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04.15.11

Ubuntu Without the Mono

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 8:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Netrunner-os
The first release of Netrunner

Summary: A new Ubuntu alternative which totally omits Mono is released while Novell keeps pushing Microsoft software into the GNU/Linux community

A NEW release of Ubuntu is coming quite soon. It will contain more Mono than before (more than the direct predecessor, due to Banshee) and a project we wrote about before, Netrunner [1, 2], addresses the Mono issue as a matter of principle. It comes with the latest and greatest, including KDE 4.6.1, so go get it while it’s hot. From the announcement which the lead developer has just made: [via DistroWatch]

Our goal was to provide a slick yet beautiful KDE desktop as default,
while making Gnome/GTK+apps look well integrated.

We updated to the latest KDE 4.6.1, FF4, integrated dolphin as the default file manager and switched wine to experimental 1.3.12.

Underneath the hood, everything ought to work just like Ubuntu. By downloading Ubuntu 11.04 and then removing Novell’s Banshee we still allow Canonical to create the impression that there is demand for Novell’s Mono, so arguments along the lines of freedom/choice by negation (e.g. removing Mono after it’s installed by default, unnecessarily) evade the possibility of just supporting the good team which brought us Netrunner (the classic Linux Mint still has too much Mono). Here is some more Mono advertising which neglects to mention the Mono dependency [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. It’s becoming a nameless risk factor, a quiet Trojan horse, one might say. This is dangerous due to API domination, not just patents. API is control, it might as well stand for “Absolute Power through Interfaces”.

“This is dangerous due to API domination, not just patents.”Novell is falling into line with Microsoft (soon enough even Novell’s patents will be Microsoft’s, not OIN’s), so it’s time to take a step away from anything Novell, including Moonlight (emulating/mimicking virtually abandoned software from Microsoft). Novell is still promoting Moonlight in Planet GNOME. This promoter also defames me, but that’s another story and we would rather stick to the issues, not personal gossip.

Novell is quite a dead company in the sense that it has no direction which makes it future-proof. It just reaches out to Microsoft in the same way that Nokia did (more on that in a later post) and it brags about one of those phony awards which glorify its proprietary software legacy. The reality is, “SUSE Linux shops await Novell deal completion” in the sense that they become cautious. They too realise that Novell is under the guillotine and the new report says:

Suse Linux shops are still anxiously awaiting completion of Attachmate’s buyout of Novell so they can get on with their lives.

The $2.2 billion deal was expected to close by the end of March but was delayed at least in part by regulatory issues over a side deal in which a Microsoft-led consortium was to buy some Novell patents.

These shops are better off moving to Debian, CentOS, or even RHEL. There is nothing in SLE* which is really unique (except perhaps the patent royalties which get paid to Microsoft). As for OpenSUSE? Well, it’s hard to find news about it these days. There are some HOWTOs, e.g. [1, 2], but hardly any news. Many community members abandoned the project and they do not trust AttachMSFT, which provided no substantial assurance to their community.

The bottom line is, Novell is a dead duck and its products are too. Mono is developed along with Microsoft (Mono also contains Microsoft code with Microsoft licences), so if it lives on, guess who may take the lead? Canonical’s management should listen more carefully to the CTO.

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 16, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Gravatar

    The CTO of Canonical is aware of the problems with mono. We can hope (always) that 11.11 will swap it out in favor of more sound frameworks or languages.

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