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GNU is Not Unix Microsoft Programming

De Icaza Responds To Stallman 747

ndogg writes "It's no secret that Stallman doesn't like Mono. Miguel, however, has been pretty quiet about those criticisms, until now. It seems he'll no longer be quiet. He's responded strongly to an article by Stallman that criticizes Codeplex about its aims due to its origin at Microsoft. Miguel says Stallman is fearmongering, and is missing an opportunity by his criticism."
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De Icaza Responds To Stallman

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  • by mc moss ( 1163007 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @09:45AM (#29656229) []

    Here is an article that goes in-depth about the entire situation

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:00AM (#29656403)

    Open source and free software are completely different things as well.
    You can have open source Non free software and MS could live with that for a while if it killed off all their competitiors

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:00AM (#29656419)

    Open source on whose terms?

    As defined by OSI presumably.

  • by Fwipp ( 1473271 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:12AM (#29656567)

    He never said nor suggested that Microsoft as a whole is your ally.

    "I merely happen to have a different perspective on Microsoft than he has. I know that there are great people working for the company, and I know many people inside Microsoft that are steering the company towards being a community citizen. I have blogged about this for the last few years.

    At the end of the day, we both want to see free software succeed. But Richard, instead of opening new fronts to promote his causes, attacks his own allies for not being replicas of himself."

    He suggested that either himself, or Microsoft, or both, was his "ally."

    No. He said that Richard Stallman attacks his allies. The very next sentence of TFA reads: To him, ridiculous statements like Linus "does not believe in Freedom" are somewhat normal. He is clearly referring to Linus Torvalds as Richard Stallman's ally.

    Please don't deliberately misinterpret people that you don't agree with.

  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:36AM (#29656887) Homepage

    The allies I refer to are folks like Linus, Eric Raymond, Tim O'Reilly and everyone else that advocates the same ideas, but does not take marching orders from him.

  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:40AM (#29656951) Homepage

    The reason is very simple: I am not responding to RMS's opinions on Mono.

    I am responding to RMS's last post which is pretty much content free, but does contain another personal attack against me.

  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:52AM (#29657139) Homepage

    I work on Mono, because I like it. If you want to learn more about my goals, you can read this old post: []

    As for CodePlex: it turns out that there are two entities: CodePlex.ORG (owned by the Foundation) and CodePlex.Com (Owned by Microsoft, and has no affiliation with the foundation).

    It is beyond unfortunate that the Foundation adopted the name from the hosting site. The logic apparently was "It is already a known brand". In my opinion, moving ahead with this name was a terrible decision as it is incredibly confusing, a point that I have raised with the board of directors.

    The CodePlex foundation has no control over the contents of

  • by Zecheus ( 1072058 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:58AM (#29657229)
    RMS called you an 'apologist'. says :

    apologist: a person who makes a defense in speech or writing of a belief, idea, etc.

    That's not a personal attack.


  • by cyberjessy ( 444290 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:58AM (#29657239) Homepage

    We have Java, as well as Python and various other languages on Linux for the niche Mono wants to fill

    Actually Mono fills a niche not satisfied by any other language on Linux.
    1. Python - too slow for any processor intensive tasks (I do a lot of python myself.)
    -- not strongly typed, if the project decides to go that route.
    2. Java, the language - No closures, lambdas, generators. Impossible to do any declarative programming. Many, many people hate it.

    C# brings functional programming to the masses, and Mono brings C# to Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @11:07AM (#29657383)
    check out clojure, it's fantastic.
  • by Nick Ives ( 317 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:01PM (#29658145)

    Yes, Stallman is a principled man. The problem with Stallman and Mono, however, is that his objections are based on fear and innuendo, not on principles or reason.

    Wrong. Microsoft has offered a patent covenant that covers compatible re-implementations of .Net. If you want to make your own cut down or otherwise incompatible version of .Net - for whatever reason - then MS can still sue you. It also only covers the core .Net libraries and not all the libraries that actual real world .Net applications use.

    Given those facts, it's easy to see how Mono / .Net remain incompatible with the principles of Free Software.

  • Re:He's right (Score:5, Informative)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:05PM (#29658191) Homepage Journal

    WRONG. Mixing GPL code and non-GPL code results in GPL code.

    You are incorrect.

    Mixing GPL code and non-GPL code results in code that cannot be distributed at all. One remedy is for the owner of the non-free code to GPL it. Another is for the owner of the GPL code to license it for distribution with the non-free code.

  • by cyberjessy ( 444290 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:22PM (#29658435) Homepage

    But why was this attack needed when Mono is trying to split itself into "Guaranteed, patent free components" and "Gray areas"?

    The Patent Free parts are covered by the legally Binding Microsoft Community Promise []

    Some parts of it:
    Microsoft irrevocably promises not to assert any Microsoft Necessary Claims against you for making, using, selling, offering for sale, importing or distributing any implementation, to the extent it conforms to one of the Covered Specifications, and is complian....
    To clarify, "Microsoft Necessary Claims" are those claims of Microsoft-owned or Microsoft-controlled patents that are necessary to implement the required portions (which also include the required elements of optional portions) of the Covered Specification that are described in detail and not those merely referenced in the Covered Specification.

    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.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:35PM (#29658597) Journal

    check out clojure, it's fantastic.

    It's dynamically typed. If you wanted to suggest a C# alternative, Scala is a far better choice.

  • Re:He's right (Score:3, Informative)

    by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:52PM (#29658835)

    Crimes against humanity?!

    They sell fucking COMPUTER SOFTWARE.

    And not even the kind used to tally prisoners to be executed by genocidal psychopaths, like IBM has. Of course, IBM is friendly to open source so their *actual* crimes against humanity don't count I guess?

  • by tyler_larson ( 558763 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:34PM (#29659633) Homepage

    > I think .Net is a platform with technical merit
    I have yet to see it. Really.

    Might I suggest that you have yet to look?

    C# and the CIL bring to the table:

    • Language independance: Build a class in Python, call it from Ruby. This is available today, not in the theoretical future.
    • Functional programming: lambda expressions, etc., conspicuously missing from java
    • Declarative programming: Linq -- seems like a silly idea until you've used it a few times, and you see how it can drastically improve performance on the back end, and code quality on the front end.
    • Your choice of strongly typed and dynamically typed mechanisms: Build a class using strongly typed semantics in the interest of verifiability, but make use of it in a dynamically typed application in the interest of development speed.
    • Speed: C# apps run nearly as fast as complied C; indistinguishable in many important cases.

    If mono hadn't been an implementation of a standard proposed by Microsoft, it would have been hailed as god's gift to programmers.

  • by keepper ( 24317 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:47PM (#29659871) Homepage

    ...and that's what has brought both his genius, and his impractical arrogance. He sees the world as a series of yes/no, black/white,1/0 events.

    He doesn't compromise, he detests those who disagree with him. while he has brought the gnu license, emacs, and assorted gnu utilities..

    - He never finished hurd.
    - Constantly criticizes Linus as basically a heretic.
    - Doesn't believe in the use of cell phones.
    - Doesn't believe in personal hygiene.
    - Thinks Bill gates is geniunely evil ( as a person, not the MS guy ), to the point of criticizing the charity work of his foundation.. in his view, who the fuck cares about aids research and feeding the poor, he didnt give us the source code ::sigh::
    - Among may other things that would brand the common man an insane diagnosis.

    He probably suffers from some form of Asberger, or at least has some other mental illness.

    Which has again, brought us free software users many goods... but you have to always be awared of the bad.

    Richard Stallman, right or wrong, makes as much sense as "my mom, drunk or sober" ( yes, i stole that remark :-P)

  • by Jeremy Allison - Sam ( 8157 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:14PM (#29660333) Homepage

    The Microsoft Community Promise is not good enough. See this legal analysis for details: []

    Microsoft lawyers are good enough to produce a better document than this, they just chose not to. See this document: []

    for a better agreement and an analysis on why all the terms in it are needed (especially the "Patents" section).


  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <{ten.knilhtrae} {ta} {nsxihselrahc}> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @03:20PM (#29661399)

    Actually the Tom Tom case is rather ambiguous. If I didn't already distrust MS, that wouldn't cause me to distrust them. In that case they WERE using the patents in a basically defensive manner. (Tom Tom may not have initiated the lawsuit, but they made clear threats.)

    This, however, does not excuse their actions in many other cases. Before you even THINK about CodePlex, read their agreements...preferably get a lawyer to analyze it for you. It's as bad as any EULA you might encounter.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:06PM (#29662117) Journal


    "Portable" means "architecture independent". If you speak of platforms, then, between .NET and Mono, pretty much every desktop platform is covered, and the APIs are exactly the same.

    You'll also find that C# doesn't do code generation at all, its the tools around it. Similarly, we've had lexx and yacc for so long I've forgotten how they work, but I know they too are code generation tools.

    Since you reference lexx/yacc, it's apparent that you misunderstand what I mean (or perhaps I wasn't clear enough). I was talking about dynamic code generation - the kind that is done at runtime. You're right that C# doesn't do that, .NET framework does, via expression trees, dynamic methods, and System.Reflection.Emit (though there is some language support for expression trees in C# that makes things easier).

    The point is that in C#, I can construct an expression tree [] from nodes describing high-level operations, then call Compile [] on it, and get what is essentially a function pointer to IL code that will be JIT-compiled to native code upon first invocation, just as any other method. Alternatively, I could use DynamicMethod [] class to generate IL directly.

    It really is fairly powerful technique, and is used often by .NET itself; for example, regular expressions can be compiled to efficient hardcoded state machines that way. It also works for dynamically loaded XPath queries and XSLT transforms.

    In C++, you have some options. You can of course just invoke the compiler at runtime, but that is a separate process which will have to be started for every new batch of dynamically compiled code - that's very slow and inefficient. There's Tiny C compiler, which lets you compile C code at runtime, but it supports very few architectures. There's GNU Lightning, but that one is very low-level - it is effectively just an architecture-independent assembly language, but the primitives are pretty close to metal [].

  • by cjcollier ( 115316 ) * <> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:42PM (#29662583) Homepage Journal

    Heh. Did you notice that you're quoting above? You know they're a bunch of loons, right? :) []

  • by salesgeek ( 263995 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @05:35PM (#29663325) Homepage

    Here is why de Icaza goes wrong:

    Richard Stallman does not seem to have anything better to do than launch personal attacks against me

    Stallman's blog post was incredibly direct, and was very soft for a personal attack. In fact, RMS went out of the way to make clear that this was not personal:

    With its board of directors dominated by Microsoft employees and ex-employees, plus apologist Miguel de Icaza, there is plenty of reason to be wary of the organization. But that doesn't prove its actions will be bad.

    This is classic RMS: he's serving warning to the community and is calling out a pattern of behavior that is perplexing and someone dangerous if you value free software and later:

    However good or bad the CodePlex Foundation's actions, we must not accept them as an excuse for Microsoft's acts of aggression against our community.

    RMS is inconvenient. He's a curmudgeon. But he's also the kind of curmudgeon you want on your side. I'm glad he's on the side of freedom. As for de Icaza - he's done some great things and should be commended, but RMS is right to sound the warning. It's up to de Icaza and the CodePlex foundation to prove RMS wrong.

  • by fredrik70 ( 161208 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @06:12PM (#29663719) Homepage

    but c# is and open standard of a language, that's al lit is. If there are any patent problem with any of the libs then we develop around them. Just because the libs are written in c# does not make it any worse.

    Your java, python, c or c++ code might infringe JUST AS BADLY on various patents and you don't see people running around in circles with flapping arms because of that.

  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @06:27AM (#29667899) Homepage Journal

    You develop some software.

    You make it proprietary.

    Many of us wont like you, many of us will not pay you for your software, but please tell us at which point do the FSF police comes and beats you into submission to release your software under the GPL.

    GPL is not about forced sharing, if you don't want to share then simply develop your own software. But if you take somebody else's software under the GPL, then sorry mate, but the price for that is to make your modifications public.

    Don't like it? Don't use GPLed software. Nobody is forcing you, even if Stallman gives you nightmares.

The absent ones are always at fault.