Ubuntu Sets Example by Defying Mono Threats
The Ubuntu Technical Board recently sanctioned continued use of Mono. At the risk of complicating Ubuntu’s strategy for the corporate market, this move positions the operating system to take a tough stance against patent trolls, which should serve as an example for weaker-kneed Linux distributions. Here’s why.
Since its release in 2004, Mono’s use by open-source developers has been controversial. Nonetheless, Mono has been used to build numerous open-source applications, including F-Spot photo manager, Tomboy notes and the Evolution contact suite, which have been included by default in the desktop version of Ubuntu for several releases.
While its position on Mono presents some risks and harms the operating system’s image among corporate customers and free-software militants, Ubuntu’s decision should serve as an inspiration to other Linux distributions. Surrendering to a theoretical legal threat before it has any tangible traction is not the way to innovate or advance the cause of free software.