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Date:      Sun, 13 Oct 2013 04:48:16 +0200
From:      Polytropon <freebsd@edvax.de>
To:        gct7photography@gmail.com
Cc:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Do I really have to install 80 packages?
Message-ID:  <20131013044816.19a60e49.freebsd@edvax.de>
In-Reply-To: <20131012232840.1f1f8455@gnewsense.gmail.com>
References:  <l39r5a$ha5$1@ger.gmane.org> <52587390.3070400@wingfoot.org> <20131012053156.10e1d6b8.freebsd@edvax.de> <l3bc1j$3e5$1@ger.gmane.org> <20131012232840.1f1f8455@gnewsense.gmail.com>

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On Sat, 12 Oct 2013 23:28:40 +0100, gct7photography@gmail.com wrote:
> I don't know what others think, but what *I* really want is that the
> free software versions of Flash (gnash and klash, etc) work at least as
> well as versions of Adobe Flash do, or if versions of Adobe Flash are
> to be used, that it will be free and covered by the GPL.

First of all, keep in mind you're "walking corporate territory"
here. No company will give you anything for free, and even if
it looks free, there's a catch somewhere. "Flash" as a technology
is dying. It didn't make the transition to the growing mobile
markets. That's why Adobe does not continue its Linux line of
product - a completely reasoname business decision.

People who use, or to be correct, _abuse_ "Flash" as a replace-
ment for markup and content are not interested in bringing their
"product" to your attention and reception.

What I'd like to see would be a "Flash" plugin integrated in
the web browser, with the option of being switched off. I'd
consider it a "1st class citizen" by demanding that is has the
same status as embedded media, centered text, a PNG image or
a hyperlink, being a "functional module" of the web browser
like the renderer, the CSS interpreter, the JS interpreter
or something like that. Could you imagine to install a pro-
prietary plugin to be able to see a JPG image? To see text
centered? To click on a hyperlink? And all the time keep in
mind that it is backdoored? Hmmm...



> Its unlikely to happen unless we start a campaign among the Free
> Software users of the world to make Flash free software.

That won't happen. "Flash" is the property of a corporation.
The only alternative I see is that this corporation would
"donate" the product, releasing all the sources and abandoning
all involved "lawyer-crap". But that won't happen. I think
most companies better close away the stuff they won't develop
anymore instead of handing it over to a community.



> Yes, I know HTML 5 is just around the corner, but we've seen a
> concerted effort already (in the European Parliament at least) to
> introduce DRM into HTML 5 and though it may make using Flash marginally
> easier, it would be a retrograde step if DRM is to be introduced.

As far as I know, DRM will be covered by the upcoming standard.
This means it will be _possible_ to implement DRM solutions in
HTML. _Using_ them - that's a totally different field.

Keep in mind an important thing:

Alternatives for "Flash" have been around for a decade at least.
Video, audio, interaction - all possible without it. It's not just
about the browser plugin (the "player"), it's also about the
creative tools that people use to "produce" the stuff. Those tools
are offered usually in expensive commercially distributed suites.
As soon as developers and creators get aware of alternatives that
they can learn and use for free, they _might_ change, but only if
the mindset changes.

It's not just about those tools, it's also about file formats.
What I'm talking about is media codecs. Some of them offer DRM
capabilites, others don't. Some of them are highly infected with
patents and other "lawyer-crap". There are reasons why some
systems and environments can play various formats out of the
box, and others can't. Which formats are efficient for use with
the Internet? Which offer "scaling" and streaming capabilities,
important for mobile users who demand "lower quality, less data
transfer, and tolerance to higher latency"? Which codecs can
make use of a decoder made in hardware?

_This_ problem also has to be solved!

Now put this back into relation with my initial idea of making
that kind of "content decoder" part of the web browser. The
same way you see a JPG image on a web page and click on a
hyperlink... It should be easy, but sadly it isn't.

HTML5 tries to solve those problems. Its markup will be better
suited for handling media content, plus CSS and JS will be
important players on the interaction field. There are already
projects that utilize those tools, and _developer tools_ as
well as _creator tools_ will be present. Maybe they will even
be present for free. YouTube can do fine without "Flash" already.
Online games in HTML5 are appearing. On the other hand, "Flash"
is a no-go on mobile, and mobile is becoming more and more
important to consumers. Additionally, more and more people
become aware of the danger of proprietary software (in regards
of privacy and "corporate control", as well as an improving
understanding of what DRM does to their freedom). It will take
some time to show significant effect.

Let's hope people are going to get smarter than I assume. :-)



> So what are we left with?  Free software to replicate what Flash
> does (at least) that does not have the taint of proprietary software?
> Is that not an achievable goal?

It is a _desired_ goal.




-- 
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...



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