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As It Stands, Ubuntu Has No Issues With Mono

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  • #16
    Heh, I can't help but think the same "OMG the world is ending scenario's" would have been said as well with any company that developed a language. Place the GPL back into the 50's and same "the sky is falling down" nonsense would have been said about Bell labs, IBM, etc etc on C, C++, Fortran, etc.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
      It is idiotic to avoid Mono over this kind of nebulous FUD.
      The threats are real.

      "If a customer says, 'Look, do we have liability for the use of your patented work?' Essentially, If you're using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the answer is yes," Ballmer said.
      When Linux backs MS into a corner, this is gonna turn into another SCO, and with the help of Novell+Mono+Moonlight, this time they are gonna come up with the goods. Patents are real, you can't just stick your head in the sand, nor can you just tromp all over other peoples IP just because you think your friends might have something on them too.

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      • #18
        I have to comment on the exaggerated Microsoft hate in this topic.

        Although Microsoft has initiated Mono and .NET, for a large part it has been up for standardization all the time. The fears against 'evil' Microsoft are unfounded - Microsoft doesn't 'own' .NET (bar maybe trademarks), and there is no way they can take away Mono from Linux users. Hell, they even initiated the whole Mono project to make sure .NET could be used everywhere. Worst they could do is retract their support, but with an active community, Mono isn't going to die.

        Personally, I think C# is a beautiful language and I very much enjoy using it. This backward thinking is not going to help the Linux desktop forward one bit. Microsoft is not the freaking devil.

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        • #19
          DCKing, maybe you missed the part where standardization has NO BEARING on the patent threat? There are HEAPS of patented standards!

          And how are they not the devil?? Have you read the FUD on their Get The Facts campaign? Did you read the statements Ballmer makes? They bankrolled SCO with millions of dollars to generate FUD! Did you read anything about what acts got them convicted as monopolists? Rather than compete fairly, they leverage their monopoly to destroy any competition or do whatever they want. They ARE evil.

          And C# is a great language - probably THE BEST language - that doesn't change the fact that it's created, managed, trademarked, and patented by a convicted monopolist!

          And the bottom line is - if they really wanted to put all this arguing to rest and have everyone use Mono without fear - they could do it in a second (ie, ship it themselves under the GPL)! Has their desire to have the world use .NET led them to do that? NO! They have done just the opposite with the MS/Novell deal, etc.

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          • #20
            The lack of nuance is simply astounding.
            Originally posted by hubick View Post
            DCKing, maybe you missed the part where standardization has NO BEARING on the patent threat? There are HEAPS of patented standards!
            When something is standardized, one can interface with it freely. While Microsoft may have patents in the implementation of .NET, Mono has a different implementation that achieves the same standard, and it's perfectly legal.

            With all this FUD (yes, that's spreading FUD) about Mono, I've never seen anyone give an example of a potentially troublesome patent. Nor have Microsoft ever undertake specific action to a major FOSS project (maybe companies, but not projects).
            Originally posted by hubick View Post
            And how are they not the devil?? Have you read the FUD on their Get The Facts campaign? Did you read the statements Ballmer makes? They bankrolled SCO with millions of dollars to generate FUD! Did you read anything about what acts got them convicted as monopolists? Rather than compete fairly, they leverage their monopoly to destroy any competition or do whatever they want. They ARE evil.
            If you're basing 'evil' on marketing claims, a succesful OS and legal support, then there's something wrong with your definition. Microsoft ain't pretty, granted, but they're not in business to make our lives as Linux users difficult.

            Microsoft has greatly improved the last few years with a lot of standardization (notably OOXML, XPS, and .NET).
            Originally posted by hubick View Post
            And C# is a great language - probably THE BEST language - that doesn't change the fact that it's created, managed, trademarked, and patented by a convicted monopolist!
            May I point out to you that all of Mono is created and managed by the FOSS community? Microsoft has no control over what Mono chooses to do. Now Mono tries to follow Microsoft's standards, but it's completely up to us what we're going to do next.

            Also, Microsoft has no trademark rights over C#. Maybe 'Visual C#' as part of their IDE, but not the name of the language.
            Originally posted by hubick View Post
            And the bottom line is - if they really wanted to put all this arguing to rest and have everyone use Mono without fear - they could do it in a second (ie, ship it themselves under the GPL)! Has their desire to have the world use .NET led them to do that? NO! They have done just the opposite with the MS/Novell deal, etc.
            Microsoft's given us a hand, and now we fight about it just because RMS made a few unfounded claims. It's not up to Microsoft to resolve it. Also, you know perfectly well GPL'ing isn't an option for nearly every software company out there (even though we'd like that), and certainly not for Microsft.

            Look, I'm not going to be a defender of Microsoft here. I don't like them, but I most certainly don't hate them. Their practices may be wrong a lot of times, but they have brought a lot of advancements in the software world, and keep on doing so today. If the Linux world keeps on viewing the software world with anti MS glasses as most are still doing today, it's not going to make it any easier for us. We don't have to embrace MS, but we sure should be able to live with them.
            Last edited by DCKing; 06-30-2009, 09:12 PM.

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            • #21
              After some thinking, I'm starting to think that MS won't actually bother Mono- because the real enemy is not MS, it's the community. Look how many comments Mono and .Net pieces get- much higher than the average article. It seems clear that the real enemy of Mono is the anti-Mono community- it's seemingly everywhere, and may be strong enough to contain Mono.

              Benefit to MS? They don't have to do anything and should they feel it's getting too good, a "leak" or "misstatement" in an interview/article, and the community takes it from there.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by DCKing View Post
                The lack of nuance is simply astounding.
                When something is standardized, one can interface with it freely. While Microsoft may have patents in the implementation of .NET, Mono has a different implementation that achieves the same standard, and it's perfectly legal.
                I'm sorry but that's simply not the case. A good example of this is the CSIRO wifi patent case. A wireless communication technique was patented by the CSIRO and was incorporated into the standard for 802.11a and 802.11g. Earlier this year, over a dozen companies which made use of these techniques, most using their own implementation, reached a settlement with the CSIRO for about $1 billion over unpaid royalties. The companies included Hewlett-Packard, Asus, Intel, Dell, Toshiba, Netgear, D-Link, Belkin, SMC, Accton, 3Com, Buffalo Technologies, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and now the CSIRO are considering other targets (see the link above).

                Now the difference here is that the CSIRO made clear from the start that if their technology was included in a standard then people who implemented it would have to pay royalties. In Microsoft's case, they are encouraging use of their tech while saying "don't worry guys, we won't sue.."

                With their history, why should anyone believe them?

                Originally posted by DCKing View Post
                Nor have Microsoft ever undertake specific action to a major FOSS project (maybe companies, but not projects).
                If you're basing 'evil' on marketing claims, a succesful OS and legal support, then there's something wrong with your definition. Microsoft ain't pretty, granted, but they're not in business to make our lives as Linux users difficult.
                Sorry, but that statement is also completely incorrect. The Halloween docs are just one publicly known example of MS discussing targeting linux. Ever heard of "embrace, extend, extinguish"?

                One 'gem' from those docs (written in 1998) is this quote (emphasis mine):

                The Linux community is very willing to copy features from other OS's if it will serve their needs. Consequently, there is the very real long term threat that as MS expends the development dollars to create a bevy of new features in NT, Linux will simply cherry pick the best features an [sic] incorporate them into their codebase.

                The effects of patents and copyright in combatting Linux remains to be investigated.
                Now re-read that last line, recall that this is taken from a confidential internal Microsoft memo, and tell me again why anyone should trust patented tech that Microsoft 'gives' the community? If you would like to see the context, see the full document linked above.

                Given all this, I think the FSF's statement is quite conservative. I'd be advising people to avoid mono like the plague.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by krazy View Post
                  I'm sorry but that's simply not the case. A good example of this is the CSIRO wifi patent case. A wireless communication technique was patented by the CSIRO and was incorporated into the standard for 802.11a and 802.11g. Earlier this year, over a dozen companies which made use of these techniques, most using their own implementation, reached a settlement with the CSIRO for about $1 billion over unpaid royalties. The companies included Hewlett-Packard, Asus, Intel, Dell, Toshiba, Netgear, D-Link, Belkin, SMC, Accton, 3Com, Buffalo Technologies, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and now the CSIRO are considering other targets (see the link above).

                  Now the difference here is that the CSIRO made clear from the start that if their technology was included in a standard then people who implemented it would have to pay royalties. In Microsoft's case, they are encouraging use of their tech while saying "don't worry guys, we won't sue.."

                  With their history, why should anyone believe them?



                  Sorry, but that statement is also completely incorrect. The Halloween docs are just one publicly known example of MS discussing targeting linux. Ever heard of "embrace, extend, extinguish"?

                  One 'gem' from those docs (written in 1998) is this quote (emphasis mine):



                  Now re-read that last line, recall that this is taken from a confidential internal Microsoft memo, and tell me again why anyone should trust patented tech that Microsoft 'gives' the community? If you would like to see the context, see the full document linked above.

                  Given all this, I think the FSF's statement is quite conservative. I'd be advising people to avoid mono like the plague.
                  Did you look at the ECMA website? Both Microsoft and HP agreed to license patents on a non-discriminatory basis depending on the needs of the one requesting it.

                  Additionally, one of the inventors of the CLR states that the patents are available "royalty free and otherwise RAND" basis for the purpose of implementing C# and the CLR.

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                  • #24
                    Hmm, I hadn't seen that, but RAND licensing doesn't change what I said. The CSIRO wifi patents were also RAND licensed.

                    Also, the definition of "Reasonable" varies widely. Wikipedia has an interesting discussion, and there are some more interesting comments here.
                    The legal agreement you linked above doesn't say royalty free. Unfortunately that guy's opinion is legally irrelevant.

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                    • #25
                      Ubuntu has always been the one brave enough to step into the grey area. Win32 Codecs fellas? Supporting Mono is not strange at all since their primary objective is to grab markets, which needs a distribution that is usable no matter what.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by FunkyRider View Post
                        Ubuntu has always been the one brave enough to step into the grey area.
                        This is what I don't get, Novell does the work and development but Ubuntu gets credit? It's starting to sound like apparmor all over again.....

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                        • #27
                          the point is. why should we take the risk?
                          this is different from some unknown patent that may be infringed by the kernel. this is a well defined piece of software that we can just leave out.

                          i haven't used C# but is it so much better than, say, Python?
                          to me it looks like yet another interpreted language. why bother?

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                          • #28
                            Patent and other issues aside, M$ loves it because it is building on their platform which they control. They are NOT an open standards body with equal love towards all platforms. How comfortable would you be if M$ took over (and they have at least partially..) a standards body which was important to Linux? They are far from neutral, obviously, so Linux .NET will always trail behind Windows .NET.

                            Show me one time where M$ has *ever* tried to create a standard for the good of all? Their only interest, and they've stated numerous times, is to reap profit later on. They funded Novell with their patent coupons to help create this Linux .NET knockoff for one reason alone: to get even the GNU/Linux developers working for them and their M$ platform.

                            As someone with a lot of experience with M$, I'll take my chances with other standards bodies that are actually platform-neutral. Or in other words, help promote actual *standards*.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Na-Fiann View Post
                              I thought most of the .net stack was opened after standardization.
                              Fundamental parts like the C# language and the Common Language Infrastructure are standardized, as are most of the basic APIs (e.g. console and file I/O). My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that any patents that Microsoft has over these components have a royalty-free license for anyone using them to implement the spec. However, the .NET Framework as a whole contains much more that is proprietary, and .NET applications aimed at Windows users routinely use these components. Mono has implemented some of these in the interest of greater cross-platform compatibility, which AFAIK is where the patent concerns and the Novell/MS deal start to come in. However, it doesn't follow that just because Mono implements a proprietary interface that they are infringing MS patents, and the stated policy of the Mono project is to avoid using patented implementation methods. Still, some are concerned that conflict is inevitable as Mono and the .NET Framework continue to evolve.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Yfrwlf View Post
                                Show me one time where M$ has *ever* tried to create a standard for the good of all? Their only interest, and they've stated numerous times, is to reap profit later on.
                                What, a company not doing things for the good of all? Just trying to make profit, now or later? I am shocked.

                                Welcome to the world. Google for "capitalism" to catch up.

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