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MS puts C# and CLI ECMA specs under Community Promise

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  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    Basically they promise not to sue over patents on implementation of the ECMA specs for C# and CLI. Mono will be splitting their source code distro into ECMA code and the rest (ASP.Net, WinForms, etc..) that isn't covered by the ECMA specs for those worried about potential patent claims on the later.

    Miguel De Icaza's blog post: http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2009/Jul-06.html

  • User profile image
    Bass

    I hope this will shut up all the Mono hate. Smiley

    But the the fact that Microsoft only A.OKed the ECMA bits probably means it will continue. Sad

  • User profile image
    fknight

    Bass said:

    I hope this will shut up all the Mono hate. Smiley

    But the the fact that Microsoft only A.OKed the ECMA bits probably means it will continue. Sad

    Microsoft could GPL every bit of code they've ever written and renounce all patents and people would still say not to use it because "they still might sue you" or claim it's some kind of trick.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    fknight said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

    Microsoft could GPL every bit of code they've ever written and renounce all patents and people would still say not to use it because "they still might sue you" or claim it's some kind of trick.

    Yeah it won't shut up the Mono hate. Might lessen it though.

    It might make Gnome move faster to integrate Mono more fully in the desktop experience. Which as a fan of .NET (and strangely, Linux as well) the possibility of Mono driving the majority of Gnome sounds really, really cool.

  • User profile image
    LinWin​Overlord

    fknight said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

    Microsoft could GPL every bit of code they've ever written and renounce all patents and people would still say not to use it because "they still might sue you" or claim it's some kind of trick.

    Nah. There is only so far people will go towards hate.

    Microsoft, being as large as it is, is unfortunately not very uniform in its ideals.

    For example, Apple presents a clear image of a Mac-centric world, or in the case of the browser market, a desire for a duopoly, even though it is practically impossible given that Safari doesn't doesn't in Linux.

    Microsoft's goals are a lot murkier. Some people within Microsoft present the company image as a friendly company that is willing to work with partners and competitors in the spirit of "coopertition." The Port 25 guys are an example of people trying to pull this off.

    The company sometimes present a darker image of a company willing to do what it needs to do to remain on top, even if it is of questionable taste. An example of this would be Steve Ballmer stating Linux violates 235 patents, without stating what the patents are. Or the various offhand comments he has made about his competitors over the years. They show overconfidence and cockiness. Even though Steve is a horrible salesman, he is quite good at stirring the pot, just not always in the way Microsoft wants.

    Then there are the parts of Microsoft that are trying hard to be a part of the open source world, without being butchered alive. The CodePlex and MS Visual Studio Express efforts are examples of this.

    Everyone knows Microsoft values Windows to an extremely high degree. Why wouldn't they? It was the OS that got them to the top. Maybe in another world, OS/2 is the one Microsoft truly values. But the fact is, Windows isn't what makes Microsoft the big bucks. It's their other software, particularly Microsoft Office and Visual Studio. Both of which don't need to really depend on Windows. If within the next year, the whole world suddenly starts migrating to Linux, Microsoft wouldn't die. They would adjust to the new market and survive (possibly with wider profit margins too).

    In the unlikely event I would ever get to talk to Microsoft execs personally, I would have quite a lot to say to them. I have been using Microsoft software since I was six years old (I'm 18 now). I started with MS-DOS 5.0 and kept up all the way to Microsoft Windows Vista. I used Office, Windows, DOS, and I even tried out Xenix at one point. Microsoft did a lot right, and a lot wrong. But what they did right was force the UNIX vendors to change. Most of the UNIX distributions that were available in the 80s are dead now, but the ones that survived have learned their lesson from the UNIX wars era.

    In my opinion, UNIX was a great idea, and was even implemented rather well. But the vendors competing and making changes to cause incompatibilities screwed us all over. Microsoft brought home the important lesson of standardization, even if nowadays they don't quite follow it that much anymore.

    Now, with Windows' greatest competitor being Linux, Microsoft has a bit to worry about. Linux, even though it is fragmented into a multitude of distributions, remains largely compatible with each other. However, since a majority of distributions are not made by a company, Microsoft feels little worry from them because nobody really advertises for Linux.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    LinWinOverlord said:
    fknight said:
    *snip*

    Nah. There is only so far people will go towards hate.

    Microsoft, being as large as it is, is unfortunately not very uniform in its ideals.

    For example, Apple presents a clear image of a Mac-centric world, or in the case of the browser market, a desire for a duopoly, even though it is practically impossible given that Safari doesn't doesn't in Linux.

    Microsoft's goals are a lot murkier. Some people within Microsoft present the company image as a friendly company that is willing to work with partners and competitors in the spirit of "coopertition." The Port 25 guys are an example of people trying to pull this off.

    The company sometimes present a darker image of a company willing to do what it needs to do to remain on top, even if it is of questionable taste. An example of this would be Steve Ballmer stating Linux violates 235 patents, without stating what the patents are. Or the various offhand comments he has made about his competitors over the years. They show overconfidence and cockiness. Even though Steve is a horrible salesman, he is quite good at stirring the pot, just not always in the way Microsoft wants.

    Then there are the parts of Microsoft that are trying hard to be a part of the open source world, without being butchered alive. The CodePlex and MS Visual Studio Express efforts are examples of this.

    Everyone knows Microsoft values Windows to an extremely high degree. Why wouldn't they? It was the OS that got them to the top. Maybe in another world, OS/2 is the one Microsoft truly values. But the fact is, Windows isn't what makes Microsoft the big bucks. It's their other software, particularly Microsoft Office and Visual Studio. Both of which don't need to really depend on Windows. If within the next year, the whole world suddenly starts migrating to Linux, Microsoft wouldn't die. They would adjust to the new market and survive (possibly with wider profit margins too).

    In the unlikely event I would ever get to talk to Microsoft execs personally, I would have quite a lot to say to them. I have been using Microsoft software since I was six years old (I'm 18 now). I started with MS-DOS 5.0 and kept up all the way to Microsoft Windows Vista. I used Office, Windows, DOS, and I even tried out Xenix at one point. Microsoft did a lot right, and a lot wrong. But what they did right was force the UNIX vendors to change. Most of the UNIX distributions that were available in the 80s are dead now, but the ones that survived have learned their lesson from the UNIX wars era.

    In my opinion, UNIX was a great idea, and was even implemented rather well. But the vendors competing and making changes to cause incompatibilities screwed us all over. Microsoft brought home the important lesson of standardization, even if nowadays they don't quite follow it that much anymore.

    Now, with Windows' greatest competitor being Linux, Microsoft has a bit to worry about. Linux, even though it is fragmented into a multitude of distributions, remains largely compatible with each other. However, since a majority of distributions are not made by a company, Microsoft feels little worry from them because nobody really advertises for Linux.

    I think MS's business view is always the same. As Bill Gates puts it, distribute MS software anywhere possible. From the History of MS videos, Bill even mentioned how their software made into Apple computer was a big sucess ($$$$). Bill values Apple as a good opportinuty rather than a road block. And Office, Live Mesh, SilverLight, and many other things works on Macs and iPhone indicates that their mission is still the same.

    I am sure there are darker side of MS, but that's just what we all are. No one is perfect.

     

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    LeoDavidson

    The framework libraries aren't covered by the promise. Isn't that what everyone was worried about in the first place, rather than implementations of C# and IL?

    Why is it (and some other recent-ish statements from Microsoft) called a "Promise" rather than a licence? Or is it a licence that just has the word "Promise" in its name? Is it legally binding or is it like a normal promise in that it can be broken on a whim?

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    They had already done the split, so I don't understand the mention of that other than to appease the idiots.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    magicalclick said:
    LinWinOverlord said:
    *snip*

    I think MS's business view is always the same. As Bill Gates puts it, distribute MS software anywhere possible. From the History of MS videos, Bill even mentioned how their software made into Apple computer was a big sucess ($$$$). Bill values Apple as a good opportinuty rather than a road block. And Office, Live Mesh, SilverLight, and many other things works on Macs and iPhone indicates that their mission is still the same.

    I am sure there are darker side of MS, but that's just what we all are. No one is perfect.

     

    Really now. This is exactly the idiotic response I'd expect from someone who doesn't care/know and just wants to spread FUD.

    http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-335.htm

    The promise includes the BCL (base class libraries) in Partition IV of Ecma-335. It's not a license for legal reasons, and is certainly legally binding as a "promise".

  • User profile image
    rhm

    LeoDavidson said:

    The framework libraries aren't covered by the promise. Isn't that what everyone was worried about in the first place, rather than implementations of C# and IL?

    Why is it (and some other recent-ish statements from Microsoft) called a "Promise" rather than a licence? Or is it a licence that just has the word "Promise" in its name? Is it legally binding or is it like a normal promise in that it can be broken on a whim?

     

     

     

    Although Mono does have an implementation of WinForms, they are encouraging people to write new desktop apps using GTK# instead. It was always the goal of Mono to provide a better environment that existed under Linux at the time, for development new desktop apps - it's not an just an exercise in cloning an API to allow porting of Windows apps like Wine is.

  • User profile image
    LeoDavidson

    wkempf said:
    magicalclick said:
    *snip*

    Really now. This is exactly the idiotic response I'd expect from someone who doesn't care/know and just wants to spread FUD.

    http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-335.htm

    The promise includes the BCL (base class libraries) in Partition IV of Ecma-335. It's not a license for legal reasons, and is certainly legally binding as a "promise".

    Was that meant to be a reply to me?

    I wasn't trying to spread FUD -- and this would be a strange choice of forum to attempt that if I was -- I was just asking a question which didn't have an obvious answer from the articles I've read and my limited knowledge of Mono and the licencing debate.

    If I don't know something and wonder what the answer is I find asking a question can lead to an answer. Smiley

    Should we only talk about things we are expert in and only ever make declarative statements, while ignoring things which seem odd to us without asking others if our initial perceptions are correct?

    The promise includes the BCL (base class libraries) in Partition IV of Ecma-335.

    I didn't realise that. That sounds good. Dare I ask how the BCL and other framework libraries are partitioned? Is there significant stuff outside of the BCL? (I've written for C#.Net but I never concerned myself with which part of the framework anything was in as I wasn't writing for Mono and the distinction was never important. Similarl to how I rarely care if a function is part of kernel32.dll or user32.dll in Win32.)

    It's not a license for legal reasons, and is certainly legally binding as a "promise".

    Is there a page somewhere explaining that? (I'm not saying it's untrue! I just want to understand the reasons behind it as the idea of a corporation making promises still seems very odd and unique to me. Maybe it isn't but I don't remember other companies doing it and I don't understand exactly what it means, so I'm curious.)

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    LeoDavidson said:

    The framework libraries aren't covered by the promise. Isn't that what everyone was worried about in the first place, rather than implementations of C# and IL?

    Why is it (and some other recent-ish statements from Microsoft) called a "Promise" rather than a licence? Or is it a licence that just has the word "Promise" in its name? Is it legally binding or is it like a normal promise in that it can be broken on a whim?

     

     

     

    A license requires someone to agree to it in order to be bound by the terms and conditions of the license. A promise doesn't, it's simply a statement that defines the legal position of an entity.

    And, if you want an example of someone else making legal "promises", all UK banknotes contain the phrase "I promise to pay the bearer....", which is what makes them officially legal tender.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    LeoDavidson said:
    wkempf said:
    *snip*

    Is there a page somewhere explaining that? (I'm not saying it's untrue! I just want to understand the reasons behind it as the idea of a corporation making promises still seems very odd and unique to me. Maybe it isn't but I don't remember other companies doing it and I don't understand exactly what it means, so I'm curious.)

    The answer to one of your questions (legal binding) was in the direct article being discussed here. The answer to your other question was easy to obtain by searching out the Ecma specs that are covered and listed in that article.  So, I don't buy "I was just asking a question which didn't have an obvious answer from the articles I've read and my limited knowledge of Mono and the licencing debate".  THAT is why I considered your post to be deliberate FUD.  If it's not, then it's just as bad.  Don't comment on articles you've failed to read, please, especially when the comments can be taken as critical.

  • User profile image
    LeoDavidson

    wkempf said:
    LeoDavidson said:
    *snip*

    The answer to one of your questions (legal binding) was in the direct article being discussed here. The answer to your other question was easy to obtain by searching out the Ecma specs that are covered and listed in that article.  So, I don't buy "I was just asking a question which didn't have an obvious answer from the articles I've read and my limited knowledge of Mono and the licencing debate".  THAT is why I considered your post to be deliberate FUD.  If it's not, then it's just as bad.  Don't comment on articles you've failed to read, please, especially when the comments can be taken as critical.

    Where is it in the article? I still can't see it.

    After searching the page I see there was discussion in the comments below the article. I didn't read the comments below the article as I had just read two other articles + comments on the same subject and only skimmed the main article, not comments, of the one linked here. Humble apologies for not reading absolutely everything on the Internet before asking a question in a place where people might know the answer.

    Yes, I could read the ECMA specs. People could read the HTML5 specs in the other threads, too, but when people have asked questions in them which I know the answer to I've respond with the answer and a reference to the specs, rather than flame them for the audacity of asking a question because they haven't read every spec on everything they're curious about. Sheesh.

    Besides which, I'd only expect the ECMA spec to tell me what it did contain, not what it didn't. Maybe I'm wrong there, too, but it seems like a reasonable assumption based on other specs I've read. Of course, I could spend the next hour reading the ECMA spec and then comparing it to the .Net documentation to work out what's missing, but I'm not that interested in the answer. If someone already knows the answer and can provide it off the top of their head then I'm interested in knowing, just out of curiosity, but that's it.

     

  • User profile image
    LeoDavidson

    AndyC said:
    LeoDavidson said:
    *snip*

    A license requires someone to agree to it in order to be bound by the terms and conditions of the license. A promise doesn't, it's simply a statement that defines the legal position of an entity.

    And, if you want an example of someone else making legal "promises", all UK banknotes contain the phrase "I promise to pay the bearer....", which is what makes them officially legal tender.

    Thanks. I didn't realise "promise" meant something in law.

     

  • User profile image
    Royal​Schrubber

    wkempf said:
    LeoDavidson said:
    *snip*

    The answer to one of your questions (legal binding) was in the direct article being discussed here. The answer to your other question was easy to obtain by searching out the Ecma specs that are covered and listed in that article.  So, I don't buy "I was just asking a question which didn't have an obvious answer from the articles I've read and my limited knowledge of Mono and the licencing debate".  THAT is why I considered your post to be deliberate FUD.  If it's not, then it's just as bad.  Don't comment on articles you've failed to read, please, especially when the comments can be taken as critical.

    Calm down, Leo is new (welcome Smiley ) but he's not a trolling or anything. If I see this correctly he's asking for a site that explains legal binding of the promises. And you have failed providing us with one. Also I don't understand why one should read every spec before he's eligible to ask a question - this is not some private mailing list, forum is not just yours.

    On topic: I've been looking for it, I've read somewhere that certain public promises are legally binding, but I couldn't find anything about it. If anyone can find wiki page describing it would be great..

  • User profile image
    Ubuntu

    fknight said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

    Microsoft could GPL every bit of code they've ever written and renounce all patents and people would still say not to use it because "they still might sue you" or claim it's some kind of trick.

    Microsoft could GPL every bit of code they've ever written and renounce all patents and people would still say not to use it because "they still might sue you" or claim it's some kind of trick.

    M$ has the opportunity to settle this issue once and for all by sending their .net patents to /dev/null but they CHOOSE not to - instead they give a promise not to sue you similar to the promise not to sue you for using the ribbon in your apps. Now why do they do that? To keep their options open. Patents are the reason why a horizontal ribbon shouldn't be ever implemented in OpenOffice and why this is a serious danger, and only fools would ignore it until the day it actually happens. Of course M$ apologists like you defend these M$ 'good will' promises the following argument: since M$ couldn't satisfy everybody no matter what it did then it can just as well screw everybody which is what it has always done.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    LeoDavidson said:
    wkempf said:
    *snip*

    Where is it in the article? I still can't see it.

    After searching the page I see there was discussion in the comments below the article. I didn't read the comments below the article as I had just read two other articles + comments on the same subject and only skimmed the main article, not comments, of the one linked here. Humble apologies for not reading absolutely everything on the Internet before asking a question in a place where people might know the answer.

    Yes, I could read the ECMA specs. People could read the HTML5 specs in the other threads, too, but when people have asked questions in them which I know the answer to I've respond with the answer and a reference to the specs, rather than flame them for the audacity of asking a question because they haven't read every spec on everything they're curious about. Sheesh.

    Besides which, I'd only expect the ECMA spec to tell me what it did contain, not what it didn't. Maybe I'm wrong there, too, but it seems like a reasonable assumption based on other specs I've read. Of course, I could spend the next hour reading the ECMA spec and then comparing it to the .Net documentation to work out what's missing, but I'm not that interested in the answer. If someone already knows the answer and can provide it off the top of their head then I'm interested in knowing, just out of curiosity, but that's it.

     

    If the first sentence in the article isn't good enough for you (understandable, I suppose) then the directly linked document from that sentence states things in pretty blunt form.  That's actually where the comments in the article get their quotes from.  So, it's implied in the first sentence, spelled out in the document linked by the first sentence, and discussed in the comments to the article.  So the statement "Humble apologies for not reading absolutely everything on the Internet before asking a question in a place where people might know the answer" isn't really an appology, and is fairly insulting.  I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but stop and think about this from my point of view.  I can forgive an honest mistake, but the evidence was strong that it wasn't an honest mistake.  I'll take your word for it that it was, but don't go painting me as the bad guy, when it was your mistake.

    I didn't "flame" you for not reading the specs.  *I* haven't fully read the specs.  But the answer to all of your questions were readily available by skimming the article, the linked document on the Open Promise and the overview page on the Ecma specs.  Finding these answers should have taken less than 5 minutes, with less effort than posting here.  I might also point out that your post stated "The framework libraries aren't covered by the promise."  That's an erroneous statement of fact, not a question.  You can hardly blame me for assuming this was intentional FUD.

    Now, as to extacly what the spec contains, that's NOT a question you originally asked.  It covers the compiler, the byte code, the CLR and the BCL.  The BCL does not include libraries such as WinForms, ASP.NET, WPF, WF, WCF, etc.  Of course, that fact will now be the spin applied by the FUDsters, but the fact is, this whole tempest in a teacup has been about Ubuntu including some application that are dependent on Mono in the main distribution, and those applications are not dependent on any of the libraries not covered by this promise.

    I'm sorry if I over reacted, but the FUDsters get on my nerves, and your original post very much appeared to be FUD.

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