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03.26.10

Deletion of Damaging Article About Mono Explained (Updated)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 6:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Why the article that exposed Miguel de Icaza’s views was removed and why his defense of spin on these views is utterly flawed

WE are not fans of SD Times, especially because the repeated promotion of Microsoft software and partly because of the Mono apology and sometimes honesty, which magically vanished [1, 2], only to be resurrected in several places. We expected to see those involved pretending that it was “an accident” (we even wrote this when we reasoned about the nature of the apparent censorship), but it was not an accident.

Miguel de Icaza has posted this long ramble praising Microsoft and denying things that he said (not by words but intention/context). From the comments we have this remark from David Worthington, who wrote the original article:

Miguel – I did write this as a single story that was broken up for print and the Web. It has since been merged back together, and this blog is linked in the story. Sorry for any misunderstanding, as I believe your comments were fair and balanced.

Worthington, for those who do not know [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], has been in contact with Microsoft employees and boosters like the Yankee Group since he had lunch with Microsoft executives and shortly later he also visited Microsoft’s and Novell’s facilities. Not surprisingly, Worthington therefore repeated a lot of Microsoft disinformation about ODF and other issues like the Microsoft/Novell deal. They are probably just grooming and using him to spin and to warp the ‘reality’ in their favour, so frankly, he could be the innocent one being manipulated without his awareness.

“Miguel de Icaza and his followers, some of whom are from Microsoft, have been attacking Groklaw, Jeremy Allison, and Boycott Novell like creationists sometimes attack or terrorise scientists.”But in any event, the latest quotes from Miguel de Icaza say quite a lot (he does not deny them). As someone in Slashdot pointed out, “When Stallman said the same thing, de Icaza called him a fanatic. Well, most voices on /. called him the same thing. He was right then like he was right with his movement from the start. You can’t have half-measures.

Miguel de Icaza and his followers, some of whom are from Microsoft, have been attacking Groklaw, Jeremy Allison, and Boycott Novell like creationists sometimes attack or terrorise scientists. They attacked anything and anyone who ‘dared’ to warn about the dangers of Mono — dangers whose existence is confirmed by Miguel de Icaza himself.

The Source breaks apart Miguel’s apology in an excellent way, so check out the entire post which begins with an explanation of how the censorship came about and how it was covered up:

Aspect the First: The Disappearance

The “disappearance” is explained by Mr. Worthington (the article author) on Twitter as so:

on my recent .net evolution stories – nothing was pulled. they were just merged into one. http://www.sdtimes.com/link/34183

Mr. Alan Zeichick, the editorial director of BZ Media explains it here on this blog in a comment as so:

My apologies — the story is not “taken down” from sdtimes.com, and there’s nothing nefarious going on.
The story had been erroneously posted in several small pieces. When we saw the error, we reassembled it on Mar. 23. The entire piece, including that complete section (about hallway down), is at http://www.sdtimes.com/link/34183

I don’t know the workings of a media empire. I only know when I tried to verify the quotes, they were not to be found in any article.

There’s some strange things to me about the SD Times article:

* It’s strange timing that the article “disappeared”, a lot of people noticed, and then it “re-appeared”.
* It’s strange the article dates are 7 days apart and the Mar. 17 article was “rolled back” into the Mar. 10 article.
* It’s strange that the “entire piece” is the longest thing by far Mr. Worthington has ever written for SD Times.[1]
* It’s strange that the whole “out of context” defense popped up – more on that in a bit.

But strange things do happen sometimes – so let’s move on.

Aspect the Second: The Quotes

Since Mr. de Icaza has claimed ownership of the quotes, we can dig into the juicy stuff! That’s all I wanted to do anyway!

In his blog, Mr. de Icaza starts off his explanation:

It seems that David’s article on Windows strategy tax on .NET lacked enough context for my actual quotes in there.

But on Twitter, Mr. de Icaza seems to think the article was excellent:

@dcworthington I am in whole agreement with you there; Btw I loved the article, good balance.

It sounds almost like they colluded in publication, but as we have shown before, Microsoft and Novell also fed this author with “scoops” and “connections”. Very unprofessional. Very damaging to the freedom of software, too. When journalists become the mere extension of corporations, then it’s not journalism, it's PR.

Update: Bruce Byfield has just responded to this and he took Mono’s side, as usual. We insist that our observations are accurate (and not been proven otherwise), but opponents just attempted to paint it with the "conspiracy" brush that Byfield uses, as usual, as if the use of words would make his side victorious. He also says “sworn enemy” and other weasel terms, then concludes with “Move Along — Nothing to See Here”. In several years of seeing SD Times articles I have only once before seen an article vanishing (that I can recall) and it was also about Microsoft/Novell. As for Byfield, he has been consistent with his defense of Novell, Mono, and sometimes Microsoft apologism (e.g. OOXML).

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3 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Gravatar

    Miguel’s not apologizing, that’s spin by people who didn’t read his quotes or want to intentionally bend them very far from what he wrote. Miguel’s just lamenting that he has not been able to spread Microsoft damage into more projects.

    Mono is a big danger. Yes, the patents are killer, but there’s more. Mono /MS.NET truly suck both to develop on and for the end user. Neither are the true danger. The true big danger is that the Microsoft way of thinking becomes common: the idea that technology is supposed to be expensive as all hell to implement and operate and that it should be hard to use. These ideas are spread by infected individuals as they force entry into successful projects.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Hi,

    I have added an update (just 10 minutes ago) to quickly rebut the usual party line from Byfield. If there was any “disinformation” as he put it, it was de Icaza’s and Worthington’s. What I wrote was based purely on the output they produced and everyone can check this to see for oneself.

  2. Agent_Smith said,

    March 26, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Man, I read the first post… Then read the second one… And, they are not the same… The first one seemed more rooted in reality, and the second one, more of PR and praise for Micro$oft… Pity… When someone opens the mouth to say the truth, they must come over and “fix it”… And worse, Mr. Icaza seemed truly honest with his remarks…

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