Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why You Should Reject Novell's Moonlight

Silverlight puke, barf



Moonlight's cold reception was mentioned briefly just a couple of days ago, but let's emphasise again why GNU/Linux users must not accept it; instead, they need to complaint or protest against Webmasters that adopt such ActiveX-like embrace & extend strategies. Don't let Microsoft journalists lie to developers by saying that there is "Silverlight for Linux" because there isn't. They try to deceive.

GNOME WMVPractical considerations aside, another important issue is that the Web could soon get infected with software patent traps. Web sites and Web-based applications are not like any other program that you can install and later replace or remove. If a site requires Silverlight, which in turn is riddled with patents, then it requires licences too, so that leaves Free software stuck. Microsoft, unlike Adobe or Sun, offers no free lunch. We'll come to this in a moment.

To those who are led to believe (probably by Novell and Microsoft) that Moonlight is fine and that it's a great step forward, mind the other side of the story. For example:

See? You can have most of .Net ... but you can't write a GUI because Windows Forms is held back. If you try to port Windows forms to another platform, so that a program originally written in .Net using Windows forms can be easily ported to that other platform ... Microsoft would certainly sue.

Absolutely classic Microsoft behaviour, that.

For Silverlight ... the piece of that that Microsoft have held back for themselves exclusively is the content creation part.

You can only create Silverlight content on a Windows platform.


Remember what was recently said about Windows forms, as far as software patents are concerned. Also see this from ZDNet:

Something has always bothered me about Novell’s Mono project.

Those feelings came together this week with the release of Moonlight, Novell’s implementation of Microsoft Silverlight for Linux.


It's actually the comments that you might find more interesting. The ugly truth comes from Goldfarb's own mouth (Microsoft senior), to which the response was this.

What Mr. Goldfarb is alluding to is Microsoft's position that because of the MS/Novell patent covenant only users of Novell's Linux offerings have permission to use Mono. All others (as implied by Mr. Goldfarb's statements here) are using Mono in violation of MS' patents.


Novell's Bruce Lowry sort of confirmed this before (he has actually left the company since then). The above only validates what we already knew and warned about a long time ago, e.g. here. Mono and Moonlight are yet another extortion tool for Microsoft. Moonlight enables Mono -- along with its accompanying Microsoft patents burden -- to penetrate other desktop environments such as Xfce and KDE. Stop Novell and Mono before they spread too far and have Microsoft knocking on doors.

Mono strings GNOME
Image contributed by Beranger

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