shameful censoring of mono opposition

Morten Kjeldgaard mok0 at
Mon Jun 8 15:36:21 UTC 2009

Scott James Remnant wrote:

> Why should Ubuntu actively prevent a developer from writing software in
> C# if they wish?  That software may not even be intended to be shipped
> in Ubuntu, what if they want to use Ubuntu as the basis for an
> application that happens to be written in C#?  Do you seriously believe
> we shouldn't allow this?
> For that reason, I actively and passionately disagree with any argument
> that a C# Development environment such as Mono should not be provided
> for Ubuntu.

Although I've uttered scepticism towards Mono before, I actually agree
with that. I know of at least one example where a incarnated .NET
programmer discovered that he could port his work easily to Linux and do
his work there, and make his program available on the lab Linux

> On the patent concerns, the only thing I'd say is that patents are
> inherently uninteresting unless they are being enforced by their
> holders.  Since Microsoft are not currently enforcing any C#-related
> patents--indeed is it even known whether they hold any?--that doesn't
> appear to be a concern.

The main fear wrt to Mono is that IF Ubuntu and other distributions came
to rely on "killer apps" programmed in C#, we'd be extremely vulnerable
to the kind of FUD Microsoft has a history of spreading. In fact, just
threatening with repercussions against users of the distro might be
enough to scare corporate and business users away.

If I were Balmer, that's what I'd do; why risk losing a patent case when
you can use FUD forever with the same result?

On the other hand, we should be careful not destroying our community
with hateful flamewars, and creating divisions where there are none.

So let's not create a problem before it actually arises. We really must
believe in the strength of the FOSS community. If Microsoft indeed did
pursue a patent case, the FOSS community would be able to work around it
quicker than they can say "pay us". Let's not succumb to fear.

All of us are believers of freedom. Consequently, we cannot censor
packages that otherwise fulfil the DFSG. What will be the next thing
then? Banning Firefox because it has an icon of a fox twisting in agony
with its tail on fire?

If users want to use Mono packages, they should be free to do so. If
users don't want them, they can install the mononono package [1] to help
keep them off their system.



Morten Kjeldgaard <mok0 at>
Ubuntu MOTU Developer
GPG Key ID: 404825E7

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