Sunday, April 29, 2007

Computing Freedom Has Sacrafices

Its no secret I am not a fan of Windows. In fact for going on nearly three years now I have been and will continue using Linux. However, this does not come without some cost to my computing abilities.

The reality is though I can perform any basic to high level function in Linux as I can in Windows there are just some things that Linux does not have access to. Shockwave among those. For those who don't know Shockwave is a Internet API that allows multimedia content, games and other things to be used on a web browser. Shockwave can be used on Internet Explorer, and nearly all Mozilla Gecko compliant browsers, provided you use windows. There are some work arounds such as using WINE for Linux but I don't want to have to load the Windows version of Firefox on my Linux system just for one API plugin.

There is no Shockwave for Linux (at least not yet) nor do I see one being developed by Adobe anytime soon. However, and this is important, if the Linux community would send requests to Adobe for a Linux compatible Shockwave Plugin they may consider making a port of Shockwave to Linux.

Okay so many Linux Veterans see Shockwave as a security risk and could care less if Adobe ever develops one for Linux. But with Vista already looking like it will be pushing up daisies sooner than MS expected many people are wondering if Linux might be a better choice. (Trust me all you people thinking about switching, its well worth the effort to do so.) Then support needs to be considered.

Despite RMS and his overbearing beliefs that all software should be open source, reality is it isn't and probably never will be. IF LINUX IS TO FLOURISH THERE MUST BE COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS. And the applications can be closed source as well. Adobe already has flashplayer available for Linux. The printer and scanner drivers I use for my MFC-210C from Brother are all closed source, and I could care less. They work and I can perform the functions I need to. That's the bottom line. Besides, because Brother went to all that effort in the first place I commend them for it. The reason I bought this particular Brother Printer/Scanner/FAX/Copier in the first place was because I knew that Brother had Linux drivers available for it. Closed source or not, they are there. Though not the easiest thing to get setup in Kubuntu I did so. (With some help from online resources.)

Trust me there are annoying aspects of the Linux community's mentality I dearly wish would disappear. No software should be a political statement. Closed source should be able to get along with open source, but alas, like all things there are extremists all over the place and such will always be a battle. Yet as long as there are enough people who have some legitimate common sense about things then we can keep on doing business in both worlds.

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