Re: GNOME dependent on Mono


On 11/29/07, BJörn Lindqvist <bjourne gmail com> wrote:
> No. The boycottnovell site and the OP alluded to that there would be
> moral, philosophical and or legal problems with GNOME depending on
> Mono and or C#. Is that fact or is it fiction?

Moral or philosophical is hard to judge, since so many people are
involved in GNOME for so many different reasons.  I can't tell you how
many times I've heard people say they object to Mono because it's a
"Microsoft technology".  I've never had this problem personally, but
maybe that's because Mono is a totally independent, free and
successful implementation of it, and partly because C# is so much like
Java it's tough to argue that it's somehow new and novel.  Likewise
the level of hatred toward Novell over the past year would color
people's moral and philosophical positions, as is clearly the case at

The legal aspects have always seemed like a strawman argument to me.
There's nothing particularly different about Mono than GNOME, Samba,
or Apache.  There's no reason to believe that Mono is any more or less
patent encumbered than any other piece of open source software.
There's no reason to believe that Mono infringes on copyrights any
more or less than other pieces of open source software.  However,
unlike many other open source projects, Mono's messaging on this has
been clear: they don't believe they violate any patents and have plans
to work around them if they do and if you've used tools to disassemble
Microsoft code, etc., you may never contribute to Mono.  I don't
believe GNOME has a policy that clearly articulated.

And for as much threatening as Microsoft does around IP, they're not
particularly active in litigating on it.  In fact, they are the 900lb
gorilla and most small companies and patent trolls target them,
because that's where the money is.  Their FUD against us is a more
effective weapon than actually suing us.  And I believe the broader
open-source community, with the help of invested corporations like
IBM, Red Hat and yes, even Novell, have given us a reasonable defense
in the unlikely event.

The real legal threat to us comes from patent trolls, and we've
already seen the start of this with the recent lawsuit against Red Hat
and Novell, and over things that are much more trivial and broad than
what applies to Mono.  They're more likely to cripple us, and it's
ought to be a driving motivator for patent reform in the US.


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