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Kevin Carmony Responds to Criticism

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the painting-a-target-on-your-back dept.

300

sharkscott writes to tell us that LXer's Don Parris took a few minutes to get Kevin Carmony's response to the large amount of criticism he has been taking over offering non-free software in Linspire. From the article: "Essentially, Carmony's position is that, in ten years of holding out, the FOSS community has made relatively few gains, in terms of convincing vendors to release libre codecs and drivers. In other words, the strategy doesn't seem to be working. Additionally, while some will be patient, most users would prefer to have something - anything - that works in the meanwhile."

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300 comments

Continuing Discussion (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298612)

To repost my response to Mr. Paris on the L4C mailing list:

I honestly don't understand why Pamela got into such a tizzy over Linspire. The entire point of OSS is to allow forking. The OSS software Linspire is using (and sharing) was released by its owners with the understanding that others would use it for both commercial and non-commercial uses. And they were fine with that. All they required was that changes to *their* code be returned to the public. Anything that the licensee creates separately is his own.

Now that Linspire is taking advantage of that, we're supposed to get worked up about it? Why? If you don't want to contribute, don't contribute. Ignoring the project will kill it far faster than drawing attention to it.

I have a lot of pet peeves against Michael Robertson (not the least of which is his tendency to greatly exaggerate),. but I don't hold a grudge against the guy. If he wants to share his software with the world while keeping parts proprietary, that's his business. All I ask is that Linspire doesn't lay any Intellectual Property traps for unsuspecting souls. It should be clear who owns what and what permissions are given.


Note that Mr. Paris pointed out to me that Robertson stepped down as CEO. Carmony is running the show now. (Just in case you pay as little attention to Linspire as I do.)

My point still holds, though. There's nothing "wrong" with what Linspire is doing with the Freespire project. They're giving away free binaries (which they don't have to give you) along with all the source code they owe you. In exchange, you may or may not become a Click and Run [wikipedia.org] customer. I don't see an issue here. And no, I don't think that Linspire is really expecting a huge outpouring of volunteer programmers, either.

On another topic (since I can't make fun of poor Mr. Robertson's Linspire work anymore), has anyone noticed the latest from AJAX Launch [ajaxlaunch.com] ? It seems that they have added an Excel "Demo" (a pretty bit of XUL that looks like a real spreadsheet), a media player that seems no more sophisticated than the one in sharkscott's link in the summary (if I wanted your website to make noise... grrr...), and a RealPlayer video of the "AJAX Desktop" of the Future.

Are you amazed yet? Ecstatic? Hopping up and down in excitement? Holding your breath in bated anticipation?

No, neither am I. :-P

Re:Continuing Discussion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298633)

Well I'm glad to see that Linspire was the first to reply to the article.

Idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298661)

Idiot.

Re:Continuing Discussion (3, Insightful)

vga_init (589198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298655)

All they required was that changes to *their* code be returned to the public. Anything that the licensee creates separately is his own.

Even though the licenses of the software you mentioned permit this, bear in mind that this is not characteristic of Free software, something that GNU and the FSF are very dedicated to. Since GNU/linux is the most popular implementation of their system, naturally you're going to have a large user base that prescribes to the philosphy behind Free software. Even if you don't like hearing complaints from them, it's bound to happen. :)

Re:Continuing Discussion (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298794)

Even though the licenses of the software you mentioned permit this, bear in mind that this is not characteristic of Free software

Nonsense. Not only does the license explicitly separate your programs from GPLed programs (as opposed to the "viral" view), Stallman has repeatedly stated that he has no issues with software being sold or used commercially. If Linspire is going to provide you with access to commercial software AND users are willing to pay for it, then more power to them.

Sure, Linspire may not have bought 100% into the GPL philosophy, but that's not the point. The point is that the GPLed software they're still adhering to the GPL principles by sharing any and all maintenance. If they fix a bug, they have to share it. If they add a new feature, they have to share it. If they decide to try a completely different direction, they still have to share it. Thus the Linux software grows, even if it fails to incorporate CNR or MPEG4. Both of those are matters for other [atekon.de] GPL projects [xvid.org] to encourage freedom in.

This is true even if they don't otherwise want to make their software free. As Stallman said [gnu.org] :
The goal of GNU was to give users freedom, not just to be popular. So we needed to use distribution terms that would prevent GNU software from being turned into proprietary software. The method we use is called "copyleft".(1)

The central idea of copyleft is that we give everyone permission to run the program, copy the program, modify the program, and distribute modified versions--but not permission to add restrictions of their own. Thus, the crucial freedoms that define "free software" are guaranteed to everyone who has a copy; they become inalienable rights.

For an effective copyleft, modified versions must also be free. This ensures that work based on ours becomes available to our community if it is published. When programmers who have jobs as programmers volunteer to improve GNU software, it is copyleft that prevents their employers from saying, "You can't share those changes, because we are going to use them to make our proprietary version of the program."

Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's...

Re:Continuing Discussion (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298807)

A typical day in the life of RMS:

8am - Wake up outside the Center for Marxist Education in Cambridge as another bum shits on him. Thinks this sucks and that he would like an apartment, but can't find a landlord with an apartment that is free as in speech and beer. Falls back asleep.

9am - Wakes up again.

9:15am - Goes to men's room at MIT to wash shit off. Gives himself sponge bath. Shit comes off (somewhat), but he really isn't clean since he refuses to take a shower.

9:45am - Decides to shave 2 inches off beard after someone in MIT restroom mistakes him for Osama Bin Laden.

10am - Goes to McDonalds for breakfast. Gets into arguement with workers behind counter after they refuse to give him a free as in speech and beer breakfast. Also gets into arguement with the manager about why McDonalds should be called GNU/McDonalds due to the fact that he eats there.

11:30am - After being thrown out of McDonalds since the staff doesn't want a DGH deterring lunch rush, RMS goes to the McDonalds' dumpster to find food. Eats a "GNU/Quarter Pounder" and "GNU/fries" covered with "GNU/mold". He consideres the food better since it is free as in speech and beer.

12:30am - Goes back to MIT to recruit MIT students into writing free software. RMS is unable to enter anyone's office since everyone has placed spider plants in their offices. (He has a phobia a spider plants.)

1pm - RMS protests GWB (George W. Bush) for not being GNU/GWB and believing in copyrights. Wanders out of Cambridge and into Waltham. Police find RMS and arrest him for violating the ordinance that says he is not allowed to enter Waltham. (All towns surrounding Cambridge have this ordinace.) Police beat him and deport him back to Cambridge.

3:30pm - Goes back to MIT and creates a plan for dealing with overpopulation by killing everyone who uses non-free software. Writes code into next version of emacs to implement that feature

5:30pm - Reads email. His email is bombarded with trolls and goatse. RMS is turned on by the goatse and beats off to it.

6pm - Still beating off to goatse

7pm - Still beating off to goatse

8pm - Still beating off to goatse

9pm - Breaks into MIT vending machine to have a free as in speech and beer snack.

10pm - Breaks into a liquor store for free as in speech and free as in beer beer. Gets drunk.

10:15pm - Walks around drunk yelling, "Use free software" and "I am a goat fucker".

11:45pm - Collapses in front of the Center for Marxist Education. Goes to sleep.

Re:Continuing Discussion (1)

Maserati (8679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298791)

Bated anticipation, actually. They're obviously vastly overoptimistic, but serious tools being developed in AJAX can only be a good thing. Mind, these aren't serious tools yet - they have a long way to go yet, but they are very nice proof-of-concept demos.

Carmony is probably an idiot, but there's nothing that says he can't try and make a semi-proprietary consumer OS.

Re:Continuing Discussion (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298808)

I don't think the problem is Linspire using non-free software. Lots of folks do that.

The problem was the tone he was taking, talking this up as a wonderful advance that everyone should emulate, lionizing the supposed 'freedom' to 'choose' to be unfree. That's what really set PJ off. And it left a bad taste in my mouth when I read it too.

Re:Continuing Discussion (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299047)

"In exchange, you may or may not become a Click and Run customer."

And if you don't, you'll be able to do what with your computer? Practically nothing. Without third-party software, Linspire is almost as bare as Windows. Without Click and Run, your computer is little more than a big paperweight. And apt WILL break it. When I tested it, apt-get broke the OS after just three uses to install very common programs; my, what a coincidence that the only other way to get software that they don't profit from breaks the OS. So, saying that you have a choice here is almost inaccurate here -- really, you don't, they just pretend that you do before you install it. It's like a choice between eating or starving.

Re:Continuing Discussion (1)

nugneant (553683) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299126)

It's like a choice between eating or starving.

Nah. Those are bi-polar opposites.

I'd say this is more a choice between paying $49.95 for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, paying $19.95 for some wild strawberries and contaminated groundwater, or starving.

Re:Continuing Discussion (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299057)

"The OSS software Linspire is using (and sharing) was released by its owners with the understanding that others would use it for both commercial and non-commercial uses. And they were fine with that. ... If [Michael Robertson] wants to share his software with the world while keeping parts proprietary, that's his business."

Careful, you're conflating two logically unrelated points there. Proprietary and Commerical are not the same thing.

People who are in perfect agreement with the commercial sale of software might easily be violently opposed to proprietary (i.e. closed source) software. There's absolutely no inconsistency there. It's just like some people are perfectly fine with commercial software, and with proprietary software too, but hate EULAs.

"All I ask is that Linspire doesn't lay any Intellectual Property traps for unsuspecting souls."

There are some who argue that proprietary software necessarily leads to Intellectual Property [sic] traps. Whether they're intentional or not is not always clear. That's why you'll reliably find people who will forcefully criticise efforts to mix software that they view as encumbered and that which they consider to be Free.

If... (5, Insightful)

xx_toran_xx (936474) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298628)

If Linux proponents expect to see any sort of growth in desktop Linux usage, they are going to have to back down on this issue. Users want their MP3s to play. They want their videos to play. They don't want to deal with some complicated installation procedure just to get basic functionality that they can get easily, out-of-the-box in an install of another operating system.

Linspire realizes this, so they're doing all they can to make it easy as they can for new Linux users to use Linux and do what they want. People shouldn't be giving them flack for this.

Re:If... (-1, Flamebait)

Nybarius (799156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298642)

When Linux is finally rendered completely user friendly, a legion of people will stop using it immediately. For some people, the hazing effect is part of the appeal. They're called losers.

Re:If... (1, Troll)

DoubleRing (908390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298699)

Personally, I think Linux is already almost completely user friendly. Have you checked out the new Fedora Core 5 installation, or any installation using anaconda or something similar. I have to say setting it up was a breeze, and with tools like yum and guides like these (http://www.stanton-finley.net/fedora_core_5_insta llation_notes.html [stanton-finley.net] ) I find it surprising that people find it difficult. Plus, I haven't tried it myself, but we've all heard of how great Ubuntu is. Linux has come a long way.

Re:If... (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298772)

On a clean machine, Ubuntu is probably easier to install than Windows. I don't think that that is the issue at all.

I just switched to Ubuntu last week, from Gentoo, when I got tired of waiting for every new update to compile.

Re:If... (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298701)

Who cares what those folks do?

Re:Who cares... (0, Offtopic)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298744)

Gundam Wing expresses it nicely:
From a historical point of view, warriors who have lost what they were protecting and were further betrayed by those they were protecting are losers. But they do not recognize themselves as such. Not only that, but they retain a strong will to continue fighting. The emotions of those who were thought to be beautiful are always full of sorrow, and honored tradition disappears in the cry of the weak. Winners of a battle will eventually decline in power and become losers, and then those 'losers' will cultivate a new leader.

Re:If...then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298759)

Sir, I'm not sure, but I think you might be dumb.

Configuring OSS is not like hazing. Hazing is what "they" do to you so you can be accepted by "them".

You configure OSS so that it will do what you want it to do. And you learn something about how it works in the process.

We used to spend time compiling apps. Then package managers got better and adding apps is now easier and automated.

We used to spend time configuring X, now most distros can handle that for you.

The progression we are seeing is not one where folks are becoming less interested in OSS as it becomes easier to install/configure/use. In fact, it's the opposite.

The functionality bar keeps getting raised by the community, who continue to dream up new abilities and uses for OSS. They only have so much time, and when it's freed up from not having to spend a lot of it configuring a basic system, then they have more time to dedicate to developing that application they really are interested in.

And, as for the folks you refer to as 'losers', they will continue to configure linux to do what they want it do- only their expectations of what constitutes basic functionality will continue to grow. /\SS!

Re:If... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298868)

You should really look up luser in your drool-proof handbook before posting on Slashdot.

Re:If... (1, Troll)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298736)

You're missing the point. Free software people are interested in spreading Free Software. Why would they sacrifice the Free Software part of that, just to spread more proprietary software?

Re:If... (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298883)

Why would they sacrifice the Free Software part of that, just to spread more proprietary software?

People won't use OpenOffice on a Linux box if they can't play their MP3s on the same box. Throw one proprietary s/w in, and the new convert gets 1000 F/OSS packages to discover. Otherwise she will not even want to look.

Re:If... (1)

NetRAVEN5000 (905777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299245)

"People won't use OpenOffice on a Linux box if they can't play their MP3s on the same box. Throw one proprietary s/w in, and the new convert gets 1000 F/OSS packages to discover. Otherwise she will not even want to look."

from LNW: [oneandoneis2.org]

"Linux wants users who want Linux. And that doesn't mean just the name. It means everything: The free, open-source software; the ability to tinker with your software; the position of being in the driver's seat, in total control.

That's what Linux is. That's what it's all about. People migrate to Linux because they're sick of viruses, sick of BSODs, sick of spyware. That's understandable. But those people don't want Linux. They really just want Windows without the flaws. They don't really want Linux. So why should Linux want them?"

Re:If... (2, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298737)

You mean, rather than trying to get manufacturers to release their specs, we should just throw in the towel and wave the white flag.

Re:If... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298831)

You mean, rather than trying to get manufacturers to release their specs, we should just throw in the towel and wave the white flag.

Frankly, the manufacturers don't seem to be suffering. What are you going to use as leverage?

Re:If... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298864)

They're going to sit in front of their computers and pack their fat asses full of more Cheetos.

Re:If... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298758)

Except you've entirely missed the point of an open source operating system. By the death of a thousand pin-pricks, Linux may soon depend so much on closed code that a great number of the advantages it presents over closed operating systems like MS Windows will largely evaporate. You will either have a flakey system of dubious security that frequently breaks on OS upgrades due to dated drivers, or Linux will be locked into outdated but unchangable kernel schemes, for fear of breaking it's hordes of proprietary device drivers.

Re:If... (3, Insightful)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298929)

The point of an operating system is to enable the user to get their stuff done. It doesn't matter if it's an open source OS or a closed source OS, if it fails that primary requirement then it's worthless to the user. Some stuff is currently not doable using only open source software.

Re:If... (1)

jrcamp (150032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298963)

Some stuff is currently not doable using only closed source software. By your logic, that makes it useless and open source the only option.

Oops!

Re:If... (2, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299013)

So by your logic, if I give you a binary blob that 'gets your stuff done' that's it, end of story, right?

Now what if that blob also lets me take over your computer and do whatever I want with it? Maybe I'll use it to send a few million spams... or maybe I'll just snoop through your private documents and check out your pr0n collection. Either way, doesn't matter, since you 'got your stuff done' right?

What you're doing is looking at one side of the equation - benefit - but not at the other - cost.

What 'stuff' exactly do you do with your computers that's worth more than your freedom?

Re:If... (2, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299107)

A large portion of users are happy with this.

And this is exactly what distinguishes between a possible OSS and non-OSS user. It is not price, it is not ease of use, it is not "what my computer plays".

I have a couple of friends who are nowhere near technical computerwise (biologists, humanties, etc). They run Linux for this exact and sole reason (and some of them are pretty happy with good old Debian woody as a matter of fact). They use the computer as a tool that does what they need to do for their daily bread. They do not give a flying f*** about dancing paperclips singing MP3. What they care about is that their daily bread is not being jeopardised by some binary blob taking over the computer.

Similarly, I have friends that extremely technical in the computer sense, high level software developers in fact. They are addicted to bells, whistles, singing paper clips, visual effects and the like. They would not use linux because they cannot get that "special one MP3" to sing on it. That is despite the fact that they get 20-30% less work done as result because of dealing with all the binary blobs taking over the machine.

The singing MP3 is an irrelevant factor in the "To Convert or not Convert" dillema.

People who view the computer as a "tool of the trade" will convert.

People who view it as a "toy" will not until it becomes a "toy". In order for it to become a "toy" it will have to provide facilities to all the direct marketing and MBA graduate low life out there to shag the user. The moment it does it will no longer be OSS and here the circle closes. Frankly, I do not see a point in trying to break this circle as it is kept in motion by economic powers which are selfsustaining in todays world.

No point to bother.

Re:If... (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299237)

I think you largely hit the nail on the head there.

I'm an example. I'm just a computer user, not a kernel hacker or anything like that. I've been using linux for well over a decade, and haven't used a windows machine in around half that time. I'm always amused at the 'is linux ready for the desktop' crap that keeps getting recycled every 6 months. Of course it's ready. It's been ready for a decade. The question is 'are you ready?'

Yes, there's some things that toy computers do that linux won't. So what. That's the stuff I used to spend half my time finding ways to turn off when I was on windows anyway.

Hardware support could definitely be better, but then again, the only solution to that is long term. Don't buy hardware that doesn't work.

Re:If... (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299241)

So by your logic, if I give you a binary blob that 'gets your stuff done' that's it, end of story, right?

Now what if that blob also lets me take over your computer and do whatever I want with it?

Unless you check every line of the source of all the software you use yourself, and compile it all yourself, I don't see how open source software is any better than closed source software in this regard. Unless you do all that you're relying on other people to verify the software as secure. Now open source software MAY make verification easier, but it certainly isn't impossible with closed source software. It's not like people don't monitor the things that closed source does - they do. That's why Sony got into so much trouble with their CD copy protection stuff a while back - it got caught doing dodgy stuff, despite the fact that it was closed source.

There's a second point here too. If nVidia puts a back door into their binary driver and get caught they are going to be in a lot of trouble legally. They're an easy to find target for lawsuits or criminal prosecution. That is a large incentive for them to make sure that their software does not contain anything malicious. The same cannot be said about most open source software.

Re:If... (1)

NetRAVEN5000 (905777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299160)

"Some stuff is currently not doable using only open source software."

Such as?

I pretty much only use open-source. Using OpenOffice.org I can view/modify/edit/create Word/Powerpoint/Excel files. Using Kontact I can manage my contacts, check e-mails, and do anything else Outlook might let me do. I can use Scribus for desktop publishing, like MS Publisher. I can play free games available through HappyPenguin.org. I can use GIMP for image editing, I can use Nvu for site editing/publishing, I can use Firefox or Konqueror for web browsing. . .

The only things I do that "require" closed source software are playing DOOM3 and Halo.

Re:If... (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299202)

Such as?
Such as fully utilizing the capabilities of an nVidia graphics card.

Re:If... (1)

jonfr (888673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298773)

My mp3 files play just fine. Also my wma, wmv, avi (dixv, vxid, and so on..). So whatever you where trying to say, it was already wrong when you did finish the sentance.

Hint: I use Gentoo Linux, on other distros setting up a good media system is no problem at all.

Re:If... (1)

BootNinja (743040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299016)

You sir, have just completely missed the point. While it is true that you CAN get all of those things working, many distros have them disabled by default, because those codecs are not Free. Most commercial distros do not support those codecs out of the box, because the algorithms are patented, and hence including them opens the creators of the distro to lawsuits by the patent holders. Then you have distros such as debian who do not support them out of the box from an ideological standpoint. The GP's point was that people want these things to "just work" and in many cases this is just not possible.

Re:If... (1)

NetRAVEN5000 (905777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299195)

Still wrong.

The codecs required for these formats are free. You just need mplayer to use them.

Yes, there are people that want things to "just work" but that almost never happens in the computer world. It's a trade-off - either the program works fine with the user's intervention or it doesn't work at all.

I've used Windows before, and I know for a fact that it doesn't "just work" - you still need to set up your own firewall, make sure you do your updates, set up some sort of antivirus, set up spyware blockers, popup blockers, do a defrag and scandisk every so often. . . all that and people STILL need to reformat their hard drives once in a while!

Compared to that, I'd say Linux is much better at "just working" - I remember a guy in my class who's fairly computer-knowledgeable telling me about how his nice PC with 1GB RAM, 3.0GHz Pentium Extreme with Hyperthreading. . . wen in the crapper. Why? Because his sister downloaded an MP3.

Yeah. Windows "just works". Hah! Maybe if you don't use it, it'll "just work".

Linux supports mp3, but that's not the issue (2, Informative)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298840)

The distro I use, Gentoo, lets you play mp3s easily. In fact most Linux distributions do. I don't think it's a controversial issue that people want interoperability with their closed format files.

But that's not the issue people have with Linspire.

Re:If... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298863)

Our goal should be to spread freedom and then defend it. That is more important than making our software popular, which would just be catering to our egos. -- RMS [1 [ttp] ]

Re:If... (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298877)

Users want their MP3s to play. They want their videos to play.

Well, the problem is distros aren't allowed to distribute libraries that plays mp3 and videos. They get around it, but it's not technically legal in some countries (like the US).
Compare that to other drivers, like the Nvidia drivers, where Nvidia explicitly allows Linux distros to distribute their drivers, and then you do see distros include the drivers by default.

Why not embrace two tracks of OSS development? (2, Interesting)

mrraven (129238) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299050)

By two tracks I mean one track that has a Linspirish philosophy of just make it work for newbies even if that also means including some closed source proprietory software, AND a purist RMS FSF.

Really these two tracks compliment each other the closed source development track brings in newbewies while the purest camp can defend our freedoms and perhaps save our butts if DRM becomes very prevalent.

The point is though why does each side have to try to convert the other to it's philosophy as my way or the highway? Lets let them both run and see what happens, after all that's what's going to happen anyway, it's very unlikely either FSF or closed source software is going away any time soon.

I use OS X which has closed source software in the OS and I run closed source apps as well, but I also run fink/KDE as well on top of the open source Darwin base at times, as well as running Firefox as my browser. Does that mean one "side" or the other should work to convert me? What nonsense, what a waste of developer time, and above all how immature.

Can't you argue about something of real importance like poverty, or war, or whether peak oil is real, etc?

Re:Why not embrace two tracks of OSS development? (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299148)

By two tracks I mean one track that has a Linspirish philosophy of just make it work for newbies even if that also means including some closed source proprietory software, AND a purist RMS FSF.

You mean like Linspire and Debian respectively?

Re:If... (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299132)

Good point, but a very bad example.

Anyone in the know who still uses mp3 absolutely deserves all the patent litigation that's coming to them.

Especially since there have been viable alternatives for years that are superior in absolutely every way and are a hell of a lot more free.

Re:If... (1)

NetRAVEN5000 (905777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299216)

"If Linux proponents expect to see any sort of growth in desktop Linux usage"

Linux != Windows [oneandoneis2.org]

We don't care about numbers. YOU care about numbers. We care about Linux - if you choose not to use it, that's fine with us.

The OSS team needs to realise... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298639)

...that the _real world_ does not share their view that politics is the most important thing in software... Functionality is...

Re:The OSS team needs to realise... (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298972)

This line of reasoning is quite well-known, in various variants in which "Functionality" is replaced by other kinds of bait. It does not cater, though, for the fact that in many, many contexts and situations the most pragmatic thing to do is to be very political and idealistic. Software is one of those contexts.

Re:The OSS team needs to realise... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298981)

Except that it's precisely the stand of OSS community - pragmatism over philosophical matters. You must have meant FSF.

Re:The OSS team needs to realise... (1)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299127)

The OSS team needs to realise...that the _real world_ does not share their view that politics is the most important thing in software... Functionality is...

Stupidest type of argument ever, claiming that the large number of people who prefer OSS licenses do not live in the "real world".

There are people, and companies, out there in the "real world", that consider an OSS license an important requirement for software they're going to use - whether you like it or not.

Re:The OSS team needs to realise... (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299215)

Of course, proprietary software is more or less guaranteed to break, get outdated or become abandonware in the future, which means it, by its very nature, isnt functional.

Does he have some examples? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298650)

I can't say that I have had any problems with Linux and hardware, especially since the 2.6 kernel. Even for relatively new hardware, things just seem to work.

This is even true with various laptops I have used. All the devices work perfectly, even the wireless capabilities. In many cases the drivers are already included, whereas with Windows XP I was forced to either download the drivers or obtain them from a vendor disc.

For desktop use, it doesn't matter if the nVidia drivers are mostly closed-source. As long as they work, that's fine. When it comes to servers, there's often little need for proprietary drivers. At my place of work, either we use Solaris (which wasn't open sourced until recently) or OpenBSD. Either way, there's no need for proprietary drivers in the first place, even with rather obscure SCSI and networking devices.

Re:Does he have some examples? (3, Insightful)

tclark (140640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298748)

Keep in mind that you can't rely on the nVidia drivers to work, because they are closed source. Opting for a closed source driver is accepting that Bad Things may happen to your system, and you may not get any help if they do.

Re:Does he have some examples? (2, Insightful)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298797)

Their windows drivers are closed source, but I expect them to work. I also /do/ expect the nvidia linux drivers to work, because... they do!

Sure, nvidia "might not" keep the drivers up to date with all the linux kernel side changes that are going on, but they "might not" with windows as well... but they do, so their customers can use their product.

Okay, this weeks drivers might not work with next weeks kernel, but this is a problem with the linux kernel not having the same backwards compatibility as windows. Can hardly blaim nvidia for that.

It's so not as big a deal as everyone keeps making out.

Re:Does he have some examples? (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298845)

Okay, this weeks drivers might not work with next weeks kernel, but this is a problem with the linux kernel not having the same backwards compatibility as windows. Can hardly blaim nvidia for that.

The fact that the kernel isn't obligated to accrete cruft continually to preserve backward compatibility is an advantage, not a problem.

Nvidias unwillingness to simply document their product so it can be properly supported is not something you can blame on anyone but them. Old-think dies hard, but it does die.

Re:Does he have some examples? (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298888)

Although I appreciate a clean, cruft-less kernel, wouldn't lack of backwards compatibility doom all dfriver projects to eternal development?

Great for hobbyists, but lethal for anyone wanting to write drivers. Today's working driver would be tomorrow's kernel panic factory.

What happens to less popular drivers? Do they just die for lack of skilled people to work on them when the kernel changes?

Re:Does he have some examples? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298949)

They become buggy pieces of shit and Andrew Morton has to come out and call for a "bug fix release" because that spaghetti monster that is the linux kernel done borked up. If you look at open source projects in general (GCC, glibc, linux, X) every release relegates some platform/hardware to the scrapheap of unsupported because they've reimplemented their cruftball again and no one wants to rewrite support for everything again. This is known as progress.

And everyone knows that the Linux kernel developers just use MacOS when they want something more sophisticated than emacs on a 80 column tty.

Re:Does he have some examples? (2)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298957)

Drivers for fully supported hardware are kept right in there in the kernel tree on kernel.org.

Whenever the internal kernel interfaces change (which is really pretty rarely) kernel programmers also check all those drivers and make any changes necessary.

Once a device is supported, it's very nearly perpetual. It's rare for drivers to be removed, and usually when they are it's because they've been superceded (the hardware still works, the support is just being done more elegantly, for instance when 2.6.16 was released amdtp and cmp had been removed, but that was because the hardware they supported is now supported with libiec61883.)

For a device that was once supported to actually be dropped, there has to be a major kernel change combined with no one in the kernel development community (paid or volunteer) having the motivation to update it. This means, no paying customers of RedHat, SuSE, etc. using it, no kernel hackers have one in a still functional system at home, etc. And even then, you're free to grab the source for the last working version and update it yourself, or pay someone else to do it.

Try to do that with a binary driver.

how it works (2, Informative)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298965)

Lack of backwards compatibility would "doom all driver projects to eternal development", except that kernel drivers are updated by whoever breaks backwards compatibility. This is why drivers need to be in the official kernel source tree. Driver authors often sit back and relax while other people make the required changes to all drivers in the tree. Updating the drivers is often a robotic task, often taken on by the "kernel janitors" team.

This usually keeps the less-popular drivers alive for many years, though not forever of course. Linux just recently lost support for the PC-XT hard drives that came in 5 MB, 10 MB, and 20 MB sizes back in the early 1980's. (these never shipped with a 386, but people sometimes put the old drives in newer machines) It is unlikely that any of these drives still work.

Re:how it works (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299022)

You know, it occurs to me that this may be one of the reasons some hardware manufacturers resist supporting linux. With Windows and secret interfaces, they get to cut driver support with a fair expectation of forcing people to buy new hardware.

Re:Does he have some examples? (1)

thealsir (927362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299054)

This is the problem with FOSS, lack of direction. People need to realize that x branch of y software should have some interoperability and backwards compatability. Various immaturities such as "OMG HOW DARE YOU IMPLEMENT NON-FOSS INTO LINUX LOL!!!!111" and "BINARY DRIVERS ARE TEH SUXOR" will just get more major (and minor) players detracted from linux. If you need to rely on a system, you want to see a solid, unified front, not a disorganized group of hippies hellbent on an idealogy. Compromise is the best and only solution in today's world. That's why Linus will be remembered and Stallman will pass into obscurity.

Re:Does he have some examples? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298850)

The only difference between open and closed in this case is that in open source, you can't blantly do something the user doesn't want.

I know that I like the concept of open source, the same way I like merge-sort, it's solid in theory. I say this because I know I haven't read the source of any code I use (except for stuff I write). So the benefit of openess is just a different web of trust to me anyway. But realistically, there are trade-offs in either direction.

I have 0 guarentees of help, or correctness using open-source, even in closed source I most often can only find a shitty out-of-date web site that is trying to be idiot-friendly and helpful (the two don't mix all the time, especially in this case) but utterly failing. Yes, there are communities, but they are far from perfect. And in either open or closed source, we've all run into a problem that has been noted and will be fixed at the earliest convience (or interpreted as a feature and you're SOL, and yes, in the open world you CAN change whatever you want, but you need things like time and knowledge which many people do not have in abundance).

You run a computer, it will get FUBAR'd. Try your best to minimize those experiences (or at least learn from them), and stay as productive as possible. If you don't like the heat, get a liquid cooling system.

Re:Does he have some examples? (5, Insightful)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298921)

Wow, that is just the absolute pinnacle of FOSS FUD.

Who else but the designers of the hardware to produce drivers (open or otherwise)? They have access to hardware schematics, development plans, and the engineers who designed everything from the fabrication plants to the chips you're writing the drivers for. Do you honestly think you're a good enough programmer to fix a driver for hardware you have no knowledge of? I'm not a programmer hardly at all. It doesn't matter to me if it's open or closed. Either way, I can't fix anything.

Assuming that something won't work because it's closed source is as stupid as the closed source camp claiming FOSS is more susceptible to security vulnerabilities. It's absolute BS. And won't get any help from the vendor? I'd say I'm as likely to not get help from a vendor as it is likely that the FOSS community will label my bug Won't-Fix. God forbid I happen to get some rare bit of critical hardware for which the FOSS "community" consists of one guy who's a complete idiot.

Yes, I understand the FOSS model. Yes, I beleive it is superior. Yes, I believe it is the future. But avoiding closed software because of some nebulous bugaboo makes you seem like Chicken Little in a snowstorm.

Re:Does he have some examples? (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298988)

"Do you honestly think you're a good enough programmer to fix a driver for hardware you have no knowledge of?"

Yes.

OK, not 100% of the time, but very often. Perhaps the problem is unrelated to the hardware itself. The code might forget to check if a memory allocation failed. The code might take locks in the wrong order. The code might try to access user memory while a spinlock is held. I can certainly fix these things.

With a bit of hardware documentation, I can do much more.

With plenty of hardware documentation, I can write the driver myself.

If I happen to have the same hardware as you, then you get to use my code.

Re:Does he have some examples? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15299118)

Where is your video driver with full support for hardware accelerated 3D rendering?

Re:Does he have some examples? (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299188)

It's installed on my computer, duh. This is possible because I have documentation for it.

Not that I give a shit about 3D, but it came with my computer and documentation was available so I have a driver.

Re:Does he have some examples? (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298990)

Assuming that something won't work because it's closed source is as stupid as the closed source camp claiming FOSS is more susceptible to security vulnerabilities. It's absolute BS. And won't get any help from the vendor?

In fact, lots of people have problems with closed drivers under Linux, much more problems than with the free ones. So there is this little thing called experience backing some of the arguments being made.

I'd say I'm as likely to not get help from a vendor as it is likely that the FOSS community will label my bug Won't-Fix.

That may be well correlated to the way you go about asking for your bugs to be fixed... In any case, I really find this staement of yours to be not true.

God forbid I happen to get some rare bit of critical hardware for which the FOSS "community" consists of one guy who's a complete idiot.

Well, in that case, that idiot would be you ;-) Seriously, unless that rare bit of critical hardware is a very expensive thingie and/or you are paying those that make it to write/maintain drivers, then you are as screwed with a propietary driver as with a free-one-wriiten-by-a-complete-idiot.

Re:Does he have some examples? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15299087)

Do you honestly think you're a good enough programmer to fix a driver for hardware you have no knowledge of?

Actually, yes. Sure, I won't be able to fix the most complex problems as I'm not a device driver developer, but having the source code gives me options. These range from being able to identify bugs, then after determining their root cause work around them, through to hiring a capable programmer with hardware experience who can do the job.

As a real example, I once found a bug in the read-only firmware of a network card. Fortunately, since the driver for this was open-source and I didn't need the feature that was faulty in the NIC, I disabled it along with the corresponding diagnostics the driver initialisation procedure invoked, then recompiled the driver. Presto, a working network card.

I'm not a programmer hardly at all. It doesn't matter to me if it's open or closed. Either way, I can't fix anything.

I'd like to consider this: just because you personally cannot use the source code does not mean that you can't benefit from it's availability. Even if only indirectly by virtue of the fact that real programmers can do things with it you will like. :)

Who else but the designers of the hardware to produce drivers (open or otherwise)? They have access to hardware schematics, development plans, and the engineers who designed everything from the fabrication plants to the chips you're writing the drivers for.

. . . and budgets they need to stay within, time constraints due to conflicting priority and limited resources, and a profit incentive to sell you new products that might cause their interests to be at odds with those of their customers. Never mind the fact that they may not be around or in the business of providing the products/services they do currently when you have an issue that only someone with the source code can deal with readily.

When your hardware goes end-of-life, unless you're a huge customer of theirs they have little or no incentive to fix that obscure bug that is now causing you major grief. If the device driver was open source, you could pay a thrid party to fix it for you.

People need to realise that Free Software is about giving you control over the computer systems you rely on by removing artificial constraints (in this case the absence of source code), not (necessarily) about making software cost you nothing. It's about making computing predictably controllable and hence sustainable.

Can't rely on the open source drivers, either. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15299043)

I find your argument to apply equally well to the open source drivers, as well as the closed source ones.

While in theory I could fix a bug myself in the open source drivers, that likely isn't the case. I just don't have the technical know-how to diagnose such a problem, let alone figure out how to fix it. I could try to find somebody who could fix it, but that will take time and money.

What it comes down to, open or closed source, is that if the driver runs into a problem, I may not be able to fix it. For a non-technical end-user, it's basically the same situation for both types of drivers. The limiting factor is that I do not have the knowledge to fix a broken driver, which renders the fact that it's open or closed source irrelevant.

And more power to them! (5, Insightful)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298670)

This is the first I've heard of this situation involving Linspire. All I can say is, "Sounds good!"

I can't believe how many times I have been stymied when configuring Linux because it didn't support my major-vendor video card. The "Open Source" version of certain drivers don't work. I tried an OSS implementation of some Nvidia drivers and it could barely spit out any video at all, much less allow me to use the advanced options on the card. I know the OSS developers tried hard, and I appreciate that. However, it just didn't work.

At times like these, I don't really care about politics or philosophy. I'm just trying to get the computer working, and if I get stuck because of OSS, I'll just abandon the project.

I suppose this is the reason why I haven't been a serious user of any Linux Desktop software for years. I use Linux as a server all the time, on dozens of different machines. It works great as a Server.

Re:And more power to them! (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298714)

I use Linux as my primary OS, but, seriously, I use tons of proprietary, closed source software. Philosophically, it doesn't bother me a bit.

I think that most people who agree with the philosophy that all software must be open source only do so to fit in with the crowd. The people who believe in something the least will be the ones who shout that belief most loudly, to prove to the rest of the group that they believe it (I saw this once at a lecture on the use of multi-agent simulations in sociology experiments).

Kool Aid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298766)

Well, there are quite a few college students that have joined the cult. But they usually see the light when they hit the real world.

Re:Kool Aid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298833)

Everyone thinks they can change the world, until they realize there's more to computing than a browser and an IRC client.

Re:And more power to them! (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298846)

I agree. The future of Linux and computing in general is going to be a symbiosis of open and closed source software. The sooner everyone realizes it the better off we will be. Hopefully, at some point, all widely used software will have a FOSS equivelant that is equal to or superior to closed source applications, but in the mean time room has to be made for proprietary vendors.

Re:And more power to them! (2, Insightful)

jyda (114207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298987)

At times like these, I don't really care about politics or philosophy.

So, when do you care? Only when it's convenient?

Re:And more power to them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15299115)

Probably when most people care: When it comes to things that actually matter.

Of all the things to stand in the path of a tank for, a freakin' computer ain't one of the top five hundred.

Re:And more power to them! (1)

Kangburra (911213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299103)

At times like these, I don't really care about politics or philosophy. I'm just trying to get the computer working, and if I get stuck because of OSS, I'll just abandon the project.


Then maybe you should look at OSX or Windows. Linux and Open Source is, guess what, about open source. If your video card manufacturer didn't release the specs or better yet write an open source driver that's not the fault of Linux.

Without wishing to pick on you personally this is the attitude we need to fight. If something doesn't work whose fault is it, honestly? In this case it's the video card manufacturer. If you can't print to a windows printer or use a winmodem? It's down to hardware.

If more people complained to the right people more would get done, as it is complaining to friends/newsgroups/blogs gets nowhere.

I can't say that I agree, personally (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298682)

but it seems to be making him money, so who am I to argue?

Why the strategy isn't working... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298683)

IMHO, there has been little to no success getting vendors to release documentation to write drivers for three major reasons:

1) To date, the market share represented by open-source operating systems is very small.

2) The users and distributors of opensource operating systems have not presented a united front when it comes to the inclusion of propriety drivers and code. In fact, it seems the vast majority of distributors and users are more than willing to settle for closed, propriety drivers (even when they are crap!)

3) American corporate culture reflexively resists voluntarily releasing information of any kind. It is always easier to say no. Some Taiwanese vendors, for example, have been found by some opensource projects to be rather cooperative when it comes to releasing information. Major American corporations by constrast are a guaranteed stonewall.

Nobody reachable has the authority. (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298998)

Who can authorize the release of anything? Well, a CEO can, but he's kind of busy. An engineer certainly can't.

Closed source sucks. (5, Insightful)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298722)

Being that we produce real time systems for control, we have a company policy that ALL software we use for development, and all libraries that we license for use in our products, must either come with 100% source code that we can build ourselves, or be developed in-house. This is because, after decades of problems with products and libraries that didn't come with source, our management decided that it would rather take longer to get products to market than suffer the problems and subtle unfixable bugs that are caused by closed source software.

We believe that the only way the world can successfully advance in the field of computer software is by eventually replacing all closed source systems with open source ones.

Take an example of Apple's recent success with Mac OS X. This software, although it contains tons of closed source code, is based on open source code and contains literally hundreds and hundreds of free software packages. Apple would never have succeeded in creating such a feature-rich operating system in the time it took to make it without the availability and use of such open source code.

This is why this Linspire debacle is happening. People know that although the expedient thing to do is to continue using closed source proprietary stuff, the correct thing to do is to get ourselves off that addiction and on to some better software.

Re:Closed source sucks. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298811)

Does your policy of 100 percent buildable source code include code that you may build but not modify (other than as part of compilation and linking) nor redistribute? Which video card do you use on your development machines? What BIOS do they use?

Re:Closed source sucks. (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298906)

You probably missed the "real-time" part of the grandparent post. His hardware probably does not have any BIOS or video. He is making elevator control systems, or autopilots, or gasoline pumps for all I know, and likely his company is making all the hardware as well. It is quite possible to have all the sources for a given embedded project.

the BIOS bit me one time (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299010)

Dell's BIOS was doing some nasty hack to work around an Intel chipset bug. The bios would just grab the CPU in System Management Mode, totally messing up real-time.

Since we didn't have source, we had to solder tiny wires to the CPU just to find out what was going on. We then determined the problem using a digital logic analyser. (looks kind of like a scope)

Re:Closed source sucks. (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299175)

Let me see if I got this straight. MacOSX is a good example of doing things right because it has build a series of non-Free things on top of a free kernel. When Linspire does the same thing (to a much lesser extent) you see it fit to point out the error of their ways? I think one of us is a bit confused...

BSD by comparison (3, Interesting)

mshurpik (198339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298724)

Last week's Slashdot article on Theo de Raadt [kerneltrap.org] was about how he's not using binary drivers.

It had better be sandboxed. (3, Informative)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298739)

Ever try writing a 1 to the /proc/self/seccomp file? That blocks everything except read/write on already-open file descriptors, exit, and some stuff for returning from signal handlers. On x86, the cycle counter is disabled too.

The alternative is an extremely strict SE Linux policy, but seccomp is probably better for this job. One could use both at the same time I suppose.

I don't want some spyware crap telling Sony/Microsoft/Real/Sorensen about everything I do and probably acting as a backdoor.

Re:It had better be sandboxed. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298895)

I don't think Sorenson or Sony give a shit about what kind of ignorant half-informed bullshit you post to Slashdot. If they did they could just read it here, they have no reason to backdoor your slashbox; there's plenty of porn available freely on the Internet already without scouring your HDD for those pictures of your 5" dick.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298941)

Yeah, he's a flame warrior, but he's of the old school, and I for one believe we should support this dying style.

Reposting: Carmody's Freespire announcement (1)

twasserman (878174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15298767)

Two weeks ago, I posted a message after Kevin Carmody introduced Freespire at the Linux Desktop Summit. For those who didn't see it, the message seems relevant to this discussion, so I thought that I would ask forgiveness for repeating myself and post it again. Here's what I wrote: "Linspire is, of course, a purely commercial effort, with the goal of selling a shrink-wrapped OS that looks externally as much like Windows as possible. His target audience is not the Slashdot crowd, but rather the people who buy their computers at Wal-Mart. Really! For them, it's all about the out-of-the-box experience, starting up a computer with preinstalled OS and apps and just using it. As someone who has recently installed Mandriva, Fedora 5, and Ubuntu Breezy on various machines, I think that the experience is much better than it once was, but still falls short of the "Wal-Mart" or even the Windows experience. To listen to Kevin Carmody, Freespire is offered in the spirit of recognizing the contributions of the open source community, and giving people the opportunity to stay "pure", i.e., without licensed and proprietary pieces, or hybrid, where the user can choose to download and perhaps pay for the licensed and proprietary pieces. He gave an analogy with food, where the choices were Junk Food (Windows and proprietary software), Healthy Food, and Vegan. Open source vegans, of course, are those who would never want music in the proprietary MP3 format or images in the proprietary JPG format. His belief is that most consumers and business people would like Healthy Food, which is some mix of Linux and those proprietary formats, plus some drivers for graphics cards, etc.. He and his company are actually going out to Fortune 500 companies and talking to them about why they should consider a move to something like Freespire rather than suffering the pain and expense of migrating to Windows Vista (if and when it ever ships). This is a fairly brave, not to say crazy, thing to do, and I think that they deserve some credit and support for their evangelism, even from people who don't care for the whole Linspire business. Getting 3-4% penetration of Linux (any flavor) on corporate desktops would be quite an achievement, and it won't come from Linspire on its own. Carmody also said that they are going to open source Click N Run because they think that it is the best updating program, and are offering it to others for the taking. If I were responsible for Ubuntu or other Debian-based distros, I would be very tempted to take them up on their offer. I've done enough "apt-get"s."

Re:Reposting: Carmody's Freespire announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298841)

Sounds good to me. I was a rawfood vegan, vegan, pure opensource (okay got me on jpg and mp3...but I was Windows free). After some time I just get sick of fighting with things all the time. It has worn me down. I run XPPro and FC5 now. Proprietary software still constantly pisses me off, but so does opensource, for completely different reasons. In the ideal world all the basic code would be open, drivers and file formats included, so you could run any O/S, roll your own, and transport files cross platform without worries, but the truth is that this is not really the case 100% of the time.

If someone offers all the joy and comfort of an open linux system, along with some proprietary impurities to get a few other things working that sounds great to me. I know how to do things the hard way, but often time if I can throw a few $'s at the problem instead so I can do some higher level work beyond configuring the O/S then it could be a compelling option. Meanwhile I'll do what I do and try to be conscious of open solutions and try to steer clear of closed systems as much as I can.

JPG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15299046)

When did jpegs become proprietary? I thought this was the whole reason the FSF was using jpegs when everyone else was using GIFs on their website.

WTF? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298777)

most users would prefer to have something - anything - that works in the meanwhile.

Jesus fucking Christ! Is this something that has slipped past the great minds behind the Linux revolution!?!? Yet you fucktards STILL don't understand why Linux isn't catching on. Man, this kind of stupidity really burns my ass.

Groklaw (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15298904)

I'm guessing that this response was motivated (at least in part) by the effort of PJ at Groklaw. For those that have visited recently, PJ did a scathing article on Linspire/Freespire. Really harsh stuff which a lot of people found pretty unwarranted. Myself included.

So I posted anonymously as I usually do. The odd thing that happened to me was that I found my post deleted. So I posted again ... deleted. Then it descended into farce.

She seemed convinced that this was an orchestrated attack by Linspire "astroturfers". And when Kevin posted to the forum, she wouldn't talk to him and asked him for an apology from the (imaginary, IMHO) astroturfers. Having said that, Kevin did quote an email he sent PJ which I thought was poor form.

Anyway, I literally sat there for ages watching post after post being deleted which I thought was amazing. A large number of these posts were quite sensible. They just didn't tow the Groklaw line.

When it had calmed down a couple of days later, I posted that here is a place where they discuss free speech, but don't practice it. Quite frankly, the amount of groupthink and censorship I saw left me with a very different opinion of the place.

The best thing about Slashdot's comment system is that it keeps all the posts. Even the trolls.

Market share, market share, ... (2)

wysiwia (932559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299008)

Get a market share above 10% and vendors with consider to release on Linux. Get a market share above 20% and vendors will release on Linux. Get a market share above 30% and vendors can't afford not to release on Linux!

How to get a higher market share? Fix the first top inhibitor of the Linux adoption (http://www.osdl.org/dtl/DTL_Survey_Report_Nov2005 .pdf [osdl.org] ). How to fix this inhibitor? One important action (IMHO the most important) is to declare the guidelines of wyoGuide (http://wyoguide.sf.net/ [sf.net] ) as the Linux application standard!

There might be other actions to fix this inhibitor but I don't know any. Just voice them here and now. But be sure unless this inhibitor isn't fix fast, the market share of Linux will stay low, too low for any significance.

IMHO it's essential that anybody (maybe O'Reilly) starts a Linux conference about this subject to discuss any possibility.

O. Wyss

Open source drivers are just a dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15299012)

How does anybody expect a hardware company to design a hardware+software system and expect them to open the software portion and remain competitive? Would you like them to comment their sources so that their rivals can better appreciate their whole design?


we don't need their source (2, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299060)

Source code would be nice, but it's not what we want most.

We want hardware documentation. We can write our own software. Our software will be more stable, portable, and maintainable. Performance could be a win or a lose.

With hardware documentation, we can turn a WinModem into a telephony interface for a PBX. We can support Linux, OpenBSD, GNU HURD, and eCos. We can port the X server to run on the GPU. Lots of neat ideas become possible.

Educate newcomers with respect to the importance (1)

wysiwia (932559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299045)

The LXer article states "...to educate newcomers with respect to the importance of keeping software free" but people, especially customers, don't like to be educated of something they don't care. What would you think if the car seller wants to educate you that 60mph are more than sufficiant for any driving? Would you buy a car there or leave for another shop?

O. Wyss

PS. See http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/54009/index.h tml [lxer.com]

I've been impressed of late with Linspire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15299055)

About a year ago I heard an interview with Kevin Carmony, who at that time has just become CEO for Linspire. Up until that interview I had a pretty negative impression of Linspire (Lindows), but I had never actually tried it. I must admit, however, that I was really impressed with the LUG radio interview. The new CEO explained and addressed most of the misconceptions I had about Linspire up to that time. Linspire has done much for getting Linux pre-installed on desktop computers. They have been around for five years now, and have contributed a lot to open source (http://linspire.com/opensource). I think much of the misunderstanding stemmed from Linspire's target audience being non-technical consumers, which the slasher crowded couldn't appreciate. LUG Radio interviewed Kevin again this week, a year later, and he talked about Freespire. Once again I was impressed by his candor. I run Debian on my computers, but I'm grateful for the past year of education that I've had in coming to understand Linspire and their goals. I even plead guilty to recommending it to my non-technical friends when they say they'd like to try Linux (not sure they're ready for Debian without the ease-of-use coat of paint Linspire and others add).

I'm planning on taking a look at Freespire. I am intrigued.

R. Singfield

Re:I've been impressed of late with Linspire (0, Troll)

Klowner (145731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299152)

So how much did they pay you to say that? Do you have to wear a sponsored by Linspire hat?

Re:I've been impressed of late with Linspire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15299180)

Perhaps it would help if, instead of baseless claims of viral marketing, you countered his remarks with your recent (and contradictory) experience with Linspire. Or are you just astroturfing for RedHat?

To be honest, I don't really think you're on the RedHat payroll. I think it's much more likely you're just a paranoid Groklaw sheeple.

I respect intellectual properly scrupulously. (4, Funny)

Ivan Matveitch (748164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15299090)

I always play my MP3s with a legitimate, patent-licensed player. After I download them from eDonkey.
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