Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Aug 2006 21:56 UTC, submitted by deanlinkous
Linspire "It was reported this week that Novell has banned all proprietary software from their Linux offerings. To me, this would be a bit like McDonalds announcing it will adopt an Atkins-only menu, selling only healthy, low-carb salads, and dropping fries, shakes, and the Big Mac as we know it. It might be a noble thing for McDonalds to only sell healthy items, but they would likely see a big decrease in customers. Most consumers want more balance in their menu choices, not less. Limiting choice, especially the most popular ones, is usually a bad idea."
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Rediculous
by Noremacam on Fri 4th Aug 2006 01:58 UTC
Noremacam
Member since:
2006-03-08

Perhaps I should speak by personal experience why I agree with Kevin.

It has taken me over 4 years to switch from windows to linux. It started with an intense hate of windows and (eventually)a love for the linux operating system. I loved how it managed permissions and the lack of spyware/adware/exploits. Every time I booted into windows I felt like I was unwillingly becoming a participant in a hacker's playground.

My first linux switch was horrible. Mandrake 8. I couldn't get mp3's to work, flash to work, nothing to work. I just wasn't familiar with the package management system or filesystem. Even audio cd's wouldn't play. I couldn't find software online to play with, and when I did, I couldn't install it. I could've played with it endlessly - really, I wanted to learn - but I'd like to have a functioning computer while I learn linux.

That was the key. I needed my computer to "just work" so that I didn't have to forfeit all my usually computer freedoms just to learn an operating system, and if I have to dual boot, what's the point of installing linux in the first place? I couldn't learn to use it, unless when I booted into it I gave up all my usual freedoms.

I finally was able to switch with Fedora Core 3, because it's yum online package manager made it easy to install software again. That wasn't completely easy, but I learned enough to have a functional computer... thanks to small bits of experience from years of endless tinkering.

My ability to switch was hindered only by my (in)ability to install proprietary packages. I wanted to learn linux - believe me, I wanted to learn linux. I wanted to learn the filesystem, the configuration, how X worked, how everything worked - but all of that took a backseat when I couldn't use my computer because of missing proprietary software. No music, no flash, and no 3D accel, with no idea of how to make it work. I had a great operating system with no apparent functionality. If I would have been given the option to have a linux distro with all that software preinstalled four years ago, I would have more experience with linux today than I do.

I'm a happy linux user, now that I finally got all that crap installed - I started learning to use linux for once, and I'm now using it to learn c++ and mono.

What it comes down to, is there's only one choice: the proprietary choice. If you want flash, you gotta have adobe's flash plugin. If you want 3D accel on your nvidia card, you must have nvidia's driver. You want to play videos? Unless the world decides to re-encode every video ever made in Theora, you might as well get the proprietary codecs for that too. If you don't like it, write your own software that's compatible with it - but stop removing my damn choice just because it "offends you".

I can't, for the life of me, understand while removing this choice is somehow going to help the OSS philosophy. It makes it look like OSS is more of a religion than a philosophy. In order to spread OSS, when you install your operating system, it must come pre-crippled! Even having the choice of having a functional operating system out-of-the-box is offensive. Grow up.

If you don't like it, make OSS software that's compatible with all the proprietary junk out there, or shutup. I'm sick of all these religious OSS fanatics thinking having the choice of proprietary software preinstalled is somehow going to doom the linux operating system. Grow up, it isn't going to happen. I'm using linux now specifically because of my ability to run proprietary codecs/drivers. Yes, I could install them after the operating system installs, but that's not going to convert many new users, who would like a functioning operating system straight from installation.

Edited 2006-08-04 02:11

Reply Score: 3

RE: Rediculous
by peejay on Fri 4th Aug 2006 12:37 in reply to "Rediculous"
peejay Member since:
2005-06-29

If you don't like it, make OSS software that's compatible with all the proprietary junk out there, or shutup.

proprietary - used, made, or marketed by one having the exclusive legal right

(from m-w.com)

I can't, for the life of me, understand while removing this choice is somehow going to help the OSS philosophy.

I'm not sure which OSS philosophy you're talking about, but the one I'm familiar with stands for Open Source Software, and as you're talking about closed source modules etc, it seems quite easy to see why that would be against OSS philosophy. If you mean it's not going to help adoption of Linux, you may be correct; however, not everyone wants to give up their freedom over convenience. Just because the goals of the "zealots" are different than your own doesn't make them wrong.

It makes it look like OSS is more of a religion than a philosophy.

And why can't it be? Definition 4 (again from m-w) of religion says "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith" and surely there are worse things that believe in than necessary freedom of software. Religious tolerance is a good thing.

I wanted to learn linux - believe me, I wanted to learn linux....I'm sick of all these religious OSS fanatics thinking...

I really wanted to learn atheism, but I'm sick of all those fanatics saying there is no God. I don't see the appeal of joining something you don't believe in.

Grow up, it isn't going to happen.

If there's something immature in fighting for what you believe in, there are sure a lot of immature people in the world (I can name at least two).

I'm using linux now specifically because of my ability to run proprietary codecs/drivers.

Not specifically. Windows also has the ability to run proprietary codecs/drivers, as does Mac, and probably others.

There are (at least) two reasons to use Linux: because it does what you want, or because you agree with the OSS philosophy over the proprietary one to the point where you can make do. I'm not sure you fall into either category, so why make yourself unhappy with Linux?

Use the right tool for the job.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Rediculous
by Noremacam on Fri 4th Aug 2006 14:44 in reply to "Rediculous"
Noremacam Member since:
2006-03-08

proprietary - used, made, or marketed by one having the exclusive legal right

I understand that, but I argued that if there aren't compatible alternatives, then stop denying the only working choice. An example I gave earlier was adobe Flash. There is a OSS product called Gnash that allows you to play some flash movies, but it's buggy and still incomplete. They don't have the exclusive right to playing flash movies, just the exclusive right to the software they created. The same can be said for virtually all the software I mentioned earlier.

I like linux because it runs the software I want, and perhaps more interestingly, it doesn't run the software I hate. I believe that Gnome has built a much more functional desktop than Microsoft ever has(and I've played with the Vista beta too, for that matter).

If there's something immature in fighting for what you believe in, there are sure a lot of immature people in the world (I can name at least two).

Immaturity isn't determined by whether you fight for your beliefs, but rather what specifically you fight for. Fighting to end poverty in Darfur wouldn't be immature, but going on strike at work because your lunch break is 55 minutes instead of 60 would be. My argument is that this would be a minor nuisance except for the zealots who want to deny others a choice. The only thing that including proprietary software in a particular distribution(of your choice, naturally) is going to do is bring in more users.

It took me 4 years of slowly playing with linux to switch because while I had to learn linux, I had a non-functional computer. I couldn't use it for my daily tasks, so as soon as I really wanted to do something, I had to reinstall windows.

There are (at least) two reasons to use Linux: because it does what you want, or because you agree with the OSS philosophy over the proprietary one to the point where you can make do. I'm not sure you fall into either category, so why make yourself unhappy with Linux?

Well it does what I want with the help of proprietary software. Example: Rhythmbox is my favorite music program(all the windows programs are either too bloated or too minimalistic). However no matter how great Rhythmbox is, it's totally worthless without the proprietary codecs that drive the player. It may be simple, efficient, easy to search, well organized, not bloated - all the right things. But without proprietary software, it's utterly useless. I don't keep my entirecollection in ogg, nore when I download music do I giveup if they don't provide an ogg based format.

Linux, combined with proprietary components, works better for me than MacOS or Windows. Linux makes me happy. I'd go nuts if I didn't have Deskbar in windows. Typing in $PATH programs is so much more efficient than browsing through a massive disorganized menu in windows. The system update is so far less annoying(for the record, I'm using ubuntu at the moment). You don't have to activate your copy(unless you use xandros 4, but again, that's a chocie). You don't have to fear that your computer, or rather the makers of the operating system are somehow working against you on their crusade to make sure you're using their operating system the way they want you to. I love the freedom and flexibility that the linux desktop provides.

But it's totally irrelevant without proprietary software/codecs.

Most people make it sound like it's a piece of cake just to install the software afterwards. Granted, anyone who's done it a bunch of times before, will find it pretty easy, it's sheerly impossible for the new user. Even if they figure out the package management system, most distro's don't even include the proprietary software they need to function in their repositories. Some distro's don't/didn't even have repositories! Depending on your distro, some packages must be installed manually with great stress to get their computer to function.

I couldn't learn linux efficiently because it required(by law apparently, according to other people in the comments) having a crippled computer environment to learn in. For a lot of software there's only one option the proprietary option. It's required for watching dvd's, playing music in anything but ogg, watching videos in anything but theora(which is 99.99% of what's out there), browsing the web(several websites are unfortunately crippled without flash), and playing 3D games(unless 1-2 fps adds to your experience somehow?).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Rediculous
by deanlinkous on Fri 4th Aug 2006 15:57 in reply to "RE[2]: Rediculous"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Man it sounds like you are hooked on that windows crack. ;)
If I required ADwarePlugin to view my site would you criticise me for requiring it or criticise your operating system for not providing it?

If it is totally irrelevant without proprietary then why on earth use it. XP is your friend in that case.

As far as mp3 playback you should check out fluendo. It may not be GPL but it is free. Xine has plenty of format support also.

Reply Parent Score: 1