10.15.09

Jeremy Allison Recommends Passing Mono Software to Basket of Proprietary Software

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Samba at 5:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jeremy Allison

Summary: Jeremy Allison from the Samba team argues that Mono and applications that depend on Mono should be put in “restricted” repositories

Jeremy Allison comes from Novell and so does Mono, which was acquired by the company along with Ximian. But as our interview with Allison shows, this man who worked for Novell (on Samba) was brave enough to make his voice heard and finally move to Google. He protested against the patent deal with Microsoft. Just as a reminder and a little bit of background, Novell issues have not been resolved yet*.

“A few days ago we also wrote about Git#, which is part of the trend of making GNU/Linux building blocks more closely tied to Microsoft APIs and/or programming languages.”Novell’s Banshee has a new release but little is said about the fact that the software uses parts of Mono that Microsoft explicitly excluded from its Community Promise, which means that the software is only “safe” for Novell customers to use.

A few days ago we also wrote about Git#, which is part of the trend of making GNU/Linux building blocks more closely tied to Microsoft APIs and/or programming languages. Here is some newer coverage of Git# from a source that typically promotes a lot of Microsoft tools.

GNU/Linux expert, distribution developer, and author Chris Smart has just added this to evidence that “Mono is a [Microsoft] trap.”

Still aren’t convinced that Mono is a trap which ultimately only benefits Microsoft?

Take a look at this “Highly Confidential” document from Microsoft (from Comes vs Microsoft case) entitled “Effective Evangelism” and decide for yourself. It exposes Microsoft’s game plan for dominating the market with their platforms (which we already know, but some choose to ignore).

To quote a memorable (and not out-of-date) quote from Microsoft President Bob Muglia: “There is a substantive effort in open source to bring such an implementation of .Net to market, known as Mono and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.

Next, this brings us to Jeremy Allison’s latest good columns where he politely approaches one problem with Mono.

But the problem is that Mono is dangerous for Free Software. The heart of the matter is, as usual, software patents. Microsoft have patents on the technology inside .NET, and since the Tom Tom lawsuit, Microsoft have shown they are not averse to attacking Free Software using patent infringement claims. Microsoft have tried to allay some fears by putting the .NET specification under their “Microsoft Community Promise” which you can read here:

http://www.microsoft.com/interop/cp/default.mspx

Miguel hailed this a the solution to all the patent problems with Mono. But this promise is simply not good enough to base a language environment implementation upon. After all, if the rug is pulled out from under that implementation by the threat of patent infringement you don’t just lose the implementation itself, you lose all the programs that depend upon it. That’s a really dangerous situation for Free Software programs to be in. The Free Software Foundation wrote a good analysis of the problems with this promise here:

http://www.fsf.org/news/2009-07-mscp-mono

But my basic issue with the Microsoft Community Promise is that Miguel doesn’t have to depend on it like everyone else does. Miguel’s employer, Novell, has a patent agreement with Microsoft that exempts Mono users from Microsoft patent aggression, so long as you get Mono from Novell.

The emphasis above is not ours. Allison knew about the Novell deal and also saw it from the inside ahead of journalists. Allison also proposes a solution:

Microsoft isn’t playing games any more by merely threatening to assert patents. Real lawsuits have now occurred and the gloves are off against Free Software. Moving Mono and its applications to the “restricted” repositories is now just plain common sense.

That would include applications like Tomboy and F-Spot.

“Mono is a problem for many reasons, the main of which is the fact that it promotes Microsoft, the company which attacks Free software more than many other companies combined.”There are many comments on this new article (lots more to come), which include: “Nasty stuff! In the meantime, RedHat keeps a strong leadership in the server, and I am starting to move my desktops to purely Qt/KDE installs (to avoid any Mono contamination).

Why is Novell doing this to itself? Or is it doing it for Microsoft? Mono is a problem for many reasons, the main of which is the fact that it promotes Microsoft, the company which attacks Free software more than many other companies combined. Mono puts Microsoft in control of developers (as in “developers developers developers developers”) and on top of this there are software patents to tighten the grip.

Imitation is rarely the path to winning (or just winning over developers). In order to recruit new support for Free(dom) software, one needs to offer something unique; experience suggests that Mono failed to attract even Visual Studio people.

In Novell’s headquarters, what’s debated at the moment are issues of marketing, not necessarily freedom. A longtime apologist of the Novell/Microsoft relationship elaborates on this subject.
_____
*This Web site’s goal remains to put pressure on Novell — using its customers — and to rectify its commitment to its suppliers, the Free software world which includes not just developers but also other companies (development peers), enthusiastic users, and people who spread the software. The main issue with the deal is a combination of software patents and an obligation from Novell to do all sorts of things which advance Microsoft’s own ecosystem. SUSE intervention was attempted as means of alleviating or annulling the deal. Attempts were made in the past to do so through negotiation and many people who were using SUSE got involved, myself included. Novell argued that the deal with Microsoft was “irrevocable”, so there was little left to do but to protest through explanation of the consequences and have Novell regret the path that it chose.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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

2 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    October 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Gravatar

    “Microsoft have patents on the technology inside .NET, and since the Tom Tom lawsuit, Microsoft have shown they are not averse to attacking Free Software using patent infringement claims. ”
    Yep, now you see why the news on tridge’s second version of the VFAT patent workaround patch that was buried in the hype about MS’s Hyper-V Linux kernel code “donation” was so important.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Indeed, I wrote about the impact of TomTom on Mono right here and also mentioned your post about VFAT several days ago.

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 19, 2021



  2. Links 20/1/2021: WireGuard for pfSense and New US President

    Links for the day



  3. Links 19/1/2021: Krita 4.4.2 Released and JingOS Hype

    Links for the day



  4. Team UPC Keeps Pretending That UPCA Can Still be Resurrected (Even Without the UK, Which is Strictly a Requirement)

    The latest distortion of facts regarding the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement (UPCA) as seen from the lens of people who seek to profit from such distortion



  5. 'Ethical Source' is Not Ethical and Not a Movement But a Misguided Self-Serving PR Stunt

    Something which is neither enforceable nor ethical is being promoted by profoundly unethical media in the pockets of large corporations



  6. InteLeaks – Part XXI: Intel Seeking Advice From a Bunch of Clowns (Harbor 'Research')

    A firm called Harbor 'Research' is making dubious recommendations to Intel; as shown in the above video, there's also an obsession with buzzwords (typically suggestive of a lack of technical grasp/understanding)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, January 18, 2021



  8. The US Election Was Not Rigged, But the Nomination Process Was (Undermined to Maintain Control by Oligarchy)

    Cheating/driving the left out of the Democratic Party seems like a longstanding tradition and we know who stands to gain from it; moreover, problems remain in the voting process because it's controlled by secret code of companies like Microsoft (in spite of the openwashing)



  9. InteLeaks – Part XX: Redacted (for Names Only) Release of Intel File About Developer eXperience (DX) Meddling in GNU/Linux

    Today (or tonight) we release the first 'phase' of InteLeaks in a sensibly redacted form; coming up next is a surprise from Team Microsoft



  10. Sites in Bed With the EPO and UPC 'Covering' the 'News' Without Mentioning Any of the Overt Abuses

    It is rather sad that blogs like IP Kat have turned into proponents of abusive EPO management and Team UPC increasingly resorts to lying using pseudonyms (to avert criticism and accountability); much of the rebuttal or response that’s hinged on reality/facts can only be found in comments, which are still subjected to a face-saving moderation process (conducted by Team UPC)



  11. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part IV: Stories From the Depths of the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    To reduce or alleviate suspicions and a potential of mistrust the FSF needs to become more transparent and liberate information (such as the real reason Bradley Kuhn left, as noted in the previous part)



  12. Links 18/1/2021: GNU Radio 3.9, Wikipedia at 20

    Links for the day



  13. InteLeaks – Part XIX: Intel's Web 'Experts' Seen as Microsoft Champions Dealing With the Platform Microsoft is Looking to Destroy

    Things aren't rosy at Intel because the hires aren't suitable for the job of documenting and/or presenting GNU/Linux-centric products (whose target audience is Free software developers)



  14. Adding Images as Characters to the Daily Bulletins of Techrights

    Our daily bulletins now have inside them coarse graphics, depicted using characters alone, and the tool used to generate them announced a new release earlier today; we showcase some of its features (in a new video)



  15. Links 18/1/2021: Weekly Summaries and Linux 5.11 RC4

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 17, 2021



  17. The Oligarchs' Parties Will Never Choose the Side of Software Freedom Because Free Software Cannot Bribe Officials

    The tough reality is that next week's (or this coming week's, depending on what Sunday counts as) inauguration ceremony is partly symbolic as all the same and important issues remain largely untouched, for corporations control almost everything of significance



  18. COVID-19 Has Actually Helped Software Freedom Due to Financial and 'Spare Time' Factors

    Developers and users are increasingly exploring what the Free software world has to offer; this is actually measurable and it contradicts claims to the contrary



  19. Future Plans and Using Videos to Complement Text

    Remarks on recent and impending site changes; We are not replacing text with video, we're just trying to enhance the presentation a bit, especially where visuals help make a point or where browsing through Web sites (or leaks) is more suitable than static, linear presentation



  20. InteLeaks – Part XVIII: Intel Does Not Know How to Properly Do Research and It Seems Apparent Unscientific Methods Are Used to Justify Poor Documentation

    There appears to be a severe crisis at Intel; they cannot recruit scientists (or those whom they recruited are walking away) and as a result the company produces bad products with poor documentation (or highly defective chipsets that top-notch marketing cannot compensate for); in this video we walk through some examples of how studies are being conducted (as already noted in Part XVII)



  21. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part III: The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Seems More Like a Victim of Destabilisation Campaigns

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF), which turns 36 later this year, is looking to raise money that helps support the GNU Project, soon 38 years old and likely the most important Free software project to exist (ever)



  22. Links 17/1/2021: EasyOS on Raspberry Pi and GNU libsigsegv 2.13

    Links for the day



  23. InteLeaks – Part XVII: The High Cost of Microsoft Windows Users in GNU/Linux Development Teams

    A look inside Intel explains what holds back the technical team, which bemoans the lesser technical people getting in the way and not even using the product that they are writing about



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 16, 2021



  25. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part II: Why Bradley Kuhn Left the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    The founder of the FSF is still at the FSF (albeit not publicly) and the person who lobbied to oust him has basically been 'banished' by the founder



  26. Links 16/1/2021: LibreOffice 7.1 Release Candidate, Zeroshell 3.9.5, FreeBSD Report, and GhostBSD 21.01.15

    Links for the day



  27. Free Speech on the Web Not Respected by Companies That Used to Support Software Freedom

    Mozilla does not have to make its Web browser about politics; it can just make an excellent piece of software that is neutral about the Web pages that it renders, based on the user's personal preferences



  28. Suppressed Facts of the Free Software Movement and Its Community of Volunteers – Part I: We Are Under Attack by Corporations and Their Salaried Facilitators

    The corporate takeover (taking over the Commons, produced by volunteers who are motivated by altruism) is a subject we must speak about and somehow tackle; this series will highlight uncomfortable or difficult truths



  29. InteLeaks – Part XVI: Intel Cannot Do Command Line, Even When It's Vastly Simpler and More Suitable for Development

    The Developer eXperience (DX) team at Intel seems to be full of Microsoft drones instead of developers and/or mildly technical people; this has not only harmed the quality of documentation but also upset staff, alienating people who actually understand what developers need (more than buzzwords like "DX")



  30. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, January 15, 2021


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