FUD and facts

Mono is a very controversial topic in Free software world. We have no shortage of proponents and opponents. There are people who want to clean the FOSS world by removing mono from the picture and there are developers claiming that they are comfortable with mono, so it’s fine for them to use it.

Now imagine a situation when you try to “get the facts” but the information itself is wrong? Guy Van Sanden wrote a post about Get the facts on mono which attracted a lot of comments. The follow up, Cleaning mono from your system (Ubuntu) was full of huge mistakes. If you want to spread FUD, please do it properly. As he said, entering this command

$ sudo apt-get remove –purge mono-runtime mono-common libmono0 mono libmono1.0-cil libmono2.0-cil

will clean all your sins and you will attain salvation. The catch was probably he copy-pasted from somewhere else. Just by a quick glance today morning I could make out that the whole command won’t work. There is no package named “mono”. Lower down the comments Debian/Ubuntu mono packager Jo Shields leaves a comment explaining why he is *wrong*.  mono-common too does not exist. libmono2.0-cil doesnt have any Microsoft namespaced packages. As per the description of this package

This package contains various Mono libraries for CLI 2.0:

  • Mono.CompilerServices.SymbolWriter
  • Mono.Http
  • Mono.Web
  • OpenSystem.C

Apart from that it looks like he did not even try out mononono since all the comments point it out and he actually acknowledged that it doesn’t work.

Flames

All over these years I met two kind of people who talk about Mono

  1. MONO IS GOING TO DESTROY FOSS AND LINUX. ALL MONO PACKAGES VIOLATE MICROSOFT PATENTS AND CAN KILL YOUR CAT AND WILL BLEED YOU TO DEATH
  2. Hey, are you sure all the packages/components are protected by CP? Can you provide some hints on how packaging is done to avoid or lessen the patent risks? These are the patents #xxxxx and #yyyyy which mono can possible infringe. What care can you take to avoid them?

The sad part is that most of the people I met use language 1 and their statements contains a lot of speculations and hardly any proof. Finding people of kind 2 is tough, but they are overshadowed by the people of kind 1. If you are one of the person of kind 2, come over on IRC and let’s have a sane discussion on mono based on facts and proofs rather than speculation and FUD. I would love to be influenced. By the time I simply ignore trolls of kind 1

Hate and Love

There was a time when I take any development from a critical angle.  Like many others the decision was either white or black (Love or Hate). Well, I did not spread and FUD but black-white did not last long. I gave up hating anything. Now I don’t hate any technology, any language, any library etc. I have my like and dislike which does not map to love and hate.

Due to Android-Google-Java-Oracle incident you can see people suggesting that Java is patented which people should not use it. I don’t share that armchair-advisor kind of mentality. If I want to use it, I will use it. If it’s not fit for my use, then I won’t. The would have more to do that just hating technology.

For me technology is a tool for getting my job done and making my life easier. It isn’t a religion which I need to follow. I nearly stopped caring about haters. Why? I remember once when David Siegel recalled “Haters gonna hate” in an interview.

Strong passions is fine since loving something doesn’t automatically means hating other things. There are other colours in this world apart from black and white.

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22 thoughts on “FUD and facts

  1. As the author of both posts you reference I feel compelled to answer.

    1. My original get the facts post is factually accurate and none of the claims in it have been adressed by commenters who chose to attack me personally instead of proving me wrong
    2. My follow-up post was indeed aggregated from several sites who either listed the removal command or mononono, I combined both and ran the commands on my own system without error.
    what is wrong is that both the remove command and monono target mono 1.0 and Ubuntu uses 2.0. so even if they run without error, they actually only cleared old mono parts.
    I updated the post with the corrected removal command and contacted the mononono author for an update which I will provide myself if he does not reply, all this is noted and timestamped on the bottom of my post.

    Now, I get that you are in the mono camp, but plase start by tackeling my (and the FSF’s) concerns instead of attacking people.
    which is exactly what I did in my post.

    1. Let me explain in detail.

      1. My original get the facts post is factually accurate and none of the claims in it have been adressed by commenters who chose to attack me personally instead of proving me wrong

      No. It is NOT. David Nielsen brought up a good point which you refuted just on one ground. FSF says so, so it is correct. Similarly anyone can say that mono is safe because Miguel says so and they believe miguel. Their point is as strong as yours in similar analogy. Please don’t present any other’s beliefs as proofs.

      what is wrong is that both the remove command and monono target mono 1.0 and Ubuntu uses 2.0. so even if they run without error, they actually only cleared old mono parts.

      When you try to remove mono, didn’t you see that notice that the virtual package cannot be removed.
      On a bigger note, you are advising others to install a package from untrusted source. Did you mind adding a disclaimer? Isn’t it a security risk? Actually it is an attempt to shoot yourself during the ritual of asking forgiveness in the temple of FSF. I don’t trust the author who created monono package. How can anyone trust any random person?

      Now, I get that you are in the mono camp, but plase start by tackeling my (and the FSF’s) concerns instead of attacking people.

      Ah. So for you there are only two colours – Black and White. I am in mono camp just because I refuse to scream, cry and crib over Mono? Just because I don’t hate mono, doesn’t mean I am in mono camp? BTW what is being wrong in mono camp? It is a technology after all. I feel weird when people bring emotions/religion in the place where they should be voting on pure technical merits.
      I did not attack you, simply brought out your blind hatred towards mono. As I mentioned above, I don’t hate any technology, any language – so this reply was apt.
      No one can actually tackle your points as long as your project FSF’s belief as absolute truth. FSF even advocates not using BSD/MIT License and even LGPL. Seriously WTF? If they can go to that level, how on earth can I believe them. They are against anything which looks even remotely non-free. Their approach is not at all practical.

  2. “No. It is NOT. David Nielsen brought up a good point which you refuted just on one ground. FSF says so, so it is correct. Similarly anyone can say that mono is safe because Miguel says so and they believe miguel. Their point is as strong as yours in similar analogy. Please don’t present any other’s beliefs as proofs.”

    Microsoft claims to hold patents on .NET, ECMA claims they hold patents on .NET and the FSF claims they hold patents on .NET. So, arguing they don’t seems very foolish and if you counter the claim by the patent holder themselves, the burden of proof is on you.

    Secondly, MS has always made it very clear they will use their patents aggressively. As for the CP, it only applies to parts of .NET and Mono implements more. And the CP has enough loopholes to allow MS to sue regardless, a Patent license would have prevented that.

    Again, you deploy only the same tactics as the other mono proponents, attacking me because you dislike my message instead of actually tackeling the message itself.

    Using and propagating Mono is not a problem IF you think that Free Software is not important. For me, it is.
    This is not about technology, Free Software is about ideology. I don’t know or care that Mono is technologically superior to if it’s not Free Software (beging GPL’d is insufficient if there are patents on your technology).

    Again, this is a political. ideological issue from my side of the fence, just like it is to the FSF. Being pratical is comprosing ideology, so why not go all the way and skip the Free/Open mentality?

    1. Microsoft claims to hold patents on .NET, ECMA claims they hold patents on .NET and the FSF claims they hold patents on .NET. So, arguing they don’t seems very foolish and if you counter the claim by the patent holder themselves, the burden of proof is on you.

      Yeah. I know all parts are not covered. That is why distros ship such components differently, so that in worst case damage can be minimized.
      BTW if you know, can I know which of these is under danger?. I will give you a list. Please check
      * C#
      * CLR
      * OData
      * ASP.NET
      * ADO.NET
      * Mono.Addins
      Plus, can I know from you which are the patents held by Microsoft on total .NET stack?

      Secondly, MS has always made it very clear they will use their patents aggressively.

      Nor do I believe MS, but citation please?

      Again, you deploy only the same tactics as the other mono proponents, attacking me because you dislike my message instead of actually tackeling the message itself.

      No one attacked you. People refused to say “I agree. If this is attacking, you will attacked furtur daily in life.

      Again, this is a political. ideological issue from my side of the fence, just like it is to the FSF. Being pratical is comprosing ideology, so why not go all the way and skip the Free/Open mentality?

      Again I request, please don’t being FSF in picture. All I can see is that your reasoning is “Either you love something or hate it”.
      Yeah, being practical is compromising ideology. I know, but I have no interest in going all way to skip Free/Open mentality. You are actually promoting people to give up FOSS just because they don’t bow in the temple of FSF. Now this has turned ridiculous. Does your argument even have a middle ground? As I said, I don’t hate any technology(I am saying this for 3rd time), so just because I don’t have problems with mono doesn’t mean I should skip FOSS completely.

  3. Please read this article in The Source, it reference both the patents on .NET as citations from MS executives.

    http://www.the-source.com/2010/11/mono-criticism-uninformed-hatred/

    “No one attacked you. People refused to say “I agree. If this is attacking, you will attacked furtur daily in life.”

    Please go back and reread the comments, I consider calling me a Psycho to be an attack. And that is far from the only comment like that.

    And lastly, sacrificing ideals for practical benefits may be something you are willing to do, but I am not. It’s quite unreasonable to expect that others drop their ideals because you find them inconvenient.

    1. I know that link. Everything in mono is not covered, but people hardly have any idea before speaking out. You know Microsoft claims that Linux kernel infringes 237 patents. Will you stop using Linux. You need to answer this. I think you should even publish a post on “Get the facts on Linux kernel”

      Please go back and reread the comments, I consider calling me a Psycho to be an attack. And that is far from the only comment like that.

      Please don’t cook up facts. No where I did call you physcho. Now don’t say that you read between the lines. As I said above, I make utmost care to not attack anyone even when criticizing.

      And lastly, sacrificing ideals for practical benefits may be something you are willing to do, but I am not. It’s quite unreasonable to expect that others drop their ideals because you find them inconvenient.

      Please practice what you preach. You can’t expect others to drop their thinking just because you find it inconvenient. Please don’t go around crying that since mono is a sham, others should remove it and “here are the instructions to remove mono” (BTW which was wrong).

      I know language likes PHP, Python, C# , a bit of C but never went around cribbing all the day long. I even wrote a post long back on how to settle the matter for time being so that we all can use the time saved in improving FOSS. Here is the article
      http://milky.manishsinha.net/2009/06/12/dousing-the-mono-flames/
      This was just a recommendation to assist anti-mono people to remove mono from their computer. Actually I see that pro-mono people are more calm and composed. Remember how Jo Shields even told you the correct steps of removing mono from your system even though he spends day and nights perfectly packaging mono for Debian/Ubuntu. It hurts a bit to tell people how to perfectly remove a package which they packaged and maintain in their spare time.

      1. “I know that link. Everything in mono is not covered, but people hardly have any idea before speaking out. You know Microsoft claims that Linux kernel infringes 237 patents. Will you stop using Linux. You need to answer this. I think you should even publish a post on “Get the facts on Linux kernel””

        Yes, and with those threats, MS is already successfully extorting money from companies that make Linux based devices (mobile phones). And those are just junk patents on generic things, not a reimplementation of their own framework.

        “Please don’t cook up facts. No where I did call you physcho. Now don’t say that you read between the lines. As I said above, I make utmost care to not attack anyone even when criticizing.”

        I nowhere claimed you made that statement, it was an anonymous poster : http://nocturn.vsbnet.be/content/cleaning-mono-your-system#comment-2647
        But you did claim above that *nobody* attacked me, which simply is not true.

        “Please practice what you preach. You can’t expect others to drop their thinking just because you find it inconvenient. ”

        Where did I say that? I’m not stopping you from using Mono am I? I’m just unwilling to use a platform which I consider non-free (just as I did with Java many years ago) and I actively advocate that no important part of a Linux system should *depend* on it. And certainly not rewrite Gnome on Mono as De Icaza suggested.

        I started advocating against Mono long before the FSF took their standpoint, but I’m really glad that an organization with their reputation actually looked at the issue and came to this conclusion.

        Linux distributions are made by advocating, it happens all the time or no piece of software would ever be replaced by another.

          1. Fear? I don’t fear any of them, but it’s a typical response you get when being anti-mono.

            Actually, the whole mono debate is not much different with the Free Software in Java debate before Java was opened up, but the Java proponents where a lot less aggressive.

          2. Well, this response is something you will have to face if you are opinionated and there is so shortage of “Anonymous people” ready to flame anytime.

            BTW the patents problem are just too complex. Java’s patent grant is way more strict than ECMA 334/335 patent grant.

        1. actively advocate that no important part of a Linux system should *depend* on it.

          I think most of the important libs and components in GNOME is still written in C. So the threat isn’t so great. Mono is mostly used in writing applications like F-Spot, Banshee, Tomboy etc

          And certainly not rewrite Gnome on Mono as De Icaza suggested.

          That won’t happen, yo know.

          1. “That won’t happen, yo know.”

            It won’t happen because Mono is too controversial to rebuild the desktop on, which is exactly the outcome people like myself are looking for.

            Though, I would still hope that none of the default apps in the Ubuntu (or any other) desktop depended on it.

          2. Well, I think that that wont happen, as it requires a lot of changes that are totally unrealistic. Throwing away code when it works doesn’t make any sense

  4. why bring this stupid argument up again and again?

    if you’re a mono defender, just shut up and build good software.

    if you’re a mono hater, just shut up and dont use it.

    problem solved.

    1. if you’re a mono defender, just shut up and build good software.

      I was just asking people to do the same. I code mostly in Python and a bit of C# when needed by some project. Like creating libs for mono so that projects like Banshee/F-Spot/Tomboy can have more plugins.

      if you’re a mono hater, just shut up and dont use it.

      Hope people listen to you, I have been trying but in vain

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