Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why Novell and Ubuntu Suppress Opposition of Mono

Summary: Two new analyses from the Mono-Nono Web site

JASON has just published two posts that hit the nail on the head. The first one is a detailed explanation of how, why, and who might be interested in suppressing Mono opposition. There are many reasons to ignore these gagging attempts, which include relentless attempts to assassinate the character of individuals and reputation of Web sites. We've seen Miguel de Icaza cursing Sam Varghese for example. Why? Because he happens to support the FSF when it comes to his stance on Mono and GNU/Linux. It's like some sort of Microsoft/Novell-organised McCarthyism.



From Jason's post:

A lot of times, mono critics are told we should just “shut up”. Everything that needs to be said has been said, no one is going to change their mind, and there is no point in going on about things.

Let me tell you why I reject that.

[...]

Reason four: It is too important

We aren’t talking about arguing over the One True Brace Style here. Team Mono wants to be on your desktop. They want more Mono and even Moonlight up in GNOME. If they get GNOME based on .NET, then you can bet your sweet object code they are coming for KDE.

Reason five: It sets a bad precedent

First was C#/CLI, then .NET, then Moonlight. Each iteration has been less Free and more risky to build on. Each one is ever closer to some exclusive Novell-Microsoft arrangement.

What of the next Microsoft technology that Team Mono decides needs to be cloned? Microsoft can afford to have every component integrate tightly – in fact, it is to thier advantage to do so. But we who rely on standards and promises to protect us can not be so cavalier.

Reason six: That’s what Novell wants

Listen, Novell management is not a bunch of idiots. There can be no question that they knew entering into a relationship with Microsoft would be taken as a betrayal of the community. There is no doubt in my military mind they sat down and tried to judge the cost as best they could, and you know what they came up with...


Sadly enough, as a subsequent post puts it, Ubuntu separates Mono critics from the discussion. This is a tactless move for reasons that are explained in the post.

Time to draw attention to the “Free Speech Zone” on the Ubuntu Forums.

The target

For perfectly understandable reasons, Team Mono is really targeting Ubuntu to get ever more mono applications in by default. Banshee is virtually a given at this point, and GNOME-Do is a likely follow up. There is a blizzard of pro-mono misinformation on the Ubuntu Forums – which it breaks my heart to say, doesn’t exactly have quite same level of intellectual rigor as the Dialogues of Plato.


Whoever takes over these distributions -- be it Microsoft-sympathetic people or even Microsoft employees -- they are ruining GNU/Linux, sometimes knowingly. Some people's perception or vision of GNU/Linux is another Mac OS X with DRM, patent fees, .NET, and a desktop which is built based on Microsoft Silverlight (ask Miguel de Icaza about it). What would be achieved? This is not the GNU system and it is the antithesis of Free software.

“We are divided between people like Novell employee or Microsoft folks and those who are actually GNU/Linux users defending their platform, their territory.”Ubuntu does not even deny suppressing opposition to Mono anymore. What a spit in the face of the FSF and the large majority of the GNU/Linux users out there, who agree with the FSF. Ubuntu suppressed Mono opposition before and even eliminated it (it disappeared, according to Jason), which is what led to the creation of the Mono-Nono Web site on the face of it.

Some will say that we're a "divided community"; yes, maybe we are. We are divided between people like Novell employee or Microsoft folks and those who are actually GNU/Linux users defending their platform, their territory. To a certain degree, this is indeed the case.

Several companies and organisations (e.g. VMware, ISO, OSI, Yahoo, XenSource) found out the hard way what happens when Microsoft takes over staffing or -- as in Novell's case -- starts paying people's paychecks in other companies.

The foresight of the FSF has been excellent for many years and the GNU GPL was defended for decades (it is the most popular software licence right now). Rather than reject the FSF, people should reject those who foolishly reject the FSF's advice.

"He [Bill Gates] is divisive. He is manipulative. He is a user. He has taken much from me and the industry."

--Gary Kildall



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