RE: On the Meme (WAS: Gran Canaria wrap-up 1)

Dave, regarding the meme, it isn’t particularly aimed at RMS himself, but to the whole anyone trying to stop third parties on writing code on whatever platform they like, specially trying to stop them writing free software, with a free software platform! Technically speaking, some of us might not like Mono (I don’t like the idea of a desktop running 2 or more interpreters/vms as it is right now) but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stand up and support those who like it and deserve the freedom to use it. Some people might not like mono, but they shouldn’t be afraid of people writing code with it!

RMS stood in front of us, and said we were wrong, and he didn’t even bother giving us a plausible reason, he just referenced the software freedom law center as a source, no explanation at all, that is just not right, do you imagine Steve Ballmer. In the meantime, none gives Miguel the credit of what he is achieving, quite the contrary, everything he and other people in the Mono community got so far is loads of negative input and no credit.

Miguel is pushing Microsoft to play within our rules, and to be honest, I rather see a world where Microsoft plays nicely with open source (or free software), than a world where beating Microsoft is more important than free software itself. The more we treat them as our enemies, the later they’ll commit to our game rules.

We wanted to stand up and support those who believe in software freedom and that look for pragmatic and effective ways to bring everyone into the game. We are not afraid of anyone excercising his/her freedom to write free software! We support them all! That was what the meme was all about.

As fot the sexism issue, Richard is been parodying the Bible for quite some years, if anyone has a problem with Richard’s parody, I think they should complain to every christian church around instead. To me the whole issue is like claiming that Monty Python’s Life of Brian is sexist or antisemitic as well. But that’s just my opinion.

By the way, I, for one, am not afraid of people porting applications to C++ either!

10 thoughts on “RE: On the Meme (WAS: Gran Canaria wrap-up 1)

  1. Sorry, but just because you license your own code and patents under the GPL doesn’t make your creation a “free software platform” if someone else owns patents on the technology.


  2. @Chris:
    Sorry, but it does. Patent and licensing are two different matters.
    Every single line of code is threatened by patents, GNOME or the Linux kernel is full of patent violations in its code and that doesn’t stop anyone from using it.
    If you knew something about patents, you would figure out that most corporations use them as a defensive mechanism (due to the perversion of the patent system).
    The only ones using patents offensively are lobby firms whose work is only… file patents and sue anyone violating it!
    In the corporate industry is used as nuclear weapons in the cold war. If you sue me, get ready to get sued by me. The one who owns more patents, is the one who is less sued.
    So far I haven’t seen any big corporation suing any open source community or open source company by Microsoft or Apple. And yet we treat them as if they did.
    Now they publish a enforceable promise, and people still don’t give a shit and keep FUDing…
    So if you think Mono is a problem, hold your pants onto this piece of reality: probably 90% of the free software you are running right now is covered by some patent owned by some company.


  3. I don’t think that Miguel and Novell would have pushed Microsoft so hard to agree to what they agreed to (extending the patent promise to C# and .net) without the major heat coming from the anti-Mono crowd. It would have been “trust us”, and after Microsoft’s action against TomTom, that is a very risky move.
    I think that with Microsoft’s new patent promises, and with Miguel’s announcement that the package will be split into an EMCA piece and an extensions piece, it will be safer for those who aren’t Novell customers to use the EMCA part.


  4. “Miguel is pushing Microsoft to play within our rules…” – this is your problem. Microsoft does not play by anyone rules but theirs. They pester Miguel because it provides them with an alternative implementation of C#, so they can back their “standard and interoperability” claims, but they don’t give a shit about “your rules”.


  5. The reason why this meme is – IMNSHO – so bizzare is that, en large, people are not afraid of other people who write code.
    People were afraid that their concerns (and dare I say it: prior to the CP and post the TomTom case, these were not unfounded, especially because no legally binding clarification of MS position re Mono could be gathered and the Mono project kept on answering this questions with a “everything is fine, don’t worry” chant, at best) were neither addressed nor taken seriously by the public figureheads around Mono.
    People were afraid, that – for whatever reasons – those who write the code and form the strategic decisions don’t take all arguments seriously, probably resulting in additional and probably avoidable risks of patent infringement in the future.
    Excluding the assortment of nutjobs, crackjobs and trolls that were/are present on both side of the argument for a moment:
    Watever it was that people were afraid of, they were so because they care deeply about F/OSS. The major takeaway from this whole affair should be that legal concerns of larger portions of the user base should be taken seriously and that negotiating promises like the CP should be part of the beginning of projects like Mono and not part of the damage controll dance after years of exhausting dicussions.


  6. @Chris:
    Again you miss the point, most patents don’t hold up in courts, not even Microsoft ones. It’s going through the court what people try to avoid, because it’s a expensive process, and small companies can’t afford the issue.
    Anyway, do you have any examples on what makes the rest of the software patents not holdable on a court compared to Microsoft one’s on Mono?


  7. Patent violation is not about chances, you either violate it or not. And pretty much any piece of software these days violate patents.
    To give you an idea, a mouse cursor changing its color depending on the background (a simple XOR of both bitmaps) is a pantented technique. The list of silly things like this is just huge.


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