Bonum Certa Men Certa

This Web Site is Not a Distro War or a Desktop Environments War

GNU/Linux Distributions are not the same as standards and Mono (i.e. patents)

I've just noticed a very prominent (as in omnipresent) comment in Digg's front page. It points to our Web site and says:

Release it [KDE 4] to the wild! I for one am eager to give it a try. I'm tired of Gnome's Mono shenanigans. Yuck. A gnome that has contracted Mono. That's a pleasant thought. Bring on KDE4!

Don't use this Web site to slag off GNOME or promote KDE. Please. It makes us look like irrational, clannish zealots. We don't advocate particular distros or software; we just warn about few bits of software that are a huge threat to GNU/Linux in the medium- and long-term. It's self defense, not 'banboyism'.

”Consider why neither KDE is truly a solution here, nor is obedient acceptance of Mono.“Let is be clarified yet again that I love GNOME, but I just don't like the fact that Mono is becoming a necessary evil in common deployments (packaging) of GNOME. As argued yesterday, with Silverlight making its increased presence in the World Wide Web, it's likely that all of us (KDE users too) will be virtually forced to use Mono, even just to enter and use Web sites. Therein exist our reasons to warn about Mono, which is totally controlled by Novell and Microsoft in many senses. Watch the most recent discussion (involving a long-time Mono developer) to realise what is going on. Consider why neither KDE is truly a solution here, nor is obedient acceptance of Mono. XAML must be shunned until it's properly supported (an impossibility perhaps).

GNOME has separate issues, which are less to do with Mono and more to do with OOXML. Some words that are coming from the ODF Fellowship board ought to have revealed what Jeff Waugh and Jody think about OOXML. Let's not go into the details yet, but I know someone who -- for that reason alone -- would not use GNOME. It's also unlikely that GNOME will do a U-turn after Miguel de Icaza's claim that OOXML is superb (in his own words). Let's wait and see Jeff's formal statement on this issue -- a statement that he will soon be making. We saw (and noted) his response to Richard Stallman.

To say more on Mono, as you may or may not know, we strive to describe not only the awful consequences of recent developments that include patent deals, but also cover Mono 'infestation' in popular distributions, among many other things. A friend of mine might respin Fedora because of that. A GNOME fork was apparently conceived and planned last year, but it never materialised.

Mono Microsoft brain

Whether you're keeping an eye on GNOME/Mono or not, the very long conversations with Jeff still makes it look quite ugly. I tried giving him the benefit of the doubt (and also a room in this site). Many people who begin to understand the situation openly say that they are waiting for KDE4 before they leave GNOME, but that's not the point. Meanwhile, Mark Shuttleworth just seems to ignore the issue and I'm not exactly his best of friends, especially after this new article that published. At the end, it all boils down to freedom. Microsoft fights Free software by diluting and hurting its meaning.

To end this clarification, which ended up being far longer than I had anticipated, here are some logical arguments which are inspired by words of wisdom that I once read somewhere:

Free software is about Freedom

GNU/Linux facilitates freedom

Freedom means loss of revenue to Microsoft shareholders

Thus, Microsoft does not like freedom

Microsoft actively fights freedom

Microsoft dislikes whatever enables this freedom, including GNU/Linux users/developers

Therefore, GNU/Linux users/developers have a legitimate reason to dislike Microsoft

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