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Richard Stallman Says No To Mono 1008

Posted by timothy
from the therefore-not-a-monomaniac dept.
twitter writes "There's been a lot of fuss about mono lately. After SCO and MS suing over FAT patents, you would think avoiding anything MS would be a matter of common sense. RMS now steps into the fray to warn against a serious mistake: 'Debian's decision to include Mono in the default installation, for the sake of Tomboy which is an application written in C#, leads the community in a risky direction. It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use. .... This is not to say that implementing C# is a bad thing. ... [writing and using applications in mono] is taking a gratuitous risk.'" Update: 06/27 20:22 GMT by T : Read on below for one Mono-eschewing attempt at getting the (excellent) Tomboy's functionality, via a similar program called Gnote. Update: 06/27 21:07 GMT by T: On the other side of the coin, reader im_thatoneguy writes "Jo Shields, a Mono Developer, has published an article on 'Why Mono Doesn't Suck,' why it is not a threat to FOSS, why it is desirable to developers and why it should be included in Ubuntu by default."
LastGuyonEarth writes "Gnote was started on April 2009 by Gnome developer Hubert Figuiere, known also for his work on Abiword. The goal of Gnote is to provide a Free Software implementation of Tomboy that doesn't rely on Mono. The ultimate goal is to replace Tomboy in an effort to make Gnome and GNU/Linux distributions non-dependant on Novell's implementation of Microsoft's .NET platform. For our testing purposes, I installed Gnote 0.5.1 on Ubuntu Jaunty through a personal PPA, but I would love to see it officially packaged in the near future."
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Richard Stallman Says No To Mono

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  • Re:Yes to Mono! (Score:4, Informative)

    by IRWolfie- (1148617) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @02:57PM (#28496469)
    but as stallman was saying: there is still the risk if people starting writing new apps in C# that there will be a big dependency on it which could be crippling if removed a time later
  • Re:contradiction (Score:5, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @02:58PM (#28496471)

    what amazes me is that RMS is saying at the same time that it is good to have a C# implementation, but warns against writing apps in it...

    Except that's not what he said. He said it's good to have an implementation but bad to include that implementation and applications that reply upon it in GnuLinux distros and components. It's akin to saying that it is good to have support for FAT filesystems in Linux, but stupid to include a FAT partition by default when installing Linux along with applications that only work on FAT.

    ... if not outright imbecile, that's at least a very stupid position

    Not everything you don't comprehend is stupid. Sometimes, you're just a little bit stupid instead, and so misinterpret the words of others in stupid ways.

  • Re:Confused (Score:5, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:04PM (#28496545)

    Mono is a cleanroom implementation of the CLR as specified by EMCA and .Net libraries, right? What exactly do you risk by using it?

    Submarine patents for one. Investment of effort into technologies where MS can break compatibility for two. Buying into standards MS has too much influence on is simply asking for them to use that influence to hurt you at a later date. After the 20th or 30th such instance you'd think people would learn to be a little less shortsighted.

  • Re:Confused (Score:5, Informative)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:05PM (#28496549)

    Being owned in court by Microsoft due to patent infringement.

    Or more likely, losing customers because mid development cycle Microsoft starts threatening to sue companies using Mono, as it infringes their patents.

    They've rattled this sabre before.

  • by weav (158099) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:08PM (#28496581)

    Ask Spyglass, the company from which MS "licensed" what became MSIE, whether they felt raped when MS started giving away MSIE thus rendering the royalties to Spyglass $0.00 (plus the minumum quarterly fee)...

    Maybe as a customer you haven't had anything to rape you for aside from license fees for products. If you were a developer / business partner, I suspect you would say differently.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:08PM (#28496583)

    Stallman also says no to web browsing.

    No he doesn't. As the linked post says, he doesn't browse the web for PERSONAL REASONS. That's a completely different thing than advocating against using software that is patent bait.

  • by coryking (104614) * on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:08PM (#28496585) Homepage Journal

    Why GNU su does not support the wheel group (by Richard Stallman)

    Sometimes a few of the users try to hold total power over all the rest. For example, in 1984, a few users at the MIT AI lab decided to seize power by changing the operator password on the Twenex system and keep- ing it secret from everyone else. (I was able to thwart this coup and give power back to the users by patching the kernel, but I wouldn't know how to do that in Unix.)

    However, occasionally the rulers do tell someone. Under the usual su mechanism, once someone learns the root password who sympathizes with the ordinary users, he can tell the rest. The "wheel group" feature would make this impossible, and thus cement the power of the rulers.

    I'm on the side of the masses, not that of the rulers. If you are used to supporting the bosses and sysadmins in whatever they do, you might find this idea strange at first.

    su manpage - GNU Shell Utilities [freebsd.org]

  • Love him or hate him, but at least listen to what he is actually saying.

    1. He isn't saying that he doesn't "like" C#
    2. He isn't saying that he is "against" C#
    3. He isn't saying that Portable.NET is "better" than Mono
    4. He isn't saying that "just because" it's .NET, it must be teh 3vil

    All he is saying is that Microsoft has already publicly claimed [cnn.com] that Linux violates a couple hundred MS patents. Recently, Microsoft invoked the Linux angle in a patent suit [cnet.com] it filed against Tom Tom.

    Therefore, he says, it should be obvious to all that MS intends to enforce its patents. So, the more one uses software based on MS technologies, the more likely it is that you may be impacted by a suit in the future. He calls this a "gratuitous" risk.

    Or, in his words:

    The problem is not in the C# implementations, but rather in Tomboy and other applications written in C#. If we lose the use of C#, we will lose them too. That doesn't make them unethical, but it means that writing them and using them is taking a gratuitous risk.

  • Re:MS not M$ (Score:4, Informative)

    by timothy (36799) Works for Slashdot on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:11PM (#28496617) Homepage Journal

    You're right.

    I didn't catch that in the original submission; thanks for seeing it.

    timothy

  • by aztektum (170569) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:11PM (#28496627)

    Rape doesn't simply mean forced sexual intercourse. As a verb... well...

    Verb

    Infinitive
    to rape

    Third person singular
    rapes

    Simple past
    raped

    Past participle
    raped

    Present participle
    raping

    to rape (third-person singular simple present rapes, present participle raping, simple past and past participle raped)

          1. To force sexual intercourse or other sexual activity upon another person, without their consent.
          2. To abuse an object in an extreme manner.

                        The loggers raped the virgin forest

          3. (slang) To dominate in a contest.

                        My experienced opponent will rape me at chess.

    I'd say they have abused their dominance in the tech world to the extreme more than once.

  • by kripkenstein (913150) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:12PM (#28496633) Homepage
    As he explained, a C# implementation is useful in that it lets you run C# code that already exists, on non-Windows OSes. That is a good thing, and that is why he says he has no problem with the implementations. But, he says, writing our own apps in C# is a bad idea.

    Feel free to disagree with him, but I thought the distinction between the C# implementation and the act of writing apps in C# makes a lot of sense.
  • Not true. (Score:4, Informative)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:13PM (#28496645) Homepage

    > "Debian's decision to include Mono in the default installation..."

    Mono is not included in the Debian "default installation". It is merely pulled in by one of the several "tasks" that the user may (or may not) choose to select. The Debian "default installation" -- all pacakges of "standard" or higher priority -- does not even include X.

  • by Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:21PM (#28496699)
    I disagree. Its both business and personal. You have to succeed, but as Google (at least originally) noted, you have to do it while 'not being evil'. Ballmer and co. are hurting the industry.
  • For *Tomboy*? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Grendel Drago (41496) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:28PM (#28496779) Homepage

    Oh, hell. Isn't anyone concerned that this is all for Tomboy, an app which is frequently so sluggish as to be completely unusable? Remind me why we're not all simply using Gnote?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:35PM (#28496849)

    ..Dead Borlander's society, violating California's predatory hiring laws, violating federal laws on multiple occasions, committing perjury in federal court, signing contracts with (Sun,STAC,Novell,IBM) and then stealing the technology, forcing them to sue, then settling out of court at the last moment, wilfully breaking DRDOS, wilfully breaking numerous free and open protocols via embrace, extend, extinguish.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:37PM (#28496867)
    C is an international standard and isn't owned by any company, nor is it or its standard library covered by patents.
  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:40PM (#28496907) Homepage

    Try to switch from MS to anything else. Open source, half open source, closed source. That will be the time when you understand what ''rape'' is.

    You know, mafia types are cool and friendly people until you do something bothering their business.

    My attitude against Mono is something really different. If you want to use MS technology, fine, use it... Just don't fool yourself with half ass clones of it. What is the latest and greatest server from MS? Windows Server 2008? OK, buy it, install .NET 3.5, Visual Studio and have fun. Just don't be fooled by MS or their trojans since the open source planet who actually knows what open source philosophy about it laughs at you.

  • by Sique (173459) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:40PM (#28496915) Homepage

    No, Richard Stallman was always very concerned with NOT violating patents. For instance gzip was developed especially to avoid a patent clash over compress, the commercial compression utility shipped with UNIX.

  • by xoluxo (1541081) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:42PM (#28496931)

    Richard Stallman over the years has made it his goal to encourage and promote the creation of free software alternatives of commercial products, patented or not.

    RMS decided to clone Unix when he started his GNU project. This was at a time when ATT might have hold patents on the technology:

    http://www.gnu.org/gnu/manifesto.html [gnu.org]

    Microsoft has been vocal about their patent portfolio, but the danger of patents extends beyond anyone that is vocal.

    As we saw with SCO, a company that is desperate for revenue will start taping into whatever they have at their disposal. SCO lost market share and tried to capitalize on the Unix IP.

    The same can easily happen to any software company today that owns patents and finds itself in financial trouble. They will either try to license their patents or sell the patents for a third party to buy.

    SGI was in such situation in 2002/2003 when they sold their OpenGL patent portfolio to Microsoft which now owns the OpenGL patents.

    Smaller companies go out of business constantly and sell their patents as a last resort or as part of the bankruptcy proceedings (Chapter 12) that force a company to sell their assets to pay their debt.

    Today the FSF is requesting clones for a number of technologies as can be seen here:

    http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority.html [fsf.org]

    As the FSF becomes more irrelevant, their list of tasks becomes more irrelevant as well. Most of the work is now driven by external communities and there has not been a need for RMS to push for free implementations of key pieces of software as he did in the past.

    Or they sponsor projects like GNUstep that would violate Apple/Nextstep patents as much as Mono would violate Microsoft patents. The only difference being that Apple is more litigious than Microsoft. It is part of their culture.

  • by osu-neko (2604) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:42PM (#28496939)

    Daemon simply means demon in mythology so I would bet in his eyes the term is interchangeable, it is in mine.

    Um, no, this is pretty much the exact opposite of the truth. In modern usage they've become nearly synonymous, but in mythology "daemon" refers to the ancient Greek beings that are really more closely analogous with "angels" in modern usage. Daemons are intermediaries between men and the gods, including everything from minor divinities down to ghosts of dead heroes. Of particular interest was the "agathos daemon", which is rather like a Greek "guardian angel".

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:44PM (#28496951)

    Your analogy fails.

    if i said i didn't believe in blood transfusions, would that color your impression of any medical ethics opinions i might have?

    The equivalent of what RMS said would be: "I don't take blood transfusions for personal reasons"
    - maybe he doesn't take them because he's concerned about getting a blood born disease (virus), maybe he's got allergies that most doctors aren't even aware of (celebrity status), etc.

    lets be intellectually honest here: anyone who doesn't browse the web is completely out of touch with the main thrust of anything and everything computer related in the last 15 years

    Honest? Just because the guy doesn't take the well-worn path he's out of touch? You always have been an intellectual conformist.

    In fact, as he wrote, he does use the web, his browser just has a mail interface instead of a a GUI interface.

  • Re:easy solution (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:44PM (#28496961)

    RMS originally tried to brand Mono as GNU Mono:

    http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2001-07-09-004-20-PR-MS-SW [linuxtoday.com]

  • by StormReaver (59959) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:48PM (#28496991)

    > Funny, we've been a customer of Microsoft's for 20 years and have yet to experience this "raping" you speak of.

    Everything is fine if you're in lock-step with Microsoft's business plans. But try getting out from underneath Microsoft's thumb, and you'll start to understand.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:49PM (#28496997)

    When Microsoft submitted C# to the ECMA standards body they specified which parts are patented. They further did NOT give any guarantee that they would not sue anyone who implemented C# at a later date. There was an article about this some months ago in which Miguel de Icaza himself was asked what the status was on Mono vs. the patents and he DOES NOT KNOW. Microsoft was asked for a clarification and none was given.

    citation: http://www.osnews.com/story/21586

  • by Schnoodledorfer (1223854) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:50PM (#28497011)

    Do the commercial Unix vendors holding those patents behave any differently than Microsoft (ahem SCO)?

    At and before the time Linux was developed, yes, they behaved very differently. As a matter of fact, the real owners of the patents have always behaved differently. SCO never actually owned the patents, after all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @03:53PM (#28497029)

    Mono is a free (GPL) reimplementation of commercial software. Isn't that how GNU got started in the first place? Didn't Stallman and friends reimplement the commercial Unix libraries as free (GPL) software? Wasn't he potentially violating patents?

    No.

    Software was not considered patentable back then.

  • Re:Yes to Mono! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Erikderzweite (1146485) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @04:00PM (#28497075)

    Do you remember WISE? Windows Interface Source Environment. A program that purportedly allowed developers to write software to Windows APIs and run the resulting programs on Macintosh and UNIX systems. It was issued in 1994. By 1996 Microsoft had captured a large share of the corporate market and has proceeded to the next step: Microsoft has extended the Windows API without copying its changes to the WISE program. This meant that developers could no longer smoothly port applications to UNIX and
    Macintosh. In public, however, Microsoft continued to lead developers into believing that this software was still fully cross-platform. In 1997, Bill Gates noted in an internal email that those developers who wrote applications for the then-available software without realizing that it would not port all APIs to UNIX and Macintosh were "just fucked."

  • Re:"M$" (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @04:14PM (#28497215)

    I misunderstood it the first time I read it as well. He means just spell out 'Microsoft,' not just install MS products.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @04:15PM (#28497219)

    Most of those are bogus:

    Microsoft didn't bury Lotus 123, Lotus shot themselves in the foot, then the head, and then the foot again. They then proceeded to walk off a cliff. They bet on OS/2 (which failed), and delivered a product for windows extremely late, that was buggy and not even close to what excel was delivering. They then attempted to do a rewrite for years that they never delivered, and then finally produced lotus symphony which was crap. Not until 1998 when they released SmartSuite 9.0 did they have anything that came close to competing with Excel. To say Microsoft killed lotus 1-2-3 is a joke. They killed themselves -- repeatedly.

    Stacker? Stacker was simply a one trick pony that couldn't deliver a second product, and unfortunately their first product only had a short lifetime. Developing a product that only worked on MS-DOS 6.0 when windows was just taking off only left them a very short window. Their second product ReachOut wasn't accepted very well, especially when there were other products already on the market that did that, and more (pcAnywhere, etc). In the end, they walked away with both a good chunk of money, their own software sales, AND $5.50 for each and every copy of MS-DOS 6.0 that was sold. That's a pretty sweet deal considering it was also $25 million PER EMPLOYEE.

    Winternals is still updated regularly.

    The rest is your opinion, which I don't share. I appreciate my HTTP explorer built into my OS, just like I appreciate my FTP explorer, FAT/NTFS explorer, network exporer, picture viewer, sound/music player, calculator, and simplistic notepad, paint, and a graphical UI. Only those people with an axe to grind or a software suite to push think otherwise. These things are in almost every OS built today, and have been for a very long time (before Microsoft).

  • by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @04:23PM (#28497299) Journal

    Actually, it appears that you're both right to a certain extent. From the Oxford American Dictionary:

    daemon (also daimon)
    noun
    1 (in ancient Greek belief) a divinity or supernatural being of a nature between gods and humans.
    an inner or attendant spirit or inspiring force.
    2 archaic spelling of demon.

  • lets be intellectually honest here: anyone who doesn't browse the web is completely out of touch with the main thrust of anything and everything computer related in the last 15 years

    He still browses the web - he just does it via a method that works:

    1. even if he doesn't have a net connection when he wants to actually view the page (which might be later on in the day at a conference, or in a cafeteria) - the page is in his email, so he can download it now, and then view it later offline with his email program
    2. without downloading all the associated crap that most pages are infested with
    3. while providing him with a permanent copy of the stuff he's interested in

    Other people also use other means to "browse" the web that don't involve conventional interactions with a web browser. Programs like JAWS [freedomscientific.com] (a screen reader for the blind) and blinux [counterpunch.org] don't meet your metaphor for accesing the web - BFD, get over it.

    Also, computing is much more than just the web. For many researchers, email is a LOT more convenient, and more important, than the web ever will be.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @04:35PM (#28497407) Journal

    Could you come up with real specific examples? Because all I see, year after year, is Mono progressing.

    Mono still has no WPF, and no present plans to implement it in foreseeable future.

  • Re:"M$" (Score:3, Informative)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @04:46PM (#28497515) Homepage

    No. I am not "four years old". Are you?

    I've been around long enough to remember MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, the original Windows NT and all of the
    application associated malware that Microsoft has subjected us to over the years. I have also been around long
    enough to be aware of the whole OEM strongarm thing, the shenanigan with DR-DOS,the back stabbing of IBM over
    OS/2, Microsoft "cutting off Netscape's air supply", Linux being a cancer and TomTom being sued over VFAT.

    Been around longer than 4 years.

    Used their stuff. Found it lacking.

    So yes it is too much to ask to "just use Microsoft".

    The same goes for McDonalds, Campbells and Ford.

  • Re:"M$" (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @04:51PM (#28497565)

    In the 90s, Microsoft was CAUGHT paying university administrators $10,000 to standardize their schools on Microsoft Office and Windows NT. Office for the Mac was written in a emulator designed to DELIBERATELY slow performance until users said "What's up with this slow Office on the Macs" with the idea being people would say "Just use Windows. Office 97 on Windows is better and faster." These are basic anti-trust violations.

    This is America. It's A-OK (at least in this country) to criticize and mock public companies who are caught doing shenanigans not in the public interest. M$ makes some really nice software (NT 4 was a wicked desktop OS) and their development tools are really sweet. But that doesn't make them above criticism.

  • Re:"M$" (Score:4, Informative)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Saturday June 27, 2009 @04:58PM (#28497639) Journal

    There is a simple way to solve this. If you think Microsoft is to long then just use MSFT. Since that is their stock ticker and lately they've seemed to care more about their stock price than what many customers wanted it is still snarky and you don't look like a tool for using it like you do with that lame M$ shit. The M$ bit was old during the days of Win9X, and now many don't even know what the hell you are talking about.

    So stick with MSFT. It makes your posts readable and doesn't make you sound like a tool. Thanks.

  • by cheesybagel (670288) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @05:10PM (#28497767)
    Tell that to TomTom. That "joke" cost them dearly.
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @05:29PM (#28497935) Journal

    Java has the problem of doing things its own way in its own environment. For example no cleartype fonts for X make netbeans painful and horrible looking running it on Linux. No integrated KDE or gnome support because of swing and other issues make it hard to write easy code. Also overiding objects with the super statement is difficult ... at least for me with doing g and paint.

    Anyway database access, debuggers, and threading make it scale well on a server. It runs well from a 1 to a 32 cpu system.

    Also google apis are written mostly in Java if you want to do things like add google map support for your website and other things. Hibernate and spring are java based too which is nice. I believe there is a .net port of hibernate coming into maturity but I do not know if its finished yet.

    For these reasons Java is still ahead of .NET for web server development. .NET actually does not suck and you can make great win32 applications with it. Linq and other things being ported may make it better for server development. Like the other poster mentioned platform independence is nice as MS has been known to change licensing fees to loansharking levels for SQL Server and IIS if you add clustering and unlimited seats. With Java if Oracle does that garbage I can simply switch from solaris to Linux and use postgresql or sysbase. No platform entrapment.

  • Re:"M$" (Score:5, Informative)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @05:39PM (#28497997)
    As someone else has already remarked, he meant the word, not the thing it names. For lispers, he meant (use 'microsoft) and not (use microsoft). ;-)
  • Re:RMS == bonkers!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wolfbone (668810) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @05:42PM (#28498023)

    What an idiotic statement by RMS! Why should it be a danger? If there are any software patent issues, they are certainly not on C# which is an open standard

    But Microsoft (and our co-sponsors, Intel and Hewlett-Packard) went
    further and have agreed that our patents essential to implementing C#
    and CLI will be available on a "royalty-free and otherwise RAND" basis
    for this purpose.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030424174805/http://mailserver.di.unipi.it/pipermail/dotnet-sscli/msg00218.html [archive.org]

    RMS == bonkers!?

    No - just well-informed and cautious. Some people seem to trust that patent holders won't in future want to leverage patents covering tech. that could, invitingly, become deeply embedded in competing products. Others are more cynical / have read the patent strategy manuals and think that that sort of trust is naïvely optimistic. :)

    RMS is actually harming many F/OSS projects with these stupid comments. What a letdown.

    Quite the reverse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @05:55PM (#28498135)

    The "cleanroom" technique to which you are referrring is a precaution against inadvertant copyright violation and NDA violations. It has nothing to do with patents.

    Patents can be enforced even if the "offending" party has never heard of either the patent or the product protected by the patents.

    That's why people who understand software generally think software should not be patentable, or at least patents should not be enforceable without evidence that the "infringer" "stole" the idea covered by the patent from the patent holder.

  • Re:Yup (Score:3, Informative)

    by kestasjk (933987) * on Saturday June 27, 2009 @05:59PM (#28498171) Homepage
    But the weird thing is that in the article he's not only against Mono, but against C# itself, which is as much of a standardized language as JavaScript. MS couldn't whip out any patents against C#, and as Stallman points out the FSF has its own C# implementation. So why is he speaking out against C#, a standardized language?

    For once RMS has actually been too brief, and has left reasoning totally out of this brief memo.
  • Re:Yup (Score:2, Informative)

    by Vahokif (1292866) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @06:05PM (#28498219)
    Mono already supports the most widely-used parts of .NET and even some stuff .NET doesn't have, like SIMD.
  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @06:07PM (#28498231)

    If I recall correctly Microsoft successfully sued TomTom for violating FAT patents in the Linux kernel on their devices.

    Actually, Microsoft did NOT successfully sue TomTom for violating FAT patents on their devices.

    Microsoft threatened to sue TomTom, and TomTom decided to settle out of court.

    This was after TomTom threaten Microsoft with patent infringements on Microsoft Streets. Microsoft even said that they usually don't enforce the FAT patents, but felt compelled to do so in this case as a defensive measure.

  • by nateman1352 (971364) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @06:18PM (#28498307)

    First of all, between COM Interop and P/Invoke, it is very easy to inter operate with native code from managed. This can be very handy, it enabled easy ports of GTK, Win32 (via Windows.Forms), Qt, WxWidgets, SQLite and many others to .NET. But the biggest use for P/Invoke in typical .NET applications is to make calls to the Win32 API directly, because the framework doesn't have managed libraries for every Windows API. This of course creates applications that can only run under Windows. A lot of times .NET apps will run under Mono for Windows, but not Mono for Linux because of this.

    Even of course there the fact that MS drives the direction of .NET, and the Microsoft implementation will always be ahead of the game because of that. Mono is missing most of the new features in .NET 3.5 WPF, WCF, etc. The main exception being an almost complete LINQ implementation. Moreover the DLR stuff will be coming with .NET 4.0 very soon, which will just put them even further behind. And Mono is likely to never have support for XNA applications.

    In summary the total common feature set between both implementations is less than the total feature set, and a lot of what is missing is cool new stuff. So apps that only work on the MS implementation are common. This is exactly what they want, its technically an open platform, but not really in practice.

  • by peppepz (1311345) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @07:11PM (#28498717)

    I wish some knowledgeable folks would weigh in how possible it would actually be for MS to do this for C# in particular. (Do they already hold relevant patents?)

    I do not know about C# in particular, but about .NET, yes, they hold relevant patents [msversus.org].

  • The dotGNU strategy (Score:3, Informative)

    by extrasolar (28341) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @07:29PM (#28498829) Homepage Journal

    For those of you saying that RMS is being hypocritical with the Portable.Net project, you should read this first:

    Don't get caught in .NET [gnu.org]

    With all the RMS-bashing that slashdot has turned into lately, you'd wonder what the point is in providing arguments for your position.

  • by rliden (1473185) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @07:42PM (#28498887)

    Knuth doesn't use personal email. His secretary prints out email addressed to taocp@[university address] so he can reply in writing. He doesn't communicate via email because he doesn't want to be so in touch with the world, not because he thinks email is a bad thing. Hell he barely communicates via post. His point in restricting communication is a personal one because he seems to value his time for research and his interests.

    Knuth versus Email [stanford.edu] [stanford.edu]

    Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is accessible to people who don't have time for such study.

    I'm not sure why Stallman doesn't like to use the internet, but it seems like he is more interested in the moral use of software and doesn't use it because I think he personally sees server side code as muddled with regards to the GPL (just my conjecture there). Knuth just likes his privacy. The two are totally different even if they are both for personal reasons. Pretty much all of our reasons for doing things are personal.

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @07:48PM (#28498925) Homepage Journal

    Windows developers are at 3.5 SP! level, beta people are already checking version 4. What is Mono at? 2? Without very important windows forms right?

    Wrong [mono-project.com]: "Support for Windows Forms 2.0 is complete. At this point, we are largely just fixing bugs and polishing our code."

    I've written WinForms apps in Visual Studio that ran on Mono with no changes, and that was over a year ago. This month I've been doing command-line apps, and of course they work just fine on Mono as well.

    Mono also supports many individual features of C# 3 and .NET 3.

  • by belmolis (702863) <billposer@nOSpam.alum.mit.edu> on Saturday June 27, 2009 @08:47PM (#28499349) Homepage

    "da(e)mon" is a Greek word, which was spelled delta-alpha-iota-mu-omega-nu. It was borrowed into Latin with the spelling "daemon". Around 200 B.C.E. the diphthong spelled "ae" came to be pronounced as [e:], both in native Latin words and in loans from Greek. This change in pronunciation was only gradually reflected in Latin spelling, which was conservative (just like English still spells "knight" with the no-longer pronounced "k".) The result is that when borrowed into English you can get spellings both with and without the "a". The same is true of words like "arch(a)eology".

  • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @02:43AM (#28501585)

    Oh you lovable scamp. Indeed he did not invent the internet - which is why I did not say he did.

    And I didn't say you said he did. See, that works both ways.

    I was making a point, not claiming you made one.

    You can't go 5 seconds on the net without hitting free software.

    True, but irrelevant. BSD is also free, and they don't like the GPL much.

    Emacs? Screw Emacs! What would the world be like with GCC? Without glibc? What about if Perl just disappeared?

    What does RMS have to do with Perl?

    Before GCC existed (or rather, before it became popular) there were other free compilers. There was a BSD C compiler also. Granted, GCC won out, but if it wasn't around, something else would have replaced it.

    What would the world be like if we didn't have the collaboration that happens in free software projects?

    Free software existed long before the GPL was created, and there's a ton of it that is not GPL'd.

    But all this is beside the point. You made it out that RMS was basically responsible for the internet existing or functioning. The fact of the matter is that the internet doesn't run on Linux, it runs largely on BSD based products (Cisco, *BSD's, etc..) Most Web sites run on Linux, but that's not the internet itself.

    Yes, RMS is responsible for a lot, but I don't for one second believe that it was impossible for that to happen without him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 28, 2009 @08:18AM (#28502813)

    Stallman is right.

    Microsoft would prefer open source and Linux not to exist, but if they can't have that, then second best will be to have open source and Linux reliant on Microsoft technologies. That way there will always be a market for Microsoft products. Which organisation will do mono best? That's what the large corporations will ask themselves and the answer won't be Linux.

    That is why Miguel and his team introduced Mono into Gnome (and Debain) some time back, and why Debian (and Ubuntu) are increasingly now reliant on Mono based applications. It is not just Tomboy. It is F-Spot the photo manager and others too.

    I have been using Gnome for some time now and I have increasingly noticed error messages informing me about Win32 errors. Each time it happens, I do a double take. I can at last see the day coming when I will be shifting to KDE.

    What has happened at Debian? Who is pushing these decisions? Something decidedly nasty is happening there.

  • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @12:21PM (#28504525)

    BSD is not free. It is merely open.

    Gee. You might want to inform the FSF then. They say very clearly that *BSD's are Free Software.

    You seem to think that only GPL software is Free software. This is not true. Not even the FSF believes or says that. Read their list of Free Software licenses.

    http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses [fsf.org]

    Until you are cognizent of this item, we can't even have a discussion, because your entire belief system is a lie.

  • Re:Hey Miguel (Score:3, Informative)

    by tyler_larson (558763) on Sunday June 28, 2009 @08:04PM (#28508173) Homepage

    Tell us how you know that Mono doesn't infringe on Microsoft's patents. Tell us how Moonlight doesn't infringe on Microsoft patents. Clear this stuff up.

    /sigh

    I'm not sure you understand how patents work.

    Mono is an implementation of the standards on which .NET is built. It shares absolutely nothing else in common with .NET. The Mono team can be absolutely certain that their product does not infringe on Microsoft's copyright on the code, but no one can ever be certain about whether or not their product infringes on anyone's patents. That's what makes patents so scary.

    Likewise, Richard Stallman can never be certain that GCC doesn't infringe on Microsoft's patents regarding Microsoft's C compiler, or that Emacs doesn't infringe on any patents in Microsoft Word.

    What's worse is that actually researching to see if there is any patent infringement opens you up to more danger, because if you looked, then you'd be subject to triple damages in any court case for knowingly infringing on a patent. This is why the Linux kernel team intentionally avoids researching Microsoft's patent claims regarding Linux.

    Mono is neither more nor less susceptible to patent claims from Microsoft than any other project; be it Python, Ruby, Java, AbiWord, or Gnome-Terminal.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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