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Slashback: Mono, Names, Locking Up 254

Slashback tonight with just a few small items: an update on the AOL vs. Gaim brouhaha (good news), a slight return to the NSA's recommendations on securing that legacy Windows box, and oh, by the way, the official launch of the Free Software antidote to paying fealty forever to Redmond.

Sometimes it's nice to catch a disease. A few days ago, michael posted that Ximian was about to release its Free Software answer to Microsoft's .NET. Now it's official. Miguel de Icaza adds some detail: "Hello guys, As of today, we launched Mono, a project to implement a GPL-ed Common Language Runtime, class libraries and C# compiler to be compatible with Microsoft's .NET Framework. You can look at the press release that we put out. We also have a FAQ that covers various points and tries to explain how this is not .NET."

Newsforge is carrying a piece which ties together a bit more as well to explain how the promised benefits of .NET, as amorphous as they are, can be addressed with these and other software. Miguel has seemingly been busy on the phone today.

Hornsby points as well to "a very interesting article on the implications of Microsoft's .NET technology on open source development. The article heavily quotes Miguel, who "believes that .NET is going to be the dominant development environment for the next 20 years."

They oughtta know how to secure a box. Jhereg42 writes: "The NSA has posted their W2k security guides on a new (Slash proof :-) web site. Also included are Cisco security guides and a 'Supporting Documents' section containing docs on "Defense in Depth" and I-Planet Web Server configuration."

This is what lawyers are for. Rolan writes: "Mark Spencer has sent out an update on AOL v GAIM. It seems that the request for assistance was met well beyond the goal of US$500, at US$1700! The letter and attached response. The response was converted from an attached rtf file into an html file by StarOffice 5.2."

Thanks to all who sent along a few bucks, and good luck to the Gaim folks in the Surreal Themepark World of Contested Trademarks.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Mono,

Comments Filter:
  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:10PM (#96265) Homepage
    Ha, won't those fools at AOL feel stupid when they discover that they've sued a fictional race of beings from Babylon 5.

    ----

  • Lawyers don't sue people. People sue people.

    (as seen in someone's sig. Sorry I can't remember their UID right now)

  • by egomaniac ( 105476 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:14PM (#96267) Homepage
    I'm sorry, I know this is Anti-Open-Source (TM), but I think that GAIM is clearly trademark infringement. Adding one letter does not mean you're safe, any more than a clone of Windows named GWindows would be reasonable.

    The whole point is consumer confusion, and you've got to remember that the average consumer probably can't name the president. The average user wouldn't find it too touch to miss one letter when the products do the exact same thing.

    I love the line "Also, we note that the Gaim software was released almost two years before your client submitted its application for registration of the "AIM" mark" ... This sentence might just have a *tad* more impact if, in fact, you actually had to register a trademark in order to claim it. Trademarks are like copyrights -- the fact that a trademark has not been officially registered in no way means it isn't valid. Lawyer-speak at its best.

    In any case, this isn't 'fighting the good fight'. This is wasting time, money, and effort that could be much better spent accomplishing something actually useful. Change the damned name and move on.
  • by moronic1 ( 162493 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:15PM (#96268)
    It will probably be something like what happened to samba.. if they open it up or not somebody will eventualy figure it out and write a nice full featured version that works on many *nixs.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The AOL vs GAIM fund has now exceeded Slashdot in gross revenue.
  • by thefatz ( 97467 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:18PM (#96270) Homepage
    I dont understand... securing that legacy Windows box

    ...compared to what? Linux...BSD...Unix in general?

  • by Evangelion ( 2145 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:19PM (#96272) Homepage

    There hasn't been a dominant development environment for the last 20 years (unless you consider the C language, which I guess you could).

    But that was standard, free, and efficient. .NET isn't (yet).

    --
  • (Since so many people won't read the darn FAQ [ximian.com] and will instead ask "What's the difference between Mono (Monkey in spanish) and JAVA", here's the answer from Ximian themselves:

    Mono and Java

    Question 35 [ximian.com]: What about using Java? After all there are many languages that target the Java VM. You can get very good tools for doing Java development on free systems right now. Red Hat has contributed a GCC frontend for Java that can take Java sources or Java byte codes and generate native executables; Transvirtual has implemented Kaffe a JIT engine for Java; Intel also has a Java VM called ORP.

    The JVM is not designed to be a general purpose virtual machine. The Common Intermediate Language (CIL), on the other hand, is designed to be a target for a wide variety of programming languages, and has a set of rules designed to be optimal for JITers.

    (Feel free to Agree or disagree with this statement, but quit asking the same question over and over. This post does not deserve Karma, since I didn't create anything myself.).

    ...Grumpy Stefan.

  • by Anomolous Cow Herd ( 457746 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:21PM (#96275) Journal
    Remember, that's pronounced "C-hash," with the first "h" silent.

  • by Tim Macinta ( 1052 ) <twm@alum.mit.edu> on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:24PM (#96277) Homepage
    From the Mono FAQ [ximian.com]:

    Mono is the word for `Monkey' in Spanish. We like monkeys.

    Although, this is a very clever name considering Microsoft has recently taken to calling the GPL a virus. Now we can say "you misunderstood - it's not a viruses, it's about monkeys."

  • Mono needs to be ported to more than just unicies. It'll need people to port it to Windows, the Macintosh, BEOS, Linux, Unix, BSD, and any other OS you might be able to think of. That's the secret of a successful open-source free project. Make it easy for them to install, make it available already built and packaged to as many different people as you can, and make the source code available so people can continue development, tweak, and improve upon your creation. If it's available on virtually all platforms, and is free, that will be even more the reason to choose it over .NET for home users and for businesses.

    [Something witty and intelligent should have appeared here.]
  • by reaper20 ( 23396 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:32PM (#96285) Homepage
    While Mono sounds neat and a great way for 'open source hackers to fight back', I can think of alot of issues with Ximian Gnome that need to be fixed.

    It seems to me like Miguel and Co. never really finish anything before moving on to something else. Red Carpet still has some issues, Evolution isn't even close to being done, MonkeyTalk is/was awesome, but try finding a Ximian guy in there sometime, just don't bother the other _4_ users in there all asking for support.

    Example: Red Carpet is STILL stuck with mozilla .9.1, but if I get .9.2 and install manually, nautilus stops working, but if I install the new nautilus, it won't unless I downgrade back to mozilla .9.1, and it keeps telling me stuff isn't installed that is ... I don't understand how apt does this so well, yet this slick looking "super update" tool from insists that my stuff is broken. And you just know somebody is going to start using --force and --nodep and screw stuff up even more.

    Anyway, I digress. Just because .NET is the new Microsoft plan doesn't mean we have to be scrambling to get ahead of them.

    This reminds me of the big 'Push' craze. "Everyone stop what you're doing, push is the future! The regular internet will die!" Who cares, keep doing what we're doing, making a better OS for US, not for the MASSES.

    Please, Ximian, make a good, stable desktop with updates and stuff that works. Just because MS, CNET/ZDNN think that .NET is awesome, doesn't mean it will be, I mean shit, this stuff is still vaporware ....
  • The same could be said that removing a letter does not a trademark make either, and yet neither Microsoft nor the appropriate company (lazy me, not doing research) have sued over Windows/X-Windows.

    The X Consortium holds the trademark on the X Window System.

    The first commercial release of MS Windows, 1.0, came out in November 1985. The first commercial release of X Windows was in 1986.

  • by Drone-X ( 148724 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:36PM (#96287)
    It
    seems that people here don't want .NET, but it seems that we are all going along with it and supporting it.
    You make the mistake of assuming all Slashdotters want the same. Most posts here are trolls (well, it certainly feels like it), don't forget about the silent crowd.

    .NET is good as long as Microsoft doesn't get too much control because of it. A potential dangerous thing would be if Microsoft gets all developers to use Password (which is part of something called Hailstorm), I espect new monopolies to arise in .NET land.

    But .NET will likely become huge whether or not Linux supports it. For our own sake, however, we should get with it soon so we don't get locked out (remember when we didn't have any decent browsers? This could be similar).

  • Well as usual, MOST of the people replying negatively are doing nothing more than knee jerking. They know little to nothing about it, they hear Microsoft, they bash. But it seems like a FEW people have actually investigated the underpinnings of .NET and have seen some promise in the archetecture and the need for such an archetecture and are going to make sure that Linux will be there to play the game. It may end up being much ado about nothing like JAVA has become, but Linux has JAVA doesn't it? Good? Bad? Time will tell. But dismissing things out of hand will never allow you find out...
  • The first commercial release of X Windows was in 1986

    ... any they appeared to not have learned a damned thing from the Macintosh other than "oooo, bitmapped display with a mouse." Although they did capture the "visual elegance of Windows."

    - - - - -
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:41PM (#96293)
    You really want to live in a world where people just bow to corporations unreasonable demands, don't you? Their trademark is AIM, not Gaim. If they wanted GAIM, they should have registered that as well. What's next? I suppose you'll stand against people registering www.xmicrosoft.com, or www.xibm.com? And I suppose the next logical step is to stop people from registering www.hal.com, because all they did was change the letters of ibm. Screwball reasoning.
  • Can anyone point me to a good explanation on .NET ? I've tried to understand it but it seems to be a little complex.

    It seems that cloning it is a good idea and doing much of it at the GNU level makes sense since that is most of our development platform is.

    I hope KDE can in on this too because forming a dotKDE doesn't sound like a good idea.

    But alas! I proclaim lots of ignorance on this one!
  • only sort of good news. the good news is he got money to send a letter to defend himself (and his most excellent work). The bad news is that it's a legal battle, and they suck as a whole. I truly truly hope that it works out for the benefit of the Gnome AOL Interactive Metatranslator ;) but I just dunno...I don't know what the statute of limitations on the "protect your trademark or lose it" thing is, and it seems fairly clear that it is a derived named. then again, they could just _hire_ the guy to make it for AOL, under the same license, and everyone would be happy.

    Can you imagine? A little less AOL bashing on slashdot!
  • That's almost a valid point.

    While it's true that Gaim does not run on Windows. AIM does run on Linux, Official AIM client for Linux [aol.com]. Also, the gateway device runs AOL on linux, which includes AIM.

    So, in that sense, there is a possibility of confusion - because they both run on the same OS.

    Even if not being able to run on the same OS mattered... I couldn't just call my Playstation 2 game Tetris, just because there's no tetris on the game system yet.

    Joseph Elwell.

  • Ximian isn't writing all the front ends to target CLI/ CLR because they don't have the resources to. Microsoft is doing it because they want instant widespread acceptance and they do have the resources.

    What you can do until someone writes a (Python or insert your favourite language here) frontend for Mono is compile using Microsoft's tools and run on the Mono backend. That's the nice thing about standards, and it appears (so far, at least) that Microsoft is playing fair this time.

  • by OSgod ( 323974 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @04:50PM (#96299)
    After all.. the open source people have adopted it (it's all in the interpetation).

    Notice how the also ran languages supported on Linux (Python, etc) never make the cross platform big time -- yet with this move the Linux community gave .Net and C# the smack of legitimacy and since it will be numerically close to #1 in the future (based on number of developers using it) have really put it over the top.

  • They're on Conxion. You know, the same people who made the news around here for leaving copies of XP Beta lying around for the general public to snag?
  • by multicsfan ( 311891 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @05:05PM (#96306)
    I don't see much new here. In the late 60's and early 70's many languages were used on the Multics system (http://www.multicians.org/). With usually little to no effort most langauges could call routines in other languages.

    They seem to have changed the languages from PL/1, fortran, bcpl, etc to C#, perl, html, but they haven't changed the goals, just the implimentation details as they rediscover 20+ years old ideas and technologies.

    In the late 70's I worked for Honeywell on a government contract to help develope and support the National Software Works (NSW). NSW ran on multiple systems. You logged into NSW and as you asked for tools (programs), it would open up connections across the arpanet to the appropriate system, TECO on DEC 10's and 20's, IBM FORTRAN on IBM mainframes, ted on Multics. Files were converted and ported as needed to make the different systems happy. The DEC systems used 7 bit ascii, Multics used 9 bit ascii, IBM used 8 bit EBCDIC.

    You never specified where to get the tool, just what tool you wanted and the NSW system would connect you to a system that could run that tool for you. When that tool asked for a file, it was transported from whereever it was to where the tool was as well as keeping multiple copies of a file around if it was read, but not changed on multiple systems.

    The goal was to make location of a user independent of where the tools they used were located.

  • Give me a break.... talk about a soundbite made for the press. The rate of change of nearly everything, including development environments, etc. is increasing. I'll grant you that there may be something called 'Windows' in 20 years and there may even be something called '.Net' in 20 years... in much the same way that there will probably always be a language called 'FORTRAN', regardless of what they do with it. The only intelligent part of his comment is the implicit fact that Miguel, unlike so many, at least pays attention to "the dark side" and recognizes a good idea when he sees it.
    I'll get flamed for it, but I'll say this, too: Open Source software.... Free Software... means platform independence. It doesn't mean Linux. It doesn't mean BSD. It means that I get to choose.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And since B5 and thus the Gaim intellectual property is owned by Time Warner, they are actually suing themselves!
  • "X" is a "window system." It is the "X Window System."

    "Windows" is an "operating system." It is the "Windows Operating System."

    It is asinine to think that Microsoft could go after the X Consortium because the X consortium makes a "window system." It would be the same as Microsoft going after the company Marvin Windows because they make "windows", or Apple Computers going after a farmer because he grows "Fuji Apples."

    Of course, it wouldn't suprise me if someday some confused and deranged legal intern didn't confuse the generic word "window system" for the trademark "Windows Operating System". After all, any reasonable window system draws pretty pictures on the screen, just like the Windows Operating System. To some people (including a distressingly large number of people who post on slashdot), that in itself must indicate that any window system is infringing on Microsoft's IP. Because the name "Windows Operating System" sounds a lot like the generic term "window system" (to people with ADD), it must be infringement!
  • Aren't the free software folk who are adopting .NET making the same mistake many other MS competitors made before? They are adopting an MS technology and relying on MS not to play dirty with the specifications (DR-DOS and Win3.1 come to mind). What is to guarantee that MS won't change the .NET specification a year or two from now and break older code? ECMA standards are cute but MS wouldn't hesitate dumping them if it felt it could get away with it.
  • That's the nice thing about standards, and it appears (so far, at least) that Microsoft is playing fair this time.
    We've recently seen Microsoft licencing being used to prohibit development with their tools in conjunction with Free (and some other Open Source) software. Could they use similar licencing to prevent deployment of .NET apps developed with their tools on a Free platform like Mono? I guess only public sentiment (and maybe antitrust laws?) could stop them.
  • by jdavidb ( 449077 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @05:15PM (#96315) Homepage Journal

    This post does not deserve Karma, since I didn't create anything myself.

    Aha! Caught you. Thought you could slip that by, huh? Well, hey, buddy; you've been modded up at least 2 points so far. You can't get away with posting interesting content early in a thread without gaining karma, so don't even try. :)

    My post is just a me, too message. Please don't mod it up for being funny or anything.

  • You can certainly register a trademark after its first use.

    What you don't get to do is kick peoples' ass who used it prior to registration. They get grandfathered because they can show "due diligence" (we did a TM search, came up empty), and you can't penalize someone under those conditions.

  • by rhedin ( 91503 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @05:23PM (#96318)
    There's an interesting article over on CNET [cnet.com] that talks about the Mono vs. .NET thing.

    What I found interesting was the following quote from the article:

    Other constraints could hamper an open-source effort as well, Goodhew said. Creating software that implements the CLI standard will require Microsoft technology that will be released through ECMA, Goodhew said. And the license under which that software is released may not be compatible with the licenses that govern Mono and DotGNU, he said.

    "Part of the ECMA (standardization process) provides a forum for us to license the intellectual property you will need to have to implement the standard," Goodhew said. "It's up to the implementers to make sure whatever license they choose to use is compatible with the ECMA licensing terms."

    So Ximian may not be able to produce what they want to produce.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    .NET =
    - common runtime library, machine and language independent
    - network components communicating via SOAP (XML/HTTP)
    - Internet services where MS provides authentication and storage for all of your personal information
    - marketing name applied to next gen of all MS products and APIs

  • by TheFrood ( 163934 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @05:27PM (#96321) Homepage Journal
    Trademarks are like copyrights -- the fact that a trademark has not been officially registered in no way means it isn't valid. Lawyer-speak at its best.

    Actually, trademarks are different from copyrights in one important way: If you don't vigorously defend your trademark against all infractions, you risk losing it by letting it fall into common use.

    That's relevant here because there's proof that AOL knew about the existence of Gaim two years ago (when they requested that the Gaim folks remove the AOL logo from their website) and AOL didn't try to defend its trademark at that time.

    IANAL, but that fact makes it look to me like an open-and-shut case in favor of Gaim. I'm even willing to bet that AOL knows this, but they were hoping the Gaim folks wouldn't and they could bully them into changing the program's name.

    TheFrood

  • From the point of view of tradmarking windows, I believe it is "Microsoft Windows" and various varieties but not the word "windows" itself that is tradmarked.

    And the flying window logo thingy. Jeez, strap a penguin on that and you'd be in trouble.

    Dave
  • I'll get flamed for it, but I'll say this, too: Open Source software.... Free Software... means platform independence. It doesn't mean Linux. It doesn't mean BSD. It means that I get to choose.

    And that really is the bottom line. Back in 93-94 I managed to convince 3 or 4 people at work to try out OS/2. One still uses it, one is on Linux and the other two fell to the "dark side". We all had a choice. Microsofts vision is a world with no choice but Microsoft. Why people cannot see the inherent evil in this, I just don't understand.

    Didn't the lad from Nazareth mention something about "the road less traveled"?
  • by egomaniac ( 105476 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @05:28PM (#96325) Homepage
    No, I just want to live in a world where we can respect one anothers' property.

    Something that most Slashdotters don't seem particularly good at, I might add (how many Napster fans are there in the audience? How many still use it now that you can't trade copyrighted songs? Thought so.)

    "If they wanted GAIM, they should have registered that as well"

    So I should be able to create a cookie called, say, Nilli Wafers, and market them under the brand Nabisci, because Nabisco didn't register these particular variations on their trademarks? Envision a world in which I could get away with this, and tell me that unscrupulous people wouldn't take ridiculous advantage of it. Would you rather have that instead?

    And, nobody ever said anything about HAL/IBM. See Slippery Slope logical fallacy [everything2.com].
  • Actually, as crasy as it seems, it's almost happened. They tried to trademark the terms Windows, Window, Win, windows, window, win, and extend that application to programs that begin with the word Win. This was to give them the ability to squash apps they didn't like by attacking their name of WinAppX but leave others alone that they liked, etc. It was shot down, but this was years ago, before the PTO lost it's collective marbles.

    SImilarly, Intel tried to trademark the letter i since it's part of their logo.

    --
  • > I would have thought that all the Linux Zealots would be trying to discourage .NET, it being an MS effort.

    Actually, it's a Micorsoft clone of a longstanding Sun effort.

    --
  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @05:36PM (#96332) Homepage
    Actually, if you were doing it phonetically it would be "K-ash".
  • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @05:42PM (#96338) Journal

    God, what a troll...

    When pressed for additional details on what makes .NET better, de Icaza replied: "The tools are better integrated. You have a debugger, a project manager. It's an IDE with documentation integrated into the system.

    Wow, it's a wonder those KDE guys can accomplish anything with their stone-knives-and-bearskins tools like "vi" and "man". Now we know why there's so much sucky code in the world - lack of IDEs to think for us.

    Microsoft basically solved the DLL problem, and that's something that the open source community is not solving. Even though we have the tools to do so, no one is taking the next step to do things right. There's still breakage that's happening in libraries that are shipping with traditional Linux libraries.

    Has this Miguel guy ever actually used Linux? (yes, I'm aware he's the Gnome god, it's a rhetorical question.) Linux has almost none of the DLL problems of Windows; you may have extra versions of old libraries, but if that's what your apps want it's not a bad thing. Microsoft, on the other hand, just recently gave us the technological advance of keeping track of the libraries needed and replacing them on you if you zapped them during another software install. Yes, that's right, just paper over that DLL Hell and keep on going.

    I like Gnome, and I use it every day, but I feel like Miguel has really let down the side here. It's one thing to discuss that .NET has some advantages over current systems, but it's another thing to be basically a Microsoft cheerleader - shouting out the good bits, papering over the iffy bits, and not injecting any of the caution that any rational software engineer not in a coma over the past few years should have when faced with a new initiative from the Microsoft marketing machine. Miguel, you had a great chance to present a level and reasoned overview of the whole thing from the free side of the software world, and you ended up just giving Ballmer and Mundie some great sound bites. With open source "leaders" like this, who needs enemies?

    Mod away, I feel better for having had my say. Grrrr, I haven't been this ticked off since the last time Ransom Love said anything :)

  • by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @05:45PM (#96340) Homepage
    No, I just want to live in a world where we can respect one anothers' property.

    No matter how many times you say it, a name, word, sentence, story, idea, song, or image will not be property.

  • If the "reasonable man" would be confused by your branding and think that you product was manufactured and sold by another company, then indeed you could be libel of trademark infringement. It is the proving of that confusion that is the challenge to be taken by the prosecutor.

    Also I, being a reasonable man, believe that modifying the first letter of a brand does make it hard to confuse it with another brand. Your example would be in parallel with Gaim vs. AIM if you offered "Gnilla Wafers" by Gabisco. I don't think anyone would confuse that with "Nilla Wafers" by Nabisco.
  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Monday July 09, 2001 @06:03PM (#96351) Homepage Journal
    It happens that I'm speaking at AOL headquarters on Wednesday, to a few hundred of their staff. I can drop in a polite sentence about this, but asked Mark to advise me as I don't want to over-do it just in case someone has already decided to be nice to him.

    Thanks

    Bruce

  • by raian ( 23120 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @06:10PM (#96356)
    I think it is interesting that the Free Software community is embracing .NET, after years of scorning Java, which offers many of the same features.

    Sure there are a few free implementations of the JVM, but none support Java beyond 1.1. Whenever Java is discussed among Linux developers, their voices drip with scorn and they go on and on about performance problems eliminated three years ago, and the dangers of a language "owned by Sun". But those same developers are jumping right in to develop free implementations of .NET, a language "owned" by a company with a far worse track record for cooperation than Sun, and which boasts that you will be able to "write a class in C#, subclass it in C++, and instantiate it in Eiffel" (I'm sure there won't be any performance issues there).

    Why not ramp up the effort to create free VMs and libraries for Java, a language actually in use around the world *right now*? It boggles the mind.
  • So I should be able to create a cookie called, say, Nilli Wafers, and market them under the brand Nabisci, because Nabisco didn't register these particular variations on their trademarks?

    Yes. If you confuse the consumer into buying an inferior product by pretending to be a different company, you should be charged with fraud, not trademark infringement.

  • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @06:21PM (#96358) Homepage Journal

    I couldn't just call my Playstation 2 game Tetris

    Correct. I wrote a thorough essay on the legal issues surrounding Tetris [pineight.com]. To sum up, TETRIS is a trademark of The Tetris Company LLC, but there are no U.S. Patents on the game itself, and the game's graphics are simple enough that any source code or audiovisual work copyright can be circumvented by a simple clean room cloning project such as freepuzzlearena [pineight.com], which produced the Tetanus engine [pineight.com] (soon to be renamed to Lockjaw to distance it further from the TETRIS Mark).

    Want a taste of LSD? Try TOD [pineight.com], a falling tetramino game with nine screen distortion effects. Includes static DOS binaries plus GPL sources for recompiling on Win32 or X11 systems. Only dependency is libc + Allegro [sourceforge.net] + your window system's libraries.

    just because there's no tetris on the game system yet

    Apparently, you've never played The Next TETRIS [tetris.com] for PlayStation and Wintendo9x.

    Of course, nothing you read on Slashdot is legal advice. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
  • Wild tangent - your remark makes me wonder, though: why hasn't the Kompany created a new language and called it "K?"
  • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @06:27PM (#96360) Homepage Journal
    Nautilus will work with Mozilla 0.9.2, but you have to either recompile Mozilla (painful two hour process on my 800MHz Athlon), or recompile Nautilus (painful 4 hour process chasing after packages I was missing, recompiling, etc....)

    Hmmm... I suppose I could try and package up my binary and put it somewhere, but I've got Nautilus 1.0.4 running with Mozilla 0.9.2. The official Mozilla binaries are compiled in such a way that they don't work with official Nautilus binaries (wonderful, isn't it?...) so you have to compile on your own...

    You'll need to check out the README file that comes with Nautius for the configure options for Mozilla to use with Nautilus.

    --

  • Because if we take it and run with it first before Microsoft really gets down to business, WE can be the ones to "embrace and extend."
  • by Pinball Wizard ( 161942 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @06:41PM (#96365) Homepage Journal
    my impression is that it is because MS decided to give up control of the big pieces of .NET to a standards body. MS is also providing the reference implementation of .NET on FreeBSD. Although invented by MS, .NET won't be owned. It will be a standard. I think thats where it will succeed over Java.

    Additionally, you have Miguel de Icaza, the lead GNOME developer gushing about how 'state of the art' the .NET technology is. The opposite seems to be true of Java, as you mentioned, in the eyes of influential developers.

    Not to mention that the .NET runtime will compile code written in Perl, Java, C# or any number of other languages. I understand Java does this as well, but in Java which language is going to get top billing? .NET seems to have language independence built in from the ground up. That's a big win in the open source world of many languages.

    So, basically you have all the ingredients for .NET's success in the OSS arena. Which is probably Microsoft's intention because if it succeeds there, it will succeed everywhere.

  • Yes. If you confuse the consumer into buying an inferior product by pretending to be a different company, you should be charged with fraud, not trademark infringement.

    Which is what MS is doing by using .NET as a trademark, even tho it was a generic term before (as in the "Net"). Also, in the case of Microsoft, you might get into trouble by buying a superior non_MS product, using words similar in describing it, such as XWindows, Wordstar, or whatever.

    ;-)

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • AOL has to do this sort of thing if they want to keep their trademark-- a competitor need only show that AOL had failed to pursue someone who used a similar name to AOL's.

    On the other hand, AOL can only win if the names are determined to be different; the gaim people can say that AOL didn't pursue them for two years when AOL knew about gaim's use of the name. If the names are too similar, then AOL loses the trademark. It doesn't matter that AOL trademarked the name 2 years after gaim started using it, but it matters a whole lot that they didn't complain about gaim using the name for 3 years. That's failing to enforce your trademark, and the fact that they started enforcing it reasonably soon after they got it is not sufficient.

    Presumably what AOL wants is to have gaim argue that the name isn't similar, and win the case in that way. Then AOL goes about its business, able to prevent other people from actually using the same name. This shouldn't be a hard case to win, especially because AOL simply wants to lose in the better way. If AOL won this, in fact, they'd lose to the first company with money, who could still argue that AOL didn't bug gaim for 3 years and thus really didn't defend their trademark.
  • by janpod66 ( 323734 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @06:58PM (#96373)
    "Five years ago, we [open source developers] had the high ground in technical tools," said de Icaza. "We had better tools and a better development environment than Windows developers had. Now, with .NET, I see that the roles have changed and Windows developers have much better tools than we have.

    This is a pretty depressing statement because it is so blatantly false all around. Five years ago, de Icaza chose to use tools for Gnome that were primitive even back then: C, make, autoconf, etc. You don't have to get very advanced to do better than that. C++ was around. GNUStep was around. Modula-3 was around. Eiffel was around. There were several mature, high-level GUI toolkits. Visual C++ was better integrated and easier to set up than GNU Emacs even back then. Five years ago, there were already numerous high level, open source languages with excellent debuggers and excellent environments. If Icaza would have wanted something better, he had the choices then. Instead, he chose primitive tools back then and stuck with them, and now that Microsoft adopts C# he finally calls those tools what they are: primitive.

    According to de Icaza, the interesting thing about SharpDevelop is that the environment is really complete in only a few lines of code. It's really amazing when you compare the code size to other projects.

    Again, de Icaza missed a big opportunity. As one of the leaders of the Gnome project, he could have caused adoption of this kind of "amazing" technology on Linux a couple of years ago in the form of Java. Whether he agreed with Sun's implementation strategy for Java or not, the Java language and runtime is not importantly different from C# and .NET, and Gnome could have altered it in whatever way they liked. Yet, Gnome kept on focussing on laboriously and slowly hacking C code and basically making fun of high level languages.

    As far as I'm concerned, the Gnome project established its course long ago: they don't lead, they merely follow Microsoft (and something similar can be said for KDE). Maybe that's good enough to keep Linux alive as a credible alternative to Microsoft, but it really isn't very interesting to me. If open source becomes dominated by clones of Microsoft software that's two years behind the market leader, I might as well just use the real thing.

    The only glimmer of hope is that the adoption of anything more high level than C by an open source project as large and central as Gnome can only improve things in the open source world. It's a good first step, whether the something being adopted is Java or C#. Maybe that will finally break the stranglehold that primitive tools and extreme conservatism have had on this community. It's kind of sad that it took Microsoft to do this, since they invented none of this technology, but--whatever it takes, I guess.

  • by dudle ( 93939 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @07:08PM (#96376) Homepage
    I was waiting for someone like you. You give me the opportunity to make my point. Thank you for that.

    In the O'Reilly article [oreillynet.com], the author says that Miguel is open minded. I suggest we all seat back, relax and try to do the same exact thing. Let's be open minded if only for 5 minutes.

    So I'm sitting at my desk, open minded and stuff, reading Dale Dougherty [oreillynet.com]'s article. First of all, I would like to say that I found it very interesting. Here are my comments on it.

    Open Source developer Miguel de Icaza, leader of the GNOME project and founder of Ximian, has been exploring Microsoft's .NET platform with an open mind

    The open mind thing, remember?

    he was only beginning to think about the implications of Microsoft.NET

    That's exactly what it's about. The implications. Read on.

    .NET provides developers with a state-of-the-art development environment, one that leaps ahead of open source alternatives.

    Here we go. The first of many comparaisons. Some of you slashdotters are aiming their guns at him for making such a comparaison. Don't! Keep an open mind. With an open mind you realize that vi and Emacs don't come even close to a fully integrated development environment. Again, keep an open mind and think about it for at least a minute before you shoot.

    "It's a new development environment for the next twenty years."

    Let me be honest: when I read that piece, I thought he was being paid by Microsoft. I mean come on! That's a pretty bold statement right there. Let's see what he has to say about that.

    Five years ago, we [open source developers] had the high ground in technical tools," said de Icaza. "We had better tools and a better development environment than Windows developers had. Now, with .NET, I see that the roles have changed and Windows developers have much better tools than we have.

    (NOTE TO SELF: Don't quote that much in one piece)
    Wow! Is that really so? ... Ok then. I have my open mind and all that but still, that's sounds like marketing to me. Now hold on. What if ... I don't know ... do you think ... is it really ... True?

    What if it's true? Let's see what he has to say.

    .NET is a good platform to innovate from

    Cool! This time, the roles would be reversed. Please understand. This time, it is us who have a chance to copy, to mimic, to "innovate". Schweeeeet.

    Microsoft might port the runtime to Linux

    Now why the hell would they do that? The only thing AFAIK they ever did on Linux was those f***ed up Front Page Extensions! Do you really think they would do that? Why? To extend .NET of course, just like Unix embraced multiple platforms back in the days (This is indeed a very good analogy). About a year ago I think, I read someone saying that the Desktop OS should be at the user's service, not the opposite. Microsoft understood that believe it or not. You (and I) may not like it but the main reason why they are what they are on the desktop market is because they offer what the vast majority of users want. They also know that the OS is not the end all of all things. They understand the market (heck, they control the damn thing) and they expand like a wasp colony in my back yard by controling the rest with .NET.

    What I mean to say by that is that Miguel has a point. .NET is probably the most important technology/invention for the years to come. Just like Unix kicked Multix's ass back in the days, .NET will be the next development environment for the years to come. (open mind everyone)

    "I personally want to see the .NET runtime on Linux", [...] seeming to commit himself to building it if it doesn't emerge from current efforts.

    Thank you! It would be terrible to be left at the mercy of Microsoft for having something that important not available on our favorite OS. Could you imagine? Maybe not. Let me help, imagine that there was no TCP/IP stack available for Linux. That's the kind of situation we could find ourselves in if major tools like .NET are not available for Linux. (NOTE TO SELF: That was a "Bad analogy").

    Later on, Miguel explains briefly why he likes .NET so much. He makes his points when he says (and I quote)

    "With .NET, MS has figured out the next generation of development software"

    Now that does not come from some AC waiting for a good troll. This guy wrote a whole lot of code. I think I can safely say that he knows what he is talking about when it comes to developing software. (Open mind again).

    .NET was not targeted for a single language.

    Just like Unix was not targetted as a single platform. You have it right here, in front of you. If you can see further than your nose, it's obvious that this is why .NET will (wether you like it or not) take over. He even says It's a programmer's dream come true. He's right, at least admit it.

    So he goes on and on explaining what the Unix world did wrong and what .NET does right. Good. He wants to see .NET under Linux. Great, count me in.

    Now remember what happened with Unix in the early 2000's ... it got taken over by a Free (as in speech) OS based on the Linux kernel. This is what is going to happen with .NET. If Microsoft think they are ahead, wait until they see how good the open source community is at rebuilding a good idea from scratch and make it a wonderful one. .NET is a fantastic concept. .ORG (or whatever we chose to call our open source alternative) will be to .NET what GNU/Linux is to Unix. Mark my words.

    Good night and thank you for reading.

  • He's just following the Pattern. Certain other open-source companies' leaders have done the same thing.

    It goes something like this:

    You decry, very publicly, the pitiful state of technology available in the open source world. You point to a mass of people who suffer the horrible plight of working with open source software, despite the fact that it's missing Technology X. Never mind that Technology X creates more problems than it solves, or that the mass of suffering users doesn't exist. This is just foundation work.

    Step two, you trot out your shoddy implementation of your Bad Idea, and proclaim to the world *outside* the open source community that you have just heroically stepped up to the plate and saved the day. No longer will the masses have to bear the agony of living without Technology X, you tell them, for you have delivered it. (Again, it doesn't matter that T-X sucks, that nobody really wanted it, or even that there was probably already a better solution in place.... you didn't control that one, your name wasn't all over it.)

    Then you sit back and watch the newbies come directly to you, because they've heard about all the great, innovative things you've done, and how anachronistic and unusable your competitors' products are. I mean, you told them so, right?

    It's obnoxious as all hell, but this isn't the first time it's happened and I'm sure it won't be the last. After all, it seems to work.

    RPM, Lizard (the Caldera installer), Mono... it's all the same scam.

  • by Pinball Wizard ( 161942 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @07:23PM (#96384) Homepage Journal
    It certainly looks like the beginnings of an interesting license battle.

    Especially if Ximian replaces fundamental parts of .NET with GPL code. Binary programs written with the MS version of .NET would be illegal to run under the Ximian version of .NET.

    I wonder who would look like the bad guy in that scenario.

  • by Uksi ( 68751 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @07:26PM (#96385) Homepage
    <bitchsession>Instead of calling a developer much more highly experienced than you a troll, you should read and not skim the articles for possible bitching points. In fact, if anything, your post is on the verge of a flamebait, as you miss both of Miguel's points.</bitchsession>

    The IDE issue. Have you developed large software in Linux and using recent Visual Studio? Sure, you can use vi and man, but you do not get things accomplished as quickly or as conveniently. vi has a significant learning curve, whereas Visual Studio IDE is sit down and start typing, and man is not as quick and convenient in retrieval and cross-referencing of the information. Compare putting cursor over the API call you just typed, pressing 'F1' (or is it Ctrl+F1? some keystroke, anyway) in Visual Studio IDE and getting a documentation page, then scrolling down, clicking on a related function and getting the help for it. Think of doing the same function with vi and man. Not nearly as convenient. And does man have cross-referenced, searcahble and indexed tutorials, guides, overviews, references to obscure APIs or APIs that may not be installed on the system? Point is, developing with Visual Studio is just damn convenient, and there are very few Linux tools in development that begin to approach the quality of the Visual Studio IDE. Take it from someone who coded both on Windows, Tru64 (Digital Unix back then), Solaris and Linux.

    The DLL issue. This is where you missed the point so far it's not even funny. You are talking about versioning problems (old libraries and such). Now, tell me, if Miguel makes such a big deal out of versioning problems, why isn't it even mentioned on the Mono FAQ page or the issue touched/discussed at any kind of length anywhere? I bet the answer's gonna strike you like a heart attack strikes Dick Cheney: Miguel isn't talking about versioning. There is NO DLL hell (believe me, the versioning problems are not near the hell Miguel has in mind) when you are developing libraries using a statically-typed, procedural language like C. That's because the .so and .dll dynamic library mechanisms are designed to provide procedural APIs (i.e. APIs consisiting of statically-typed functions) and they do it well.

    However, if you have ever tried to use object-oriented languages such as C++ with either of the DLL mechanisms (they are for all practical purposes the same) and tried to either provide an object-oriented API or use an object-oriented API, you will learn what the DLL hell means. It means that there is no elegant, straightforward solution to having object-oriented APIs with the DLL mechanisms, everything is a kludge, a hack. And the widely-used hack of exposing the object-oriented API thru a few access C methods (and lotsa casting), means that the client of the library must use the same ABI. And what does that mean? That means constrained to the same programming language, the same compiler (compilers often have different ABIs), and even to certain versions of the same compiler if the ABIs change from version to version. So the DLL hell is when you see a gcc-2.95-built C++ library that you'd love to use in your Delphi app, but you can't. You can't use the Solaris C++ compiler with that library. You can't even use gcc version 3.0 with that library, unless you force it to use the older ABI. (I may be wrong as to exactly which versions of gcc have the differing ABIs, but the point stands.)

    I'll give you a real life example. There is a fabulous, free Windows app called Buzz [buzzmachines.com]. The plug-ins for that application must all be written in C++ and compiled with Visual C++. In other words, poor, yet talented developers (and in smaller European countries there are plenty) who can't afford Visual C++ 5.0 or 6.0, can't use their existing Delphi or Borland C++ compiler or the win32 port of gcc compiler. Intel C++ compiler? Fogghetaboutit. Raw talent can't contribute--just because the object-oriented-API-enabling DLL hack forces that to be the case.

    You don't feel nearly as much heat in the Linux environment because nearly damn everything is built with the same compiler, using close versions (and using C). But you go to some Unix OS machine where the OS and a lot of the libraries are built using the vendor's provided compiler and you taste the hell. You try using an object-oriented Pascal compiler (FreePascal) with a C++ library and you're shit out of luck. Have Python use that C++ library? Can't do directly, gotta write messy translation layers. Same goes for almost any scripting language. Should I keep going with the examples or do you get the point?

    Now compare that to Mono. Mono will let you write an OO API library in C++, and use it from something like Python like a normal object, with very little syntactical moronisms.

    <bitchsession>So don't label Miguel as a Microsoft cheerleader in hopes of getting the Slashdot crowd moderating your inattentive butt up. And take that 'must consider only one view, must stick to one view' way of writing "eloquent" speeches and high school essays and stick it up where the sun don't shine. Because the world is gray and while Miguel may not subscribe to your views, labeling a developer that contributes so fucking much to the Linux community as a puppet of the Microsoft marketing machine is purely ignorant and ungrateful. In fact, as an aspiring software engineer, it hurts me that you dare use words "rational software engineer" with such an ignorant, non-software engineer viewpoint, as any rational, experienced software engineer that practices object oriented programming will tell you that anything that promotes reuse, avoids having to write a ton of extra code and avoids the above-described real DLL hell, is going to look at this free, open-source initiative (Mono) and say "Thank god, I was waiting for this." You do not nearly realize the kind of freedom and the kind of time savings that Mono will yield in medium and large software projects, something that was previously avaialble only on the Windows platform and for a shitload o' money (Windows + all the dev tools).</bitchsession>

  • by bellings ( 137948 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @07:36PM (#96387)
    IANAL, but I don't believe the people who make the "Gaim instant messenger client" can reasonably claim that their mark is distinct from AOL's "AIM instant messenger client." It doesn't do much to help any claim that they're distinct that the sourceforge page says, "Gaim is a clone of the AOL instant messenger client." I think an arguement could easily be made that the Gaim people have intentionally chosen a name similar to AIM, with a product that is functionally similar, and have capitalized on that similarity.

    The Gaim situation is not similar to the situation of the X Consortium's X Window System and Microsoft's Windows Operating System. The generic term "window system" has been around for a long time (certainly longer than the Windows Operating System), and the X Consortium goes to some trouble to point out that their mark is X, X is a window system, and there is no product called X Windows. The X Consortium is not going to get in trouble for making a window system, any more than a farmer is going to get in trouble for growing an apple. However, Software called X Windows probably would infringe on Microsoft's trademark, no matter what that software did. Even a windowing sytem called X Windows would probably infringe on Microsoft's trademark -- an "X Windows" brand window system would probably get (deservedly) bitchslapped by the courts pretty damned quick.

    I could see some recourse for the Gaim people if they had historically called themselves the Gnu Abstract Instant Messenger client, or the Guile Agnostic Instant messenger client. It would also help if they had not originally set out to create an AIM clone, and hadn't already been tangled up with AOL by putting an AOL logo on their product page.

    I hope the Gaim people just change their name, and donate the $1,700 to the EFF to help someone fight for stuff that matters.
  • by segoave ( 115819 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @07:53PM (#96391)
    I haven't seen any mention of dotGNU [dotgnu.org] in any of this talk about .NET.
  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @08:06PM (#96394) Homepage
    Funny, I thought I remember Linus trademarking the name "Linux". Kind of weird when our martyr plays for the other team, huh? :)
  • No offense but you understood the exact opposite of what I was saying.

    Read again.
  • by janpod66 ( 323734 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @08:19PM (#96399)
    In the O'Reilly article, the author says that Miguel is open minded. [...] With an open mind you realize that vi and Emacs don't come even close to a fully integrated development environment.

    Indeed. And the question is not why some people still don't get it, the real question is why it took the people on the Gnome project until 2001 to realize this. After all, the programming environment and language technology represented by C#/.NET predates the Gnome project by decades. Why didn't they have an open mind at the beginning?

    And, equally important, why is their (and your) vision still limited to copying Microsoft? Are they (and you) simply not familiar with the past 40+ years of systems research, or the state of the art?

  • by janpod66 ( 323734 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @08:24PM (#96401)
    [.NET] really IS innovative

    So, please be concrete: what ideas do you think are "innovative" in .NET? Please compare and contrast those with some of the key milestones in the history of computer systems research. In fact, just some examples of where you think C#/.NET innovates over Java would be interesting.

  • Well, from what I gather, KDE people have done some
    SOAP work but their general remarks tend to be along
    the lines of: we'll implement stuff once users
    need it. Frankly, I think cloning .NET things
    before they are even certified by ECMA (or whoever
    winds up certifying it in the end - maybe noone)
    is a bad idea. This .NET thing is still a moving
    target, why shoot for it?
  • And, equally important, why is their (and your) vision still limited to copying Microsoft? Are they (and you) simply not familiar with the past 40+ years of systems research, or the state of the art?

    I think that when a good idea shows itself (like .NET in this case), the open source community is by far the best at imitating it and making it better. At least that is what I strongly believe. It is not limited to Microsoft but since they have such a huge footprint on the market, they may have more ideas that get known than others; I'll give you that.

    Between us, I do not have the pretention to being familiar with the past 40+ years of systems research in itselft and/or the state of the art in all subjects. I suggest you elaborate a bit, it is a little confusing.

  • Wow, it's a wonder those KDE guys can accomplish anything with their stone-knives-and-bearskins tools like "vi" and "man". Now we know why there's so much sucky code in the world - lack of IDEs to think for us.

    Actually, KDE makes the best (IMHO) IDE for Linux [kdevelop.org] and uses the excellent Qt RAD tool. HTML documentation is automatically generated from the source and integrated in KDevelop, along with Qt, system and other documentation.

    Anyway, does the Mono plan even include an IDE? I don't see anything about that in the press release.

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • Last I looked, a "troll" was someone who just sits back and reads without contributing.

    Um, no. That would be a "lurker".

    A "troll" is someone who writes a deliberatly inflammatory post, and then laughs at anyone who replies. For example, a troll might contribute an article claiming that Miguel should never have created GNOME, but rather helped with KDE; that would almost certainly result in a flood of replies. The troll doesn't have to agree with what he writes; he may not care at all. What he cares about is getting other people to reply.

    In other words, a troll is a person who tries to make other people waste their time, and laughs at them when they do.

    steveha

  • by Owensellwood ( 456615 ) on Monday July 09, 2001 @08:53PM (#96411) Homepage
    C# is, if I am not mistaken, a blend of Visual Basic Elements with C (++?) syntax, minus pointers and other potential "disaster-engine" type constructs, all stirred into a bland Windows Only framework. Mono, if I am not mistaken, is the disease that makes you miss 4 months of school for kissing someone.
  • Five years ago, de Icaza chose to use tools for Gnome that were primitive even back then: C, make, autoconf, etc. You don't have to get very advanced to do better than that. C++ was around. GNUStep was around. Modula-3 was around. Eiffel was around. There were several mature, high-level GUI toolkits. Visual C++ was better integrated and easier to set up than GNU Emacs even back then.

    And what do all the tools you mentioned have in common? Compatability problems.

    GNOME was intended to run on any flavor of *NIX. The plan was that you could write GNOME apps in any language, including C++ or anything else. What language is it that they all have in common? What is the "assembly language" that is common to all *NIX? Just C.

    As far as I'm concerned, the Gnome project established its course long ago: they don't lead, they merely follow Microsoft (and something similar can be said for KDE).

    Well, let's see. Windows has been around since 1985 or so; it was a joke for the first five years, but it started to work around 1990. GNOME took much less time to become usable, but it had to catch up before it had any chance of leading. Now, the vast majority of people want software that works more-or-less like Windows works; if they make something radically different, people complain.

    At least with GNOME, they built in complete control. Want your window decorations to look a certain way? Just get a theme that looks like that. Want launchers on the side of the window? Just put them there. You can customize a GNOME desktop so it looks very little like a Windows desktop, and works differently too. The defaults are what most people want, but if you want something else, you can change them.

    And now that GNOME has become usable, it can take the next step and actually start leading. Right now the GNOME interface is decent, but it has odd quirks; when these are smoothed out, GNOME will be easier to use than Windows.

    By the way, if you have specific ideas on how GNOME could be improved to be better than Windows (to "lead", as you say), don't be shy about submitting them to the GNOME guys. You won't get what you want if you never ask for it.

    steveha

  • Because then the development environment could be called KDE and then everything would get confusing. :)
  • Hmm, so do you plan to speak at Adobe headquaters.
    Those are a bunch of guys whose balls need to be
    busted.
  • Now IANAL, but keep in mind that all sorts of GPL'ed software is compiled on a regular basis on MS Visual C, Borland C, etc., compilers. Makefiles are often adapted to support them. That being said, compiling GPL'ed software on a proprietary platform in many cases is allowable. Keep in mind the GPL is a *redistribution* license (to another party); not a limitation of rights already given under copyright when you receive a copy.

    Unless Microsoft puts a clause in saying that software designed and/or compiled on an MS .NET system must be run on a Microsoft platform or at least under a non-GNU system, there is no reason one can not do so. Proprietary modules are loaded into Linux kernels all the time. But don't laugh; Internet Explorer has langauge requiring Windows versions to be run under MS Windows, and I seem to recall MS Visual Studio having a clause stating it was only to be used to develop MS Windows applications.

  • Interesting to compare and contrast the reaction over 'gAIM' and 'kIllustator'. At least 'kIllustrator' has some claim to just be using a generic word that fits the naming scheme of the rest of the office suite it's part of. 'gAIM' is *just* the name of the product they are cloning, with a 'g' stuck on the front.

    Not that I agree with the laws over patent and trademarks in your country, but with the laws as they are, 'gAIM' are in the wrong.
  • Between us, I do not have the pretention to being familiar with the past 40+ years of systems research in itselft and/or the state of the art in all subjects.

    I think that's at the heart of the problem: more open source developers need to spend more time getting familiar with the history of the field, and they need to think more about their choices. For open source, we vote with our feet. And if too many people aren't well informed or don't think much about their choices, the wrong projects will get all the support simply because they have good PR or push some hot-button issue.

    I think that when a good idea shows itself (like .NET in this case), the open source community is by far the best at imitating it and making it better.

    So, in the spirit of more reflection, for starters, here is a question to ponder: why didn't the open source community exhibit the same fervor about Java?

  • To start with, let me say that I've been doing Java work for some time - client side stuff based on Swing, CAD sort of development, server side stuff with J2EE (Session/Entity work, not just JSP's or servlets). Behind that I have a small history of C, C++, Scheme and Lisp (well, really ELISP) programming. I only mention that to illistrate what biases I may start with.

    After reading a lot of articles about .NET, a few thoughts come to mind about the issue of language independance. It may seem like a good idea, but you can already see some practical areas that make you wonder if it will all really work out.

    Are cross-language components really that good an idea?

    I can see Miguel's facsination with this aspect. After all, wouldn't it be great to have one set of components you use in every language?

    I think in practice though, the idea falls short. Look at this exceprt from an article written by the developer of Eiffel#:

    For example, overloading is part of the CLS at the consumer level; this means that a language without overloading (enforcing the simple rule that, within the context of a class, an operation name denotes one and only one operation) must be able to use and inherit components from other languages that define overloaded operations. In Eiffel# we have resolved the issue through a clearly specified demangling algorithm: for example if you are inheriting from a C++ class with two routines called foo, the first one will be known as foo and the second one as something like foo_INTEGER_REAL, with a name built from the signature.

    Now to me, having to use component access methods like foo_INTEGER_REAL means that unless components are written in a language in close alignmnet with the CLR (like, say , C#) you are either going to try and find some components that were written more with your language in mind or (and this is a key point here) you are going to switch to the language that most componenets have really been developed for (again, that will mean C#). Sure a developer might start developing in Eiffel#, but how long will it be before frustrations of working with mangled method calls make one switch to C#? In this way MS presents a seemingly easy path that goes even further to marginalize languages like Eiffel and move any remaining developers away from true development in that language.

    Note that I think that at the level of API's for cross-system communication that might be acceptible - but not for something you might use constantly like a set of collections.

    Varying language performance?

    On aother (very distant) tangent, the design of MSIL to be well-suited to JIT compilers seems great. Again though, I wonder how well it will work out for langages removed in some way from C#.

    I bring up Eiffel# again as an example - right now the CLR (or MSIL, I think) does not support generic types - Eiffel# has implemennted that feature on top of the existing workings of .NET.

    What will that mean to a developer? I would think that operations a developer is used to thinking of a "cheap" computationaliy will now be somewhat unknown in expense. The might be cheap, but they might have become a lot more sluggish depending on how well the language fits on top of the CLR and MSIL. While the motivation to switch to C# for a better understood performance profile is much more remote that my previous example, it still seems to undermine the desire to use other languages (a quick side note is that in fact Eiffel# appeared to perform roughly the same, so this argument may have a shaky foundation. I think C++ would be a more interesting test).

    The Tool
    One of the more interesting facets to me is that across the various articles, multiple people have been mesmerized by "The Tool", or the IDE for .NET development. Perhaps it really is all that and a bag of chips plus a cookie, but then again I also get the imnpression from multiple people that they have not been keeping up on the world of IDE's.

    Java in particular has an amazing assortment of IDE's, from TogetherJ (truly an astounding product) to Netbeans and others. I daresay that Miguel is wrong in thinking that only .NET can generate a WSDL definition so easily, I seem to recall that a number of Java IDE's had that ability already or would have it soon (withink a month or so). Not that I use most of them, still sticking with Emacs for the most part.

    To me, the ability they were stating of debugging from Eiffel into C++ and then into some other language seems not so much a dream as a nightmare, or at best a cool tech demo. I think as a developer I would much rather debug from C++ into more C++ (translated from the original SNOBOL# or whatever, backparsed from the MSIL) - but I guess that's too much work for them.

    In short, I'm not really sure that .NET really is the boon to other languages that Microsoft would like us to think it is - instead it seems more like the strategy of Visual J++ on a grand scale, enticing develoipers in with one really good tool and slowly leading them eventually to work the Microsoft Way. It may still be a useful system for otehr reasons mentioned like the language metadata and versioning, but I think the cross language support is a bit of a delusional feature and if people think there will be much real .NET work done in anything but C#/C++ (and possibly VB), I believe they are mistaken.

  • Miguel de Icaza said [theregister.co.uk] that the first implementations of mono will run on linux and windows, and that other platforms will come later (a linux to bsd port would be easy, I think).

    It's also interesting to note that he thinks the .NET framework (the ECMA approved portions only, not passport et. al.) will be the dominant developer platform for the next 20 years. Does anyone know how long C has been the dominant development platform? Probably longer than 20 years. Of course, in 20 years, smart robots, 1 million times smarter than us (You do the moore's law math, I might be off) will make the earth a paradise and forever consider their human creators as those lovable, misunderstood gateways to the future hive mind.
  • IANAL, but I don't believe the people who make the "Gaim instant messenger client" can reasonably claim that their mark is distinct from AOL's "AIM instant messenger client." It doesn't do much to help any claim that they're distinct that the sourceforge page says, "Gaim is a clone of the AOL instant messenger client." I think an arguement could easily be made that the Gaim people have intentionally chosen a name similar to AIM, with a product that is functionally similar, and have capitalized on that similarity.

    I agree with you on that issue, but I still think the fact that AOL failed to take action earlier trumps any other argument. Remember, they knew about it two years ago, and did nothing at all. IANAL (still), but as I understand it that failure to act constitutes an implied permission for Gaim to continue using its name.

    I hope the Gaim people just change their name, and donate the $1,700 to the EFF to help someone fight for stuff that matters.

    Personally, I think that not letting corporations push the little guy around is something that matters.

    TheFrood

  • Wrong... .NET will be a faint glimmer in software history in future decades. The real analogy is as follows

    RMS == Morpheus

    Linus Torvalds == NEO

    Doug Miller == The guy who ratted on Morpheus and NEO to the matrix police

    Mundie, ZDNET, CNET == The matrix police.

    Windows == The Matrix

    Gates, Ballmer, and other top VP's == The Hive Mind behind the Matrix.

    Hehhehe, anyone got a better comparison?
  • martyr? microsoft hasn't crucified him yet, have they? or did i miss the story on slashdot (or is it lingering in the submission queue)?
  • In case anybody else has been wondering about this apparently virulent American plague, that's never been heard of on this side of the Atlantic, Mononucleosis translates into English as Glandular Fever (Epstein-Barr virus).
  • No kidding. I'd rather see someone do better than MS and .NYET, not just follow the bandwagon like Gnome appears to be doing.

    How hard is Miguel going to have to scrub to get Bill Gate's shit off his nose?


    Treatment, not tyranny. End the drug war and free our American POWs.
  • Disclaimer: This is a blatant anti-MS pro-Linux rant. People who think I'm full of it are encouraged to e-mail me or reply instead of moderating down without explanation.

    One thing I see a lot on Slashdot is people bitching about Linux "trying to be like Windows". At first glance, it seems like a valid complaint. Surely the efforts being put into Samba/Wine/etc. could be used for better things than trying to be compatible with MS's weird-ass proprietary standards? Now why should we work on Mono and quite possibly encourage the widespread adoption of .NET tools? Why, indeed? I think we should back these projects because we want to castrate Microsoft once and for all.

    Think about it. Say these projects succeed and you're shopping for a new operating system in 2003. Windows XXXP plays all of your games, runs all of your apps, is .NET compatible, and costs 120 dollars. Red Hat Linux version 19.3 plays all of your games, runs all of your apps, is .NET compatible and FREE (as in beer). Which one are you going to choose? Hmm... Tough. There's only two ways that products can compete in the marketplace: features and price. There's no way MS can compete on price, so if we match them on features (compatibility is a feature, folks!) then Windows is good as buried. It's the classic "embrace and extend" strategy that we're all too familiar with.

    Even better, once OSS gains control of the desktop, then MS loses the ability to push Hailstorm authentication. MSN will go down the tubes. MS .NET dies a sad and lonely death and .GNU inherits the Web Services world. At the very least MS will be forced to compete for once, instead of simply throwing their weight around.

    Mono (coupled with WINE, Samba, and a few others) enables us to play this scenario out. Microsoft knows this. That's why they're so panicky and their executives keep making all of these ridiculous "GPL is Satan" speeches. No matter what anyone says, this is a fight. Let's back the good people at Ximian and make sure we win.

  • At first I thought Mono was a good idea. But upon further thinking, one can quickly realize that this announcement make .NET valid. Sure, C# is very cool and has potential to do things better than Java. But now, Ximian is playing into Microsofts hands by investing a ton of work into making .NET available for other platforms. Unfortunatly, I think Sun blew it withJava in reguards to .NET. Let's take a look at how:

    Sun
    1. Create a cool language and keep it in house so no big scarry companies can prevert it and in turn, let no one improve it
    2. Release the initial version for Windows and Solaris and let everone else (Mac OS, Linux, etc) fend for themselves.
    3. Get some opensource developers to create a Linux version of the JDK and take the credit
    4. Create a UI set that is heavy and slow to use and offer no convienient way to package a double clickable application accross platforms
    5. Get opensource developers looking elsewhere because the language is not open.
    And now the MS way:
    1. Make the opensource world hate you
    2. Announce a cool software initiative and language and say it's only for Windows
    3. Release the specs to a standards body
    4. Offer a semi-open source version of the language and spec
    5. Get all the angry open source developers to develop the implementation for you on every platform you're not willing to develop for.
    6. Make .NET a more viable platform than Java

    If Ximian suceeds .NET will be available for as many mainstream platforms as Java. With MS putting the C# reference on FreeBSD, it's a pretty good indication that .NET will live on Mac OS X too. So, by the time it's ready .NET will have Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and who know what other platforms will be involved here too. And the best part is, MS just had to publish it as a standard. Sun, are you listening?

  • Kdevelop [kdevelop.org]
    Don't even for a second try to act like we don't have a good IDE for Linux development. Try it. You'll like it. And don't give me any shtick about being open minded either. There is a great big difference between being educated, standing your ground and being closed minded. If you don't want to learn the difference, be prepared to be ignored.
  • The first release of X windows was on June 19 1984. Reference here [motifzone.com].
  • I think that intel was going after 'i' because at the time, it was naming chips i000, where 0 represents a number, eg i386, i486, i860 etc. When they got told they couldn't, they started naming them Pentium.
  • C has never been the dominant development platform. COBOL is.
  • Here [nytimes.com] is a link to a New York Times article regarding the DotGNU project.

    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.

  • Microsofts vision is a world with no choice but Microsoft. Why people cannot see the inherent evil in this, I just don't understand.

    Indeed. I've often talked to people who've attempted to justify this by saying "but Word/Excel/whatever is a standard!" And in their case, that may well be true-- but nevertheless, standards are possible without a monopoly, and supporting a monopoly is a large black mark against any standard. The advent of Mono should mean that if .NET becomes standard it'll be because it's technically a good standard, rather than because Microsoft produce it.

    Didn't the lad from Nazareth mention something about "the road less traveled"?

    Nope (or at least, if he did, nobody wrote it down.) Robert Frost said something a little like it [uwindsor.ca], though :)


    my plan [gospelcom.net]
  • I thought I was the only one with mod box trouble on heavily replied to stories. Glad to see the problem is external to my system.
  • The usual meaning is the one to do with inflammatory posting, as given above. (See the entry on troll [tuxedo.org] in the Jargon File [jargon.org].) Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of people on Slashdot have heard the term, but not understood it, and use it themselves as a fairly meaningless insult for people whose opinions they disagree with.
    my plan [gospelcom.net]
  • "Didn't the lad from Nazareth mention something about "the road less traveled"?"

    I thought that was the lad from wherever Robert Frost was from.

  • The whole point is consumer confusion, and you've got to remember that the average consumer probably can't name the president. The average user wouldn't find it too touch to miss one letter when the products do the exact same thing.

    Even if the "average consumer" really couldn't name the President (insert other names for leaders in other countries), that wouldn't mean the rest of society should stoop to their level. We might as well reprint every existing book at a first grade reading level and only allow programming to be done in BASIC--we wouldn't want to confuse anyone, after all.

    Speaking of the "average consumer," it's worth noting that the "average consumer" will not even see Gaim because it's not installed on his new computer. Those adventurous enough to download new software themselves will not see it while browsing the Windows section of Tucows, and I doubt many of the "average consumers" (who are using Windows) are getting their software from Freshmeat. If such an "average consumer" did take a wrong turn on the web and bump into Gaim, it probably wouldn't take him too long to figure out that it's not AOL's client.

    Speaking of confusion, that's exactly what the name "Gaim" reduces for anyone who might be interested in using it. If a Linux user sees a program called "GFobberflibberthorgleborp" in order to avoid infringing on all the trademarks out there, then he'll probably ignore it and move on unless he has lots of free time. But if he sees a program called "Gaim" he'll think, "Oh, interesting, that's probably an instant messenger client made with Gtk," or if he sees a program called "Licq" then he'll probably realize "Hey, there's an ICQ client," and in both cases he's going to notice, at least by the time he downloads and runs it if it wasn't obvious before, that neither client is official or sponsored by AOL in any way.

    The most annoying thing about your argument is that it's completely hypothetical. People might get confused, AOL might lose users just because of the name! I don't think that's a very good basis for restricting freedom; I'll let you imagine all the other things that could apply to, and all the other things it would justify restricting. Meanwhile, the reality here is that Gaim has helped AOL. If it wasn't for Gaim, more Linux users would be using Gabber and telling their AIM-using friends "Sorry, I can't use AIM, you'll have to use Gabber if you want to talk to me." Programs like Gaim take away our best excuse to lure other towards more open alternatives, which should be quite a delight for AOL.

  • I'm sorry, I know this is Anti-Open-Source (TM), but I think that GAIM is clearly trademark infringement. Adding one letter does not mean you're safe, any more than a clone of Windows named GWindows would be reasonable.

    If adding one letter doesn't protect you, then subtracting one wouldn't have allowed Microsoft to trademark "Windows".

    -
  • Wow - no one bothered to explain Timothy's little pro-Linux joke.

    It's "legacy" in the sense that you use it to run all the "legacy" Windows software that you haven't found a Linux equivilent for, usually games in the case of /. editors. Other times this means MS Office or other software just not available for Linux.

    (Where Linux can be replaced by any of the BSDs in the above paragraphs.)

    Except that I find myself using Win2K over Linux daily, mainly because a) it's what I use at work and b) for Java development, I haven't found anything that matches Visual J++ - as long as you don't use it's compiler or runtime :) (Visual J++ has a feature called IntelliSense that pulls out class names and members/methods for you, which dramatically decreases my typos and increases my productivity when writing Java).

    --

  • Here's a recipe for you all. Can you guess what it makes?

    • re-brand OLE, COM, DCOM, VB, and a slew of other old products (otherwise known as 'tarting up the whore')
    • throw in a touch of SOAP (Yum!)
    • give the world a new useless language called C#
    • mix liberally with target-marketing and the usual MS FUD and misdirection

    Give up? It's called .NET kiddies! Besides SOAP, where the hell is the innovation here? That's ok though, Miguel. You go ahead and get C# working on Linux 'cause we all need a retarded cousin to play with the great Java support the Open-Sourcers have come to love.

    Seriously, though. Why would Ximian waste the effort giving .NET a seal of approval when it has so much unfinished business on other products? There is nothing in .NET that MS has tried before with little success. This MS's modus operandi; rebrand the crap you already have and add a pinch of new stuff.

    Oh, and for those folks arguing that MS is going to hand over pieces of .NET to the standards bodies - which is somehow better than what Sun does with Java - get a grip and read your history books. MS trots out this hoary old promise with some regularity. The way it works is this: find an international standards committee that is strapped for cash and respect, give it cash and MS designs, stand back and let the validation wash ovr Redmond.

    Really people. This validation of .NET is just about the stupidest thing I've heard all year (next to the *nix kiddies who claim no one is using Java anymore...).

    *sigh* I feel better now.

  • Oh, dammit, you know, there went my professional author friend's livelyhood. I guess I'll have to lend him a cardboard box, shaln't I?

    Now the cardboard box, that's property.

    As for your friend's writing, it may be valuable and productive and original and profitable, but that doesn't mean it's property.

    Plenty of things are protected without being property. My health is protected by assault laws, but it's not property. My reputation is protected by libel and slander laws, but it's not property. My credit rating, my children, my likeness, and my peace and quiet all receive various appropriate legal protections without anyone wasting the time and effort of retrofitting property law to them.

    Just because we value something does not mean we need to try to shove it into the same rules and customs that apply to physical property. It just doesn't work, and leads to insane excesses like charging someone with theft of $1,000,000 for making 10,000 copies of a $100 piece of software. That $1m figure represents neither the lost revenue to the publisher nor the resale value captured by the pirate. It's just silliness. This stands in contrast to, say, a heist of $1,000,000 worth of physical property, where valuations work quite differently.

  • The first release of X windows was on June 19 1984

    I was looking at this document [sunyit.edu], which exists many places on the Internet. Yes, X had been in development for several years before '86 and had enjoyed several "non-external" releases.

    Similarly, MS Windows, which debuted in 1985, had been under development since 1981 [metrics.com].

  • Yes, you are not a lawyer, and I'm glad because the one the GAIM people got seems to have a good handle on the situation...you obviously do not.

    If the lawyer the Gaim people found is willing to take their $1,700 and in return tell them they can clone software and change one letter in the original software's trademarked name, then I'd say the chance are good he has a very good handle on the situation.

    It's kind of sad that the Gaim people are such greedy little fuck heads, though. If they weren't a such group of slimebags, they might have managed to find a human being for a lawyer, instead of another greedy little pussbag like themselves.

According to all the latest reports, there was no truth in any of the earlier reports.

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