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GNU is Not Unix

RMS Asks Miguel to Explain Himself 631

phaze3000 writes "RMS, responding to questions from the audience at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil last week, has asked Miguel de Icaza to explain himself to the Free software community about comments made last week that Gnome should be based on .NET in the future. More details at Brazillian site Hotbits and in The Register." I find this amusing.
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RMS Asks Miguel to Explain Himself

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  • News? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by .sig ( 180877 )
    Miguel makes a comment about a linux project being based on microsoft technology

    RMS takes offense.

    OK, who was suprised???

  • by MSBob ( 307239 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:34PM (#2957708)
    I think this is the crucial moment for RMS where he either becomes more flexible or risk alienating the remaining few developers who still rally around him and his ideas. I mean for crying out loud the Ximian team is not even suggesting using non free code. They just want to base the next version on a spec that also has a nonfree implementation. There is no reason why there needs to be even a single line of non-free code in the Ximian implementation of dotNET.

    The man is getting old and it shows.

    • by wrinkledshirt ( 228541 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:21PM (#2958064) Homepage
      I think this is the crucial moment for RMS where he either becomes more flexible or risk alienating the remaining few developers who still rally around him and his ideas.

      I believe you've got it backwards.

      Keep in mind the number of GPL evangelists in the world. Not many, hey? Certainly not enough, and definitely none with the power that Microsoft's PR department has.

      We should be thankful that there's a guy out there who risks mockery on a regular basis in order to try to ensure some balance. His role isn't to represent the average coder, it's to give us an extreme point of view opposite of what's normally given out there in the world of software -- corporate corporate corporate.

      The man is getting old and it shows.

      Look, if you don't like him, tune him out. But don't underestimate his importance. He gives us balance where the Microsoft monopoly would like us to believe it's their right to bleed us dry of every penny we've got. You might as well criticize the Yin Yang symbol for not being all gray.
    • by jmccay ( 70985 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @06:06PM (#2958383) Journal
      I hope they don't go the .NET direction. I haven't gotten to read the hotbits column yet because it's Slashdoted aleady, but I see several problems with his statement.
      First I think his statement was more political than technical. I think he see the money that is possible through the .NET framework. You can charge just about everybody to develop it. Microsoft is charging developers fees to develop on .NET. Why you Ximian be different? Look at the place Ximian will be in it GNome 4.0 does tie into .NET. They will be the ones that control code because they control the only NON-Microsoft version of .NET. The stand to make big bucks off this if they pull it off.
      I don't see how buying into Microsoft's vision of .NET as the future will help Linux on the Desktop. We will be playing even more of a catchup game. Look at the companies that have had to rely on Microsoft releasing key information for the products of these companies to work on Windows. Microsoft has a history of withholding key information until they have the edge by already having a product out that supports there "standard".
      I think Miguel has become a follower--especially of Microsoft. I think he has lost his forward vision. I think he should step back from all leadership positions he has on Gnome (if any) and let others take over. His statements in the interview smell of someone buying into marketing hype because they lost their independant thought and no longer truely see a goal.

      With that said, the is one thing I like about the .NET framework. The ability of all the compilers in Visual Studio to compile/translated down to a common language before compiling. That could definately be use to build APIs for multiple languages at once! It would need to be well thought out, but I think that would be a good goal to aim for in the long run. If I remember correctly, Borland C++ Builder compiled into a Pascal derivative first. There are a lot of possibilities with this design of compilers.
    • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @06:13PM (#2958416) Homepage
      Whether or not 'a few developers still rally around him', he does stand for his principals over material gain, which is more than just about anyone can say these days.

      If RMS 'alienates' developers because he sees the 'killer app' that will put undoubtly make Microsoft's interests a more powerful force behind future technology and information legislation than social and governmental (although the Bush administration is less of a government, and more of a door greaser for the Microsofts of the world) interests, good for him. Developers that abandon his 'radical' prinicipals will undoubtly find themselves on the wrong side of a swing that history prooves has already swung to far. The guy spends his time looking furthur, knowing more, rather than protecting his own interests. Those developers who are 'alienated' by his views are only thinking about their own interests, given the Vegas numbers on MS's chances with .NET entrenching their monopoly. What do you think the chances are of proponants of .NET seeing as some sort of salvation for the human condition?

      Incidentally, I'm of the opinion that in the past few years, this has become less about 'business' per se, and more of a religion. MS is a church for market pricing (a state enforced system, very evident under the Bush administration, natch). RMS is a church for decentralized social pricing (which is to say that nothing is 'free', but that the cost/worth of software simply gets entwined with social values under his system, as goods and services were before the 16th and 17th century .. in which people only make, distribute, fix, document software for the sole purpose of bettering their society or community).
  • by bbh ( 210459 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:34PM (#2957711)
    KDE probably isn't looking so bad to RMS right now.....
  • by Platinum Dragon ( 34829 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:35PM (#2957718) Journal
    MIGUEL: ... and this is the sample of GNOME 3.0 I made using Mono, and this is my picture of the GNU Inquisition.

    HAVOC: I didn't expect the GNU Inquisition.

    MIGUEL: Neither did I.

    *door blasts open*

    RMS: NOOOOOOOOObody expects the GNU Inquisition! Confess! Confess! Confess!

    blah, don't have my funny legs on today...
  • by 4im ( 181450 )

    So what if Miguels answer isn't satisfactory?

    • KDE wins the desktop wars by default?
    • GNOME forks?

    I guess I'll wait and see... and use AfterStep in the meantime ;-)

  • by nixadmin ( 553533 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:37PM (#2957736)
    This is a *little* disconcerting for some, but I applaud Miguel's willingness to embrace the technologies he feels are best, regardless of the political fallout. Given the amount of XML stuff in Ximian Gnome / Nautilus etc, it only seems natural to move towards more RPC based standards. The fact that one of them is being developed by Microsoft should not IMHO be an obstacle to progress. Now if they would just fix the fonts! ; )
    • In throy, you're right, but history shows that MS's only goal is complete domination, and to get a monthy payment from people.
      I usually hate to use terms like "complete domination" but, in this case, i gelive that is true. That is why this will be a bad move for GNOME
    • by ahde ( 95143 )
      Miguel's decision to embrace technology that exists as only a fraction of an IEEE spec, a few "Dummies" books, and a beta SDK shows his lack of judgement, nomatter how you feel about it. He may turn out to be right, but not because of any great wisdom or foresight on his part. He's gambling on something that's only been *vaporware* for a year and a half, and is just now being implemented.
    • by flacco ( 324089 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @11:44PM (#2959933)

      This is a *little* disconcerting for some, but I applaud Miguel's willingness to embrace the technologies he feels are best, regardless of the political fallout.

      Then you're a useless applauding moron. There are more than "political fallout" issues at stake here. It's senseless to "applaud" one dimension of a decision that can have such multi-dimensional consequences.

      I agree with RMS - Miguel, you got some 'splainin' to do.

  • As someone previously said, why should a proud and experienced community of Unix architects blindly follow the lead of some newcomers in the platform and components business? That's ridiculous.
    Cloning and reimplementing .Net behavior on a non Windows platform is an interesting academical exercice. Nothing more.
  • Poor Miguel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Malcontent ( 40834 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:40PM (#2957753)
    I think people have misunderstood Miguel. What he has done here is to use MS as an R&D dept. MS spent millions researching .NET and built a comprehensive set of tools. GNU (and the rest of us) can benefit from this research, they can take the best ideas from .NET and implement them in MONO. This is a GoodThing.

    There could be a problem if MS shifts the spec or extends the spec. At that point if Miguel decides to chase MS he loses. If he decides to "fork" .NET and stick with the standards he wins because .NET will become fragmented.

    I think Miguel knows what he is doing. I say give him a chance if history is any indicator he will kick ass.

    In essence .NET and C# are full of ideas borrowed from JAVA, DELPHI, DCOM etc. Why not pull an MS here and embrace your enemies. Take their ideas and run with them!
    • There could be a problem if MS shifts the spec or extends the spec

      What do you mean "if"?

      Is there really any doubt that embrace and extend is next on MS's to-do list with the .net spec?
      • Re:Poor Miguel (Score:5, Interesting)

        by spongman ( 182339 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:27PM (#2958100)
        Of course they will extend it. I'm sure they're not presumptuous enough to thing that it's 'finished' after the first release.

        On the other hand it would be short-sighted of them to make v2 incompatible with v1 for no other reason than it would piss off their loyal developer following immensely. They'll add new features, but I'm pretty sure that old .NET assemblies will still run on the new system. Microsoft has been very careful to continue their binary compatibility up the operating system line (DOS apps ran on win31/win9x, most dos/win31 apps run on NT/2K/XP, etc...) They would lose far more than they could possibly gain by changing this.

        • Re:Poor Miguel (Score:5, Informative)

          by Paul Komarek ( 794 ) <> on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @06:26PM (#2958487) Homepage
          Very few DOS apps ran correctly on win95. Many win95 apps didn't run on Win98. Microsoft changed their Word format between Office 95 and Office 98 (or 2000, whatever) in a gratuitous manner which prevented old office from reading new office documents. Microsoft repeatedly changed the Win32 spec in trivial ways to introduce incompatibilities with OS/2's Win32 implementation. Visual basic programmers have face repeated forward and backward compatibility problems (some noted VB book authors even quit recommending VB because of this).

          Microsoft has no qualms about pissing off their (locked-in) developer community. They've repeatedly broke compatibility in every possible way. Why anyone trusts Microsoft, I'll never know. Microsoft's history (the real history, not Bill Gate's rewritten version) should scare anyone away. I'm guessing that you're either extremely young, extrememly naive, extremely forgetful, or paid by Microsoft (the last one was a joke).

          -Paul Komarek
          • Re:Poor Miguel (Score:3, Informative)

            Microsoft has no qualms about pissing off their (locked-in) developer community.

            Couldn't agree more.

            Just a while back I found some STL code to be broken in VC++ 6.0 that worked fine in VC++5.0 - Funny how the MFC stuff still works though. It seems that they target what to break. Breaking STL code is a no-brainer because that fosters apps that are more portable and from the MS standpoint that is bad.

            So what does the average developer do? Avoid code rewrite and code to MFC - they (Microsoft) win.

            Regarding Miguel's Actions:

            I also believe Miguel is not thinking this through. But as has been said often here: Once the code GNU'd it can't be undone. Also if the Gnome project adopts .NET as the underlying technology, KDE wins (If it hasn't already).

          • Re:Poor Miguel (Score:4, Informative)

            by spongman ( 182339 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @10:51PM (#2959780)
            well I was paid by Microsoft. I worked in the Visual C++ & Visual J++ teams for some time. I know 1st hand the length that the libraries and SDK teams went to to balance updates to the API and compatibility with existing code.

            Very few DOS apps ran correctly? Bullshit. Before win95 shipped, the win95 QA team went to Egghead and bought a copy of every title on the shelves and either made sure that they ran or informed the authors of the bad assumptions they had made in their code and how to patch them. Sometimes the application was directly patched at runtime by the OS. For example some applications would make use of undocumented behavior (like the burgermaster table in win13) that wasn't available on the new system.

        • Re:Poor Miguel (Score:3, Insightful)

          by praedor ( 218403 )

          Riiiiight. Like they way they properly implemented kerberos so that it works properly one way: with windoze servers and windoze clients. The rest have a "broken" (read, correct and following the REAL standard implementation).

          Same with .NET. M$ servers authenticating and serving and collecting user data, collecting transaction fees for every single purchase made over the net. Everyone not M$ have a "broken" implementation and only partially working...but well enough so M$ can still collect your personal data, collect fees for transactions, etc.

    • No "if" about it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drew_kime ( 303965 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:45PM (#2958236) Journal
      There could be a problem if MS shifts the spec or extends the spec. At that point if Miguel decides to chase MS he loses. If he decides to "fork" .NET and stick with the standards he wins because .NET will become fragmented.

      No one who's been paying attention has any doubt whether MS will extend the standard. All they have to do is require a (patented) process to access a single part of the system.

      Remember, .NET requires interaction with a server somewhere. If the service you're trying to use is a Microsoft one, that server will be inside Microsoft. Now, if Gnome can't use that service, why would anyone choose to use it.

      With Microsoft being the defacto standard, Gnome needs a compelling reason for people to switch. Aiming for where Microsoft was two months ago doesn't provide that. More importantly, if Miguel were to attempt to fork .NET what exactly would be the incentive to stick with his version? Forks are always resolved by market share. Guess who's got it.
  • Oi the irony... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sterno ( 16320 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:41PM (#2957760) Homepage
    Now wouldn't it be funny if GNOME started basing itself heavily on Microsoft's architecture? I mean if I recall my history, KDE came into existence but it was based on the closed QT libraries. So then the GNOME project was founded to be a more free software purist environment. Now it seems that things are getting reversed now that you can get an open version of QT.
  • quote:

    "What's important to keep in mind is that you do not actually use the Windows API in .NET - you use the .NET API - the classes [sic.] they have defined."

    hello, what exactly needs further explanation? its brilliant.
  • Go RMS go! (Score:2, Redundant)

    Although I'm ready to give Miguel de Icaza the benefit of the doubt, I have to admit that his words were quite surprising - possibly ill-chosen...In any case, he really should explain exactly what he means.

    The most likely short-term effect of this declaration is that some people are going to migrate from GNOME to KDE...perhaps, in his way, de Icaza has succeeded in solving the so-called "Desktop Manager Wars"! (Personally, I use GNOME, but KDE is okay...)
  • Eventhough it is already slashdotted, here is opinion on mono and its integration into gnome:
    I think Gnome is a really nice desktop and today as good as KDE, but if it wants to keep up with the really impressive KDE progress, the Gnome-developers have to concentrate on Gnome Development, not on reverse engineering a MS technology! Linux doesn't need .NET!
  • by alext ( 29323 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:44PM (#2957790)
    It would be very, very unfortunate if this debate just focused on the politics of Mono following Microsoft Dotnet. Miguel might be misguided in this aspect, but his strategic vision of what is critical for the future growth of Linux-the-platform is far more attuned to current trends than anything RMS, ER or LT have articulated.

    He realizes that without a VM and the cross-(hardware)-platform capabilities it gives, Linux apps are going to be very hard to distribute in future. Normal consumers simply aren't going to run C compilers, yet the Linux "architecture" takes absolutely no account of this.

    By the way, it is customary for the 'strategic VM' debate to be ignored in /. - of 27 postings on this topic (see my user info), only one was ever moderated up, and that was promptly moderated down again ('overrated'). Draw your own conclusions!
    • Normal users jump through all kinds of installer hoops. There is no reason an installer cannot build the software as it installs. There is also no reason that the CD can't contain encrypted source that only the installer can read so that it would be distributed in "binary" form. The cross platform nature is not an "architecture" issue for linux, but a lack of imagination on your, and Miguel's part.

      With all the crap that windows users deal with when they install software (multiple reboots, the disk spending more time loading splash screens than copying software, registry corruption, icons all over the place) why do you think they won't wait through a compile?
      • (Hmmm, don't think I could have wished for a better response!)

        1) Windows is moving to something called Dotnet precisely because of cross-platform installation issues. The comparison to make is with Dotnet apps, not with current Win32 apps.

        2) You're quite right that there's no reason that installers can't build software. This doesn't mean that this is a simple thing to do for typical Linux apps - I can't run a big build process on my palmtop, not have dependency, signing and other aspects been solved in the Linux world as they have in Dotnet. If MS thought that 'imagination' was the only thing lacking in Win32, presumably they wouldn't have bothered developing Dotnet.
    • Without a VM? An interesting statement. I presume you don't think that Java provides a VM? At the moment you could use a Java VM, where there are several implementations already, some libre, or you could wait for Microsoft to provide one for you, on windows only. I just don't get your point. Seriously, I'm not flaming, I just don't understand, perhaps you would restate?
  • by teambpsi ( 307527 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:45PM (#2957792) Homepage
    Given that Sun has publically stated they are going to move to using Gnome as their desktop (not that i believe it given their last support of the OpenStep UI) -- I believe they would have some serious issues with this as well

    Its no secret the position Sun takes as it relates to Microsoft
  • by trcooper ( 18794 ) < minus distro> on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:45PM (#2957798) Homepage
    But .NET is actually a pretty well thought out and designed plan. If you take off the blinders and look at it, .NET really makes sense.

    What should open source do? Should it push forward a political agenda, or strive to provide people with the best possible products? Personally I could care less about RMS' agenda. To me open source is about options, and I applaud Miguel for working to provide people another option.
    • Except that it proprietarey, and will be change at the whim of microsoft. You can not compete with MS by playing catch-up.
  • by dave-fu ( 86011 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:48PM (#2957823) Homepage Journal
    I mean, how dare the guy develop useful open-source products and tools using a modern, cohesive framework that's en route to becoming an ECMA standard? All open-source programmers should stick to cryptic/buggy libraries or stop making open source projects. Because just because you're open source doesn't mean you can do whatever you want, right?
    Microsoft, after all, was the one who designed their own implementation of this framework and they're a big monopoly that makes products that people want and use so no one in the open source world should work with them.
    Also, Bill Gates has a nose so Miguel should cut his off right now to spite him. That'll show 'em all!
  • When M$ came up with this nebulous .NET thing, I thought to myself : well M$ must be doing that because :

    - If .NET catches on with developers, they'll own one more standard to make money out of, so they win.

    - If .NET doesn't work, they can always take advantage of it to say "look, we're the innovators, the free software community is just a bunch of copiers."

    And just as I thought, Richard "out of it" Stallman decides to do dotGNU, Miguel decides to do Mono, they bicker with each other and the whole Gnome community looks like agitated fanatics.

    So guess what Richard ? you're beating Microsoft's butter. Microsoft waved a really big red cloth with their .NET BS, and Richard, just like the narrow-minded bull they hoped you'd be, you rushed straight to it, and now the community looks like a bunch of jokers nobody in the industry should take too seriously. Microsoft's strategy has played brilliantly and you fell for it. Thanks for nothing.

    Oh and by the way Richard, whatever Mono or dotGNU might become, CORBA is shit, so Miguel might not have been so wrong after all.

    (damn I'm madder than a rooster in an alarm clock factory. You're time as a free software visionary has passed Richard, we acknowledge your contribution, now why don't you step down because you're only making us all look like raving lunatics.)

  • X11 License?!?!? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by swngnmonk ( 210826 )
    Ok, so RMS isn't happy with Miguel supporting a technology developed by Microsoft. But the issue isn't that the technology comes out of MSFT - the bigger issue is that in the .NET infrastructure, don't all requests/authentication/charges end up going through MS? Is Miguel essentially porting .NET to Linux by doing this? Or does Mono provide a means for bypassing the central MSFT authentication?

    Beyond that, I'm surprised RMS didn't make more of an issue of Miguel changing the licensing on Mono to X11 from GPL. Lord knows that it's causing a ton of controversy among Gnome developers, and I can't imaging a bigger finger in the direction of RMS myself.

    It's too bad, really - I've been using Ximian/Gnome for over a year now, and parts of it are pretty darn cool. But I'm starting to think that Miguel's getting off course - perhaps it's time to re-evaluate KDE.
  • by AirLace ( 86148 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:51PM (#2957849)
    Yesterday, I was sitting at a Microsoft Windows workstation researching something on physics, when I came accross a Webpage with an embedded Java applet. I was dumbstruck; what a fabulous idea! From what I can gather, Java applets are quite prevalent in education circles and other applications where user input can be taken to produce a visual representation of the result.
    .NET and C# are basically a reimplementation of Java. Sure, they add new features like cross-language support, and finer grained security context. These mean respectively that I could call a perl function from a python script inline. The latter means I could create software that has extensible input and output filters for program data, where the filters are trusted to convert data but never write it to disk.
    So, why then do I think .NET is the best thing for GNOME? It's really very simple: The Java runtime environment is non-free. Certainly, Free Software Java interpreters like Kaffee came a long way when they were actively under development, but what was really missing was a complete set of class libraries.
    Ximian Mono is writing a complete cross platform development and code exceution platform which includes a complete set [] of class libraries, and a JIT [] (Just in Time) interpeter for .NET bytecode that allows the code, once compiled, to be run at almost native speeds.
    Finally, .NET is an open standard; Java is not. It's been submitted to the ECMA [] which means that you, I and Miguel are free to make an open implementation of it, explicitly. Sure, some may worry that Microsoft have subversive motives in doing so, but the fact remains that they've released a technology that's at least as good as, if not better than Java.
    I don't know about you, but I want to see the day when I'm doing research and I hit a page with an interactive demonstration written in .NET and I can view it in Mozilla, or in Konqueror, without having to install Sun or IBM's proprietary Java runtime. It's all about the technology, only in this case it makes sense not only to pragmatists but Free Software enthusiasts too. In fact I bet that most of the anti-Mono trolls are the very ones that have those proprietary Java runtimes installed on their systems.
    • by DGolden ( 17848 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:21PM (#2958065) Homepage Journal
      If you don't like the proprietary java runtimes, there's nothing stopping you using an open-source one (kaffe), or coding another one yourself. You just won't be allowed use the Java trademark if you don't pass a load of strict compliance tests. Hint: This is very similar to the situation with Mesa/OpenGL or Linux/POSIX...

      Java is a standard, and it is pretty much as open as postscript or pdf. The standards publishing body for Java is Sun, and for ps/pdf, Adobe. Note the presence of an open-source implementation of postscript, cunningly called "ghostscript"...

      You can download extensive java specifications from Sun - and not just a nearly-useless core yet-another-c-family-language and some system libraries specification like MS's for-show C#/CLR ECMA submission, with java, in addition to the VM and language, there's full and voluminous specifications for all those add-on java packages like Java3D, JAXP and whatnot - MS makes a point of NOT standardising the .net equivalents.

      They are all downloadable documents. Sun can't reach onto your harddrive and mutate them once you've downloaded them. Sure, they could release a new version of the spec, but the hypothetical version you coded could still be fully compliant with the old spec.

      This is in marked contrast to MS, which doesn't even bother fully specifying most of it's APIs, in fact, is reknowned for such behaviour.

      There are multiple independent implementations of Java and its very extensive addon libraries (like the J2EE environment).

      So, which would you prefer - a mature de-facto standard with multiple competing, yet interoperable, implementations, or an "official" standard with no finished implementations from a company that's well known for breaking compatibility whenever it suits? Given that MS will still contorl the only full implementation of .net for the near term, I predict a situation similar to Netscape and the HTML spec, back when Netscape was the only major web browser - they'll just embrace/extend it whenever they want...

      Sure the standard has ECMA's rubber stamp on it - but what matters for implementation is freely available specifications, not the rubber stamp... Witness the popularity of R5RS scheme, or internet RFCs or I'm-not-officialy-opengl-but-who-cares Mesa.

      Anyway, when I last checked, C# didn't even have mandatory-checked exceptions. That alone is enough to reomve it from consideration for a large swathe of corporate development mixed-ability team projects....

      The permssions security model of any modern JVM is pretty damn fine-grained, more than enough for my needs. Don't confuse it with the primitive sandbox of early java.

      What I really hate (and this is a general remark, not accusing the parent post or anything), is people who judge Java by Microsoft's antiquated and incomplete implementation of it. For god's sake, install the Sun Java2 1.3.1 or 1.4 JRE, don't judge Java's by MS's (presumably deliberately) shitty implementation.

      Personally, I'll just keep on using Lisp for my development work, but there's millions of corporate drones who'll be told to use either Java/JVM or C#/CLR.
  • Quite right too (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrSkwid ( 118965 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:52PM (#2957861) Homepage Journal
    Pinning GNOME to .NET sounds like a braindead idea to me anyway. Perpetually playing catch-up and being involved in an arms race with MS. If you have any knowledge of the history of computing then you'll know the sands of .NET will continually shift.

    Just look at the lineage :

    dde, ole, ole2, com, dcom, dcom + mts, soap, .NET

    J++ & Active Directory probably fit in there somewhere too.

    Pinning your business model to any of these technological donkeys is an expensive move.

    to paraphrase :
    The MSDN treadmill moves pretty fast, if you don't look around once in a while, you might just miss out!

    Everybody has a duty to question, I'm glad RMS has done it so publicly because if it was me that asked then I doubt we'd see any discussion on /. about it!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:54PM (#2957874)
    Yes, we hate MS. We really hate MS. MS is bad, mmkay? Now that that's out of the way...

    .NET is new, its untested, its unproven, but the simple fact is, it's a very promising platform. Yes, MS built it, because they have the resources to. Why not use it? .NET is coming, lets not dilute ourselves about that. MS owns the desktop, and if they want .NET, odds are, good or bad, .NET is making it into peoples homes. So our choices are simple, we can ignore .NET, do our own thing (bonobo, watever) and stay a fringe group (dont kid yourselves, were a fringe group) of radical non-windows folks. Or, we can do the smart thing, offer full .NET compatibility. If we do that, and manage to keep up with MS's API changes and whatnot, when MS phases in .NET as the only type of app out there, we're ready, and we've got a real shot at the desktop. Want to run office? Go ahead, we can install it from your MS CD with no problems (no WINE, no emu, native). I, for one, can't wait for .NET on linux. I'll be coding my web services in VS.NET while still hacking perl in my bash console.

    Slashdot keeps talking about how we need to make linux so easy that my grandma can use it, here's our chance. We copy .NET, and let MS develop the software. Seems very logical to me, I dont understand what the problem is. Yeah, we're imitating 'the beast'. So what? Immitate now, dominate later. If linux is to make it to the desktop, it needs to catch up to windows, and this is the quickest, most painless way I see of doing this.

    Yes, I'm biased, I contribute ALOT to the Mono project, but I honestly believe that without something that gives native compatibility with windows apps, linux will stay on the server, and my grandma will keep shelling out for new versions of windows.

    And one more thought, MS isn't trying to kill mono. Has it crossed anyones mind that this is our chance to get MS to help kill themselves? They want .NET on linux, it gives .NET more market penetration, but then again, once .NET is on linux, who needs windows?

    Yes, this is a rant, and I'm sorry for any grammar/spelling errors. But, before you mod me down into oblivion, seriously think about this. This really is a good thing(tm), and is the best bet of linux getting into mainstream desktop land.
  • by maggard ( 5579 ) <> on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:55PM (#2957881) Homepage Journal
    Oh great, RMS, MS, .NET, Gnome, can we get more /. hot-button things into there?

    1. RMS is a person; try to avoid ad-hominem attacks and instead focus on his acts & ideas
    2. Miguel de Icaza also deserves the same respect
    3. MS is a business - it is not inherently evil nor has Bill Gates been conclusively identified as Cthulu-Jr
    4. MS puts out lots of ideas & products. Just like with any other ideas they can be used for good or ill, or as intended by MS or not
    5. RMS through the GNU licenses does have an interest in how & where they are applied (to ensure compliance.) It is reasonable to anticipate possible conflicts and resolve them early
    Or this can all degenerate into a bunch of folks screaming how they don't like whatever

  • Mono (Score:4, Troll)

    by Majix ( 139279 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @04:59PM (#2957900) Homepage
    Read Miguel's clarification [] of what he meant by GNOME taking advantage of Mono.

    Mono has a lot of technical merit, don't shoot it down only because it's based on .net. It just might deliver what CORBA only promised, language independent component reuse. I know I wouldn't mind mixing for example Kylix generated GUI frontends with Java/C# running the logic in the background, transparently (and natively!). I surely hope that by the time we reach GNOME 4 (and we're talking 2-4 years from now here) we're not still writing GUI applications in C, as is the state with most GNOME apps now.

    Remeber that Mono isn't .net, it's not controlled by Microsoft, it's a reimplementation of the .net class libraries while also bringing in a C# compiler as a bonus (Believe me, there are plenty of worse languages to code in). The Mono libraries are Open Source (Same license as Xfree86, and I don't hear anyone bitching about the license of that particular piece of software) and will probably help bring a lot of new neat Open Source applications, giving especially GUI programs a boost.
    • Totally agree, except I hope you aren't serious about the Kylix GUI. Kylix is slow as hell, mainly because most of its GUI components are driven through Wine.

    • oh come on (Score:4, Insightful)

      by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <> on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:20PM (#2958059) Homepage Journal
      The GNOME project had the opportunity to go with a better toolkit than Gtk+ and they blew it. Everyone said writing a GUI in C with #defines to pretend you have object support was a lame attempt at a good C++ gui library. There are plenty of alternatives to Qt now and Qt is available under the GPL anyways, so if you dont like writing GUI applications in C and you're not fond of basing your future on a brand spanking new language and a completely unstarted class library toolkit, then there's plenty of space on the other team.
  • Explain to me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:00PM (#2957909) Homepage Journal
    ...why RMS is as mistaken as a lot of posters here claim.
    • MPI and PVM are already open, accepted standards, and virtually all distributed architectures use one of these. They already exist, there are already applications there, and they've had a good time to mature.
    • COSM is an open standard by which distributed applications can be developed. It exists, it's developing at a decent pace, and although it's not "mature", the development team are very familiar with this problem. (It's an off-shoot of! How much experience do you need!)
    • MOSIX is an open standard, and now exists in both kernel and user-land versions. The UL-version would allow MOSIX to be ported to virtually any OS, with minimal fuss, I suspect. MOSIX pre-dates .NET, and is already in the field. .NET is only barely out of the vaporware stage.
    • SE-Linux is an open standard, uses the existing LSM (Linux Security Mechanism?) patch and offers far greater security for distributed applications than .NET ever will.

    Given this plethora of PRE-EXISTING software that is open, mature (or at least written by people who know the problem-space damn well), and standard, WHY would anyone want to port GNOME to .NET?????

    Whether you like RMS or not, the point is that he is very right to question the validity of using .NET technology in GNOME. You don't imagine MS would actually LET Linux systems communicate with Windows systems, via .NET, do you??? The day they don't rig their own protocols, to deny service to "the unwashed masses", is the day I might believe Bil Gates got a humanity transfusion.

    But whether it's possible or not doesn't matter. Miguel's complaint was there was no realistic alternative. I've listed several. Now, I expect (as a GNOME user) a damn good reason why I shouldn't just pick up the GNOME sources and fork the hell out of the tree, to make them OPENLY networkable.

    I don't like code-forks, when they're not necessary. It's a lot of hastle to maintain them, keep things in sync, etc, but I don't cater to fools, either.

  • by 2Bits ( 167227 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:01PM (#2957916)
    I stuck to Gnome initially, coz KDE was based on closed source QT. Then QT opens itself, and Gnome moved to Bono and eventually to .Net. And I switched to KDE, so that I won't get myself stuck in some proprietory architecture.

    Some /. posted here that MS might be on something really good (if .Net is that good). If that's the case, good for them. But it's a proprietory architecture. And I think it's a lost cause to base a whole entire open source platform on some proprietory architecture which you have to play catch-up all the time, and which you have to reverse engineer to know how it works (correct me if I'm wrong here). How many companies have been trying to make their apps work with the proprietory format of MS Word and get burned?

    You may not like RMS, but as far as I know, he is one of the few who stick to his lines over the years.

    MS must be laughing really hard now for causing a little political turmoil among OSSers. At the end of the day, MS is still the winner.
  • double standards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spongman ( 182339 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:08PM (#2957960)
    If anyone's smoking crack here, it's RMS.

    How is this situation any different from free software projects using Sun's Java technologies? Isn't this just two sides of the same coin?

    On one side you have Gnome [] intending to use Mono [], a cross-platform language [] and runtime environment [] based on open standards,
    and on the other you have projects such as Apache's [] Jakarta [] using Java [], a cross-platform language and runtime envionment based on almost open standards.

    I don't recall seeing RMS bitching too heavily about Sun's absolute control of the Java language and runtime.what it was that RMS didn't like about it. I wouldn't be surprised if he's just being reactionary for the sake of it.

    • by dvdeug ( 5033 )
      How is this situation any different from free software projects using Sun's Java technologies? Isn't this just two sides of the same coin?

      Yes and no. Yes, and RMS has never encouraged the use of proprietary Java technology. No, because Apache and Jakarta aren't GNU, where as Gnome is; also nobody has suggested rewriting a major part of the GNU system so that it depends on Java, which is what this suggestion is. Also, Microsoft has proven itself openly hostile to the open source world, where as Sun hasn't.

      Something being based on open standards doesn't always mean much. Take a look at the BASIC and Pascal code on the net, and see how much of it runs on ANSI Basic and ISO Pascal. No one forces people or Microsoft to use open standards when they don't want to.
  • Simple explanation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GCP ( 122438 )
    Miguel is thinking in terms of technology, of usefulness, of practical value to users. .Net is a great platform, and Microsoft's dominance of the client is going to guarantee its widespread use. If you want the great features of the platform, and want to interact with .Net systems created by others, but you hate the thought of being forced to use Microsoft Windows, Miguel is your friend.

    RMS is a political ideologue who thinks in terms of leftist political objectives. Leftist ideologues aren't famous for their customer service. They would prefer to fight valiantly against the Enemies of the People, and heaven help any people who don't demonstrate political correctness.

    I've been playing with .Net, and I love it. I'd love to have the advantages of .Net and Linux without it implying two different operating systems. Go Miguel!

    And RMS, you don't represent me, buddy. I don't see my needs high on your list of priorities.
  • by GroundBounce ( 20126 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:11PM (#2957987)
    The article points out that it should be OK for the free software community to implement MS API's like SMB (SAMBA) and Windows itself (Wine) because they are already established standards, but it should not be alright to implement .NET because it is only an emerging standard not yet heavily adopted by many.

    I disagree with this conclusion. Why wait. If you wait until .NET is popular and widespread before starting a compatable project, then it will already be too late and you will be eternally playing catch-up. Think how much more accepted Linux might have been if it was also able run Windows applications well from the get-go.

    Here are the two possibilities:

    1 - .NET becomes very popular and widely deployed as Microsoft wishes it to be. In this case Linux and other OSS will benefit from already having a .NET implementation (Mono) in place. No need to spend two or three years to play catch-up while OSS loses market share to MS.

    2. - .NET is a bust and never becomes popular or widely deployed. Microsoft loses big time (since they are hanging their future on it), and OSS (mainly just Ximian) loses a gamble by having wasted some development resources. Big deal. And mainly just Ximian would have lost anything, the rest of the OSS community will have lost very little.

    These two alternatives seem better than the third possibility, which is that .NET and C# become widely deployed and OSS operating systems are caught with their pants down, not being able to host any .NET related services or applications.
    • Here is my paranoid conspiracy theory:

      Gnome adopts the "open API" of .NET blah blah and becomes completely based on it (like in version 3.0)

      Microsoft changes the legal status of these Open API's, thus miring the gnome project into legal limbo and DMCA type hell.

      Hence no Gnome.

      Technically MS has some cool ideas. I would venture to say, that if MS played ball like a nice company, MS could be beneificial to the entire computer world.

      But MS does not played this way in the past. Why would they start now?
    • Actually in scenario 2 we'd still have the .NET tools and so forth. They're useful in their own right whether or not Microsoft continues support.

      Between 1 and 2, anyway, it's more or less a win-win proposition.

  • Perhaps Miguel should inform his investors that he is spending a large part of their money on an effort (Mono) that very few of the consumers in Ximian's current marketplace are actually interested in. In fact, most of his current customers are dead set against the product that Ximian intends to push out the door.

    Miguel's amazing lack of business sense is simply stupifying. Is there no accountability at Ximian? All of its employees and investors are willing to just march right off the end of a bridge if told to by Miguel?

    Perhaps Miguel is attempting to top the blind-sighted, who-cares-about-a-business-plan failure of Eazel?

    Miguel is well known for his efforts in emulating Microsoft technology. What he failed to do while training at the knee of the beast was to visit the Microsoft marketing department.

  • very bad idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by strombrg ( 62192 )

    Go RMS. He goes too far sometimes, but this time he's spot-on.

    Miguel... Geeze, did he sign some sort of secret deal with microsoft? It's -insane- to become dependent on them. Look at the huge trail of partners microsoft has destroyed ("innovated").

    I like gnome. I've invested time in learning gnome programming. But this has got me having second thoughts about maybe switching to KDE. I believe in gnome because it's more open. A gnome that requires .net isn't.

    If microsoft is onto something with .net, there's no good reason why we can't clone the ideas and ignore their API's - As long as they haven't patented something, in which case we shouldn't be using it anyway.

    Does anyone know the most effective places to send letters to make sure gnome doesn't become dependent on .net? Like Miguel himself, the Gnome Foundation (I don't have addresses for either), and maybe anything else that might be a help?
  • Sounds great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sysrequest ( 325177 )
    I was sorta confused when reading about GNOME using .NET. Now, I read an excerpt from the article:

    "Stallman only learned of de Icaza's intentions to slip the Mono project - based on Microsoft's .NET framework - into Gnome as "the natural technology upgrade" when asked by the audience."

    when I read the comment someone made about RMS living under a rock. And to be honest, I think this is one of the best moves GNOME could make:

    Mono was created as an open-source answer to Microsoft's .NET, right? So how well will Mono do if nobody is using it?! That's why GNOME _should_ go with Mono. The more applications will use Mono, the sooner headlines will be "Use Mono, it's even better than .NET!"
  • Open source developers tend to be headstrong. I can see only one solution to this conflict; Give Miguel and RMS each a brick and lock them in a room until only one is left standing.
  • Like I said before [] Mono is totally blowing it by endorsing .Net and C#.

    Good luck to them when the try to clone WinForms (or whatever the correct marketspeak is for the C# GUI stuff). Microsoft will sue in a heartbeat.

    I hope the Gnome steering committee sees the light and slaps some sense into de Icaza. He's a threat to the success of Gnome in particular and Open Source in general. If he's so enamored of language independence, he should just stick with gcc. It supports plenty of languages, including a rapidly improving native Java compiler.

    299,792,458 m/s...not just a good idea, its the law!

  • MS knows that they can not make money off of selling the various windows platforms, and if this was their sole product they would be in deep red.

    They haven't made a profit from their OS division in over 7 years.
    Faced with this and other facts you will find out that .NET has a few main objectives

    #1 is cash flow, this will be accomplished through various licensing schemes and levels of use with the Passport Portal system and with monthly services such as .NET Office. Vendors will pay for levels of use like the 3% on credit cards. There will be various levels such as bronze, silver, gold and platinum

    #2 To rid themselves of the need to make a OS. Why do you think they are lobbing for laws that require digital content management, If all OSs had DCM then it would work with #1 This is just trying to make the point the only reason they make windows and it's aborted registry is for DCM.

    #3 Microsoft will not care what OS you use as long as you use .NET applications and services. Big Picture may form here. They are probably funding XIMIAN. I do not know any one paying for redcarpet or purchasing Ximian Gnome Box sets.

    This may also explain why they are sensitive to the names of various Linux Distributions.
  • This says it all... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jdavidb ( 449077 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:31PM (#2958132) Homepage Journal

    So if you didn't see this one coming, you simply haven't been paying attention.

    It looks like Stallman just didn't realize this was the plan. Perhaps he also doesn't realize .NET refers more to the Java-like language and runtime being implemented by the mono project than the privacy-trashing hailstorm system Microsoft is trying to wed it to.

    As for myself, I'm a "free as in speech," copyleft, "do what's best for the free software community" kind of guy, and I don't see a problem with moving Mono to .NET, if it works. (AWT and Swing gave me a bad taste with Java, so I'm a little suspicious of .NET, but still optimistic.) Of course, I've known since the beginning of the mono project that this was the plan. Because that's been said openly at every opportunity.

    I do wish Ximian could find it in their hearts to copyleft everything, though. (No library licenses, proprietary Outlook extenders, etc.) And I know, that makes me evil and heartless.

  • by Dr. Awktagon ( 233360 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:38PM (#2958188) Homepage

    I think a lot of /. folks are letting their RMS disillusionments take control. I personally would definitely NOT like to see the Free software world start using Microsoft-invented, Microsoft-owned, Microsoft-patented technology if it can be helped.

    This is like turning Gnome into a Windows app. Sure, .NET sounds cool from a technology point of view but you should know by now that technology doesn't live in a vacuum. As soon as anything based on .NET becomes a threat to Microsoft, they will cripple it, through technological or legal means.

    The Free software community should stand firm and develop and use open technologies, and not even pay lip service to .NET.

    I agree with the view taken by Nick Peterly (or whatever his name, I can't remember right now) that Miguel has been baited by Microsoft .NET and this will just give Microsoft a way to try and subvert Free software. Maybe that's not what MS was thinking at the outset, and not what Miguel is thinking, but it will be possible and we shouldn't allow MS that kind of power.

    I for one will lump anything that uses .NET in with Microsoft products, even if it's "open source". Why take the chance? I'm surprised that so many /. folks are calling .NET "progress" or "a standard". It's just a Microsoft technology.

    • Go, RMS! GO!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by small_dick ( 127697 )
      Frankly, I'm frustrated at the free software community's willingness to hail Microsoft's latest technologies as a great gift of some kind.

      More likely, a trojan horse.

      My take on the entire brouhaha is that MS has simply cloned java...more or less.

      Why doesn't some genious FSF type of guru take the BNF or design specs of both java and C# and create a totally free, yet easily cross compiled, language? Then let mono or dotGNU take over from there?

      At some point, MS will drop the ball and try to put the squeeze on the .NET effort...having a complete solution (from the highest level down) that is easy to port to would probably be a great stick to hold over Bill Gates's head.
  • by ChaoticCoyote ( 195677 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @05:47PM (#2958259) Homepage

    Consider several things...

    • Microsoft has not submitted the entire CLR class library to ECMA -- and the monster in Redmond has made it clear that they want to license the non-ECMA classes commercially.
    • Most Windows applications (even those for .NET) rely on API calls. Perhaps MonoGnome can incorporate Wine?
    • Microsoft does nothing that is not in its own best interests -- rather typical, really, of monopolistic entities. Miguel is likely to end up in the belly of the beast, like so many "partners" of the past.
    • Assuming MONO supports Visual Basic.NET, will it also include the "compability layer" required for legacy VB code?
    • If Miguel philosophically violates the spirit of GNU and Gnome, developers will flee his ship. One of the great glories of free software is the ability to rebel without bloodshed. If you don't like the way Miguel is running things, create a new desktop or work on a different project. Free software may not be timely, but it sure is liberating.

    I'm not sure there's much here to worry about -- other than making damned sure that free code doesn't somehow become proprietary through various license follies. On that issue, people like RMS have my heartfelt thanks for their vigilance.

  • by Snafoo ( 38566 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @06:45PM (#2958599) Homepage
    "Lo, I am Miguel the many-coloured!"
    To which RMS the grey replied,
    "You have been staring into the Lidless API for too long. You tried to wrestle control of the Dot away from Him, but the Dot still points to Redmond."
    "To oppose Bill is impossible! If you are not with us, then... Die!"
  • .NET (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2002 @07:55PM (#2959061)

    Firstly, 99.9% of the people arguing about .NET don't actually know what .NET is.

    Secondly...we have 2 choices when it comes to making linux popular.

    1) Not Invented Here - Do our own thing, ignore what everyone else is doing, and make an incompatable system yet try to make it superior. Developers will have to learn this system saparately than others.

    2) As .NET IS a publicly available standard, and is very well documented, the API, VM's, etc, are fully documented. We can concentrate on implementing those into the linux world, and give developers a very easy way to develop apps for our platform as well.

    In other words, regardless of MS history, if the .NET specification fits the needs we have, why on earth not use it?
  • by Codifex Maximus ( 639 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @01:47AM (#2960297) Homepage
    GNOME is the GNU NETWORK OBJECT MODEL ENVIRONMENT and "GNOME is part of the GNU project".

    What is GNU? The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software: the GNU system. The GNU system is licensed with the GPL and the LGPL for libraries.

    Who heads GNU and founded GNU? Richard M. Stallman.

    Now, I'd say that gives Richard M. Stallman all the right in the world to inquire of Miguel Icaza where he intends to go with GNOME. So enough with the inane RMS remarks - if you don't want freedom then go be a slave.

    I have said before that I wasn't confident in the meandering course that GNOME was taking. Where is GNOME's basic THEME... what is it's guiding light? One minute GNOME is the White Knight of Freedom and then the next GNOME is going commercial with the Ximian moniker and talking about being based on .NET - the Next Big Microsoft Plan to Take Over the Internet?

    I dunno, I was initially and still am in support of GNOME pending further developments. I hope they do The Right Thing(tm).
  • by GrayArea ( 69302 ) <> on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @02:10AM (#2960335) Homepage
    Well, I decided that, instead of perpetuating the /. tradition of shooting out of my ass without doing my own research, I'd see for myself which parts of .NET API's were in the ECMA standard, which parts were not, and how much of it Mono is implementing. So, after downloading the ECMA documentation [], I compared it to Microsoft's .NET Framework SDK docs [] and Mono Class Status [] page. Here is what I found:
    1. The ECMA standard includes a total of 249 types (classes, interfaces, etc.) as the standard library. .NET Framework SDK has approximately 3500 classes defined according to Mono Project, and they claim they have implemented or currently implementing 900 of them. Their status page shows 540 classes as work-in-progress, though that might be out of date.
    2. There are missing classes, interfaces and even methods and properties from the ECMA standard. For example, out of the 120+ types in the System namespace, only 100 of them makes it into the standard. Of the 100 or so methods in the String class, more than 20 of them are not in the standard, including a few constructors. This doesn't seem to be an exception, most (but not all) of the classes have missing members. The SDK documentation doesn't give any special notice about members or types missing from the ECMA standard. I am assuming Mono is implementing the full Framework SDK versions of these libraries.
    3. The ECMA standard libraries define a feature set that is somewhat larger than the C runtime library, the most noticable additions being the network and XML processing libraries. There is a lot of stuff left out, both additional libraries and functionality inside existing libraries (as outlined above).

    After this, it is kind of easy to reach to the conclusion that the ECMA standard has major deficiencies, that there is no way (apart from custom tool support) to tell if the code you are writing conforms to that standard and that Microsoft is most likely just paying lip service to the standards process, at least as far as the core .NET API's go. Java and Sun do a much more complete job of defining and sticking to specifications if the ECMA work is any sign.

    Personally, I don't plan to touch .NET API's to develop open source software after this. My opinion is that Mono would be much better off if they develop their own cross-platform class libraries instead of using .NET API's. There is nothing preventing them from using CLI VM and multiple language support with their own class libraries. They are already writing everything from scratch, they might as well use their own design rather than playing catch-up to proprietary Microsoft API's.

  • by DaveWood ( 101146 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2002 @04:03AM (#2960493) Homepage
    I mean, really, he wants to implement .NET on Linux? Great! He wants to build a whole GUI framework out of it? Knock yourself out! People are feeling threatened? Did Wine threaten them? No, let Miguel do his thing, more the merrier, yadda yadda.

    On the other hand, he did make some statements about .NET's technical "superiority." That's open for debate. I'd love to see how that one goes.

    I've been thinking a lot about Microsoft, though, and how they could ever hope to fight against free software in the long run... I mean in addition to marketing and sales efforts. They could try to influence key players and/or figureheads, but that's risky and unreliable... they could use lawsuits. Non-fantastically-wealthy individuals, after all, are nothing but roadkill in American civil court...

    Hey... Hmm...

    Wouldn't it be interesting, if Microsoft were to play a game with Miguel - to lure him, his co-developers, and his users, by following Microsoft's (often implicit) standards, into treading over a set of Microsoft patents, or a EULA/UCITA-backed reverse-engineering lawsuit? To wait say, 2 years, or 3, and then when Gnome is installed in millions of places and Sun and Dell are prepackaging it, etc., and there are a lot of juicy targets in the crosshairs, all of a sudden, bust down the door and start serving papers?

    Please, reassure me. Tell me why I'm wrong about this. Any part of .NET that's not ECMA (and maybe some that are) is still Microsoft's house... and doesn't that detail about how little of .NET has actually gone to committee keep coming up?

It's great to be smart 'cause then you know stuff.