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Why Software Patents Are a Joke — Literally

Kman_xth Re:There's the Android fragmentation argument agai (311 comments)

Not completely unfair either as there are about 50 times more J2ME phones as there are Android powered devices :) But what might be interesting to know is how often your QA department finds model-specific errors on J2ME and Android devices.

more than 4 years ago

Why Software Patents Are a Joke — Literally

Kman_xth There's the Android fragmentation argument again (311 comments)

Android has pretty much played out the way that we feared: there is enough fragmentation among Android handsets to significantly restrict the freedom of software developers.

The notion that Android suffers from a huge fragmentation problem seems to be repeated everywhere, but I really don't understand where this is coming from. I've developed JME and Android applications and the amount of fragmentation on Android is mostly non-existent. Apart from some small number of device-specific bugs (that are fixed with phone updates) that won't affect most Android apps, cross-device development is a breeze. I remember JME development was way more troublesome, where model-specific versions were the rule instead of the exception.

more than 4 years ago

Gnome Switches Nautilus Back To Browser Mode

Kman_xth Re:why anyone would use gnome is another question (311 comments)

Linux On The Desktop has been an unachieved goal for about a decade now and it seems it's stuck with unreliable drivers. Especially graphics- and wireless drivers are notoriously in this regard, where every version offers some new surprises regarding errors and lack of stability.

However, having a stable ABI won't be the magic solution to this. A lot (if not most) of the problems encountered on one platform with a stable ABI (Windows) seem to be related to buggy drivers. A more recent example: http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2008/03/vista-capable-lawsuit-paints-picture-of-buggy-nvidia-drivers.ars

And even an open source driver doesn't guarantee quality. For at least a year now, drivers for Intel's graphics cards have been the source of a lot of problems on the desktop (see http://www.linuxtoday.com/developer/2009081702335OSHWKN). And I'm not even mentioning the various buggy ALSA drivers that have been a plague for linux desktop users in the past.

Taking these two observations, one can state that we cannot trust hardware companies nor kernel developers to produce quality and stable drivers. Both parties cannot and/or will not test against many possible hardware and software combinations. Kernel developers do not have the resources and I don't believe companies will invest a lot of effort as well (especially not for such a small market-share)

Microsoft seems to know about this problem and offers the WHQL driver-certification to ensure a certain driver quality. I don't know what qualifies for such a certification but I won't be surprised they have a huge amount of resources available for testing various (popular?) hardware and software combinations. But again, even Microsoft cannot cover nearly all the bases.

So what does that leave Desktop Linux? In my opinion, if it really wants to be better than Windows in terms of delivered quality and offer a smooth and stable environment, it needs to control the hardware offer as well. It's Apple's little public secret: the reason why their software is perceived to be so stable and seamless, is because you don't have to fiddle around with drivers. Plus, the OS guys can actually test the delivered system pretty thoroughly because of the limited variations in hardware.

The way I see it Canonical should have released a Ubuntu laptop bundled with hardware that is well-tested to work with the current available drivers. But also release their OS for use on other hardware, but without the guarantee that everything will work as good as on the offered hardware. They had a good shot at this with their Dell deal roughly one or two years ago but it seems they dropped the ball on that. Even the Dell guys made the remark that it was getting pretty difficult to find quality drivers for some components (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NTkxOA). From the outside it seems that Canonical only was interested in delivering the OS part and didn't really pay any attention to the complete product. The end result was a 'nice try', but riddled with problems regarding hibernation, wireless and dual-monitor support, not exactly trivial pieces of functionality on a laptop. I don't know if their current offerings are any better, but a bad first impression is pretty hard to make up for.

more than 5 years ago

Pirates as a Marketplace

Kman_xth Did they ask why? (214 comments)

Is there any research as to why DLC's are bought more then the actual game? Is it because DLC's are harder to pirate, is it's delivery system preferred above physical discs or is it the low price that drives pirates to a buy? Or perhaps the lack of a decent demo-version?

more than 5 years ago

Game Developer Asks To Hear From Pirates

Kman_xth Re:Put your game on Stardock central/Impulse (1085 comments)

My problem with some of these digital distribution systems is that the software that comes with it demands a premium place on my desktop. Steam is the worst offender of this, doing the automatically-startup-at-boot thing after install, automatically downloading all kinds of stuff without any notification (folks with a download-cap would really like that), displaying promotions and ads (sometimes even while I was playing a game, thus minimizing the game for some unwanted ad, yikes!).. Yes it can be deactivated but how should this kind of agressive treatment compell me to use it again? If a regular shopkeeper turns up at my doorstep every day just because I bought something from them I'd get pissed off pretty easily as well.

Impulse on the other hand was fairly civilized in that respect, no auto downloading, no popup ads.. but the deal maker for me was the option to buy, download and play the game immediately *and* receiving a physical copy of the game by mail a week or so later. Call me old fashioned or paranoid, but I like having an actual cd/dvd of a game without being tied to the distribution system du jour.

more than 6 years ago


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