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Mono Squeezed Into Debian Default Installation 503

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gonna-need-a-better-girdle dept.
pallmall1 writes "OS News reports that Debian developer Josselin Mouette got Tomboy accepted as a dependency for gnome in the next release of Debian (codenamed Squeeze). While that may seem like nothing big (except for the 50 MByte size of the Tomboy package), Tomboy requires Mono — meaning that Mono will now be installed by default. Apparently, Debian doesn't have the same concerns over using specifications patented by Microsoft and licensed under undisclosed terms that Red Hat does. Perhaps Debian doesn't believe that Microsoft might do something like Rambus did."
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Mono Squeezed Into Debian Default Installation

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  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:35AM (#28334377) Journal

    Last I checked, the "default installation" of Debian didn't even include X. So I'm guessing what they really mean is that they've included it in the default repositories, and if you apt-get gnome you'll get tomboy and mono too.

  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:40AM (#28334429) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft may just have .NET patents and contracts for their own sake, as SOP. Pragmatically, it would be a mistake for them to sue Debian or Miguel. I think they realize that because they haven't yet gone after Miguel.
  • Looks more like Sid (Score:4, Informative)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <{elmuerte} {at} {drunksnipers.com}> on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:41AM (#28334437) Homepage

    The commit was done on Debian unstable, which is Sid, not Squeeze.

  • What the F... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sydneyfong (410107) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:41AM (#28334443) Homepage Journal

    Am I missing something?

    I've been using Debian for ..... 8+ years, since 2001, and I've NEVER heard anything about "GNOME" being in the "default" install. Anything resembling a "default" install would be the the Debian base system, which includes things like basic system files, core-utils, bash, pam, etc. Anything else is installed explicitly by the user (yes, installers make it easier, but still you need to choose the option). There are thousands of Debian desktop users who have no GNOME installed, and are either using KDE, or some other desktop environment.

    Besides, isn't "tomboy" already included in the GNOME of Debian Lenny (the current stable release)? At least when I did an "apt-get install gnome" yesterday (source list pointing to lenny), it installed tomboy for me, together with the EVIL EVIL mono etc. And Debian has included mono as part of its repository for years. If it had licensing/patent concerns, there wouldn't be any difference whether it was in the "default GNOME" installation or not.

    Argh.

  • 6 MB (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:44AM (#28334477)

    It's actually 6 MB for Tomboy itself. The 50 MB figure must include Mono, I guess.

  • by Freetardo Jones (1574733) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:52AM (#28334531)

    What's wrong with this picture?

    You mean other than the fact that the statement is bullshit? I have a compiled version of Tomboy and it only comes out to around 5-6 megs. The 50MB size is them including all of it's secondary dependencies (which are used by other programs as well) to create a completely misleading picture.

  • Re:Yessss (Score:4, Informative)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:52AM (#28334541)
  • by Bob54321 (911744) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:00AM (#28334615)
    Look for GNotes. It is Tomboy ported to C++. That has annoyed to Tomboy developers....
  • by EvilIdler (21087) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:01AM (#28334625)

    I guess Tomboy is a nice test-case. But all that junk to install just for a note-taking program? Also, wouldn't it be nice if the Slashdot summary told me what Tomboy does?

    The project page is a little more informative:
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/tomboy [freshmeat.net]

  • what a troll (Score:5, Informative)

    by jipn4 (1367823) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:07AM (#28334687)

    Apparently, Debian doesn't have the same concerns over using specifications patented by Microsoft and licensed under undisclosed terms

    Microsoft has filed a patent on the .NET APIs, but Tomboy (and most Mono applications) don't use the .NET APIs, they use the ECMA APIs and standard Linux APIs. Mono is no different in that way from Python, Ruby, Perl, or many other languages people commonly use on Linux: it uses proprietary APIs on Windows, and open source APIs on Linux.

    Furthermore, Mono is way ahead of languages like Java in that regard because, unlike Java, Mono is based on an open standard and there are no known patents on the language core or core libraries.

    If anybody can point to an actual patent that Mono or Tomboy violate, please file an issue report against the Mono project; if it is credible, the infringing functionality will be removed from Mono. So far, nobody has been able to come up with anything.

  • by Laven (102436) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:07AM (#28334691)

    Have you tried gnote yet? It is a C++ reimplementation of tomboy. gnote's binary package itself is less than 4MB with only a few standard dependencies that you might already have on a GNOME desktop, significantly smaller than Mono. I made the switch fully from tomboy to gnote a few months ago and things are working very nicely.

  • by Freetardo Jones (1574733) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:18AM (#28334811)

    They originated because of the way mono is conceived to lure Linux developers into using software whose api is completely controlled by Microsoft but without its blessing.

    Yeah, so much of a lack of a blessing that it's provided the Mono developers with specifications for .NET/C#/Silverlight and its engineers have directly collaborated with the Mono developers. I'm pretty sure if you weren't giving your blessing that you wouldn't allow your engineers to collaborate with the project.

    Once too many Linux packages depend on mono, I'm sure we'll get some patent/copyright saber-rattling from Microsoft.

    So you claim, but we've been hearing that for 5 years now and the sky hasn't fallen yet Chicken Little.

    Then there's the technical aspect that mono will always be running behing the microsoft C#/CLI version, and so your Linux mono application will generally not even run on Windows or if it's running will be unappealing because it feels old to the MS user.

    This is bullshit. Every app I've written against Mono that doesn't use any of their extensions has run perfectly on .NET on Windows. Just so you know, Mono supports pretty much all of the important parts of .NET 3.5 so I don't know where you are pulling this shit from.

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:27AM (#28334923)
    Gnote is a line by line clone of Tomboy from C# to C++. Even the GUI is exactly the same. Don't believe me? See the screenshots at http://robertmh.wordpress.com/2009/06/12/mono-in-the-default-install/ [wordpress.com] So his complaints would all be still valid, unless he's biased against mono.
  • Wrong. (Score:3, Informative)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:28AM (#28334935) Homepage

    > Mono Squeezed Into Debian Default Installation

    It is not going into the Debian default installation. The Debian default installation does not include any "desktop environment". It is going into the Gnome "desktop".

  • Re:Slow news day (Score:2, Informative)

    by moogsynth (1264404) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:42AM (#28335119)
    No, that's a coppout. This is an example of a bad deal [microsoft.com]:

    Microsoft reserves the right to update (including discontinue) the foregoing covenant pursuant to the terms of the Patent Cooperation Agreement between Novell and Microsoft that was publicly announced on November 2, 2006; however, the covenant as set forth above will continue as to specific copies of Covered Products distributed by Novell for Revenue before such update.

    And this is an example of a good deal [waveprotocol.org]:

    Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Google and its affiliates hereby grant to you a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this License) patent license for patents necessarily infringed by implementation of this specification. If you institute patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the implementation of the specification constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses for the specification granted to you under this License shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.

    Non-disclosure agreements and time-limited covenants are by their very nature exclusive and are a complete joke to free software. If Microsoft really understood FOSS, they would have offered an agreement like that right off the bat.

  • by julian67 (1022593) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:45AM (#28335153)

    http://svn.debian.org/viewsvn/pkg-gnome/desktop/unstable/meta-gnome2/debian/control?revision=20303&view=markup [debian.org]

    "Depends: gnome-desktop-environment (= ${source:Version}),
                      gdm-themes,
                      gnome-themes-extras,
                      gnome-games (>= 1:2.24.3),
                      libpam-gnome-keyring (>= 2.24.1),
                      gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly (>= 0.10.10),
                      gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg (>= 0.10.6),
                      rhythmbox (>= 0.12),
                      synaptic (>= 0.62),
                      system-config-printer (>= 1.0.0),
                      totem-mozilla,
                      swfdec-mozilla,
                      epiphany-extensions,
                      gedit-plugins,
                      evolution-plugins (>= 2.24.3),
                      evolution-exchange (>= 2.24.3),
                      evolution-webcal (>= 2.24.0),
                      serpentine,
                      gnome-app-install,
                      transmission-gtk,
                      bluez-gnome,
                      arj,
                      avahi-daemon,
                      tomboy (>= 0.12.2) | gnote,"

    note: tomboy (>= 0.12.2) | gnote

    In plain English that means tomboy *or* gnote.

    It's Debian, you have a choice.

    Debian also offers an Xfce/LXDE version of CD1 and a KDE version of CD1, CD1 being the installer. Neither of these offer mono or Gnome (duh!). Debian also offers fine grained package selection in all the installers, and a netinstall and a tiny netinstall, the businesscard iso. There is also the DVD installer which offers a choice of desktop environments along with the usual options for fine grained selection of packages, the 'Expert Install' option.

    So *one* of the numerous ways of installing Debian *may* offer Tomboy to those who want it. Cue howls of intolerant, ill-informed, unsubstantiated quasi-religious outrage.....

    And anyway mono is accepted as free software by the two bodies which are best placed to determine its status, the FSF and the OSI (and Debian Legal as well). Their legal teams have somehow failed to persuaded by psychotic ravings and are obstinately insistent in assessing these things by means of reason, facts, law and other little know methods. How churlish.

    On the other hand it might be a far reaching conspiracy and have something to do with the Kennedy assassination, 9/11 and Roswell.

  • Re:Yessss (Score:3, Informative)

    by ketilwaa (1095727) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:46AM (#28335155) Homepage
    Stallman did comment on Mono, and it's not necessarily what one would expect: See? [fsfe.org]
  • Re:what a troll (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:48AM (#28335191)

    Furthermore, Mono is way ahead of languages like Java in that regard because, unlike Java, Mono is based on an open standard and there are no known patents on the language core or core libraries.

    Java is based on an open standard... the fully open-source reference JDK [java.net].

    The reference JVM is also significantly faster than mono and somewhat faster than Microsoft CLR and has loads of somewhat useful other languages implementations that compile to it (Ruby, Python, Scala, Groovy, etc). So I'm not sure where you're pulling "way ahead" from.

  • by dlgeek (1065796) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:10AM (#28335441)
    Not quite. Sid is always sid. Squeeze becomes stable when it's released. Packages automatically move from unstable (always sid) to testing (currently squeeze) when they have no RC bugs for 10 days and all their dependencies can move together. Eventually, this is frozen and all moves happen by hand, as the release is prepared. This change will propagate to squeeze soonish though, assuming there are no bugs.
  • Re:Yessss (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:42AM (#28335939)

    No. Distributors cannot "ignore the bloody things" because unlike hobby developers, they're commercial entities and Microsoft will sue them to death as soon as they start making money by distributing something that include Microsoft-patented technologies.

    That's exactly what they've just done with TomTom and FAT (and that patent even was, unlike the ones on .NET, pretty weak).

    Moreover, there is difference between a patent-ridden application and a patent-ridden execution environment. In the first case, should problems surface, we could just drop the offending application. In the second case, we would have to drop ALL applications running on that environment. (And by the way, those applications would keep running on Windows, so guess where would all "orphaned" users be forced to go?)

    So, given the fact that there we already have perfectly equivalent technologies without the same dangers, the less .NET-based applications are there on Linux, the better.

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:44AM (#28335965)
    From http://www.figuiere.net/hub/blog/?2009/04/06/657-gnote-010 [figuiere.net] See first comment by a Fedora maintainer:

    Monday 6 April 2009 15:39, by Rahul Sundaram :: # For Fedora, we had to remove tomboy from the live cd due to lack of space. Unfortunately, Gnote probably won't be a good replacement since it would pull in the gtkmm, boost and other dependencies. Have you considered Vala or PyGTK instead?

    So the summary includes the dependencies for Tomboy but not for Gnote. If you add up gtkmm and boost and other dependencies, it might get close to 50MB. The summary is a troll for comparing apples to oranges.

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:45AM (#28335977)
    From http://www.figuiere.net/hub/blog/?2009/04/06/657-gnote-010 [figuiere.net] [figuiere.net] See first comment by a Fedora maintainer:

    Monday 6 April 2009 15:39, by Rahul Sundaram :: # For Fedora, we had to remove tomboy from the live cd due to lack of space. Unfortunately, Gnote probably won't be a good replacement since it would pull in the gtkmm, boost and other dependencies. Have you considered Vala or PyGTK instead? So the summary includes the dependencies for Tomboy but not for Gnote. If you add up gtkmm and boost and other dependencies, it might get close to 50MB. The summary is a troll for comparing apples to oranges.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15, 2009 @12:03PM (#28336271)

    Just so everyone else isn't snowed by this post, Fedora has not dropped mono and currently has no plans to, they have only said "we'll continue to look at it with our legal counsel to see what if any steps are needed on our part". The recent push to include mono based Banshee by default instead of Rhythmbox in Fedora and Ubuntu was caused by the one of the main Rhythmbox developers saying that rhythmbox has "several limitations" and that he was going to "still fix (some) bugs and review patches, but it's too much of a dead end for me to do more than that", leading many to believe it is in maintenance only mode. Not, as the parent says "Mono zealots".

  • Re:FUD (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tom9729 (1134127) <tom9729NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 15, 2009 @12:25PM (#28336577) Homepage

    Mono itself has been in the Debian repos for a pretty long time and really isn't the issue here.

    This particular "spat" is because Debian is making Mono a dependency of Gnome, with the only justification being that Tomboy (a post-it note application) requires it, which many people see as unnecessary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15, 2009 @12:36PM (#28336715)

    You think wrong. Mono is 100% Free Software.

  • by Tom9729 (1134127) <tom9729NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 15, 2009 @12:37PM (#28336733) Homepage

    You never see anyone include the sizes of dependencies like glibc, alsa, etc because they are pretty common across all applications. I mean honestly, find me a application that doesn't in some way depend on libc and I will be impressed.

    The reason the size of all of a Mono app's dependencies are included is because they are only useful for running Mono apps.

    In this case it is reasonable to include the size of Tomboy's dependencies because (so far) it is the only Debian-Gnome-required app that needs them.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday June 15, 2009 @01:20PM (#28337289) Journal

    Tomboy is not 50MB, the whole Mono framework is that much, Tomboy is relatively small. If you use F-Spot or Beagle, Mono runtime is installed anyway.

    And if you dont(most people), it's not installed. It's available in the repositories if you want it, why crap it into the base install?

    Debian had reason to include Tomboy instead of Gnote. Also Tomboy does not have Applet support, which is why Debian wants it in the Gnome install instead of Gnote

    Gnote 0.3.0 [figuiere.net] released 2009-04-29 adds applet support. Why use Tomboy at all now?

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday June 15, 2009 @02:04PM (#28337879) Journal

    Then there's the technical aspect that mono will always be running behing the microsoft C#/CLI version

    That's assuming that one cares. Try to consider Mono as a platform of its own, forgetting about .NET entirely. It really makes much more sense that way (because then you can also consider Gtk# and other nice Mono-specific APIs).

    nd so your Linux mono application will generally not even run on Windows

    The easiest way to run your Linux Mono application on Windows is to run it in Mono for Windows...

    If one wants to develop great crossplatform apps, use Qt [qtsoftware.com], it has all and more of the advantages, and none of the risks.

    It has the disadvantage that it's a C++ toolkit, with all the associated problems such as overcomplicated (for most) language, and limited quality of tooling. There's a reason why higher-level languages such as Java and C# were introduced.

    That said, Qt really tries hard to look a lot like Java, so it's not as hard to deal with as C++ can generally be. And Qt Creator is a very decent C++ IDE.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15, 2009 @02:23PM (#28338105)

    I am Rahul Sundaram, maintainer of Gnote in Fedora that you are quoting from. We did manage to include Gnote as the default replacing Tomboy in Fedora 12. For one, GNOME system monitor already is using gtkmm and boost has been split in Fedora 12 to be more granular.

     

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