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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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  • Frist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:30AM (#28334331) Homepage Journal
    TFA: "However, Microsoft says clearly that only Novell can supply Moonlight to end-users:".

    Rolling Mono (note: Mono != Moonlight) into Debian would be beneficial for both Debian and Microsoft. I don't believe that Microsoft will take legal action against Debian or Miguel, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least considering Microsoft's recent suicidal business divisions.
    • Re:Frist (Score:5, Interesting)

      by maxume (22995) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:43AM (#28334461)

      It seems to me that, even if Microsoft threw a fit, the worst case scenario would be that they have to pull the package out of the releases.

      I suppose it might be a bigger deal for Canonical, but even the craziest judge isn't going to impose some ridiculous punishment for actions they take on good faith.

      • FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gd2shoe (747932) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:21AM (#28335593) Journal

        This particular outburst of concern is FUD. Debian already has Mono in the "main" repository (as opposed to "contrib" or "non-free"). That alone is a statement that they are not worried about the "free-ness" of the package. Even if it will now be installed by default, it was already made available by default to every Debian installation. The difference is very superficial.

        If MS was going to go after them, they could have already. This changes nothing. (although this spat on /. might bring it to MS attention.)

        • Re:FUD (Score:4, Informative)

          by Tom9729 (1134127) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <9279mot>> on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:25AM (#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 eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:32AM (#28334357) Journal

    Perhaps Debian doesn't believe that Microsoft might do something like Rambus did.

    Rambus was chastised for their actions (like the linked article states). And I propose Debian approach this the same way someone would approach the Rambus situation from the beginning had they an inkling of Rambus' true intent.

    Even though Microsoft submitted the CLI [ecma-international.org] and C# [ecma-international.org] main components of .NET, MIcrosoft does hold at least one patent [uspto.gov] on the .NET infrastructure. So far, Microsoft has agred to offer these under a "reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) terms of use" and they are currently royalty free [msversus.org]. No one seems to be clear on how you get this into writing [itwire.com] but it's allegedly the way things are.

    Were I a Debian leader, I would simply approach Microsoft with the Mono code and the ECMA code of conduct [ecma-international.org] and demand it in writing that for this snapshot of the code you have a forever royalty free to interact with .NET. Should they fail to comply with this request in a timely manner, I would submit all communications with Microsoft to ECMA in a motion to dismiss the aforementioned "standards" and remove Mono--and unfortunately Tomboy--from the Debian default package. I'd beef up the Debian wiki [debian.org] with details on how to get these two packages to fix this bug and focus on the bug for a near future release after Squeeze.

    At that point, sit back and let ECMA and the community at large hash it out with Microsoft. Better now than later when other things may depend on this package and Microsoft has you right where Rambus has every memory maker on the planet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      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.
      • by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:44AM (#28334471) 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.

        Or they've already gotten him.

      • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@slashd o t .org> on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:11AM (#28335465)

        Sounds to me like the "no bugs have popped up yet, so there are no bugs in the program" logic fallacy.

        If one company of all has proven to follow the rule, that if they have some strange clause in the contract, and on asking about it, they say that it's just for safety and will never be used in reality, they intend to use it as early and as often as possible, then it's with no doubt Microsoft. (Health insurance companies would come to mind too.)

        I think, given the happenings of the past, it is far more likely, that as soon as Mono became an essential part of Gnome, so that to remove it, you would have to kill Gnome entierly, Microsoft will load its weapons. ;)

        Which means that soon, the argument of both troll teams (the pro-mono and the contra-mono side act very trollish, I must say), will be settley, and we can go back to VI vs Emacs. ;)

        On another note: What's the point of Gnome again, now that Qt/KDE is open sourced? (Remember how Gnome started because it was not.) ;)
        Oh well, I am always for more freedom (and more choice, if it helps freedom), so why not? :)

    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:52AM (#28334539) Homepage Journal
      Did you read their patent claim? If you closed your eyes, had someone else read it to you, and you had no idea the company of which it came from, you would swear it was a Sun patent on Java/SOAP.
      • by wisty (1335733)

        Shouldn't patents be non-obvious, but easy to implement for a skilled professional in the field?

        I though that XML web services were pretty obvious (given XML-RPC, SOAP, and every other web framework on the planet), but the difficulty in creating such a framework would be in the implementation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by segedunum (883035)
        Read the detail at the bottom behind the claims they're making. It becomes clear that they are ring-fencing certain APIs in any CLR compatible implementation mainly to do with web services but also APIs that seem to be essential to get a working CLR, but are not in the ECMA specifications. Implement ECMA and you basically have something akin to Rotor, which does pretty much nothing.
    • by EvilIdler (21087) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:01AM (#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]

    • that's irrelevant (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jipn4 (1367823) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:15AM (#28334777)

      Even though Microsoft submitted the CLI and C# main components of .NET, MIcrosoft does hold at least one patent on the .NET infrastructure.

      First of all, they "don't hold a patent", they have filed a patent application. Whether that application gets granted remains to be seen, and even if it does, it's unclear what such a patent actually would cover or whether it could be enforced.

      Furthermore, even if the patent were valid and enforceable, it is irrelevant as far as Tomboy is concerned, since Tomboy and most other Mono desktop applications don't use the ".NET infrastructure", they use ECMA C# libraries and standard Linux libraries.

      Were I a Debian leader, I would simply approach Microsoft with the Mono code and the ECMA code of conduct and demand it in writing that for this snapshot of the code you have a forever royalty free

      What's there to put in writing? You might as well demand Microsoft to put in writing that GNU C++, the Linux kernel, and Python are forever free from Microsoft royalties.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:35AM (#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 k-zed (92087) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:38AM (#28334415) Homepage Journal

    tomboy package "Description: desktop note taking program using Wiki style links"

    "..except for the 50 MByte size of the Tomboy package..."

    What's wrong with this picture?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vintagepc (1388833)
      People on Dial-up cringing as they read that?
    • by Freetardo Jones (1574733) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:52AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027)

        I have a compiled version of Tomboy and it only comes out to around 5-6 megs.

        A 20 minute download for a note-taking app?

        The 50MB size is them including all of it's secondary dependencies (which are used by other programs as well)

        Used by other programs, true, but not necessarily those included as a dependency for the "typical" Debian desktop install.

        • A 20 minute download for a note-taking app?

          I don't know what internet connection you are on, but 50 MBs only takes 5-10 minutes on my pathetically slow DSL connection. If you mean the 6 MB that only takes a minute or two at most.

          But, you don't seem to get the idea of dependencies. To put it with a different language, you are complaining that a program coded in Java requires a Java VM to run, or that a program coded in python requires a python interpreter.

          • but 50 MBs only takes 5-10 minutes on my pathetically slow DSL connection.

            In the country, 48 kbps dial-up is the norm, and 768 kbps DSL is blazing fast.

            But, you don't seem to get the idea of dependencies. To put it with a different language, you are complaining that a program coded in Java requires a Java VM to run

            If I am "complaining that a program coded in Java requires a Java VM to run", and I don't already have a Java VM, then I am complaining that the program was coded in Java in the first place.

      • by Vexorian (959249) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:10AM (#28334717)

        (which are used by other programs as well)

        Except these other programs are not included as a gnome dependency...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099)

        When dependencies are included, the picture gets a little muddy, but in this case, it's reasonable to do so. Essentially, since a default desktop install will pull in all of mono ONLY to satisfy tomboy's dependencies, mono's size needs to be added to the effective weight.

        Things like glibc are not part of it's weight because it is used by a great many things by default and practically nothing can be installed without it.. Instead, glibc's weight is added to the weight of the minimum install.

        Put another way,

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hattig (47930)
      Is TomBoy built upon Mono? I've used it - it's a terrible unusable bit of software that acts entirely counter-intuitively for taking notes, with a GUI that is neither compact or usable for managing the notes.

      Someone could rewrite it in native GTK/Gnome/SQLite in a few days I'm sure.

      Seriously, the old "note dock" applet for WindowMaker was better, and that was 12 years ago.
    • by suffix tree monkey (1430749) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:55AM (#28334579)

      Indeed, that is my problem with Mono (or C#, for that matter) as well. We can't expect small, lean applications written in C# because of the language's design. C# is only good for writing code blazingly fast. Which is kind of silly to me, because as a semi-experienced programmer, I know that writing code is the easier part of software development.

      So yeah, the more Mono/C# apps we get into Debian, the slower and memory-hungry (and disk-hungry, but I find that a non-issue in general) it gets. However, most people with enough RAM just 'meh' it out, after all, there is no such thing as Page's Law [wikipedia.org], right?

      But it's not just Microsoft's products that bloat Debian. My personal windmills are applications like HAL, D-BUS, any gnome-*-daemon, any {Policy,Device,Console}Kit and so on. By the way, a useful hint - when a developer can't think of an original name and prefers to rip-off a name trendy at that time, expect the code to be as well thought-out as Nuka Cola Cherry.

      (I get agitated when software bloat is discussed, I know.)

      • by StrawberryFrog (67065) on Monday June 15, 2009 @02:21PM (#28339071) Homepage Journal

        We can't expect small, lean applications written in C# because of the language's design.

        Why not? What design feature stops this?

        C# is only good for writing code blazingly fast. Which is kind of silly to me, because as a semi-experienced programmer, I know that writing code is the easier part of software development.

        Indeed, you need readable, maintainable, performant code. Which is why I use C#. You were expecting perl maybe?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          What design feature stops that?

          Code size: Well, C# is a pretty verbose language, much like Java. Usually you need to write a lot of "wrapping-paper" code to do what you need the program to do. That helps when you prefer a lot of subprojects that should behave alike, but that's not what we like to do in UNIX (We like to stitch our system together with small applications that do their tasks and only their tasks well.).

          Application speed: Well, as far as I had the privilege of testing Mono/C#, it may perfor

    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:58AM (#28334597) Homepage Journal
      "bloat" - I do not think that word means what you think it means.

      .NET is an ENTIRE platform. You likely could have a whole system where this is the only accessible API. Just like Java. Would you fault, say uTorrent, for having 40 megs of win32 dependencies?

      This is the unfortunate case of a .NET application being apparently the only one in the core system, so it gets all of the weight of the dependency on Mono. However, when a few thousand applications in the system are .NET, that kind of a dependency is not even a second thought.
    • by FudRucker (866063)
      i agree with the original poster that Tomboy & its dependencies are an incredible mess, what happened to the unix philosophy of KISS? well ./Debian/Gnome/Mono/Tomboy can kiss my ass!

      i would rather use a pencil & paper, just think pencil & paper does not require electricity or even a computer, but if i did want to store electronic information i would use somethhing a lot more simpler, vi, or leafpad, these Linux desktops [eg] gnome/kde4 have lost their way, they no longer represent what Linux
  • Looks more like Sid (Score:4, Informative)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte@Nospam.drunksnipers.com> on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:41AM (#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 @08:41AM (#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.

    • Re:What the F... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sydneyfong (410107) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:47AM (#28334503) Homepage Journal

      PS: From TFA (I confess not having read it in full before typing the above rant ... I did read TFA.... just not in detail ;-p)

      The news got out via a blog post by Debian maintainer Robert Millan, who maintains the Gnote package for Debian - Gnote is a non-Mono replacement for Tomboy written in C++.

      In other words, it's a non-story about two maintainers trying to get their packages accepted into the "default" installation (from TFA it sounds like it's an issue of what to include in the first CD). Yeah, raise patent concerns, size concerns, blah blah blah blah, but it all boils down to ego stroking and comparing dick sizes.

      Duh.

      • PS: From TFA (I confess not having read it in full before typing the above rant ... I did read TFA.... just not in detail ;-p)

        The news got out via a blog post by Debian maintainer Robert Millan, who maintains the Gnote package for Debian - Gnote is a non-Mono replacement for Tomboy written in C++.

        In other words, it's a non-story about two maintainers trying to get their packages accepted into the "default" installation (from TFA it sounds like it's an issue of what to include in the first CD). Yeah, raise patent concerns, size concerns, blah blah blah blah, but it all boils down to ego stroking and comparing dick sizes.

        Duh.

        Gnote is not just a non-Mono replacement of Tomboy, it's a line by line ripoff of Tomboy's C# code to C++ and GUI design. See http://robertmh.wordpress.com/2009/06/12/mono-in-the-default-install/ [wordpress.com] for screenshots. And the developers of Tomboy are not happy.

        Our stance on Gnote is that it is counterproductive to maintain identical software in two languages. It will be harmful to the community, especially as these two apps inevitably diverge. It will result in duplication of effort, duplication of bugs, and a lot of wasted time for those who are trying to add value to the user experience. Tomboy is not going away, and it will continue to be developed on the extremely productive Mono/GTK# language platform. Anyone thinking about distributing Gnote should consider the impact on users and their data. When we develop, we should always be asking ourselves, "is this adding value for our users?"

        Of course, it's under GPL so Gnote is within it's rights, but there's a thing called professional courtesy and respecting a developer's wishes.

        • Edit: Tomboy is under LGPL.
        • Re:What the F... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Fallingcow (213461) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:59AM (#28335319) Homepage

          Of course, it's under GPL so Gnote is within it's rights, but there's a thing called professional courtesy and respecting a developer's wishes.

          If it runs faster and takes up less space*, who cares what the Tomboy developers think? May the better app win, I say.

          *disclaimer: I have no proof that either of these are true, but it seems likely. If not, then Tomboy ought to thrive and Gnote will probably not gain many users anyway.

          • Re:What the F... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:16AM (#28335527)

            Of course, it's under GPL so Gnote is within it's rights, but there's a thing called professional courtesy and respecting a developer's wishes.

            If it runs faster and takes up less space*, who cares what the Tomboy developers think? May the better app win, I say.

            *disclaimer: I have no proof that either of these are true, but it seems likely. If not, then Tomboy ought to thrive and Gnote will probably not gain many users anyway.

            You are being too simplistic. Forks are more complicated than 'if Y is better than X then people will use Y and the world will be better'.

            Consider this, what's the sole motivation behind the development of Gnote? It is to remove the Mono dependency, that's all, there's nothing more to it. And the work is relatively easy because all the heavy lifting has already been done by the Tomboy developers.

            Say Gnote takes off and Tomboy dies, the motivation to improve Gnote is gone because the single goal of Gnote(i.e to kill Tomboy) has been achieved, and anyway, there is no more Tomboy to ripoff new ideas, code and GUI design from. Tomboy's developers are not happy with gnote now, so there's little chance they will jump ship to gnote.

            So there's more to this than survival of the fastest and slimmest.

    • by Theolojin (102108)

      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.

      If one installs, via tasksel, the "desktop" environment, GNOME is installed by default. One can certainly install another window manager/desktop environment, but unless one specifies another wm/de, one gets GNOME. From the Debian wiki: "You could simply mark the Desktop environment option. It will install the packages for Gnome and some packages that are considered "standard" for a Debian desktop." (http://wiki.debian.org/tasksel) It is in this sense that GNOME is in the "default" install.

      • Incidentally, I've been using debian for about five years now and this behavior the last year or so to increase the number of packages included in "gnome" or "kde" meta-packages is a little annoying. The reason is that I might want gnome or kde, but I don't want all a full-blown desktop environment because it's bloated and has a whole bunch of stuff I don't need. I don't even know what tomboy or mono is, let alone use them, why would I want to install them by default? I wish they'd differentiate between
    • I think the submitter default desktop install. During the install you can have a "desktop environment", which will be Gnome with TomBoy.
    • There are thousands of Debian desktop users who have no GNOME installed

      I would wager that there are millions - if you count the Debian derivatives, like Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Xandros, Knoppix.... there must be at least a couple million non-Gnome Debian users.

  • by Dotren (1449427) on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:45AM (#28334481)

    Not really being much of a Linux person myself yet, I was curious about the negative feelings I've read about for Mono, ranging from general dislike to outright hate, as I've had several people tell me that Mono is actually really cool and easy to use if you're used to doing .Net programing in general. Malevolentjelly posted this link a few days back in the Silverlight 3 post and I found it very informative:

    http://www2.apebox.org/wordpress/rants/124/ [apebox.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      C# is very good language, though not perfect, which builds on many of the good innovations of Java while eliminating many of the issues that I've always had with Java. The reason why there are so many negative feelings is because this is a Microsoft technology and nothing more. If Microsoft had originated the specification of ANSI C exactly as it is today, for example, you would hear constantly all the same outcries about how crappy it was, etc etc.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by slashbart (316113)
        reetardo Jones doesn't get the reason for the negative feelings about mono at all. 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. Once too many Linux packages depend on mono, I'm sure we'll get some patent/copyright saber-rattling from Microsoft.

        Then there's the technical aspect that mono will always be running behing the microsoft C#/CLI version, and so your Linux mono application

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          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 extensio

        • by Malc (1751)

          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. Windows platform cli application almost never run on Linux, so that's not an advantage either.

          Surely it would be the other way around? Microsoft are extremely good at backwards compatibilty, and futhermore they haven't ditched the older versions of the .N

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          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-

      • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:23AM (#28334873)
        The problem is that Microsoft has an extremely bad reputation. We expect them to do absolutely everything they think could be to their advantage because, well, that's how they behaved in the past - even going as far as subverting ISO to get their document format declared a standard.

        As long as Microsoft retains any control over .NET I won't feel safe around the platform simply because they could decide to screw over everyone at any time and given their past behavior I expect them to.

        Whatever Microsoft comes up with, it's either a fully integrated part of their software stack or too hot to get involved with. I don't want to get caught in the fallout of a patent lawsuit. That sounds paranoid but, well, Microsoft's actions so far have been fairly consistent.
      • by Kz (4332) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:50AM (#28336067) Homepage
        For me at least, the problem is not that it's an MS-originated tech; but the fact that it's an MS-controlled tech.

        A small counterpoint: XMLHttpRequest, the base call behind al things AJAX, is MS-originated; but it has evolved from that, and it's a widely complied de-facto standard. In fact, IE8 accepts the non-MS variant.

        Mono, OTOH, is a great reimplementation of .NET/C#; but is in most aspects following the obvious leader, which is MS. Just read some of Miguel's blogs. He's perennially awed of each microsoft improvement, and rushes to copy it. He does it brilliantly, and I wouldn't be surprised if he does it better than MS; but he still follows, not leads.

        Recently, thought, Mono has gained a few improvements over .NET, such as static compiling (compile to static machine code that can run without the VM), and SIMD optimizations (to transparently use SSEx, big performance improvements on some kind of media-heavy loads). Let's hope him and his team well, so that Mono could start to erode .NETs dominance on windows too.

        Personally, not holding my breath, and I don't want Mono on my machines.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gbjbaanb (229885)

        Fair enough, but there is 1 issue that I have with .NET and its the same issue I had with Java: lock-in.

        Remember the "100% pure Java" logos and disclaimers? The problem there is that they're telling you its ok to use Java, as long as you use Java too. You can do anything you want, as long as its written in Java. .NET is the same, though to be fair, the interop is better but I feel that is a legacy issue that MS will want to slowly use much less of, I see this already - if you write a GUI in .NET, WPF == .NE

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15, 2009 @08:59AM (#28334605)

    GNOME folks are really pushing the adoption of KDE 4 nowadays.
    It is great to see so much friendship between open-source projects :)

  • what a troll (Score:5, Informative)

    by jipn4 (1367823) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:07AM (#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.

    • Re:what a troll (Score:5, Informative)

      by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:48AM (#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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bcrowell (177657)

      unlike Java, Mono is based on an open standard

      This is literally true, but very misleading. Microsoft has ECMA bless .NET from time to time. Java has the Java Community Process. Yeah, sure, ECMA calls itself a standards organization, and the Java Community Process doesn't. If you look back at the history of Java, its big selling point from the beginning was that it was cross-platform, Sun fought intensely to make sure that it didn't get turned into a nonstandardized mess by MS, and Oracle's reference imple

  • by Laven (102436) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:07AM (#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.

  • With Red hat/Fedora dropping Mono out of the gnome dependencies, and ubuntu and it seems even debian stick to their Mono ways. And ubuntu even threatening their users to install a lower quality Mono-dependent music player to replace Rhythmbox just because the Mono zealots are very, very loud about how they want to push this MS technology on everybody using free software. I guess I will have to change my current ways and just move to .rpm based Fedora. It's been a long time without red hat, shall be fun. "L
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 to

  • Wrong. (Score:3, Informative)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:28AM (#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".

  • by julian67 (1022593) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:45AM (#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.

  • by overshoot (39700) on Monday June 15, 2009 @09:46AM (#28335161)
    But wasn't the GNOME project founded because KDE depends on Qt, which is not adequately "free?"

    If that's true, could someone explain to me how MS.NET is "more free" than Qt?

  • by HermMunster (972336) on Monday June 15, 2009 @12:46PM (#28337633)

    What the hell is tomboy doing as a dependency in the first place? It's a totally unnecessary package which I have absolutely zero use for.

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