Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th May 2009 22:32 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Mono Project If there is one technology in the Linux world that ruffles feathers whenever it's mentioned, it's Mono, the open source .Net clone. Since .Net comes out of Microsoft, and has some patents encircling it, it is said to be a legal nightmare. Supposedly, you can obtain a "royalty-free, reasonable and non-discriminatory" license from Microsoft regarding the patents surrounding Mono. iTWire decided to look at just how easy (or hard) it is to get such a license. Turns out it's kind of hard.
Thread beginning with comment 366417
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Many enemies and few friends.
by Slambert666 on Mon 1st Jun 2009 06:03 UTC
Slambert666
Member since:
2008-10-30

Mono has many enemies:

The enemies from the Java camp that hate everything dotNET.

The enemies from the anti Microsoft camp that hate everything that originated at Microsoft.

The enemies from the pro Microsoft camp that wants to keep programmers on Windows.

The enemies from the anti Novell camp that probably work for Red Hat or Canoical?

The enemies from the KDE camp that hates everything Gnome and especially Miguel.

The enemies from the C and C++ camp that hates everything with a VM and are not afraid to say so.

The enemies from the "Patent Lobby" that hates the fact that patents are useless and want to apply patents to Mono just to begin somewhere when unwinding the FOSS community.

And a few friends:
Programmers that recognize the value that Mono brings to the FOSS desktop.

Users that like the high quality programs that the Mono programmers are producing.

Reply Score: 3

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Mono has many enemies:

The enemies from the KDE camp that hates everything Gnome and especially Miguel.


Hah, more like a faction of the Gnome camp that doesn't want Mono dependency introduced to core Gnome. I don't think KDE camp really minds the Gnome camp - Gnome is actually a good "lightning rod" that stays stable & usable when KDE "experiments" a bit. Gnome making Mono a hard dependency would actually be a selling point for KDE, so I don't see why the KDE camp would "hate" it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

setec_astronomy Member since:
2007-11-17

The enemies from the Java camp that hate everything dotNET.
Interesting point, Java. When Sun (re)licensed Java under the terms of the GPLv2 + Classpath exception, they essentially granted a RAND-Z patent license for all relevant patents to Java. The moment MS grants a similar patent grant/license, lots of "hate" from the "camps" you enumerated in your post will more or less evaporate

The enemies from the anti Microsoft camp that hate everything that originated at Microsoft.

Can't argue with that. But then there is also the "don't bother me with Microsoft" camp which just tries to stay clear from technology originating at Redmond. and frankly they don't see the point why we should base let's say GNOME on a controversial technology which still needs some sorting in the legal department. Plus, as long as Microsoft fails to address what was so special about the vfat implementation in the linux kernel used by TomTom, I would say that even the linux haters may have a point here.

The enemies from the pro Microsoft camp that wants to keep programmers on Windows.

Interestingly, I had not thought about this group, because frankly, most .Net programmers I know are quite interested in targetting for example Mac OSX via Mono, but then I may know a different segment of programmers than you do.

The enemies from the anti Novell camp that probably work for Red Hat or Canoical?

Now that you mention it, I never received any money from RedHat or Canonical. Hm ...

The enemies from the KDE camp that hates everything Gnome and especially Miguel.
Interesting point, again. The Qyoto/Kimono bindings for Qt4 and KDE respectively allow folks to write applications for the KDE desktop in C#, so some developers (richard dale for example) are not infected with hate, hate, hate. Do I oppose the creation of these bindings? No, as I (and I'm wearing my admin-with-apx.-33%-GNOME-users hat and not my KDE user hat here) am not opposed to the respective GNOME/Gtk bindings. But I would advise strongly against building new and important infrastructure / applications (e.g. everything aimed at levels above KDE playground) using these language bindings as long as the ambiguity wrt the license is not sorted out.

The enemies from the C and C++ camp that hates everything with a VM and are not afraid to say so.

Skip the "everything". Interpreted languages have their applications, so have compiled and low level languages. Python/PyQt for prototyping and performance uncritical stuff and C++ + Qt make for a very nice and robust development framework, thank you very much. And for the Gtk folks it seems that Vala captures alot of the syntactical advantages from C# while translating with minimum overhead into C. Sounds like reasonable alternatives to yet another interpreted/jit compiled framework to me.

The enemies from the "Patent Lobby" that hates the fact that patents are useless and want to apply patents to Mono just to begin somewhere when unwinding the FOSS community.

Sounds strange, but I actually agree here with you because the legal ambiguity around the patent situation is harming mono. The problem is, that as long as there is no legally binding patent license from Microsoft which is compatible with the license of the c# toolchain and the runtime library, mono faces the problems that everybody else in the FOSS community faces (e.g. the sudden attack by a patent troll or via a proxy) while additionally being the perpetual flamewar lightning rod it is. The general patent situation is difficult to remedy, agreed, but finally addressing the legal ambiguity of the Mono project as demanded in the article is probably something the Mono devs should place on their agenda. It's not like they haven't been asked to clarify this matters once and for all in the past, you know.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Slambert666 Member since:
2008-10-30

"The enemies from the Java camp that hate everything dotNET.
Interesting point, Java. When Sun (re)licensed Java under the terms of the GPLv2 + Classpath exception, they essentially granted a RAND-Z patent license for all relevant patents to Java. The moment MS grants a similar patent grant/license, lots of "hate" from the "camps" you enumerated in your post will more or less evaporate "

Dude, you are a patent apologist.

There are no good software patents and it does not matter who has them and what they do with them. Trying to differentiate between good and bad patents lends credibility to the software patent system, and it does not deserve that.

Singling out Mono as a "special" target for "patent infringement" just shows irrational bias... Why not OpenGL or Skinning (for gods sake)...

Patent: US Patent 7451399
Assignee: Microsoft (Redmond, WA)
Abstract: Methods and systems for creating and rendering skins are described. In one described embodiment, a skin is defined using at least one skin definition that defines the skin in a hierarchical tag-based language.

Well KDE does that, and it is a part of the core, so now you will stop using KDE?

Reply Parent Score: 1