Bonum Certa Men Certa

Confirmed: Novell Puts Mono (and Moonlight) at Centre of the GNU/Linux Desktop

"We could refresh the look and feel of the entire desktop with Moonlight"

--Miguel de Icaza



Summary: Another new roundup of Mono news

YESTERDAY we wrote about Moonlight and Mono-based applications getting more tightly integrated. We now see it confirmed by Novell employees Miguel de Icaza and Jonathan Pobst [1 2], so our suspicions were correct from the very start. This is all part of Microsoft's ambition to fill the Web with Silver Lie content and the desktop with .NET/WPF, which in turn imposes a patent tax on GNU/Linux and makes a poorer experience for GNU/Linux users. From ITPro news:



The first version of Silverlight was launched in April 2007, while version 2 arrived in 2008. It runs on Windows and Mac – and even Linux. The latter is developed by Novell in conjunction with Microsoft, a project known as Moonlight.


"[I]n conjunction with Microsoft," says this article, but the Microsoft/Novell Web site calls it "Microsoft Moonlight". It serves Microsoft's interests.

Microsoft's Anti-Java



In the blog post where Mini Microsoft suggests laying off 15k employees we also find this comment which reminds us why it's good that Bing is dying. Microsoft uses Bing to smear .NET's (and Mono's) main competitor, Java. From the commenter:

"Regarding Bing, I believe there are untrustworthy behaviours under the hood, specifically black list result filters. Try this searching for “transferhandler.export to clipboard swing”. Google finds about 100 results all related to Java. Bing finds exactly two results. One is my comment on this subject elsewhere and the other is in French. How can it be possible without deletion of “things Java” ?"

This is not surprising because Microsoft applies the same type of treatment to all major competitors of Microsoft, GNU/Linux included. See our previous posts on the subject, e.g.:



Attacks on Stallman



For the past fortnight or so (shortly after Stallman's official statement on Mono and C#), Stallman has come under attack from many directions, usually from defenders of Mono or users of Mono (including Canonical employees). He is still not impressed by Microsoft's "Community Promise" (CP) [1, 2, 3] and this makes him no friends. Stefano Forenza wrote about these attacks on Stallman only to be called "misguided" by Caonical's CTO.

The first meme being directed to Richard Stallman for citing ‘eMacs virgins’ in a speech and the other one only gods knows whom.

While the latter is just is yet another generalist campaign (like the infamous “hey, even double click is patented!”) the first is a frontal attack to Richard Stallman as a person: knives coming out all of a sudden.

Even the Canonical CTO blogged about it.

While the video isn’t available yet, I have big doubts there is something even remotely offensive in such Stallman talk. It’s very easy to take feminism as an excuse, as many people (not just girls) will jump in no-matter-what without even knowing what it’s being talked about.


The new method in place seems to be that if you support Stallman and support his stance on Mono, then you're also a chauvinist. It's not said explicitly, but it is being implied that to be associated with Stallman is also to accept his sometimes-tactless humour/modest proposals.

Sam Varghese correctly points out that Mono's most vocal defender inside Debian is himself quite chauvinistic. That person is Josselin Mouette.

Mouette, it may be recalled, is the developer who had posted what were considered sexist posts to the Debian project mailing list meant for important announcements for developers.

(Mono is an open source implementation of parts of Microsoft's .NET development environment; many sections of the FOSS community fear that Mono may prove to be a patent trap down the line as .NET is totally Microsoft technology. Recent statements have done little to dispel this impression.)

I asked the Debian leader Steve McIntyre a few queries about the Mono change and he, as always, sent back straightforward replies. McIntyre, I may add, has always been open and upfront in dealing with iTWire.

But after Free Software Foundation chief Richard Stallman called the Debian move risky - he based the statement on the inference that a decision on including Mono in the Debian default install had already been taken - Debian spokesman Alexander Reichle-Schmehl decided that the project had to speak up and did so by trying to explain things through a post on his blog.


For those who have not been following the whole Mono kerkuffle (a lot has happened recently), here is an excellent summary, which concludes thusly:

Well there are issues around Mono, including patents. This means that some people, myself included now refuse to use it. Those that are pro-mono don't seem to understand exactly why everyone isn't shouting hosannas over their projects. Indeed one of them classified Tomboy as 'An Exciting Program', which stunned me. Tomboy? Exciting? I didn't think so.


It is "exciting" for Microsoft, that's for sure. Its APIs spread to the competitors' platforms, which makes Microsoft more powerful. It does not bother Novell.

"Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand."

--Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO



"[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on."

--Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO



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