11.11.10

Mono Advocacy is Deluded, Avoids the Facts and Personally Attacks Critics Instead

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Ubuntu at 9:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono: is it a science, or is it a faith?

Sheep says mono

Summary: The Mono proponents have yet again turned to “ad hominem” mode because the simple facts about Mono-associated risk cannot be refuted

TECHRIGHTS’ “Boycott Novell” initiative has warned about Mono patents since 2006 (weeks after Novell and Microsoft signed their patent deal). At the time, not many people dared to slam Mono (the FSF did not do so until 2009), but over the years more evidence was gathered to show that Mono is indeed a problem. Now there is more of a consensus and general agreement about it although the approach taken to alleviate/mitigate the issue varies somewhat. Techrights has been relatively polite about it.

Guy Van Sanden (at “nocturn”, posting from Belgium) got flamed by Mono proponents after he had criticised Mono. For his recent posts about Mono, which we covered at the time [1, 2, 3, 4], he received personal abuse from the bullies [1, 2] and liars. It’s almost as though Mono is a religious cult akin to Scientology. I have personally seen and over the years experienced what one goes though for criticising Mono (being called the “c” word and talked to with the “f” word, even assaulted with libel). No other topic seems to invoke quite as much resentment as from the group of Mono proponents, who often tend to trust (sometimes love) Microsoft as well. Van Sanden has just posted some instructions for removal of Mono from one’s system. Innocent enough, right?

Following my post “Get the facts on mono” from yesterday, I thought it would be nice to post a refresher about how to remove mono from Ubuntu and more importantly, prevent it from being reinstalled (for example by installing a package if you are not aware it was built on mono).

Here is the “Get the facts on mono” post which he refers to. Notice the number of comments and flames. The concise argument he made goes like this:

The debate surrounding the replacement of Rhythmbox with Banshee in Ubuntu 11.04 brings back many of the concerns about F-Spot, Tomboy and gBrainy: the mono patent trap.

But a lot of time has past since the original discussions and in that time, some things became very clear.

* Microsoft does hold patents on the .NET technology that mono is based on
* They made a community promise not to sue FOSS projects implementing the ECMA submitted parts of .NET
* The community promise is not a binding patent grant
* Mono implements a lot more than the ECMA parts, De Icaza’s promise to seperate mono into safe and non-safe parts was never fulfilled
* There is no promise on the non-ECMA parts
* Software like F-Spot and Tomboy are therefor using parts based on non-free bits of .NET

So, why is including MP3 support and DeCSS problematic but do we digg a hole by using patented technologies from one of the biggest patent trolls on the planet???

I don’t think any of this is malicious, but it does feel naive and misguided to me…

Jason from The Source has defended the arguments above by adding supporting evidence in a useful, precise, and easy-to-follow way. Jason claims that “Mono Criticism” is being falsely characterised as intolerance or “Uninformed Hatred” as he puts it:

Mono Apologists must rely on uninformed acceptance of their points, because one can not simultaneously be informed and make the arguments that Team Apologista does. The best honest argument Team Apologista can make is something along the lines of: “Mono may have issues, but so do a lot of projects, and we don’t think ours rise to a level of serious concern.”

That argument is fair, truthful, and – unfortunately – not very convincing. That is why Team Apologista must resort to misrepresenting the FSF, or trying to silence critics, or trotting out one logical fallacy after another, or resorting to personal attacks.

In the last version of Ubuntu, Canonical decreased its dependence on Mono, so we assumed that the problem was being addressed. But Banshee is possibly to be included in the next version of Ubuntu, as we noted in some of the following posts:

Banshee is a Novell product. It uses parts of the Mono project which the MCP does not cover (by design) and while it’s probably fine for SLED users to use for another one year and one month, all other users of Banshee would be sensitive to Microsoft lawsuits (and Microsoft is specifically suing over Microsoft APIs in Linux, as stressed in the previous post).

David Siegel, a Canonical employee, currently works on the controversial Unity, which is based on Vala (discussed in our pilot episode of the TechBytes show). Vala is quite similar to Mono but with an escape route from complete dependency on it. Anyway, Siegel is better known to people because of GNOME Do, which gets another facelift or extension:

A trusted source, one wishing to remain anonymous, sent in the following screenshot to the OMG! Inbox along the assurance that what you see below ‘is not a mockup but rather work in progress.’

This post from OMG!Ubuntu (occasional promoter of Mono [1, 2, 3, 4]) contains very few details, in fact almost none at all except the picture. It’s an issue because we have come across a Ubuntu proponent who dislikes Mono and reads/links to OMG!Ubuntu over at at Identi.ca. This reader of OMG!Ubuntu is now praising GNOME Do, probably because he — like many others in his position — simply does not know that GNOME Do is based on Mono. Getting those people to recommend such Mono applications is like getting angry, exploited people to lobby for the same billionaires who are exploiting them (and that’s what the Tea Party managed to achieve in the US).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2010/11/11/mono-associated-risk/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    November 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Anyone who does not think of Microsoft patents as a threat to free software should read my Microsoft patent extortion timeline. Microsoft spends billions of dollars portraying themselves as a friend and benefactor, unleashing your “unlimited potential” for example, and apologists often claim that Microsoft never sues anyone so the missunderstanding is common. Microsoft also worked through intermediaries, like SCO and Acacia.

    Novel proves better than anyone else that Microsoft promisses are worthless. Notice how the company is still defending themselves against SCO and how Acacia sued them even after Novel made their infamous deal with Microsoft. It is particularly ironic that Novel employes so many Mono defenders because the company has been practically destroyed by Microsoft while other free software companies like Red Hat have grown and profited despite fighting.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Watch what Novell has been doing today. Sometimes it seems like Microsoft just bought them:

    http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2010/Nov-11.html
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODc3OQ

What Else is New


  1. Video: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

    12 days ago the FSF uploaded the video above, in which current threats to software freedom are explained by the FSF's founder



  2. FSF Web Site Now Lists the Seven Voting Members, Including Alexandre Oliva, Former Acting FSF President

    The FSF is now in good and reliable hands, which we're told are all supportive of the decision to bring back the FSF's founder to the Board; Oliva remains involved as a voting member



  3. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 11: The Rapporteur Who Once Was Vice-President

    EPO‘s former Vice-President of DG3 will be the person to decide on the EPO’s (mis)conduct



  4. [Meme] Captured EPO

    Put the EPO back in the hands of people who do all the work and actually understand the real goals of a patent office



  5. An Urgent Need to Fix the EPO, Which is Becoming Rogue at Every Level (Even the 'Legal' Level)

    Helpless examiners are being put in a grave dilemma: violate the EPC or lose the job; it's meanwhile clear that internal appeals, including referrals to the Boards of Appeal, are also hopeless because these courts or tribunals obey tyrants, not the EPC, and moreover they cover up past abuses of the tyrants



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 17, 2021



  7. 6,700 Signatures in Support of Richard Stallman's Return to the FSF's Board

    6,700 signatures will be secured any day now (maybe later today); we thought the graph is worth replotting again, even if only to remind people how badly the defamatory hate letter has backfired



  8. [Meme] The Real Gates Scandal is About Connections to Sex Trafficking (Epstein), Not Infidelity

    Some media is still trying to shift attention (some of the very same media that misdirected focus to Richard Stallman when a Gates-Epstein scandal unfolded at MIT), but people aren't gullible enough



  9. Links 17/5/2021: New GeckoLinux and Kdenlive 21.04.1

    Links for the day



  10. Richard Stallman Refers to Intel's Management Engine (ME) -- or a Back Door -- as 'Master', and the Processor Intel Lets Us Use as 'Slave'

    “The president and founder of the Free Software Foundation will speak about pressing issues in free software today, and will present the winners of the 2018 Free Software Awards,” says the summary (this was 3 years ago, i.e. before the purge of language, with a prominent role played by Intel)



  11. Links 17/5/2021: NetBSD 9.2 and Early Look at Bodhi Linux 6.0.0

    Links for the day



  12. Calle Josefsson as Living Proof That Attacking the Causes You Once Proclaimed to Stand for is Very Profitable

    Some thoughts on the situation of the Boards of Appeal in Haar; they're led by someone who receives a huge salary (a four- or five-fold increase) in exchange for an epic sellout and abandonment of principles; as a de facto legal slinger or imposter/poser he has already done incredible damage on several levels



  13. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 10: A Faustian Pact?

    Benoît Battistelli‘s rubber-stamping judge from Sweden saw his salary growing four- or five-fold and he has meanwhile lowered his public profile, fearing that people will see what he sold his soul for



  14. EPO Staff Representatives Not Amused to See an Office That Steals From Staff and Even From Pensioners

    The heist continues; the EPO isn't just a milking cow of Germany but also of EPO officials who keep the 'lid' or the 'cover' on this whole financial instrument, which would enrage member states if they truly understood what's going on



  15. [Meme] Virtual Prisons for Virtual Hearings (Haarings)

    Today’s EPO has a truly twisted notion of the “rule of law”



  16. President of the Boards of Appeal, the Star of the Haar Show

    It’s best in the metal version; burn in Hell, Lesley Gore



  17. Right To Repair: When You Don't Own What You Buy (and Cannot Even Repair It Legally)

    The second part of preliminary background regarding the Right To Repair; our associate who extracted the videos from YouTube says that both are relevant to “Freedom 0″ (as per the FSF’s definition of Free software)



  18. Right To Repair: What It's About and How That Relates to Software

    A short (less than one minute) video that offers some background or sheds light on the intersection between Software Freedom and the Right To Repair



  19. Brand as Distraction From the Core Issues Surrounding the Right To Repair

    Excerpt of a video from Odysee, in which an important point is explained regarding a very actual and relevant case, more so given a recent ruling that indirectly impacts software freedom, mostly in (but not limited to) the United States



  20. Virtual 'Courts' Aren't Courts and Aren't Suitable Substitutes, Either

    The cheapening of the concept of justice, even as the pandemic that serves to justify that cheapening is gradually being brought under control, is the real issue that should be debated in Haar (or from private homes, probably somewhere around Haar); whether it's compulsory or not ought to be a side question



  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 16, 2021



  22. Links 17/5/2021: Linux 5.13 RC2 and a Lot About Patents

    Links for the day



  23. (All-Time) Archive of Techrights Videos Contains About 1,000 Videos, All Listed in One Place Now

    We're improving access to old material in the site and right now the focus is ways to improve discovery of old video/multimedia files



  24. Haar Song

    The Office in Munich is overseen by “a municipality near Munich,” according to Wikipedia (not inside Munich, so that in itself is a violation of the EPC)



  25. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 9: Squeezing Out the Lifeblood of Democracy?

    The lack of public discourse at the EPO (where tyrants like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos make up the rules and then have them rubber-stamped by kangaroo courts) helps explain an atrocious policy and moral abyss, which recently led to acceptance of European software patents and mass surveillance disguised as “access to justice”



  26. Luke Smith on Why Free Software Matters and 'Open Source' is Meaningless

    A video just released by a popular YouTube channel



  27. Links 16/5/2021: ExTiX 21.5, Drumstick Multiplatform MIDI File Player Refresh

    Links for the day



  28. EPO.org is a Really Awful Source of Information

    The site that bears a .org suffix is actually more like a private corporation lying about itself in order to save face and attract more money -- or in other words funds that will be squandered and stolen by corrupt administrators



  29. IBM Has Changed a Lot Since 2018, and Not for the Better

    IBM isn't that much of an ally of GNU/Linux as a community-led or community-centric operating system; IBM is in it all just for IBM and we need to treat IBM accordingly



  30. [Meme] Criticising IBM is Racist and Intolerant

    Systemd is becoming untouchable and its critics are framed as "toxic" or "trolls", no matter the facts and irrespective of the technical substance of their complaints


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts