12.13.10

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Mono Lie of the Week: AttachMSFT’s Banshee is Safe

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 4:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Banshee, which is copyrighted by Novell (now AttachMSFT [sic]), is still a threat to GNU/Linux distributions, despite misdirection attempts from Mono boosters

Bullying of Mono critics in sites like Reddit is the modus operandi of some Novell employees, who got it under control as far as disinformation and misdirection are concerned (they have big numbers and a paycheque). Novell is now AttachMSFT, with even many of its own patents sold to Microsoft.

One of the latest patterns of disinformation from Mono boosters is that the FSF's warning does not apply to AttachMSFT’s very own Banshee, which Ubuntu is adding to its next release as we covered in:

Jason from The Source has just done some good work explaining why Banshee is not safe for use, despite the noise generated by Novell employees in Reddit.

That’s right 281 files use non-standardized .NET namespaces not covered by ECMA or the Microsoft Community Promise. Out of 1240 C# source files. 22%, just short of a quarter, of all the C# source files in Banshee require non-standardized .NET namespaces.

When Team Apologista tries to talk down the importance of the non-ECMA namespaces, or when they try to suggest that while the Mono project proper might not split into safe and un-safe portions, but packagers for most major distributions do, keep Banshee in mind as an example.

A final note

The rest of Mr. Peko’s response and his many other responses in that Reddit thread are filled with a veritable cornucopia of factual and logical errors, I won’t bother with tediously dissecting them here (mainly because I think they are transparent to any honest reader), but I did want to mention it lest someone think this gross factual inaccuracy be the only failing.

A final final note

I guess I need to specifically point out that I am using the latest public release of code at the time of writing (1.8.0) as available from the Banshee “download” page. Apparently, the git version of Banshee has removed System.Data dependencies.

If Banshee is able to remove all non-standardized namespaces, then that does remove one point of criticism against it. We will see how it looks whenever a new public release is made.

“Unsafe At Any Speed” Jason calls Mono in this followup post and he explains why:

Just a follow up expanding on the recent Banshee/ECMA stuff. Warning: long stretches of file lists within!

You’ll often hear Team Apologista (when cornered) say something like: “Maybe not all of Mono is covered by the ECMA standard, but all the bits used in Linux programs are.” (Here’s just one example from the recent Reddit thread, but like all Team Apologista arguments, you’ll see a similar talking point repeatedly.)

Now of course, we know that is simply not true – System.Data was used in Banshee at least until very recently, but let’s dive deeper.

[...]

Summary

* Banshee: 165 refs (and 1 Microsoft refs for giggles)
* Tomboy: 36 refs
* F-Spot: 131 refs
* Do: 56 refs
* Gbrainy: 31 refs

So, that’s the 5 most popular (give-or-take) Mono applications for Linux. Not a single one of which doesn’t have a significant amount of references to non-ECMA namespaces. As the Microsoft Community Promise covering any implementation is limited to the “extent it conforms to one of the Covered Specifications”, we can reject the claim that “All of the pieces of Mono that are used in Linux apps are covered by the MCP.”

It still saddens us that OMG!Ubuntu is boosting Banshee, despite known problems. Without scepticism everyone is left vulnerable to Microsoft’s attacks.

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3 Comments

  1. satipera said,

    December 13, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Gravatar

    I was very surprised by how rude an ecclesiastically themed Ubuntu representative was about Techrights during a conversation about mono on identi.ca. I do hope that as has been reported opinions on mono within Ubuntu vary and it is not the party line.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I think it depends on the context. I heard about it happening after someone whom I don’t know and whose actions I don’t condone behaved somewhat rudely. I hope that Ubuntu folks will judge the site not by people who link to it but people who participate.

    twitter Reply:

    Why should you be surprised? After the ignorant hatchet job Jono gave Roy about a year ago, we should expect some rudeness from others who have not done their homework. Jono did a superficial Google search for Boycott Novell and found a lot of Microsoft smear sites and did not look much further. This is not too surprising from a company that was run, in part, by Matt Assay or a community as open as Ubuntu is. Microsoft plants trolls where they can.

    I’m sure that these opinions and smears don’t reflect those of most Ubuntu users or developers. Ubuntu users, like most free software users, quickly realize that software freedom makes Ubuntu what it is. Once they understand that, they understand and appreciate what Techrights is all about. I wonder if Assay’s departure has something to do with him being so out of touch with what free software users think and want.

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