Feeds

Open-source .NET splits for extra Microsoft protection

Boycott Debian and Ubuntu calls silenced?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A community implementation of .NET is splitting in two, hoping to protect Linux and open-source against potential patent claims from Microsoft.

The Mono Project plans to split between a core set of APIs that are based on ECMA specifications of Microsoft's C# and Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and a stack that implements other Microsoft APIs for ASP.NET, ADO.NET, and Winforms.

Microsoft has promised it won't assert patent claims against non-Microsoft implementations of C# and CLI, but it has made no such clear promise on the rest.

Miguel de Icaza

de Icaza: no word on non-ECMA APIs

The distinction is important, as Mono has been used in a variety of open-source applications that can ship with and work on popular Linuxes such as Debian and Ubuntu.

Applications using the C# parts of Mono include the Banshee media player, the Gnome Due application installer, Beagle desktop-search, and the Tomboy note-taking application.

Mono leader Miguel de Icaza told The Reg: "The concern is Microsoft won't sue over the ECMA code but there's no word on the others so we are going to split those out so everybody isn't concerned."

ASP.NET is under Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative, which provides limited rights to view the Microsoft source code. ADO.NET is available under Microsoft's Public License. And Winforms come in a variety of open and copyrighted licenses.

The very presence of Mono in applications used by Debian and Ubuntu reached a crescendo last week, with GNU-daddy Richard Stallman calling it a threat to open-source because Microsoft could assert its claims over C# to kill Mono-based projects.

Stallman's comments followed what appeared to be a great deal of community politicking, debate, and personal attacks made through various email lists apparently designed to get people to boycott Debian and Canonical and force them to dump Mono, which is sponsored by Novell. Mono has been taking heat since Novell's controversial patent protection deal with Microsoft in November 2006.

In some cases, people have reacted to the anti-Mono wave.

One commenter on an Ubuntu mailing list promised his company would look into switching from Ubuntu to Fedora because Mono "is just too dangerous" and said he stood by the position taken by Stallman. He was speaking after The Ubuntu Technical Board said it saw no harm in Mono.

The sticking point was that since 2001, Microsoft has made Mono available on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) terms rather than a royalty free license, a license Microsoft had promised it would adopt.

The sore point was what constituted "reasonable" as Microsoft could set the terms. de Icaza said nobody had followed up to make the ECMA C# and CLI specs available under the promised royalty free license.

Microsoft's promise Monday of availability under its Community Promise is designed to rectify that and satisfy critics of Mono. The C# and CLI parts of the Mono core can still be installed with the other part of the Mono stack, covering ASP.NET, ADO.NET, and Winforms. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.