EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.13.09

Novell — Like Corel — Becomes a Microsoft Vassal, Promotes XAML-based Desktop

Posted in Corel, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, NetWare, Novell, Patents at 2:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We could refresh the look and feel of the entire desktop with Moonlight”

Miguel de Icaza

Summary: Novell’s (and Mirosoft CodePlex’) Miguel de Icaza issues a call to make more software with Microsoft XAML

AT the beginning of 2008 we wrote this summary of how Microsoft had turned Corel from a GNU/Linux proponent into a .NET proponent. Microsoft neutered the competition using money. In other words, a small ‘bribe’ was once again used to dismantle competition. There is a lot to be learned here also from Apple [1, 2, 3].

In a new article from SJVN, the history of GNU/Linux on the desktop is outlined with the following portion about Corel: “Alas, after Corel experienced some brief success, its efforts came to little. Facing strong opposition from Microsoft and financially ravished by an ill-timed move into the then-hot application service provider (ASP) market and inadequate profits from its application lines, Corel quickly found itself in hot water. By the end of 2000, Corel had changed management and partnered up with Microsoft.

“On several occasions, Novell had changed management (Schmidt, Messman, etc.) and eventually partnered up with Microsoft.”This sounds just like Novell, doesn’t it? To rephrase the above, Novell experienced some success with Netware, but its efforts came to little in recent years. Facing strong opposition from Microsoft and financially ravished by an ill-timed move into the then-hot *NIX/groupware market and inadequate profits from its application lines, Novell quickly found itself in hot water. On several occasions, Novell had changed management (Schmidt, Messman, etc.) and eventually partnered up with Microsoft.

Then, in both cases, came .NET promotion. Novell’s de Icaza, who is currently a board member at Microsoft's CodePlex Foundation, is now rallying his troops at Novell/Ximian/outside to create applications with Moonlight rather than with tools which are not controlled by Microsoft. There are many posts about it in his blog on November 12th (3 in one day, which is unusual). For example he says:

I know that various members of the Moonlight team are passionate about Moonlight because it is this next generation API for building GUI applications.

Which applications do you think are needed nad could be built with Moonlight?

I say video editing, and I have some ideas of how it should work.

The Mono-Nono Web site calls it “Moonlight Marching Orders” and explains this as follows:

Look for ever more of this sort of thing as Team Mono attempts to expand Mono and Moonlight. Team Mono is already getting marching orders to start pushing Moonlight harder, the first plan being a video editor.

A video editor is a beautiful infection vector for Moonlight, because:

1. Moonlight itself only safe to use for direct Novell customers,
2. All those nice proprietary video codecs that Novell has licensed from Microsoft are only safe for direct Novell customers as well.

So, Novell sees a great opportunity to spread Moonlight and the fruits of its Microsoft collaboration, while pretending to develop a “Linux” application.

So long as your “Linux” comes directly via Microsoft-approved Novell-only channels, of course – other Linux flavors need not apply – or redistribute.

Moonlight is a mess, based on the following message which was posted this afternoon:

Subject: Silverlight crap: the saga continues
From: Richard Rasker <spamtrap@linetec.nl>  (Linetec)
Date: Friday 13 Nov 2009 12:37:13
Groups: comp.os.linux.advocacy

Well, it’s been two weeks already since the last Moonlight update — you know, the one that broke Silverlight playback. How time flies. And sure enough, because this Microsoft crap requires on average one update per week, I got yet another notification: http://www.linetec.nl/linux/mooncrap1.png
OK, so I click “Install”. Oh, drat. Once again, it requires the installation of a codec pack: http://www.linetec.nl/linux/mooncrap2.png . Sheesh, this must be the fourth or fifth time that I installed it. Can’t these incompetent idiots even manage to create a codec pack that remains usable for two whole weeks? And yup, as expected, there’s the license again http://www.linetec.nl/linux/mooncrap3.png — in typical Microsoft fashion: unreadable lingo in a non-resizable window, no doubt meant to discourage more perseverent users. Copy/pasted it to a decent text editor, and read it.
OK, no truly onerous terms, apart perhaps from the patent provisions: http://www.linetec.nl/linux/mooncrap.txt
Then I noticed something: the installed update was Moonlight version 1.99.8, whereas the codec pack distinctly mentions that it’s “ONLY FOR USE WITH NOVELL’S MOONLIGHT 2.0 ALPHA VERSION.” Ah well, 1.99.8 is close enough to 2.0, so I guess it should work.

Except that it doesn’t. Not only that — the situation has even gotten worse: on some Web pages, Firefox now crashes immediately when clicking Silverlight content, and on other pages, nothing happens. So I tried running Firefox from a terminal window, to catch any messages:

  $ firefox
  Attempting to load libmoonloaderxpi
  Moonlight: Forcing client-side rendering because we detected binary drivers which are known to suffer performance problems.

Huh? The official nVidia drivers “suffer performance problems”? And how come this crapware is the *only* software complaining about it? From what I see, accelerated video rendering works absolutely great with my GeForce 8500 GT graphics card.

  Moonlight: Installing signal handlers for crash reporting.
  Moonlight: Enabling MONO_DEBUG=keep-delegates.
  Moonlight: Plugin AppDomain Creation: OK
  Moonlight: Plugin AppDomain Creation: OK
  URL /includes/wmvplayer.xaml downloaded successfully.
  URL /includes/wmvplayer.xaml downloaded successfully.

  (firefox:12436): Moonlight-CRITICAL **: void MediaElement::Pause(): assertion `playlist != NULL’ failed

  (firefox:12436): Moonlight-CRITICAL **: void MediaElement::Pause(): assertion `playlist != NULL’ failed
  Download of URL http://www.rtvoost.nl/nieuws/images/preview/itemsMedia/156318.jpg?nid=103704 failed: 1 (network error)
  Download of URL http://www.rtvoost.nl/nieuws/images/preview/audio.png?nid=103704 failed: 1 (network error)

Hm, OK, so those latter lines suggest that something’s wrong at the server side. But no, that can’t be, because it works under Windows. So two of the  biggest software companies in the world combined can’t even pull off a decent media player that works under Linux. Just compare this sorry mess with MPlayer: just a handful of guys (and perhaps gals) created a media player, complete with browser plugin, that has worked great from day one, on each and every Linux, Windows and Mac version.

So I give up on this closed source rubbish. I uninstalled everything having to do with Moonlight and Silverlight (regaining some 50MB of HD space in the process — probably all those useless codec packs), and I’ll tell my users that they’re out of luck when they stumble upon Silverlight content.

Richard Rasker

http://www.linetec.nl

Rather than present a rational rebuttal, Miguel de Icaza libels me in Twitter (personal attacks with outright lies). He still has some remaining defenders, who nonetheless acknowledge that “Mono is also seen by many as a potential legal landmine, due to Microsoft patents.”

The “Mono Tools” are based on Mono, a from-scratch open source implementation of .NET. Developed by the Novell-sponsored Mono project, which has also developed the Moonlight open source clone of Microsoft’s Silverlight, Mono has proven to be controversial in the open source community, as are most Novell-sponsored efforts that appear to sidle up to Microsoft. While an impressive piece of software, and imminently useful in a .NET dominated enterprise software world, Mono is also seen by many as a potential legal landmine, due to Microsoft patents.

There are issues greater than patents. It’s about control. No wonder Microsoft helps Mono so much, as the following new post puts it:

Microsoft has said that it backs Mono Tools, but then Microsoft would put their stamp of approval on products that integrate with its Visual Studio IDE (integrated development environment) as they “enrich the Visual Studio ecosystem” no less.

Of course Microsoft approves it. It’s beneficial to Microsoft, so it’s not competition. Mono is complementary to Microsoft, just like Novell is to Microsoft. Here is simple visualisation of where Mono fits.

What Microsoft wants
What Microsoft wants

Microsoft finds some other new complements for Visual Studio/.NET while pretending to have embraced “open source”. Only yesterday we wrote about Orchard, which is now being cast as independent even though it’s not. Microsoft knows that in order for people to swallow .NET it needs to pretend that it comes from other companies, preferably those who are perceived as “trusted”.

No more

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 17, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Gravatar

    “a small ‘bribe’ was once again used to dismantle competition.”

    Sort of like what the Apache Foundation is allowing M$ to do…

What Else is New


  1. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  2. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  3. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  4. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  5. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  6. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  7. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  8. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  9. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  10. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  11. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  12. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  13. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  14. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  15. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  16. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  17. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  18. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  19. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  21. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows



  22. Spinning Proprietary Software Dangers as Dangers of Free/Libre Software

    News sites mislead their readers, teaching them that the biggest dangers associated with proprietary software are in fact problems exclusive to Free/libre Open Source software



  23. Links 23/7/2015: New RHEL Release, Capital One Releases Code

    Links for the day



  24. Terminology of Patent Lawyers and Pro-Patents Media Serves to Mislead the Public

    An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers



  25. Amid Billions in Losses, Microsoft Tries to Conquer the Competition (Which Already Wins)

    The 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish' strategy goes a few steps further as Microsoft looks to dominate developers, devices and servers that are running Free/libre software



  26. Microsoft Losing Billions of Dollars is Not News

    Few remarks on Microsoft's latest admission that it is losing a lot of money



  27. Links 22/7/2015: Kodi 15.0, MKVToolnix 8.2.0

    Links for the day



  28. The Technology Sector in the US Has Gotten Fed Up With Apple's Patent Aggression Against Android/Linux

    Apple is desperately trying to stop Android from increasing its levels of dominance (in phones, tablets, watches, and so on), so Silicon Valley is lining up against Apple, antagonising its misuse/abuse of patents for anticompetitive purposes



  29. Patents Regime in Europe: Mixture of Greed, Competition Abuses, and Propaganda

    A roundup of the latest patent news from Europe, focusing on Italy, the UK, Germany, and Hungary



  30. Patent 'Reform' in US Congress Still Under Attack by Patent Lawyers and Corporate Lobbyists

    The latest instances of assault on changes to the US patent system, demonstrated through an elaborative survey of the media (two days' worth)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts