Where are the trolls now?

I've been seeing alot of nonsense and FUD about Mono, Fedora, Gnome and whatnot bloating the intertubes. In some ways it's really bizarre to consider Mono dangerous when one of the chief developers of GHC and Haskell works gladly for Microsoft.

You can see on Simon Peyton-Jones' Microsoft Research Profile page here that he gladly works for the great evil Microsoft. Despite that, the Haskell community has been relatively FUD free, and there has been very little suspicion of interference by Microsoft. Much of Simon's work in Microsoft has gone on to influence F#, which, yes, is a key part of the .Net/Mono offering.

Personally, i'm quite happy to see GHC and Haskell code in Fedora. I don't quite get what all the fuss is about.

4 flames:

Maxious zei

The supposed threat is that Novell and Microsoft will "infect" Gnome and thus most major linux distributions with patent infringing code via Mono. Then when the time is right (Mono and Gnome become inseparable? Most Linux installations have the required versions of Gnome/Mono?) Microsoft begins legal actions. Even if they were defeated (which is the rational conclusion considering they have licenced these patents to Novell for use in Mono), the ensuing fear and uncertainty in businesses and consumers would pay off. Supposedly.

MichaelF zei

Hey Yaakov,

I used to work for a Microsoft shop (www.webcentral.com.au, 6yrs) and I'm a FOSS / Fedora contributor :-)

While their management are evil-clueless, their techs aren't by and large - I still keep in touch with many, I'm actually going to a seminar run by one of my old proteges at their Brisbane office tomorrow around "Open Source" - which really extends to "Running PHP on IIS" (It is just hideous BTW)

I taught the main presenter all he knows around OSS and PHP and am going to see how much he still remembers properly, and keep him on his toes :-)

Given that MS are .NET-all-the-way - they suffer from intractable Not Invented Here syndrome - they probably don't care too much about Haskell and are quite happy to let him hack on it to his heart's content.

Yankee zei

Well, my opinion is that hiring Peyton-Jones is one of those few charities that Microsoft has done to the hacker community at large. It really enabled him to work on Haskell more, to everyone's benefit. Perhaps if Microsoft used his skills more, they might write better software ;).

Still, the FUD is silly and annoying.

AdamW zei

I think Michael F. nailed it. There's lots of good (as in 'competent' and as in 'not evil') tech guys working at Microsoft; it's very unlikely that a company of that size would be so consistently bad as to never hire anyone who was actually a good coder. And when they're working away on a little project which doesn't really register up in the management clouds, it's all fine and things can proceed in a quite un-screwed-up manner. It's when something hits the strategic level of experience and starts being senior-managed and CxO'ed to death that the poop hits the fan. .NET is part of Microsoft's platform play for the next decade or so, and has a _lot_ of investment in it by the bits of Microsoft that are historically known to be quite psychopathic in their relationship with the rest of the tech world. Neither of those things applies to Haskell. So on that level, it's not a contradiction to be OK with Haskell but not Mono.