12.20.09

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Taking Mono Off the Menu

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 4:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shotwell

Summary: Recommendation of Shotwell for the upcoming Ubuntu release (April 2010), as a key part of Mono replacements

CONTRARY to common misinterpretation (deception from Novell’s management), Mono is not legally safe because Microsoft has already defined boundaries for its use and deviation is not allowed either, which means that if this “Free” software (more like "Open Core") gets modified, then Microsoft has already threatened to sue.

Canonical has new management now. Jane Silber has the opportunity to remove the problematic parts from Ubuntu and we have already provided advice in:

  1. Gnote is Alive, New Release Available
  2. The Case for a Mono-Free Ubuntu and Novell’s Case for a Mono Fee Ubuntu
  3. With gThumb and Gnote in Ubuntu 10.04, Default Install Would be Leaner, Mono Free
  4. F-Spot (Mono) Can Still be Removed from Next Ubuntu
  5. Avoid Mono to Put Back the *NIX in GNU/Linux

gThumb is just one among many packages that can replace F-Spot while replacing Tomboy with Gnote should be trivial. Gnote does have an active maintainer.

Over at Linuxers, Shotwell has just been proposed as a replacement for F-Spot in Ubuntu 10.04 (codename “Lucid Lynx”). It is worth looking into.

All of you would know by now that Ubuntu Devels are planning to remove GIMP as a default program. This has led to a lot of discussions among them about the default photo manager for Ubuntu Lucid that will compensate for it. They are not supposed to be as powerful as GIMP but should be able to handle some minimal image manipulations. In this article, we will look into the 3 top competitors F-Spot, Shotwell and Solang.

And we will see what all features each of them aims to provide to be considered as the default photo manager cum image manipulator and viewer for Lucid.

Shotwell

Shotwell is an opensource photo manager designed for Gnome Desktop Environment. Instead of just being a photo organizer it is capable of doing some small image manipulations too like reducing red-eye, rotate, crop and mirror photos.

Here is the project’s homepage. We have just added it to our Wiki resources.

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5 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    December 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Gravatar

    One thing that is often misunderstood is that these are not Canonical issues necessarily but can be community issues. Canonical is a company that genuinely lives in a community, so often the best place to address these issues and focus efforts may not be with canonical management, but rather with the Ubuntu community base and community councils. In the absence of strong community pressure I think Canonical tends to more conservative choices, and especially those that involve the least changes over Debian.

    Another strong driver of Canonical is the Debian community. The Ubuntu community (and Canonical by extension) really has no desire to “fork” Debian packages, and prefers to carry as few changes over Debian as possible. If there was a strong movement in Debian to pro-actively ditch Mono, then there would by necessity be one in Ubuntu as well.

    There is a final place where pressure can come, and that of course is from the user base. That mono both kills battery life and delivers rather poor user experiences on atom and especially on arm processors is just now being noticed by both critical OEM’s constituencies and their users, even those that otherwise care little about freedom. I think long-term, and I mean over a couple of Ubuntu release cycles, this reality will work it’s way up to desktop, for there will also be little interest in having une and arm using different (divergent) packages and the reality that Mono is dead on arrival for the latter is only just starting to be perceived. For this reason, my prediction is that Mono will disappear in Ubuntu “N”, at least in the absence of other (community or Debian driven) pressures to hasten it’s demise.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The legal team is employed by Canonical, so hopefully they pay attention to the FSF, Allison, Groklaw, etc.

    dyfet Reply:

    That is also very true, and really this is the one place where there should already have been strong alarm bells ringing some time ago, hence this should have already made the whole discussion mute. I have no idea why that did not as yet happen. I recall in the case of Fedora this was a mixture of strong concern about freedom from some key people within their community and strong concern from RedHat’s legal team.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I believe it’s Fedora that stepped in to maintain Gnote.

  2. Will said,

    December 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Gravatar

    I’ve been using the recent 0.4 release of Avant Window Navigator dock from a PPA and in my opinion it is an excellent replacement for Gnome Do’s Docky.

    So, on my Karmic install:

    Remove Tomboy –> install Gnote
    Don’t install Gnome Do –> install Avant Window Navigator
    Remove F-spot –> install Shotwell/Solang
    Don’t install Banshee –> install Amarok (ok, not Gnome, but it works great) or Songbird, or Rhythmbox.

    And then I just ripped out Mono altogether. Haven’t missed it. Gnome Do was the last thing keeping Mono on my system, and I’m glad to have a great replacement for it now!

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