FSF Announces Support of Free Software Projects to Replace Components of Microsoft .NET

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Media Contact: Free Software Foundation
Bradley M. Kuhn <pr@gnu.org>
Phone: +1-617-542-5942

Boston, Massachusetts, USA - Monday, July 9, 2001 - The Free Software Foundation announced today the support of two Free Software projects, Mono and DotGNU, that will offer Free Software alternatives to components of Microsoft's .NET system. The Mono and DotGNU projects will each offer different but complementary solutions.

The Mono Project is a community initiative to develop a Free Software, GNU/Linux-based version of the Microsoft .NET development platform. Incorporating key .NET compliant components, including a C# compiler, a Common Language Runtime just-in-time compiler, and a full suite of class libraries, the Mono Project will enable developers to create .NET applications and run them on Windows or any Mono-supported platform, including GNU/Linux and Unix. The Mono Project is led by Ximian, the Free Software company co-founded by Miguel de Icaza, who has led GNU's GNOME desktop environment to great success. The URL for the project is http://www.go-mono.net.

The DotGNU Project is a community initiative to develop Free Software enabling decentralized services and authentication. The DotGNU Project is led by David Sugar, who also maintains Bayonne, the GNU telephony system, and has recently been named the CTO of FreeDevelopers. DotGNU is centered at Savannah, the GNU developer collaboration site. The URL for Savannah is http://savannah.gnu.org.

Richard M. Stallman, founder of the GNU project and president of the Free Software Foundation, said: “With Mono and DotGNU, we hope to provide good alternatives to components of .NET, ones that will respect your freedom, and your privacy. You will be able to use the facilities of Mono and DotGNU either with, or without, the Internet, and using servers of your choice.”

“We are taking the lead in providing an upgraded development platform that enables Unix and GNU/Linux developers to capitalize on the .NET framework. By having the Mono Project reuse the work from the GNU and GNOME project, we can greatly accelerate the development process,” said Miguel de Icaza, co-founder and chief technical officer at Ximian.

Stallman added: “Mono will enable you to run your C# programs on the free GNU/Linux operating system using exclusively free software. With Mono, you will be able to use C# if you wish, without surrendering your freedom to study, share, change, and generally control all the software that you use.”

Sugar noted that DotGNU will avoid the centralization of services threatened by .NET, saying: “We see no technological reason to have services hosted and deployed from a single service provider. DotGNU will scale so that anyone can develop and deploy network services, whether they be an individual, large corporation, small business or government. Distributed authentication can assure users' freedom and privacy, as well as the privacy and integrity for commercial and government organizations.”

These two GNU efforts will insure that both commercial and non-commercial users will have equal freedom to innovate with these new technologies.

About GNU:

GNU is a Free Software Unix-like operating system. Development of GNU began in 1984.

GNU/Linux is the integrated combination of the GNU operating system with the kernel, Linux, written by Linus Torvalds in 1991. The various versions of GNU/Linux have an estimated 20 million users.

Some people call the GNU/Linux system “Linux”, but this misnomer leads to confusion (people cannot tell whether you mean the whole system or the kernel, one part), and spreads an inaccurate picture of how, when and where the system was developed. Making a consistent distinction between GNU/Linux, the whole operating system, and Linux, the kernel, is the best way to clear up the confusion.

About Savannah:

Savannah is a development collaboration site which is used for collaboration and cooperation among GNU developers. It provides CVS servers, ToDo lists, and (with our other servers) mailing lists, and web site services. It uses a version of the SourceForge software, adapted by GNU volunteers. Savannah can be found at http://savannah.gnu.org/.

About the Free Software Foundation:

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software—particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants—and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software. Their web site, located at http://www.gnu.org, is an important source of information about GNU/Linux. They are headquartered in Boston, MA, USA.