Bonum Certa Men Certa

Mono Programs Removed from gNewSense

GNewSense screenshot 2.3



Summary: gNewSense removes the Trojan horse that came from Novell and Microsoft; further discussion of why this pair still matters

LAST WEEK we saw Jeremy Allison suggesting that Mono programs should be moved to 'restricted' repositories [1]. This led to a fair bit of reaction [1, 2, 3, 4] and the Ubuntu derivative which Richard Stallman is using inevitably removes Mono (and applications that depend on it). We saw this coming a while ago.

Here is the release announcement from the FSF:

Version 2.3 of gNewSense, one of the the FSF-endorsed free GNU/Linux distributions, was released last month. Anyone interested in keeping pace with the latest improvements in free operating systems should check it out. It's based on Ubuntu, but without the non-free parts that Ubuntu includes by default, or suggests that you download.


This release is being promoted in Free software groups/circles like Identi.ca for the fact that it stripped Mono off. It's unlikely that anything Mono related will be nominated for an FSF award this time around because Mono helps Microsoft and Novell. It also helps Windows [1, 2, 3] and it does not help GNU/Linux.

It was interesting to find this opinion piece which ignores Microsoft as an issue and advises others to do the same.

I remember a time, recent enough ago that I scarcely need archive.org to read the articles that discussed it, when people were saying that Linux shouldn't care about what Microsoft (or whoever) does, and just make the best OS possible. I think I've said the same thing myself a few times as well.


It would be irresponsible to do so. Here are just two reasons. As The Register put it yesterday:

Much ado about IBM's mainframe monopoly



[...]

That left T3 Technologies, a company that had a reseller agreement with Platform, with no product to sell and before IBM ate Platform, it fired up its own lawyers, making complaints to the authorities here in the States and in the European Union. It goes without saying that Microsoft, that paragon of fair play in the marketplace, was a big investor in both Platform and T3 (and don't forget SCO, which is still limping along with its Linux-Unix lawsuit against Big Blue).


More information about the T3 lawsuit can be found in:



Then there's the SCO case, which is similar to the above. McBride is officially sacked now (it turns out he did not know this until he saw it on the Internet) and there is even a new McBride cartoon. Groklaw has some more updates about the company which attacked Linux using Microsoft funding. But Microsoft no longer attacks just by proxy, either. Recall those anti-Linux patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and the TomTom lawsuit, for example.

So getting back to the point, when Microsoft attacks GNU/Linux from so many directions (including SCO and patent trolls who can sue Linux with Microsoft patents) who can ever pretend that Microsoft can be ignored? Some people wishfully think that if they don't pay attention to Microsoft, then Microsoft will leave them alone.

"Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."

--Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

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