Microsoft lessening commitment to IronPython and IronRuby

Ben Finney ben+python at
Thu Aug 12 01:52:29 CEST 2010

Jason Earl <jearl at> writes:

> Which is more of a promise than Microsoft has given to Python. I am
> not arguing for Mono, as I am not a fan. But if you honestly think
> that Python doesn't infringe on some of Microsoft's patents you are
> crazy.

It's quite true that anyone can be sued, at any time, for anything. And
any program can, because of the crazy patent system in many countries,
be infringing any (usually large) number of software idea patent claims,
without the programmers having done anything unusual to cause that

Microsoft, or any other party for that matter, very well may have any
number of software idea patents that could be interpreted to cover
Python's code.

The main difference in the case of Mono is that Microsoft has widely and
repeatedly asserted that such patents do exist, their assertions seem
quite plausible since they wrote the specifications on which Mono is
implemented, its “Community Promise” very carefully does *not* grant any
kind of binding permission to implement or use software ideas from those
patents, and it has consistently wielded other such patents aggressively
and maintains the willingness to continue to do so.

None of that is true for Python. Which is why people aren't saying
Python is a patent trap, but rather that Mono is.

 \        “Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so |
  `\     why should they care about it?” —Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG, 2006 |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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