12.04.09

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Mono Bullies

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Mono and Moonlight are projects that one cannot ever criticise safely

A

few days ago we wrote about Mono getting its own separate room at FOSDEM 2010. Someone else has commented briefly about the subject, only to be discouraged and even told off in public. Here is his story:

Earlier today I was astonished to find out FOSDEM will have a MONO devroom. When I reacted to this on identica stating this was not a good idea. Reinout van Schouwen reacted saying “We should *strongly* support !freesoftware, no matter what platform it is written for or what language is used.”

I pointed out to him that “”free” software can never be written in a non-free language”. I could have expected to get the typical MONO-evangelist’s answer: “Stop spreading #FUD, please. http://www.mono-project.com/Languages”, so I replied with a quote from MS: “Every piece of code written to our standards is a small victory”.
Apparently Mr van Schouwen didn’t get my point and dragged dear old RMS into the discussion: “So you’d rather have no !freesoftware at all than FS written to MS standards? Even #RMS knows better than that.” and when I pointed out his mistake: “maybe you should read again and try to understand what I wrote…”, he quickly sent me a final message: “Maybe you should address facts and arguments instead of evading them with transparent rhetoric. #endofdiscussion”.

[...]

I hope to have given you a basic idea, Mr van Schouwen, about my personal opinion about MONO. Now, even if you disagree, would it be asked too much to respect my opinion?

Over at Mono-Nono, Jason has written extensively about Mono’s total disregard for people’s freedom of speech. It’s almost as though they rape anyone who dares to point out the obvious — that Mono is helping Microsoft, not Free software. Even the Free Software Foundation is against the use of C#.

Over at ComputerWorld UK (IDG), Glyn Moody has just written about SUSE, noting in part that SUSE’s affairs with Microsoft are not particularly helpful.

This tacitly recognises the validity of Microsoft’s software patents, and strengthens the latter’s hand when dealing with other players in the open source world. Those patent problems have been exacerbated by the Mono project, “an open source, cross-platform, implementation of C# and the CLR that is binary compatible with Microsoft.NET”, which is sponsored by Novell, and led by Miguel de Icaza, who is employed by Novell.

He is not only employed by Novell. He also serves the board of a Microsoft foundation whose goal in part is to promote the use of Mono. Microsoft admitted this and it's part of a pattern.

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4 Comments

  1. NotZed said,

    December 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm

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    I’m not sure the source post is really all that significant or deserves a front-page post, but then again – it’s your site not mine!

    “about my personal opinion about MONO. Now, even if you disagree, would it be asked too much to respect my opinion? ”

    This demonstrates a trend in general on the intarwebs. People getting upset that someone has an opinion that differs from their own, and going out of their way to make it known.

    `I disagree with you, therefore you are an idiot or simply filled with hate [and have no rational reason for saying that]‘.

    I find it particularly puzzling when the target is someone who has an opinion on a company or a technology. Although I suppose some monetary relationship could prompt this (in terms of education time or work, more-so than direct marketing, but it’s hard to know).

    Is it some symptom of a breakdown in civil society, or merely that the internet has allowed everyone a voice, and that people in general aren’t really all that nice?

    BTW no one deserves their opinions or beliefs respected without question, but anyone has every right to be able to have one, even a `wrong’ one.

    Like many discussions on the internet, Mr van Schouwen would probably have better simply not said anything. Particularly the ‘#endofdiscussion’ bit just comes across as very arrogant, and is quite simply rude. It partly undermines any argument he might have made, whereas leaving no comment would let the statement stand or fall on its own.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Agreed. Well, it would be helpful not to be rude. Recently I found some attempts from Mono proponents to label those who disagree “trolls” (or other ad hominem patterns).

    I actually mentioned this the other day. See:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/12/02/ie-firefox-and-icaza-goblin/

    To Miguel: Actually, We Do Write Free/Libre Code

    All my code, without exception, is Free software. I was even paid a wage to write some of it.

    Other readers complained about this remark from Miguel because they are Free software programmers.

    Someone has just anonymously pushed an old pro-Mono article:

    “Miguel de Icaza And Mono: Platform-Agnostic Programming Power”
    http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-12-03-024-35-IN-DV

    You can see the comments, e.g.:

    “has the mono group finally separated what is covered under the MS “promise” and what is not… because mono as a whole as originally implemented is not covered….

    “what kills me.. is that ok.. you write software as a programmer and sure you may step into someones patent.. but you don’t know what patent.. just that the patent system is sssooo screwed up that you can’t help but step into someones overly broad patent… again.. NOT KNOWING… but using mono.. you KNOW that part of that tech IS patented.. you KNOW which patent.. you KNOW that mono as a whole is not covered by this promise… and yet mono advocates think this is ok.. as miguel said.. just roll with the punches.. but why set yourself up to have to …..

    “and as to boycott novell.. i don’t think that you need to write code to have an opinion.. or to even voice one if you believe something is wrong.. whether you have ever written on line of code or no lines…. that is what being part of a community is… so to miguel i say .. STEP OFF..!!

    From http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-12-03-024-35-IN-DV-0000

    Later you have Mono proponents joining in and trying to dismiss my contributions, as well as pretending that others who lurk here do not write Free software.

    By that definition, as Richard Stallman no longer writes much/any code, he too does not matter.

    And on it goes:

    http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-12-03-024-35-IN-DV-0002

    http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-12-03-024-35-IN-DV-0004

    http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-12-03-024-35-IN-DV-0007

    The “Mono bullies” seem to be outnumbered by those who do not trust Mono (I don’t know them) and the funny thing is that Mono proponents are trying to label people whom they do not agree with “trolls”.

    See what Rainer Weikusat said about that:

    http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-12-03-024-35-IN-DV-0006

    Personal attacks are not an effective tactic and guess who is trying it against Sun/MySQL at the moment (SAP and Microsoft can’t slur people, for obvious reasons)? See http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20091204095942328

    Eben Moglen Sends Letter in Support of Oracle to EU Commission – GPL Works No Matter Who Owns the Copyrights

    Isn’t that disgusting? Blow his own horn much? Moglen “unimportant in a GPL context”?

    Moglen is the lawyer who has been enforcing the GPL since 1994. He served *without fee* as General Counsel for the FSF during that time, until he founded the Software Freedom Law Center. He led the revision process for GPLv3. Yes, that means he *wrote* it, with input from the world. There is literally no one who understands the GPL legally any better than he does. Guess who Richard Stallman contacts if he has a legal question about it? Yes. Exactly.

    your_friend Reply:

    people in general aren’t really all that nice?

    That’s a bad assumption and one that leads to abuse of others.

    What Roy is establishing here is a pattern of behavior by a few specific people in their advocacy of the Microsoft non-standard, mono. In particular, he’s pointing out personal attacks and other abuse. A more general pattern of abuse can be shown surrounding all things Microsoft and this is not surprising at all, given Microsoft’s training documents. Fortunately, the world is much larger than Microsoft and all of their dependents.

    Reinout van Schouwen Reply:

    [i]Like many discussions on the internet, Mr van Schouwen would probably have better simply not said anything. Particularly the ‘#endofdiscussion’ bit just comes across as very arrogant, and is quite simply rude. It partly undermines any argument he might have made, whereas leaving no comment would let the statement stand or fall on its own. [/i]

    I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I’ll heed that advice next time I let myself be drawn into an argument. Thanks. For the record I’ll cite my reply to Martijn here:

    [i]
    Dear Martijn,

    Your personal opinion is crystal clear to me. Why are you suggesting that I don’t respect it? If anything I said leads you to believe that, please point it out. It certainly wasn’t meant that way.

    If the quote you mention from the MS tech evangelist, made in the context of competition with IBM OS/2 and Netscape Navigator, was meant to convey a point, then indeed I am afraid I missed it. Could you please state it more clearly?

    As for your list of reasons to avoid Mono, I will simply let them speak for themselves.

    For the record, I haven’t used any MS products on my PC since Windows 3.11 and I am a professional Java developer. Calling me a Mono evangelist is unfounded and pointless.

    Have a nice day!
    [/i]

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