Mono Position Statement

Scott James Remnant scott at ubuntu.com
Tue Jun 30 14:58:44 UTC 2009


The Ubuntu Technical Board has been asked for a position statement on
the use of C#, specifically the Mono implementation, by applications in
Ubuntu.

These applications, as well as the Mono stack, were proposed for
inclusion like any other application and underwent the same review
process that all new applications and platforms undergo before being
accepted into the archive.

With specific regard to the default installed application set,
applications have been reviewed and compared against each other on merit
and features.  These often take place during the Ubuntu Developer
Summits, most recently over the default media player.


A common concern cited about Mono is the patent position, largely it
seems due to the originator of the C# language and associated ECMA
standards.

The Ubuntu Project takes patent issues seriously, and the Ubuntu
Technical Board is the governance body that handles allegations of
patent infringement.  The Ubuntu Technical Board strives to engage with
rights holder openly in terms of the code that we ship.  If a rights
holder claims a patent infringement applies to said code, the Technical
Board will commit to a review of the claim.

The Ubuntu Technical Board has received no claims of infringement
against the Mono stack, and is not aware of any such claims having been
received by other similar projects.

It is common practice in the software industry to register patents as
protection against litigation, rather than as an intent to litigate.
Thus mere existence of a patent, without a claim of infringement, is not
sufficient reason to warrant exclusion from the Ubuntu Project.

(While the Ubuntu project wishes to be responsive to patent infringement
 claims, we cannot commit to the assessment and review of claims made by
 anyone other than the registered rights holder.)


Given the above, the Ubuntu Technical Board sees no reason to exclude
Mono or applications based upon it from the archive, or from the default
installation set.

Since the Mono stack is already a dependency of the default installation
set for many remixes of Ubuntu, including the Desktop Edition, there is
no reason to consider a dependency on Mono as an issue when suggesting
applications for the default set.

(Other remixes may obviously consider the CD Size implications if an
 application would introduce the Mono platform to the set.)


Scott
on behalf of the Ubuntu Technical Board
-- 
Scott James Remnant
scott at ubuntu.com
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