Home Messages Index
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index

[News] Google's Jeremy Allison Warns About Mono and Microsoft's Patent Racketeering

  • Subject: [News] Google's Jeremy Allison Warns About Mono and Microsoft's Patent Racketeering
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 18:53:05 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

LCA 2010: Allison warns of patent traps in Mono 

,----[ Quote ]
| Patents are the only threat that Microsoft 
| can brandish against free and open source 
| software and that is exactly why people 
| should be wary of the Mono project, free 
| software advocate and Samba hacker Jeremy 
| Allison told a packed auditorium at the 
| 11th LCA today.
| Allison's presentation, titled "Microsoft 
| and free software: the elephant in the 
| room" was held in the second largest 
| auditorium but it was difficult to find 
| standing room once he got going.
| Sporting a T-shirt with the Samba logo on 
| the front, and "opening windows to a wider 
| world" on the rear, Allison presented a 
| meticulously prepared set of arguments to 
| show that patents were the only way which 
| the word's largest software company had 
| left to attack FOSS.
| Mono is an attempt to create an open source 
| clone of Microsoft's .NET development 
| environment; the project was begun by 
| Novell vice-president Miguel de Icaza who 
| claims this will pull Windows developers 
| over to GNU/Linux.
| Allison said the patent war would be a 
| never-ending conflict. "All the patent 
| promises about Mono count for nothing," he 
| said. Other methods of harming FOSS had not 
| borne the expected fruit.


Microsoft to declare patent war on iPhone/Android?

,----[ Quote ]
| A key Linux developer has predicted 
| Microsoft will use its huge patent 
| portfolio to cripple smartphone competitors 
| and boost its woeful Windows Mobile market 
| share.
| Microsoft will increasingly utilise its 
| patent library to try and stifle any 
| competition for netbook OSes and reassert 
| itself in the mobile phone space, a 
| prominent open source developer has argued.
| [...]
| That strategy is likely to be particularly 
| prominent in the market for non-PC devices 
| such as netbooks and smart phones, where 
| Windows doesn't enjoy the same strength of 
| market share. While co-marketing schemes 
| have seen former Linux supporters such as 
| Asus largely shift to Windows, maintaining 
| overall share and eliminating new 
| competitors is critical to Microsoft's 
| survival, Allison said.


Microsoft, Native Code, and Security

,----[ Quote ]
| Connecting the dots, however, I'm tempted 
| to push this a little forward. Contrary to 
| what Microsoft envisioned or hoped or 
| simply told us,  the Windows ecosystem is 
| not moving towards a .NET centric solution, 
| but .NET is only a powerful and 
| sophisticated execution and development 
| environment on top of Windows  . 



Mono and Samba: smell the difference, says Allison

,----[ Quote ]
| It may be recalled that Allison quit Novell in disgust
| soon after the company signed a patent indemnification
| deal with Microsoft in November 2006.
| [...]
| "Miguel's employer, Novell, has a patent agreement
| with Microsoft that exempts Mono users from Microsoft
| patent aggression, so long as you get Mono from
| Novell. Miguel takes pains to point this out," Allison
| wrote.
| As far as Mono goes, De Icaza has implemented parts of
| it which are not covered by the specifications
| submitted to the standards body ECMA by Microsoft; the
| parts submitted are said to be available on royalty-
| free terms and without fear of patent violations.


Consequences (If You Wait Long Enough)

,----[ Quote ]
| Monomania
| Jeremy Allison argues that Mono is dangerous
| to free software distributions and should be
| relegated to the "restricted" repositories
| along with other software with unsafe
| licensing and/or patent contexts. He makes
| rational arguments, avoids emotion and thus
| when he is inevitably dismissed with a hand-
| wave by the Monomaniacs like the rest of us it
| will be especially telling.


Mono a mano - Many of us are wrestling with this, I suspect

,----[ Quote ]
| Allison's contention is that while he can
| understand original Mono creator Miguel de
| Icaza's reasons for wanting to code GUI apps
| in C# rather than C or C++, Allison would
| rather that the open-source community turned
| to Java instead in its quest to build out the
| graphical environment. There is some talk
| about, at the time Mono was started, Java not
| being available under a free license, but
| Allison contends that it has more to do with
| potential or real rivalries among developers
| wishing to use Java or Mono/C++, as well as
| control over their respective projects.
| [...]
| On the other hand, seeing Mono as the "Miguel
| de Icaza-who-works-for-Novell Show," keeping
| in mind that I know little about him and have
| never met him, doesn't give me a good feeling
| about how GNOME is tipping every more closely
| into becoming a Mono-powered world.



,----[ Quote ]
| But the problem is that Mono is dangerous for
| Free Software. The heart of the matter is, as
| usual, software patents. Microsoft have patents
| on the technology inside .NET, and since the
| Tom Tom lawsuit, Microsoft have shown they are
| not averse to attacking Free Software using
| patent infringement claims. Microsoft have
| tried to allay some fears by putting the .NET
| specification under their "Microsoft Community
| Promise" which you can read here:
| http://www.microsoft.com/interop/cp/default.mspx
| Miguel hailed this a the solution to all the
| patent problems with Mono. But this promise is
| simply not good enough to base a language
| environment implementation upon. After all, if
| the rug is pulled out from under that
| implementation by the threat of patent
| infringement you don't just lose the
| implementation itself, you lose all the
| programs that depend upon it. That's a really
| dangerous situation for Free Software programs
| to be in. The Free Software Foundation wrote a
| good analysis of the problems with this promise
| here:
| http://www.fsf.org/news/2009-07-mscp-mono
| But my basic issue with the Microsoft Community
| Promise is that Miguel doesn't have to depend
| on it like everyone else does. Miguel's
| employer, Novell, has a patent agreement with
| Microsoft that exempts Mono users from
| Microsoft patent aggression, so long as you get
| Mono from Novell.
| [...]
| Microsoft isn't playing games any more by
| merely threatening to assert patents. Real
| lawsuits have now occurred and the gloves are
| off against Free Software. Moving Mono and its
| applications to the "restricted" repositories
| is now just plain common sense.


Mono is a trap â evidence

,----[ Quote ]
| Still arenât convinced that Mono is a trap
| which ultimately only benefits Microsoft?
| Take a look at this âHighly Confidentialâ
| document from Microsoft (from Comes vs
| Microsoft case) entitled âEffective Evangelismâ
| and decide for yourself. It exposes Microsoftâs
| game plan for dominating the market with their
| platforms (which we already know, but some
| choose to ignore).

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index