Tonnerre Lombard

FFII’s coordinator for Switzerland

Gnome did not go Mono

There has recently been a lot of rumors about the article Gnome goes Mono and jumps into the patent trap. There are some things that should be clarified about this.

  • Gnome did not go Mono. At least so far. The plans towards that direction appear to have been quite fruitless.
  • There are people stating that the Microsoft .NET patents only cover the System.Data and System.Windows.Forms namespace. This implies that no patents cover the concept of .NET per se.
    There has been no thorough patent analysis on this subject, and it should also be noted that patents, other than copyright, are a very broad so that rewriting the subsystem or class in question does not suffice. The class must be modified to make it work in a way that is not described in the patent claims. This means that, for a sufficiently unclear patent, it may not be possible to provide affected classes in nay way because any implementation would constitute a patent infringement.
  • Nobody is saying that Mono or .NET per se are evil; the point of criticism is that the legal situation is very unclear and potentially tainted.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

4 Responses to “Gnome did not go Mono”

  1. Alphager Says:

    Tomboy is part of Gnome and based on Mono-> Gnome has gone Mono (Mono is a dependancy for Gnome)

  2. tonnerre Says:


    That is indeed true, but it has not become as much of an integral component as it was originally called for.


  3. Carlo Piana Says:

    The post is quite well reasoned. Only it understated the power of ambiguity in patent applications. More frequently than not, the scope of patent protection can be assessed only ex post, because patents are drafted so that any solution to a given problem falls withing the protection.

    Mono is not evil per se, the software patent system is.

  4. Fred Says:

    Nobody is saying that Mono or .NET per se are evil

    I am!