A large part of some people’s anti-Mono reasoning (not all of it mind you) seems to be “Mono helps Microsoft, therefore Mono is bad.”
WTF!? I don’t really care if it helps Microsoft or not! It helps me by helping Ubuntu by running some really great applications. Microsoft isn’t really even part of my computing experience (except when I develop web sites that have to support IE6 & 7). I’m only worried about how Mono affects Linux, and for me its had a huge positive impact.
If you’re not a Mono fan because of patent issues, I can completely understand.
If you’re not a Mono fan because you’re an anti-Microsoft zealot who sees the software world as either pro- or anti-Microsoft, then I have no patience for you. This isn’t a war.
There is an excelent post on why it is not by any means a good idea (to say the least) to rely on mono or push it as default in the most successful desktop linux distro and try to do the same in the biggest community-driven distro:
The last part summarizes it, but all the post examine strategical convertations taken by microsofft executives before deciding to standarize .net and allowing “free” implementations:
“What is Mono doing?
We know Mono must help Microsoft. Microsoft would not have allowed for the ECMA standardization if they did not come to the same conclusion.
Here are some ways Mono helps Microsoft:
* Spreads Microsoft standards
* Spreads Microsoft mindshare
* Increases FLOSS dependency on Microsoft
* Good PR value for Microsoft
* Mono apologists are often obliged to defend Microsoft
* Mono evangelists are often obliged to be Microsoft evangelists
* Divides, distracts and delays the community
* Makes it easier for FLOSS developers to develop on Windows
* Provides some nice FLOSS applications for Windows
* Provides developer tools
* Helps in Microsoft’s fight against Flash
* Helps in Microsoft’s fight against Java
* Decreases effort in general for non-Microsoft tools
Think on that. When a Mono developer stands on stage with a huge slide that says:
”Moonlight is an Open Source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight technology … and it is awesome”
They are evangelizing Microsoft. They are promoting Microsoft. They are increasing Microsoft’s mindshare. That is good PR for Microsoft. Microsoft actually pays some people money to do that! That is actually a career for some people!
Now, here are some ways Mono helps Linux that are unique to Linux (i.e. not covered in the above list):
* Provides partial compatibility with some Microsoft offerings
There are almost no unique benefits to Linux from Mono. Microsoft enjoys almost every benefit that Linux does from the Mono project, as well as some unique ones. I think it is quite clear that Mono benefits Microsoft more than Linux.
A difficult question
Consider this: Say that Microsoft released .NET for Linux in the same manner they did for Windows. Do you think that it would enjoy the same adoptation, enthusiasm and support that Mono enjoys?
If you answer is not “Yes. Absolutely”, then you are acknowledging that ideals and ethics do matter. Quit pretending like people that have them are some sort of embarassment holding Linux back.
That is the problem with a purely “pragmatic” approach. That is the problem with preaching that “users just want something that works”.
An easier question
And now, I think we can return to zekopeko’s original thesis: Microsoft’s position is slowly being eaten away in part by Mono.
I reject that. I do think that Microsoft’s position is slowly being eaten away; but I do not think Mono is playing a significant role there. I think that Mono helps Microsoft at least as much, if not more than it helps FLOSS. So, it can not “eat away” at Microsoft’s position, because it is in fact bolstering Microsoft’s position.
So I ask you, should the community support something that harms it?”
By the way, ¿Why not do the mono fans launch their own monobuntu distro and instead try to shove their preferred development language into everyone else’s throats strongly pushing for by-default inclusion in the most popular and powerful community distros? Hey, if your preferred technology is so damn “superior” people will migrate in scores to it….
I guess you wanted Neo’s answer but I’m your host, so I’ll reply anyway :-). From what I heard, there are many “gotchas” in that text, Novell-only language being the most prominent. Of course, if Novell-only language is removed, I think it’s an improvement, but I don’t know to what extent. Neither of us are lawyers so it’s not very useful for us to discuss it. If the SFLC says it’s fine, then I’ll believe it. I think the SFLC is widely recognized as a reputable, unbiased organization (btw I’m curious as to whether your perception of the SFLC matches mine).
I hate this shallow nesting too, but I couldn’t find the option to increase nesting level. Any hints? (keep in mind I don’t admin my own wordpress install)
I don’t know whether you’re using a plug-in to provide nesting (I think they added it to upstream WP just as I installed an extension to handle it), but it seems native support is via a tick-box and drop-down in Settings/Discussion, and the add-on i use is via Settings/WP Thread Comment/”Edit maximum nest level”
What was your open question? What was the answer? Reading the 2 linked posts doesn’t make it clear. Why is it a bad thing for them to stick it on Ubuntu default installation media since it saves space?
The anti-Mono campaign is becoming much harder to follow now that the size and patent issues have started being adequately addressed.
My question was whether this tendency of splitting components covered by the CP from components not covered by it would result in Banshee and F-Spot getting rid of their dependency on System.Data (which is not part of the ECMA spec), thereby (with the assumption that the CP is worth something), becoming safer to rely on.
The answer is pretty clear if you follow the link.
Thanks for the clarification! I didn’t realize Moonlight was prohibited in Fedora as both Debian and Ubuntu include it (and indeed I’ve installed it on both platforms).
Is the fear that Microsoft will sue RedHat, Debian, Ubuntu, et al for patent infringement if they include Moonlight (whereas Novell is exempt due to their agreement with Microsoft)? Is Silverlight patented or is the fear over submarine patents?
My personal feelings have been and always will be to live in willful ignorance of software patents. I’ve been using ffmpeg based media players for years! Even while on proprietary platforms ironically.
I can understand though why a company like RedHat can’t take the same approach. Stockholders probably frown on such behavior. Hopefully software patents will be largely overturned by the courts or congress here in the US, and we can put this whole mess behind us!
Thanks again for the clarification. I feel like we have the same beliefs about software patents but just differ on implementation details. ;-)
Is the fear that Microsoft will sue RedHat, Debian, Ubuntu, et al for patent infringement if they include Moonlight (whereas Novell is exempt due to their agreement with Microsoft)?
Many different things could happen. In fact, I don’t think Debian or Ubuntu will be sued, and I doubt Red Hat will. If you want to know what I am afraid of, I wrote a post explaining it not long ago. But it’s just speculation.
The thing is, we have this risk, which is significantly higher than the risk over patents we’re usually exposed to, and it’s completely gratuitous. If we wanted a language with this and that feature, and none existed, we could have designed it ourselves. Borrowing it from a proclaimed enemy of free software comes at an obvious price.
The fact that Novell benefits from patent protection, being the same ones who are developing Mono, doesn’t help at all. Even if they promise they will avoid patents, they have a vested interest in patent infringement, which makes it hard to trust them.
My personal feelings have been and always will be to live in willful ignorance of software patents. I’ve been using ffmpeg based media players for years!
I too use an ffmpeg-based player (mplayer), because unfortunately I’m stuck with the fact that most videos are only available in this format. I don’t think we should live in fear of patents, but we have to acknowledge they exist, and what we’re doing here is intentionally walking into a known trap.
I can understand though why a company like RedHat can’t take the same approach. Stockholders probably frown on such behavior.
That’s precisely my point (check the link I pasted).
Hopefully software patents will be largely overturned by the courts or congress here in the US, and we can put this whole mess behind us!
I wish this were true, but I’m not so optimistic. In fact, there are repeated attempts to expand software patents to Europe and India.
I feel like we have the same beliefs about software patents but just differ on implementation details. ;-)
Probably so. It’s nice to see someone disagree with me respectfully for a change. Have a nice day.