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Re: [News] The SFLC Says "No" to Mono

Roy Schestowitz wrote:
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Considerations on Patents that Read on Language Infrastructure

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| In an essay last Friday entitled Why free software shouldn't depend on Mono | or C#, RMS argued a key point that I agree with: the software freedom | community should minimize its use of programming language infrastructure that | comes primarily from anti-software-freedom companies, notwithstanding FaiF | (Free as in Freedom) implementations. I've been thinking about an extension | of that argument: that language infrastructure created in a community process | is likely more resilient against attacks from proprietary software companies. `----


Discouraging FOSS

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| I think it is interesting that he thinks that it is the “‘best technology’ | Linux camp” that is the camp that offers the greatest threat to Microsoft. I | can understand why some may think that this is true since this camp is | creating flashy and very useful products and features that increase the | appeal of Linux. However, mono is not the only tool that the “‘best | technology’ Linux camp” has at its disposal. Many view the use of the Qt | toolkit as a better alternative, and one that does not have the risk | associated with mono. Furthermore, I do not agree with the thought | that “‘best technology’ Linux camp” is the one that Microsoft feels most | threatened by. I think Microsoft is only threatened by the combination of | both camps. | | I view mono as a distraction for FOSS developers. Yes, there are some | practical advantages in its use, but there are a lot of questions surrounding | it. It has the potential of dividing the two mayor camps of Linux | contributors. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this | controversy. `----


Should Qt and KDE apps written in C# be considered Free Software?


Stallman: open-source .NET "danger" for Debian

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| Although Stallman frequently speaks about the dangers of software patents on | open-source, trust for Microsoft has run particularly thin recently because | of the company's legal attack on TomTom over a FAT patent dispute. | | Stallman urged the community to instead distribute and recommend non-C# | applications whenever possible to avoid Redmond lawyers from being able to | disable major OS functions on a whim. `----


How to Completely Remove Mono on Ubuntu

Will Microsoft threaten open source C# implementations?

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| If Microsoft is threatening patents against .NET, it would seem to me that | the Novell/Microsoft relationship didn’t really work out all that well. And | now Microsoft is back to their old tricks. And what should the Linux and open | source community do about this? Should another deal with Microsoft be made? | Is the seamless communication between Linux and Windows worth making a deal | with a partner that is only going to turn around and stab you in the back | again and again and again? `----



Why free software shouldn't depend on Mono or C#

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| 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.
| The problem is not unique to Mono; any free implementation of C# would raise
| the same issue. The danger is that Microsoft is probably planning to force
| all free C# implementations underground some day using software patents. (See
| http://swpat.org and http://progfree.org.) This is a serious danger, and only
| fools would ignore it until the day it actually happens. We need to take
| precautions now to protect ourselves from this future danger.
| This is not to say that implementing C# is a bad thing. Free C#
| implementations permit users to run their C# programs on free platforms,
| which is good. (The GNU Project has an implementation of C# also, called
| Portable.NET.) Ideally we want to provide free implementations for all
| languages that programmers have used.
| 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.
| We should systematically arrange to depend on the free C# implementations as
| little as possible. In other words, we should discourage people from writing
| programs in C#. Therefore, we should not include C# implementations in the
| default installation of GNU/Linux distributions, and we should distribute and
| recommend non-C# applications rather than comparable C# applications whenever
| possible.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


I agree that Mono has some practical advantages, but why are we making free implementations of it instead of a competing specification, which cannot be attacked by litigation?

There are relatively few popular .NET programs out there. .NET inter-operability shouldn't be a priority when it could compromise Linux's usability in the future.

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