Debian rejects open-source .NET threat claim
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.'" ®
As long as it stays in non-free reps...
As long as Mono stays where it belongs (in the "non-free" repositories), it won't be a problem. Sure, MS can (and probably will) get their lawyer on the back of any successfull open-source project writen in C#, but if it doesn't include anything critical it should be OK. Just pull the plug on the affected project. That's why OSS people should refrain from starting time-consuming projects in C# (it will be time wasted in the end, I think it was Stallman's point), but getting the Mono thing in the non-free section to provide support for the odd small gadgets won't hurt. Probably. That's what the non-free repositories are for, after all.
And for the ones who spouted nonsense about Ubuntu, I think you'll find that this particular Debian's bastard child is considerably less free than its grown-up parent. It'll presumably be the first to go when shit hits the fan. And starting from Debian and it's rock-solid, almost universal hardware support, it's second-to none package management system and it's fuckastically huge package repositories was probably the brightest idea Canonical ever had. I mean, when you're looking for a free, just-work-out-of-the-box base with a software package or ten for every possible need, what other choice do you have nowadays? (the first to shout "windows" will get a sharp kick to the gonads. Same for "Apple OS"). Maybe Gentoo*? But seriously, who in the luser world is gonna compile their own system from the ground up?
*Quite sadly, I'm being serious here.
Linux may not be in your desktop, but it is probably in your boardband router, your TV or set-top-box, etc.
MS-DOS and Windows were influenced by Unix (and CP/M and MacOS), OK it has flipped a bit, from the MS-DOS/Windows version of an Unix program/utility to the Linux version of an application.
@Mathew Evans (@shills.microsoft.com?)
>It's been around for over 10 years, and its sitting at < 1 % of desktop / laptops. Every OEM manufacturer who has a go at selling a Linux desktop / laptop pulls the plug quick smart, because they get arm twisted by MS threatening to pull their OS completely from them or jack up the price enormously.
Fixed that for you; and no need to thank me -- I'm just that kind of helpful guy, I'd do it for anyone, even people like you.