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Groklaw Groks Mono, Miguel de Icaza, Microsoft, and More

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 1:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Perlow velociraptor in the park
Photo with permission from Jason

Summary: A counter article to Jason Perlow’s post from ZDNet is finally published

THE previous post spoke about the “Microsoft hater” label, which conveniently annuls or crosses out any regular critic of Microsoft’s practices, including Richard Stallman.

Recent attacks on Stallman [1, 2, 3] (some going back to July) were profoundly based on the assumption that for Stallman to be concerned about Microsoft is “irrational” and “sickly”.

Groklaw has published this long article which defends Stallman from critics like Jason Perlow, who is in our IRC channel at the moment having fun with some graphics and banter (the image above is hopefully treated amicably, as Jason chose his favourite dinosaur, the velociraptor). There are also some good comments at Reddit (the Novell/Mono employees who hang out at Reddit must not have responded yet).

Anyway, here are some fragments from the very good analysis at Groklaw:

In short, Perlow attacked the man for something he didn’t say. He never said not to use Mono. Nor is Mono even necessary for interoperability with Microsoft. I note Microsoft is letting Intel port Silverlight instead of Mono to Moblin. Surprise, Miguel. Ah, the joys and surprises of partnering with Microsoft. He will drink that cup to the full, no doubt, before this saga is done. Why would *you* want Silverlight on Moblin? I can’t imagine one good reason, personally, but the fact that Intel and Microsoft want it to happen may even be part of what’s behind the new push to tell us we must use both Windows and Linux and stop being so prissy about it. I note that in Perlow’s article on how he can’t live without Windows on the desktop, Why I Can Never Be Exclusive to Linux and Open Source on the Desktop,


I hate to burst people’s bubbles, but it was just last week that Microsoft sold, or tried to sell, to patent trolls some 22 patents that could be used against Linux. Caught with its pants down when OIN ended up with them instead and told the world all about it, Microsoft quickly announced the Codeplex Foundation, which Perlow calls an open source nonprofit but which actually could more accurately be called Microsoft’s Push-Mono-Down-Your-Throat foundation, now that Sam Ramji has announced that giving Mono more “credibility” is the goal. This is the star to guide you if you wish to be “pragmatic” and “compromise” also. I suggest you read Andy Updegrove’s understated but — to me, hilarious — analysis of the legal structure of the Codeplex Foundation.


And I have a question for those who tell us we have to compromise and use both proprietary Microsoft software and FOSS. If the purpose of Open Source was nothing more than making money as a Microsoft partner, you tell me — what was it all for? Why not just use Microsoft software, then, and call it good? No. Really. What was FOSS developed for, if that is the end result, a Microsoft-FOSS fusion? Why even bother? The idea was to provide something better, an alternative, one that was totally free of proprietary restrictions, so that it would be you who control your own computer. And that is exactly what Microsoft can’t ever offer you.

More obvious mistakes are being pointed out in the comments.

Addressing the real issue which is not the messenger but the promoter of Mono and Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation, well… he is not alone. Miguel is joined by colleagues who bring about “fusion” between Microsoft and Linux, to borrow the term used by Groklaw. Novell helps organise the .NET/Mono Code Camp, which is supported by Microsoft and Novell (and probably Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation). Also worth bearing in mind is Novell’s role at the Linux Foundation. The key panel at LinuxCon was moderated by a Novell employee, whose role there has been a little problematic [1, 2]. There is also this:

Generating lots of interest from press, enthusiasts and attendees, LinuxCon touched on everything from what music best represents Linux to “Is Linux bloated?” – which sparked lots of opinions, including one from Novell’s own Matt Richards.

Novell used that “bloated” debate which came from Novell’s James Bottomley to market its SUSE Studio product (appliances programme). We wrote about this last week.

Dog with a sign

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  1. David Gerard said,

    September 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm


    Jason Perlow is being a quintessential ad banner troll.

    twitter Reply:

    Jason’s reasons for using M$ junk boil down to the fact that his customers use crap software and he’s attached to a few particular pieces of junk himself. His number one irrational attachment is a flow chart program. I once used kvivio and thought it was nicer than Visio. I prefer GIMP to Photoshop, and so on and so forth. None of this will really help Jason because his customers will continue to use garbage as long as Jason is irrational enough to tell them that the garbage they know is better than the freedom or performance they could have with free software. Sad.

  2. NotZed said,

    September 30, 2009 at 7:43 pm


    “Is Linux bloated?”

    Yes, yes it is. But at least with the kernel it’s bloated only once Then again, look at sound drivers – two interfaces and they both suck. Or video drivers.

    And the `desktop’ is a total mess. Each iteration of almost every application gets fatter and slower for minimal or no real improvement in functionality or stability.

    finalzone Reply:

    Define bloat.

    Concerning sound and video drivers, it is really vendors issues. At least open source iterations are working despite the lack of important source. On sound part, pulseaudio does a good job to simplify configuration while providing advanced setting. For videos, both AMD and Intel made effort to provide 3D support and release documentations.

    About desktops, lightweight iteration from enlightenment to ICEWin via Fluxbox are filling the void left by both Gnome and KDE. Be glad GNU/Linux or BSD based distributions provide the ability to switch to different desktop environment.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    At the kernel level, Linus says there are many integrity checks and logging wasting CPU cycles (companies like Oracle need those), but recent benchmarks show that Linux is still faster than FreeBSD, for example. Also see this.

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