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Novell/Microsoft and the Funding of Pinta’s (Mono) Developer

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Ubuntu at 10:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Summary: Novell has a Mono-based replacement for the GIMP and some of the most expected sources are covering it

THREE months ago, one of our readers hypothesised that the GIMP would be replaced by Paint.NET, at least in Ubuntu. The man who ported Paint.NET (for GNU/Linux) is working to receive a paycheck from Novell, which is in turn funded by Microsoft. He says that he “work[s] on Mono, specifically on Mono Tools for Visual Studio.” It’s about assimilating to Microsoft rather than the other way around.

Earlier this week we mentioned this article from The H. It is about a Mono project named Pinta, developed alone by that Novell employee who had previously ported Paint.NET. Thom Holwerda, who is quite often seen as hostile towards GNU/Linux (he loves Windows Vista 7 and he loves Mono), promoted this application, calling it “a Gtk+ Clone of Paint.NET.” DownloadSquad did the same thing and in Heise/The H we found the sole comment which says: “I read an article earlier on today that stated Novell were trying to get over the problem of mono being so unpopular with everyone by writing all the programmes themselves. Is this true? Just who else is writing programmes in mono?”

“Mark Shuttleworth once said that if the Windows API becomes the default on GNU/Linux, then there is no point to GNU/Linux.”Pinta is just more trouble, very much like Moonlight. Mark Shuttleworth once said that if the Windows API becomes the default on GNU/Linux, then there is no point to GNU/Linux. He was right, but he ignored his own intuition and embraced the Trojan horses from Microsoft and Novell (there is another side to this story). Those who are always defending and promoting Mono applications are those who offer complimentary coverage to Pinta. One of them is Ryan Paul and among the comments he received there is this one: “Great, yet another Microsoft .NET application to be included in Ubuntu. Before long, they will just switch to a licensed Windows kernel and nobody would see the difference.”

Here is new coverage from FOSDEM 2010:

Last weekend, during the tenth edition of FOSDEM, we had the joy of organizing the first ever Mono developer room. While there had been talks about Mono before (including Miguel’s great presentation at FOSDEM 2007), it was still a rather underrepresented topic. For that reason, Stephane and I requested a developer room and gladly we got it.

So those who asked for the room are contributing not just to F-Spot but to Novell’s very own Banshee too (which only Novell customers can use [1, 2, 3, 4]).

Gates on SUSE

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  1. ml2mst said,

    February 11, 2010 at 11:40 pm


    Yawn!, another trojan, to add to the list of trojans, to be removed immediately from a fresh Ubuntu Gnome install:


  2. clifnotes said,

    February 11, 2010 at 11:43 pm


    Ok, so what is the problem with Mono? I’m late to this ballgame, tell me the score.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 12, 2010 at 5:08 am


    Here is a good introduction to the subject.

  4. dyfet said,

    February 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm


    While it’s still easy to remove mono from installed systems the most frustration thing from a Debian development perspective is mono build dependencies. There are now patches submitted in lots of packages that each separately build mono cil files for various libraries, etc, and each of these of course require “mono” as a “build” dependency for the package to now build from source. Hence, it is now for example now impossible to “build” an Ubuntu desktop system from ubuntu/debian source packages without also having a working mono, and for every target platform, regardless of how easy it may be to remove from user systems after install. I think this is perhaps part of the reason gNewSense dropped Ubuntu.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    According to their updated FAQ (“modified on December 23, 2009, at 09:42 PM”):

    13. Will gNewSense 3.0 be based on Debian instead of Ubuntu, and why?

    Yes, because:

    * Debian separates free and non-free software better, so it’s easier to make a fully free derivative out of it.
    * Debian supports the architectures we want to support (e.g. MIPS).
    * it suits our infrastructure better (easier development).

    dyfet Reply:

    The question I have is whether mono is now “required” to “build” Debian the way it now seems required to build Ubuntu. It is not clear to me if these mono build dependencies were introduced upstream in Debian, or downstream in Ubuntu, and I had not had the chance to review their history. From the Debian, and I would presume especially, the gNewSense, perspective, requiring non-free software to build free software is also a bad thing, whether it is actually in the distribution delivered or not. At bare minimum it is a nuisance.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There’s the Tomboy issue in the GNOME ‘stack’ (default).

    dyfet Reply:

    That again is a “runtime” issue. I am talking about “build” issues, in respect to what is required to produce binaries for building a complete distro. The build issue is far worse than the runtime problem, because you cannot remove mono unless you modify every package that now requires it as a build dependency.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Maybe it got monotised to be monetised.

    dyfet Reply:

    Well, the way I look at it, when I require “mono” to be built and running simply to be able to rebuild nautilus from it’s Debian (or Ubuntu) source package, something is fundamentally wrong.

    A user can remove Tomboy, of course, and replace it for example with gnote, or even get a pre-built distro that does not have mono apps at all. But I should not have to alter packages just to be able to build free software mono free. This is also a Mono issue I do not yet see being talked about…

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Do you have any URLs on the subject? I didn’t realise it had gone so badly,

  5. dyfet said,

    February 12, 2010 at 2:54 pm


    No, not any url’s. But if we take debian/control from nautilus from Ubuntu for Lucid, for one example, it’s build-depends includes “liblaunchpad-integration-dev”. This is built from launchpad-integration, who’s build-depends includes:

    Maintainer: Sebastien Bacher
    Build-Depends: debhelper (>= 5),
    libbonoboui2-dev (>= 2.10.1-0ubuntu2),
    libgtk2.0-dev (>= 2.8.2),
    python-central (>= 0.5),
    cli-common-dev (>= 0.7),

    Hence one cannot build launchpad-integration without mono, and one cannot currently build Nautilus on Ubuntu without launchpad-integration support, at least without altering the package. But there are many other packages which similarly fail to build without Mono or that have what dependent packages which lead to mono build dependencies even though they do not “require” Mono to be installed to run. I have not evaluated Debian vs Ubuntu in this respect however as yet. But it should be looked into by “some” responsible journalist, the implications clearly more deeply considered, and then explained for the community at large, hint hint ;). What does it mean if the free software build process itself is being contaminated?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    How reminiscent of the Winforms trap.

  6. clayclamp said,

    February 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm


    “I never attack developers” – Roy Schestowitz

    your_friend Reply:

    Explaining a corrupted build process is not an attack on a developer. If Gnome is really impossible to build without mono, it will be dropped the way mono has been or it will be forked. A thing can not be free and encumbered at the same time.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I don’t attack developers (be they Microsoft, Apple, or Mono coders). I think of them like I think of troops deployed in Iraq; they believe they do the right thing but rarely do they ask themselves why they were sent there and what for (“weapons of mass destruction” or something like that). Their impact on society at large is mostly negative because they choose to follow orders from megalomaniacs who abuse power.

    Coming from a longtime Internet troll (“clayclamp”), I am not surprised by this slur attempt.

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