Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 6th Oct 2008 10:37 UTC, submitted by John Mills
Mono Project The Mono project has released Mono 2.0. As most of you will know, Mono is an open-source implementation of Microsoft's .NET framework for Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, and other operating systems. The 2.0 release comes packed with new features, the main ones being the compiler upgrade to C# 3.0 with support for LINQ, as well as the inclusion of ADO.NET 2.0, ASP.NET 2.0 and System.Windows.Forms 2.0. The release notes detail all the changes and new features.
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A properly packaged distro, even if it comes with Mono and dependent applications, just uninstall the packages... it's not going to break Gnome... ever. The Gnome team has time and time again made this perfectly clear. No core Gnome component uses Mono. Mono is supported as a development platform if a developer so chooses. There may be some questions about the legality of SOME pieces of Mono, but there are NO questions about the legal status of the Gnome code. There is also no question about the legal status of the C# language. There is no rational reason to stop using either one. How can Microsoft spread patent FUD about either one of these technologies? C# is a good language. Java is a good language. Writing a compiler or runtime engine for either of these languages is most certainly legal. The only things that might not be legal (and I strongly emphasize might) are some of the libraries that Mono provides... if you wonder about the legal status of the winforms, don't use them; it's as simple as that. There are lots of applications out there that are questionably legal... Sco was claiming that the Linux kernel contained such questionable code, does that mean no one should use Linux, even though Sco never had a leg to stand on in the court room? What makes anyone think that by not using these technologies, you'll be any safer from patent questions/legal actions? At any point ANY technology, far more core to the open source software and free software movements (or outside of software entirely even) could come into question.

It is all aquestion of credibility. Credibility in the mind of a potential new user of Linux.

Said potential new Linux user looks at a Gnome-based distribution, and notes the presence of F-Spot, Banshee, Beagle and Tomboy notes, and the corresponding Mono libraries in support ... and (knowing that .NET is a Microsoft patent encumbered development framework), would think ... "hmmmmm, there could be something to Microsoft's bluster about Linux users needing to have a license from MS after all".

Said potential new Linux user looks at a KDE-based distribution, and notes the complete absence of anything resembling Microsoft technology, and would conclude "hmmmmm, there clearly isn't anything at all to Microsoft's bluster about Linux users needing to have a license from MS after all".

It doesn't help that you can remove software ... the suspect software was still included in the distribution, and hence the distribution can still be threatened to be required to have a recall.

When patents are involved, the technology just has to look similar. It doesn't have to be a copy of the source code for there to be a potential patent infringement.

SCO had no patents, and hence no patent claim against Linux. SCO alleged that its UNIX source code had been copied into the Linux kernel.

That was clearly a bogus claim from the get go. Why on earth would a free software Linux kernel developer plagiarise copyrighted UNIX code in plain sight of the whole world?

SCO tried early on to present some disguised examples of copied code. The disguise was in the form of a font substitution. Someone recognised the font, and before the day was out had restored the correct original font, recognised the code, and pointed out that that was BSD code that was never used in any Linux kernel anyway.

SCO's copyright-based threats against Linux were simply not at all credible.

A patent-based threat is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Edited 2008-10-07 04:59 UTC

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