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Project of the Day: GNote

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Summary: The trailblazing route away from Mono seems clearer thanks to GNote

A NEW Free software project called GNote has received a lot of deserved attention recently [1, 2]. It rescues GNOME from some of the unhealthy Mono dependency it has developed (Tomboy) and it comes at a good time because Señor de Icaza is running a series of posts that he calls "Embrace and Extend.NET" (his friends and colleagues at Microsoft sure would be proud). In the German press by the way, an article titled "Novell in coopetition with Microsoft" presents the words of Philippe Desmaison from Novell. It was published a few days ago and it confirms what a reader of ours has just called "the Novell-Microsoft vision."



“GNote is GPLv3-licensed and nothing in its development involves Microsoft or Novell.”In order to prevent Novell from hijacking ('embracing') GNU/Linux using its own software which is 'licensed' by Microsoft, namely Mono, more projects like GNote are needed and apparently they are coming. The Mono proponents are unhappy to see their projects ported out of Mono and they miserably cling onto misunderstandings about copyright assignment.

GNote is GPLv3-licensed and nothing in its development involves Microsoft or Novell. Tomboy might not like this competition (or co-opetition, as Ray Noorda would have called it), but if Tomboy is Mono dependent and the licence is unattractive, then the project is bound to be forked. That's just what Free software is about; it enables the community to take over in case it feels dissatisfied with the direction a project is taking.

If anyone is looking for a fast-growing project to contribute to, this may be it. GNOME is used by tens of millions of people and many are candidate users of GNote. The project just needs more contributors (in case Johan Sørensen welcomes them), promotion and support in order to gain momentum and leapfrog its Mono-based counterpart, Tomboy. It could, as a matter of fact, even replace Tomboy in default GNOME desktops and thus eliminate the heavy and controversial Mono stack.

The initiator of GNote is already working on an f-spot replacement too, so there may be a pattern here -- a pattern of rewriting Mono applications in languages that are more appropriate and make use -- as well as distribution -- considerably safer (especially after the TomTom case). GPLv3 is the icing on the cake because it defangs patent aggressors.

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