Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 13th Dec 2010 19:27 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Mono Project For the most time, I've been firmly in the largest camp when it comes to the Mono debate - the 'I don't care'-camp. With patent lawsuits being hotter than Lady Gaga right now, that changed. For good reason, so it seems; while firmly in the 'ZOMG-MICROSOFT-IS-T3H-EVILL!1!!ONE!'-camp, The-Source.com investigated the five most popular Mono applications, and the conclusion is clear: all of them implement a lot of namespaces which are not covered by Microsoft's community promise thing.
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RE: Mono is safe to use.
by michi on Tue 14th Dec 2010 12:54 UTC in reply to "Mono is safe to use."
michi
Member since:
2006-02-04

(Java situation is much worse).


Why? There is a legally binding patent grant from Sun/Oracle, that they won't sue you if you implement a compliant version of Java: http://java.sun.com/javase/6/jdk-6u21-doc-license.txt. Basically, that means that it is absolutely safe to use OpenJDK.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has only given a promise, which is not legally binding, that they won't sue anyone that implements parts of .Net. That's exactly the problem the author of the article focuses on: all widely used Mono applications use parts of .Net that are not covered by the community promise.

In addition, Oracle can probably use the exactly same patents they use to sue Google to sue the Mono project.

So how is the Java situation worse then the .Net/Mono situation?

Edited 2010-12-14 12:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Mono is safe to use.
by dylansmrjones on Tue 14th Dec 2010 13:01 in reply to "RE: Mono is safe to use."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

That promise is worthless. It protects nobody but the implementors of a fully correct implementation. The ordinary developer cannot use that promise to anything. Besides that the promise is a swizz cheese - just look at Google and tell me: What worth does that promise have? Nada, I tell you. Nada.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Mono is safe to use.
by michi on Tue 14th Dec 2010 14:02 in reply to "RE[2]: Mono is safe to use."
michi Member since:
2006-02-04

That promise is worthless. It protects nobody but the implementors of a fully correct implementation. The ordinary developer cannot use that promise to anything. Besides that the promise is a swizz cheese - just look at Google and tell me: What worth does that promise have? Nada, I tell you. Nada.


I totally disagree with you. The Java patent grant protects the OpenJDK which is under GPL + classpath exception. That means that there is an open-source implementation of Java that cannot be sued by Oracle because of patent infringement.

The same is not true for Mono: there is nothing stopping Microsoft or Oracle from suing Mono because of patent infringements. Microsoft could even sue them for implementing core .Net classes because the community promise is not legally binding.

The only reason Oracle sues Google for Android and not Novell for Mono is that Android is successful and there is some chance to get a lot of money and Mono is not successful, so it is not worth suing them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Mono is safe to use.
by JAlexoid on Tue 14th Dec 2010 14:55 in reply to "RE[2]: Mono is safe to use."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

That promise is worthless. It protects nobody but the implementors of a fully correct implementation. The ordinary developer cannot use that promise to anything. Besides that the promise is a swizz cheese - just look at Google and tell me: What worth does that promise have? Nada, I tell you. Nada.

Yeah... When you get OpenJDK's sources you are granted the source under GPL. From GPL Preamble I quote:
"Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all"

Google, unfortunately, is not covered by those licenses.

Edited 2010-12-14 14:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Mono is safe to use.
by the_trapper on Tue 14th Dec 2010 15:19 in reply to "RE: Mono is safe to use."
the_trapper Member since:
2005-07-07

Microsoft, on the other hand, has only given a promise, which is not legally binding, that they won't sue anyone that implements parts of .Net.


Ummm...the Microsoft Community Promise IS legally binding. Just because they used the word "promise" instead of contract or covenant doesn't keep it from being legally binding. I really wish people would stop repeating this nonsense when they clearly have never actually read the Community Promise.

From the Community Promise itself (what a novel idea):
http://www.microsoft.com/interop/cp/default.mspx

Q: Is this Community Promise legally binding on Microsoft and will it be available in the future to me and to others?

A: Yes, the CP is legally binding upon Microsoft. The CP is a unilateral promise from Microsoft and in these circumstances unilateral promises may be enforced against the party making such a promise. Because the CP states that the promise is irrevocable, it may not be withdrawn by Microsoft. The CP is, and will be, available to everyone now and in the future for the specifications to which it applies. As stated in the CP, the only time Microsoft can withdraw its promise against a specific person or company for a specific Covered Specification is if that person or company brings (or voluntarily participates in) a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft regarding Microsoft’s implementation of the same Covered Specification. This type of “suspension” clause is common industry practice.

Reply Parent Score: 4