You may recall that I posted an article last year, voicing my concerns that Fedora (and indeed most distros) was being slowly poisoned by Microsoft's encumbered C# technology, in the form of Mono. Well now it seems that Beagle (Novell/Gnome search tool) developer, Debajyoti Bera, wants to extend that infestation even further, by converting Beagle's support libraries to Mono too.
We would be extremely happy if beagle only used C# for all its operations. Unfortunately, we have to depend on a lot of C libraries for indexing certain files.
At the time of my original article, there was quite a furore, both here and on BoycottNovell, resulting in screams of denials from the various parties involved in this corruption. One specific denial was that Yelp's (the Gnome help system) new dependency on libbeagle (a support library for Beagle, which is written in Mono) did not mean that Gnome was set to become dependant on Mono, since libbeagle itself is written in C.
Certainly, libbeagle is an optional dependency, but this is only an option during the build process. The default package selection and dependencies means that, for most hapless Fedora (and other distro) users, the reality is that libbeagle is not optional at all, unless they delegate to remove Yelp also, thus depriving themselves of a fundamental part of Gnome - its help system. One could also rebuild Yelp to remove such undesirable dependencies, but again the reality is that most users will not have the skills to do so, or frankly even be aware that their systems are infected. Given the size and complexity of the Gnome project, it may not even be possible to remove these encumbered components in the future, without a massive undertaking to produce a fork of the entire Gnome Desktop.
If Bera gets his wish, then the future of Gnome looks very bleak for Free Software advocates.
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