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Debian rejects open-source .NET threat claim

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Debian, the foundation of Ubuntu, has rejected claims that it is potentially holding Linux's future hostage to Microsoft by including an open-source implementation of .NET in its code.

A project spokesman has said GPL daddy Richard Stallman was wrong to say Mono will be featured in Debian's default installation, adding Mono would be used by just a small number of users.

Installations affected will be those that implement the Gnome desktop using a meta package with a dependency on Tomboy. These installations will need to pull in Mono, the long-running open-source implementation of .NET now sponsored by Novell.

Tomboy is a note-taking application for Linux, Unix, Windows, and Mac OS X available under the LGPL.

Debian developer and spokesman Alexander Reichle-Schmehl has written: "The default installation - or to be more precise: The default GNOME installation (there are installation media which install an KDE, Xfce or LXDE desktop by default, too) - hasn't changed. It still installs a more or less minimal Gnome Desktop without tomboy and without mono."

The reply came after Stallman, founder of the GNU project and a General Public License author, said the inclusion of Mono in Debian's default installation posed a "dangerous" risk to the open-source community.

Stallman predicted Microsoft would challenge free and open-source implementations of C#, part of .NET and therefore Mono, using the threat of patents.

In answer to Stallman, Reichle-Schmehl said Debian: "Has not [sic] 'to include Mono in the default installation, for the sake of Tomboy.'" ®

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