Linked by David Adams on Fri 12th Jun 2009 14:55 UTC, submitted by google_ninja
Mono Project A Mono developer responds to a request for "a calm presentation of why Mono is desirable, why it is not a threat, and why it should be included in Ubuntu by default" answering the three questions individually, then attempting to address general anti-Mono sentiment.
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RE[4]: The sad thing...
by monodeldiablo on Wed 17th Jun 2009 03:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The sad thing..."
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Spurious argument. If ffmpeg is affected with a patent attack for a proprietary media format, all those other codecs supporting it are in the kitty as well.

Not really a spurious argument, unless someone holds a patent on all media now. There are a few applications that rely on ffmpeg, but it does not define an entire ecosystem of software. Besides, it would take a lot of codec patent holders acting at once to torpedo media on alternative platforms. There are a lot of formats out there, and new ones emerging every week. The world is larger than ffmpeg.

You tell me how usefull a GNU/Linux desktop is without support for proprietary formats. If codecs would be impossible to get into the distro's (legal or illegal), no one except RMS would use desktop GNU/Linux.

This is a prime example of assuming the rest of the world is just like you. My desktop is pretty "usefull" without ffmpeg or flash, but then again, I do a lot of software development and reading. My co-workers (and most people who work a lot) have a similar lack of need for proprietary media codecs.

How many fundamental GUI patents are infringed? How many shady patents rest on VM framworks in general, including Java? Our beloved Linux kernel is said to be infinging 235 patents. Why do we build our FOSS desktop on quicksand?

The patents you're talking about have loads of prior art and are widely acknowledged to pose very little threat to FOSS. The "235 patents" claim was an idiotic move by Balmer, since he then refused to name the patents in question (which puts him on difficult legal footing if MS ever tried to sue).

Mono is different, though, in that Microsoft more than likely does have decent claims on the technology that they developed.

More fundamental than all the patent nonsense, though, is the fact that going with Mono means hitching your wagon to a platform developed and controlled by a private entity with no stake in helping (and, indeed, a lot to gain by hurting) FOSS. Unless the Mono team starts employing a lot more people, they're going to be forced to play a reactionary role, something independent frameworks are not required to do.

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