Oh my LiveJournal drama. If you think blogs are nasty, LiveJournal + Debian stuff is really bad. Anyway, there are some Q&A offered up, which someone requested I look at. Time to dive in.
Most of the Q&A are purely factual or based on technical issues, and there is really not much to be much to be said about them. The problem is when crap like this pops out:
Q: Why not ship GNote instead by default?
A: GNote was written for bad reasons, without even respecting the GPL copyright requirements. But more importantly, its maintenance model is going to make it only follow behind the Tomboy lead, as any code changes in Tomboy will need to be translated to C++. It also supports less languages and less features. Furthermore, it was introduced in Debian for political reasons, by a maintainer who doesn’t use it and isn’t involved in GNOME maintenance.
I told you all that mono FUD on Gnote was still working. The author is questioned on this in the comments:
skx 2009-07-06 11:43 am UTC
“GNote was written for bad reasons, without even respecting the GPL copyright requirements.”
Please be more specific.
“Bad reasons” I can infer means that it was written purely to duplicate an existing program in a different implementation language. That’s either bad, or necessary, depending on what you think of Mono.
But you suggest GNote doesn’t respect the GPL, and so I wonder in what sense you mean that? Certainly the code is available and open. I do hope you’re not conflating the reimplementation in some fashion..
np237 2009-07-06 11:57 am UTC
The GNote author did not even keep the copyright notices from Tomboy. I don’t know whether this has been fixed in the meantime, but that tells a lot.
skx 2009-07-06 11:59 am UTC
Perhaps I’m missing something obvious, and if so you could point it out to me.
Tomboy = Note application written in Mono.
GNote = Near-Identical clone written in not-Mono
Given that the implementation languages are different I’m struggling to see how there could be any applicable copyright issues.
(Unless you’re refering to things such as icons, media files, etc. Clearly the code is in a different language and even if the end result is look-and-feel identical there can’t be any actual infringement.)
np237 2009-07-06 12:02 pm UTC (link)
It’s not a clone. It’s a line-by-line ripoff of the C# code, in C++.
mono apologists have long been trying to tar Gnote with “copyright violation”, you can see Jo Shields waft it around a little bit here:
If Debian’s FTP Master determines that Gnote is permissible for inclusion in Debian (I hear FTP Master has been particularly stringent these days in checking copyright) then great.
Well, now that the FTP Master has determined that Gnote is permissible for inclusion in Debian, I’m sure we can count on you to support Gnote and stop insinuating there are bad-faith copyright issues? It looks to me the worst you can say about the man is he tried something and didn’t get away with it – and that’s the most malicious interpretation. It seems much more likely he either didn’t care or didn’t get around to all the boring-ass copyright notice updating while he was excited about writing code.
I mean, I know the first thing I do when I start coding is all the licensing and copyright parts, but maybe not everyone starts there.
Of course, now that copyright issues can no longer stand up, np237 falls back to “it’s a ripoff”. It seems clear to be that Gnote copyright FUD has not FAILEN here. This comes across as a very unfair assessment of Gnote.
Q: Isn’t GNote much smaller?
A: Not really. C++ bindings are larger than CLI bindings, so the only real differences are the size of the Mono interpreter, and the size of translations. In the end, Tomboy with all its dependencies is only 10 MiB larger; that includes 3 times as many translations, and some important functionality.
This is a fair enough point – and I’m sure np237 knows the space Debian has to work with far better than I, I just think it is funny that 10MiB here is no big deal, where 6MiB was the entire basis for Jo Shields to start off his “out with Rhythmbox, in with Banshee” drive. And those 6MiB weren’t even accurate! Ha, such is the internets.
Q: What is the agenda of Roy Schestowitz, Sam Varghese, Robert Millan and their friends?
A: What they are doing is giving credit to the Microsoft FUD in order to also scare consumers and developers away from Mono. They want to scare them away to other free software environments, but what they achieve is scaring people away to buy Microsoft products instead. It is tempting to conclude, because of the result, that they are employed by Microsoft underhand, but applying Hanlon’s razor, I think they are just incredibly incompetent, to the point where they are dangerous. These people are toxic to the community, and we really need them to shut up. If they ever reach their goal and destroy a great piece of free software like Mono, they will go on and find something else to destroy. Remember, their goal is to SDD: scare, disrupt and destroy. You cannot build anything useful or interesting with such goals.
Q: But Richard Stallman says they are right!
A: RMS is also the guy who wants us to ship non-free documentation. I don’t think RMS has enough connection left to the real world for his opinion to be con
Come on – is this really necessary? The vast majority of the Q&A are solid, factual responses to questions people are likely to have. To end on an a bullshit ass personal attack just makes the whole list look questionable. If you have 20 facts and 2 pieces of obvious bullshit, the 20 facts don’t make the bullshit look good. The bullshit makes all the facts look bad.
Right, but what do YOU think about it?
Brace yourself … if Debian wants to install mono in a gnome package, they should. That’s right, I said they should. Mono is a part of GNOME via Tomboy right now. I think that is a horrible situation, and I think Gnote should replace Tomboy in GNOME immediately if not sooner, but to beat up Debian for installing what the user asks for is misplacing the blame.
As I understand it, Debian is focused on the “Free-ness” of the package. I don’t think a credible argument can be made that Tomboy is non-Free software, because the patent and political issues don’t affect that aspect of Tomboy or mono. Now, that’s not saying that there aren’t a host of problems with mono, but I’m not going to try to pretend like it doesn’t meet the guidlines for Free and Open Source software.