Mono Controversy

There is a raging debate at the moment in the Linux community whether Mono applications should be removed from Linux distributions. Supporters from both sides of the camp have been quick to point out the merits and the dangers of leaving Mono in Linux distributions.

What exactly is Mono? Mono is the open source development platform based on the Microsoft .NET framework. It allows developers to build Linux and cross-platform applications with improved developer productivity. Mono can run on Linux, BSD, UNIX, Mac OS X, Solaris and Windows operating systems.

The Mono project is led by Novell. The project was formerly owned by Ximian. To some Linux users, a simple mention of Novell sends chills down their spine mainly because they thought Novell slept with the enemy. Novell and Microsoft reached an agreement in 2006 to collaborate on technologies, mainly Novell’s eDirectory and Microsoft’s Active Directory.

But there is another part of the agreement that made Linux users more upset. Novell has signed an agreement with Microsoft that guarantees them safety if legal action is taken by Microsoft for patent infringements against Linux. Despite the threat, Microsoft still hasn’t given any details as to which Linux code violates its patents.

The hatred for Mono runs deep in the Linux community mainly because Mono is a platform that spreads its seed. Mono, by nature, create programs that run in Linux. In fact, Mono footprints are all over Gnome and Linux. Tomboy Notes, F-Spot Manager and Banshee are just a few applications that are developed in Mono.

To Linux purists, Mono applications should be stripped from all of Linux. There are other open-source alternatives that can take its place. If Mono is allowed to roam freely in Linux, the potential for legal action is ever present. It just a matter of time whether Microsoft exercises it or not.

Are the Mono concerns well-founded?

Tetris Turns 25

Tetris is one of my favorite games way back when. So simple, addicting, easy, but yet, it can be difficult. Russian mathematician Alexey Pajitnov designed the game back in 1984. Tetris is available in every imaginable gaming console, computer, PDA and smartphone. It’s still popular to this day. Pajitnov used shapes made up of four squares, hence Tetris which comes from the Greek word Tetra meaning four. Tetris is just one of those games that seems to be ageless. Tetris is 25 years old. For real. I still can’t believe it.

Analog TV is no more


If you’re old school and you turned on your TV this morning and all you got was this black and white static screen, well, you’ve probably been hiding in a cave or just woke up from a long sleep. Today marks the day TV stations across the United States have turned off all their analog signals. Despite the long warning and a delay of the switch, originally it was set for February 17, still a million households across the United States do not have digital converters. Neilsen says the figure is closer to 5.8 million. The government has been giving away digital converters for free, but some areas have run out. The government is still accepting coupon requests and offering technical support at 1-888-CALL-FCC. One thing about digital signal, it either on or off. Either you get it or you don’t. You won’t get the ghostly images you saw on analog TVs like in the old days when the signal is weak. So, who benefits from this switch? The government does to a tune of $19.6 billion. I didn’t know the US government was in the electronics business.

Karmic Koala

The next Ubuntu release is still months away, but it’s not too early to talk about Ubuntu 9.10 codename Karmic Koala. Expect Ubuntu 9.10 to contain a new Linux Kernel 2.6.30 with UXA Kernel Mode Setting support for Intel graphic cards, Gnome 2.27.1, the ext4 file system comes by default, and Grub 2.0. Karmic Koala is currently in Alpha 2.

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Highlights

  • Linux Kernel 2.6.30
  • UXA support for Intel graphics cards
  • Gnome 2.27.1
  • Default ext4 filesystem
  • Grub 2

Microsoft 7 without IE in Europe

Microsoft has agreed to remove Internet Explorer 8 from Windows 7 in Europe to comply with European laws. Regulators are saying that the inclusion of IE8 to the Windows 7 operating system violates antitrust laws. This is good news for Firefox, which by the way, have a strong following in Europe. IE will most likely lose market share. Other browsers like Firefox, Opera and Safari will pick up the slack. It’s only a question of how much market share will IE lose. Will we see a similar antitrust law against Microsoft in the US? Probably not. Microsoft gets a free pass in the US and antitrust laws are just not the same as Europe. Microsoft plans to roll out IE8 in the US and elsewhere outside of Europe.

Ubuntu in 10 seconds or less

Ubuntu 10.04 is aiming for a sub 10 second boot time. Canonical plans to take an aggressive approach to next year’s release to achieve its goal. Improvements to the Xorg display, to how root file systems are mounted, to suppressing the splash screen and progress bar are just a few things that are being considered. Ubuntu has already made dramatic changes to the boot time the last few releases.

Ubuntu 8.10 = 65 seconds
Ubuntu 9.04 = 25 seconds
Ubuntu 9.10 = < 25 seconds
Ubuntu 10.04 = < 10 seconds