Linked by weildish on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:13 UTC
In the News Those up top (the Presidential Inaugural Committee) chose to utilize Microsoft's Silverlight technology to stream the upcoming inaugural events for the new president of the United States. Though Microsoft certainly likes this idea, this leaves out thousands of people in the US and elsewhere who still cannot run Silverlight or an open source alternative on their systems from viewing the streamed video online. Update by Thom: Linux and PowerPC Mac fans rejoice, as they can watch the inauguration as well using Moonlight. Migel De Icaza wrote: "Microsoft worked late last night to get us access to the code that will be used during the inauguration so we could test it with Moonlight." Microsoft and the Moonlight team fixed this issue in one afternoon, so it might be a little rough.
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Soooo ....
by WorknMan on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:34 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

If they wanted to use an open source alternative, what kinds of open source alternatives can do the things that Silverlight and Flash can?

Anyway, this is one of the reasons why I use Windows as a primary OS. On one hand, alternative OS advocates claim that you can easily switch to another OS that can completely replace Windows, but on the other hand, I keep seeing things like this pop up. (Another recent story was about a girl in college who didn't have all the tools needed for classes on her Linux netbook.)

Don't get me wrong... I'm glad you guys are bitching about this, as well you should. On the other hand, some of these anti-Windows campaigns aren't exactly being completely honest about the things you can do in Windows that can't be done elsewhere. (And I'm talking for compatability reasons, not technical.)

Edit: I see that I have already been marked down. Do you guys think I'm trolling here?

Edited 2009-01-20 02:37 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Soooo ....
by sultanqasim on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:52 in reply to "Soooo ...."
sultanqasim Member since:
2006-10-28

"If they wanted to use an open source alternative, what kinds of open source alternatives can do the things that Silverlight and Flash can? "
They could have used, uhh... flash! Its far more widespread than Silverlight, compatible with all major OSes, and even a functional FOSS version is availabe (gnash)!

"girl in college who didn't have all the tools needed for classes on her Linux netbook" - Not true; the girl was seriously retarded and was unable to realize that you do not need MS Word to type or IE to surf the net and simple things like that. If she wasn't so brain dead, she would have realized that linux would have worked fine for what she needed to do.

Reply Parent Score: 18

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by testman on Tue 20th Jan 2009 04:12 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
testman Member since:
2007-10-15

"Not true; the girl was seriously retarded and was unable to realize that you do not need MS Word to type or IE to surf the net..."

So it is the end-user's fault again, is it? I'm amazed you can even see us lowly buffoons from up there in your ivory tower.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[2]: Soooo .... thankyou
by jabbotts on Tue 20th Jan 2009 12:57 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

That was the very article I was half remembering. The girl dropped her college courses for the year over issues that five minutes on the couch with a cup of tea would have solved. What she did was the equivalent of buying Windows and claiming it can't play games because the osX version of a game wouldn't install and run.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Soooo ....
by Machster on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:54 in reply to "Soooo ...."
Machster Member since:
2007-05-15

OK I'll take your bait. This is not anti-Windows, it is anti OS descrimination. Silverlight is made available only to a select group, not even most Mac users have access to it (last I checked v2 is not available for PPC) so it appears that maybe flash would have been a better option? Why not use a technology that can reach more users?

Reply Parent Score: 10

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'd expect the US President's IT team to be able to figure out how to stream video without requiring flash or silverlight. This decision was just plane lazy.

On the up side, moonlight had an overnight development cram session with access to the website code. Seems us lowly unix users are also allowed to watch the proceedings now. Would smoothing out the bugs over night happen in a proprietary company?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Soooo ....
by lemur2 on Tue 20th Jan 2009 03:21 in reply to "Soooo ...."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

If they wanted to use an open source alternative, what kinds of open source alternatives can do the things that Silverlight and Flash can?


Things on the web shouldn't necessarily be open source ... but they should be open standards. Having open standard is vital for competition, because it means that any company can offer web content, any company can make tools to present web content, and any company can make viewers to display web content. None of it need necessarily be open source ... but it all must be open standards.

The open standards for the web are defined by W3C and other similar bodies, not by Microsoft or Adobe. Here they are listed:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_standards
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web_Consortium#Standards

The open standards that can do what SilverLight and Flash can do are called SVG and SMIL.

Having pointed out that, if you were to subsequently claim that SVG and SMIL are not widely adopted, and lack adequate tools, you would have a point. In that case, the next best thing is to choose an existing protocol, for which there are existing tools and content and widespread use, and which is fully specified and able to be implemented by anybody for no licensing fee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Flash#Open_Screen_Project

That would be Flash, not SilverLight.

Reply Parent Score: 16

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by capricorn_tm on Tue 20th Jan 2009 05:13 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
capricorn_tm Member since:
2005-12-31

Perfect, I could not have said better.

In fact I can see the confused idea that was behind the silverlight choice.

"Lads, we have to pass through the idea that our boss is new, is fresh, is something never seen before, so let's use the latest and spiffier and blinkier technology we have!"

The curios fact is that that kind of reasonement would never be even considered if applied at other fields.

"Lads, we have to pass through the idea that our boss is new, is fresh, is something never seen before, so let's do all the presentation in a place were everyone is standing up so that they are forced to dance all time long, no sitting allowed!"

See what I mean?

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by siimo on Tue 20th Jan 2009 05:18 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
siimo Member since:
2006-06-22

I think it also has something to do with what the development team is comfortable with. I have no idea what this site Obama uses is but if its written in asp.net then those same developers would find it easier to write SilverLight than Flash.

Don't think that justifies using it over Flash for a big site but just putting it out there.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by AAArno on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:26 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
AAArno Member since:
2008-08-05

Yes, that would be ideal but a closed standard makes more money for the company that owns the product. :/

And I seriously doubt the Obama campaign chose Silverlight because it was 'fresh' or it was something 'the development team is comfortable with'; Microsoft just had their big foot in the door. Especially because, I recollect, the company was a big contributor to the Obama campaign.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Soooo ....
by Moulinneuf on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:13 in reply to "Soooo ...."
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Everything else , support more platform , then Silverlight. Microsoft don't even support most of it's browser and software that run on it's platform with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Silverlight#Compatibility

I find your comment in line with Microsoft astroturfer usual talking points , wait your one , so off course your going to say the same thing.

Blaming other OS for Microsoft incompetence , failures and lack of porting it's own broken software on other OS. Most GNU/Linux software work on Windows and other OS , the same cannot be said about almost everything Microsoft.

It's funny when one listen to one of you , how a lack of internet ( due in part with Microsoft failling networking ) and a lack of knowledge about a new platform get's turned in lack of tools needed for her class , no point in debating that other people and entire school use GNU/Linux without any problem with someone like you.

Nobody is getting you wrong and nobody is bitching , we are making a valid point that Microsoft lack of compatibility and of working software will leave out many people in this case.

You know anti-windows campaign are made by disgruntled ex-windows user's and they are honest , no anti windows campaign as been proven dishonest , but the reverse anti-GNU/Linux campaign have been removed because they where dishonest.

For compatibility reason you don't use Microsoft only solution. Unless your a Microsoft astroturfer lying about reality. You use the software and open standard that everyone support including Microsoft.

Your not trolling your astroturfing and lying.

Don't worry , you can have this one website we will get all the others.

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/5-best-ways-watch-obama-inauguration...

If it's like every other time silverlight will crash during the high demand.

Reply Parent Score: -1

v RE[2]: Soooo ....
by Moulinneuf on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:19 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
RE: Soooo ....
by iain.dalton on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:54 in reply to "Soooo ...."
iain.dalton Member since:
2006-02-28

Shortly after the planes hit the WTC, I watched Bush's speech online, and it didn't use Flash or any proprietary thing, just RTSP and some common video codec. Why is that no longer done?

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE: Soooo .... - other recent story
by jabbotts on Tue 20th Jan 2009 12:54 in reply to "Soooo ...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

yeah, I read that other recent story about the girl in college who didn't have the tools needed for doing school work. She baught the ubuntu based Dell because it was cheaper. She then complained because Windows native Word would not install on Ubuntu but didn't look for an alternative applications; would she complain because Windows native Word wouldn't install on osX also? She claimed that it wouldn't connect to her network but details as to why and what she tried are not available. In the end, instead of figuring out how to do what she needed to or returning the notebook, she just called the school and cancelled the courses for that year. The best part was that she was taking IT related courses yet from the article, I'd be surprised if she could even figure out Windows if given a preinstalled system with all required applications ready.

If she was local to my area, I'd bend over backwards to help her; "Word" wouldn't be an issue neither would network connections. She's far from some kind of mislead victim of the zealot revolution though. You can't blame any OS for the shortcomings of the user.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Soooo ....
by Laurence on Tue 20th Jan 2009 15:39 in reply to "Soooo ...."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Edit: I see that I have already been marked down. Do you guys think I'm trolling here?


Not trolling - just missing the point a little.
Microsoft specific standards will always favour Microsoft platforms. We all know this and, for 99% of day-to-day usage, this can usually be worked around (I know I've never hit major road blocks using Linux and FreeBSD - so I assume the same is true with OS X)

However, for a major government (or even any government really) to publicly favour a standard that excludes huge numbers of people* to such a high demand facility is simply bad decision making and/or programming.

Particularly given that there are more accessible standards that are available and have already been proven to work.

* Windows may hold a percentage majority, but the actual numbers of desktop installs of non-Windows OSs is still significant enough to cater for)

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by WorknMan on Tue 20th Jan 2009 21:08 in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Not trolling - just missing the point a little.


I understand and agree that the government should've used something more open than Silverlight. That wasn't really my point.

I just found it a little ironic that this issue was raised by (according to the OSNews piece) a self-professed open source advocate, when it is clear that there are no open source alternatives that have the capability to currently do with Flash and Silverlight can do.

Microsoft specific standards will always favour Microsoft platforms. We all know this and, for 99% of day-to-day usage, this can usually be worked around (I know I've never hit major road blocks using Linux and FreeBSD - so I assume the same is true with OS X)


Even if your number of 99% is correct (though I believe that to be a little optimistic), there's still a lot of stuff that has to be worked around, even if you can get it to work. In other words, you basically have to hack it, and that can be a pain sometimes. But the zealots who are urging people to jump ship from Windows don't bother to inform people of this, talking about how grand life is going to be on 'GNU/Linux'... "format your hard drive, pop in the Ubuntu CD, and life is bliss. Got Windows games? No problem! Just throw on Cedaga, and all your games will run just as good as they did in Windows!" The actual reality of the situation is hardly presented in those '7 Reasons You Should Switch To Linux' articles.

Of course, as someone pointed out, there are also a lot of BS-Linux campaigns. But these are put on by billion dollar corporations who are looking for a profit, not by normal end users of their products.

Reply Parent Score: 1