03.16.08

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Novell’s Mono and Microsoft’s Plot to Use Mono/.NET to ‘Punish’ GNU/Linux

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 10:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A ‘Micro’ kick in the ‘Soft’ crotch

Thanks to a Microsoft partner [1, 2, 3] called Novell, the plan to have a semi-cooked, always-behind, patent-sensitive .NET implementation for GNU/Linux is under way. As expected, it’s far from satisfactory. Unless you are Microsoft, you are a second fiddle at Microsoft lawyers' mercy. Have a look at some early thoughts about MonoDevelop:

MonoDevelop an open-sourced IDE for creating software using Mono has gone gold. Sounds interesting! It is more stable than before, but there are some caveats:

1. The documentation is far from complete!
2. To be able to create applications graphically is darn nice, but the GTK# implementation of Windows.Form namespace requires an awkward approach: I can’t simply drop components on my form, but I have to create a layout before doing anything and I’m still waiting for a normal Visual Studio compatible layout manager.

[...]

Windows.Form raises software patent issues. This was covered before in posts about Mono [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33], so it needn’t be further discussed or repeated. It was only days ago that we last mentioned the dangers of Mono, the context being remarks from a GNOME Foundation member.

The name .NET echoes some of the framework’s aspirations to become part of the Web (or Net). The ‘host’ to prey on will have a seemingly-innocent and enlightening name: Silverlight. Where does Novell stand in that regard? Have a look at this new report:

One thing I did learn is that Moonlight is not ready and the code Miguel presented was apparently quite buggy (confirmed by comments from Miguel like “this has got a bug in it…”).

Recall again what Miguel de Icaza said about it in this very same conference. This doesn’t sound reassuring, so why did he go down this path in the first place? The duty for moneyflow seems to have been his primary motivation. It is therefore only natural to consider Novell a Microsoft accomplice in this context. We previously explained why Novell does more harm than good here.

Now, recall again the case of Microsoft sort of bribing (with an advance payment of $3,000,000) to have Silverlight in the Library of Congress Web site [1, 2, 3, 4]. Should we not learn from history here? Remember Bill Gates’ Corbis and the following incident, in case you never read about it before.

Annexing the Public Domain

In 1995 a virtually unknown company called Corbis purchased the Bettman Archives, the world’s largest private collection of historical and newspaper photographs. Corbis, a company founded in 1989 and owned by Bill Gates, is also actively negotiating with museums worldwide for exclusive licenses to electronically reproduce works of art held in their collections. Since that time, the Corbis “collection” has swelled to over 20 million images.

The apparent purpose is to provide Microsoft with access to a huge supply of exclusive cultural “content” for its web sites and multimedia CDs, and to prevent others from obtaining similar access. The rub is that Corbis now holds exclusive reproduction rights to images which are not copyrighted, but are in held in the public domain. Gates has seduced these museums, presumably with promises of future residuals, into veering from their missions as trustees of our cultural legacies, and into exploring the murkiest areas of “fair use” practices and curatorial ethics.

What if all our memories and national assets got .NET-ified and no longer accessible in a proper archival-friendly fashion? About a year ago it was said that Microsoft had given the US Government free services for data storage of medical data just so that they impose the same type of dependency (even bankruptcy protection) that Silicon Graphics once received. Don’t let Silverlight seize your data. Reject it now when it’s earlier enough and complain about Web sites that use it.

Silverlight puke, barf

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12 Comments

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    March 16, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Gravatar

    I am starting to think Novell itself could be a bigger threat than whatever patent claim MS could make.

    Based on the “Novell can re-license your code at will” part of the MONO FAQ, I think this is very dangerous and a more actual problem than probable abuse by MS.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 16, 2008 at 12:19 pm

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    I have been told (in private) by more than one knowledgeable person that — in the long term — Microsoft could buy Novell, especially if it goes cheap. Market cap is declining.

    In a sense, boycotting Novell could — just could — be similar to a case of prematurely boycotting Yahoo and — by association — Microsoft (don’t think ‘Microsoft Linux’ just yet) . After last week’s report about renewed merger negotiations between the two companies I dropped all my Yahoo RSS feeds (almost 15 of them).

  3. CoolGuy said,

    March 16, 2008 at 12:58 pm

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    same here. i have stopped using my yahoo mail accounts..and switched to gmail.

  4. stolwit said,

    March 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm

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    You guys are nothing but freaking nutters! I cannot believe (honestly) what amounts and qualities of shit your brains seem to be able to produce at will. I’m fucking amazed.

  5. Victor Soliz said,

    March 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm

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    Again with the aggressiveness, any specific reason you need to trivialize our claims? Specifically mine, Novell does reserve the right to make proprietary, or do you think MONO’s own FAQ comes from conspiracy theorists?

    I still have my yahoo mail account, I use it to register to random sites that require email so it is always full of spam.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 16, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Gravatar

    stolwit has always been aggressive and his IP has me suspecting that he might — just might — be with SUSE.

    It would be more effective to see our claims rebutted. Insults just make it seem like our claims cannot be challenged.

  7. stolwit said,

    March 17, 2008 at 3:58 am

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    > he might — just might — be with SUSE.

    God; don’t forget to put on your tinfoil-hat you nerd!

  8. Victor Soliz said,

    March 17, 2008 at 8:28 am

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    Again dodging the main argument.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 17, 2008 at 9:23 am

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    I can’t understand why people lurk in this site just because they hate it. Good riddance to eet by the way. He went elsewhere.

  10. eet said,

    March 17, 2008 at 4:59 pm

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    In your dreams, baby…

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  11. Jose_X said,

    March 26, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Gravatar

    Honestly, besides all the reasons to avoid dotnet and mono, giving code to Novell (or to any MS partner) is giving code to Microsoft to debut in a closed and integrated and better running fashion on Windows (at least if the comparison is to mono).

    Why sweat out the code to have Microsoft leverage it against you and keep it closed? What do you get? Microsoft makes a pretty penny by helping to keep their monopolies strong. Novell makes a buck of course. .. and you get that fuzzy feeling inside.

    All companies dealing closely with Microsoft (eg, Citrix that bought out Xen Source) should have their interesting FOSS projects forked, if possible, the sooner the better.

  12. chris said,

    August 17, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Gravatar

    I genuinely cannot see anything wrong with silverlight. There is already a firefox plugin (albeit, slightly buggy at the moment), and a open source version is in the works – they dont *have* to do that.

    Its main competitor Adobe flash, isn’t exactly brilliant under linux anyway, nor is it open source.

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