[Mono-list] RE: Is it Mono safe?

David Waite mass@akuma.org
Thu, 20 May 2004 13:51:40 -0600

In the end, the 'Microsoft may attempt to screw Linux users over' is 
not the real issue, but a distraction point to help carry FUD of this 
sort. Patent issues are not restricted to a particular vendor or 
product; there are several other open-source and free-software projects 
which may very well infringe on patents.

Some projects, such as the Linux kernel, have taken a reactive view of 
patents - knowing that a patent exists just means they are liable for 
punitive damages, so patent issues should just be worked through as 
they come up case-by-case.  Due to this fear of Microsoft and the 
opportunity of mono to become fundamental infrastructure over the 
coming years, a more proactive approach is being taken - a legal review 
leading up to 1.0.

So perhaps the correct response is not to counter Microsoft behavioral 
maybes with counter-conjecture, but instead to say that there is active 
work to identify legal issues. Indeed, a 1.0 release of mono might very 
well be "safer" w.r.t. to patents than most other free software.

-David Waite

On May 20, 2004, at 1:30 PM, Mark Easton wrote:

>> Look over here:
>> http://www.gnome.org/~seth/blog/mono
>> and here:
>> http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=3D7094
>> This is bad news.... :(
> The first link is not news but rather random blog musings and the 
> second
> link is more akin to personal opinion than news.
>> How do you convince somebody to programming in Mono if he already read
> that
>> news?
> While there's a strong urge for Linuxites to dislike any technology
> that's related to MS, real developers should be without technical
> prejudice and the benefits of Mono pretty much speaks for themselves.
> Sure there's a chance that MS might do some patent slapping at some
> point, but is it really going to be worth their while?  After all, Mono
> makes it a lot easier to integrate Windows solutions with 
> cross-platform
> software and it makes .NET much more attractive for organisations 
> who're
> afraid of vendor entrenchment or have reams of legacy software running
> on assorted boxes.
> I personally feel that MS is going to be over the moon when Mono
> stabilises as it will help MS to push their products onto non-Windows
> platforms and it will help MS push .NET to organisations that might
> otherwise consider Java and OSS.
> If you'll forgive the blasphemy, perhaps what's required for Linux to
> finally 'succeed' on the desktop is for MS to release .NET versions of
> their product lines - Imagine the joy of Windows Media Player on Linux!
> Mark
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