Summary: Bits of minor news about Mono
AS our later post will show, Microsoft delivered not 20,000 lines of code but 20,000 lines of GPL compliance. Despite the illusion or bubble of PR bursting, some pro-Microsoft blogs are using this forced compliance (and Mono) to describe Microsoft’s self-serving actions as a “love-fest over open source” for which Microsoft deserves special credit. This spin is also pushed by the business press. At the same time we are seeing personal attacks on those daring to criticise some things like Mono, disdain of Stallman, and trust in Microsoft. Trust needs to be earned (c/f TomTom lawsuit in 2009)
Glyn Moody is able to see the disagreements at play and he has published a post that tells apart “Purists” and “Pragmatists”. It’s an old story and nothing particularly out of the ordinary; tension has always existed at some level.
Now we have a similar situation regarding Mono. The purists are concerned that there may be issues to do with software patents in jurisdictions that recognise them. To them, it seems folly to create what may be tainted code because of the digital sword of Damocles hanging over them through such intellectual monopolies. For the pragmatists, by contrast, Mono is simply a good way of programming that can serve the useful purpose of allowing people to run .Net-based programs on free software. All in all, then, they believe it is to be welcomed as a way of increasing the use of open source.
There is a particular irony in this situation, because this time it is the GNOME project’s use of Mono that is proving unacceptable to the purists, whereas ten years ago, GNOME was the purist solution to the problems with KDE’s pragmatism. If nothing else, this shows how foolish it would be to judge projects on their past alignments rather than present actions.
Despite warnings from the FSF, Novell is replicating Microsoft and it shows no signs of abatement. Taking Banshee for example, it is being further extended into territories which beg for trouble [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Tomboy has many users, but unlike Banshee, Microsoft’s Community Promise covers it for the time being. One of the biggest issues happens to be Moonlight, which was covered in ZDNet UK a few days ago.
Silverlight is based on .NET — the open source implementation of .NET is Mono. Microsoft has assisted Mono development. The open source version of Silverlight is called Moonlight, which is based on Mono, and sponsored by Novell. Moonlight enables Silverlight content to run on Linux.
Microsoft never appeased the concerns raised by the SFLC regarding Moonlight.
What also ought to be added is that David Worthington seems to have been promoting “everything Microsoft” recently (ever since they bought him lunch, but he was in touch with Microsoft for longer than that). Anyway, one of the latest posts from him is once again promoting Mono by deception, even spin and borderline lies. Pascal from the OpenSUSE Board is annoyed by it. He wrote:
This piece of… “art” has to be one of the most factually wrong and ridiculous pseudo-technical articles ever. Because its utterly unqualified author has 3 or 4 desktop applications running on Mono on his desktop, he states that Mono has overtaken Java (and, unlike the title of that article, he actually writes that it’s not only on the desktop).