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Red Hat CEO Decries Open Source Pretenders

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the put-up-or-shut-up dept.

Linux 171

OSTalent writes "The Register has an article about Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik's recent remarks...'For all his enthusiasm about the community and sever-side Linux, Szulik provided something of a reality check on the much debated theme of a Linux desktop. According to Szulik, the huge presence of legacy infrastructure like Microsoft's Exchange and PowerPoint has prevented a lot of people making the move.'" From the article: "It's very difficult to shape the development agenda of the community... every day people comment to us on the quality of our products through What's important is staying true to the premise of the GPL model ... It starts with the APIs now, then it moves into content. Try to put [Microsoft's] Windows Media Player into Firefox and see what it looks like. In a world where application-to-application interaction becomes the norm, where does that innovation come from and who owns it?"

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Women's Rights, The 19th Ammendment (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13901750)

I'd like the 19th ammendment repealed so we could then restrict women from voting and holding public office. I wish to abolish women's rights so men do not need to kiss ass as to not be r@ped via divorce (or by their wives saying that they raped them, men would have complete claim to their wives (and could have multiples if wished)). Also it would be legal to marry girls off at menarche (once they are able to have children: 12-14 yrs old).

Death To women's Rights

PowerPoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13901912)

I completely agree.

Without PowerPoint, people would probably be forced to actually have a well-thought out topic, which would be very unproductive, seeing how much time it would cost them to think about it. With PowerPoint, even the most exotic topics can be handled with some was-files and 5 funny cliparts per slide.

A good investment, I think.

P.S.: I have never thrown a chair in my live. I also have never actually fucking killed anybody.

Re:PowerPoint (4, Insightful)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902342)

This is actually a really good point; I have yet to see a *single* PowerPoint presentation that I would in any way consider useful, informative, or basically anything other than a complete waste of time. Reasons for this are twofold:

1. Speakers use the PowerPoint as a substitute for actually knowing the topic; they just go over whatever it says on the screen, rather than being able to articulate the topic.

2. PowerPoint is a one-way communications mechanism; you can't readily make drastic changes to a PowerPoint presentation on-the-fly, the way that you can with a whiteboard. When I hold team meetings, I generally just write down the key points on a whiteboard, and as ideas get brought up, they get written down. Sure, it's low-tech, but it works a hell of a lot better than PowerPoint.

Powerpoint?? (3, Funny)

TheBrutalTruth (890948) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901759)

Powerpoint is holding me back from having Linux on my desktop? Damn - I knew powerpoint sucked, but that's just shocking.

I don't know what I'd do without all those time wasting presentations.

Re:Powerpoint?? (1)

Slashdot_Gandhi (912342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901804)

Powerpoint is not just a presentation tool. It is useful for laying out blueprints of your project, software engineering mockups, and can also help you keep track of your progress. In team projects, powerpoint is very useful. Linux has yet to come up with a good substitute for it. I am frustrated when I'm writing code for a module and then want to see what the remaining pieces are, and I switch back to windows, draw a diagram and can easily see where things fit. Not that I can't do this kind of thing in Gimp (by drawing stuff), but its just a lot easier in powerpoint with its presentations.

Re:Powerpoint?? (1)

matr0x_x (919985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901846)

Depends on your priorities I guess. I must admit, for my job Powerpoint is important (and no I can't switch, because I don't make my own slides).

Re:Powerpoint?? (3, Insightful)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902396)

If you are using someone else'e powerpoint presentation, install the PowerPoint Viewer under Wine. If it is your own presentation, develop it using something more portable. In my experience, the only times it gets tricky are
  • you regularly have existing PowerPoint presentations that you must modify;
  • there are complex PowerPoint presentations with hooks to Windows only features, such as VBA.
It may be possible to use Crossover Office if you are in such a position, but that is not always a total solution and anyway always seems to me to be illogical as a long term solution. After all, the whole point of a Linux move is to escape proprietary solutions, not perpetuate them.

Really, though, the existence of weird and wonderful Excel applications is usually a bigger obstacle to a conversion than the need to display some PowerPoint slides.

Re:Powerpoint?? (3, Insightful)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901891)

PowerPoint(TM) is an essential thought-prevention tool. Nothing else can extend a vapid piece of generalising self-important blather into 45 minutes of a dynamic + snappy prevarocation. PowerPoint helps our management to feel better about their mission, about their goals and comitment to the cutting-edge innovation. It helps them to highlight the synergies. It facilitates indentification of the go/no-go checkpoints on their flowcharts. []

Re:Powerpoint?? (4, Funny)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901963)

Its always great fun making a PP presentation for management. They always come back again and again asking how much more information can be taken out. Until finally there is only 4-5 pages, and it does not say anything except basically adjectives.

My last boss is funny though as he is an engineer and smart guy, but also a manager. So he would cause us to shrink the presentation down to a few slides, but we would have to keep making the font smaller because he wanted to be sure not to leave anything out, lol.

Yes, PP causes some strange things :P

Re:Powerpoint?? (1)

Lucractius (649116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902160)

did you reach a point where you began creatively spacing the letters & words out to create ascii art on each slide, writing in things that were completely different, or even creating fake "negative" slides with totaly rediculous things writen at normal size as whitespace?

tiny font is the best place for ascii :P

Re:Powerpoint?? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902185)

art? let's take it to the next level: ASCII pr0n embedded in PPT presentations!

Re:Powerpoint?? (1)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902750)

PowerPoint(TM) is an essential thought-prevention tool. Nothing else can extend a vapid piece of generalising self-important blather into 45 minutes of a dynamic + snappy prevarocation. PowerPoint helps our management to feel better about their mission, about their goals and comitment to the cutting-edge innovation. It helps them to highlight the synergies. It facilitates indentification of the go/no-go checkpoints on their flowcharts.

Hey! Were you in Monday's meeting also? Could you believe that presentation? They keep saying the same thing using different slide sets. It was funny though when his laptop froze up. Took him long enough to reboot Windows. :)

Re:Powerpoint?? (3, Informative)

nkh (750837) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901979)

I don't know what it's worth because I've never used it yet but you can use some LaTeX packages like Beamer [] or Prosper [] (tutorial here [] ) to create PowerPoint-like presentations. The result seems very professional for most of my needs.

The only tool I used up to now was with some Xfig drawings for the graphs, there is no point in using Windows+PowerPoint if you generate a PDF you can use everywhere (unless you want to edit it with Microsoft Office...)

Re:Powerpoint?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902238)

I'd love to hear a comparison of how much time you spend making your slides versus how long it would take to churn them out with Powerpoint.

Because I guaran-damn-tee you spend more time than you need to because you use lousy tools.

Quite the reverse, Matthew! (5, Funny)

DonJoe (888954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901765)

"The desktop has become a lot like teenage sex: a lot of people are talking about it but not many people are doing it," Szulik said.

Well, it's the reverse here on /.!

Re:Quite the reverse, Matthew! (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901840)

"The desktop has become a lot like teenage sex: a lot of people are talking about it but not many people are doing it," Szulik said.

Well, it's the reverse here on /.!

Er, run that one past me again...

Re:Quite the reverse, Matthew! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902788)

The R-E-V-E-R-S-E:

Said Szulik, "IT doing, are people. Many, not but IT. About talking, are people of lot a. Sex, teenage, like. Lot a. Become has desktop the."

Re:Quite the reverse, Matthew! (1)

k12linux (627320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902267)

Actually... isn't that EXACTLY like /. ?

Try to put Windows Media Player into Firefox (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13901767)

I bet that looks a lot like goatse.

Re:Try to put Windows Media Player into Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13901904)

more like tubgirl; shit splattering everywhere.

Re:Try to put Windows Media Player into Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902176)

Hmm... tastes a bit nutty!

Powerpoint? (4, Interesting)

Mateito (746185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901782)

Powerpoint isn't the show-stopper. I've given presentations using OpenOffice and although the fonts can be a bit interesting when you change computers, it works.

Nah - the killers for me at least are Excel, Visio and Project. The OpenOffice version of the first doesn't scale near to where I need it, and porting macros is way too much effort, and the second two still don't have any real equivalents in the Linux space.

Likewise for Visio (2, Interesting)

plierhead (570797) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901855)

Same for me. Visio is a hardcore piece of technology which I rely on so much I couldn't really be arsed looking for a free replacement - I don't mind paying for it because it works so well.

Hard as it is to admit if you love OSS, if you really are a "knowledge worker", its worth paying the MS tax for access to things like Excel and Visio. And if you exchange files with customers, you have even less choice.

IMHO, the way to dislodge Microsoft is not by positioning linux desktop as a viable alternative for hardcore knowledge warriors. Instead its to go after the next tier down. The average pleb sitting at his computer in the bowels of a Bank does not use Visio, or really even MS Word, on a constant basis.

Those people could get by fine on a good desktop distro, as long as they had Citrix-style access to the serious Windows-based applications running on a server. They might only need them twice a day, but when they need them, they do need them. One MS license could probably serve 5 people if it was pooled like this...

Re:Likewise for Visio (3, Informative)

lar3ry (10905) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902168)

In a word: BULLSHIT.

OpenOffice's Present module can give a customer with PowerPoint software something they can use. Likewise, Visio can be replaced with any of a bunch of drawing programs (xfig with transfig can export to a number of formats).

If you don't want to run Windows, you'll find that there's few business reasons really compelling you to do so.

If your company runs Exchange, then Evolution (Linux) or Apple Mail (Mac OS X) can run as a client just fine.

If your company requires Office, then OpenOffice is a great tool (Linux--try NeoOffice for Mac OS X).

Your argument worked a few years ago, but the offerings for non-Windows systems have improved remarkably. Macintosh graphics software has always been great, and Linux has had a few of its own great programs as well. However, some great software is now available multi-platform, and the reason for sticking with Windows (or Linux or Mac) is no longer as compelling.

You can now make a business justification for using any operating system nowadays. If you want to keep shoveling money to Microsoft, fine. If you want a great desktop experience, there's Apple ready to sell you some really sexy hardware and software. If you want to go dirt cheap, there's Linux. It's all a matter of taste... and saying that "your business requires you to use Windows" only works if your only customer is Microsoft.

Re:Likewise for Visio (2, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902221)

There is honestly no free alternative to Visio. Sorry, but a fact is a fact. It's one reason why the Codeweavers guys worked on making Visio 2000 run (though not flawlessly).

Re:Likewise for Visio (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902410)

There is honestly no free alternative to Visio

In my workplace we are finding out that Visio doesn't scale well enough. We have ~100MB of source code branched into say 10 different variants, with comparable amounts of documentation in visio and word.

CVS takes care of configuration management in the code but in the doc we have to have multiple copies of everything and merges are totally manual.

We are just unable to maintain so much documentation. I am working on a project to port the docs to xml and svg, and commit them to cvs.

There are many free svg programs out there which will do everything we are doing with visio.

Re:Likewise for Visio (3, Informative)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902247)

OK as somebody that has MS on there laptop because of visio. Visio is not a drawing program for most it's a macro / layout program. Try walking into an unknown undocumented network there are no good network mapping tools for Linux and only two for Windows and those need visio to display. Yea you can put pretty stencils in visio but for my business it's all about it's macro and API as a lot of software builds ontop on visio.

Re:Likewise for Visio (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902302)

Likewise, Visio can be replaced with any of a bunch of drawing programs (xfig with transfig can export to a number of formats).

I have used both, and I hope you are not serious.

By that same logic, I don't think Photoshop is worth the money either, since any image made with Photoshop can be made with MS Paint. It may require a teeny bit of manual labor (mmm, blend two images by averaging their RGB values), but hey, it's free! That's great!

Sometimes people forget time is money.

Re:Likewise for Visio (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902324)

In a word: BULLSHIT.

What is it about Slashdot that prevents people from disagreeing without being a dick?

Re:Likewise for Visio (2, Funny)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902431)

This simple equation [] should explain.

Re:Likewise for Visio (2, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902514)

Visio isn't easily replacable and does tons more than just simple drawings. I don't know if Kivio has gone anywhere in the last year, but the solution is CrossOver Office.

CrossOver Office allows you to move to Linux and still keep some of the Windows apps that take longer to migrate. Linux,, Evolution, Firefox and VideoLAN are great but there are still some apps that don't have good enough equivalents on Linux. Visio and Project are two biggies that can be handled by CrossOver Office.


Re:Likewise for Visio (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902182)

One MS license could probably serve 5 people if it was pooled like this...

It could, if MS licenced per concurrent user, rather than for total users.

Re:Likewise for Visio (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902298)

Right now they license per processor and I believe there was a story a few days ago abou them maybe moving to per virtual processor in these situations.

Re:Powerpoint? (1)

jhnphm (892864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901862)

For Project, what about Planner? ( [] ) and Dia? Probably not comparable in terms of capabilities though, but it's something.

Re:Powerpoint? (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901919)

Probably not comparable in terms of capabilities


Re:Powerpoint? (3, Informative)

bubulubugoth (896803) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901884)

About macros.

The effor for migration macros, isnt derived from a bad "emulation" of the language, The OpenOffice macro language, is almos equal thant the language at Microsoft Macros, the difference is that, at OpenOffice, there are a lot of restricctions, strict typing for variables and method calling, so you are unable to create Macro Virii for OpenOffice.

About Project management. There are also more evolved tools, phpgroupware, dotproyect, but Yes, I must say that Project is a easy and quick to modify proyect managment tool, but when trying to keep sincronized amog a lot of users, then something web-enable is easier, with out the high costs Project + Office integration demands.

And about visio, stick figures are useful only to illiterated clients, that doesnt even have the hability to understad that a boxed item is a part of the process... If you are to draw process diagrams, you could use tools and standards made for that, for example use the UML bussines extensions, or the BMP XML notation.

Bussines Modeling Process (BMP) has a very good drawing tool: Jawe, and BMP looks further onto the integration of process development and IT.

OpenOffice has a very sweet gallery to be used with OpenDraw or OpenWriter, and for more complex graphics, you can use Dia, or the galleryes for OpenOffice.

So, thinking about visio and project as stoppers, means that you are getting anachronic to the market tendencies, and YES, this is fault of Microsoft, which pretends to keep every one aspect of the industry under they rate of development.

Re:Powerpoint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13901949)

For windows, Open Workbench is a quite nice open source project planner. It doesn't do minute-accurate planning like MSP, but in my experience then you're overplanning anyway. For the average project, it seems to work well. []

Disclaimer: Open Workbench integrates with Clarity (payware portfolio/governance), and I work for a partner of CA doing Clarity implementations. OWB stands very well on its own as a project planner though.

Re:Powerpoint? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902156)

Too bad that it is windows only. They would dominate the unix world if they ported.

Re:Powerpoint? (2, Interesting)

strcmp (908668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902000)

Good point regarding I can't quite say that it has reached the level of functionality that Powerpoint has but if your presentation needs Powerpoint than it is probably badly designed.

Come to think of it, though, it would be nice if Impress had some more backgrounds.

Grammar (1)

strcmp (908668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902022)

I meant "then."

Excel?! (1, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902015)

More evidence of excel errors (5, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902146)

I assume I was modded troll by someone who didn't realize something from Redmond can contain mistakes. F/OSS also has errors, but one hopes they can get fixed. Which is what the first link said--Gnumeric replicated errors of Excel and, when statisticians complained, Gnumeric got fixed & Excel didn't.

For those interested in Excel errors, here are other sources:

Re:More evidence of excel errors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902295)

"I assume I was modded troll by someone who didn't realize something from Redmond can contain mistakes."

You were modded troll because you criticised Microsoft. That's not how we do things around here.

What you're supposed to do is to say something like "I know I'll be modded down for liking MS, but Excel is the best invention ever. Windows never crashes and btw, Linus ate my baby."
You can say stuff like this secure in the knowledge that a fair proportion of the mods here are shills and astroturfers who will diligently mod up any pro-MS comments. All this pretence that /. is anti-Microsoft is just marketing hype.

Re:Excel?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902237)

Your linked 'scientific article' is worded like shit. It sounds like a damn advertisement, defending Gnumeric whenever it made a mistake.

Re:Excel?! (2, Interesting)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902305)

Who said it was a "scientific article?" Take up concerns over phrasing with Drexel Assoc. Prof. B. D. McCullough [] . But please point out places where he defended Gnumeric's mistakes. In most cases, he noted Gnumeric fixed an error & MS Excel didn't. This isn't saying the Gnumeric errors were good. But that it is good they were fixed.

Indeed, he criticizes Gnumeric: "On this basis alone, the RNG (random number generator) in Gnumeric can be judged as unacceptable for statistical purposes."

Visio (2, Insightful)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902042)

Can someone please tell me what the big deal is with Visio? On the commercial win32 front, SmartDraw seems just as capable & usually cheaper. On the F/OSS front, Kivio and dia rock.

Re:Visio (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902101)

You did not just seriously suggest that Dia is a nice piece of software. You didn't just do that. I know you didn't, because if you did, I'd have to reach through your screen and punch you. /tried to do many reports for my undergrad using Dia drawings. //regretted it every time. ///actually have done much better with OpenOffice Draw.

Re:Visio (2, Interesting)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902155)

Early versions of Dia did suck. It has gotten a lot better. I do like kivio more. But agree that OO.o Draw makes a good, basic vector graphics program (and Inkscape more so).

Re:Visio (2, Interesting)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902245)

Just a few weeks ago, I had to write a proposal for management types. Network diagrams and the like. Though I've used DIA, I knew it wouldn't be up for the challenge. After some sweating over having to wine visio, I did some serious googling and came up with: []

All I have to say is: Holy Crap. I almost knew everything about this from my visio experience (Not a lot, but I could get aroind). A lot of the symbols were the same, and it did had all the little nice things visio had. If you have ubuntu or another distro with a good package manager, I'd heartily recommend trying this program.

Re:Powerpoint? (2, Interesting)

zoloto (586738) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902141)

Wasn't there a "presentation" software available for the Mac that wasn't PowerPoint, but something else? I can't seem to recall what it was, but now that I have a Mac - could someone point out to me what it's called?


Re:Powerpoint? (4, Informative)

Armadni General (869957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902164)

Keynote. []

Re:Powerpoint? (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902534)


Re:Powerpoint? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902211)

You're most likely thinking of Keynote [] , part of Apple's iWork package. And yes, it's very very pretty.

Re:Powerpoint? (1)

51mon (566265) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902192)

"the killers for me at least are Excel, Visio and Project"

I know, I'll never be able to migrate to Microsoft Windows till Microsoft Office can open OpenOffice document formats, Visio open Dia document formats etc.

And I struggle to find a decent Windows IMAP client.

I mean, if I have to stick with Thunderbird, OpenOffice I can't see the point of moving off Debian. You'd think Microsoft would fix these things, otherwise they'll never win back any of the market share they have lost.

If you have no pain with Windows, you'll never move, but don't start try to justify it to yourself, you did your job before Visio, and have no doubt learnt to cope with it's failings, and you'd do the same with any alternatives if you had reason to.

As a computer user who was developing software, it got very tedious reinstalling Windows once a month, because it couldn't cope with the idea people might want to "try" software, or install one or two packages.

Then when doing "security sensitive" work, I discovered that the Microsoft mail clients security settings were a complete fiction (at the time), and didn't actually do anything when you clicked them, that and lack of a decent OpenPGP plugin for the mail client I wanted to use, and the availability of various software packages in the Unix world that had never been ported to Windows, were enough pain to make me install Slackware on a spare machine.

Since then Microsoft have dealt with some of their worst issues, well it doesn't crash anywhere near as often as it use to, but they haven't really addressed any of the security issues in depth apart from some measures to try and minimise the impact of buffer overflows in some of their own applications.

Moving operating systems can be a lot of effort (actually it is getting your data out of proprietary formats, and applications, that causes the main pain, I suspect I could reinstall this machine as OpenBSD tomorrow and the main problem would be the odd application that needs recompiling), so people won't do it without good reasons. I suspect that it is rarely cost justified in the short term, as that pain is almost certainly more cost per user, than the extra costs in running Microsoft Windows and software.

It may be jusitified in the long run, like never being at the mercy of software vendors in need of a few more bucks to pay their staff (or bonuses), or never being stuck when recovering a server because you can't find, or it won't accept some obscure licence key, or having a problem that "needs" fixing, and knowing you can always hire someone to try.

Re:Powerpoint? (2, Interesting)

Mateito (746185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902344)

you did your job before Visio

Maybe I should append that to "I did my job before Microsoft bought Visio".

Visio is a de-facto standard for passing around everything from SAN designs to workflow solutions to org-charts. Although the functionality of the program is important, file compatibility is the killer. Same with project, and excel macros. I'm not saying that any of these are best of breed, but I need to be able to share documents with people all around the world, and I have to run what they run.

Embedded Windows Media in Firefox (2, Interesting)

FredThompson (183335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901786)

I've struggled with this for a long time. Firefox has the wonderful ability to be put on a disc as a kiosk which is fantastic for setting a known baseline for presentations exported from PowerPoint. It would be a wonderful way to avoid all the security/configuration issues you run into with distributed presentations in the real world, especially if something more capable than MPEG1 can be used such as Flash.

However, Windows Media and M$ Office embedded media use a lot of M$-specific stuff to make it work properly. It's not just windows media that is a problem, it's also scaling graphics.

Here is a sample with IE and Firefox screenshots showing both image scaling problems and embedded media problems. This is from a few months ago but the problems persist with Firefox. []

Re:Embedded Windows Media in Firefox (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902285)

Without having to looked at the actual HTML generated in detail, what you talk about seems to be a typical problem of "Microsoft ignores standards and uses proprietary extensions instead which IE knows about but not other browsers like Mozilla/Firefox, Opera and so on".

I'm sympathetic to that problem, of course, but I do think that Mozilla can't really be blamed here. Kludges to support non-standard, vendor-specific, proprietary extensions are a bad idea, and that's in no small part because implementing them will mean that people will continue to rely on them. You may still use Powerpoint, of course, but I at least (as someone who has never used either Powerpoint or another presentation generation tool) will certainly make a mental note and avoid Powerpoint in the future if I can.

Re:Embedded Windows Media in Firefox (1)

FredThompson (183335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902411)

I must admit I haven't tried OpenOffice 2.0 as a way to generate more "friendly" HTML from PowerPoint. I'll try that.

This thread got me poking around again. FrontPage 2002 (I hate the never one and haven't learned Dreamweaver yet...) shows something very interesting. The "normal" tab display looks just like Firefox for the slides with the scaling issue. The "preview" window looks like the original slide. Having removed all the script calls, it now seems this is a CSS issue.

Maybe, just maybe, some tweaking can be done there to make the elements scale and position properly within frames. Given the CSS files from exported PowerPoint are "generic", maybe this will work.

Embedded video is a different issue. Firefox doesn't like the seamless embedding using the Office runtime. Even so, presentations have to be viewable by as many people as possible unless you have a controlled environment. I've been amazed at how often companies really lock down computers. It's one thing for people like us to grab a java runtime or flash player, quite another in the commercial world. People get fired for stuff like that. If that's required to view the presentations and the intended viewer can't view them, you're hosed.

The reason I like PowerPoint so much is the portability from a business sense. Any meeting place supports it. The HTML export also gives a real nice 3-paned layout including an index and the notes for each slide which means a single presentation can be used for large meetings or menu-driven by a single person. That's a fantastic return on time invested making presentations.

Re:Embedded Windows Media in Firefox (1)

johansalk (818687) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902312)

The VLC plugin for mozilla/firefox is fantastic. Look into it as an alternative.

Re:Embedded Windows Media in Firefox (1)

FredThompson (183335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902472)

You mean VideoLAN client?

The main problems are lack of HTML support for embedded video and PowerPoint's reliance on the M$ Office runtime.

MediaPlayerConnectivity works just fine for linked media. That's where VideoLan Client would function, not on embedded video.

That's the challenge.

I'm about ready to replace all embedded video with animated GIFs alternating between frame 1 and text (Click here to watch video) which does a direct link to the video file. Maybe that's the best option, anyhow, because it would show all the controls for a media player so people can use the position slider.

That leaves only the CSS issue which is analagous to a Master Slide in PowerPoint. I wonder if there's a "genericizer" for M$ Office CSS...

Re:Embedded Windows Media in Firefox (1)

FredThompson (183335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902488)

Bah, I meant the XML file, not the CSS file.

obligatory spelling gripe (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13901791)

Talk Like A Pirate Day was last month.

Re:obligatory spelling gripe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902188)

Yeah, but today is "act like George W. Bush" day.

So, you have to sound just as educated.

Of course, the real question is, is it really "Act like GWB day"?
If I am lieing, then it must be GWB day.
Of course, that means that I just told the truth.
So I have not acted liked GWB, so it must not be.

Teenage sex? (1)

lampiaio (848018) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901809)

"The desktop has become a lot like teenage sex: a lot of people are talking about it but not many people are doing it," Szulik said.

(insert obligatory "average slashdotter" joke here)

Help! ...Help!...Help Me!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13901811)

What are the secrets of the email hackers??!?!?!?? (4, Funny)

RDosage (694318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901832)

We've already /.'ed
I think a mirror is at []

Bitching doesn't help, action does. (5, Insightful)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901850)

Hurry up and release the Netscape-LDAP 100% free and unencumbered.
Pick an open project for calendaring/mail and make Outlook work with it.
Create better tools for identity management.

The problem with people not embracing open source is not with open source, its that nobody knows what they're looking for with open source. Focus on what small business needs, and what open source can offer. Create small, turn-key packages. Create an LDAP authentication server. Create an LDAP mail server that operates as a drop-in replacement that works with the identity server. Create a Document Management System that works with OpenOffice, so that you have it part of the file-save dialog. Give business the tools it needs to work, and work efficiently!

The tools are better. Everyone keeps saying that they are. The design is sound, the pieces are there, but nobody has stepped up to the plate and sewn it all together. Stop the development of new tools. Take the tools that we have already and put them together. Industry needs more than Google and a Howto posted on an undergrads website.

Everybody knows that there are a million ways to authenticate a bunch of workstations to one or more server. LDAP, LDAP and Kerberos. GSSAPI, Radius, whatever, but for the love of all things sane and holy, pick one! Pick one, and build the turnkey solution to do it. /phew.

Re:Bitching doesn't help, action does. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902016)

Netscape directory services have been open source for a while now. []

If you want desktop support software the company to look at is Novell, not realy Redhat. Redhat is good at what they do, Novell is good at desktop infrastructure.

For isntance take the NDS model, they made it possible to do the whole desktop enterprise thing with Windows, and Microsoft made their inferior copy of it called Active Directory. Novell was the pioneers and they still can be.

Novell is working on evolution, hula and a veriaty of other products (glitz and cairo for gnome for instance). Email, calendering, contact for the average person, for the average company.

Kerberos and LDAP works in Linux. I do it, and I am a fairly stupid person. It's a pain in the ass compared to Active directory, but that parts that matter can be done now. Hopefully somebody will make tools to make it easier.

Re:Bitching doesn't help, action does. (3, Insightful)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902097)

Last I checked, only the core DS is open sourced. Fedora and Red Hat are in the process of scrubbing the rest of it. Last I heard, it was the admin tools that are left. That's a big part of it for the SME.

Novell is very pricey for the SME business. They are a large installation company, or a second step company. No manager that is used to windows is going to bet the farm on Novell right out of the gate. They need an open source package to try out first. Let them grow into a Novell.

As for your last statement, that's exactly what I'm saying. It can be done, but you need somebody to do it. a lot of these companies don't have tech guys, they have Bob in accounting that's pretty good with computers. If there was a distro out there that you could drop in, it was configured as a server, with file store, e-mail, calendar, document store, and it was reasonably easy to add new users, add e-mail addresses, and find and save documents easily, then business would snap it up.

Actually there is, and it's called Microsoft Small Business Server. Make it for Linux, and make it free. Then extend it.

Re:Bitching doesn't help, action does. (1)

Dan_Bercell (826965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902340)

Good points, as a consultant I have to do a lot of research for different types of products, I have yet to find an open source option. On that note if anyone knows of a good open source Document Management system let me know :)

Re:Bitching doesn't help, action does. (3, Interesting)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902447)

Check out Knowledge Tree. [] They have a fairly polished webdav-based DMS, and are going to write a MS plugin for it as well (Plugin not open source). It has LDAP integration, and versioning. I plan to install it and goof around once I get my website back up and running, and get a couple of spare computers to hook everything up on.

Hopefully, I'm looking to get a Hula [] , Knowledge Tree [] , Fedora Directory [] , (I hate OpenLDAP, and I don't want to pay for Novell's) server, with pGina [] for Windows client authentication. I haven't tried OpenOffice with a WebDav server backend, but if that worked with revisioning, you have all the parts for a completely open-source server/infrastructure that meets the requirements that I mentioned. I just don't know if I'm going to have time to ever put it together, and some projects aren't mature enough to completely replace their MS counterparts. Hula especially, as right now it has only limited client support for all the applications, but it supports LDAP, and it's not a bunch of recycled parts with no management parts like Kolab. They should rename that project Kobble. But hopefully soon, all the parts will be production ready.

Man do I go off topic.

Re:Bitching doesn't help, action does. (1)

Dan_Bercell (826965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902538)

Thanks for the info, I will look into it (as Document Management systems can be very expensive).

The problem with OpenSource (at the present time) is that and are going to write a MS plugin for it as well features that are already in most commercial products are usually 'coming soon' and having to stick 3-4 different products, all with different releases scheduals, different roadmaps, different support options..etc all into one product. This creates a support nightmare that alot of consultants should shy away from.

Dont get me wrong, I like the idea of OpenSource, but I also like getting support from vendors especially during the first couple years of implementations. I hope that more commercial ready products like MySql will come out in the next few years.

legacy products (0, Redundant)

defected (908047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901929)

I just hate it when those legacy products like Exchange keep rising in market share (from the current ~60% to a projected ~80% in 5 years) and adding features not available in competitor products (e.g. OMA, OWA).

Re:legacy products (3, Interesting)

Dan_Bercell (826965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902358)

Exchange keeps rising in market share because its: (just to name a few) 1. A solid product that is easy to manage. 2. Lot of different software solutions integrate with it. 3. Its one of Microsofts main server platform.. therefore it gets alot of attention and money. 4. Outlook is a solid easy to use email client, that has been around for years. 5. Works nicely with Windows Mobile 6. Part of Small Business server... This helps small businesses to get a Enterprise class email server. Just at the feature enhancements since Exchange 5.5 to 2003... There is no reason why it should have grown in market share.

New Virtualization HW may be key (2, Insightful)

cpu_fusion (705735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13901959)

Linux Desktop may make huge inroads when CPUs that support "Pacifica" and "Vanderpol" virtualization technology go mainstream. The choice won't be "Windows vs. Linux" anymore; it can be both. And you can bet companies will quickly be asking their employees to do all the INTERNET related activity on the Linux "side". Heck, they could probably sandbox the Windows half very heavily, if all its going to do is run Office.

Mark my words: the biggest threat to Microsoft is having the "either-or" argument disappear. (And I acknowledge that VMWare and others can do this today, but they 1) aren't free, 2) are already growing in use.)

Re:New Virtualization HW may be key (1)

slashflood (697891) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902304)

And I acknowledge that VMWare and others can do this today, but they 1) aren't free, 2) are already growing in use.

You can get the VMware Player for free [] .

Re:New Virtualization HW may be key (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902315)

It can already be both [] . Do check it out - it's quite amazing.

Why wait for hardware? (1)

waferhead (557795) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902673)

IMHO, qemu (on Linux, with kqemu accelleration) works quite well with Win2k, and is free.
(Ok, qemu is Free, kqemu if free as in beer) XP is slow, last I checked anyway.
(Win98 flies...)

I haven't seen a glitch on Win2K running anything I have tried yet, and on reasonable hardware (Athlon 2100+/512M Ram) the emulation is faster than my box at work for anything. (Celeron 1.7)

Full didscosure---To me, Windows is a toy OS... I have it, it runs, as do all my old apps.
I don't really use it much to be able to say "it's bulletproof".

Unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902010)

>where does that innovation come from and who owns it?

The workers!

non-sequitur (0, Flamebait)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902033)

Red Hat CEO Decries Open Source Pretenders

Funny. This from a company which releases software like GFS, but then seems to almost actively dissuade other distributions from using it.

I'm hard-pressed to come up with other examples right at the moment, but it seems like I've run across several "open-sourced" stuff from Redhat which had virtually zero documentation- not even so much as what they actually DO, how to set them up, etc.

So I'm going to flip it back at RedHat's CEO- buddy:

  • releasing an Open Source package and giving it nothing more than a nearly blank page on the Redhat site doesn't quite count.
  • making a distribution, not providing it in binary form, and making it virtually impossible to compile from source, doesn't quite count.
  • Using lawyers to chase down with a vengance (ie engaging in a thinly veiled attempt to crush) a distribution which (god forbid) exercises its right to use the GPL to build a FREE copy of what you're forced to provide source for...not only doesn't count, it's not very nice, either. Just because something is within your legal right, doesn't mean you have to be an ass about it, and from what I recall, RedHat skipped directly from "hey guys, RedHat is a trademark and we kinda have to control how it is used, so could you please remove it from Whitebox" to nasty-gram- from-the-lawyers.
  • Using the community to help you develop/test your product, doesn't count. Especially when it's so poorly tested internally, v1 ends up hosing people's machines. I still don't recall anyone at RedHat apologizing for the fiasco that was Fedora 1.

Sorry, folks. I'm just plumb unimpressed with RedHat. They seem very much for taking from the GPL/OSS community, but even more for protecting the hell out of their revenue stream to the absolute line the GPL allows them to. Hell, I can't even get a non-commercial license for RedHat's commercial distribution to learn it, and has anyone SEEN how much the damn certification costs!?

Re:non-sequitur (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902149)


Redhat. Lets think about this.

Oh yah. They do large amounts of development work and stabilization for the 2.4 and 2.6 series kernel.

Hrm. I don't seem to be remembing anything abotu rewriting stack smashing protection and getting it actually incorporated into the GCC 4.x series.

Oh, and making SELinux usable. Na. That couldn't be Redhat. Could it?

Getting 2 ported to work with the gcj compiler instead of requiring a java runtime for many of it's features. THat couldn't be Redhat, eh?

Or how about GCC? Redhat couldn't be putting developers and resources into that project either, right?

And open sourcing GFS.. or netscape directory services, or developing and improving the ext3 file system.

Or how about Cygwin? I bet Gentoo did a lot of work on that one. Didn't they? That couldn't be Redhat could it?

I guess that doesn't amount to jack shit compared to your massive contributions to F/OSS software.

This couldn't be the company that allows projects like CentOS and Whitebox to download source code to their entire operating system and build 100% compatable clones either. Gee since they don't do that I would expect that Redhat would be big hypocrites.

Hey, how about this. Maybe Redhat has a business, and has employees and stockholders that they are responsable for. Hrm. Seems to me that each peice of software they buy or develope ends up being open source, isn't that funny for a company that doesn't give a shit?

Seems that they would behave more like original Suse did and rely on closed source management tools like Yast, or be like Gentoo, whose founder now works for Microsoft.

Give me a break. All Redhat does is:
1. Charge money for support
2. Protect their trademarks (which if you don't protect you loose unlike copyrights and patents. It takes a active effort to protect trademarks or they are invalid and anybody could use Redhat icons and call themselves redhat; including MS or IBM)
3. Don't provide binary downloads for free, except thru Fedora and Rawhide.

But they do provide the source code for everything they use... which is pretty open source, isn't it?

Re:non-sequitur (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902150)

Using the community to help you develop/test your product, doesn't count. Especially when it's so poorly tested internally, v1 ends up hosing people's machines. I still don't recall anyone at RedHat apologizing for the fiasco that was Fedora 1.

The reason that I personally will do my best to avoid redhate at all costs in the future is that they played bait and switch with us, the users. They provided us with a stable distribution which many of us actually gave them money for, and then they changed their terms entirely by making you pay for the stable version, and only giving you an alpha/beta version. I will not play these games with a person, or a retail outlet, or a software publisher.

Re:non-sequitur (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902266)

Fedora is very stable. Not to mention Fedora has one of the most active mailing list and user-base community of other distros. Redhat has to make money- they are charging for service and support if you need that. Boo-hoo. Waahhh. Suse is following in Redhat's shoes, as it seems to work as a good business model for a Linux company.

Re:non-sequitur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902731)

I still don't recall anyone at RedHat apologizing for the fiasco that was Fedora 1.

Sheesh, what do you what? Someone to kiss your (self imagined) bruise? Grow up.

Innovation huh? (-1, Flamebait)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902083)

"where does that innovation come from and who owns it?"
Not from Microsoft that is for sure; even though they would certainly like to own it!

RH Get Evolution (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902114)

According to Szulik, the huge presence of legaet PGP capabilities that infrastructure like Microsoft's Exchange

RH should try Evolution and get off the pot. You even get PGP that Microsft does not have.

Suse it better than RH from what I can tell, it even recognized my 54g D-Link G650 card and works great.

Linux is ready for the desktop, and many new countries to desktop computing are NOT using the North American status quo of Microsoft. The biggest reason Microsoft has a market share at all in China is because pirated copies are FREE. If not for that fact, the upcoming worlds biggest market would be Linux. Even Dell and HP sell Linux desktops and portable in China that we cannot get in North America.

The OS market is heating up and Novell seems to be making ground on Red Hat. And they are feeling the heat.

Many teenagers are doing a lot more than talking (3, Funny)

NZheretic (23872) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902136)

If the results are anything to go by [] , many teenagers are doing a lot more than just talking.

Anyhow, Szulik tends to hang around many of the more larger conservative kids, I mean companies, and even then in the backrooms a lot of it is going on that the CEOs and CIOs would like to admit ( I'm talking about messing around with Linux desktops, geez you guys have dirty minds ).

If Szulik were to hang around with more of the leaner mid sized less well off young companies he would find a lot more physical experimenting going on, especially with thin client Linux ( what else would they be doing ).

And as for local, state and federal governmental bodies around the world, they are begging for it, which at least is better than them always doing it to the tax payers.

that's easy... (4, Funny)

kavau (554682) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902138)

where does that innovation come from and who owns it?

That's easy:

Where does it come from? Apple.

Who owns it? Microsoft.

Re:that's easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902766)

funny you mention apple, it's just who I thought of when I read " source pretenders"

MS on the other hand, don't pretend, they despise passionately ;)

OT: your sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902780)

"GW Bush: proof that you can fool all the people all of the time."

I propose an edit:

GW Bush: proof that you can fool 51% of the people all of the time.

I think the guy is being paid too much (-1, Troll)

Bulmakau (918237) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902153)

I don't even understand what he says. Or maybe it's the beer I just had? ;) Anyway.. What reality check? reality is well known. I know very few people (actually I can count them on one finger) that uses linux as a desktop. So nothing new there. It's hard? Well.. tough sh*t.. they are not a free software. You have to pay for redhat. right? So they should deal with these obstecales.

Heck (1)

linforcer (923749) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902210)

Exchange is even keeping my dad from using firefox on his company laptop let alone Linux. (Yes it works in firefox, but half-assed)

Re:Heck (2, Interesting)

Dan_Bercell (826965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902374)

Evolution has an Exchange feature (have to pay for it though), also if his company has Exchange 2003 OWA works nicely, not has good as Internet Explore, but I use it when needed.

Mixing oil and water (3, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902251)

Mixing free and closed software is like mixing oil and water. For example, you can copy share, do business with, and distribute Linux all you want. Stick a proprietary piece of software or media on the same CD, and now you are dead in the water.

Free markets are about freedom. When people have it, they tend to use it to create wealth and prosperity where none ever existed before. Closed software is not about freedom, copy it and you can be sued or go to jail. Some people call that an "intellecutal property" right, but just because someone calls something a property right doesn't mean that it is.

True property rights don't derive from incentive, they derive from just allocation of things that have limited supply and demand. Just property rights lead to strong incentives, but coerced incentives do not lead to just property rights.

The smaller, the truer... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13902348)

Describing Microsoft products as "legacy." I like that. They could be better, but MS, the company that trumpets their innovation, really just sits on their intellectual asses and collects money on a shrewd business deal of twenty plus years ago. But threaten that money stream and, whoa, watch them innovate.

Enthusiasm for sever-side Linux. (2, Funny)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902371)

Sorry, but I have no enthusiasm for sever-side anything. Cuts too close to home.

It boils down to Gninertia (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902422)

Who wants to relearn something when they don't want to. Toolmakers make the mistake of building great new tools and expect everyone to see the merits of them. But tool users just need to get work done. They care not one whit about the geegaws that go into them, so long as they don't have to learn too much, RTFM, and use their old data that took them years to make.

It doesn't matter if it's a holy GnuWidget. People don't know (F)OSS from dog poop. They know Microsoft because that's what came on their machine. There are people that swear by Microsoft Works, perhaps the most awful 'office suite' ever written, because they finally figured out how to make it work. There's a lesson in that for the community.

FOSS has no marketing department, and will always battle those with budgets that can spread the word, or make it part of a bundle on a newbie's PC. Fight that, and you'll win, if winning is important.

All I know is (1)

suezz (804747) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902451)

Outlook is a big security hole masquerading as an email client. It just sucks. Ya and I mean Office outlook - don't even talk to me about outlook express.

Re:All I know is (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13902699)

It may be a big security hole, but it is by far the best desktop personal information manager. Outlook is one of the things I missed since I switched to a Linux desktop. Evolution doesn't even approach Outlook in terms of functionality.
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