Miguel de Icaza, Microsoft MVP

Samuel Thurston, III sam.thurston at gmail.com
Mon Jan 18 07:49:52 GMT 2010


Thanks for fixing my reply snafu.  Cutting a lot of your reply down
because it answered most of my questions, again hoping nothing
important is lost:

On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 1:07 AM, Conrad Knauer <atheoi at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Samuel Thurston, III
> <sam.thurston at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> are patent protections part of what you fear about Mono or aren't they?
>
> They're not my main concern; I consider software patents to generally
> be bogus, but their real value to a company like Microsoft, besides
> for defensive purposes, are for things like FUD, extortion and
> SCO-type 3rd party attacks,

Ok, what I'm saying is that by patting Miguel on the back, they're
losing any legal standing they might have for threats and FUD with
respect to Mono.  I also think that SCO fiasco cost them a bundle
right before a release cycle and they won't be trying it again any
time soon, especially since the media attention seems to have
increased rather than decreased corporate adoption of non-MS products.

>>
>> Publicly traded US companies are obligated by securities law to
>> maximize shareholder value.  It's gotta be a tough balancing act.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_be_evil

Heh, there are a growing number of people who feel about Google much
the same way you seem to feel about MS.  Maybe the China thing has
temporarily earned them some points.

> Actually, this section of our discussion WAS talking about proprietary
> software (and not Mono). Please refer back to my original post in
> which I said:
...
> And from there we started talking about Nvidia chips and their
> proprietary drivers.

Yeah... I got my discussion tracks mixed up there a bit.

>
>> Remember when I brought up Java? Your answer to that was that it's GPL
>> now.  Where is the fundamental difference between this and mono?  is
>> it simply that Microsoft is involved and Microsoft is not to be
>> trusted?
>
>  Well yes :) I thought that was my central thesis and at least
> somewhat obvious from things I said and quoted like:
...
>
> but if I was being ambiguous I do apologize! ;)

Hoot!

But I was trying to clarify if there was some actual reason, other
than specifically Microsoft's involvement.

Understanding that we're not talking about a matter of justice, and so
for this bit Ari may jump back in and rightly accuse me of
strawmanning again, but there's a provision in the US Constitution
that forbids making a law that targets an individual (or, it has been
decided, a company).  So how do we structure the policy that pulls
Mono out of consideration?

Bear in mind, Mono is an LGPL runtime much like thousands of others on
the install disc.  Assume "because it's based on something made by
Microsoft" isn't a good enough reason to bar its inclusion.  On what
grounds do we decide that the practical implications of Mono are
unsuitable to something like Ubuntu, and, what else might these
grounds cost us?



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