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The latest round in the Apple Vs Adobe scwabble has seen a press release published by Apple explaining their position. As they attempt to take a moral high ground, they come off sounding like total hypocrits!

Sure, its easy to take a pop at flash… its bloated, buggy (on linux) and will eat into your system performace like no ones business. But with all that considered, it is responsible for a large amount of the matirial we consume online, and its not going away anytime soon.

But apples opening argument on its press release attempts to slam adobe for its lack of openness. Below I have quoted this section of the PR, as for no excerpts to be taken out of context.

    First, there’s “Open”.

    Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

    Apple has many proprietary products too. Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards. Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards. HTML5, the new web standard that has been adopted by Apple, Google and many others, lets web developers create advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party browser plug-ins (like Flash). HTML5 is completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member.

    Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser used in all our products. WebKit has been widely adopted. Google uses it for Android’s browser, Palm uses it, Nokia uses it, and RIM (Blackberry) has announced they will use it too. Almost every smartphone web browser other than Microsoft’s uses WebKit. By making its WebKit technology open, Apple has set the standard for mobile web browsers.

For Apple to try and take the stand as the ‘good guy’ in an openness and free speech argument is so asburd and hypocrytical that only a fanboy would be sucked in by this garbage.

We all know that the iPhone and iPad are the two most locked down and controlled devices ever brought to market. EVER. Apple control exactly what the hardware is cabable of, through their propriatory OS. Apple control exacly what software is available for the platform, through the app store application process. Apple control exactly how developers make software through their propriatary SDK (mac only) and licence agreement.

By reading the above exerpt, you can see that Apple conveniently ignores all the points i mention, and focuses on web standards, thus conveying Apple as an advocate of openess and free creativity on the web. They believe that web standards should be open, but they don’t believe in openness when it has ramifications to their business model and profits (like in the app store).

Next, Apple gives its self a nice pat on the back for WebKit rendering engine. The wording of this shows Apple in a very positive light to the uniformed.

Apple did not create WebKit. They pillaged the opensource project KHTML, developped by KDE for their Konqueror browser. Apple made a fork of KHTML and named it ‘WebKit’, yet Apple withheld their code, preventing further colaboration with KDE on the project, and violating the initial terms of the licence. Apple eventually open-sourced their code in 2005, but from their behaviour, it is clear that they are not avocates of openness, and will do whatever it takes for their own gain.

So, that beats down every argument put forth by Apple against Adobe in regard to openness. Apple are hypocrits. Steve Jobs is the lead hypocrit. Apple fans are deluded fanboys who follow blindly and accept anything they are told. Apple are denouncing a company for following the same business model as Apple themselves. and that is pure hypocracy.

Please leave a comment if you have an opinion on this.

I recently reinstalled Linux onto my EEE 900 laptop. Using Ubuntu base installation as a starting point, I am building up a lightweight, super fast system from a minimal ubuntu install. So i’ve installed X, and fluxbox, file manager, rtorrent, iptables, nedit… so i basically have a very nice, very fast working system.

Next it was time to install a browser, again, i want to keep it light, but also capable.

So here is a run down of a few lightweight browsers, and my opinions of them.

Dillo
Dillo is extremely fast and lightweight browser, and in certain situtations, a pleasure to use. Minimal tool bars mean nearly all screen space is devoted webpages, and not the interface – a huge plus on an eeepc.

However, Dillo does not cope well when it comes up against bulky, complex sites. Limitted CSS support and no JavaScript support mean this browser is unusable on a number of sites that I use daily. If I was to make this my first choice browser, I would still need an alternative for accessing certain sites.

A good way to describe dillo, is that it covers a middle ground between fully featured browsers and text only browsers such as w3m. having said that, even w3m has JavaScript support!

A great browser for the simple things, but not enough on its own.

SeaMonkey
which is a WYSIWYG editor as well as a browser, which bares more than a little resemblance to netscape navigator (no accident). I had used this on a Puppy Linux live CD and had been very impressed with the speed – it uses mozillas rendering engine, so it supports sites almost as well as firefox. However, it just felt a bit clunky, and the interface took up a lot of screen real estate on the small eee screen. On top of that, there are a lot of dependencies for this software, and installation required a significant amount of disk space.

Conkeror
Conkeror is a lightweight browser based mozilla’s gecko rendering engine. the interface has been stripped away completely, and all that remains is a text input area at the bottom of the window. Conkeror relies on keyboard shortcuts similar to those in emacs or console based browsers in order to be used.

For example tapping ‘g’ allows a URL to be typed. Tapping ‘f’ results in all hyperlinks on a page being highlighted and numbered, the relevant number can then be entered to visit that link. ‘B’ and ‘F’ keys are used for back and forward, and so on.

All in all Conkeror is very fast and easy to learn. It does away with needless interface items and bloat – which is particularly helpful on a small screen, low spec system.

Links2

Links2 is a command line browser. I covered it before in an earlier post. The coolest feature of this ‘text only’ browser, is that it actually allows images to be rendered  and mouse support in the terminal/tty/ssh session, which makes it my first choice when I don’t have X running. However, a lack of JavaScript support limits it in many ways.

Like Dillo, a nice lightweight alternative, but cant be relied upon for all browsing due to its lack of support for advanced features.

w3m

Another CLI browser, Like Links2, can display graphics in the command line. On top of that, also supports JavaScript. Very fast, but not as pretty as Links2, and mouse support isnt implemented as well as Links2 either, nontheless, a good CLI browser.

So there you go, a quick rundown of some lightweight browsers available on linux. Right now, the crown goes to conkeror, it provides an intruative, uncluttered browsing experiance, and will likely baffle the average windows user who looks over your shoulder.