Re: GNOME dependent on Mono

Quick reply to say that I pretty much agree with Joe.  There are areas
that it's very clear to anyone that our code infringing MS patents.  And
none of that is hidden to anyone.  Lemme give a very central and
specific example:

  - GNOME requires at least one of Microsoft Uniscribe, Apple ATSUI, or
FreeType to run.  There is no way you can run a Gtk+ application without
any of those three.  And all three have code implementing technology
patented by at least two of Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe.

Yes, FreeType has at least two features (TrueType bytecode interpreter /
hinter, and subpixel text rendering) that are clearly and undoubtedly
are infringing on Microsoft patents, and possibly Apple patents.  The
solution Red Hat and Fedora has taken is to not use those features at
the cost of inferior text rendering, but most other distros don't do

Yes, those features in FreeType are optional.

Also to not clutter mailboxes even more, I don't see how an optional
dependency on anything can be worse than the fact that GNOME optionally
compiles on MS Windows systems.


On Thu, 2007-11-29 at 13:05 -0500, Joe Shaw wrote:
> Hi,
> 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
> boycottnovell.
> 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.
> Joe
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-list mailing list
> foundation-list gnome org

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little
 Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
        -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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