EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.11.10

Mono Advocacy is Deluded, Avoids the Facts and Personally Attacks Critics Instead

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Ubuntu at 9:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono: is it a science, or is it a faith?

Sheep says mono

Summary: The Mono proponents have yet again turned to “ad hominem” mode because the simple facts about Mono-associated risk cannot be refuted

TECHRIGHTS’ “Boycott Novell” initiative has warned about Mono patents since 2006 (weeks after Novell and Microsoft signed their patent deal). At the time, not many people dared to slam Mono (the FSF did not do so until 2009), but over the years more evidence was gathered to show that Mono is indeed a problem. Now there is more of a consensus and general agreement about it although the approach taken to alleviate/mitigate the issue varies somewhat. Techrights has been relatively polite about it.

Guy Van Sanden (at “nocturn”, posting from Belgium) got flamed by Mono proponents after he had criticised Mono. For his recent posts about Mono, which we covered at the time [1, 2, 3, 4], he received personal abuse from the bullies [1, 2] and liars. It’s almost as though Mono is a religious cult akin to Scientology. I have personally seen and over the years experienced what one goes though for criticising Mono (being called the “c” word and talked to with the “f” word, even assaulted with libel). No other topic seems to invoke quite as much resentment as from the group of Mono proponents, who often tend to trust (sometimes love) Microsoft as well. Van Sanden has just posted some instructions for removal of Mono from one’s system. Innocent enough, right?

Following my post “Get the facts on mono” from yesterday, I thought it would be nice to post a refresher about how to remove mono from Ubuntu and more importantly, prevent it from being reinstalled (for example by installing a package if you are not aware it was built on mono).

Here is the “Get the facts on mono” post which he refers to. Notice the number of comments and flames. The concise argument he made goes like this:

The debate surrounding the replacement of Rhythmbox with Banshee in Ubuntu 11.04 brings back many of the concerns about F-Spot, Tomboy and gBrainy: the mono patent trap.

But a lot of time has past since the original discussions and in that time, some things became very clear.

* Microsoft does hold patents on the .NET technology that mono is based on
* They made a community promise not to sue FOSS projects implementing the ECMA submitted parts of .NET
* The community promise is not a binding patent grant
* Mono implements a lot more than the ECMA parts, De Icaza’s promise to seperate mono into safe and non-safe parts was never fulfilled
* There is no promise on the non-ECMA parts
* Software like F-Spot and Tomboy are therefor using parts based on non-free bits of .NET

So, why is including MP3 support and DeCSS problematic but do we digg a hole by using patented technologies from one of the biggest patent trolls on the planet???

I don’t think any of this is malicious, but it does feel naive and misguided to me…

Jason from The Source has defended the arguments above by adding supporting evidence in a useful, precise, and easy-to-follow way. Jason claims that “Mono Criticism” is being falsely characterised as intolerance or “Uninformed Hatred” as he puts it:

Mono Apologists must rely on uninformed acceptance of their points, because one can not simultaneously be informed and make the arguments that Team Apologista does. The best honest argument Team Apologista can make is something along the lines of: “Mono may have issues, but so do a lot of projects, and we don’t think ours rise to a level of serious concern.”

That argument is fair, truthful, and – unfortunately – not very convincing. That is why Team Apologista must resort to misrepresenting the FSF, or trying to silence critics, or trotting out one logical fallacy after another, or resorting to personal attacks.

In the last version of Ubuntu, Canonical decreased its dependence on Mono, so we assumed that the problem was being addressed. But Banshee is possibly to be included in the next version of Ubuntu, as we noted in some of the following posts:

Banshee is a Novell product. It uses parts of the Mono project which the MCP does not cover (by design) and while it’s probably fine for SLED users to use for another one year and one month, all other users of Banshee would be sensitive to Microsoft lawsuits (and Microsoft is specifically suing over Microsoft APIs in Linux, as stressed in the previous post).

David Siegel, a Canonical employee, currently works on the controversial Unity, which is based on Vala (discussed in our pilot episode of the TechBytes show). Vala is quite similar to Mono but with an escape route from complete dependency on it. Anyway, Siegel is better known to people because of GNOME Do, which gets another facelift or extension:

A trusted source, one wishing to remain anonymous, sent in the following screenshot to the OMG! Inbox along the assurance that what you see below ‘is not a mockup but rather work in progress.’

This post from OMG!Ubuntu (occasional promoter of Mono [1, 2, 3, 4]) contains very few details, in fact almost none at all except the picture. It’s an issue because we have come across a Ubuntu proponent who dislikes Mono and reads/links to OMG!Ubuntu over at at Identi.ca. This reader of OMG!Ubuntu is now praising GNOME Do, probably because he — like many others in his position — simply does not know that GNOME Do is based on Mono. Getting those people to recommend such Mono applications is like getting angry, exploited people to lobby for the same billionaires who are exploiting them (and that’s what the Tea Party managed to achieve in the US).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    November 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Anyone who does not think of Microsoft patents as a threat to free software should read my Microsoft patent extortion timeline. Microsoft spends billions of dollars portraying themselves as a friend and benefactor, unleashing your “unlimited potential” for example, and apologists often claim that Microsoft never sues anyone so the missunderstanding is common. Microsoft also worked through intermediaries, like SCO and Acacia.

    Novel proves better than anyone else that Microsoft promisses are worthless. Notice how the company is still defending themselves against SCO and how Acacia sued them even after Novel made their infamous deal with Microsoft. It is particularly ironic that Novel employes so many Mono defenders because the company has been practically destroyed by Microsoft while other free software companies like Red Hat have grown and profited despite fighting.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Watch what Novell has been doing today. Sometimes it seems like Microsoft just bought them:

    http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2010/Nov-11.html
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODc3OQ

What Else is New


  1. Links 27/2/2020: LibreOffice 6.4.1, Collabora Office for Phones and Latte Dock 0.9.9

    Links for the day



  2. The Linux Foundation is Deeply Committed to Diversity and Inclusiveness (as Long as You Have Perfect Vision and Use 'Big Browsers' That Spy)

    The Linux Foundation's message of inclusiveness refers only to a particular kind of inclusiveness



  3. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part I: Year Zero

    People behind the ousting of Richard Stallman (or 'leaders of the coup' as some call them) want a fresh start; but they aren't starting what most FSF supporters have been led to believe



  4. Alexandre Oliva on Diversity Hypocrites

    "Some of them purport to be for inclusion and diversity, but won't hesitate to make fun of someone's poorly-disguised handicap."



  5. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 26, 2020



  6. Alexandre Oliva: Courage is Contagious

    Having a proposal rejected at a conference is nothing unusual, but the surrounding circumstances and the conflicting versions are.



  7. Links 26/2/2020: Cosmo Communicator 2-in-1, FSF Outlines Plans for Code Hosting

    Links for the day



  8. Reminder: At Linux Foundation in 2020 Three Board Members, Including the Vice Chair and Director at Large, Are Current or Past Microsoft Employees

    Sometimes the facts speak for themselves (or pictures speak louder than words)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 25, 2020



  10. Links 25/2/2020: MakuluLinux LinDoz and Manjaro 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  11. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on FSF Communication Policies

    Surely I, being acting president and then half-acting president, must suck as a manager. I probably do indeed, but it's not so simple.



  12. The EU's EUIPO Will Later Today Help the EPO (Run by EUIPO's Former Chief) Promote Illegal Software Patents

    Propaganda terms such as "intellectual property rights" and meaningless concepts like "technical effect" are being used to promote so-called 'computer-implemented inventions' (software patents by another name)



  13. Growing Acceptance That There's No Future to the UPC System and the Unitary Patent

    There are growing pains and more signs that even key elements of Team UPC move on, accepting the demise of the UPC



  14. Emulating the Linux Foundation's Business Model (Selling Influence)

    LibrePlanet sponsors are presented with benefits of offering money to the event (or to the FSF)



  15. Guest Article: LibrePlanet Attendees Should Demand a Partial Refund

    What we do know is — that the FSF is no longer “Free as in Speech!”



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 24, 2020



  17. An FSF That Rejects Its Founder Would Not Remain FSF As We Once Knew It

    It's important to keep the FSF focused on its goals; that won't be achieved by expelling those who insist on these goals



  18. Links 24/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC3, Netrunner 20.01, Google Summer of Code 2020 Mentoring Organisations Announced

    Links for the day



  19. Alexandre Oliva's New Article About a Coup

    Some people try to tell me that the criticism I've got, inside the FSF and outside, since the Free Software Sept 11, are not about my being supportive of RMS, but about my making public statements referencing him at all.



  20. Debian Leadership Should Not be 'Shy' of Politics (and It's OK to Admit Palestinians Are Human Beings Too)

    The contemporary tendency to limit people's freedom of speech (e.g. permission to express political views) means that while people may find software freedom they will lose other essential freedoms



  21. New Series: Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    In the interest and motivation of exposing the true nature of things, Techrights will turn its attention to internal affairs at the higher echelons of the FSF, founded more than three and a half decades ago in MIT (where Stallman launched the GNU Project, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and a lot more foundational Free software)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 23, 2020



  23. Links 23/2/2020: PipeWire 0.3 and Osu!

    Links for the day



  24. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  25. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  26. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020



  27. Alexandre Oliva's Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

    Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.



  28. Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

    Links for the day



  29. Being Rich Does Not Imply Being Smart (Especially When One is Born Into Wealth)

    Presenting the 'genius' (college dropout, but that does not matter when the yardstick of wisdom is wealth alone), with his own predictions overlaid on top of his photo from the show of Bloomberg (another 'genius' whose supposed brilliance is measured using money alone)



  30. The Rise and Fall of Free Software

    "We simply need to make the movement less corporate, and more grassroots."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts