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07.20.10

Richard Stallman Reiterates Threat of Mono, Wikipedia Censored by Mono Boosters

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Wikipedia at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman
Richard Stallman at the launch of GPLv3

Summary: The belittling of Richard Stallman follows his reminder of the Mono problem and Microsoft apologists play a part in it

IT IS NOT news that the FSF formally discourages use of Mono (and Moonlight which depends on it). Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza carries on bragging about new features in Mono 2.8, which is essentially co-developed with Microsoft now.

Freedom champion Glyn Moody spoke to Richard Stallman earlier this month and revealed that Stallman had not changed his mind about Mono. To quote the relevant bits:

GM: Could you please explain the problems with Microsoft’s .NET? Is all of it equally problematic, or just some, given that Microsoft has made its Open Specification Promise for parts?

RMS: Eben Moglen told me that “open specification promise” is not something we can rely on.

For the C# language that was standardized by a standards committee, Microsoft was required to make a stronger commitment. But that does not apply to the rest of .NET.

GM: Against that background, what is your current advice to people in terms of using .NET technologies, and why?

RMS: You shouldn’t write software to use .NET. No exceptions.

The basic point is that Microsoft has patents over features in .NET, and its patent promise regarding free software implementations of those is inadequate. It may someday attack the free implementations of these features.

The Source has responded to this by writing:

Team Apologista refuses to honestly acknowledge that the patent promise covering .NET is insufficient. In fact, a favorite tactic of Mono Apologists is to mention some other technology (usually AJAX or FTP) and then pretend the Mono situation is similar to AJAX, and so if one is opposed to the former, they must also oppose the latter, or are ignorant/hypocritical/whatever.

The truth of the matter is that .NET is NOT under the same “promise” that these other technologies are, so this ruse is inaccurate. Shockingly, Mono apologists continue to use this faulty “defense”.

Additionally, much of .NET (and corresponding portions of Mono) are NOT covered by any promise whatsoever – and despite Team Apologista’s occasional concession on this point (often with vague promises to “split” Mono into “covered”/non-”covered” portions), I feel it is not unfair to say Team Apologista downplays this distinction.

At a later point The Source showed that Mono boosters are censoring in Wikipedia, suppressing criticism as others did before them.

Today I was looking through the logs and it struck me I haven’t seen any Wikipedia traffic of late, so on a lark I went to the site and saw someone had (anonymously of course), removed the link to my site, with the following “explanation”:

The Source and BoycottNovell are not trustworthy “news” sites and are known to be anti-Mono/anti-Novell propagandists.)

Note that same users edit history; every edit (excluding a handful back in 2008) is a .NET/Mono-related topic and in every case that I bothered to look at are all non-factual and (in wiki-speak) non-NPOV edits.

Especially devious is how this individual edits articles to downplay patent concerns for Mono, while emphasizing the issue of patents for Portable.NET.

Gotta let people know where they can get that “IP peace of mind” I guess.

umad?

This is just more of the same from Team Apologista. Today I was looking through the logs and it struck me I haven’t seen any Wikipedia traffic of late, so on a lark I went to the site and saw someone had (anonymously of course), removed the link to my site, with the following “explanation”:

The Source and BoycottNovell are not trustworthy “news” sites and are known to be anti-Mono/anti-Novell propagandists.)

Note that same users edit history; every edit (excluding a handful back in 2008) is a .NET/Mono-related topic and in every case that I bothered to look at are all non-factual and (in wiki-speak) non-NPOV edits.

Especially devious is how this individual edits articles to downplay patent concerns for Mono, while emphasizing the issue of patents for Portable.NET.

Gotta let people know where they can get that “IP peace of mind” I guess.

umad?

This is just more of the same from Team Apologista.

Watch the comment which says:

There is no excuse for removing criticism from Wikipedia, no matter how controversial the subject is.
Heck there is even this on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Wikipedia
So whoever made the change you describe should instead have created a new section on the Moonlight page, called “Criticism”, and moved the content there.
Or created a new page called:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Moonlight
and moved the content there, and linked to it from the main Moonlight page.

Needless to say, I am disgusted by this form of perception management, it has a stench of Microsoft.

But let’s go back to Stallman’s criticism. It appears as though Florian Müller — as misguided as he is when it comes to the subject of Microsoft — has decided to personalise and mass-mail journalists (as usual) with his thoughts on “RMS’s call to boycott .NET, C#, Mono, DotGNU” (notice the strength of the words).

“Avoid .NET and C# at all costs.”
      –FFII President
“It’s kind of predictable that you and some others will interpret my latest blog posting (on Richard Stallman’s call to boycott .NET and its free implementations) in a certain way but that consideration can’t limit me in my expression of opinions,” Müller explained. “I doubt that RMS’s advice to developers hurts Microsoft but the people who do DotGNU, Mono or software running on top of those platforms may be hurt by it, at least emotionally. And for no good reason because .NET isn’t less free than Java or PHP, as I explain on my blog.”

Müller misses the point entirely for reasons we explained before. Maybe he is trying to miss the point, but deliberate misinformation is too hard to prove. Müller is conveniently ignoring Microsoft’s past and he is whitewashing instead, due to an irrational fixation. This latest post of his makes his irrational defence of Microsoft even more apparent and one of our readers broke Godwin’s law when he described what he saw here. There is more of that in the IRC logs.

“Avoid .NET and C# at all costs. Platform dependencies all the way,” told the president of the FFII to Müller, who replied with: “Platform dependencies are a different topic, I just said #swpat aren’t a particular problem of .NET, C#, Mono, DotGNU.”

Michael Widenius, the founder of MySQL who had Müller as a sidekick while serving a Microsoft board, is currently debating the whole “open core” mess and he says:

To me it’s clear that just because some of your product(s) is available under an open source license, you can’t claim to be an open source company, as that would make the term meaningless. Under such a definition even Microsoft would be an open source company, as some of their products are now available as open source.

On what platform/s? Under what conditions? What about software patents? What about Microsoft’s history of criminal abuse? Does that not count?

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3 Comments

  1. verofakto said,

    July 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Gravatar

    I fail to see what the problem is here. Neither BoycottNovell nor your friend’s blog are valid sources on these topics as far as Wikipedia is concerned. Your seem to think inciting people is the same thing as informing them. But trust me, it’s not. Had any of you at any point put the slightest effort into covering these issues with any sort of balance then I suppose one could argue that your articles can be used as a reference. But that’s obviously not the case, is it? Of course no one requires you or him to be unbiased or balanced — just try not to complain when that excludes you from being considered a valid source within inherently NPOV content.

    You two are quite entitled to your opinion, and you are quite free to publish it any way you see fit, as well as to try and spread it as far and wide as you can. Democracy, freedom of speech and all that. You are not, however, entitled to having it disseminated for free by Wikipedia. Anyone with ten minutes of free time and rudimentary knowledge of WP guidelines would have removed every single link to that blog (or yours) from any and all Mono or Novell-related articles without anyone else even batting an eyelash over it. You _do_ realize it’s amusingly simple to prove your institutional bias against Mono, right?

    So you are all welcome to your views and your biases and your obsessions — but please don’t insult everyone’s intelligence by arguing that they have a place in Wikipedia (of all places). We get that any attempt to document something like Mono in a non-negative way is deeply confusing to all of you, and that it kindles TEH FIREZ OF RAGE deep inside. We all get it. Making a fuss about it doesn’t really help. People are smart enough to see through the “oh but I’m fighting for freedom” facade you guys like to put up.

    Incidentally, this is the same attitude that got you and that other friend of yours in trouble the last time you tried to argue that Wikipedia isn’t being militant enough in their “advocacy” against the things you dislike. Wikipedia isn’t a platform for proselytizing. That goes for corporations (Microsoft and Novell included of course), religions, countries, nonprofit groups, Boy Scout troops, goth rock bands and self-styled GNU/Evangelists.

    Finally, I don’t know if this is the work of “Mono apologists”, but I figure anyone you or your friend label as such probably has the right to call all of you “Mono haters”, although I’m sure that would be unacceptable.

    Hope this helps!

    (p.s.: Your use of Stallman’s photographs is downright creepy, if no one has bothered mentioning it to you)

    The Mad Hatter Reply:

    I thought that the picture of RMS was topical, and very well done.

    As to Mono, I’m surprised that Roy is still pushing it, Mono has become over the last year a dead issue, mostly because Microsoft’s DOT.NET is loosing users at a rapid rate, and there’s no need to provide a transitition from Windows to Linux, if there aren’t any users to transition.

    It should be interesting seeing what Miguel does next. You know that Microsoft is terrified of him, don’t you? Miguel managed to produce Mono with less than 1% of the people that Microsoft needed to produce DOT.NET. Microsoft is well aware that they aren’t capable of competing against Miguel (which is why I think that they gave him the MVP, so that he’d be thinking nice thoughts about them, and wouldn’t be tempted to really compete with them).

    Wayne

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    As to Mono, I’m surprised that Roy is still pushing it, Mono has become over the last year a dead issue, mostly because Microsoft’s DOT.NET is loosing users at a rapid rate, and there’s no need to provide a transitition from Windows to Linux, if there aren’t any users to transition.

    I am not “pushing” the subject, I just highlight some news that relate to it.

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