Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th May 2009 22:04 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Many Linux users have experience with Wine, the application compatibility layer which allows some Windows programs to run on UNIX-like machines. During Ubuntu's Open Week event, Mark Shuttleworth was asked about Wine, and how important he believes it is for the success of Ubuntu.
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Member since:

It's because if Linux has, say, a wordprocessor, it doesn't mean that one will be able to complete a certain real-world wordprocessing task in it (or reliably complete a set of such tasks that one can possibly encounter within one's activity realm). "Real-world task" being a task that involves a specific common data format, feature, way or speed of doing things. When said format, feature, way, or speed constitute a de-facto standard, then people tend to say about lack of applications - they mean quality, not quantity.

Having said that, and made those claims ... they are still very often stuck for a valid example of a real-world task they are unable to complete.

Furthermore, the proprietary alternative they are trying to tout very often does not, itself, support proper de jure standards, and hence in reality is even more lacking that the FOSS alternative.

A Free Market, BTW, somewhat paradoxically requires de jure standards, not de facto ones.

This is because Supply and Demand only works when there are multiple alternative equally viable sources of supply.

If you have too much caving in to and acceptance of de facto standards, you get this happening:

Which is a very bad thing. The Free Market is the one that benefits people.

FOSS applications actually do mean quality, not support for ephemeral functions, and not lock-in.

Edited 2009-05-06 11:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Temcat Member since:

Maybe some of them cannot indeed readily express what they mean - BTW, that doesn't mean that they lie; sometimes you really need to sit with them and see them use the thing to understand what they're trying to convey.

I for one have no problems doing that within my specific field, which is professional technical translation. And therefore won't use Linux for work for some years to come.

"Proper de jure standards," even if they exist, don't mean a thing if people en masse use something else (if you make them use these standards, that's fine). I need to do something today in a specific format, using specific features and in a certain time frame. Either I can do that with this OSS app or I can't; in the latter case, I don't really care whether it is because of some proprietary format, or because the developers haven't yet implemented this feature because nobody pays them and they do it in their free time. That's why I talk about de-facto standards.

quality, not support for ephemeral functions, and not lock-in

Contrasting quality with "support for ephemeral functions" is very telling... That's partly where FOSS problems are. Who are you to call functions someone needs ephemeral? They are there because there is user demand for them.

And speaking of lock-in, I prefer to be locked in within 90% of the potential opportunities that within 10% of them. It would be wonderful if there were no lock-ins whatsoever, but they will necessarily appear even without vendor's specific intent - just as an effect of a vendor doing something new that nobody has yet replicated.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Temcat Member since:

I have no desire to go into economic details (so I won't continue this sub-thread); I'll just point out briefly that free market doesn't really require anything of that. Free market is unregulated market. Supply and demand work even if there is a single good from a single vendor. Monopoly isn't "bad" per se unless it's created somehow by the government or privately by non-economical methods like violence or threat of violence. All this is basically because of one thing:

No one is ever obliged to sell anything to anyone at a specific price.

But that is what many people don't get, even those who think of themselves as supporters of "market economy." Some may even agree with this exact point but then support things completely opposite to it, like regulating monopolies not created using government or private violence.

Reply Parent Score: 2