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Banshee, Mono May Be Dropped From Ubuntu Default 255

Posted by Soulskill
from the voted-off-the-island dept.
itwbennett writes "The Banshee music application, and Mono, the open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET framework, on which Banshee is dependent, may be excluded from the next release of Ubuntu. In 'a blog entry titled Bansheegeddon,' Banshee and Mono developer Joseph Michael Shields says the reasons given for the change are that Banshee is 'not well maintained' and 'porting music store to GTK3 is blocked on banshee ported to GTK3.' Other reasons mentioned but not in the session logs are complaints that it doesn't work on ARM. Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon pointed out in a blog post that the decision to drop Banshee, Mono or other apps that are dependent on Mono has not been finalized. But the blogosphere is lit up with speculation that this is a deliberate move to exclude Mono because of its emulation of Microsoft .NET."
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Banshee, Mono May Be Dropped From Ubuntu Default

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  • by __Paul__ (1570) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:27PM (#37991880) Homepage

    ...that Banshee was made a default? ffs, make up your mind, Ubuntu people.

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      You expect consistency? This is Ubuntu we're talking about. Mark Shuttleworth makes Steve Balmer look good in that area. At least when the Balminator flits back and forth between 6 different markets, he's got the resources to back it up. Shuttleworth needs to take some Ritalin.
      • by Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @08:43PM (#37993480)
        On the other hand, when Balmer comes up with a bad idea, he sticks with it!
        • by tomhudson (43916)

          On the other hand, when Balmer comes up with a bad idea, he sticks with it!

          And we're all grateful for that. Imagine if Microsoft had come out with their own version of the Windows shell and server atop linux? Think of having to explain to the PHBs that you don't *want* to run MS-linux on a server?

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Has anyone tried the LXDE Mint edition here? How stable is it? How about the Debian based version? I'm having a load of refurbs dropped off in the next few days and really want to give something user friendly a shot. Ms Hudson says OpenSUSE so that is on my list although I haven't been able to find a copy from 3 years ago for my "is it safe?" test yet. any OS I put on these machines needs to be able to update for at LEAST 5 years without drivers breaking so I download a version from 3 years ago, update to c

        • by tomhudson (43916)

          You might want to hold off on the opensuse - because lately every in-place update I've done has b0rked something. It's looking more and more like linux has equaled Windows in one area - you'll need to do a clean install instead of an update to get everything working.

          Supposedly, a week from tomorrow (November 18th) Opensuse 12.1 will be out, with "over 12,000 bug fixes." Which means "Don't touch it for a month because ..."

          Also, that's a polite way of saying "11.4 has over 12,000 bugs in it." And Open

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Aww crap, just my luck. How is FreeBSD with flash support? Resource usage? Does it have a nice clean GUI similar to LXDE that would allow users to easily switch from Windows? And how does the rolling release bit fare with regards to sound, video, and wifi? Those are the big three i have seen borked the most. the machines will most likely be Intel or nvidia GPUs with Realtek sound and possibly Broadcom or one of the generic wireless, the laptops standard Intel and AMD late models, 1.5-1.8Ghz with Intel or AT

            • by tomhudson (43916)

              If you read the comments on the earlier article about FreeBSD on the desktop, apparently flash is okay (no reason it shouldn't be). The various desktops are also available - you have to install them, but that's not that big a deal.

              Good luck, but for consumers, the best choice probably would be to pick a distro, do an install, and then just never upgrade to the next release - just security updates. Opensuse defaults to that strategy.

            • You want Flash support on FreeBSD? Easy as a breeze. Since Flash is proprietary and Adobe doesn't make a version for FreeBSD - in fact, sometimes they even forget about Linux for a while and let it lag behind the Windows version, right? (BTW, you come across as very proud that Linux relies so much on that proprietary tech)

              So you do the work around. See, FreeBSD devs are intelligent. So what they did is create something called "Linux Emulation Layer". What this is is basically a Linux distro that is installe

            • If you need upgrades without reinstall, Debian is famous for being good with that. I have few friends that started to use Debian Potato (that is v2.2, released in August 2000), and went all the way: potato -> woody -> sarge -> etch -> leeny -> squeeze. I'm talking about a real Desktop usage here, not just installing the old version to try if upgrading works...
        • If you want to try LXDE, then I don't think you should use Mint or Debian stable (remember: Mint is based on Stable). The latest version in testing has lots of new features that you may want to have. Just give a try to Wheezy...
      • by afabbro (33948)
        Well, it's not as bad as Tom Hudson changing his sex and becoming Barbara Hudson.
  • Good thing, too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:27PM (#37991894) Journal
    I have Rhythmbox as default on 10.04 (Ubuntu and Lubuntu), and see no need for Mono. Is this an outbreak of uncharacteristic good sense in Ubuntu (but only a partial atonement for their Unity sins)?
    • by IANAAC (692242)
      Tomboy. I live by Tomboy.

      To my knowledge, Gnote doesn't do sync like Tomboy does.

      • Tomboy. I live by Tomboy.

        To my knowledge, Gnote doesn't do sync like Tomboy does.

        +1 to this. Personally, I think banshee's interface is a bit nicer than rhythmbox, but I could happily live with either. But so long as I don't have a replacement for Tomboy (an intuitive, usable notes application with sync functionality), my PC will have mono on it.

    • Re:Good thing, too (Score:5, Informative)

      by pwizard2 (920421) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @07:35PM (#37992774)
      I've been using Clementine [google.com] for awhile now. It's still a bit rough around the edges (no podcast support) but it looks and works just like the old Amarok 1.4 did. (I always hated Amarok2... I kept old KDElibs around just so I could run 1.4 as long as possible) I forget if Clementine is a complete rewrite or a port of 1.4 to Qt4 libs.

      Besides, who needs Mono when you can write cross-platform apps with Qt? Stuff like automatic garbage collection isn't enough to get me using .NET, not when Qt is pretty good about cleaning up after itself at the QObject level. Sure, you may have to do some manual GC here and there, but its nowhere near as bad as vanilla C++ is.
    • Mono has other uses besides Banshee support. I use it for Keepass2 which allows my to use a kdbx file on all of my machines and not have to mess around with import/exports.

    • I wanted to play a list of finely normalized (volume-adjusted) tracks using both replaygain and crossfading.

      Banshee and RB were very buggy with crashing, jumping to odd tracks w/o shuffle turned on, even playing multiple tracks at the same time. I consider them unusable for anything.

      And then Amarok, my old regular from the KDE 3 days, had been lobotomized to the point of being unable to handle normalization. But I had switched to Gnome and didn't want to use 150+ MB extra ram to play some audio tracks anywa

  • by ichthus (72442) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:28PM (#37991930) Homepage

    But the blogosphere is lit up with speculation that this is a deliberate move to exclude Mono because of its emulation of Microsoft .NET.

    So?

    • .. and spreading it, even when there is none.

      I don't remember the link now, but Microsoft made an irrevocable promise not to sue implementations of .NET, under certain specified conditions.

      • Considering Microsoft's shamefull history, it's hard for me to fully trust Microsoft.

      • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @07:18PM (#37992608)

        the promise was made to Novell which licenced .NET. Anyone who dowloanded Mono from Novell would be protected (with the implication that anyone who got it non-Novell sources would not be protected, I don't know if that'd stand up in court, but it was used as an excuse against using Mono by various people)

        Now Novell no longer exists, I'm not sure where the promise went, or the licencing agreement they had. Perhaps de Icaza's spin-off company has it, maybe Attachmate has it.

      • by Raenex (947668)

        under certain specified conditions.

        Yeah, exactly. Don't follow Microsoft's lead unless you want to get burned. Everything they do revolves around their desktop monopoly.

  • Whatever Ubuntu includes, they insist it fit on a CD (for better or worse.)

    The Mono runtime libraries and Banshee together are over 15 megs. Then consider the size of Gtk+2, and the case to leave it off the disk makes a lot of sense.

    (Of course once you've installed Ubuntu it's not very difficult to install Banshee, Mono, etc. on your own.)

    • They've already said they're setting the limit at 750MB (more than a standard CD). There might be a slight argument there but with the next limit being 800MB, then 1GB, disk space isn't as premium as it used to be.
      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        disk space isn't as premium as it used to be.

        it is if you're running on a phone or tablet, that flash-drive space is pretty precious.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:31PM (#37991978)

    This makes perfect sense. Almost nothing depends on mono anymore. Ditch the last holdouts, replace them with alternatives without the taint and move on. Besides, Ubuntu has made it clear they see tablets as THE future and tablets run ARM. So they really can't afford to offer a second class status to ARM and thus anything that isn't portable to it has to go from the default experience.

    If they were removing mono from the repository or moving it to non-free or something there would be a story here, but they ain't so there isn't.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You do realize that Mono does run on ARM? Heck, Xamarin makes its money primarily from running Mono on ARM systems (among other things, the iPhone/iPad). So, claiming that Mono is being disqualified because it doesn't run on ARM tablets doesn't really hold water.

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        In fact, if you're a switch from x86 focus to ARM focus then Mono makes even more sense. Like Java, the binaries use an architecture-agnostic bytecode (CIL, or Common Intermediate Language) which is JIT compiled at first execution, with optimizations speciic to the platform it runs on (well, .NET has those optimizations, I assume Mono does too). No need to recompile your apps when switching platforms, or store multiple copies of an app in the repository to account for different architectures.

      • by makomk (752139) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @08:22PM (#37993266) Journal

        It runs on ARM with caveats and bugs [ubuntu.com]. In particular, apparently it only supports single-core ARM systems - if you try and use Mono on a dual-core ARM, it will crash because the code it generates is SMP-unsafe. It also sounds like it's incredibly buggy even without this problem.

      • by Locutus (9039)
        maybe the ARM port is not being maintained well enough but then again, ARM is just a fad.

        LoB
    • Getting so tired of hearing this. There is nothing wrong with Mono on ARM. Nothing.

    • by rossjudson (97786)

      What taint? Sorry. Confused.

    • by afabbro (33948)

      This makes perfect sense. Almost nothing depends on mono anymore. Ditch the last holdouts, replace them with alternatives without the taint and move on.

      The "taint"? I assume WINE and Samba are next.

  • Since when has Linux been about "production" code only in distros? Projects should, and have, made into distros based on demand, not based on whether they have an RTM stamp. Great example: apt-get install nodejs (unless you update apt, it installs an old version, no less)

    I can get not installing it based on the fact that it targets libraries that drive for-profit philosophy, but at least call it that. Of course, then why is there still wine? samba? tsclient? All of these support and encourage Windows use.

    • Profit is not bad unless it is achieved at the expense of someone else's rights. Failing to respect the rights of users (or anyone else) is bad, but you can respect those rights while still making a nice profit; the two concepts are completely orthogonal. As for Wine and Samba, I don't see them as encouraging Windows use; I see them as opening doors for people who need to interoperate with Windows software and/or networks, and who otherwise might not be able to use Linux or other Free Software at all.
    • by causality (777677) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @07:02PM (#37992384)

      I can get not installing it based on the fact that it targets libraries that drive for-profit philosophy, but at least call it that. Of course, then why is there still wine? samba? tsclient? All of these support and encourage Windows use.

      It's minor, but I disagree with this notion.

      Interoperability and compatibility are good things. There are situations where your end-users must run software available only for Windows. Wine is constantly improving. Still, not all things fitting this description run well in Wine, and many production environments don't want to struggle with getting them to work based on forum posts etc. when it is known that simply running Windows avoids all of this. Remember that to a Fortune 500 corporation, the cost of a Windows license is less than marginal but the cost of downtime can be significant.

      I don't like this and I don't like Windows and I'm not fond of Microsoft, but this is a reality. Things like Samba open up new options that may not have been available before. So you're stuck with Windows for your end-user workstations? At least now your servers can be Linux. That's one more Linux system than you would have been able to use if you had no Samba (et al) equivalent.

      Interoperability means you can pick the best system for the particular job knowing it will work with the rest of your systems. There's a freedom in this that you just don't get without it. Without interoperability you're much more at the mercy of vendorlock. The only thing that's a shame is that interoperability is always a one-way street when you deal with a monopolist. Interoperability today means it is always Linux's job to accommodate Windows protocols and filesystems. Microsoft is terrified of merit-based competition on an open playing field with no vendorlock, proprietary protocols, or other cheap tricks designed to prevent evaluation of merit.

      When that changes, everyone will benefit. There is no concern about "encouraging Windows use" for those cases where it really is the best tool for the job; nor are there such concerns when it isn't and you can easily replace it with something more suitable.

      • Samba, at least, is basically covered by the EU threats to Microsoft. I'm not really worried about using it because if MS tried anything funky, they'd have one of the largest trade organizations on the planet pounding them into the Earth.

        But Mono, not only does it suck donkey balls, but there are no real protections beyond Microsoft's word.

      • What about when a company has spent tons of money building out C# libraries - I think Mono gives them a migration path. Migrations (in this case, to open source alternatives) are more likely to get green-lighted when pieces of infrastructure can move, rather than all-or-none.

        Then again, not sure in an enterprise how relevant baked-in Ubuntu packages are, or Ubuntu itself for that matter ... after all, there's nothing preventing anyone from bringing in Banshee, mono, etc ...

      • by makomk (752139)

        Even Richard M Stallman doesn't object to Mono being developed as a way to run formerly Windows-only applications on Linux - but that's not how it's used. Instead applications intended to run on Linux are developed using Mono and then people get to take advantage of its cross platform nature to run them on Windows easily as well. Sometimes they actually run better on Windows because Mono's performance sucks.

  • Default (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:42PM (#37992120)

    A lot of people forget that when something is excluded from the default installation of Ubuntu, that doesn't mean that you can't install that feature later.

  • distrowatch (Score:5, Informative)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:43PM (#37992138)
    looks like ubuntu finally dropped off the #1 spot in the rankings on the right hand column
    • It is now number 2 behind mint! Which "is an Ubuntu-based distribution"
      • It is now number 2 behind mint! Which "is an Ubuntu-based distribution"

        What's your point? Debian is below Ubuntu, and Ubuntu is a Debian-based distribution.

    • Very informative. It looks like Ubuntu has been bleeding users to Mint primarily, but also to Fedora and OpenSuse. (Debian seems to be a bit stable, but Mint users could be using their excellent Debian based distro as well).
    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      looks like ubuntu finally dropped off the #1 spot in the rankings on the right hand column

      And what surpassed it is Mint, which is basically Ubuntu++

      What does that imply?

  • by T-Mckenney (2008418) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @06:43PM (#37992140)

    sudo apt-get install banshee

    Is it that fucking hard?

  • lit up with speculation that this is a deliberate move to exclude Mono because of its emulation of Microsoft .NET

    No, once apply Occam's Razor and ignore the conspiracy angle it's quite obvious that it's "a deliberate move to exclude Mono because" it sucks dead dingo kidneys.

    (Cue the pedants who will argue into the wind about an improper usage of Occam's Razor. a.k.a. Howler Monkeys [theoatmeal.com])

  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @07:38PM (#37992834) Homepage

    Mono has its uses - it could help people remove .Net dependencies from their software packages.

    But for new software packages, choosing a Microsoft technology is a mistake. Microsoft calls free software an enemy - "cancer" to be "extinguished", so building on their technologies is folly, especially when there are lots of non-Microsoft languages and frameworks that we can use. The problems of software patents are only getting worse, so we need to prepare for the future by applying some caution today.

    I hope this is indeed the real reason for taking Mono-dependent software out of Ubuntu.

    http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Mono [swpat.org]

  • After even writing a howto on removing mono from Ubuntu... I have it installed now, so that I can have autopano-sift to use with Hugin.

  • by fwarren (579763) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @08:32PM (#37993376) Homepage

    Ubuntu dropping mono is proof that there is a God and He loves us.

    My apologies to Benjamin Franklin.

  • Canonical can't seem to decide what to do with its selection of default software. I found an insightful comment from OMGUbuntu that I thought I should share:

    Beyond the ridiculousness of the flip flopping on default applications, this is unacceptable, in my opinion. User loyalty to programs is one thing. People have their preferences and can change them quickly and radically as they see fit. A distro should not exhibit such behavior, particularly when so much work was done to bring Banshee in and make it

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