What's so terrible about using software owned by a company?

I'm not sure I get the point of Mozilla wanting to push an open source video standard (see Ars story). They're pusing for an open platform for video. So why exactly does everything have to be "vendor-neutral, standards-based?" I don't care that Flash is from Adobe. If it works, and everyone has it, what difference does it make? And hey, with Silverlight making some inroads, it keeps Adobe even more honest and working to innovate. Everybody wins.

I hate this religious crap.


  • Wikipedia's instance on doing exactly the same for embedded music rather than just ponying up and using MP3 which *so* many people have the codec for drives me potty, same thing?

  • "Everybody wins"

    Everybody, except for those who use products made by companies that have a poor relationship with Adobe, such as Apple. iPhone customers aren't winning by not having a working copy of Flash.

    Not sure why you continue to label every idea about technology motivated by a principled decision as "religious". Principles are important in software engineering. The pragmatic idea that seems to be your golden rule, "as long as it works who cares", may be enough for someone building end-user applications. But put yourself in the shoes of someone developing a complex system or API that other people will develop against (e.g. C#, Visual Studio, etc). When you're building something from the ground up and creating the rules other parties will have to follow, ideas like this are important.

  • Religion and software, see that and take a look at the blog post linked: http://sili.co.nz/blog/2009/01/computer-languages-as-religions/

  • If Flash on the iPhone really balanced out as being better for users then you can bet your ass they'd include it. In fact Flash on the iPhone's probably quite a good example of why I think your point is incorrect.

    If Flash were a fully open standard then Apple would find it a lot easier to create an integrated player on their terms. As it is, they're somewhat reliant on Adobe producing an iPhone Flash Player, and when you see how that player can sap CPU on a desktop computer I think you can understand why Apple are loathe to let Adobe write an iPhone one.

    On another note, Ajaxian has an article (http://ajaxian.com/archives/why-open-video-matters-and-what-we-are-trying-to-do-about-it) on why open source video matters:


    There are some big changes in video happening in a couple of years. Mark Pilgrim mentioned this one:

    After 12/31/2010, the MPEG-LA will start charging per-encoder royalty
    fees. Quoting:

    “In the case of Internet broadcast (AVC video that is delivered via
    the Worldwide Internet to an end user for which the End User does not
    pay remuneration for the right to receive or view, i.e., neither
    title-by-title nor subscription), there will be no royalty during the
    first term of the License (ending December 31, 2010), and after the
    first term the royalty shall be no more than the economic equivalent
    of royalties payable during the same time for free television.”


    I think this is a good example of why having vendor independent technologies can be a good thing.

  • A quick lookup of principled shows that the word is closely related to "moral" and in most cases "moral" is related to religion: Maybe C would prefer to use a different word.

  • Amen!

  • Companies often do not publish full specifications or implementations for their standards. This requires the serious developer to do a lot of redundant legwork, and sometimes reverse engineering, to use technology to its fullest. It's this full "introspectablility" that is often lacking when companies create standards and technologies.

    Maybe it looks religious, but I challenge you to tease out the essential elements of truth, the axioms that differ between you and others. Focusing on idiocy is a full-time job that benefits nobody.

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