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Novell’s Mac-only Mono and Some Notes About Ubuntu

Posted in Apple, Audio/Video, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, Servers, Ubuntu at 8:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aluminum Macbook

Summary: Grouping of the latest news about Mono at Novell and developments at Canonical, some of which require more attention

NOVELL continues to pollute GNU/Linux. Sadly enough, it has managed to spread Mono and Moonlight further than it ought to have managed, despite the obvious problems and warning from the FSF. Novell’s interests are Novell’s own interests and the interests of partners like Microsoft. Novell views Red Hat — not Microsoft — as a top competitor. Novell has just bumped up or pushed again into a technology site its whitepapers against Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and it is serving Microsoft with Moonlight at the Winter Olympics. Mono is not about GNU/Linux, it’s about .NET. Moonlight is not about GNU/Linux, it’s about Silverlight. Derived from these we have Mac-only software that uses Microsoft’s APIs (and software patents that Novell is happy to acknowledge). From a new interview with Ed Burnette:

Ed: So you still need a Mac to do iPhone development?

Joseph [product manager for Mono at Novell]: MonoTouch does require a Mac. Some of our users prefer to use Visual Studio for editing their code; however, the tools to build with MonoTouch only run on the Mac.

Yes, Novell is now excluding GNU/Linux, but that’s not exactly unusual. The Mono team serves as a complementary software division for Microsoft based on the latest developments that are disappointing. Novell is trying to add .NET support even to MeeGo. What would Nokia say? What would Google say about MonoDroid? Would Windows/Microsoft assimilation be beneficial?

Meanwhile we find that Zonker is still promoting Novell’s Banshee, just as he did last week. The developers from Novell try to get more coders involved in Banshee (developers from the outside). It’s typically just Novell employees (and former Microsoft employees) who seem interested in Mono.


Moving on to developments around Ubuntu, it is worth noting that Canonical hired from Microsoft and Novell. This has proven to be unhelpful so far and now that OpenOffice.org is put back into Ubuntu Netbook Edition (after backlash from users), Groklaw’s Pamela Jones says “Great. Now can you get rid of that mono stuff and put GIMP back in? Thanks.”

“Now can you get rid of that mono stuff and put GIMP back in? Thanks.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
As we pointed out a few weeks ago, Canonical is removing the GIMP despite the fact that most people who participate in polls are opposing this decision. It’s the same with Mono. In the case of OpenOffice.org, Ubuntu did actually listen to the community, which is an encouraging sign. Pamela Jones also writes: “I see Matt, newly hired by Canonical, is already pushing proprietary software for Linux. The mystery meat fusion at Ubuntu is clearly the direction. Note also the use of the description “savvy”, implying that those who don’t fuse FOSS and proprietary software are not savvy. We’ll see. And not to be unkindly logical, but if it were apples-to-apples equivalent already, why does he think Linux needs proprietary solutions? And speaking for myself, I don’t use Skype, and I never need to.”

The decision to adopt Yahoo! (Microsoft) for search involved no public consultation with the Ubuntu community [1, 2, 3] and now that it's irreversible, complaints do carry on. Here is a nice new way of putting it:

WTF : Ubuntu Linux to use Bing for Search


Yes, you read that right. Ubuntu selects Yahoo, Yahoo Selects Bing, Google Selects Ubuntu.

Go figure.

This is more confusing than driving in Boston.

Here is a portion from one of Asay’s latest posts, which he titled “Is Microsoft a four-letter word?”

Wall Street, for its part, doesn’t much care for Microsoft, either, judging by the cold shoulder it has given Microsoft’s stock over the past 10 years.

Perhaps getting the hint, a slew of Microsoft executives have jumped ship in the past few years.

Won’t someone give Microsoft a break?

Probably not, and, ironically, this industry indifference may be just what Microsoft needs, as it offers the company freedom to take bigger risks and shields nascent product efforts from criticism.

“Giv[ing] Microsoft a break” would be a very bad idea because Microsoft is constantly attacking GNU/Linux (as we show here every day) and that includes Ubuntu. There is another new request from the Ubuntu community and we would like to ask readers to take part in it. “As you may know,” told us one person, “Ubuntu is integrating the 7Digital Music service into Rhythmbox in their upcoming Lucid Lynx release. Currently, this music service offers some tracks in FLAC, all tracks in MP3, and none in OGG. I started a petition to make them possibly consider using OGG on all their tracks.” Give it a look and sign if you agree. The petition says:

To: 7Digital Inc.

One of the main concerns of the inclusion of the 7Digital music store into Canonical Ltd’s offerings is the fact that it offers only two formats: MP3 and FLAC. FLAC is an incredibly large format and is not heavily supported across music players. Ogg, conversely, is supported on numerous mobile media players and devices and is comparable in size to MP3′s. The Undersigned request that 7Digital offer their entire music collection in a second Free Software format, the abovementioned Ogg Vorbis. Is has no patents attached to it, and requires no proprietary codecs for playback. This would help spread acceptance of the Ogg Vorbis format, and would be heavily beneficial to Ubuntu users.

In short, we the Undersigned request that 7Digial Inc include all of their music in the Ogg Vorbis format alongside the other two formats.

Go sign it please.

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