Bonum Certa Men Certa

Summary of Mono's Danger to GNU/Linux and the Free Desktop

A look back at evidence may be more compelling a proof than yet another explanation

We have received some mail recently from developers who are concerned about issues that are covered here, including OOXML and Mono. One person, for example, was concerned about pressure on KDE to implement support for OOXML (a big no-no). Coming from Debian, a concerned developer spoke about the problems surrounding Mono. Together, we ought to at least try to inform. Maybe we can help in pushing Debian to reduce its dependency on Mono, which is already present there. (correction/clarification: Mono is not there by default)

Let us quickly accumulate pointers to posts which summarise the problem and use this page as somewhat an index that makes it easy to understand for those unfamiliar with it. The list below is chronological, so better understanding has been formed by the time later posts were published, which makes them more accurate.



The presence of Mono alone should not be the key issue to address. There are legal issues. Upon attempts to demonstrate just loss of identity we were told that it would not be an issue as serious as patent-encumbered (and truly proprietary) elements like OOXML, WMV, etc.







That is indeed an issue. It also makes them more widespread, for all to suffer from.

Further throughout this discussion, the OOXML issue came up. The reader told us:




...what's your opinion on OOXML support being added to OOo 3? Do you think rubbing it with the GPLv3 [1, 2] might yield some interesting results?




The reply is quoted verbatim:

It works badly for Novell, which is already building 'Microsoft OpenOffice' in a sense [1, 2, 3, 4]. Novell hates it when people use the "F" word in this context ("fork"), but it's becoming more of a reality.

Microsoft hates the GPLv3. In fact, it turns out that GPLv3 got thrown out of Microsoft's CodePlex. All of Microsoft's smear campaigns against GPLv3 (through proxies in disguise, such as paid academics) show that Microsoft's lawyers understand the ramifications.

“They, along with biased journalists who deceive, are totally falling for it.”The company works quite secretly, but understanding the strategy is not hard. Getting the word out and warning developers is another issue (PyCon, Ubuntu, OSI). They, along with biased journalists who deceive, are totally falling for it. It's like a Big Lie campaign.

Many people are conveniently naive and it was frustrating to find that Michael T agrees with Matt Asay as far as the stance on Bruce Perens goes. He has posted about this to the OSI's Web site. In other words, they see nothing wrong with Microsoft in the OSI, despite the fact that Ballmer sort of stuttered in an interview last month where he was going to name 'open source' as his number one threat. He eventually said "Open.. Linux". He hesitated and changed his mind as he spoke. He knows that they have to pretend to like Open Source, as long as they can replace and subvert the licences to make them work Microsoft's way (see notes above about Mono licence). Folks like Walli might already be doing a lot of legwork for Microsoft, trying to convince developers to embrace the Microsoft way, restrict openness, ownership, maybe even apply for software patents, etc.

Just say no to Mono

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