[LINK] World Domination 201

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Sat Jan 13 18:20:26 AEDT 2007

On Fri, Jan 12, 2007 at 10:25:18PM +1100, Rick Welykochy wrote:
> Fred Pilcher wrote:
> > An interesting treatise on the potential of Linux to take over the
> > world by 2008.
> > http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/world-domination/world-domination-201.html#id247970

esr's an interesting writer, but you have to take what he says with a very
large grain of salt.

i've met both esr and rms...and while esr is much nicer in person
and has good social skills (which rms most definitely does not -
understatement of the year) i have a lot more respect for rms and his
principles. i like esr, but you've got to remember he's a gun-totin'
loony libertarian, which is why he's into "open source" rather than that
socialist "free software" stuff.

> The list of proprietary pieces to the puzzle that can make Linux a
> competitive and killer desktop is here:
> http://wiki.freespire.org/index.php/Summary_of_Proprietary_Components

1. WMV

i run debian and haven't had any difficulty playing wmv files for over
2 years. i don't even remember when it started working, i just tried it
one day and assumed it wouldn't - but was surprised when it did.

2. quicktime

there may still be one or two QT codecs that dont work. dunno, i haven't
had a problem with quicktime files for years.

3. mp3.

WTF? mp3 has been supported for years. there are some patent problems
in countries that acknowledge software patents AND where the patent has
been applied for, but i don't think anyone actually pays ANY attention
to that.

4. realplayer and helix have been available for years.

5. java.  ditto.  and it has been open-sourced now, just a month or so ago.

6. macromedia flash.  there's an installer package for the macromedia flash,
or there's a few (second-rate, so far) free-software clones.

7. fonts. there are more than enough free fonts for almost any
conceivable need. and anyone who really needs proprietary fonts can buy
and install them just as they would on windows or mac.

8. gizmo? big deal. it's not as if there aren't dozens of free VOIP
protocols and programs. anyway, you're better off with an open protocol
than locked in with a proprietary one.

9. agere modem drivers.  who cares?  modems are cheap.  there are many to
choose from which work perfectly with linux.

10. ATI drivers. ditto for video cards. also, it is rumoured that AMD
may soon open-source the driver or provide full specs for free software

11., 12., 13: modem drivers.  ditto again.

14. QEMU. huh? it's open source. and there are several other FOSS
alternatives available too, e.g. xen.

15, 16: another modem driver and a wifi driver: again, there's lots of
hardware that works perfectly with linux.

17.  nvidia drivers.  easily available for any linux distro.    there's also a
project to write a complete open source driver.

18., 19, 20.  more modem and wireless drivers.  same response.

running this multimedia stuff is not hard on any modern linux distro.
the (slightly) hard bit is not having web sites able to run them without
your permission. you need to install the NoScript, AdBlock Plus, and
Flashblock plugins - so that YOU control which sites are allowed to run
this stuff, and when.

if this is all they can come up with, it looks like they're trying very
hard to find some competitive advantage.

> There are only 20 such pieces, i.e. less than 1% of the entire
> Freespire distro.  And with those pieces, Freespire can now compete
> for the first time with Windows and Mac OS X. And of course, one can
> pruchase Linspire if full support is required.

and of course, it's all available for other distros too.

> Has anyone tried Freespire? I am inspired to do so. It might just be
> the killer Debian distro. One would have to be an ultra-purist to
> forgo these 20 proprietary components and use a substandard multimedia
> desktop. But who am I to judge?

from what i've seen, you're better off with ubuntu.  or debian itself.


craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>           (part time cyborg)

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