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03.01.10

Ubuntu 10.04 Increases Mono Dependency

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 1:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono the Trojan
Source: “Mono, the Trojan” (reused with permission)

Summary: Ubuntu adds Mupen64 and gbrainy, which is another Mono application (for games) that’s installed by default

SOME months ago we suggested and laid out practical paths [1, 2] by which Ubuntu 10.04 can get rid of an unhealthy dependency on Microsoft and its little ecosystem at Novell; People like Jeremy Allison and sites like Groklaw agree on this [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

One of our readers (among more who are trying the latest alpha of Ubuntu 10.04 at the moment) says that Ubuntu increased rather than decreased its dependency on Mono. This discussion began here, but some of it was discussed past midnight last night, so we have no logs up yet. That’s why we append a potion of the logs below. We do not think that Mupen64 has any Mono dependency (awaiting clarification from the source of the allegation), but perhaps it was tied to it in the repositories in error. There is time to fix this prior to release next month, but gbrainy is the real issue here because it’s definitely Mono based. It helps discourage Ubuntu GNU/Linux users from removing Mono. For details about gbrainy, see the second part of the logs below.


Boycott Novell logo

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: February 28th – March 1st, 2010

-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] Ive been sloppy…..never realized that Mupen64 was a Mono app. Time to remove it. #mono Feb 28 22:44
*Guest6059 has quit (Ping timeout: 252 seconds) Feb 28 22:45
*Balrog (~Balrog@2002:4a6d:3979:0:222:41ff:fe21:e8cc) has joined #boycottnovell Feb 28 22:45
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[schestowitz] RT @_goblin I’ve been sloppy…..never realized that Mupen64 was a Mono app. Time to remove it. #mono Feb 28 22:45
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[satipera] but why can a person receive a tweet and reply. then in the stream the reply comes before the tweet? Feb 28 22:45
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] How I noticed Mupen64 depended on Mono: http://www.twitpic.com/ypnc9 ;) #mono – you know what you can do with the “gift to the world” Feb 28 22:48
phIRCe-BNc Title: How to tell if you have Mono on your system #mono – Please be… on Twitpic .::. Size~: 7.96 KB Feb 28 22:48
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[satipera] mono updates coming through in ubuntu, how long can canonical ignore the bad feeling they generate? Feb 28 22:51
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @satipera I think if the bad feeling spills into the “mainstream” userbase. Having said that a Mono removal would hardly cripple Canonical Feb 28 22:52
schestowitz http://pogson.6k.ca/2010/02/26/m-loses-xp-downgrade-lawsuit/ Feb 28 22:52
phIRCe-BNc Title:   M$ Loses XP downgrade lawsuit at  Robert Pogson .::. Size~: 23.2 KB Feb 28 22:52
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @satipera So I think they will merely wait and see which way the wind blows. If its too unpopular they can remove and move on. Feb 28 22:53
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[satipera] @_Goblin so how do we look at canonical now? as i suspect just another business or can you tell me they have values? Feb 28 22:59
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_the_mad_hatter] Horay! Gold for the Canadian Men’s Olympic team. Now that all the distractions are over, I can get some work done! Feb 28 23:02
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-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @satipera IMO Canonical will do what it believes is best for its product and what its userbase wants. I think being realistic if Canonical Feb 28 23:20
*oiaohm (~oiaohm@167.136.dsl.brs.iprimus.net.au) has joined #boycottnovell Feb 28 23:21
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*oiaohm (~oiaohm@unaffiliated/oiaohm) has joined #boycottnovell Feb 28 23:21
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[davidgerard] Buying ebooks will get you a complete customer service runaround http://tamaranth.livejournal.com/706216.html #amazonfail Feb 28 23:22
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @satipera or any Linux distro wants to offer itself as a viable alternative to the masses, it will have to engage MS et al in a similar way Feb 28 23:22
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @satipera thats why I think the revenue streams of Canonical are a good idea. You are not forced into them, but it helps Canonical compete. Feb 28 23:22
phIRCe-BNc Title: Tamaranth – The ebook saga continues .::. Size~: 46.65 KB Feb 28 23:22
bruce89 forcing people to use them…sounds fun Feb 28 23:22
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[davidgerard] If you use AdSense, try pushing people off IE for money. http://explorerdestroyer.com/ Feb 28 23:26
phIRCe-BNc Title: Explorer Destroyer – Switch to Firefox, Make money from Adsense Referral .::. Size~: 11.71 KB Feb 28 23:26
schestowitz Fun like brushing the tongue with a razor blade Feb 28 23:26
*Eruaran has quit (Remote host closed the connection) Feb 28 23:28
MinceR the parts i like the most about explorerdestroyer are the “click this button to sign up: *big empty space*” deals Feb 28 23:33
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[satipera] @_Goblin you say. we are forced into teen competition game for a few, i look forward to cooperation as natural for the benefit of the many Feb 28 23:35
schestowitz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWK5uxMBeJM Feb 28 23:37
phIRCe-BNc Title: YouTube- Exposed to Hell by 5th Grader .::. Size~: 141.57 KB Feb 28 23:37
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @satipera I would not like to second guess Canonical, however without ideas such as Ubuntu One or online music stores, how would Feb 28 23:38
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @satipera they manage to compete or even stay in business? If Canonical could live off praise then it would be a wealthy company… Feb 28 23:38
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @satipera I think concessions will have to be made if the Windows locked in masses are to be freed from MS Monopoly Feb 28 23:39
sebsebseb Feb 28 23:39
sebsebseb Feb 28 23:39
MinceR Feb 28 23:39
bruce89 come on, at least use a non-breaking space Feb 28 23:39
sebsebseb bruce89: a non-breaking space? Feb 28 23:40
sebsebseb MinceR: Feb 28 23:40
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[satipera] The biggest problem for cooperation is some shite saying another is getting something for free and does not care. Feb 28 23:40
bruce89   Feb 28 23:40
bruce89 like that Feb 28 23:40
sebsebseb bruce89: looks the same to me Feb 28 23:40
bruce89 it’s totally different in a variable width font Feb 28 23:40
sebsebseb Feb 28 23:40
sebsebseb bruce89: Feb 28 23:40
MinceR bruce89:   Feb 28 23:41
cubezzz what’s with the blank lines? :) Feb 28 23:41
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_the_mad_hatter] Biggest complaint about the Olympics – Don Cherry wasn’t the hockey commentator. Feb 28 23:41
sebsebseb cubezzz: bordedom/fun/both Feb 28 23:41
MinceR i just gave bruce89 a no-break space Feb 28 23:41
MinceR (had to search gucharmap for it) Feb 28 23:41
bruce89 as did I Feb 28 23:41
sebsebseb been at my computer again, for an hour or so, just over something like that Feb 28 23:42
cubezzz Feb 28 23:42
sebsebseb cubezzz: öäöåöåöäöåööäöåöåöåööäö åöåöäöåööåöåöåöäöåöåöÖäöåö åöäööäåöåöäöäöåöåööäöåöåöäö Feb 28 23:43
MinceR ë Feb 28 23:43
sebsebseb MinceR: £ Feb 28 23:43
*DaemonFC (~ryan@c-69-245-224-113.hsd1.in.comcast.net) has joined #boycottnovell Feb 28 23:44
sebsebseb cubezzz: Feb 28 23:44
sebsebseb DaemonFC:   Feb 28 23:44
sebsebseb DaemonFC: Hi Feb 28 23:44
DaemonFC evening Feb 28 23:44
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[davidgerard] No DL found, but major sorting of bedroom done. FLOOR! Lots of stuff thrown away by 5-Year Rule: if not used in last 5 yrs, out it goes. Feb 28 23:45
sebsebseb DaemonFC: evening Feb 28 23:46
bruce89 flipping hell, he’s office trolley has floated into the flume! Feb 28 23:48
sebsebseb bruce89: What? Feb 28 23:48
MinceR :D Feb 28 23:48
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[satipera] @_Goblin ref your concessions post. we will have to watch them like rats in a cheese factory and for the obvious reason Feb 28 23:49
MinceR the “ffi” ligature in DejaVu Sans Mono is funny Feb 28 23:49
MinceR it looks just like “ffi” written in Courier Feb 28 23:49
sebsebseb MinceR: Something about a font I assume Feb 28 23:49
MinceR (or maybe Konsole took that ligature from another font) Feb 28 23:49
sebsebseb MinceR: yep your on about fonts for some reason/s Feb 28 23:49
MinceR well, these ligatures make little sense in monospaced fonts :) Feb 28 23:49
bruce89 of course Feb 28 23:50
bruce89 that’s why I did it Feb 28 23:50
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] Lucid 10.04 has a brain training “game” thats Mono dependent btw…”great loss” there when Mono gets removed! … thanks but no thanks. Feb 28 23:50
bruce89 №ℴ℉℡ⅰ Feb 28 23:50
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @satipera I think that would be true of any company and I think maybe why when Microsoft wasn’t it ended up like it is today. Feb 28 23:51
schestowitz Heh. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZIhRJhylqs Feb 28 23:57
phIRCe-BNc Title: YouTube- Religion Rant .::. Size~: 143.17 KB Feb 28 23:57
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[schestowitz] IBM saves money by paying workers less http://www.itwire.com/it-people-news/enterprise/37223-will-ibm-offshore-800-jobs Feb 28 23:58
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[schestowitz] @_goblin by _default_? Feb 28 23:58
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*Balrog (~Balrog@2002:4a6d:3979:0:222:41ff:fe21:e8cc) has joined #boycottnovell Mar 01 00:00
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[_goblin] @schestowitz You referring to the “Brain” game? If so, yes. It’s festering in there upon install. #mono Mar 01 00:00
*_Goblin (~goblin@94-193-188-104.zone7.bethere.co.uk) has joined #boycottnovell Mar 01 00:00
_Goblin stuff twitter for conversations…. Mar 01 00:01
_Goblin well, spent a bit of time with 10.04 now…. Mar 01 00:02
schestowitz Hey, _Goblin Mar 01 00:02
_Goblin hi! Mar 01 00:02
schestowitz _Goblin: got screenshot of it? Mar 01 00:02
schestowitz I’d like to show it in BN Mar 01 00:02
_Goblin what 10.04 or the “brain game”? Mar 01 00:02
_Goblin brain games gone….I can re-install if you wish. Mar 01 00:03
_Goblin 10.04 has a pic on my twitpic…but its just one of Yahoo search. Mar 01 00:03
_Goblin I must say though, 10.04 alpha 3 is already showing great improvements over 9.10 Mar 01 00:04
_Goblin in terms of performance… Mar 01 00:04
sebsebseb _Goblin:  DaemonFC  jono_  I am reading this what a great read it seems http://www.starryhope.com/linux/2010/confessions-of-an-ubuntu-fanboy/ Mar 01 00:04
phIRCe-BNc Title:   Confessions of an Ubuntu Fanboy – Starry Hope .::. Size~: 84.05 KB Mar 01 00:04
_Goblin putting aside Mono and brain games, it’s certainly encouraging seeing it so stable and fast and only in alpha 3 Mar 01 00:04
_Goblin I feel though for Ubuntu to be considered by the masses it needs to sort its aesthetics out…for me I never use a default theme of any distro, but as Microsoft realized early on, if you want to attract a mainstream audience, it needs to look pretty. Mar 01 00:06
schestowitz _Goblin: aha Mar 01 00:07
schestowitz How many games in there in total? Mar 01 00:07
sebsebseb _Goblin: Yes the theme is important, it needs to look good! Mar 01 00:07
_Goblin standby…just looking at my other rig…. Mar 01 00:08
bruce89 gcc may have a part in that possibly maybe Mar 01 00:08
sebsebseb schestowitz: ok it uses Mono, however this is actsually the first time they have a game that doesn’t totally suck in the default install Mar 01 00:08
sebsebseb before it was just the Gnome games Mar 01 00:08
sebsebseb which suck Mar 01 00:08
bruce89 how so? Mar 01 00:08
_Goblin you have solitaire Mar 01 00:08
_Goblin the brain game Mar 01 00:09
_Goblin mine sweeper… Mar 01 00:09
sebsebseb bruce89: Windows XP comes with better default games than Ubuntu/Gnome Mar 01 00:09
_Goblin some sort of word game Mar 01 00:09
sebsebseb I mean how XP does Freecell and such Mar 01 00:09
MinceR should ubuntu install Nexuiz by default? :> Mar 01 00:09
sebsebseb MinceR: no Mar 01 00:09
sebsebseb MinceR: they need games that are 100% family friendly by default Mar 01 00:09
_Goblin I think it was originally 5 or 6…although Ive removed some… Mar 01 00:09
bruce89 there’s a gnome-game freecell Mar 01 00:09
sebsebseb bruce89: yes I played it or whatever Mar 01 00:10
sebsebseb XP still wins for the card games how they are done Mar 01 00:10
MinceR how’s that going to help with the “games which suck” problem? :> Mar 01 00:10
_Goblin sebsebseb: but who plays those soppy run once games? Mar 01 00:10
sebsebseb Vista they change  them, and it’s like uh Mar 01 00:10
bruce89 gnome-games isn’t really supposed to be exciting or whatever Mar 01 00:10
bruce89 although the use of clutter in them may help Mar 01 00:10
_Goblin sebsebseb: I will conceed and say Solitaire should stay…the rest though? is there any need? Mar 01 00:10
sebsebseb bruce89: clutter? Mar 01 00:10
sebsebseb _Goblin: what would be good is if when installing Ubuntu, it asked people what  they wanted to install Mar 01 00:11
_Goblin many if mono was removed along with its few dependent packages, then there would be enough room for gimp? Mar 01 00:11
_Goblin *maybe Mar 01 00:11
bruce89 there’s an example Mar 01 00:11

Boycott Novell logo

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 1st, 2010

DaemonFC schestowitz, They added a new one in Lucid Mar 01 12:11
DaemonFC schestowitz, They added gbrainy to the default install Mar 01 12:12
DaemonFC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gbrainy Mar 01 12:13
phIRCe-BNc Title: Gbrainy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .::. Size~: 29.72 KB Mar 01 12:13
DaemonFC schestowitz, http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2008/Jan-03.html Mar 01 12:13
phIRCe-BNc Title: Mono on the OLPC – Miguel de Icaza .::. Size~: 13.86 KB Mar 01 12:13
DaemonFC infecting the OLPC with Mono Mar 01 12:14
DaemonFC talks about gbrainy Mar 01 12:14
schestowitz Mono? Mar 01 12:17
cubezzz via arm laptop, 117.59 (USD) shipping included Mar 01 12:17
schestowitz Default? Mar 01 12:17
DaemonFC schestowitz, yes to both Mar 01 12:18
DaemonFC schestowitz, So they’re not moving away from Mono, they’re adding more apps to the default install which require Mono Mar 01 12:19
DaemonFC http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/6000/screenshotol.png Mar 01 12:29
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10 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    March 1, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Gravatar

    Related to this, I just completed a fresh install of Debian Squeeze (testing). Though I did not select any non-free (or contrib) repositories, and choose a purely default (this was a netinstall iso) install of desktop and laptop, I still received a bunch of mono things, including Tomboy. Why is it even in Debian main and part of default Debian installs now??!

    Since Mono relies on a conditional and term limited agreement with Novell, in the form of a patent promise with no sublicensing “rights”, it very clearly violates the Debian social contract and belongs in non-free, with things which are free but that depend on it, like say Tomboy, in “contrib”, at least if I understand Debian policy correctly. Now in the case of Ubuntu, they only assert a behavioral “code of conduct”, so I do see the problem differently and at least less hypocritically there than I do in Debian, where it makes a mockery of said social contract and hence of Debian itself.

  2. powered_by_tux said,

    March 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Gravatar

    That gbrainy injection is an interestingly new matter. It is not part of the default GNOME desktop, which previously was a reason for Ubuntu to include Mono apps such as F-Spot and Tomboy (correct me on this). Furthermore, a bunch of GNOME games are now removed from Ubuntu, probably in favor of gbrainy. Somebody tell me where is the choice here? Where will this end?

    Btw: I doubt that Mupen64 is based on Mono as the former is way older. Anyway, it has a successor named Mupen64Plus, which has several frontends (CLI, Gtk, Qt, C#).

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ve received an update from “Goblin” and he says it’s tied to Mono.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Alan at the Open Sourcerer will need new instructions for Ubuntu 10.04. I hope he’s learned to ignore the sabotage dressed as help like with what Jo Shields tried by telling Alan to break other packages by removing sqlite…

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 2, 2010 at 3:23 am

    Gravatar

    “how long can canonical ignore the bad feeling they generate?”

    Mono is not about providing software that works, it is about providing Microsoft dependency, bad quality, poor engineering and dominance. So, if Jono is unable or unwilling to address the staffing problems among either the paid staff or the ‘volunteers’ then the answer is it will go on until they have achieved the goal of breaking Ubuntu completely.

  4. PauGNU said,

    March 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Gravatar

    I don’t think Mono is that bad… Mono is under free licenses and was created basically to produce free software. One could think that Mono is “potentially dangerous”, but when it comes to licenses, the whole free software is potentially dangerous.

    Related to Ubuntu and Mono, Ubuntu developers have already explained their position about it:
    https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel-announce/2009-June/000584.html

    Basically, the Ubuntu Technical Board has received no claims of infringement
    against the Mono stack, and is not aware of any such claims having been received by other similar projects. Given this, the Ubuntu Technical Board sees no reason to exclude Mono or applications based upon it from the archive, or from the default installation set.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The #1 issue is not patents but control. To whit:

    “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.”

    James Plamondon, Microsoft Technical Evangelist. From Exhibit 3096; Comes v. Microsoft litigation [PDF]

    your_friend Reply:

    Richard Stallman and the FSF have repeatedly warned people against writing new software with mono. The best analogy I’ve seen is that using mono is like sticking your head into a lion’s jaws. There are better, free and alternatives that don’t have the same patent threat Mono does. When Microsoft decides to sue users of Mono, they will do so with all the weight of a creator. There’s not anything original in Mono but Microsoft will be able to play the wounded victim of free loaders. Everyone is better off investing their time and efforts on the many alternatives that have nothing to do with a company that has been trying to destroy and tax free software for the last decade. If you want freedom, avoid Mono for anything but legacy applications. If what you say about Ubuntu’s technical board is true, the board has made a mistake they will regret.

  5. PauGNU said,

    March 9, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Gravatar

    Hi again,

    What’s exactly the threat according to the mono licesnse because of which we could be sued by Microsoft?.

    I think we’re are focusing so much on the “threats”, and we should be more precise when explaining what the problems of using mono are. I’m no saying that it is not dangerous at all, but saying this:

    “The best analogy I’ve seen is that using mono is like sticking your head into a lion’s jaws”

    It’s not really a good explanation. We need to explain the facts, and these facts are the terms of the mono license that could be a problem for developers.

    I would like to ask: what are the terms of the mono license that might be a threat?.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There is no “mono license”. The problem is different, it’s not the licence.

    Also, here is the quote referred to:

    “The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.

    “Indeed, every large program implements lots of ideas that are patented. Indeed, there’s no way to avoid this danger. But that’s no reason to put our head inside Microsoft’s jaws.”

    Richard Stallman

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