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Re: Skype under Fedora-10

Kevin Kofler wrote:
Linux Media wrote:
I just wanted to speak up also and say that I agree that it's a good
program. I've been telling anyone that wants to use Skype that it's one
of the easiest, trouble free programs to install and use.

The people behind Skype clearly went out of their way to create a
program that works and is easy to understand/use.

Sheesh.... they even have that very simple "User" called "Test Call" for
testing that your sound is working correctly. So simple... so

I would have to vote Skype the best Multi-platform program that I've
used with Linux.

But it's proprietary software.

Quoting from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html :

| Powerful, reliable software can be bad
| The idea that we want software to be powerful and reliable comes from the
| supposition that the software is designed to serve its users. If it is
| powerful and reliable, that means it serves them better.
| But software can only be said to serve its users if it respects their
| freedom. What if the software is designed to put chains on its users? Then
| powerfulness only means the chains are more constricting, and reliability
| that they are harder to remove. Malicious features, such as spying on the
| users, restricting the users, back doors, and imposed upgrades are common
| in proprietary software, and some open source supporters want to do
| likewise.

(The article then goes on to rant about "Open Source" DRM implementations.)

Skype locks you into their proprietary network/protocol, by using it, you
also force other people into the same lock-in (so you're actively taking
their freedom away), it also abuses clients as tunnel servers ("supernodes")
whenever it feels like it (consuming your bandwidth), it even artificially
disabled features depending on your CPU vendor (not sure if they still do
that, but that was quite outrageous)!

I fail to see how my using Skype takes anyone else's freedom away, there are dozens of phone vendors, my choice of Skype does not impact their choice in the slightest, they pick up a phone and call me. That's any phone, land line, cell, SIP, you name it and they can use it. Or do you mean my choosing to use a phone of any type blocks their freedom to use mental telepathy or whatever?

As for abusing my bandwidth, don't I see you telling people to use bittorrent? How is helping move Fedora I get for free good and helping move VOIP I get for free bad? Oh, because Skype is not open source, that's right.

It's also not really portable, it doesn't even have a 64-bit version! So you
have to litter your 64-bit system with 32-bit compatibility multilibs to use
their crap.

I think you have bought into the 64 bit thing just like the Open Source crusade. At this point 64 bit does not provide any significant benefit for most users, in terms of better performance or must-have applications which need more than 4GB for the application. What it *does* provide is a chance to litter your system with tool chains and libraries so you can build applications which are open source but have no 64 bit binaries. Oh, and you can find out who made what assumptions which make the app not work right in 64 bit.

Open Source is a nice ideal, but the people who write it are often not idealists but rather people who code for fun, many with no formal training, and who feel as though support and documentation are for lesser beings. And as far as lack of choice is an issue, Skype is no worse than Fedora, people were migrated to a new and less functional KDE because someone likes it, people get PulseAudio by default and have to learn to dig it out... why isn't lack of user documentation a stopper bug?!! I finally figured out that it's getting less functional (FC11) and it was cheaper to get a Mac for sound projects than try to make PA work with new brokenness in each release.

User have a choice, and many have chosen not to buy into the "purity of software" but rather to use the freest software which works, including closed source Linux drivers. Time is money, Open Source doesn't equate to "free" no matter how you define it. People won't use software is it isn't useful.

We now return to our previous program, "Why good karma is better than usability in software" already in progress.

Bill Davidsen <davidsen tmr com>
  "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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