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Thread: GNOME & Mono Made Love At Microsoft Last Week

  1. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBlackCat View Post
    Users are probably okay. Companies, not so much.
    Sony seem confident enough to be shipping Mono as the core of their "Playstation SDK". I think Sony have a bit more to fear from Microsoft than random Banshee users. Or even larger companies using Mono for their stuff, like Unity3D or EA.

  2. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex View Post
    How do you prove a negative? They've never been in court over this stuff, so how would they end up making a sworn statement to that regard?
    Well, one cannot prove a negative. But what you can do is show beyond a reasonable doubt that something does not exist in a given area, an event has not occurred, or that a given set of circumstances would be impossible. It's the reasonable doubt over Microsoft's philanthropy we're all choking on, I'm afraid.

    As to the sworn statement, you would need to put that question to a lawyer. I can't help you there.

    But if you ever need something derived or integrated...

    What we have is the text on http://www.microsoft.com/openspecifi...e/default.aspx - it's almost word for word the language that Oracle uses for ODF. It's the sale language that covers their possible patent claims over RFC 2821, 3207, 4616, 2246, 2251, 2256, 2617, and 2529, to name a tiny subset of the covered specifications under either the Microsoft Community Promise or Open Specification Promise.

    Take it or leave it. It's more than we had a few years ago, it's more than we have for most of the specifications we implement..
    Well, that's nice, but it's kind of immaterial. I don't doubt that what you're saying is true, mine, but it really isn't any reason to just take their word for it and trust Microsoft not to be a dick the first chance they get.

    And I don't use Oracle's shit if I can help it, either.

    At least you can be honest about that, which is more than others in this thread, such as RealNC, can manage.
    Oh grow the fuck up. If you can't have a conversation without resorting to sniping attacks on a 3rd party you're not yet an adult. I don't give a damn what you think of RealNC. Focus. (Chastising rant over)

    How does one prove that Python or Vala are patent free? There's just an implicit assumption that implementing this one thing by Microsoft means it must violate patents, and if you're not implementing anything by anyone who isn't Microsoft then it's impossible for it to infringe on Microsoft patents. As if the very existence of a patent promise is proof of danger.
    Not quite. There is an implicit assumption that because this is from Microsoft, there is no reason to assume it does NOT have a patent bomb in it somewhere. They have a history of shady crap like this (and don't get me started on their "You violate our patents, but we're not telling you which ones until you pay through the nose and sign an NDA.")

    I have flood insurance, this doesn't mean my house is underwater.
    That's quite correct. But if you live in a flood zone which is inundated quite regularly every time there's a storm, then it is likely that storm clouds on the horizon would cause you some concern, no?

    Mono's runtime is under LGPLv2. Mono's class library is under MIT. Various other libraries bundled in Mono's source are under their own licenses, such as Apache 2.0, Ms-PL, GPLv2. It doesn't change anything unless Microsoft contributed code under the (L)GPL to something they later make patent claims over, for the reasons TheBlackCat mentioned.
    I've got to be honest and tell you that most of this is above my pay grade. I have no idea what's in Mono, how it's built, packaged, shipped, or even what its code looks like. However, its origin throws a red flag - if ever a company has earned mistrust, it's Microsoft. However, if what you're telling me is true (and I've no reason to doubt you at this time), then I'm of the mind that wholesale rejection as a knee-jerk reaction might be premature. But is it not prudent to ask "why should we believe this is safe to use considering the well-earned reputation of its source? What have you fuckers hidden?"

  3. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwat47 View Post
    While I can see reason for some concern, this just seems like a "slippery slope" fallacy to me. Microsoft has shown no signs of patent agression towards mono, and if anything have been somewhat friendly to it (with the admittedly half-assed "community promise"). I find it highly unlikely MS is secretly planning to patent-bomb mono, and we don't even know how successful they'd be or how large of an impact it would have if they hypothetically tried that. Distros aren't exactly building mission critical stuff around mono anyway (many don't even include it in the default install). So what if programs like banshee or tomboy use mono? worse case scenerio for users of those apps and ms releases some mythical patent-bomb, is they switch to an alternative app in the future? I can understand not wanting mono being heavily integrated in distros by default, but I don't get why so many people freak out when any random app happens to use mono, its paranoia fueled over-reaction. By all means, don't use mono apps if you don't like it, but there's no reason to hate on a mono hackfest
    It is absolutely a slippery slope. However the slippery slope fallacy only occurs when you can't show any justification for concern or the steps in the slope do not logically follow. "They've made themselves difficult for me to trust, therefore I don't trust them" doesn't fall afoul of the fallacy.

    Yep, I'm a philosophy major.

  4. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraftman View Post
    make MS to keep their dirty hands out of Gnome and entire Linux and I'll shut up when comes to this part.
    Hypocrisy in its purest form. Basically you are saying: I stand up for free software, so that everyone can use it. Except the ones I don't like.
    If Microsoft wants to become involved in Linux development, in whichever project they choose, then it is absolutely their right to do so. This right is granted to them by free licenses like GPL or MIT. As long as they obey to the rules this is totally OK.
    But you want to deny that right to Microsoft although they have done nothing against the rules. This means you are the one playing against the rules, against the basic principles of the licenses that you hold so high.

  5. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larian View Post
    Well, one cannot prove a negative. But what you can do is show beyond a reasonable doubt that something does not exist in a given area, an event has not occurred, or that a given set of circumstances would be impossible. It's the reasonable doubt over Microsoft's philanthropy we're all choking on, I'm afraid.
    So an audit of all 40,000 files in Mono's source against every single one of Microsoft's patents, by a team of lawyers & developers. How much would that cost, exactly? And when the next git commit lands, then what?

    Well, that's nice, but it's kind of immaterial. I don't doubt that what you're saying is true, mine, but it really isn't any reason to just take their word for it and trust Microsoft not to be a dick the first chance they get.
    Hence use of the word "irrevocable" in their "promise" - if they try to take someone to court over patents covered by that promise, the defendant pulls out the text, and Microsoft get laughed out of court.

    And I don't use Oracle's shit if I can help it, either.
    What format do you save documents in, or think people should save them in? All the major formats are covered by claims of patent ownership by crappy giant companies.

    Not quite. There is an implicit assumption that because this is from Microsoft, there is no reason to assume it does NOT have a patent bomb in it somewhere. They have a history of shady crap like this (and don't get me started on their "You violate our patents, but we're not telling you which ones until you pay through the nose and sign an NDA.")
    What is "this" though? Mono is not from Microsoft. Mono is independently developed Free Software. That it happens to be an implementation of a specification from Microsoft doesn't really mean much in your scenario - how can Microsoft leave a "patent bomb" in code they didn't write? And why can't others change their code?

    That's quite correct. But if you live in a flood zone which is inundated quite regularly every time there's a storm, then it is likely that storm clouds on the horizon would cause you some concern, no?
    In the ten years Mono's existed, the list of reasons to feel more positive about risks from Microsoft includes, but is limited to:

    • Microsoft's Community Promise, for all its flaws
    • Microsoft using Mono in their own products, such as Kinectimals for iPad
    • Microsoft releasing large chunks of their own source code under Free licenses
    • Microsoft inviting Mono developers to give speeches at .NET conferences
    • Microsoft's fiercest competitors, such as Sony, using Mono on their own flagship products (Playstation Suite SDK)
    • Microsoft shifting from their own flawed license (Ms-PL) to a GPL-compatible license (Apache 2.0) for updates to their source releases
    • Microsoft releasing .NET Micro under a GPL-compatible license (Apache 2.0)


    Here's the list of reasons to have increased concern over that time:


    Now, if you want to go back to the Halloween documents from the 1990s, I'm sure you'll have a different perspective. But the way I look at things, I see Microsoft as a company in trouble. They've lost mobile completely, the web's largely dumped their technology in favour of HTML5 in everything, and the cloud runs Linux. And looking at all of that, I see a company that needs to adapt to survive, not pretend it's in the easily abused position that it held over desktops in the 1990s. They've engaged with the Free Software community to make FOSS easier to develop on Windows, because otherwise, they'd totally lose a generation. They've had to try and make Hyper-V a first class Linux host, because otherwise VMware would eat their lunch. They're dumping Silverlight in order to proclaim being HTML5's biggest fans ever. They're adapting to survive to a world shaped around their competitors - and any aggression against Mono would cost them infinitely more than it would gain them. That's why I don't sit there and think "shit! Halloween documents! Ballmer says Linux is a cancer!" and so on - because Microsoft wants to survive, and sadly for them, survival in 2012 means playing nice with the world at large.

    I've got to be honest and tell you that most of this is above my pay grade. I have no idea what's in Mono, how it's built, packaged, shipped, or even what its code looks like. However, its origin throws a red flag - if ever a company has earned mistrust, it's Microsoft. However, if what you're telling me is true (and I've no reason to doubt you at this time), then I'm of the mind that wholesale rejection as a knee-jerk reaction might be premature. But is it not prudent to ask "why should we believe this is safe to use considering the well-earned reputation of its source? What have you fuckers hidden?"
    It origin is the Free Software community though.

  6. #196
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    I suppose the discussion had some, well, "not very well put" arguments. The summary as I see it:

    .NET is mostly controlled by Microsoft. They have high stakes in it and own patents covering many parts of the technology.

    It is widely used by Microsoft-educated (some would say "brainwashed" or "bred") developers, and as such, there is much software out there written for it. This means that having a Linux implementation of .NET could help in porting that software to Linux. It also helps people migrating from Microsoft to Linux.

    Most Linux developers don't use .NET. They primarily use Gtk and Qt. So Gnome trying to attract .NET developers doesn't make much sense to me; there aren't many to begin with.

    Microsoft is evil ("open computing and free exchange of information is dead"), so it stands to reason that we should avoid using their core technologies. Linux applications have no reason to be written in .NET. It is dangerous to do so, because patents+evil company smells like disaster ("embrace extend extinguish").

    Microsoft-centric applications have a reason to, so Mono solves the interoperability problem and vendor lock-in for people who, for some reason, can't get away from .NET. Of course this puts them in harm's way by not using the Microsoft implementation of .NET. Maybe they should be informed that using Mono is legally dangerous.

    With all that being said, Gnome's support for .NET is welcome, but it shouldn't use for its own applications. It is dangerous and foolish to do so.

    PS:
    So a "love" festival for .NET was a really bad idea. There's nothing to love about .NET and who it represents. It *is* a giant middle finger towards conscious Linux users.
    Last edited by RealNC; 07-13-2012 at 06:47 AM.

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