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Google Eliminates Gizmo5 Client For Linux

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the poor-relation dept.

Communications 176

cuttheredwire writes "Evidence on the Gizmo5 forum (login required) confirms that since Google's takeover of Gizmo5, only the Windows, Mac, and iPhone clients are available for download from the official Web page. The Linux download link no longer works. This is a potential problem for happy Linux users with paid-up credit in their Gizmo5 accounts if they need to reinstall the software. A back-door download is still available, although it is speculated on the forums that it will go away soon. Does this mean that (as with other Google projects such as Google Talk) Linux will be the poor relation for Google Voice also?"

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176 comments

Protest this. (4, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260804)

Do not allow Linux users to be silenced

Re:Protest this. (5, Informative)

gabebear (251933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261800)

I'm very confused... I've been using Gizmo for years and there has never been an official iPhone client, and the best thing about Gizmo is that it uses REAL SIP, so it works with any standard SIP client(unlike Skype).

Better yet (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261948)

Get the distros to encourage it. I am thinking of the strides that Apple made with Safari by encouraging users to tell them when a website failed, and then QUIETLY called the businesses to work with them to do the right things. It has helped Safari have better penetration through the market @ a relatively quick clip.

Chrome OS? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30260818)

Since Google is busy on its own linux-based Chrome OS, I would be surprised if they weren't planning on providing a linux client anytime soon. My guess would be that they're making a linux client to ship with ChromeOS that is kickass, compared to the Gizmo5 builds of windows/mac.

Re:Chrome OS? (5, Insightful)

johnsie (1158363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261026)

ChromeOS is the ultimate spyware

Re:Chrome OS? (2, Informative)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261448)

Redundant? More like insightful. Forget malware installing itself on your OS and sending back information about your data and activities, ChromeOS just sends all of your data itself to servers somewhere where it can be picked through and analyzed in detail, and ensures that all of your activities are actually performed on those servers so that you can't actually do anything without them.

Re:Chrome OS? (3, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262254)

Modded troll. Hmmm. Fanbois bite.

The fact is, I like Google. I use a good bit of their stuff. But, another fact is, they make tons of money. They also answer to investors. Could ChromeOS be the ultimate spyware? Yes, it COULD!! Do I expect it to be? Not really. But, all the same, why don't we wait and see just how much spying it does in it's final version? I know for a fact that Google has a ton of spy crap watching us on the web. This is why I have AdBlock Plus - I don't like Google Analytics analyzing every move I make on the web.

Come on, children, let's stop being fanbois, and do our own analysis. And, someone mod Johnsie back up to at least a zero.

Re:Chrome OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30262378)

Dude. The Google fanboys are the worst of all. They're the people who obviously know better but don't care. It's cost me a job and a few friends that I won't drink the kool-aid.

Re:Chrome OS? (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262630)

I know for a fact that Google has a ton of spy crap watching us on the web.

And all Chrome OS does is the web. It runs all your Google Apps, on your Google Browser, on your Google OS, in your Google Life (beta!). They're never going to make features like JavaScript or cookies able to be turned off, or add any real ability to run adblocking (there goes the revenue stream). If they intend to subsidise the OS or the netbooks that are likely to run it, expect to see the hardware locked down so you can't reflash it with a custom image, and expect to see advertising embedded everywhere, also without the ability for you to disable any tracking of your movements (hey, all those ads need to be context-sensitive, after all!).

Yes, that's a bit of a cynical view of Google, but I've found it to serve me well to be a bit paranoid about my personal data in the past.

Re:Chrome OS? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261046)

Exactly. As paradoxical as this may sound, Google will in the long run try to kill other Linux/GNU OSes for mobile applications in favor of pushing Chrome OS onto the market. They don't want Chrome OS to be recognized as just another Linux/GNU OS.

Re:Chrome OS? (2, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262282)

Actually, I didn't see much of Gnu in ChromeOS. It's a freaking kernel with a browser. Gno Gnome, gno Gnash, gno gnothing. Just Linux and Chrome. That may be subject to change, but from the things I've read, gnot freaking likely.

Re:Chrome OS? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261168)

Like the kickass version of Chrome for Linux? Oh, right, there isn't one...

Re:Chrome OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261216)

Like the kickass version of Chrome for Linux? Oh, right, there isn't one...

I'm using Chromium as my second browser quite happily.

Re:Chrome OS? (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261222)

That would be Chromium, which I'm posting this from.

Re:Chrome OS? (2, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261424)

You can actually run Chrome in Linux now if you use the unstable repositories. I've been running both Chrome and Chromium for the past few weeks, and Chrome seems fine.

Re:Chrome OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261234)

Except for Chrome OS.

Re:Chrome OS? (0, Flamebait)

Macka (9388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261276)

First, there's no such this as Chrome (from Google) - there's Chromium the browser, which does exist for Linux and is kickass (I'm using it right now) and there's Chrome OS which - a) is linux, and b) can be downloaded in a VMware or VirtualBox image, so will run on any platform that supports those VMs.

Maybe you should use your brain before posting in future. Oh, right, you don't have one...

Re:Chrome OS? (1)

EsJay (879629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261498)

First, there's no such this as Chrome (from Google)...Maybe you should use your brain...

Maybe you should check your facts.

"Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier." [google.com]

Re:Chrome OS? (2, Funny)

chabotc (22496) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261378)

Heh your comment reads like a FOX headline.

Sure there's no stable release of Chrome for Linux yet, however you can download the current dev version from http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel [chromium.org]

It's being worked on, and if anything ChromeOS (which is linux+chrome) should tell you they're taking it quite seriously

Re:Chrome OS? (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261224)

Perhaps, but they recently dropped support for the Linux version of Picasa as well. The Linux version was actually just a Wine install anyway, but the nicely wrapped installer was convenient. I'm disappointed that tay have so much infrastructure running on it and have been letting the (desktop, admittedly) community down a bit lately. I hope Chrome changes this, but it really sounds like it's not going to.

Re:Chrome OS? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261268)

I'm disappointed that [Google] have so much infrastructure running on [Linux] and have been letting the (desktop, admittedly) community down a bit lately.

Likewise, I'm disappointed that Nintendo have so much infrastructure, such as devkits, running on PCs and have been letting the (PC gaming, admittedly) community down a bit lately.

My point is that a lot of companies that use Linux in the server room think Linux is for servers and Windows is for GUI apps.

Re:Chrome OS? (0, Troll)

Brett Viren (296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261408)

So, then I guess this is a dead link: http://picasa.google.com/linux/ [google.com]

Re:Chrome OS? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261514)

That's not the latest version. They've dropped Linux support as of 3.5 (which is the one with built in face recognition).

Re:Chrome OS? (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261604)

Google simply understands that Linux users have no friends, thus have no need for face recognition and are just trying to keep everything neat and streamlined.

Re:Chrome OS? (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261466)

Google's Windows-centric attitude goes beyond their apparent antipathy towards Linux. Development of Mac versions of their software is also sluggish. Given that other software houses with incomparably smaller resources to allocate manage to produce creditable multi-platform versions of their software, one can only assume Google's tardiness in this regard is a matter of policy.

Well, I have news for Google. They are not yet a total monopoly, and while some of their products are actually quite useful, they don't produce anything we can't live without. So I guess they can do whatever they want with Gizmo5, just so long as they realise that we have alternatives.

Re:Chrome OS? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261590)

As a Googler, I can only say that this is misleading.

Google has no antipathy for Linux, but unless someone internally steps up and says "I'll make it for Linux!".. well, there is a lack of linux support.

I have yet to meet a windows-using technical person at Google. I'm rather amazed that we tend to pump out windows-only software.

Re:Chrome OS? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261978)

but unless someone internally steps up and says "I'll make it for Linux!".. well, there is a lack of linux support.

That seems rather a rather extraordinary statement. I realise Google takes pride in the individual and spontaneous contributions of its staff (and I have no problem with that), but sooner or later someone has to sit down and do some grunt-work, or the organisation will become a disfunctional, undisciplined rabble.

If the job of providing cross-platform versions is beneath the abilities of in-house staff, or they have more useful things to do, then it would make sense for management to dip their fingertips into their wallets and pay someone else to do the work. Leaving the job half done because everybody's bored with it just doesn't cut it as a professional approach.

Re:Chrome OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30262544)

(I am not the original poster.)

it would make sense for management to dip their fingertips into their wallets and pay someone else to do the work. Leaving the job half done because everybody's bored with it just doesn't cut it as a professional approach.

I would imagine in a culture that values individual initiative and innovation (Google's 20% projects), not everyone's pet project is going to get unlimited resources for every feature request. An engineer in this situation needs to make do with the support they can get (which includes time donated from other engineers). Yes, this runs the risk of creating a sense of entitlement among users, but given the choice between that and not being able to work on these types of projects, I think that's an acceptable risk.

Re:Chrome OS? (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262078)

Yes, but that may be a serious mistake for Google. MS is looking to take on Google by using their monopoly. They have nearly 40 years of showing that they have NO ISSUE with doing illegal and immoral actions to win to destroy another company (I would NOT be surprised to find out that those 2 bozos have had ppl murdered). The only way to win long term with ANY monopoly like this is to the fight out of their backyard. That is what happened to us @ IBM when I worked there. Basically, Google should be make a concerted effort to have the best stuff ported to Linux (even *nix) where they will force MS to compete FAIRLY.

Re:Chrome OS? (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262618)

"Google has no antipathy for Linux, but unless someone internally steps up and says "I'll make it for Linux!".. well, there is a lack of linux support.

I have yet to meet a windows-using technical person at Google. I'm rather amazed that we tend to pump out windows-only software."

Your "amazed"? You haven't met a "windows-using technical person at Google", so everyone is using either Linux or Mac, yet Windows & Mac are supported but Linux is not.

You have actually proved the contention of posters who say that Google does not look favorably at Linux, except for for use as free servers. IF they did supply CURRENT Linux versions for ALL of the applications (Sketchup 7 for example) they released Windows versions for, then perhaps they could give incentive for Windows users to switch to Linux, and give Microsoft even MORE competition.

Re:Chrome OS? (1)

chabotc (22496) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261650)

Or perhaps Google is just more Web focused?

Oh and as many other people pointed out, you can use any standard SIP client with Gizmo5, so there are valid alternatives out there

Re:Chrome OS? (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261264)

And tied to it in some way, so if you run 'generic linux', you have to switch.

Re:Chrome OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261312)

But see, that is the thing, Google is a pretty big company, all who have their own views on computing in general.
I wouldn't be surprised if there are quite a few who don't care for Linux, and some who outright hate it.

The Chrome OS project is quite small.

Re:Chrome OS? (1)

chabotc (22496) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261394)

The whole goal of ChromeOS is to have *no native apps*, it's all web baby, so a conspiracy theories about native ChromeOS Gizmo5 app might have to be re-thought.

ok now more seriously-- (3, Interesting)

daveb1 (1678608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260826)

Personally, i am no interested in any voip solution that isn't a standard (sip etc.). If i can't connect my ATA up to it, im not interested.

Re:ok now more seriously-- (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30260844)

Gizmo does use SIP. I have an Asterisk box for my home phone that registers to their SIP server.

Re:ok now more seriously-- (1)

daveb1 (1678608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260860)

i didn't say they didn't, i just said im not interested in services where there isn't a standard protocol used. If they offer a sip service ( i don't know, i haven't used them) then there is no real need for a linux client :) (from gizmo5). Unless extra "services" which people want to use are lost ....

Re:ok now more seriously-- (2, Informative)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261508)

Why not use MO-Call ?

MO-Call [mo-call.com]

It is standard SIP, they have a QT based Linux client and you can use your account on your mobile as well - they support different methods to make calls, so you have more flexibility.

Disclaimer, I am involved with MO-Call, so this is more of a plug - we are aiming to support as many methods to make international and voip calls as we can.

Re:ok now more seriously-- (3, Informative)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260864)

I have Gizmo5 working just fine with my Linksys ATA. There are even instructions on the Gizmo home page on how to set it up.

Gizmo5 + my ATA + Google Voice means I now have a spare phone line that allows me free unlimited calling on a normal telephone (though I do have to initiate calls from my web browser). My primary phone is my Blackberry, but it's nice having a spare line with unlimited minutes.

Re:ok now more seriously-- (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262554)

If you uses Asterisk, you could probably configure the dialplan to use the Google Voice API so that when you dialed with the ATA device, Asterisk would kick off the webservice call to initiate the call, negating the need for using the web browser. Just a thought.

really just linux? (2, Informative)

Youngbull (1569599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260842)

I don't know about you, but I can't seem to find any downloads unless I go to the specific site where they have it, you can't even get new membership it seems... Seems to me that google has packed up the product and is looking to move it elsewhere, maybe incorporate it in their own software perhaps? and the fact that you can't download linux version from http://www.gizmo5.com/download.php [gizmo5.com] , seems to me to be more of a bug then a "kill the penguins" act, although I guess most of the posts here is going to assume so...

Re:really just linux? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30260878)

I guess they just realised that they didn't have a single linux user so they removed it.

Re:really just linux? (1)

gabebear (251933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261840)

Gizmo runs it's service over regular SIP, so there are already plenty of open-source clients that work with it... it's kind of like using AOL's AIM on Linux instead of Pidgin.

The blurb for this is odd... as far as I know there isn't an official iPhone client(although there are several generic SIP iPhone clients).

Re:really just linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30260912)

I agree. If google would be planning to remove chance to download linux client why would they just make link un-workable instead of actually removing all text and links indicating that you could download it. It would look too bad. /vote 4 bug.

Mindless panic as usual (5, Informative)

cybereal (621599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260880)

Gizmo, entirely unlike Skype, is based on standard SIP interfaces. You don't need their proprietary client to use the service.

Just pick your favorite SIP client, preferably with a lot of codecs and STUN support, and get on with your day.

Panic over!

Re:Mindless panic as usual (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30260976)

Skype is much more convenient and easier to set up than SIP. Most end users don't give a rats ass what protocol is used as long as the damn thing is easy to set up. Anyway, sound sucks on Linux.

Re:Mindless panic as usual (0, Redundant)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261538)

MO-Call uses TURN, which is a newer version of STUN, its easy to install and the sound quality is very good PC to PC.

MO-Call [mo-call.com]

Re:Mindless panic as usual (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261544)

Saying Skype is easier to use than SIP is incorrect, Skype is not a protocol, it is a package. Its kinda like saying Firefox is easier to use than SSH. Skype is a single, isolated environment, with their own way of connecting to phones. SIP is a standard, has ton's more features, and can natively work with most phone systems (including many commercial PBX's from Cisco, Shoretel, Avaya, etc) and is being heavily used and invested in by business. I can show you that a Shoretel or Asterix phone system can in fact be much easier to setup than skype, and much, much more powerful.

Re:Mindless panic as usual (2)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262558)

It depends on how you intend to use it. For most desktop users the requirements look something like this:

- Needs to have a simple installer
- Needs to run without any setup besides running the installer and registering an account
- Needs to be able to be recommended to others who can use it without any explanation whatsoever
- Needs to take care of NAT automatically
- Needs to provide voice and video over IP without any further setup besides possibly camera calibration
- Needs a large user base
- Needs to run on Windows and OS X (only a requirement for Mac users)

In short, my nontechnical friends need to either already use it or be able to get it running with minimal hassle. Skype does that.

Any SIP Client works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30260882)

I use Asterisk, but you can still use any SIP client with Gizmo's service. They even have a webapp client: https://www.gizmocall.com

Apparently you don't know how slashdot works. We j (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30260900)

Apparently you don't know how slashdot works. We just comment without knowing shit!

Christmas sale, free shipping discounts (-1, Troll)

coolforsale133 (1689108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260908)

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Time to learn a lesson about Linux support (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30260922)

There are people who believe in open systems because they believe that gives them the greatest choice in the market place. Those people promote Linux and other open applications for that reason.

Then there are those who see a business opportunity in the 'free' software which they can use in their systems, package and sell - without having to pay a penny for the privilege. Those people don't care about open systems except to take advantage of them for their own profit. They look and sound pretty much like the former group, but don't be fooled.

Politically savvy Ubuntu users are now beginning to see what that means for their adopted OS. Google supporters might be in for a shock or two too.

Many others will be oblivious to the shenanigans going on behind the scenes and get taken for mugs.

You can only count on big business supporting Linux and open systems while they believe that is where most profits will be found. The moment they see profit in shifting support to closed systems then that is what they will do.

You have to fight for what you want.

Re:Time to learn a lesson about Linux support (5, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260988)

Or you know, maybe Google just feels that there is no pressing need for them to provide their own client merely to use a service which employs an open protocol to which any *nix user already has easy access [blogspot.com] .

Re:Time to learn a lesson about Linux support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261208)

hardly anyone uses LInux voip software. The market for it is tiny. Google have bigger, more important things to be worrying about.

Chicken little ? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260964)

It strikes me that any Linux user is the least likely to delete an install file after running it. So what's the problem ? Certainly not availability of the app to the users quoted as being vulnerable, those with existing credit. It may show a lack of desire to allow linux users in the future, but until that comes about, it's all hot air.

Are you sure? (4, Informative)

akcpe (1438869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30260994)

Um, i checked the gizmo5 site this morning and the Linux client is still on the download page with the OS X and Windows versions.

Re:Are you sure? (5, Funny)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261100)

So are you saying that the real story here is that one Linux user decided to install it while the server was momentarily down, freaked out and wrote a panic-mode slashdot submission which was then published to the front page with zero fact checking?

Why, that's just shocking! :D

Re:Are you sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261396)

Ya, more kdawson trolling. The whole thing is a knee-jerk reaction to a non-issue.

Sound on Linux Sucks (0, Flamebait)

johnsie (1158363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261002)

I'm not surprised that companies are avoiding wrting audio software for Linux. Audio on Linux is terrible. It's the worst major operating system for sound engineering.

Use Ekiga (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261098)

It has issues, but is has serious development team behind. It supports lot of codecs, including industrial standards and commercial ones.

Download Still avalible.. (1, Informative)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261160)

... but you have to go direct to the download site:
http://download.gizmo5.com/jasmine/

Re:Download Still avalible.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261648)

This is actually in TF summary. You stupid ugly karma whore.

Linux's own fault (0, Troll)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261182)

Probably one of the reasons they dont support Linux and why no one else does is the headache of supporting its 10,000 distributions which can't agree on anything about how the system should be set up. Let's face it, making a software installer for Linux is a nightmare. This, and the lack of a stable driver interface, is why Linux remains a niche OS for a few elites who seem impressed that they are able to cope with using such a confounding and difficult operating system. Such is the mentality of Linux people, their userunfriendly behaviour, that instead of accomodating users needs, i have often heard Linux developers say that users should have to learn how to compile software, debug makefiles and C code and the million ways that software may not compile, resolve library dependancies, find out why a driver wont compile against one of 2000 different conventions on the location of Linux kernel headers, to name a few Linux useability nightmares. On Windows, you put the disk in, click install, and your hardware and software just works. No messy days trying to figure out why a kernel module wont compile or some arcane problem admist millions of lines of code. I have always said that being welcoming and making it easier for companies to make program and binary drivers that run on every Linux operating system version is key to its success, especially since it is months or years until open source drivers can appear for hardware, and also that open source drivers are often filled with bugs while the manufacturers driver is subjected to extensive quality control testing with the actual hardware. The really absurd thing is that while kernel developers continue to make it hard for companies to make a driver for Linux, allowing binary drivers would actually lead to faster creation of open source software, it would allow the vendors driver to be used in back engineering by monitoring communications with hardware devices.

In another screwup, Linux developers in order to address the risk of null pointer dereference in the kernel, blocked all applications from using address 0. In the process they blew up hundreds of applications that run on Wine, when they could have just cleared address 0 when the system goes into kernel mode and preserved compatability. Incompetence, and lack of imagination to not have come up with such a simple solution.

  Linux is worth it is your time is worth nothing, but if you are doing real work you need something that does not take 10 times as long to get anything done. Most Linux developers, in my dealings with this, seem to have an elite complex and want to keep Linux hard to use, so that they can feel special in using an operating system which is only useable to 3% of computer users, it makes them feel special and superior that they can figure out such a nightmare of an OS.

As I have always said, the key to software useability is in backwards compatability, layout, and flexibility and feature richness of software. In another messup Linux developers have been making software that is so rigid and inflexible it is unuseable. One example is gnome which is a nightmare to customise. There are hundreds of cases where Linux software has been unuseable to me because some important feature was removed. Making software feature bare and inflexible does not make it useable. The key to useability is many features and lots of customisability but in layout, placing lesser used features deeper into the UI and laying out the user interface so the features can be found easily. Secondly, a system can be user and expert friendly at the same time. Software can be built in layers, with a friendly GUI interface for most users, and experts would be able to access the configuration files, source code, command line and so on at the lower layers. Everything should be able to be done by both CLI and GUI. One of the things I like about Linux is its commmand line interface and that it is possible for one to understand how the entire system works and is put together, and a modular approach is also important. There are fewer mysteries. If we could combine the transparency of Linux system and its expert friendliness, with the user friendly GUI characteristics of Windows and Windows backwards driver and app backwards compatability, it would be a winning combination.

put up or shut up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261306)

Did you just write all that bullshit anew, or do you just copy and paste it whenever anything about Linux comes up?

And what makes you think anybody cares what "you have always said". Have you ever produced anything of use to other people?

If you want to help, roll up your sleeves and produce something useful for other people. Otherwise, just shut up. OK?

You want ReactOS (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261350)

If we could combine the transparency of Linux system and its expert friendliness, with the user friendly GUI characteristics of Windows and Windows backwards driver and app backwards compatability, it would be a winning combination.

Windows drivers rely on services provided by the NT kernel. So the only way to ensure compatibility with Windows drivers is to reimplement the NT kernel. ReactOS [reactos.org] attempts to clone Windows NT 5.x thoroughly, but it's nowhere near ready for prime time. So let me sum up your rant: "I'm disappointed that development has concentrated on Linux rather than ReactOS."

Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (1, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261238)

Google gets lots of free value from the Linux community. Its whole $BILLION server system runs on a version of Linux that it doesn't have to pay for (except its own in-house improvements), nor depend on a vendor that might compete with it. It's moving heavily into the telephone biz with a mobile Linux that's competing with the iPhone by capturing lots of Linux developers already cultivated into productive position by the community.

Google has released some SW into the community, but it's getting notorious for bundling proprietary apps with its distros (like the apps in Android). And while producing new distros and variants like Android is giving back to the community, Google benefits more than the community does, $BILLIONS more.

Google's got the resources, both financial and personnel, to maintain Linux versions of SW Google produces (or acquires and continues to produce). But Gizmo5 isn't the only extinct Linux species Google could instead be injecting new life into. Google's main content production suite is SketchUp, the 3D modeling app and related integrated tools. But no Linux version, though the app is well into version 7. It runs unevenly at best under Wine, and cannot integrate with Google Earth in that mode.

It's evil to build your huge business on a technology made from community contributions, then take more than you give back while shutting down some community projects. It looks like the "Don't Be Evil" days are long gone at Google. Pretty scary considering the power it has, with its money, info and essential role every microsecond.

Re:Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (4, Insightful)

chabotc (22496) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261488)

Color me confused, this is a brand of open source that I haven't heard of before: Are you saying that any company that uses open source software should also support Linux with all their projects?

Can you please point me to the text in the GPL/APL/BSD licenses that states that?

Or are you saying that companies *shouldn't* use open source software if they are not willing to see (by most recent estimates) a 1% to 2% Linux desktop market share as a primary platform?

Personally I would be happy that a large company is contributing new programming languages (Go), support & employ the main guy behind Python, contribute to the kernel, released their webbrowser and mobile phone os as open source, organize and sponsor a 'Summer of Code' projects that contribute to open source, spend heaps of cash sponsoring large open source conferences, and, well released over 100 open source projects?

In fact Google is one of the larger contributors to the OSS movement that I personally know of

Citing the "do no evil" does not make you automatically cool, smart or insightful imo, just boring and lame (something about crying wolf comes to mind)

Re:Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (1)

crush (19364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261866)

Color me confused, this is a brand of open source that I haven't heard of before: Are you saying that any company that uses open source software should also support Linux with all their projects? Can you please point me to the text in the GPL/APL/BSD licenses that states that?

No, you're not confused. Just disingenuous. Of course there are no licensing obligations to do that, but if Google puffs itself up and struts about mouthing "do no evil" while not releasing Linux versions of its clients then it looks, and is, hypocritical.

Re:Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (2, Interesting)

chabotc (22496) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262268)

Actually Google does not strut about mouthing "Do no evil", it's in the "Ten things we know to be true" (http://www.google.com/corporate/tenthings.html) that it believes it can do business without being evil, but the strutting around mouthing the "Do no evil" mantra is done by the people who want to use it as some kind of perverted emotional blackmail to force a company to do their bidding.

Now evil is not an objective term, what to one could be considered 'evil' might be perfectly normal to others (drinking alcohol or seeing a woman's hair is 'evil' in some cultures, while heavenly in others) so it is an easy term to abuse.

However calling Google hypocritical while they are the #1 investor in open web protocols (openid, oauth, portablecontacts, opensocial, hyrbid openid/oauth, webfinger, salmon, etc), one of the largest contributors to open source (even though not everything is open source, or anywhere near perfect, they have more people working and contributing to opensource then say red hat, novel or any of the other classic OS companies), they actively sponsor Apache, OS events and motivate people to become OS contributors through the Summer of Code program, and on top of all of that they have released quite a bit over 100 large open source products and libraries.

So ok in your opinion Google's primary business should be desktop software, with Linux ports for each and every one of those products.. Ok and if you were a majority owner of Google that opinion might matter

In reality how ever Google is a web company, and most of the engineers at Google are working on web products that all work fine in Safari, Chrome, FF and even IE, so that really includes all major OS's, and thus sidestepping the 'platform wars' entirely. A smart move i.m.o.
 

Re:Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (0, Flamebait)

12357bd (686909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262302)

In fact Google is one of the larger contributors to the OSS movement that I personally know of

Then you dont know much

Or maybe could you please indicate some efficient massive text search technology released by Google under some open/free license?

Or maybe some decent OCR program (ocropus+tesseract are years behind what you get for free in windows with any HP multifunction scanner/printer) so that we could convert those millions of tiff's based pdfs to an editable format?

Perhaps you know of some GIS technology from Google, to allow open/free implementations of world modeling?

And please, let's not forget to mention the little support and even smaller cooperation of Google towards key pieces of the open source world, like the kernel, or java.

Google keeps perfectly closed his cashcow technologies, but those very same technologies are build UPON open/free software. That's the taking and not giving the parent poster was talking about.

Re:Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (2, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262512)

So, are you saying that because Google builds their business on top of open-source technologies, they have an obligation to release EVERY piece of software they've EVER written EVER back to the open-source community? Including their search algorithm, their AdWords processes, etc?

I hope you realize that this is the kind of attitude that impedes greater commercial support of open-source technology. If businesses think that using FOSS means having to placate rabid fanboys like you who bitch and moan that their proprietary technologies (that they depend on for revenue) aren't available for public scrutiny, they're going to say, "Fuck that."

And for the record, the GP is right. Spend five minutes on Google Code and you can see that Google has made and continues to make huge contributions to all kinds of open-source projects. Just because they've decided not to contribute to $MY_PERSONAL_FAVORITE_SOFTWARE, doesn't mean they're evil.

Re:Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261770)

they only made those billions of dollars because they use linux on their servers?

Re:Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (2, Informative)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262192)

So are you saying that the real story here is that one Linux user decided to install it while the server was momentarily down, freaked out and wrote a panic-mode slashdot submission which was then published to the front page with zero fact checking?

then 2 comments later, your post, with the succinct quote:
It looks like the "Don't Be Evil" days are long gone at Google

This is why I don't pay much attention to slashdot any more, and user-generated content on internet more generally. almost every eloquent vitriolic diatribe, is ill-informed and flat-out wrong. I've been desensitised to arguments that don't have verifiable proof, and it's made me be a complete dick to my friends in real-life debates.

I mean, come on, for a START, Google couldn't be less "evil" without going out of business. There are whole tracts of the moral spectrum that are dubiously grey, that Google make a daily choice not to live in, but nobody is completely immune to technical failures/website bugs/human error. Your rant offends me, because it's a lot harder for the good guys to be good when everyone's going to talk smack about them anyway. It's people like you that make good things go away.

Re:Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262298)

``It's evil to build your huge business on a technology made from community contributions, then take more than you give back while shutting down some community projects.''

I don't agree. If the license allows it, it's fair game. If you didn't want that to happen to your software, you shouldn't have released it under a license that allows it.

If you want licensees to have to make available improvements they make to your code, you may want to take a look at the Affero General Public License. This license requires modifications to be made available not only to receivers of the software, but also to people who use hosted software over a network.

Re:Google: Community Taker, Not So Much Giver (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262304)

"Google has released some SW into the community, but it's getting notorious for bundling proprietary apps with its distros (like the apps in Android). And while producing new distros and variants like Android is giving back to the community, Google benefits more than the community does, $BILLIONS more."

Yeah, and SoC every year is something a afterthough, a mistake. Ups, it's not. Also about hundred of hours devoted by google engineers to extend such projects as django, hibernate, apache, tomcat, etc. is something imaginary, it doesn't exist.

I think Google as coorporation has found very good ways to contribute back to community - support new developers trough SoC (therefore introducing new people in community), extending stuff they use so functionality gets richer, providing rich APIs for their services, etc.

"Google benefits more than the community does, $BILLIONS more."

Wouldn't like to be more precise? How much more? How do you measure that?

"Google's got the resources, both financial and personnel, to maintain Linux versions of SW Google produces (or acquires and continues to produce). But Gizmo5 isn't the only extinct Linux species Google could instead be injecting new life into. Google's main content production suite is SketchUp, the 3D modeling app and related integrated tools. But no Linux version, though the app is well into version 7. It runs unevenly at best under Wine, and cannot integrate with Google Earth in that mode."

Yes, but they are not willing to duplicate efforts. Gizmo5 is SIP application. There are numerous SIP applications in Linux (like KPhone, Ekiga), which are more popular and more supported. It is easier to test them and provide patches if needed to them that trying to support another application which not everyone will use. SketchUp is another story which I can't fully explain. Maybe problem to support it fully in Wine.

Anyway, I think you color Google too dark, as they are only corporation who tries it's best to be good community citizen. They have issues, they have flaws, but that's it.

it's standard (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261240)

There is no need for a special Gizmo5 client. Unlike Skype, Gizmo5 is standards compliant; you can use it with any Linux SIP client. Both Gnome and KDE have several.

Non-story (2, Informative)

dlgeek (1065796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261450)

If at their download page(http://www.gizmo5.com/download.php [gizmo5.com] ) it lists Linux perfectly prominently, the link is just broken (pointing at a page which seems to have vanished). As the summary pointed out, the files are still there. Since gizmo5.com redirects to a page on google.com, I think a much better summary would be "Google accidentally breaks link while moving website of recently acquired company"

Linux is a support nightmare (1, Insightful)

Theovon (109752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261562)

I don't care whether your software is open source or not, Linux is a support nightmare. It's the dozens of distributions. What works on Red Hat won't necessarily work on Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Arch, OpenSuSE, Mandriva, etc. In each case, due to minor differences in libraries, where libraries are stored, customizations of KDE and GNOME, other window managers, different xlib versions, and countless other things, apps often have to be PORTED from one Linux distro to another. And you certainly can't make a binary distribution (even if just for convenience), because those are even more brittle.

Don't let the LSB people fool you. There is no single, common, standard Linux ABI set to target when developing a commercial app. Even if you release it with source, you still have customer support problem to deal with. Right there, your profit is eliminated.

Google would spend more on support than they would make from subscription fees.

It would be one thing if they could leave it up to the distros to port, build, and test the software. But they can't. As soon as subscription fees are involved, users expect all kinds of unreasonable levels of support. Google can't JUST support Fedora or Ubuntu. Imagine the uproar over them playing favorites.

The fact is, they're better off taking some grief over not supporting Linux at all than inadvertently screwing countless of poorly supported Linux customers who will then come back and cause them some serious legal problems. If you can't do it right, you can't do it at all. And there's no way to do it right.

I'm a chip designer, and so I use Xilinx tools. When I do, I use the Windows versions. Not only are the Linux versions not very good, but you're forced into using specific versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. (Or CentOS, I guess.) In this case, the software costs $1500 (unless you have contacts with good reps, which I have), but in that case, if you're going to spend that money, you might as well use the less annoying Windows version.

Now, here's what's really going to happen with this, and Google employees may be fully aware of this: The total lack of support for Linux itself will cause an uproar. Meanwhile, only a few existing customers are having any trouble, meaning that no NEW customers are getting screwed. The uproar will turn into pleading from the community, which Google will respond to with a list of support concerns, mostly involving distro support. The community, being blind to these issues, will deny them. Back and forth for a while. Then finally, community members will volunteer to help support Gizmo on various Linux distros. Google will then enlist their help, with the disclaimer that they only support Linux distros that have maintainers for Gizmo, and that certain kinds of support must come through the distro maintainers. At that point, it becomes potentially profitable for Google, because by then it'll be all out in the open that Google made a compromise and that Linux users can't get certain kinds of support directly from Google. With that community concensus in place, maybe everyone will be (mostly) happy.

Re:Linux is a support nightmare (1, Troll)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261806)

Good points and in regards to the LSB, you are trully correct in the fact that it's a damn joke. I've tried Linux since 96 when I got a copy of Caldera 1.3 and was able to actually get my modem (USR hardware model) to work but in diving into the various versions of RH/Mandrake/Debian/Slack/Gentoo/LFS I discovered that the LSB was a joke for myself as there are to many Distro specific exceptions to the damn thing. RH is allowed to do things their way while Debian is allowed to do the same. Because of this, there really isn't any standard being enforced that's usable.

This is one of the biggest issues that faces Linux and is one reason that MS was able to take the market by storm. Sure MS couldn't care less about security in the early days but the did one thing that made it possible to take over like they did and that was develop a stable set of AP/ABI's that didn't change. This meant developers and companies could code in a stable manner and not have to worry about things breaking with every damn update unlike Linux and yes I do know what in hell I'm talking about. Although Windows had DLL hell that could give people real headaches, it was fairly easy for the coders to simply change the directory where the app located specific DLL version to it's installation folder though few did. In Linux though, unless you have a good package system and stick with strickly vanilla packages as offered by the Distro, you are screwed, blued and tattoo'd as soon as you step outside official repositories because of version specific library needs. Talk about DLL hell all you want, Linux suffers it's own version and becuase of the fragmentation, it isn't making the needed headway to take over the desktop. From where I sit right now, it'll be a cold day in Hell when Linux finally agrees on a standard and everyone follows it.

Re:Linux is a support nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30261930)

Can't be worse than Side-by-Side configuration. It's a matter of competence among your developers. For example, google might use cmake to resolve Platform dependencies and packaging.

Re:Linux is a support nightmare (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262050)

I agree with the general message of your post. Supporting "Linux" with non-open source software is a lot of work.

The reason is that there really isn't such a thing as the Linux operating system. Or rather, there are hundreds if not thousands of different operating systems based on Linux. Ubuntu and OpenWRT are different operating systems just like OpenBSD and QNX are different operating systems.

In that light, I think it makes perfect sense for an organization to support, say, Fedora Core, but no other Linux distros. After all, every Linux distro they add means extra work and extra expertise and extra support capacity are required. The source code may compile without any issues on numerous other distros, but compiling the source is only part of the work. You need to test the program, integrate it with the distro, package it in the appropriate package format, have people who can help users of the distro along, etc. etc. So even though you can make a binary blob that will run on any distro of the right machine architecture that has the right libraries installed (and several companies do this), that doesn't really equate supporting all those distros.

If your software is open-source, the software can be packaged by the distro, or packages can be contributed by volunteers. If the software is not open-source, the burden on packagers is much greater, and the chances of anyone packaging it for a specific distro are correspondingly slimmer. So what you see in practice is that popular open-source software is available for practically all Unix-like systems, or at least GNU systems, but that closed-source software works only on specific hardware architectures and specific Linux distros, and not on other Linux distros, let alone the BSDs or proprietary Unices.

Re:Linux is a support nightmare (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262134)

"I don't care whether your software is open source or not, Linux is a support nightmare. It's the dozens of distributions. What works on Red Hat won't necessarily work on Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Arch, OpenSuSE, Mandriva, etc. In each case, due to minor differences in libraries, where libraries are stored, customizations of KDE and GNOME, other window managers, different xlib versions, and countless other things, apps often have to be PORTED from one Linux distro to another. And you certainly can't make a binary distribution (even if just for convenience), because those are even more brittle."

You seemingly don't care or have actual knowledge what LSB means or how distributions are supported in real world. First of all, there are Redhat/Fedora and Ubuntu/Debian group. This fully covers about 80% of casual Linux users. Debian packages, carefully put together, are usable and easy to support on Debian, Ubuntu, Arch, Mint, etc. etc. etc. RedHat/Fedora - the same. Just be careful with depencies and whola - you have 80% of the market covered, and propably 99% of users covered who cares about your product anyway. Problem solved.

About LSB - it about package naming, where you get info from system, etc. And it actually works in systems which care to implement LSB. That is Debian and friends.

But of course it is much easier to spread this myth that parse actual situation. Typical Slashdotism at best.

Re:Linux is a support nightmare (2, Insightful)

dkegel (904729) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262646)

"Don't let the LSB people fool you. There is no single, common, standard Linux ABI set to target when developing a commercial app"

Not true. If you build your app against X86 LSB 3.2, it'll run on any X86 Linux distro that supports LSB 3.2.
You have to package it twice, once as rpm and once as deb, to reach everybody, but that's not so hard.
And if there are libraries missing from the LSB, you have to link them statically, or hope that
they have the same package name and ABI on all distros.

That said, commercial ISVs really don't have much incentive to support fringe distros. 99% of the linux desktop market is covered by ubuntu/debian, red hat/fedora, suse/opensuse, and maybe mandriva, so that's what ISVs will test against. If you're running something else, and the ISV's app doesn't work, chances are the ISV won't even get enough problem reports to know that it needs fixing. But since that kind of problem doesn't affect 99% of users, that's not so bad. And there's always the chance that the distro can fix the problem (after all, if it works on the four major distros, it's probably not the app's fault).

not impressed (1)

SMOKEING (1176111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261640)

When leaders of a project decide to get incorporated as a firm and draw profit from their product, they become necessarily aware that they run the risk of being bought, all their body and soul. This happens because in their mindset, they consider a growth, a successful career, and all things commercial -- not related or stemming from the merits and fitness for life of the project itself. It's all logical from entrepreneurial point of view, isn't it, but there fun becomes a chore.

By a deliberate extension, I try to imagine Ekiga or Twinkle -- projects just as good in their capacity of VoIP clients -- getting `bought' and eliminated as projects, on some commercial grounds, and I can't imagine this happening.

Out of three (perhaps more) FOSS SIP clients disappeared, what a sensational news.

Don't confuse "support" with "capability" (1)

mtippett (110279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30261922)

The economics are fairly simple.

Your support, validation and sustaining costs don't contribute to the bottom line of your business. If you have a part of the product that takes a unnecessarily large proportion of the bottom line, you look at the value proposition. You do something as simple as removing the client for a platform, you save money.

BUT, if the product is based around open standards, the Linux community has a high probability of making something that will work anyway. For FREE. No support costs for a client, no development and validation costs either. Linux, with it's "Freedom" has an extremely high cost to be an ISV on, you have kernels, X versions, distributions.. All subtley different and all having precious consideration for the cost of operating in that ecosystem.

Google has many examples of killing/not creating a client, but fostering the capability. Google talk is a great example. Google still gets the branding value of the service, but doesn't need to have a client, I have *NEVER* heard anyone talk about "Google's JMPP or Jabber Service". I would expect that this is the same, but for google voice. The people carrying credit will probably be handled.

iPhone? (1)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262014)

The summary says there is still and iPhone version. As far as I know, there is not. If you want to make Gizmo5 work with iPhone, you have to use fring (there may be other apps that work too, but fring does work) If there is an iPhone Gizom5 app I don't know about, please let me know, I'd love to have it. Google has disabled new Gizom5 signups, and Google Voice is invite only, but if you already have both, you can make Google Voice ring to your Gizmo5 for free. I can make free incoming and outgoing calls to my Mac with my G5 and GV combo. Alex

Happy pappy? (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262166)

This is a potential problem for happy Linux users

Are they happy from using Linux or from using Gizmo5 on Linux?

Are they happy and satisfied using the current version of the software(i.e. Google still distributes and maintains it but no longer develops it), or are they dying to get new features?

Are they just overall optimistic and enthusiasts in life?

Are they mixing up in their mind the state of true happiness and that of being dumbly entertained?

And most importantly, are they genuinely happy, or is deep down in their heart some old dreams of passion & revenge getting colder and colder ...

Google Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30262490)

It is not the only application. Look at Google Earth. It has not been updated for Linux for ages, is probably dead too.

Google OS biggest competitor is Linux (1)

erik.martino (997000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30262538)

If all the Google OS goodies also exists for Linux, then why should you use Google OS on your smartbook and not Ubuntu Net Remix for example?
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