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Re: [Gnewsense-dev] Mono in the default install

From: Irving Rivas
Subject: Re: [Gnewsense-dev] Mono in the default install
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 18:59:21 -0400

M. Geeraerts:
Imho, weeding out and replacing potential weaknesess is very important. Just as important is doing it with the right replacements so that it doesn't detract from the user experience.
I agree in that very few things justify simply removing the software.
In this case, we're talking about substitution. Favoring Gnote instead of tomboy because C# is a potential issue, well, I consider that a safety measure. Also, it will encourage gnote developers to do a quick and good by giving them recognition, and potentially attract developers to it, raising awareness on the factibility of porting C# apps to C++.
As Gnote is a port of Tomboy and is fully compatible with its file format, it's a safe thing to do.
And while refusing to put Mono-dependent apps if they've a non-Mono-dependent equivalents may sound harsh, it is also a pressure put on the developers that will do us good in the long run.
It might be useful to look up the existing patents related to C#, if any, and work a way to circumvent them while implementing the apps written in the language, if possible.
If they're dumb enough, the solution could be as simple to detect as fully compiling of C# code, or using other kind of bytecode.
I don't know how (or where) to look up the patents, but I can spend the time studying them and trying to work out a way to not-break them. I've some lawyers in the family that can be of use in this matter. It would be great if we can push the community into safer waters while still supporting programmers that develop in C#.

On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 3:35 PM, Sam Geeraerts <address@hidden> wrote:
Richard Stallman schreef:

The best way to encourage people to do the last 5% of the work
to get non-C# applications packaged and installed
is to refuse to put in the C# applications that have such equivalents.

That way, the people who want either such a program included
have a reason to help finish and package the non-C# program.

The people who have those skills also know about repositories and how to install/remove software, so not including those programs wouldn't encourage them (much). Non-technical users would judge the distribution by the live CD (and then by the default installation). Features that seem to be missing compared to other distributions for reasons other than the programs being non-free software would impact their judgment and the adoption of gNewSense negatively.

Your concerns about C# are probably valid, but I think the matter is not so urgent that it justifies simply removing the applications. I'm sure it won't take long before we have the patches to replace the applications (probably before our next release, which would make it a non-issue).

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