[Mono-devel-list] Contributing to Mono while having knowledge of Rotor SSCLI

Jacek Blaszczynski jacek.blaszczynski at acn.waw.pl
Sat Jul 3 06:09:48 EDT 2004

Hash: SHA1


I was stummed while reading special note to Mono project contributors
stating that 

"eleoIf you have looked at Microsoft's implementation of .NET or their
shared source code, you may not be able to contribute to Mono.
Details will follow when we know more about this.

In general be careful when you are implementing free software and you have
access to proprietary code. We need to make sure that we are not
using someone else's copyrighted code accidentally. 

Please do not use the ildasm program to disassemble proprietary code when
you are planning to reimplement a class for Mono. If you have
done this, we might not be able to use your code.

Please stick to published documentation for implementing any classes."

Well I do entirely disagree with the statement that knowledge of SSCLI may
prevent anyone from contrubuting to any free software project
using similar or identical technology. I do base my view on SSCLI EULA which
states that project is intended for educational purposes and
is freely available to anyone. As such no one can claim (and MSFT in
particular) that eductaing people on Rotor internals will prevent
anyone from creating his own CLI implementation - does not matter free or
proprietary. For instance, based on Mono position, it would make
impossible for any educational institution from educating students with help
of SSCLI (many do) and claiming that they can do anything in
area they were educated outside MSFT company - what is not the case!

Reverse engineering of software and its legal consequnces its a different
and complex story and not as obvious as stated in the "special

Including others code is straightfoward case being even a criminal offense
in several jurisdictions.

My impression in this is that due to conflicts between Novell and MSFT on
non-competition rules violations by latter Free Software 
development under Novell umbrella may suffer. These kind of restrictions are
unjustifiable and difficult to undarstand in light of US and
EU legal systems at least.


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