Mono Back and Forth: Already Part of GNOME Standard Installation in Lenny

Jul 07, 2009

The Debian community has been arguing over the last few weeks about whether Mono should be part of the standard Debian installation. Now it appears that it has already been an integral part of the sofware ever since Lenny.

Debian spokesperson Alexander "Tolimar" Reichle-Schmehl's recent attempt to explain the GNOME project's position on including Mono in the standard Debian installation to FSF's Richard Stallman seems to have run aground. Reichle-Schmehl was mistaken on two counts, he admits in a recent blog.

It appears that the controversial C#-based Mono is already more than recommended in Lenny 5.0. The new Debian installer for Lenny is the gnome metapackage that installs it by default rather than the thinner gnome-desktop-environment used in previous versions that does not. The gnome metapackage pulls in the Mono-based Tomboy note-taking software such that the complete Mono components are installed. Only the CD installation without Internet connection is Mono-free, because Tomboy and its other Mono dependencies aren't included on the CD.

Tolimar would prefer to summarize the situation as, "Debian might install Mono with its GNOME install media, but that can still change." Up to now the dependency on Mono was based on a nonbinding recommendation, although Tolimar suggests your "Joe Average" will now have the dependency choice of Tomboy or the non-Mono Gnote during installation. The dispute over Mono in Debian ignited after Debian developers wanted to extend the simple Mono recommendation to a dependency, so it seems that the dispute might continue for some time to come.

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