Your thoughts on open source these days.

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exploder
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Your thoughts on open source these days.

Postby exploder » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:27 pm

Recently I installed Debian Jesse on a spare hard drive to see how it was progressing. Originally my interests were focused around Gnome Shell 3.14.0 but I discovered something I never expected to find. :)

First let me say that I am not a software purist. Like most people, I just want a good experience and things to work. When I installed Debian Jesse I did not expect much multimedia playback to work without adding non-free packages to the system. Just for the heck of it though I started trying different types of multimedia just to see what would work.

To my surprise, Apple Trailers, mp4's, mp3's, flv's and YouTube videos all played out of the box! I couldn't believe it! I did know that Iceweasel could play YouTube videos using the html player so that was not a surprise but everything else was! I had no idea that open source had come this far with this type of thing. Of course some sites require Adobe Flash for content to play so there are some limitations.

I always wondered if I could get along with only open source software. I wondered this because I have seen Adobe drop Linux support and I am sure there are others that have done the same thing. Sure, I know there is always Chrome or Chromium with Pepper Flash but I am more of a Firefox, (Iceweasel) fan. With Chrome and Chromium I just do not like the interface as well as I like Firefox and Iceweasel. I like how Firefox and Icewaesel will clear the history on exit and are available in 64 bit packages too. Just my personal preference, nothing more.

I have been running Jesse for going on 4 days now and I have only came across one site that I visit where I needed Adobe Flash to view an image larger, that's not bad. I do agree with some of what Richard Stallman speaks about with proprietary software, he said for the most part that if it doesn't work do we really need it? Not an exact quote but you get the idea.

I do not mind companies selling software, everyone needs to make a living and support their families after all. What I do mind is Linux users not being given the same consideration as Apple and Microsoft users. Microsoft has the advantage of existing 10 years before Linux came along and I can understand why software vendors would give them more priority. These days though the number of Linux users is increasing rapidly, some companies are seeing this trend and acting on it and are offering their products to Linux users.

To kind of sum things up though, I was very impressed with what open source has done as far as multimedia goes. I am really glad I took the time to try Debian Jesse. It all seems revolutionary to me because I have always depended on non-free packages for multimedia. I was inspired by what I saw!

What are your thoughts on non-free proprietary codecs? Do you feel that open source efforts are looking better these days? I look forward to your thoughts and opinions! :)
Last edited by karlchen on Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: corrected typing errors in the title

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Re: Yout thougts on open source these days.

Postby tdockery97 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:42 pm

Not being a purist either, I support including codecs, etc. that improve the user's experience. I had heard a while back that Debian was beginning to include some of the non-free items in their builds.
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exploder
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Re: Yout thougts on open source these days.

Postby exploder » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:08 pm

I do not think Debian is including anything non-free because they went as far as removing all of the non-free elements from their kernels.

I support including codecs, etc. that improve the user's experience.


I agree completely!

I guess the point of my post was about how much things have progressed. I was disappointed when Adobe dropped the ball on Flash and it made me think about how much I was relying on proprietary packages. I use Adobe as an example only because their decision about Flash has had an impact on Linux.

I realize that sometimes proprietary codecs and drivers are a necessity but I see open source alternatives making large improvements for the average user. My laptop for example uses ATI / AMD graphics. I use the open source drivers on the laptop because the image quality seems very good. I did try the proprietary graphics drivers and quickly removed them because the display looked washed out and the system seemed unstable using them.

My kids computer has NVidea graphics, with the open source drivers their system freezes up constantly so the proprietary drivers are a necessity. I do favor open source packages if they provide the same functionality, always have. I never use Oracle Java for example because the Ice Tea plug in gives me the same functionality.

I guess I am seeing the glass half full rather than half empty as far as free software goes. :D I never imagined this much multimedia working on free software! :D

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Re: Your thoughts on open source these days.

Postby DrHu » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:44 pm

Probably, unless you develop for Open Source products, you won't be a purist either
--not being a purist, I also know how valuable open source software is (OSS); it is what allows Linux to exist, and helps to provide an alternative to locked in commercial products

And finally open source is being used by many commercial vendors whenever they find it is convenient (available and doesn't cost to use)
--also despite the hobby-like nature of some OSS programs, it does surprisingly well in providing functionality to a regular user
    Certainly for common applications (might call them commodities)
  • Office suites
    --Open-Office or Libre-Office, Google seems to have abandoned their online equivalencies to MS Office suite..
  • Email
  • Media players or editors
  • VM machine/software
    -Virtual box or possibly VMware (Player), just watch licence arrangement
    --and so on..

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Re: Your thoughts on open source these days.

Postby exploder » Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:56 am

not being a purist, I also know how valuable open source software is (OSS); it is what allows Linux to exist, and helps to provide an alternative to locked in commercial products


This is exactly my thoughts! :) My recent experience with what will be Debian Jesse just made me realize that OSS has come a long way. I have no plans of getting rid of my installs that have non-free software but it is nice to know that I can live without non-free packages and still enjoy using my computer.

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Re: Your thoughts on open source these days.

Postby Paddy78 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:43 am

I have no experience with linux of the past but I have to say that having all media and office programs included with the install has helpedme move away from windows. Only thing I use windows for now is updating my tomtom.

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Re: Your thoughts on open source these days.

Postby JosephM » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:36 pm

I am a fan of open source but not an evangelist either. I use it and contribute time working on the Mint project because I enjoy it. I will use whatever software fits the bill for what I want though and have no issues with paying for software which I feel has an appropriate worth to me personally.

I could be totally wrong but I think a large part of the reason you see so much better support for a lot of things in OSS is due simply to the changes in the computing landscape in general. Think about what would be required to get a new proprietary codec into wide usage. You no longer only have to worry about supporting just x86 and Windows. The advent of smartphones/tablets has really changed this. You now have to support so many operating systems and architectures that it would be a nightmare. It's far easier and probably a smarter business decision to rely on something open source and allow all the indvidual projects to do the work for you.
When I give opinions, they are my own. Not necessarily those of any other Linux Mint developer or the Linux Mint project as a whole.

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Re: Your thoughts on open source these days.

Postby yasarcay » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:39 am

For who is looking for flash alternative could take a look this mozilla project.

https://github.com/mozilla/shumway/

http://mozilla.github.io/shumway/

I think it is promissing but not mature.

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Re: Your thoughts on open source these days.

Postby tuxer » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:55 pm

I am also not a purist in any form. I like what works but I also like the freedom to change things the way I want them, even if I don't change anything I still want the freedom to, lol.

What are your thoughts on non-free proprietary codecs? Do you feel that open source efforts are looking better these days? I look forward to your thoughts and opinions!


In a perfect world I would say the non-free codecs should just be free and I would love to see things go in that direction. However this world is far from perfect. So I have to say that at the very least I love to have one click options to install what I need that is non-free. I think Debian should always be opensource and built that way. But have the easy option to install non-free if wanted or needed. Adding deb-multimedia repos is very easy (in Fedora it is RPMFusion.) so either way I can am good.

As far as Adobe goes... Why won't Flash die. It is no longer needed.

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Re: Your thoughts on open source these days.

Postby /dev/urandom » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:35 am

Choose your software by quality, not by ethics. Your computer is a tool. If you can drive a nail into the wall faster when you haven't built the hammer yourself, probably you shouldn't use your hammer.
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Re: Your thoughts on open source these days.

Postby MALsPa » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:02 am

This has nothing to do with codecs, etc., but I thought it might fit in with the title of this thread. Open source in libraries...

"Confessions of a systems librarian"

http://opensource.com/education/15/1/op ... -librarian


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