoring the FSF’s stance and almost accusing Red Hat/Fedora of spreading FUD (or blames those who cite Red Hat’s concern). But why be so close minded? If both the FSF and Red Hat see issues in Mono, it is worth listening to them and judging the allegations based on facts. The labeling of people as “black or white” is not helpful and those who accuse us of it are often hypocritical.

“If both the FSF and Red Hat see issues in Mono, it is worth listening to them and judging the allegations based on facts.”Fedora has sort of acquired protections from F-spot (and by association from Banshee [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which contains non-ECMA portions), so it’s not just about Gnote, which already replaces Tomboy in future versions of Fedora (Red Hat). F-spot can be conveniently substituted by Solang, which is available from this Fedora repository.

To paraphrase someone from this Web site, “Novell ‘supports’ Red Hat” only in the sense that it is looking to poach Red Hat customers. One reader sent a pointer to this old marketing proposal from Novell:

Choose SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server and get top-ranked Novell support for your Existing Red Hat Environment.

[...]

When you transition from your existing Red Hat environment to SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell, you can recognize dramatic cost savings—perhaps as much 50%…

This one has nothing to do with Mono, but can Novell use Mono against Red Hat? Will it ever?

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2 Comments

  1. thenixedreport said,

    July 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Gravatar

    The fact that it took the Redmond giant so long to respond to inquiries pertaining to patent licenses for .NET should speak volumes to everyone else.

  2. aeshna23 said,

    July 21, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Gravatar

    I tried to install solang from the repository suggested, but solang doesn’t appear to be on that repository.

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