Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 21st May 2004 01:17 UTC
Mono Project The tomato war between Red Hat, Novell and the developer Gnome community about Mono and its legal safety continued today. Novell's Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza replied to yesterday's editorial by Red Hat's Seth Nickell. Later, Red Hat's Havoc Pennington replied to Nat and Gnome's Andrew Sobala also threw a few (metallic) cents too. For future episodes, bookmark PlanetGnome (unverified rumors circulating on IRC claim that eggs might be used next if there is no sign of their lawyers meeting with Microsoft to try to give an end to the saga). In any case, you don't want to miss this.
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Re: Re: Network .Net Patent
by David on Sat 22nd May 2004 16:50 UTC

Novell probably figures they have about a 1 in 4 chance of getting sued and a 1 in 4 chance of losing. That means they'd have a 5% chance of getting sued and losing, which they can handle. But things are different for J. Random Hacker. Even if Novell or someone were to step in along the way, just the initial legal fees before that happens could be ruinous.

Yes, that is certainly true. An Adobe lawyer threatened the authot of KIllustrator some time ago, and the application had to be renamed because of its similarity, name-wise, to Adobe Illustrator. Just being able to defend was financially crippling.

However, in the grand scheme of things, if open source/free software becomes much more widely used then J. Hacker is going to get sued by someone. In a way Miguel is right (although the way he has tried to explain this away has been a lot less than helpful), because we can't just run and hide when that happens. We need to face this and be able to defend it, because it will happen.

That's what Seth means by risk analysis. That's why a lot of people are just fine with Mono existing, even being used for apps; but don't want it in the core of Gnome.

Certainly, Mono being in the core of Gnome is an entirely different ball-game, but has anyone actually talked about Mono being in the core of Gnome? If Gnome was built around Mono (or in the core), hypothetically speaking, as a community you may be in a better position to defend whatever gets thrown at you. However, there are a number of large barriers to Mono being used in the Gnome core, and potentially, it may never happen.