Bonum Certa Men Certa

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

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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