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Re: [DotGNU]Call for a truce over mono vs pnet

From: Norbert Bollow
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Call for a truce over mono vs pnet
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 17:52:24 +0100

(I'm trying to mediate between Rhys and Lupus)

Paolo Molaro <address@hidden> wrote:

> On 03/18/02 Rhys Weatherley wrote:
> > > I'd really like to hear your suggestions:-)
> > > I don't see how people can start cooperating if they both have to cut
> > > one arm before starting...
> > 
> > It makes the co-operation mutually reinforcing, because
> > each party needs the other to survive.  But from what
> Two people that can't swim makes two people dead.
> I happen to think cooperation makes sense if all the parties involved
> are willing to do it for the best of each other and not because they are
> forced to do it. It's clear we have two different views: we want
> cooperation and you want control.

No... I think you misunderstood something there.  When DotGNU
uses Mono's higher-level C# class libs, then (as long as we
don't fork them) the Mono project has some degree of control of
those libs.  This "control" isn't a huge practical issue as long
as Mono wants to cooperate with DotGNU, especially since if it
really should happen that there is a problem that cannot be
resolved cooperatively, then it's still possible to fork. It's
free software after all!!!  The reason why people still care
about this "control" even when it's not of great practical
importance is that it is also a matter of who gets public
recognition etc.

Rhys doesn't like the situation where Mono gets some of this
"control" over an essential piece that we're using, while we
don't have any similar "control" over anything that Mono is

I believe that I can understand Rhys' frustration with this
kind of situation.  (Those who can't should perhaps be invited
to walk in his shoes for a month or two :-)

On the other hand, there is really no alternative which would
make any sense.  Forking Mono's higher-level C# class libs for
no good reason besides putting them under copyleft and avoiding
to feed bugfixes etc to a non-copyleft project would be just a
cause of frustration, pointless enmity and lots of needless work
for both projects.  Also of course throwing some of Mono's code
away for no better reason than to please Rhys makes no sense
either.  Still it is possible that at some stage Mono will see
a _good_technical_reason_ to use something that Rhys has
designed, and decide to use it.  I expect that Rhys will be
happy then :-).  But I agree with you that it makes no sense to
try pushing the Mono project into such a decision.  Mono
deserves the freedom to make their own decisions for their own

> At least this long thread has been useful in that respect:
> now people know that if the case arises, you're willing to consider
> licensing your code for use in mono. Thanks. 
> Does this hold also for the other DotGNU developers?

For what it's worth, I'll urge them to consider it. :-)

After all, the whole point of copyleft is to prevent a situation
where code cannot be freely shared.  Not sharing code freely to
a fellow free software project like Mono just in order to
prevent a situation where code cannot be freely shared, that
doesn't make much sense to me.

However for this it's essential to know that it's truly the Mono
project which is interested in the code and not some proprietary
software project.

> We have no steering committee, every contributor can ask for
> himself. I suggest that if the need arises, all such contacts
> should be held in the open on public mailing-lists, though.

Hmmm... yes, I agree... copying the public lists on both ends is
good enough to ensure that we don't honor bogus requests, and
that the author of the desired code gets a little recognition.

I think this suggestion is probably fine from the perspective of
the DotGNU project.

Greetings, Norbert.

A founder of the project and Steering Committee member
Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet   (near Zurich, Switzerland)
Tel +41 1 972 20 59       Fax +41 1 972 20 69
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