I’m a simple man (just like in the Lynyrd Skynyrd song). The reason I switched from Windows to Linux was a very simple one too: freedom. I had almost $30,000 worth of pirated software on my Windows machine (that’s the Windows way to use a computer, you see) and one day I thought to myself “There are people working hard to develop these software and whether I like it or not they are charging for it. If you don’t like that then don’t use them”. That’s how I swept my harddrive clean and went completely free software; cold turkey.
I used Ubuntu exclusively for about 3 years, before that I tried out Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSuSE and a couple of others. I liked Ubuntu and made a lot of people switched to it, too. But here I am, an Ubuntu enthusiast, using Fedora 11 now. And the reason is again simple: freedom.
There’s a lot of hype/war on the “Mono issue” lately but I don’t want to get into all that. My opinion is, yet again, simple: nothing related to Microsoft, please. Microsoft proved themselves to be evil every step of the way. They don’t like free software, they don’t like people using free software, they don’t like companies that bundle their hardware with free software. All of these can be fine until they start bribing judges, pressuring governments (governments for crying out loud!), blackmailing OEM’s, using their licenses against every single computer user they can. We have seen a couple of their trojan horses of licenses (just a quick look at http://www.groklaw.net/ would suffice) which means we cannot and more importantly should not trust anything coming from Microsoft.
Back to the original subject, if Ubuntu would only be providing softwares developed with Mono then I would be fine with that. But almost whenever there’s a thread about Mono on Ubuntuforums or an idea on Brainstorm and it’s going in a negative way, either the thread gets locked or deleted. Why is Ubuntu defending Mono? Shouldn’t Mono developers be the ones that should defend Mono? If they’re saying that “It’s totally up to the developers whether we will go with or without Mono” then fine, I would know that Ubuntu is no more a community driven distribution and I made the right call switching back to Fedora.
From now on I’m not using Ubuntu nor will I offer other people to use it. Fedora is even considering removing Mono let alone bundling the distro with Mono applications. Ubuntu is not the only newb-friendly distro out there. That’s the great thing about freedom, you see: I am free to choose.