Fusion Linux going Mono free?

As you probably know Fusion Linux is a Fedora Remix that uses quite a few Mono based applications. We had requests in the past to remove all Mono based apps from Fusion Linux, but those were no constructive criticism and suggestions but just bunch of people shouting “We hate mono”.
Apps that were supposed to replace Mono based ones were non-existent or if they existed they were nowhere near the Mono based ones regarding quality and features. We didn’t see any point in removing apps and disabling features that our users want just because of some Mono haters are out there are shouting “We hate mono”, and they weren’t even using Fusion Linux!
If they were Fusion Linux users then we would listen to them and work together with moving away from Mono.
Biggest issue I have with Mono is the size of Mono library that needs to be installed as a dependency for any of the apps – Gnome-Do, Tomboy, F-Spot, Beagle or Banshee. So there is no point if you replace 4 out of 5 because you still have Mono library installed.
The good news is that I might have found replacement for the last Mono based app that I didn’t find before – Gnome-Do.
Today I have discovered Synapse written by Michal Hruby written in Vala. I’ll be testing Synapse to see how it works, if you have used both Gnome-Do and Synapse please share your feedback on both.
Here is the list of alternatives that I have found so far, please post any other in the comments if you know:
Tomboy – GNote
Gnome-Do – Synapse
Banshee – Rhythmbox
Beagle – Tracker
F-Spot – Shotwell
Also please post in the comments if you agree or disagree with the move away from Mono, also write in the comments if you are Fusion, Fedora, Ubuntu or user of any other distro.

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18 Responses to Fusion Linux going Mono free?

  1. Piotr Drąg says:

    Do you still use Beagle? You know it’s dead software, right?

  2. John says:

    Valent: Good for you that you are looking at making Fusion mono free! It is an important step to make sure that you and your users will not be subjected to possible lawsuits by the company/companies that own mono related patents (guess who). This is no mono hate, just simple logic. Fedora is about Freedom. Shouldn’t Fusion which is a Fedora Remix be about Freedom too? If you agree then mono has no place in Fusion as the mono related patents limit your and your users freedom.

    So thanks for looking at removing mono and all mono apps. I use GNote, Shotwell, Rhythmbox and Tracker every day and for me they are excellent apps. I have no experience with Synapse so can not comment on that. Best of luck integrating GNote, Shotwell, Rhythmbox, Tracker and Synapse in your next release!

    • valent says:

      Thank you for your comment. As I said before legally it is probably not much different if Fedora has mono in their repos or on their Live CD version. If there were any patent issues then awesome Red Hat lawyers would already made Fedore remove Mono packages from repos. Until that happens I see 0% of patent lawsuits.

      • Justin says:

        @valent – With regards to patents, I am happy to see you responding so reasonably. Between the MCP, the Apache 2.0 license, specific patent grants, and estoppel, Mono is probably one of the least risky things in a Linux distro. The level of misinformation around Mono is just irritating and it is refreshing to hear a voice of reason.

        If you can find Vala apps that are just as good then I see no reason not to use them of course. The Elementary guys are doing some interesting things with Vala. I hope that we see more and more Vala used on the Linux desktop. Please do not replace better apps with worse ones just to avoid Mono though.

        Personally, I would be adding Mono to Fusion even if it was missing. The framework is large but then apps that use it can be small. And there are more great Mono apps than just the ones you list. For example, many regular users would probably be happier with Pinta than the Gimp. You just got back a lot of the space right there. And you can replace Gnome-Do if you like but I still want my Docky.

  3. valent says:

    Difference between Mono and non Mono replacement is around 110 MB:

    # yum remove mono-core
    Remove 34 Package(s)
    Installed size: 141 M

    # yum install gnote synapse rhythmbox shotwell
    Install 11 Package(s)
    Total download size: 8.8 M
    Installed size: 29 M

  4. lagenda says:

    I am Mepis 11 user. I dont use all apps about. i prefered distro without pulseaudio. like Mepis. Thanks u..

    • valent says:

      We had no complaints related to any audio issues so I would be interested what is the benefit of a distro that doesn’t have pulseaudio?

  5. Well, I personally like Banshee a lot than Rhythmbox. it has a lot more features. And Synapse is great too, perhaps better looking than gnome do and has zeitgeist integration too.. I don’t want to argue about mono and I don’t see any point in it. If it is about freedom, why I’m being threatened of patent lawsuits? Even a project as big as gnome is not mono free. So why not give the users the best experience forgetting if it is mono or not? If we remove mono, still the size won’t fit a CD. So cannot we afford few more MBs for a better experience?

  6. valent says:

    Thank you for your comment, are you an active Fusion Linux user? Please come to our forums and if you have any further ideas and suggestions lets work together and see if we can implement them.

    • Satya says:

      I’m a Fedora user actually and also the maintainer of Fedora Utils – http://fedorautils.sf.net. I also have Linux Mint installed. I’m downloading Fusion Linux to try and connection is slow here:) I’ll join the forums obviously.

  7. foo says:

    That is fucking ironic. Removing free software from a distro that aims to add more non-free stuff.

    • Steve Ballmer says:

      It’s being replaced by software that is not only free but also superior in every possible way. I guess you must be a Monotard.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t see the point in sacrificing functionality to appease a few that wear tinfoil hats.

    • valent says:

      Me neither, that is why I didn’t think about it before I found replacements with which we would not loose any functionality. Fusion users will vote on this on our forum and mailing list.

  9. David says:

    Hmm, recently installed this to my laptops after trying it out with the LiveDVD. Quite nice, and while I’ve no personal issue with Mono, I never find myself using any of it’s apps that I’m aware of, and frankly, F-Spot is more annoying than anything. The apps you’ve listed (Rhythmbox, Tracker, Shotwell) are apps I regularly use with other distros, and have no issue with them, or their functionality. I am in favour of this move, as it will free up unnecessary dependencies, and still leave us with plenty of functionality. I really don’t see anything to “lose”. Nothing “tinfoil hat” about it, just simple practicality.

    I look forward to this move, and am in the process of signing up to the forum just as soon as i post this. I very much like a lot of what has been done/achieved with this remix, and look forward to seeing where things go from here. Use what works. I always do. And the alternatives listed work great from my experience. 🙂


  10. Steve Ballmer says:

    People don’t hate Mono for no reason – it’s just that the reasons are so blindingly obvious that it seems pointless to list them.

    It’s dog slow, it’s bloated, it duplicates a large portion of the underlying GNOME platform and it’s generally used by people who care about features and simplicity but have no clue about software engineering.

    It’s awful performance means it’s not suitable for low spec machines — which happen to be a re-emerging majority in the form of netbooks, tablets, media centres etc.

    It’s insane bloat means it takes a disproportionate slice of any LiveCD it has to be bundled on.

    It’s developers care too much about cross-compatibility with Windows, which is frankly a waste of time and leads to yet more bloat. How many free software developers seriously care about adding value to the Windows platform?

    The Vala and C apps you listed have already overtaken these awful Mono apps in terms of quality and performance and have demonstrated that when it comes to the long haul, Mono developers and their disgusting framework just aren’t up to the task.

  11. Cheers! It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy

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