Re: Gnome to be based on .NET?

On Wed, 2002-02-06 at 00:15, Crispin Wellington wrote:
> On Tue, 2002-02-05 at 22:56, Sean Middleditch wrote: 

> > Um, Apple has embraced and extended.  Don't tell me that MacOSX programs
> > run perfectly well on a FreeBSD box.
> OK. So Apple embraced and extended. So is embracing and extending good
> or bad? If you extend, souldn't you give your extensions back to the
> community from which the original came? 

Then everyone would have MacOSX on FreeBSD, no one would buy MacOSX
because they wouldn't have to, *plus* people would be runnong in x86
hardware, meaning they wouldn't buy Apple hardware.  Apple would thus go
out of business much quicker than it already is.

Then the Apple developers would end up being carpenters or something
(because as software programmers, they wouldn't be able to support their
families) and their excellent design/coding skills would be vastly
wasted, as no one would benefit from their work, since they'd be
spending a hell of a lot less of their time writing software.

Yes, that's all pure speculation.  But that is more or less what
happens.  There are *VERY* few open source companies left, most of them
have either gone out of business or started making non-Free software. 
It's how its going to work, and that's that.

I am, I believe, done arguing this point on the GNOME list.  If you wish
to continue this pointless and unwinnable debate, please e-mail me

> > > I have no illusions that the only reason Linux has survived is becuase
> > > it uses the GPL so heavily. Its all layed out in the infamous MS
> > > Halloween document. Linux was their number one threat because they
> > > couldn't kill it by embracing it and extending it. Well they could. They
> > > could make 'Linux+' with extensions, but those extensions, being a
> > > derivative work would fall under the GPL and thus they would have to
> > > open them, and then the main Linux could integrate them. If linux was
> > > under MIT/X licence, everyone would be using Microsoft Linux by now.
> > 
> > Not true again.  SUre, the kernel is GPL, but nothing is stopping
> > Microsoft from replacing various parts of the whole OS.  They could use
> > a different graphics interface (a closed X-like server, that has X
> > -compatibility to run existing programs, and a proprietary interface for
> > MS/licensed customers).
> Ay. True. 
> > Also, Linux fully allows non-GPL modules to be written.  There *are* the
> > GPL_ONLY symbols and stuff.
> Of course, GPL isn't the *virus* MS paints it as. 
> > > MS actually spells this out explicitly in the Halloween doc.
> > > 
> --snip-- 
> > > 
> > > Q: hinders us how, exactly? A: Because you cant take IBM's Mono and
> > > change it, reconfigure it and make it work the way you want. Thus you
> > > are *less free*
> > 
> > No, you are free to use the Open Mono.  I am free to use IBM's Mono if I
> > so wish.  Like I said, if IBM's MOno is better,  I'd want to use that. 
> > If, suddenly, I found a need to modify the source, and IBM didn't
> > release the source, then I am free to grab the Open Mono and modify that
> > to do as I wish.
> Indeed. But if IBM extends it, and saturates the market with their
> extension, and say wraps the extension in encryption making it really
> hard to reverse engineer, and everyone keeps sending you stuff that
> doesn't interoperate for the Old Open Mono, sure you're free to choose
> which ever one you want, but it's going to get annoying and most will
> just use the proprietry one. 

Versus not having Mono at all, since Mono (or its class libraries
anyways) are now under the X11 license, and that's that.

> You can see MS's attempt with Kerberos. Does their few extra proprietry
> bytes really improve the protocol and make it a superior product.
> Whether it does or not, Every Windows user is using that version of
> Kerberos, not the MIT version. 
> > This is a really nifty part of Mono under the X11 license.  We could
> > conceivably end up with many different versions, all competing.  Simply
> > said, if IBM made a non-compatible version, but 2 other venders'
> > proprietary Mono's were compatible with Open Mono, it is very likly
> > IBM's wouldn't be used, until the Opened it or fixed the compatibility. 
> > But, each of these commercial versions would need to be constantly
> > improved (security, stability, speed, features) to maintain its
> > competitive edge.  We end up with some awesome products.  Or, we end up
> > with some sucky products that no one uses.  Either way, the users of
> > Open Mono are free to keep using their software as they wish.
> I agree. But IBM/Apple/BSDers are in a different league to Microsoft.
> Microsoft has unmatched desktop dominance, a litigous culture, and a
> history of bundling that doesn't seem to be abating despite certain
> findings of fact. 
> Taking the above situation s/IBM/Microsoft/, the 2 other vendors and the
> Open version would be squashed by the *bundled* MS version because
> people, quite frankly, cant be bothered installing a competeing product
> to one that comes bundled with their OS. 
> Or say OS X becomes really huge on the desktop. And Apple bundle their
> own extended Mono. The average OS X desktop user isn't going to worry
> about any other version of Mono. And the more this gains market
> dominance, the more it affects the rest of us. 

Even if Mono was under the GPL, these companies are free to write their
own .NET code, much of its an open standard.  Nothing is special about
Mono that it is the only possible alternative to MS's implementation.

> > > So essentially a whole independant .Net server infrastructure. I have a
> > > feeling the passport/hailstorm/soap will be embrace and extend for any
> > > Free .Net initiative. Like... "Oh. You want to send you data to that
> > > X-box user. You'll need a passport account" Sort of thing.
> > 
> > Well, nothing we can do about that, is there?  You can releae Mono under
> > X11, GPL, closed source, or not release it at all - either way, we end
> > up not having the ability to communicate with those boxes, and no one
> > will care but the Mono users - who will be, admittedly, extremyly small
> > in number compared to MS users.
> > 
> > With Mono under an X11 license, at least we could have the freedom to
> > use extensions (which may or may not be closed source) to communicate
> > with these boxes, if the need or want ever arises.
> Unfortunately you're right. Sooner or later one has to take a stance and
> just choose to not co-operate in the game. 

Unfortunately, even if the entire Linux/Free Software community decided
to take your stance, it wouldn't stop anyone.  The 3% of the desktop
market that we might someday represent aren't the target of the media

> > > But if they really do close out the ballgame from the CPU/HDD all the
> > > way to the API, Opensource or not, you're stuck.
> > 
> > That won't be dependent on Mono being under the X11 license,
> > unfortunately.
> > 
> > > 
> > > >  I'd rather have
> > > > the choice to watch media thru a closed extension than not watch it at
> > > > all.  Not having that option isn't going to make the media open; it's
> > > > just going to make it impossible for users of Open operating systems to
> > > > enjoy the media.
> > > 
> > > Id rather watch it through an open medium. I'd rather *own* a collection
> > > of DVD's than have to pay per play.
> > 
> > That wasn't an option.  ~,^  We have this media XYZ.  It's *only*
> > available under a closed, proprietary media.  Now, either you have the
> > technology to watch it, Open/Free/Closed, or you don't.
> So you either join them and watch the media, or you take the
> aforementioned stance. 
> > It's just like the DVD's.  I really hate CSS and the DMCA.  But I own a
> > DVD player, and a good number of DVD's.  I'm forced to use closed code
> > to watch these movies; but, without it, I wouldn't be able to watch them
> > (or, at least, I'd be a federal criminal under the DMCA).
> Luckily where I am the DMCA does not apply, and thus I can watch my
> DVD's legally using open code. But where I am the region locking system
> really gets us square in the choppers :) So few DVD's are released zone
> 4, and its not like I can order them from Amazon. You're probably
> watching DVD's I cant even get. But this is OT... Actually, this whole
> threads getting OT. I'll be quiet from now on ;)
> > > Id rather see a bazzar like model of amateur media creation. If I make a
> > > cheesy kung fu film with my friends, I wanna be able to share it with
> > > the world without having a Passport account, or uploading to some 'movie
> > > .Net service' where the people downloading need passport/money to view
> > > my video. And if the Terms of Service for passport remain unchanged,
> > > when I upload my film to .Net, Im not going to own the copyright anymore
> > > anyway. 
> > 
> > Well, with Mono, you could create such a system on .Net, and allow both
> > MS users and Linux/UNIX users to access this.  Tie it into a different
> > auth protocol than Hailstorm (there are alternatives), and there you go.
> I don't know. I will wait and see if this pans out as possible. I
> understand we can always *roll our own* but your average .Net consumer
> (er I mean product) can't. 

It's really simple.  Mono will work with the standard.  I'm assuming
Microsoft will extend their implementaiton, but keep it compatible with
their own standard (they'd shoot themselves in the foot otherwise, since
many apps people used would cease to work without backwards compat). 
Make a service to do whatever you want with media or whatever, use Mono
or a GPL implementation, and there ya go.

> > Heck, if the Open Source community could form a very
> > powerful/fast/secure authentication server for .Net, and *advertised* it
> > properly (Free Software never does that enough, or least, they
> > idiotically advertise to their existing users) any large on-line service
> > would offer both Hailstorm authentication *and* auth against the Open
> > database.
> But would you need a passport to auth against hailstorm? 

Against hailstorm, probably.  But there are alternatives to hailstorm.

> > > Sure I could just upload it to a web server or something, but then all
> > > those MS .Net users with their closed X-Box DRM machines (and there will
> > > be a *lot* of them no doubt) might not be able to get them.
> > 
> > Well, if they choose to use that system, that is their right to do so.
> Indeed. As it was Windows users' right to just stick with IE, WMP, MS
> only extensions. Given the choice, the average person will waive their
> choices (and heck, their rights while they're at it) because people are
> lazy :) It doesn't make MS's actions right or even legal. 

Aye, but there's not much you can do about their choices, is there? 

> > > > And I'm not even going to try to dissect the rest of this message.  What
> > > > any of it has to do with Mono being released under the X11 license I
> > > > can't figure out.  ^,^  You do have some good philosiphical points tho,
> > > > something I hadn't really thought of myself.
> > > 
> > > I wish I had your confidence that all was going to be alright. I know
> > > things will always be OK as long as we have the GPL. Gnome, ATM is GPL.
> > > So no-one, anywhere, ever can take that away from the *community*. I
> > > wait with baited breath to see this .Net/Mono crazyness unfold.
> > 
> > Again, Mono isn't going to change GNOME.  Even Miguel's plans on that
> > were clear: GNOME is GNOME, and will continue to be licensed/used as it
> > is now.  Mono just wraps into it.  Perl is not under the GPL, but there
> > are Perl bindings for GNOME... has this caused the collapse of our
> > freedom on GNOME?
> > 
> > NOt that I recall.  ^,^
> > 
> I agree. Gnome will be right. Im not even overtly concerned about Mono.
> Its .Net I am concerned about. 

Well, again, there's not much we can do.  We can either not have that
sort of functionality, make our own system that isn't compatible with
anyone and that would be scarcely used, or make a .Net compatible
system, that can at least handle some of what MS pushes out, and be
incompatible where it makes sense to do so.

GNOME w/ Mono support would be a great desktop alternative to Microsoft
then for people who have come to depend on .Net.  Just like if
Quicken/Quickbooks and AOL started working on Linux, I could easily
convert most of the people I know to Linux (or whatever other platform
those apps are ported to).  The Open Source desktop needs the apps, and
whatever evil .Net might bring, it *will* help bring more applications.

That's one of the points Miguel was trying to get across, as I recall.

> You hold an interesting discussion, Sean :) 

Wow.  Most people generally just say, "Sean, you're an idiot, shut up

> Crispin
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