Why Mono?

Since the news was out that Fedora Core will include Mono, people started asking why whis is possible and why Fedora Core makes an exception in this case.
The background is that Fedora has a pretty strict policy against software which is non free or could be touched and restricted by patents. Mono is a candidate for the second part. So everything was wondering why it was included although it obviously violated that rule.

Although we already got some hints somewhere today the final answer was published (and yet no bigger media has picked it up): Gregdek introduced the Open Innovation Network.

This network covers different applications with there set of patents and all other stuff they have – memebers of this network are Sony, IBM, Novell and Red Hat, which makes it quite powerfull. The list of the covered applications is also quite nice:

Apache, Eclipse, Evolution, Fedora Directory Server, Firefox, Gimp, GNOME, KDE, Mono, Mozilla, MySQL, Nautilus, OpenLDAP, OpenOffice, Perl, Postgresql, Python, Samba, SELinux, Sendmail, and Thunderbird, just to name a few.

Nevertheless I have to say that the whole process around Mono was quite disappointing: until know we haven’t seen any real explanation, no words about why they had to keep this secret or why they were not allowed to publish more information. And nothing about why they can cover Mono while Mono is supposed to be in the hands of Microsoft.
Gregdek once asked the community members for trust – to trust them that they know what they do. This trust was given by many, but if they really just want to pay back this trust with a few lines and a short note about OIN, I’m deeply disappointed.

Btw., this strange network just shows how the patent system is getting worse and worse every day – we definitely need a revolution here, but there is along way to go to reach the final goal, especially in the US…

Let’s wait the next days until the media (hopefully) pick up the story, and other people start complaining about the lack of intereset of Fedora people to light up this story much more than just with a few lines… I already complained 🙂


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