Re: Where we stand in regard to the future platform / desktop technology

On Sun, 2004-03-28 at 12:35, Miguel de Icaza wrote:
> Every time you mention Java and GNU Classpath, please make sure to
> underline the fact that there is also no guarantee from Sun that they
> wont sue an open source java or open source projects for the use of
> their APIs.
> As things stand right now, if we get a public letter from Microsoft on
> the ECMA core, it is a much better position to be in, than on the Java
> case, where we do not even have guarantees over things as basic as 
> `System.Object'. 

I don't agree that C# and Java are equivalent. Here are some of the
issues from a non-lawyer:

 1. Most patents covering the JVM probably cover Mono also - obvious 
    when you consider that IKVM works. Sun could sue to block 
    Mono/C# (and has clear motive to do so). There are a few other 
    companies with similar ability and motive.

 2. I believe there are fewer and weaker patents affecting Java than 

 3. If there were a lawsuit involving Java, many defenders with large 
    patent portfolios would potentially get involved. But 
    nobody has an interest in defending Mono, while they have billions 
    of dollars riding on Java.

 4. People are already shipping Java so already vulnerable, due to the 
    server side. Mono can only add risk, the Java risk has been taken

 5. Microsoft has made it 100% clear that they _will_ take action if 
    someone ships the stuff outside the ECMA core. Why are we even 
    implementing that stuff?

 6. Sun does have dependencies on and reasons to negotiate with the 
    Linux and open source communities, while Microsoft does not.

 7. Sun has a lot less money to spend than Microsoft.

This is not a black and white issue, you have to do a full risk analysis
considering all the factors.

If we take it as black and white, then Mono and Java are both out of the
question, even with the Microsoft letter. Let's start improving our C
and Python solutions.


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