The Ubuntu Technical Board has been asked for a position statement on the use of C#, specifically the Mono implementation, by applications in Ubuntu.
These applications, as well as the Mono stack, were proposed for inclusion like any other application and underwent the same review process that all new applications and platforms undergo before being accepted into the archive. With specific regard to the default installed application set, applications have been reviewed and compared against each other on merit and features. These often take place during the Ubuntu Developer Summits, most recently over the default media player. A common concern cited about Mono is the patent position, largely it seems due to the originator of the C# language and associated ECMA standards. The Ubuntu Project takes patent issues seriously, and the Ubuntu Technical Board is the governance body that handles allegations of patent infringement. The Ubuntu Technical Board strives to engage with rights holder openly in terms of the code that we ship. If a rights holder claims a patent infringement applies to said code, the Technical Board will commit to a review of the claim. The Ubuntu Technical Board has received no claims of infringement against the Mono stack, and is not aware of any such claims having been received by other similar projects. It is common practice in the software industry to register patents as protection against litigation, rather than as an intent to litigate. Thus mere existence of a patent, without a claim of infringement, is not sufficient reason to warrant exclusion from the Ubuntu Project. (While the Ubuntu project wishes to be responsive to patent infringement claims, we cannot commit to the assessment and review of claims made by anyone other than the registered rights holder.) Given the above, the Ubuntu Technical Board sees no reason to exclude Mono or applications based upon it from the archive, or from the default installation set. Since the Mono stack is already a dependency of the default installation set for many remixes of Ubuntu, including the Desktop Edition, there is no reason to consider a dependency on Mono as an issue when suggesting applications for the default set. (Other remixes may obviously consider the CD Size implications if an application would introduce the Mono platform to the set.) Scott on behalf of the Ubuntu Technical Board -- Scott James Remnant sc...@ubuntu.com
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