Linked by David Adams on Tue 27th Jul 2010 07:35 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Linux Some people hate the idea of adding proprietary software to their desktop Linux. For these people, there are Linux distributions such as gNewSense that use only free software. For the rest of us, who use distributions such as Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu, there are times we either want to, or feel forced to, add proprietary programs such as Adobe Flash or Skype or the ability to play proprietary audio and video formats such as MP3 or commercial DVDs to your Linux desktop. Here's how to do it.
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D'oh!
by marcp on Tue 27th Jul 2010 08:49 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

Well, actually you are *not* forced to do it. Even more: by doing it you are helping them grow strong and de facto a standard for the masses.
Not using it = not supporting it.
Flash can be played without Adobe Plugin [mplayerplug-in for FX], and there are numerous apps for video conferencing, not only Skype ...

Personally I don't use it because I simply don't trust it. Adobe and Skype had many security and privacy issues in the past and they [Adobe Inc. and Skype] are still showing me that they actually don't care about users security.

Reply Score: 4

RE: D'oh!
by Kivada on Tue 27th Jul 2010 10:20 UTC in reply to "D'oh!"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Install the support for it anyways or you'll never get the marketshare to justify the content creators switching formats.

You have to have the better format BEFORE the proprietary one comes along to have a snowball's chance in hell at getting general acceptance of an open format. So far the "better open format" has always come up late to the party causing guys like you to endlessly bemoan that nobody is using the open format.

With what had been learned from Theora, VP8, Dirac, Flac and Vorbis the community should have thr groundwork to start on the next generation video codec that will be used for whatever they decide to use for 3D broadcast TV or the next BluRay. If you don't beat MPEG-LA out of the door you'll never get accepted.

So write the next codec and get it working on everything everywhere, don't stop till it runs on your breakfast cereal.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: D'oh!
by Rahul on Tue 27th Jul 2010 12:25 UTC in reply to "RE: D'oh!"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

That frames the debate as purely technical but it is not. Vorbis is undeniably superior to MP3 but MP3 is still very popular. Open formats were not always late to the party either. If a so called superior format is patent encumbered, it presents more than just a technical challenge. It is also a debate about who has control and the political implications of that. Google doesn't want MPEGLA in charge and has spend millions now buying up VP8 and opening it up as WebM.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: D'oh!
by tony on Tue 27th Jul 2010 15:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: D'oh!"
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

That frames the debate as purely technical but it is not. Vorbis is undeniably superior to MP3 but MP3 is still very popular. Open formats were not always late to the party either. If a so called superior format is patent encumbered, it presents more than just a technical challenge. It is also a debate about who has control and the political implications of that. Google doesn't want MPEGLA in charge and has spend millions now buying up VP8 and opening it up as WebM.


MP3 is popular because it was widely implemented first, and it thus became entrenched. It's now ubiquitous, and there's not enough wrong with MP3 on a technical/implementation level to go through the trouble of shifting entire ecosystems from one format to another. Consumers for the most part just don't care.

The only two companies I can think of that would have the clout to cause a shift to Vorbis are Apple and Amazon, and I don't think either of them care enough. Apple has their own codec, but Amazon probably doesn't want the user headache when users accidentally download the a codec that isn't supported on their player.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: D'oh!
by Kivada on Wed 28th Jul 2010 07:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: D'oh!"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Where did I say it was purely technical? Vorbis may be better, but that doesn't matter, you just can't ovetake the momentum of MP3, it's a "good enough" format for the masses using a sub $20 set of headphones since if they are going to spend money on a sound system it's all going to be poured into making their car BOOM louder, thus further lowering the sound quality of the drivel they listen to.

If you want to overtake MP3 you've gotta come up with a format that ends up on the next big device that sells like shrooms at a Greatful Dead concert that can easily and at least decently transcode from MP3.

Just look at M4A/AAC and WMA, Apple and MS both tried to take out MP3 and both failed miserably.

Is there a phone on the market that has storage that can't play MP3? How about car CD player? Is there any music player for a non OSS system released in the last 10 years that didn't have playback support?

So again, it's not about being better, its about being first and getting on to consumer devices first, being better is actually an afterthought for 99% of people unfortunately.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: D'oh!
by Rahul on Wed 28th Jul 2010 07:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: D'oh!"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

Your requirements are not feasible. MP3 is a lossy format. Conversion from one lossy format to another is just going to result in bad quality. This cannot be fixed. Vorbis is open and patent unencumbered and superior audio format and part of WebM.

Adoption is lead by popular usage. Youtube's usage of WebM guarantees that it can succeed in the market.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: D'oh!
by sPAZbEAT on Fri 30th Jul 2010 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: D'oh!"
sPAZbEAT Member since:
2009-07-17

from consumers perspective, the biggest trouble with media formats is the insanely multifarious codecs. "codecs" may be the foulest of curse words in modern western culture. any day now I expect to hear a top40 humor song named, "a boy named codec".

slight digression: one problem apple has in introducing/leading anything cross platform is that their updater pops up often with half a cd's megabytage of download.

Reply Score: 1

...
by Hiev on Tue 27th Jul 2010 13:34 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

When to install propietary software?

When there is no free alternative or the free alternative is not good enougth.

Reply Score: 8

RE: ...
by dylansmrjones on Tue 27th Jul 2010 13:59 UTC in reply to "..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Very nicely put. It doesn't get simpler ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by WorknMan on Tue 27th Jul 2010 19:27 UTC in reply to "..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

When to install propietary software?

When there is no free alternative or the free alternative is not good enougth.


Very nicely put... the article summed up in 2 sentences.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by lemur2 on Thu 29th Jul 2010 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"When to install propietary software?

When there is no free alternative or the free alternative is not good enougth.


Very nicely put... the article summed up in 2 sentences.
"

It was very nicely put. The thing that they forgot to tell you, though, is that the cases where "the free alternative is not good enough" are extremely rare.

In most cases I can get an open source application for my KDE4 desktop that is better than, or at least as good as, any proprietary desktop application. I am talking here about over 95% of the people using a desktop ... every application they would normally use is well catered for by an open source application. The vast majority of their desktop applications would be better than closed-source proprietary equivalent applications.

That is very much a story that commercial software interests don't want people to know. Nevertheless, it is perfectly true.

Now, there are specialist areas that are best catered for by specialist, proprietary applications. Most people wouldn't be running any such applications, but even so, even these areas are starting to cater to Linux desktops:

Here is one example ... CAD:
http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/bricscad/index.jsp
http://www.varicad.com/en/home/
http://www.cycas.de/

Professional photography:
http://bibblelabs.com/
http://bibblelabs.com/products/bibble5/specs.html
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2010/06/lightzone-for-linux-professional...

Personal finance:
http://www.moneydance.com/

Mathematics:
http://www.wolfram.com/products/mathematica/index.html
http://www.wolfram.com/products/mathematica/platforms/

Having said that, some of the obscure specialist application "gems" are free software:

Book publishing (mathematical content and structured documents like academic articles, theses, and books):
http://www.lyx.org/

Multimedia Studio:
http://lmms.sourceforge.net/screenshots.php

3D content creation:
http://www.blender.org/
http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/gallery/art-gallery/
http://www.makehuman.org/

Numerical simulation:
http://www.salome-platform.org/

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ... - Nvidia, Flash...
by jabbotts on Thu 29th Jul 2010 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'm having no luck with Gnash replacing Adobe Flash Player which sucks because Adobe has shtcanned 64bit development and I don't want to dirty my install with a bunch of 32bit infrastructure to support Flashplayer.

Nouveau is not delivering 3D processing yet, Nvidia has backed out of helping with NV since Nouveau is at feature parity with it. Nvidia-GLX remains without an OSS equivalent.

Like the original post said; where there is an equivalent FOSS alternative, go with the FOSS alternative. Where there isn't, you either live without or you go closed source. Even Mr Stallman suggests this approach.

Reply Score: 2

Shooting yourself in the foot.
by westlake on Tue 27th Jul 2010 14:48 UTC
westlake
Member since:
2010-01-07

When everything of interest in FOSS is ported to OSX and Windows there is no very compelling reason to migrate to Linux.

When you add barrriers to the port of the successful proprietary app to Linux, you make a bad case for migration even worse.

H.264 is deeply, deeply, entrenched outside the web. In theatrical production, broadcast, cable and sattelite distribution, cellular, home video, industrial and military applications.

The MPEG LA licensors are dominated by manufacturers, and in particular the Asian mega-corporations like Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. Google is big, but not that big.

The web is not the world, after all - and new standards can - and will - evolve in environments wholly outside the geek's control, even when the geek is as rich as Google.

That is why Canonical licensed H.264 for its OEM distributions.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Shooting yourself in the foot.
by theTSF on Tue 27th Jul 2010 15:57 UTC in reply to "Shooting yourself in the foot."
theTSF Member since:
2005-09-27

So you are saying that Linux is of such poor quality that the only reason people use it, is access to free Open Source Software...

Perhaps I am missing some sarcasm. As an avid Mac, Windows, and Linux user. There are valid reasons to use each OS over the other ones.

Most Linux distributions usually have a rather robust set of command line tools at your beck and call... Far more then OS X. And windows still thinks DOS is an acceptable command line, and power shell is not supported well enough for normal use. Sure you can get most of these tools for the platforms but that is a lot of work and effort... And some may cause some crazy things happen to your normal installs as well dirty up your filesystems. I love using Linux for appliance and server based solutions. Low overhead easy programming and setup, and lets you do things that OS X and WIndows says no I don't think you should do that... No matter how bad you need it.

Windows (7) is a good Middle ground OS. A decent UI to do medium advanced things easily, much easier then with Linux. Also if you have compatibility issues going in Windows fixes them. It is quite good at running desktop applications. And runs much nicer then X11 for Linux. It is well designed for CAD work and Visual Studios is really a nice IDE.

OS X is good for productivity. Its UI is clean and efficient and predictable. Emails, Browsing the Web, Writing Documents, and graphics editing it is quite useful at those jobs. Also with enough Unix command line tools for good connectivity with Linux servers and Windows as well.

Sure they all have their faults too... But really I actually Like all 3 OS's and they all really have a place for their usage

Reply Score: 3

westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

So you are saying that Linux is of such poor quality that the only reason people use it, is access to free Open Source Software... [i][/i]

What I'm saying is that, for all practical purposes, Linux runs a sub-set of the apps available to the OSX and Windows user.

That is not a good place to be when you hold a bare 1% share of the desktop - and the iOS threatens to become an even bigger presence on the web.

That is not a good place to be when you are all but invisible in OEM system sales. The kit builder - the technical hobbysist - does not drive adoption.

Applications drive adoption. Applications drive development. The technology of the OS is secondary - always.

That is why the Amigas of this world fall by the wayside.

The OSX and Windows user rates zero for ideological purity and political correctness.

He cannot be moved on that basis.

---and the truth is that you need him. 86% of the funding for The Moz Foundation comes from AdSense. From the mass consumer market.

Reply Score: 1

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


What I'm saying is that, for all practical purposes, Linux runs a sub-set of the apps available to the OSX and Windows user.


This is an incorrect assumption on your part. Not every open source application is ported to Windows or let alone MacOS X. And if there is a port, it may be "second grade" solution like KDE/Cygwin on Windows, or all the crap on macports/fink/whatever the mac people use these days.


That is not a good place to be when you are all but invisible in OEM system sales. The kit builder - the technical hobbysist - does not drive adoption.

But mobile devices do.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

This is an incorrect assumption on your part. Not every open source application is ported to Windows or let alone MacOS X.


His point is valid in that the best open source applications are ported to Windows so to the typical consumer there is a clear net loss in application compatibility when switching to Linux.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


His point is valid in that the best open source applications are ported to Windows so to the typical consumer there is a clear net loss in application compatibility when switching to Linux.


Some applications (e.g. development tools) just can't be ported.

Agreed that for "typical consumer", such applications don't matter. But they matter to developers, which are the most important user segment (as Ballmer agrees).

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I'm still not seeing a comparable barrier to adoption.

The major open source IDEs and compilers are available for Windows.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

The major open source IDEs and compilers are available for Windows.


Try installing these on Windows:

http://www.scratchbox.org/

http://valgrind.org/

... or any of the curses applications.

You might be able to get stuff working on Windows, but many things are easier and better supported in Linux (because that's where the user/developer community mainly sits).

Reply Score: 3

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

What I'm saying is that, for all practical purposes, Linux runs a sub-set of the apps available to the OSX and Windows user.

I'm listening to Alice Cooper right now in Winamp. I also just used Mr QuestionMan and eMule earlier, and recently toyed around with the various versions of Battle for Wesnoth to see what the changes between versions were (Windows installers sure beat compiling manually...). All in openSUSE 11.3. ;)

Sure it's not without its flaws (and I occasionally do run into them), but Wine is getting quite good... I just wish I didn't have to use it.

I only wish the wine devs would have chose to name their program after a better beverage, like beer (the quality types, not Bud/Miller/Coors/etc.) or something... wine sucks. LOL.

Edited 2010-07-28 05:50 UTC

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

That is not a good place to be when you hold a bare 1% share of the desktop


The 1% figure for the desktop is a myth.

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp

Heading towards 5%.

It is 30% of netbooks (worldwide), apparently, which is a figure that the Windows world desperately doesn't want anyone to know.

In other spaces, such as mobiles, servers, embedded in devices and even supercomputers, Linux dominates.

FTA: "For these Linuxes, all you need to do to add Adobe Acrobat Reader to your desktop is just run the distribution's default application installation program and in a minute or two, you'll be viewing PDF files."

Pfft. On my Kubuntu 10.04 Linux install I can view PDF files out-of-the-box without installing anything, using a far better application than Adobe Acrobat Reader bloatware.

http://okular.kde.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okular
It supports the following file formats[4]:

Portable Document Format (PDF) with the Poppler backend
PostScript with the libgs backend (Okular 0.6/KDE 4.0) / libspectre backend (Okular >= 0.7/KDE >= 4.1)
Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) with the libTIFF backend
Microsoft Compiled HTML Help (CHM) with the libCHM backend
DjVu with the DjVuLibre backend
Device independent file format (DVI)
XML Paper Specification (XPS)
OpenDocument format (ODF)
FictionBook
ComicBook
Plucker
EPUB
Mobipocket
Various image formats.


If I wasn't using KDE, perhaps I would be using Evince instead of Okular:
http://projects.gnome.org/evince/
Evince is not as capable as Okular, but it is serviceable enough.

I can't speak for GNOME, but my KDE4 Kubuntu 10.04 desktop default installation includes a "print to PDF" printer driver out of the box, and it includes an "export to PDF" toolbar button or menu command on OpenOffice.org Office suite applications and KOffice applications.

Why on earth would I be interested in installing inferior, closed-source Adobe software instead?

Reply Score: 3

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22


The 1% figure for the desktop is a myth.

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp

Heading towards 5%.


Your right, it is a myth. More like .94%. Do you even bother to read these websites you link?
W3Schools' log-files....

Statistics Are Often Misleading

You cannot - as a web developer - rely only on statistics. Statistics can often be misleading.

Global averages may not always be relevant to your web site. Different sites attract different audiences. Some web sites attract professional developers using professional hardware, while other sites attract hobbyists using old low spec computers.




It is 30% of netbooks (worldwide), apparently, which is a figure that the Windows world desperately doesn't want anyone to know.


What was the marketshare when netbooks first appeared? What was the marketshare AFTER Windows was released on netbooks. Sorry, you fail once again.


Why on earth would I be interested in installing inferior, closed-source Adobe software instead?


Because your "tinker-toy OS and apps can not do what Acrobate can? Funny you say inferior, when that pretty much describes 99% of Desktop Linux apps. The only decent ones exist on Windows as well, so as NT_Jerkface points out, no reason to deal with the toy OS. But hey, enjoy your inferior desktop and apps, I am sure you get a lot done.

Edited 2010-07-29 13:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"
The 1% figure for the desktop is a myth.

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp

Heading towards 5%.


Your right, it is a myth. More like .94%. Do you even bother to read these websites you link?

...
You cannot - as a web developer - rely only on statistics. Statistics can often be misleading.
"

Exactly. The oft-quoted 1% statistic is one such highly misleading statistic ... it is in fact a barefaced lie. Linux has far, far greater penetration that that, even if you blinker your view to look at ONLY the desktop.

Global averages may not always be relevant to your web site. Different sites attract different audiences. Some web sites attract professional developers using professional hardware, while other sites attract hobbyists using old low spec computers.


You can't get much more "professional hardware" than these systems:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Roadrunner
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar_%28computer%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebulae_%28computer%29

"It is 30% of netbooks (worldwide), apparently, which is a figure that the Windows world desperately doesn't want anyone to know.


What was the marketshare when netbooks first appeared?
"

No, now.

What was the marketshare AFTER Windows was released on netbooks.


30%

Sorry, you fail once again.


How so?

" Why on earth would I be interested in installing inferior, closed-source Adobe software instead?


Because your "tinker-toy OS
"

The world's most expensive, fastest machines use a tinker-toy OS?

http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/technology/39471-nearly-ever...

That would be news to the owners and designers of the world's most expensive, fastest, most reliable machines, I would think.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/16284/ten_years_of_ibm_mainframe_lin...

Perhaps you had better ring some of these people up and tell them that they are using a tinker-toy OS.

ROFLMAO.

and apps can not do what Acrobate can? Funny you say inferior, when that pretty much describes 99% of Desktop Linux apps. The only decent ones exist on Windows as well, so as NT_Jerkface points out, no reason to deal with the toy OS. But hey, enjoy your inferior desktop and apps, I am sure you get a lot done.


Pfft.

The world's biggest computational application, which is Google's services, runs on an estimated 1 million Linux servers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_platform#Server_hardware_and_so...

As for highly complex computing applications:
http://blogs.computerworld.com/15202/high_energy_linux_linux_the_la...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LHC_Computing_Grid
http://lcg.web.cern.ch/lcg/

This is not tinker-toy, by any stretch of the imagination.

The exact opposite, in fact. Linux is the OS of choice when computing gets serious.

Edited 2010-07-29 14:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Besides not reading your own links, you don't bother to read the posts either. We are talking about Desktop OS, to which Linux is an incredible failure, and will remain so for years and years to come until some finally realize what a complete waste of their lives they spent.

FYI, just because an alternative exists, does not mean it is comparable. You spend so much time obsessing about Linux you have no clue to the world outside. The day most of us decide to recommend some of these idiotic toy apps you always seem to think are equitable is the day we lose our jobs. Fools like you actually believe that something such as that wretched piece of shit called Open Office is actually anywhere comparable to Office. Hell, I would not even compare today's OpenOffice with Office 2003, and we are several iterations beyond that now. And this here is why the delusion will always cause failure. Thinking something is equatable is a hell of a lot different than actually knowing, and more importantly UNDERSTANDING why they are not equatable. Don't even get me started on those CAD programs, what a joke.

Reply Score: 2

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

to which Linux is an incredible failure

Not sure where you get this. Product success does not mean that everyone and their dog uses it. Even if it is only 1% (my estimate is about 1.5%), 1% * 1,000,000,000 people = 10,000,000 people. That is hardly insignificant.

and will remain so for years and years to come until some finally realize what a complete waste of their lives they spent.

Hardly. Different people use computers for different things. For me, Windows is a "tinker toy OS" because it doesn't do the things I want it to do, and it's much easier and more efficient for me to use Linux. I certainly wouldn't consider any of my time wasted. I haven't ever had to spend time configuring devices, settings, etc. to get anything to work. On the other hand, I spent days trying to find drivers for all my hardware when I installed Windows 7 (which I've only used to update the firmware on my iPod Touch).

In fact, you are wasting your time trying to convince people not to use software that they already use and like. I'm certainly not going to try to convince you not to use your software. If it works for you, fine.

Many people can and do get real work done on Linux. Many people can and do get work done on Windows or Mac OS X. Wake up, please.

FYI, just because an alternative exists, does not mean it is comparable.

Agreed. I don't think lemur2 has ever even used most of the programs he constantly mentions...

The day most of us decide to recommend some of these idiotic toy apps you always seem to think are equitable is the day we lose our jobs. Fools like you actually believe that something such as that wretched piece of shit called Open Office is actually anywhere comparable to Office. Hell, I would not even compare today's OpenOffice with Office 2003, and we are several iterations beyond that now. And this here is why the delusion will always cause failure. Thinking something is equatable is a hell of a lot different than actually knowing, and more importantly UNDERSTANDING why they are not equatable. Don't even get me started on those CAD programs, what a joke.

It's true that most of those professional apps have more features than the OSS ones. But most people don't ever come close to using all those features (and most people don't even use CAD apps, etc. to begin with).

Sure, MS Office might be nicer than OpenOffice, but you honestly can't tell me that the average person using MS Office could not use OO. (For businesses, that's another matter though. Many businesses do use those advanced features.)

Edited 2010-07-29 16:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Our definitions of "incredible failure" must not be the same. About the only thing my desktop has been "incredibly failing" at for over five years of use now is running Windows only latest game titles.

My guess is that you don't bother to look beyond retail market share percentages which are missleading at best. Retail success is also a limited goal which only a few distributions compete for.

Now, I'll agree that a linux based distribution may not fit some of your specialty needs (all specialty needs dictate the OS choice) but it's far from an "incredible failure".

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Besides not reading your own links, you don't bother to read the posts either. We are talking about Desktop OS, to which Linux is an incredible failure, and will remain so for years and years to come until some finally realize what a complete waste of their lives they spent.


As a desktop OS, my Kubuntu 10.04 Linux installation stomps all over the Windows installation I am required to use at work. Absolutely slaughters it in every way imaginable. The desktop itself is better (desktop cube, multiple desktops, clipboard history, activities, etc, etc), the underlying OS features (performance especially on modest hardware, lack of bloat, security, resistance to malware, updates from on source rather than multiple updaters, inter-operability with other platforms) are light-years ahead.

FYI, just because an alternative exists, does not mean it is comparable.


Indeed, many of them are better. Some of them are much better. As an example, the default out-of-the-box PDF reader is far, far better and more capable than Adobe Acrobat.
http://okular.kde.org/formats.php
Adobe Acrobat can't do most of that, it can only display PDF files. Oh, and as for Windows 7, it doesn't even come with a PDF reader, on any PDF capability at all.

You spend so much time obsessing about Linux you have no clue to the world outside. The day most of us decide to recommend some of these idiotic toy apps you always seem to think are equitable is the day we lose our jobs.


Clearly you haven't used contemporary Linux desktop applications (particularly KDE/Qt ones). This is how you design and build cross-platform protable applications BTW, you write them in C++ to use Qt and simply compile them (on Linux) using GCC for each platform target ... this kind of thing is totally no-can-do for Windows. I use both Windows applications and KDE desktop Applications every day, and the constant-use set of free KDE4 desktop applications I use every day absolutely stomps all over the equivalent, expensive-to-acquire-and-maintain ones I must use for Windows. No contest.

Fools like you actually believe that something such as that wretched piece of shit called Open Office is actually anywhere comparable to Office. Hell, I would not even compare today's OpenOffice with Office 2003, and we are several iterations beyond that now. And this here is why the delusion will always cause failure. Thinking something is equatable is a hell of a lot different than actually knowing, and more importantly UNDERSTANDING why they are not equatable. Don't even get me started on those CAD programs, what a joke.


Fortunately, blinkers, outrageous rudeness and vehement bias such as yours is not universal, or even common.

BTW: OpenOffice penetration is currently measured at between 10% to 20% of the installed base, depending on geographic locality.
http://www.quantenblog.net/free-software/openoffice-market-share
http://www.webmasterpro.de/portal/news/2010/02/05/international-ope...
(they measured it by looking at the fonts installed).

Ten to twenty percent of the installed base of Office suites represents an absolutely huge (hundreds of millions, and rapidly growing) number of people who do not agree with your assesment.

Reply Score: 2

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

On the desktop there is a huge degree of proprietary lock-in, applications are often written only for windows, data is often stored in proprietary formats only supported by specific applications... In virtually every other market linux is doing extremely well, be it servers, supercomputing, phones and all manner of other embedded devices.

Now all this proprietary lock-in is the sign of an immature market, combined also with constant progress taking place. As the market matures, the users will move towards more standard data formats (as is already happening in places), and you will reach a point where the current systems are adequate for your needs so there is no longer any compelling need to upgrade.
Once you reach this point, the market becomes commoditized and prices start being squeezed. Among a list of several adequate tools, the cheapest one will usually win - especially for business or government use.

Look at how windows was successful, it was crap, massively inferior to its competitors (proprietary unix boxes, novell, apple, even amiga) but it was much cheaper and ran on commoditized hardware.

Look at today, you can argue that openoffice is inferior to msoffice but at the end of the day its more than adequate for the needs of 99.9% of people while being considerably cheaper. Look at it purely from a business perspective, you have an office containing 300 people who need to write simple letters, both products will do the job but one costs $100 per user the other is free. It's the same decision that resulted in a sale for windows rather than a more expensive but massively superior sun/sgi/dec workstation or mac.

The only things holding it back are lack of user awareness (poor marketing) and proprietary data formats, the latter is gradually being addressed and if oracle dont address the former someone else will sooner or later.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


OS X is good for productivity. Its UI is clean and efficient and predictable. Emails, Browsing the Web, Writing Documents, and graphics editing it is quite useful at those jobs.


Read: it does a few things that are trivial on Windows anyway.

The real selling point of OSX is that it doesn't (yet) have all the malware scanners Windows & corporate IT forces on you, so it will end up working faster than Windows.

Reply Score: 2

sPAZbEAT Member since:
2009-07-17

I've used mostly windows. IMO, because it was the earliest target, experienced windows users are more aware of potential danger. it's like growing up in a war zone ;)
so i agree with you, in that if a user wants to feel carefree while "computing", os x seems the best among reasonably common oses. a common distro like -buntu is probably almost as good.
unfortunately none of these (os x, -buntu, windows) seem by default to resist the secondary level of attacks (on privacy).

Reply Score: 1

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Windows (7) is a good Middle ground OS. A decent UI to do medium advanced things easily, much easier then with Linux. Also if you have compatibility issues going in Windows fixes them. It is quite good at running desktop applications. And runs much nicer then X11 for Linux. It is well designed for CAD work and Visual Studios is really a nice IDE.

I honestly thought the same... until last night, when my sister's friend asked me to "fix" her relatively new laptop which has Windows 7. To put it simply, it is the most f***ed Windows install I've seen in years. With all Microsoft has done since XP SP2 and Vista, it's clear it's not working. The machine has no restore discs, and the "recovery" partition doesn't allow a full factory restore, so it's gonna have to wait. Not that I would "trust" the "recovery" partition of an infected (infested?) machine anyway.

Yeah, Windows is easy... until its insecurity and its typical clueless user meet for a little walk on the Internet. Then, it becomes completely untrustworthy, slow, and an outright a pain in the ass to use, with popups everywhere and a useless half-year expired commercial anti-virus program that refuses to do anything besides send more money to actually be able to, eh, *use* it. Yeah, like anyone's gonna *trust* such a machine to not send that credit card info out while the system is infested and the AV refuses to do ANYTHING about it! [OK, yeah, I'm sure a lot of clueless people will do that... if they can figure out that their subscription has run out in the first place, that is.)

Ah, it's a good thing I left that OS a couple years ago. It's clear it still has a long, long way to go. Just had to vent; my old feelings toward the OS have resurfaced for a moment. ;)

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


H.264 is deeply, deeply, entrenched outside the web. In theatrical production, broadcast, cable and sattelite distribution, cellular, home video, industrial and military applications.

The MPEG LA licensors are dominated by manufacturers, and in particular the Asian mega-corporations like Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. Google is big, but not that big.


You obviously haven't read the OSNews guidelines on acceptable H.264 opinions.

Here is an example of an acceptable opinion:
H.264 is the product of an alliance of evil and I hope Google destroys this alliance with (latest favored open source codec).

Any opinion that deviates too far from this position will be modded down.

Now OSNews readers please vote parent down to teach him a lesson.

Reply Score: 1

westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

H.264 is the product of an alliance of evil and I hope Google destroys this alliance with (latest favored open source codec).

That is - a little - unfair. The problem is that the geek is web-centric. The problem is that the geek expects the world to turn on a dime.

For example, production and marketing decisions for this year's back-to-school and Christmas shopping seasons have been made - and we are already into the next cycle.

The "Flip" pocket camcorder that supports WebM is at least two or three years down the road. It may never happen.

Reply Score: 1

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

nt_jerkface, please stop being a troll, and please make your name less self-descriptive.

You really never add anything to the discussions, you just troll. It's okay to have a different opinion about something, but please be nice about it. Most OSNews commenters seem to do that fine - the people on this site are much smarter and more respectful than any other site I know of. So please don't be a jerk.

And, I don't quite see how the part of the parent comment that you quoted is opinion. He simply stating the fact that it will be very hard for anything to overcome H.264 because it is so ubiquitous. And that's true. (And this is coming from one of the usual open source advocates.)

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

My post was sarcasm, sorry if you didn't catch that.

His post was originally voted down to -2.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

My post was sarcasm, sorry if you didn't catch that.

His post was originally voted down to -2.


I could be sarcastic but I won't be ... I'll just come straight out and say it. The web has non-proprietary requirements. Web technologies are required to be non-proprietary. It is the whole point of a universal-access web in the first place.

Quoting the ubiquity of h.264 in non-web applications such as Blueray players has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that h.264 is unsuitable for use as the web video codec.

Anyway, why don't you have a look at what can be done with open, non-proprietary, free-access-for-all-peoples-as-intended web technologies before you sprout your proprietary-is-best spam all over OSNews?

http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Mozilla-releases-second-Fire...

http://hacks.mozilla.org/2010/07/firefox4-beta2/

Nice, hey?

We don't need no stinkin' Silverlight or Flash ... everyone can have a rich web experience, no matter what OS they run, and even if they don't have a desktop machine!

Enjoy!

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17



Next, Harding spells out issues with video streaming — namely, the fact that HTML5 doesn’t really have anything that matches Flash when it comes to dynamically adjusting quality control and buffering.


HTML5 itself doesn't have a two-way communication for dynamically adjusting buffering, but that doesn't mean that it cannot be done:

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/beta/features/
Web Sockets
Developers will be able to build real-time online interactions like gaming and chatting.


... and interactions like communication between the server and the player for dynamically adjusting quality control and buffering for VP8 video playback.

Edited 2010-07-30 10:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'm sure Metasploit runs great on Windows but I'll stick with the fully native Linux based install. Apache runs on Windows; great but still not like Apache on native *nix.

Microsoft and Apple's history for addressing bugs and vulnerabilities is another strong case for migrating to other platforms even though the major OSS applications are all intentionally written to run across multiple platforms.

Reply Score: 3

Mplayer plugin
by zizban on Tue 27th Jul 2010 22:52 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

The mplayer plugin uses x264, which is a patented codec in the US and other countries. You are not free of propriety codecs if that was your goal.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Mplayer plugin
by _xmv on Wed 28th Jul 2010 10:30 UTC in reply to "Mplayer plugin"
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

x264 is not proprietary source code
its uses patented algorithms

that's a difference

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Mplayer plugin
by zizban on Thu 29th Jul 2010 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Mplayer plugin"
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

So it's still non-free.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mplayer plugin - "algorithms"
by jabbotts on Thu 29th Jul 2010 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mplayer plugin"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

By definition, algorithms are mathematic formula which is supposed to be un-patentable in a rational patent system. I'd say there's more than a little grey area to work within. I believe there is also some grey area which allows users to choose to download the codec though the distro may not be able to distribute it directly (hence, those non-free opt-in repositories). Last, I own a windows license including the license for the codec; shouldn't I be able to use that codec on my preferred software platform?

In the end, I'm just glad to live in a country with a more rational patent/copyright system though your government is trying to impose it's brain-damage on the rest of the world still.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Mplayer plugin
by Zifre on Fri 30th Jul 2010 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Mplayer plugin"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

So it's still non-free.

No, there is a difference. Because otherwise, no software would be free. The patent system has run amok, and every piece of software you have ever used is bound to be covered by dozens of patents. So if x264 is not free, then Linux, GNOME, KDE, GLibC, Firefox, OpenOffice.org, etc. are not free either. The only difference is that x264's patents happen to be more well known, which could even be an advantage in some cases.

Reply Score: 2