[TAG] Jim, HELP needed, 5-minute solution needed by computer industry
joregan at gmail.com
Wed Jun 17 22:18:56 MSD 2009
2009/6/17 Paul Sephton <paul at inet.co.za>:
> On Wed, 2009-06-17 at 11:23 -0500, Ben Okopnik wrote:
>> > Perhaps I was exaggerating with `most'. I'm sure the Mono community
>> > would disagree, however to put the shoe on the other foot, Mono
>> > leaves a bad taste in the mouth of many, with all the legal
>> > surrounding Moonlight and the use of it by anyone other than direct
>> > Novell customers.
>> To be honest, I'm a part of that "many". I believe that buying
>> into .NET
>> supports a Microsoft-dominant development paradigm and locks
>> into a smaller (and less free) universe. As I've noted, however, there
>> are many people who disagree.
> As it so happens, there is a spate of attention around recent moves from
> some of the Debian guys to include Mono in the Gnome distribution for
> the latest Debian release. ?The whole argument seems to be around the
> Tomboy applet, which is a simple notebook like GNote. ?For the privilege
> of the Mono based Tomboy, you get an added 50MB of dependencies
> introduced. ?The size is a relatively minor issue though...
'Like GNote' -- other way around, in fact: GNote is a C++ rewrite of
Tomboy. Tomboy is included by default, because it is part of GNOME 2.6
- GNote isn't.
> The argument for Mono seems to be: "It's open source, so it's ok".
> What some people are missing with Mono, is that it is an implementation
> of Microsoft's intellectual property, protected by numerous patents for
> aspects of the .NET API, as well as patents against the C# language.
"While Microsoft and their partners hold patents for the CLI and C#,
ECMA and ISO require that all patents essential to implementation be
made available under "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms". In
addition to meeting these terms, the companies have agreed to make the
patents available royalty-free."
"However, this does not apply for the part of the .NET Framework which
is not covered by the ECMA/ISO standard, which includes Windows Forms,
ADO.NET, and ASP.NET. Patents that Microsoft holds in these areas may
deter non-Microsoft implementations of the full framework."
Tomboy uses GNOME-specific APIs on top of the ECMA part: there are no
realistic patent fears here.
FWIW, the Free Software Foundation have their own implementation of
the ECMA part of .Net called Portable.Net.
> Perhaps it would be pertinent to point out the recent action Microsoft
> instated against TomTom GPS systems; ?TomTom used Linux as the base OS,
> but used the VFAT file system to access flash storage. ?TomTom came to
> an out of court settlement with Microsoft, and although the details of
> the agreement are unavailable, one might speculate that this entails
> either replacing Linux, or paying the royalty.
It's still just speculation, though.
The TomTom case strikes me as a particularly ridiculous example to be
used to advocate the removal of Mono for (potentially) infringing
Microsoft patents: wouldn't that also advocate the removal of Linux
I certainly wouldn't encourage anyone to trust Microsoft blindly, but
given their track record, I happen to think it's a good thing that
they're taking tentative steps into the worlds of open standards and
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