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05.19.10

The Microsoft/Novell Mono Lobby

Posted in FUD, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Red Hat at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If anybody thinks open-source alternatives are free, I guess as they say, you can see me after class. [...] I will tell you that in any comparison that you would do of Windows with Linux, which is an open-source alternative, we will prove to you that when it comes to total cost of ownership our stuff is more economical, whether it’s the other patent-licensing costs that you might have to pay to use open-source software, which is kind of a big unknown right now [...]“

Steve Ballmer, National Retail Federation Annual Convention & EXPO

Summary: Why there is increased pressure for GNOME and for other projects to love the patents-encumbered monkey (Mono); Black Duck uses IDG for more FUD

THE GNOME Foundation Board recently added yet another Novell employee [1, 2, 3, 4], probably exceeding the number of people one company is allowed to have among the directors (there are several more). Here is confirmation of that:

It’s been two months since I was appointed to the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors to replace Behdad. (And those are some pretty big shoes to fill!)

This man is one of the developers of Tomboy, which is a well-known Mono-based project and the last remaining barrier (bar gbrainy [1, 2, 3, 4]) in Canonical’s route towards a Mono-free Ubuntu (Canonical's CTO knows that there are issues with Mono). Will this Novell employee inside the Board of Directors of GNOME allow Tomboy (which he co-develops) to be abolished, given that Ubuntu is believed to be the most ubiquitous distribution of GNOME desktop? Fedora is another very popular distribution which uses GNOME by default and Fedora removed the Mono dependency only less than a year ago.

We are somewhat disappointed to find a Red Hat Web site giving a platform to one Mono booster who used to work for Microsoft and now works with people like Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza. We are talking about MindTouch, whose Mono agenda we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4]. As we would rather not draw attention to the article itself, here are just the comments from a skeptic:

That thing is not open source at all. On their site it says: “Software License: Shared Source”. As far as I know, that is code name for Microsoft quasi-open source licenses which are in conflict with section 6 (and some with 10 also) of open source definition.

What else to expect from ex-Microsofties…. openwashing.

[...]

Thanks, though I found out that myself later, when I’ve done screaming “openwashing”:-) I see you are puzzled by the term, it is pun to greenwashing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwash

Yes, they are “openwashing” .NET (giving the illusion that Free software developers should use Mono/.NET) just as Microsoft is "sevenwashing" everything these days. It’s PR.

“Watch out for scaremongering that harms confidence in Free software in order to sell proprietary ‘solutions’.”Watch the Mono-based creation of a Canonical employee (GNOME DO) occupying a majority of this new review (ish) of Ubuntu 10.04. There should be more to GNU/Linux than C#, but Canonical made the mistake of hiring from Microsoft and from Novell.

Speaking of Microsoft influence, Black Duck Software was created by a Microsoft employee. His company has some staff which did not come from Microsoft, but they use IDG to spread their message under an “Open Source” blog (Black Duck is purely proprietary, with software patents even). Phil Odence from Black Duck is going out there constantly with FUD about Free software licences (the latest headline says: “I could license you to use this software, but then I’d have to kill you”) because that’s their business model. Protecode is the same. Watch out for scaremongering that harms confidence in Free software in order to sell proprietary ‘solutions’.

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