Summary: Rant about Adobe Trash [sic] and what it teaches us about Mono/Moonlight
I have been upgrading to KDE 4.4.2 since last night (not decided on which distribution of GNU/Linux yet) and one thing that ought to be said is that I spent more time getting gnash/flash to function than I spent installing GNU/Linux (current desktop shown above). Gnash is not most trivial to install and some sites that I use strictly require Adobe Trash [sic] Player. Adobe’s installer did not work properly and needed a workaround (command line hack) that I came up with after struggling with it for 1.5 hours. Shame on Adobe.
This morning I also received the following mail from one of our readers, whose message could not come at a better time. Here it is:
What is true for Apple about Flash is true for GNU/Linux about Mono(=Microsoft .Net)
This is in regard with Steve Jobs post yesterday explaining Apple’s position respect Adobe’s Flash.
Notice that Apple took a more radical approach which is to apply a full ban on flash for their platform (except Mac).
In GNU/Linux there is no problem with the existence/availability of Mono:there is problem with those pushing it making it a dependency by default, yet the Mono apologists and Microsoft revisionists cry foul when someone objects that including Mono by default is a really dumb idea and a loosing strategy.
Imagine Apple making parts of its OS for smartphones dependent on Flash?
I think many of Steve’s motives for rejecting flash are very much valid for GNU/Linux and Free Software to reject dependency on Mono and technologies whose direction is not decided nor lead by the community (in fact it is lead by an entity that is set to disrupt and destroy the FOSS environment).
From Apple’s Web site:
“Sixth, the most important reason.[...]
We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.
This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.”
One more thing: It would also be good to substitute the notion of “Mono” by “Mono/Moonlight”: In fact, Silverlight is very much an “attack” from Microsoft to Macromedia/Adobe’s flash in order to try to reclaim their good ol’ Explorer 5/6 times chokehold on the web…
The moral of this matter is that Web standards and not proprietary ones ought to be promoted. We always try to spread Ogg in Techrights (where possible). As more services and even applications become Web based, the risk of a proprietary Web becomes greater; Mono and Moonlight also have Microsoft patent issues. █