12.09.09

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Avoid Mono to Put Back the *NIX in GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Ubuntu, UNIX, Vista 7, Windows at 5:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Direction

Summary: With Mono included by default, GNU/Linux would be heading in the wrong direction

THE case for “avoiding Mono” has just been explained in great length and a key argument it contains is not about software patents (the FSF names it as an issue) but rather it is the issue of control:

I do not use Mono because I believe it is not in our best interests. I chose Linux because it is an alternative. If I wanted Windows and .NET then I would choose that option. It is all about staying distinct and offering something different and better to my way of thinking. Getting Windows and .NET second hand is not what I want. You might not be surprised to find that I also don’t use Wine for the same reason. Truthfully, I probably would not use Mono or Mono applications if its legal status was clear. I do not feel comfortable with giving Microsoft any leverage over us. The more Mono dependent we become the more we become subject to them and I did not get into Linux to be chasing after Microsoft and its standards. That is just me. I love independence. Each person must decide for him or herself.

It is Microsoft’s internal document [PDF] that says: “Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat.”

There is now a new push to remove F-Spot from Ubuntu and make way for better image editors/organisers that do not load up the bloat of Mono at startup.

Before too much effort is invested into making F-Spot good enough to meet all of the needs outlined at the UDS Default App Selection session, i thought i should bring up Solang<http://santanu-sinha.blogspot.com/2009/06/solang.html>and Shotwell <http://www.yorba.org/shotwell/> to see if it might be worth including instead of F-Spot in Lucid, or if it’s too late, in Lucid +1. GTumb has been discussed, but it doesn’t seem to deliver the goods. Solang is new, yet it’s developed quickly and is showing a lot of promise. Shotwell might also be a contender worth discussing, but i am unfamiliar with it. Hopefully someone else has some insights as to how Shotwell compares to Solang and F-Spot.

We previously recommended Gnote and gThumb for Ubuntu 10.04 (now in alpha 1). See for example:

Either way, Ubuntu has many options if it chooses to steer away from Mono. There is no pride to be taken in a route that mimics a patent-encumbered Microsoft path, which is failing when it comes to simple compatibility. This is something that Mary Jo Foley makes clearer now in relation to Vista 7. We wrote about Vista 7 compatibility issues in the following posts (in chronological order):

Do we want a GNU/Linux that’s more like Windows (and sensitive to threats from Microsoft) or do we want a “best-of-breed” UNIX-compatible platform?

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