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