[SATLUG] IO-InfoOnly: [finders] Ms. Dewey

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Sun Feb 4 09:19:52 CST 2007

> > ...it requires flash 8 which I could never get to work under Linux.
> > Sites that use software that isn't universally available should
> > be boycotted anyway.
> Flash 9 is available for Linux.

Thanks for pointing this out, I stand corrected! Flash works well now.
> Where do you draw the line at universality, though? Of all things that are
> generally available among the three major platforms, Flash is definitely one of
> them. While there can always be a level of graceful degradation, and that should
> always be strived for, there comes a point where you have to draw a line. After
> all, it is your choice to use a platform that is only used by ~5% of computer users.

I think about the same percentage applies to Macs. I think the line is
drawn where people are excluded due to proprietary limitations. If my
successful viewing of a page depends on my buying into a proprietary,
non-shared and exclusive technology, it should be avoided. If the source
code is available, but just has not been ported that is a different
matter. I don't want to be forced to buy someone's operating system just
so I can view your page, I want a choice. A couple more qualifications:

1. If alternatives are available that are universally functional, they 
should always be preferred.

2. a developer should not be asked to keep the technology back just in
order to stay compatible. But I think in terms of open source software
generally the reverse is true. For example: in high performance computing,
the cutting edge of message passing libraries, queueing and load balancing
software, etc. is all open source, while Microsofts cluster solution is 
badly trailing and to my knowledge not implemented on a single Teragrid site.
And I think most of us would never dream about switching our desktops back to
Windows from Linux, Linux is lightyears ahead in functionality, performance,
memory management, reliability, security, flexibility, and all the other things
that matter to us.


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