Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Mar 2008 23:28 UTC, submitted by irbis
Mono Project "Does GNOME co-founder Miguel de Icaza's backflip over the Novell-Microsoft deal a few days ago mean that he has finally been convinced that he is on a one-way path to nowhere? Has he realised that his own project, Mono, is actually putting GNOME on a development track that can leave it open to patent claims one day? And has he realised that creating Moonlight, a clone of Microsoft's Silverlight, (with which the company hopes to trump Adobe's Flash) is not going to advance the cause of free software one iota?"
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Jesus wept
by lindkvis on Wed 12th Mar 2008 10:10 UTC
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If we are to worry so much about possible patents in Mono that we ignore this very good software development platform, we have lots of other things to remove. To name a couple:

* We need to remove FAT32 support. Microsoft HAS been granted patents covering this file system. With it goes support for camera memory cards and using USB keys interchangeably between Linux and Windows.
* We need to remove Samba/CIFS. Microsoft has patents here which they may sue about in the future.

The only reason people aren't screaming as loudly about these as Mono, is that these two projects are utterly essential and it would really ruin the experience if they are taken away.

The sad fact is that many Linux projects infringe on some patents, but the good news is that many of these patents will never be sued over.

a) Because the patent holder knows the patents wouldn't hold up in court, and
b) Because the patent holders are bound to infringe on patents held by the likes of IBM and Red Hat.

It is a shame Novell signed a patent covenant that sort of legitimised Microsoft's over the top claims, but this does not mean that Mono is useless.

The parts of Mono that is needed to create a superb GNOME development platform are standardised through ECMA (the core) or has no relation with Microsoft (ie. gtk#) whatsoever.

The chances of running into any trouble by using the c#, the mono core and gtk# or Qt# to create GNOME/KDE applications is so small it isn't a risk worth worrying about.

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