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And a measure of Wine to all...

Posted 06-29-2009 at 03:20 PM by Shingoshi

I'm going to raise the stakes here. What I'm about to say may rile some of you. But I really think it needs to be said, and attention given to this.

I believe it is counterproductive for the open-source community to become complacent in the imagination applied to the vision of what direction we should take with development. Given the fact that open-source software is under direct attack by proprietary systems (one in particular), I firmly believe emphasis needs to be given to counter that attack with equal forcefulness. And the only way that can be achieved, is by presenting open-source as a valid replacement for the proprietary system(s) in wide-spread use now.

Since most of the effort is coming from one company in particular, and that company is using it's full force to stifle development from advancing beyond what it's licensing allows (for both hardware and software), the only way to conclusively defeat that restrictiveness is to present all users the choice of a better system. What I'm about to say now, is that Wine has the ability to deliver that better system.

There are some things to take notice of here. Wine is a real threat to that other system. It is the one application that would render the licensing of products for the proprietary system unnecessary. We are at a significant point in the history of the global marketplace. Having a condition of extreme recession worldwide, companies regardless of their nation of origin have it in their best economic interest to dispose of systems which essentially limit the degree of their profitability. All companies to some degree or another are having to pay kickbacks for the right to do business. Open-source could and would eliminate that situation once and for all.

That is the vision of a new reality I'm presenting to all of you. Now, here's how the vision stops being a dream, and moves into full reality. No more, what if! Every distribution of Linux which is capable of running on x86 and x86_64 processors needs to champion Wine aggressively. There can be no complacency here. This is also a major reason and justification for every 64-bit Linux distribution to be fully multilib. Wine has the ability now of being compiled for 64-bit. And if Linux were to compile Wine for 32-bit and 64-bit, and deliver both either separately or combined in a single package, every user would have the immediate ability to separate themselves and the profits derived from that other system. Companies desperate to limit their operating expenses would jump at the opportunity to rid themselves of proprietary software, once and for all.

There is one more thing that really needs to happen in order for Wine (and Linux in general) to be in a position of full market viability. Wine needs to be fully integrated into KDE. The user settings applied to KDE, need to equally apply to Wine. Since Wine is providing the desktop of that proprietary system, that desktop needs to be seamlessly integrated into the dominant desktop for Linux. And let's not get distracted here. Gnome is not in widespread use in the corporate world. And it likely never will be. KDE most resembles that other desktop with which Linux now competes. Consequently, KDE will be the most comfortable solution for new users of Linux. Simply put. Wine needs to be part of KDE.

Now, let's take a look at the hardware. With new 32-bit systems being developed for Linux to run on handheld devices, and KDE being used on many of those devices, an urgent emphasis needs to be placed on the development of Wine on the new processors which run Linux. To put it another way. Every device that proprietary system is targeted to run on, Linux needs to be there in full force, with Wine at the forefront of that effort. Wine needs to be the system to deprive that proprietary system of any and all profits it would have hoped to make from new technology. Open-source is a better system. And we need to start acting like it.

If you're not already using Wine, you need to download it now and start doing so. It doesn't matter if you presently think you have no need for it. What matters here most of all, is that more users are providing greater feedback to the development of Wine to encounter more environments it may not have previously considered. We have to collectively raise the stakes for Wine. Wine needs to stop being something used mostly by gamers. It needs to become the mainstream application it deserves to be. And in that, we all have a philosophical obligation to open-source to make that a reality.

It simply defies reason, that open-source systems being freely available to everyone, would NOT be preferred over a proprietary system. It's in no one's best interest to pay for the right to use computers. Open-source systems by definition does not have that restriction imposed on users. Free is free. To freely exist without limitation, needs to be the goal of everyone. Given the choice between something that's closed versus something that's open, I believe all sensible persons would choose the latter. And Linux needs to give the world that choice with a measure of Wine in hand.

To be continued...
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