And a mono skeptic like me would vote, (by this very blog post by the way) by saying, "I, Chao-Kuei Hung, recommend my employer, Chaoyang University of Technology, to use software linked with gtk and qt. I am willing to donate one full year's salary to my Univ if my Univ ever has to pay for patents directly related to this library, for example by migrating to other libraries as a result of the patent threat, or by agreeing to license the patents when they are disclosed." BtW, one can vote for more than one library, as I did.

Now, the point is not that the employer would really accept the recommendation because of the assurance of a non-lawyer Chao-Kuei Hung. (In fact my Univ completely ignores even my repeated recommendations to use ODF for long term archiving considerations. They wouldn't even know what mono is, and they wouldn't care even if I were a law professor.) And the point is not that anyone would care about me losing one year's salary to my employer when bad things about patents happen. The point is that the voter dares to bet his reputation for the software libraries that he considers safer in terms of legal threats. It doesn't have to be one year's salary -- you can propose any amount you feel comfortable with. Nor is it important how much each voter's reputation counts. The more reputation a voter has and/or the more money he bets, the more he risks, and the more credit/weight his vote would naturally carry. In other words, not all votes are equal.

The world at large can then have a good picture of how (legally) safe each of these groups -- the mono advocates, gtk advocates, and qt advocates -- really think and feel about what they advocate. Now of course, Microsoft employees' mono votes won't carry any significance since their employer is the very source of these worrisome patent threats. Novell employees' votes won't carry much weight to the rest of the world either since their company's legal safety is covered by some controversial interesting agreement between Microsoft and Novell. Similarly, [please help me fill in some company names here] employees don't count for the gtk votes, and Trolltech employees don't count for the qt votes. RMS's vote wouldn't carry much weight because he does not receive salary from FSF (correct me if I am wrong) and because we would not be too surprised even if he donates his one year's income to FSF for no obvious reasons ;-) Anonymous comments about mono would carry exactly zero weight because it can never be verified whether these people eventually donate any money at all to any unfortunate company attacked by some looming software patents. There is nothing specific against these people; their exclusion or relative insignificance (in this vote) is simple logic.

Hopefully from now on everyone will declare his/her vote before forcing their opinions about the mono issues upon others, and this will become the most convincing way of advocating for any library -- mono or any alternatives -- to the largely unenlightened public.

Please comment about logic, feasibility, English grammar, spelling, etc. Personal attacks directing at Richard Stallman, Miguel de Icaza, Pamela Jones, Jo Shields, Carla Schroder, or any individual will not be deleted. These comments will receive personalized taunts and ridicules with logic. (OK, I can't promise, but I will try my best.)