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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RE: Destructive
by kaiwai on Wed 12th Mar 2008 01:18 UTC in reply to "Destructive"
Member since:

I find the article very destructive.

Miguel de Icaza and his team have built an amazing free (as in freedom) .NET implementation, and beyond that: They are creating a new open ecosystem around .NET (e.g. Gtk#, MonoDevelop and all their stuff).

Mono is not about politics, it is about technology.

But one can't avoid the inevitable face off when it comes to Microsoft and the patents which exist on the technologies in Mono. I therefore find it funny every-time people like me raise perfectly valid questions we have the usual 'froth froth' response by those in the cheap-seats.

Yes, Mono is a great piece of technology, yes, .NET is a great piece of design and engineering, but that is not the question being asked. The question is whether Microsoft is going to threaten Mono in the future; until we have an unequivocal yes or no, as with the case of Sun and Java, in respects to open-source, how can one honestly dedicate time and resources to something with an uncertain legal future.

I find it funny when people like me raise these questions, the only response I've received so far on this site is 'froth froth, you hate Microsoft, froth froth' - yeap, that is the level of maturity I see on this site when it comes to discussing the legal implications of creating a .NET compatible framework.

Reply Parent Score: 16

RE[2]: Destructive
by google_ninja on Wed 12th Mar 2008 02:34 in reply to "RE: Destructive"
google_ninja Member since:

It is because there is next to no chance of it happening.

MS is partnering with Novell with a bunch of stuff atm, so as things stand now there isn't much chance of them sueing. And the .net team has been very pro mono since the beginning, and they actually do stuff to help out (like giving mono their test cases) It isn't right to bank on that, but if they do sue, who cares? Noone is advocating winforms development on linux, winforms is there for compatibility with windows apps. XSP on linux is nice, but it is mostly there to be able to run apps without being tied to windows server and IIS. The CLR, C#, GTK#, and Cocoa# are all open standards, and even if MS ends up not playing nice with ECMA, the mono guys can just continue with what they have, and take it in a different direction.

I'm sure you've heard it before, but that is basically it. Most people take something being an open standard published by a reputable standards board to be a uniquivical answer to the question. Not only that, but it has been years now, and instead of hearing rumblings of dissent coming from redmond, we are seeing more and more cooperation, and framework bits being opensourced. If I were to be all like, "ZOMG, TEH SKY IS FALLING!!" about kde going with webkit, or people distributing CUPS because the technologies are now coming out of Apple, you would probably label me as anti-apple, and rightly so. dont get me wrong, I don't think you are lying when you are saying you are concerned about this, but I do think the reason you are is because of FUD that is being spread about it by people who do lie.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Destructive
by monodeldiablo on Wed 12th Mar 2008 03:35 in reply to "RE[2]: Destructive"
monodeldiablo Member since:

"Microsoft probably won't sue" is hardly a compelling reason to start any project, especially when a number of other outstanding solutions already exist in the FOSS space and could use the extra manpower. If the Mono team was really out to help folks and promote good technology, they'd bring the strengths of the CLR to the open source community.

Parrot needs the kind of design, coding, and testing that Novell and the Mono team could bring to the table.

Vala could use serious manpower in writing interfaces and optimizing the metacompiler.

The GTK team would love help restructuring their libraries and squashing performance bugs.

Helping in any one of these areas would have far-reaching, cross-platform benefits for massive segments of OSS. Instead, the Mono folks chose to write a VM from scratch and play perpetual catch-up to Microsoft ever-changing language extensions (just ask any other vendor how easy and fun it is to ride the Microsoft protocol bronco without getting bucked off). And for what? Well, let's run down a list of Mono's "strengths":

Mono allows unencumbered, cross-platform interoperability... so long as "interoperability" is defined in such a way as to exclude GUIs, database access, and web development.

Well OK, so it's not so great at real, usable interoperability, but hey, if you target Mono, your code will at least run unmodified on Windows... right? As it turns out, it's taken significant porting effort to get Banshee and Beagle to run on Windows (and even then, they're separate forks from the Linux codebase).

The syntax, though, is the fallback argument. C# is beautiful, concise, fun to program in. It's also available for Vala (without the accompanying memory bloat and speed limitations of Mono) and even Parrot.

Yes, there's a lot of people out there whinging about the Novell-Microsoft deal. Sure, there are loads of conspiracy theories and plenty of high-pitched, uninformed FUD-slinging. But once you actually sit down and examine the facts, it's even more clear that Mono is the software equivalent of the Concorde: a technologically sexy novelty, but a total failure for its stated goals.

Reply Parent Score: 12

RE[3]: Destructive
by gilboa on Wed 12th Mar 2008 06:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Destructive"
gilboa Member since:

Should I point the battle between RAMBUS and JEDEC members? [1]
Readers digest: RAMBUS sat at the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) sessions surrounding SDRAM and DDR standards, while in-fact, they were attempting to patent key technologies that were discussed by JEDEC members that were considered common knowledge.
Shortly after RAMBUS retired from JEDEC and started suing JEDEC members for "patent infringement".

Somehow I won't be shocked if MS pulls a "RAMBUS" on mono/silverlight users/developers.

- Gilboa

Reply Parent Score: 3

v RE[2]: Destructive
by tomcat on Wed 12th Mar 2008 02:45 in reply to "RE: Destructive"
RE[3]: Destructive
by monodeldiablo on Wed 12th Mar 2008 03:55 in reply to "RE[2]: Destructive"
monodeldiablo Member since:

This issue is all about technology licensing, not politics. The only ones who are going to care about the politics are the Kool-Aid drinkers such as Stallman, who consider commercial licensing to be anathema.

For a platform build on FOSS, it is.

P.S. Blanket discounting of opposing opinions is childish and intellectually disingenuous.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Destructive
by miguel on Wed 12th Mar 2008 06:20 in reply to "RE: Destructive"
miguel Member since:

I find it funny when people like me raise these questions, the only response I've received so far on this site is 'froth froth, you hate Microsoft, froth froth' - yeap, that is the level of maturity I see on this site when it comes to discussing the legal implications of creating a .NET compatible framework.

That sounds like a strawman, because it has never been a problem of portraying someone as being a zealot for raising valid questions.

The issue has always been that people raise the same issues that have been beaten to death for years. Extensive blog postings and answers have been posted to countless forums and my own blog that go into the details.

I pointed this out on that thread on Usenet, the piece that Sam selectively chose to ignore in the same section of my reply (it would have ruined his argument had he done so).


Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Destructive
by crystall on Wed 12th Mar 2008 07:03 in reply to "RE: Destructive"
crystall Member since:

But one can't avoid the inevitable face off when it comes to Microsoft and the patents which exist on the technologies in Mono.

Since everybody seems so worried about patents, can you point out exactly which 'technologies' present in Mono can be subject to those patents? For example there is not a single chance in hell Microsoft can use part of their patents portfolio against Mono VM. The Mono VM is pretty much run-of-the-mill stuff, there's lots and lots of prior art on pretty much every aspect of the VM, no patent on those technologies would stand for more than 5 minutes in a court.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Destructive
by lindkvis on Wed 12th Mar 2008 10:13 in reply to "RE: Destructive"
lindkvis Member since:

Can you please name ONE Microsoft patent that you would infringe upon by creating a GNOME application with Mono and GTK#?

Reply Parent Score: 2