Monday, May 6, 2013

Are Google Really Having Technical Difficulties?

Last night to get the last bits on the Manaiakalani image done and copy 45 usb sticks (yep, you heard me. 45! This is going to take forever.....). Only... I've found a bug. Enter in great gnashing of teeth.

Flash has for a long time been the bane of my life. I can't include the Flash Plugin in the image without violating the terms of agreement. Even when I've found a way around that, I have to then stop it from updating because it also can't be included in the package repositories (for the same reason I can't include it in the image) and as a result, the package manager doesn't really know what to do with it so it fails fairly often.

At one stage I was having to give teachers a set of commands to copy and paste into the terminal to get Flash working again and some kids had it down perfectly - they could go around and fix an entire class quickly. It's great that some school's had both teachers and kids with the confidence to fix it for themselves (I even got chat requests from a few high school kids asking for the solution - note: I take this as a point of pride that they're willing to have a go at fixing it themselves). But it just wasn't right...

Security woes be damned....

Google to the rescue! 

Google Chrome includes Flash support - and can be redistributed. Which means, there are absolutely no concerns about me having Google Chrome with it's all fancy Flash support built in. It was a short leap from Chromium to Chrome anyway.

Given that Firefox proved to be horribly uncustomizable, I had reluctantly dropped it in favor of Chromium where I was only having to edit 2 files (master_preferences and bookmarks) for each entity (school) to deal to any settings I needed. Whereas Firefox required the unpacking of a zip file, editing some files, zipping them back up, only to find that the only thing I was able to change were the default bookmarks (trying to do anything else, such as display the bookmark bar by default, lead to me wanting to find someone from Mozilla and hit them with a "You've got to be fornicating kidding me" stick). I've since become even more critical of Firefox. The default bookmarks are ridiculous! Why the fornication do we need 20 odd bookmarks all leading to the Mozilla foundation?

Google, we have a problem

The included "PepperFlash" in Google Chrome is rubbish. Youtube videos, while the sound is great, the video refreshes every 10 seconds or so. Video without the video (at least the sound works great). And there is a workaround... it involves using the flashplugin-installer and disabling the internal flash support.

But wait... isn't this an Adobe issue? Well no because...

Google's lack of support for Linux has become a trend

Oh yes I did! (Imagine me responding to some attitude filled comment about me having not done it... it's all there in black and white for all to see... I can not deny it). The list is getting longer.

With Picasa, rather than putting resources into developing an application that would actually work on Linux, they chose to try and make the Windows version run under Wine. It was a disgusting attempt. That client has long since been pulled with the following message on the download page:
"Picassa is not currently available for your operating system"
It's worth noting that it's been the same message for a year or so now.

About a year after the launch of Google Drive and there still isn't a Linux client in sight except from 3rd parties. InSync have done what Google can't? Whatcha talking 'bout Willis? That's patently absurd. There's something else going on here (otherwise Google would've beaten InSync to the punch, brought InSyncHQ and all it's assets, or at the very least, had a competing free offering on the table). There is no way in hell that this could even remotely be a technical issue. Not with their resources and their intimate knowledge of the product.

Chrome OS and Android are Linux without the Linux. If you really want to dig, you'll find that Linuxy goodness that some of us know and love - in chains beneath pretty looking GUI's (a woman in chains in a pretty dress is still a woman in chains). The DIY part comes with a sacrifice - especially on the Chromebooks. So what are we getting for all of our Linuxy goodness and it's good name? A locked down OS with a single vendor controlling it's direction...

And now, in junction with Adobe, yet another way to thumb their nose at Linux: Flash... Meanwhile... I have absolutely no idea how to work around this. Some sort of hack involving installation of the Flash Plugin and locking it down to a single version. As well as disabling the Pepper Flash Plugin - the one included in Chrome. Which makes me wonder... why did I opt to switch to Chrome?

Google Chicken meet Google Egg

1 comment:

  1. ahhh. the penny has dropped.

    yes, flash can be a pain. but it enables such pretty pictures/things :P