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Thread: Many FSF Priority Projects Still Not Progressing

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post

    Also how many CAD projects are there in need of this which are GPLv2 only, you said it was a showstopper for several projects? Personally I think stuff like libraries are better served by something like LGPL but above that I believe in the divine right of the code author to decide which licence suits his/her code best.
    Looking at the article, they've checked with three projects: LibreCAD (which is a fork of the community edition of QCAD), FreeCAD, and Blender.

  2. #22
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    While I welcome a critical look at open source projects, including ones sponsored by the Free Software Foundation, Phoronix has proven to be nothing but negatively critical towards FSF while either ignoring the GPL license or treating it in the same way as they treat the FSF. In other words, the Phoronix website is full of blantantly biased reporting on these subjects, and I can only infer that the same applies to some other subjects which I don't follow as regularly. It's a shame, since these projects need to have the publicity in order to attract new contributors and keep existing ones. It is not healthy for any type of project to have a constant negative focus from some outside party like this website. It is entirely possible to on one hand be critical of a project but at the same time remain positive, and it is obvious that this distinction is lost by Michael for whatever reason when it comes to FSF and the GPL.

  3. #23

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    Since when did I hate the GPL? I don't hate it... I put out the Phoronix Test Suite and other software under the GPL (even GPLv3) myself.... I'm not sure why there's FUD that I hate the GPL.

    I also don't explicitly hate the Free Software Foundation, it's particularly the high priority list that I don't like for a variety of reasons, most of which I have mentioned. For such a central organization, the FSF should do more to promote the projects on the list or find assistance for them in one way or another, revise the list to include more relevant projects to the widest audience of users (the CAD file and network router drivers IMHO don't really belong on there...), audit the list more vigorously, and that they and others should focus upon innovating in free software rather than just trying to replace proprietary software by more or less copying their features.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Since when did I hate the GPL? I don't hate it... I put out the Phoronix Test Suite and other software under the GPL (even GPLv3) myself.... I'm not sure why there's FUD that I hate the GPL.

    I also don't explicitly hate the Free Software Foundation, it's particularly the high priority list that I don't like for a variety of reasons, most of which I have mentioned. For such a central organization, the FSF should do more to promote the projects on the list or find assistance for them in one way or another, revise the list to include more relevant projects to the widest audience of users (the CAD file and network router drivers IMHO don't really belong on there...), audit the list more vigorously, and that they and others should focus upon innovating in free software rather than just trying to replace proprietary software by more or less copying their features.
    The innovation argument, OK, I'll buy that. But at the same time, I think 50% of the reason why Linux is still not "ready for prime time" is that the things people take for granted on Windows, are not available on Linux. So that basically means giving them what they had in terms of applications on Windows, so they feel at home. Once someone develops a perceived "requirement" to have some software, they won't be very willing to give it up. So that means things like:

    • Games (specific games, not just generic games - although I think you are doing a better job than the FSF at championing that)
    • Voice/video conferencing without having to set up your own server, and specifically, interoperability with Skype's network, if not a downright open source clone of their client
    • Flash. It's still not going away because a few very high-demand websites keep using it (MLB is the one I need it for...). Even if you come up with something that works better than Flash, such as WebM video with HTML5 canvas, it's incompatible with Flash, and thus useless to anyone who needs Flash for some sites.


    Those are only a few examples, but you'll see that most of the things on the FSF's list are just reimplementations of proprietary products. Well, yeah, that's kind of a no-brainer to me: people are going to keep using Windows until they can run all of the programs they want to run on Linux, and most people aren't going to settle for running Windows in a VM (that's pretty much a cop-out anyway).

    Soooo... why exactly is innovation important? Even if we offer 1000 awesome applications that are extremely innovative and extremely desirable for end-users, if they're not the same ones that users specifically want, then they basically aren't going to fly.

    Well, I take that back in part. For service-oriented "client" programs, such as a Skype client, a Ventrilo client, a Flash player, etc., providing a reimplementation that is compatible at the network layer with the proprietary app, is acceptable. So there we don't have to depend on the original publisher to voluntarily bring their software to Linux, we just have to write a client that works. Still, it's not really innovation, but it is what people want.

    I agree on the relevancy of certain items on the list, but I think you're basically barking up the wrong tree. The main issue here is that the FSF is not a software development organization. They pitch an ideology, and software licenses, and that's basically it. The FSF doesn't write software.

    You could probably try to get GNU involved, as they are a software development organization -- but GNU itself does not exactly have a lot of developers just standing around idle, ready to pour resources into projects. If anything, the absence of progress on these items is an indication that FOSS is not advancing as quickly as we'd like -- and that's not an issue that is specific to the FSF, that is an issue that is running across the entire ecosystem.

    And you yourself admitted that the PowerVR driver would be very desirable. That it hasn't made progress isn't the FSF's fault, because again, they're not a software development organization.

    BTW, the Open Source Initiative doesn't even have a high priority projects list. Maybe that's a good thing, because they can't get criticized by people for putting out ideas and not being able to implement them themselves.

  5. #25

    Default Jølle Jønnson

    Now that you have snapped your whip, I am sure they will all be finished..

    I don`t see why anyone isn`t talking about low-latency linux. Patches to improve responsiveness is greatly discussed, but that doesn`t even matter in a non-low-latency environment. If people knew they could do extremely responsive low-latency audio/video in linux, I am sure they would come. That was afterall the big critique of microsoft, back in the days of amiga/atari/acorn. You would come to MS world, and there would be 50ms latencies (if you were lucky). windows was written for wordprocessing probably yes, and still seems to carry a lot of that mindset. However what happens when low latency audio becomes available? The whole softsynth thing, and standalone studios in a PC happened then. This was kind of featured earlier, with modules on the amiga/etc. And the DSP trend can already be heard on the Atari Falcon. But it didn`t really happen bigtime, before MS windows could have low latencies.

    So where was their minds all this time? And why do they not carry this to the extreme? So we all can be free of how this or that old system, was better.

    Now ofcourse linux is much better than windows at low latencies. And people are hailing wayland as an improvement of responsiveness. But THAT also requires low-latency kernels, to have any effect on responsiveness. Infact, the kind of supersmooth graphics that Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntufame, is known to want, is already there, with low-latency kernels. Wayland will be an improvement yes, but we already have supersmooth graphics.

    So why aren`t low-latency config kernels more of a buzzword? That seems to be key to everything here.

    Personally I would like to see an opensource sequencer, that can compete with Logic Audio. Something that can sequence both video and audio. If you had that, on a low-latency linux, I think many would use linux. Probably a whole lot of the youtube crowd, and similar crowds to amigastyle "demo" crowds. That would again, become the producers of new media, hopefully professionally.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Del_ View Post
    Guys please keep it civil. You are all better than this. Phoronix is doing a fantastic effort for the GPL projects of this world, and PTS uses GPL. The accusations made in this thread is not doing anybody any good.
    Good to see someone trying to steer the thread away from turning into a thread of spiteful comments and personal attacks. Some of the previous comments made are exactly why I was a lurker here so long before deciding to start commenting in the forums. Criticism is useful, but comments like 'asdx' made that the site admin here is "a fucking moron" doesn't help the situation and just makes you look like a tool.

  7. #27
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    The FOSS general 2D CAD tools are a bit lacking. I bought the QCAD commercial version for ordinate dimension support but its interface is rather ugly and less efficient to use than AutoCAD (which I despise) or Autosketch. I remember trying LibreCAD a while back and found it lacking but it appears to have progressed since then and I need to give it another try.

    Autodesk competitors have joined the Intellicad effort but it's an expensive option ($32K to $57K USD). I've used DraftSight which is based on Intellicad, has a native Linux version, and is freeware. I hate it almost as much as AutoCAD because its interface is very similar. It's not freedomware but for most business users it's good enough. With the number of corporate backers of Intellicad (supposedly 50), and the critical mass of usage, there isn't much industry incentive to back a separate FSF effort.

    I'm not sure what the 3D CAD situation is (Blender is all I've heard about). On the EDA/PCB front, gEDA and KiCAD seem to be progressing well but I haven't tried them in a few years.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze View Post
    Good to see someone trying to steer the thread away from turning into a thread of spiteful comments and personal attacks. Some of the previous comments made are exactly why I was a lurker here so long before deciding to start commenting in the forums. Criticism is useful, but comments like 'asdx' made that the site admin here is "a fucking moron" doesn't help the situation and just makes you look like a tool.
    While I don't agree with the language used, you have to admit we've had this article before with the exact same results, it's seems highly recycled (i.e.: nothing better to write about). Phoronix (please pay attention I never use personal names and almost always say phoronix, since I take the website, not anyone personal to be responsible for the content here) tends to pursue a certain agenda and many times articles are rather populist in tone than anything else. It's really hard to tell downright that phoronix spreads any lies, but the formulation of sentences, the language used, things implied, are often controversial half truths. I guess that's what pisses off many people here. But it's also a double edged sword: many people getting pissed = many replies = many page impressions = more ad money = more shallow articles. Think of it like in psychology, the beaten woman who gets back to her husband to get another beating all the time. Though in this case I'm not sure whether the users are the woman or the website, it's kind of a vicious circle.

    Then with all the iEvil coverage growing, it's really becoming unbearable here. Now, I've been on this website for a few years. Sometimes I read an article, enjoy it, and tell myself -- hell, you should invest the few bucks and support this site so it doesn't (feel the) need to place ads, worry about the future, etc. etc. But then I see such populist bollocks or iEvil related articles or even phoronix itself using software by that company I personally despise (I mean, no offense, but if I were a fanboy of that company, there is really a handful of related news website I could visit), and I change my mind. And you know what, I'm not even sure that if enough people donated, the ads would ever get removed. For me, it's logical to donate only if it secures barrier free (i.e. not just with firefox/chromium + adblocker) browsing of the site.

    So let's be honest. There is good stuff here, there are (or were?) many good commentators on the forums, sometimes good or thoughtful articles (the benchmarks I hardly ever read), and recently a lot of rubbish.

    I can only disclaim here that I run a site myself which doesn't have any ads and runs only on donations, and what I get monthly is around 120% of the actual costs (but the server really doesn't cost a lot and I optimised a lot of processes). I realise not every website is wikipedia though and can fully rely on donations, but I think ads are a broken paradigm too. At least, webmasters' belief that if someone uses an adblocker then they are 'stealing' from them is broken. Those people have to realise they'll never be able to force advertisement into people's brains, the best they can do is offer it.
    Last edited by susikala; 04-22-2012 at 10:42 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshuapurcell View Post
    While I welcome a critical look at open source projects, including ones sponsored by the Free Software Foundation, Phoronix has proven to be nothing but negatively critical towards FSF while either ignoring the GPL license or treating it in the same way as they treat the FSF. In other words, the Phoronix website is full of blantantly biased reporting on these subjects, and I can only infer that the same applies to some other subjects which I don't follow as regularly. It's a shame, since these projects need to have the publicity in order to attract new contributors and keep existing ones. It is not healthy for any type of project to have a constant negative focus from some outside party like this website. It is entirely possible to on one hand be critical of a project but at the same time remain positive, and it is obvious that this distinction is lost by Michael for whatever reason when it comes to FSF and the GPL.
    The GPL license is not some sort of sacred cow that needs to be free of criticism. The site is not full of "blatantly biased" anything. Biased has been redefined by pundits today to mean "anything that does not agree with me". The implication is quite egotistical: there are those who agree with me, and then there are those who are too emotionally swayed to agree with me.

    >It is not healthy for any type of project to have a constant negative focus from some outside party like this website.

    Boo-hoo. If the project's dead, reporting on that fact is more likely to encourage someone to try to revive it than ignoring it would.

    Michael makes a great point, but all those who are upset that he's being "negative in the freedom dimension" are ignoring: what the &%^# does the FSF actually do? Apparently Richard Stallman dips a quill pen into a bottle of ink, adds these projects to a list, and then that's the end of their involvement. What are they doing about locked bootloaders on Win8 ARM devices that threaten to introduce an entire class of computers (ARM laptops) that won't be allowed to run Linux? They held a cartoon contest, with the prize being... the FSF using the cartoon on their website. Apparently the EFF will be our only hope in regard to this issue, because they know how to threaten lawsuits, file friend of the court briefs... actually do things. Where does FSF money go other than to supporting Richard Stallman? Shouldn't there be a breakdown published of how the FSF spends its money if it's non-profit?

    The message of the article is that the FSF is impotent... being on their list doesn't amount to squat. They don't bring money to projects, they don't attract developers... in a cruel bit of irony, unlike the goals of the GPL, they don't seem to contribute anything back to the community. Maybe it's time we consider for the hundredth time "forking" the FSF and getting an organization that has some connection to reality and knows how to get things done rather than give speeches. Personally I'd love to see the EFF subsume the FSF, get rid of the ideological/cult elements and view open source as another means to support the rights of users to control their own devices - things real people can actually care about. If Stallman was an effective leader or spokesman, the iPad wouldn't exist much less be beloved. He and the FSF and their rigid quest for ideological purity (spending more time worrying about de-blobifying distros and giving us an open source Google Earth than about the real priorities of open source) have failed. The only thing he's done in decades is make the rest of us look bad and inspire a small cult of personality. On the Trisquel message board they didn't want their distro reviewed by the Linux Action Show because they "hate freedom" and opined that they would just point out "its weaknesses compared to proprietary software", namely lack of wifi drivers, 3D drivers or flash support so "what was the point"? Another poster suggested that members avoid any interviewers who "don't love freedom" because they'll argue with you, but if you find ones who do you can "basically take over the interview" and use it to discuss the goals of your organization (nice way of putting ramble on about the GPL rather than talk about the distro).

    These attacks on Michael are groundless - they don't dispute the facts he reported regarding the status of any of the projects mentioned. I'm sorry that Stallman fans find this negative in the freedom dimension (for those who don't know, this is what Stallman described one of the Linux Action Show hosts as being during an interview) but it's the truth. The implication that we should all "remain postive" even when discussing a problem is troubling. This article didn't insult or attack anyone... unlike the forum posts (including mine). It stuck to the facts and described what we can all agree as being a sad state of affairs. One can dispute the facts (although these seem quite clear), dispute the conclusions or the recommendations, but to characterize this as something other than fact-based and honest reporting is terribly unfair.

  10. #30
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox Uncreated View Post
    And the DSP trend can already be heard on the Atari Falcon.


    I think you should get a special reward just for mentioning the Atari Falcon.

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