The Death Of Mono Or How To Annoy Thousands With Four Words

Mono, the Open Source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET programming environment (the Common Language Infrastructure) , has probably caused more page views, than any other programming environment. Ever.

There’s a variety of issues people have had with Mono, but almost everyone has missed the main point.

Who In Their Right Mind Would Want Microsoft Technology On Their Linux Operating System Computer?

Stop. Think. Why do most people dump Windows for Linux? Is it because:

1) They are true believers in software freedom?

2) They think that a Unix style operating system is superior?

3) Because they think that Windows is a total piece of crap?

Most people will pick number 3. That’s why I switched. That’s why I absolutely refuse to help out friends who run Windows anymore. If they want to run Windows after I’ve warned them about the issues (virii, security holes, etc.) then as far as I’m concerned they can take the computer to Geek squad. I refuse to fix it.

When I switched to Ubuntu, I was ecstatic that I wouldn’t have to put up with Microsoft, ever again.

And then I got a total shock. I found out that some idiot (this is my feelings at the time) had decided to import Microsoft technology into Linux. I was furious.

Just think. I’d done a lot of work getting my laptop running fully with Ubuntu 7.04, the biggest problem being the Broadcom wireless card, all to escape from Microsoft. And about a year after I’d made the switch, I find out that I haven’t escaped from Microsoft after all, because some idiot had decided it would be a nice idea to if programmers used to working with Microsoft C# had the same thing available to them on Linux.

Even worse – there was no warning that this junk was included with Ubuntu.

I used to box in my younger days. Once or twice I got caught being careless, and took a hard shot I wasn’t ready for. This was just like that.

When I get mad, things happen. I did my research, found out that Fedora had the same problem. In fact any distribution using the Gnome desktop had it.

So I stopped using Gnome.

But just think. There are thousands of people every month, who joyfully escape from Microsoft by moving to Ubuntu or Fedora. Or so they think.

Don’t you think that any distro which includes Mono should have a warning label?

Danger - Microsoft Inside
Danger - Microsoft Inside

I mean, if you want to mess around with Microsoft technology that’s fine with me. That’s your choice.

My choice is to avoid Microsoft. I’d really prefer that all distributions that use Mono warn the user, so that the use can make an informed decision as to whether the distribution is what they want. I think that software repositories should make it clear what packages contain Mono – again, a warning label.

Because it all comes down to Microsoft, one of the few companies every to become a convicted monopolist, one of the few companies unable to design a reasonably secure operating system. Quite frankly who wants their junk?

As a side note, the WINE Project celebrated when it was found out that WINE could be infected by a Windows virus. The aim of the WINE project is to provide 100% compatible environment for running Microsoft Windows programs under other operating systems. I don’t run WINE either.

But that’s me, what you do is your choice.

A final note – Mono is impossible to kill. Mono is licensed using the GPL V2, the LGPL, and the MIT licenses. Assume the impossible – every programmer working on the Mono project gets kidnapped by aliens, or they all go through a time warp and end up 10,000,000 years in the past, so the project is effectively abandoned. Is Mono dead? No. Asleep yes, until some programmer decides to pick it up again, but only asleep.

This is one huge advantage of Free Software projects. They may go to sleep, but they can’t be killed.


Wayne Borean

Saturday December 18, 2010

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  1. “I mean, if you want to mess around with Microsoft technology that’s fine with me. That’s your choice. … But that’s me, what you do is your choice.” Shut up about it then. I’m surprised you have any “friends” if you constantly bitch to them about their choice of OS, and I doubt you could “fix” their computers — only wipe them and install Linux. What a laughable lamer.

    1. Why should I shut up about it? Most people who switched to Linux from WIndows did so for the same reason I did, to get away from Microsoft’s so-called technology. And almost none of them want to go back. Curiously if you ask Linux users, most don’t want anything to do with Microsoft technology.

      Miguel’s idea of providing an exist strategy for Microsoft programmers was a good one. However instead of being a way to learn how to work with Linux and OSX, Mono has instead become an end in and of itself. And as I said, I don’t want Microsoft technology on any of my computers.

      So I suggest people avoid Mono. It’s a free country (at least Canada is, not so sure about things south of the border). If people listen to me, and choose not to use Mono, that’s fine. And if they listen to me, and decide to use Mono that’s fine too. All I’m doing is making sure that people know that Mono delivers on things that they might not want to have…

      As to Miguel, he should have listened to my suggestion.

      Wayne aka The Mad Hatter

  2. I see the monotrolls have already paid a visit.

    … “them about their” …

    User labelled “No” you are just a lone voice trying to play down somebody else’s article.

    Do you offer any counter opinion or useful insight?

    Are you capable of giving a point by point analysis with something to justify your opinion?
    So why not just go back to your little mono cosy world and stay off other folks blogs until you have something to actually say.

  3. So.. you’re mad because someone wrote a Linux compiler for a language designed by Microsoft? Isn’t FOSS supposed to be about choice? What if you like C# for its syntax, or you’re used to (or required to) use it for work? Should coders who have to develop in C# be forced to use Windows as their development environment?

    And an infected WINE installation within Ubuntu isn’t the same as an infected Ubuntu. You simply delete the .wine folder and it goes away. Voila. You actually probably only need to delete the virus’s application folder. The fact that a Windows virus can run in WINE is (as the developers interpret it to be) simply an indication of how well WINE is performing.

    WINE’s purpose is to allow the user more choice in his or her software. Should a professional photographer be forced to choose between The GIMP and Photoshop, when even the developers of The Gimp themselves would surely admit that Photoshop is more powerful. What of professional audio software, like Ableton Live, or the plethora of video games that are only released for Windows? Should a Linux user be barred from running that software if it is possible? Would barring the choice to run non-free software on principle alone make the environment more free?

    If you say yes to this question, you should probably be running BSD.

    1. Um, no. I was annoyed because no one warned me that Ubuntu was infected. Ubuntu is boosted as a Microsoft “alternative”, but if it has “Mono” inside it isn’t really an alternative, is it? It’s just another Microsoft variation, and I switched to Linux to get away from Microsoft.

      Now if someone wants to run Mono, hey, they should have that right.

      I’ll be writing an article shortly about the really nasty part about Mono, and why Miguel should be cheering for my suggestions to be adopted into Copyright law.


      1.  You really are blinded by hate towards Microsoft, aren’t you? You talk about how Ubuntu is “infected” and how Mono makes Ubuntu “just another Microsoft variation”.

        Ubuntu is different from Windows, and it is a proper alternative. You seem to think that the inclusion of some software written (not even by Microsoft themselves) to increase compatibility with Microsoft products automatically turns Ubuntu into Windows, but it doesn’t, that’s completely ludicrous. It just adds functionality to Linux. It doesn’t suddenly introduce security weaknesses into the system just because it’s related to Microsoft. The only reason Windows has poor security is because it is poorly programmed, not because there’s anything inherently wrong with the programming languages.

        Grow up, and grow out of your blind hatred. Microsoft is not the ultimate form of evil, they’re not out to get you, and they haven’t ruined Linux.

        1. Let me see. I made a choice. A choice not to use Microsoft. And now you are saying that I should not have been able to make that choice, that I should not have been able to make the choice to avoid Ubuntu when I found out that Ubuntu was using Microsoft technology?

          In other words you want the choice to work one way, so that we have the choice to use Microsoft, but not that we have the choice to avoid Microsoft.


          1. But Mono is not Microsoft. It’s based off a Microsoft’s .Net, but it’s not made by Microsoft.

            Are you going to avoid using the Linux Kernel, because Microsoft also submit code to that too. 

          2. You make the assumption that I think it’s a good product. I don’t.

            And yes, I’m aware that Microsoft is the fifth largest contributor to the Linux Kernel. What you ignore is that all of Microsoft’s contributions are for Hyper-V, and since I don’t run Windows, I don’t need to use any of the Hyper-V code that Microsoft has contributed.


          3. But other people do, and want it already installed on their ubuntu machines. 

            ” I don’t need to use any of the Hyper-V code that Microsoft has contributed.”
            You don’t use Mono, so then it shouldn’t matter at all.

          4. Most people don’t “want” Mono installed. What they want is the ability to do certain things. In most cases they don’t necessarily care what means they use to do those things. 

            One proof of that is the rapid growth of first the IPhone platform, and second the Android platform in the Smartphone market. Both were new, and different. Both used non-standard programming platforms, which meant that very little could be ported to them. And both were wildly successful.

            While Mono was ported to both platforms, it has seen only marginal usage. Of course marginal usage in two huge markets like the IPhone and Android markets can be quite profitable.

            As to Hyper-V, you don’t understand what it is, or you wouldn’t mention Mono in the same sentence.


          5. I know what Hyper-V is, i’m just trying to use it as an example that Microsoft code is in Linux Kernel. You said you don’t care about Hyper-V because you don’t plan on running Linux in Hyper-V, you shouldn’t care about Mono being installed once you’re not going to develop using Mono. I don’t see any Linux distro shoving Mono down your throat screaming develop with this. 

            “Most people don’t “want” Mono installed. ”

            The only person I seen whiny about it is you. There’s a bunch of Mono developers who built applications that are well liked in the Linux community like Banshee and F-Spot. There’s also Unity that I know a few Game Developers really like.

            You want to know a secret, I’m a developer, I tried Mono, and I hated it. But I don’t think it should be avoided just because I don’t like it. I don’t like Firefox either, I think it sucks compared to Chrome, does that mean that Linux distros shouldn’t come with Firefox.

            Also out of curiosity how far do you go to avoid anything to do with Microsoft? Do you avoid web sites that use Microsoft technology? Do you avoid the Ford cars that have Microsoft Sync?

          6. I’ve read a lot of other complaints about Mono in a lot of other blogs. I’m not the only person who doesn’t like it. There are instructions on how to remove Mono from Ubuntu, lists of applications which can be used to replace Mono applications, groups of people who have been lobbying the various distributions to remove Mono…

            Mono just isn’t very popular. There is a certain segment of the community, a large segment of the community, which wants nothing to do with Mono. Which is understandable, if unfortunate. Too many people stopped using Microsoft operating systems in disgust over Microsoft’s actions. And if they wanted to avoid Mono because of Microsoft, well, that is understandable.

            At the same time Miguel’s work on Mono is incredible. How Miguel was treated by Novell-Attachmate is disgusting. Copyright Law needs to be re-written so that people like Miguel cannot be hurt that way.

            As to Ford, yes, I avoid Ford too.


          7. But Microsoft has nothing to do with Mono, mono is just based of it. It’s like calling ReactOS Microsoft.

            Hating a product because of it’s from a company you like or based on a product from  a company you don’t like is just stupid. It’s fine to hate a product for the product itself, but just because it’s from a company you don’t like is immature. I don’t like Google, still use Chrome though.  I don’t like Oracle, still work with their databases.”As to Ford, yes, I avoid Ford too.”You can get Ford Cars without Sync, my 2011 Fiesta has no Sync in it(It’s a lot cheaper getting the model without sync, don’t think I’d ever use it). The story you mention was just sad and immature. You like the car, but said no do it purely because it has a product from a company you don’t like. Did you try asking for a model without sync, or just getting the car and just not using it Sync?I’m still curious on the answer to this question ->Do you avoid web sites that use Microsoft technology?

          8. Why do you keep mentioning hate? Why do you hate Microsoft?

            Now I don’t like the company, but I don’t hate them. I don’t trust their engineering capabilities. Why would I use their products. Remember the 1975 Ford rust fiasco – no you probably don’t, you’re too young. Ford lose a lot of customers until they managed to prove that they’d fixed their engineering problems.
            It’s interesting following the Ford advertising for the Sync system over the last two years. Originally they made a big fuss about it being “Microsoft.” Then the Microsoft name became less visible, until it became almost invisible. Go to a Ford dealership now and look at the Sync literature – Microsoft isn’t mentioned. It looks like Ford has realized that their partner was a boat anchor for sales.

            As to avoiding a product I don’t like, I think that is a perfectly rational thing to do. Why should I use something that I dislike? That would be totally illogical.

            Oh, and as to a model without Sync, Ford doesn’t produce a Hybrid without the Sync system. My needs have changed since then. I’m aiming to buy an electric, and since Ford doesn’t make an electric, they are out of the running. My personal favorite right now is the Nissan Volt.


  4. “Let me see. I made a choice. A choice not to use Microsoft.”

    OK, that’s a reasonable choice, but you ought to be consistent about it. I hope you don’t ever mount anything using the VFAT file system, for example, since MS has the patents on that. I assume you never connect to anything on a network, because you’re liable to be using SMB (“samba”) if you do that… as written by MS. And so on it goes, really… Linux *interoperates* with Windows, and you’ll accordingly find a lot of technology in the Linux stack which is designed to facilitate that, in exactly the same way that Mono was designed to bring C# to Linux users.

    I think talk of Ubuntu/Gnome being “infected” with Microsoft technology is rather missing the point, in other words: convicted monopolist they may well be, but they also played an important part in defining what personal computers and the networked environment are. You can’t easily run away from all of that …well, I suppose you could run Haiku on something without a network card… and surely the more considered approach is to quietly make your choices without pretending there’s One Pure Way?

    1. You make the assumption that Microsoft’s patents are legal in my jurisdiction. They aren’t. Software patents aren’t legal where I live. And of course you have to ask yourself if Microsoft’s VFat patents are legal where Microsoft applied for them, because they quite probably aren’t (I’ve read the U.S. Patent rules). Of course that isn’t an issue any more, since the Kernel was modified to avoid the issue.

      Samba is clear. The European Union made sure of that.

      Mono wasn’t designed to bring C# to Linux users. It was designed to bring C# to Linux programmers. Big difference.

      As to there being One Pure Way, sure there is. It’s called Assembler.


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