The unholy quad: Miguel, Mono, Moonlight and Microsoft
Has he realised that his own project, Mono, is actually putting GNOME on a development track that can leave it open to patent claims one day? And has he realised that creating Moonlight, a clone of Microsoft's Silverlight, (with which the company hopes to trump Adobe's Flash) is not going to advance the cause of free software one iota?
One iTWire reader thinks de Icaza may have realised the folly of his ways and pointed me to a discussion on the comp.os.linux.advocacy Usenet group where several questions were asked of him.
Wrote this reader (who hasn't yet given me permission to use his name): "De Icaza recently engaged in a discussion in a Usenet group, in which he was grilled extensively over his opinions of Microsoft; patents; Novell and related issues. The arguments against his position were quite overwhelming, and I speculate they may even have been sufficient to cause him to re-evaluate that position."
If de Icaza did stand up on the morrow and make a public mea culpa I would be happy to give him credit for it. Sadly, I don't think he has reached that stage or that he ever will.
Nevertheless, this Usenet conversation has some points of interest. It illustrates again the way in which de Icaza, who by all accounts is a man with a very high IQ, refuses to look down the line and draw reasonable conclusions.
When asked "To what degree do you trust Microsoft, either in terms of their promises; their motivations; or their commitment to a competing platform like Linux?" he chooses to trivialise the question by responding "This is a question that is suitable for Teen magazine or Cosmo."
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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.