Bonum Certa Men Certa

Mono and OOXML Unwanted in the Free Desktop

A lot of discussion has been stirred up by the article from Sam (of iTWire), who is critical of Miguel de Icaza's relationship with Microsoft. Microsoft can use Miguel as a tool for arguing that Microsoft is loved and accepted by the "Free software world". Gnumeric and the binding contract with Novell are embodiments of this relationship, which is almost akin to that "letters from dead people" incident from 2001.

Say No to MonoGNOME's direction is a case of hurting oneself. In Slashdot, for example, a damaging item has incurred the wrath of at least one person in the GNOME Foundation. It would be wise, particularly at this stage, to address image issues by ensuring that the free desktop does not lose sight of its goals. Let's face it. Microsoft seems prepared to use Mono as a mechanism for 'taxing' GNU/Linux users.

One Ubuntu blogger has just called for action and recommended the removal of Mono from the Ubuntu CD-ROM.

There has been a wide range of discussion on the subject of Mono and its inclusion in Ubuntu by default. Some people believe that Mono may infringe on Microsoft patents while others believe that it is useful to include. Personally, I have no idea about whether Mono does infringe on Microsoft patents, but I see other reasons why Ubuntu should remove it.

Mono by default takes 48MB of space on the CD. The ISO download is 690+ MB. Therefore, it is taking up valuable space that could be used for a whole host of other things.


Rejecting Mono is not a case of zeal, but a case of defending the freedom of our desktop, among other things.

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