IE in FreeBSD?
tedm at toybox.placo.com
Wed Sep 21 00:18:49 PDT 2005
>From: Frank Jahnke [mailto:jahnke at fmjassoc.com]
>Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2005 10:33 AM
>To: Ted Mittelstaedt
>Cc: youshi10 at u.washington.edu; freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
>Subject: RE: IE in FreeBSD?
>> >One example: how do you suggest that complex forms in PDF format are
>> >filled out and saved on a FreeBSD system?
>> PDF doesn't belong in complex forms that are filled out online.
>I didn't say these were filled on on line -- that can be done just fine
>with OSS or the free Adobe Reader products. What I was talking about
>was downloading PDF forms, filling them out locally, and saving them.
>Right now OSS and other free products can fill out forms and have them
>printed -- they cannot be saved. When the forms are 45 pages or more,
>treating the computer as a simple typewriter is just silly. You need to
>be able to go back and edit them. I know of no way to do that with
>anything other than a proprietary product, such as Acrobat.
Well, people did this for years with textfiles before Adobe came along
and convinced people that they couldn't use text to do this anymore.
In any case if PDF is the issue, then yes you can do this, just download
the PDF and edit it with Ghostscript and submit it back.
>That's fine: the documents I'm describing are downloaded, completed
>locally, signed, copied, and submitted (an original and six to eight
>copies). That your company does it differently is wonderful. I don't
>have a choice in this matter, if I wish to do business with this
>concern. And I do -- there are $24 billion in proposals that are funded
>annually that I would like to take part in.
>In many ways, this sums up the entire disagreement: I'm saying I have a
>need that I have to deal with. You are saying I shouldn't have that
>need if "they" did it properly. In this case, "they" don't. So I need
>to deal with it, and some Windows applications work just fine. I'd just
>like to run them on the computer where I do the majority of my work.
>I do think that there will remain a lot processing that is done locally,
>like the web browsing that started this whole thread off, particularly
>for smaller concerns such as mine. For smaller companies having
>desktops works well enough, and is probably a better use of resources.
>It is in my case, where the needs are rather diverse and complex.
I think I see the issue here, to speak plainly. You know how to use
you don't want to learn how to deal with PDFs with any other tool. You
an emulator so you don't have to learn how to use Ghostscript or any
open source free tool that can deal with PDFs. I can understand all
I can't understand is why you think that having the OSS people provide
a crutch so you don't have to take the time to use Ghostscript and dump
is in any way helpful to OSS.
Why not simply continue to run Acrobat under Windows? Why are you
at all with FreeBSD when you don't want to learn how to use the rest of
OSS applications out there? Understand this is a devils advocate
But, anyone running FreeBSD should be able to answer it.
>A "laboratory notebook" is a term of art that describes the legal
>documentation of laboratory work which is ultimately used for patent
>prosecution and FDA approvals, among others. An "electronic laboratory
>notebook" is simply its electronic version, and there are companies who
>have tailored products to fulfill patenting and FDA requirements. These
>are specialized databases where access and modification rights (among
>other things) are handled carefully, and yes, they are all server-client
>based, though the client end does process a lot of data from diverse
>sources (like LIMs-- laboratory information management systems) before
>it is approved and entered to the central database.
>Nowhere did I say anything about a notebook computer.
>I was pointing out the need for a certain kind of software that is
>available for Windows that will not be filled by the OSS community.
>Whether the application will be ported by an ISV I have no way of
>knowing, but my initial inquiries have not been encouraging. The
>front-ends on user computers are not that complicated, and can certainly
>be run under emulation.
>Could this be created as a bespoke application? Sure. It would make
>absolutely no sense, though, as procuring all of the required USPTO, PCT
>and FDA approvals simply costs too much money and takes too much time.
>That was my point in its original context.
>> An OSS operating system like FreeBSD or Linux is not just only good
>> as a platform for running
>> OSS applications. It's good for that but it's just as good for
>> running the kind of narrow market, sophisticated and expensive
>> your talking about. The goal needs to be to knock some sense into
>> the ISVs that produce those applications and tell them you aren't
>> going to buy those apps unless they port to FreeBSD. It shouldn't be
>> to say "Oh, those poor babies life is so hard for them, let's make
>> it easy for them to say on their fat lazy asses and not
>> to bother porting to the operating system WE want"
>Here we are in 100% agreement. I already run a $10K FEM program,
>admittedly in its Linux form. I'd prefer a native one, but it runs well
>so it is close enough for me. I run it on locally, but that isn't
>inherent in the program -- it is just the more reasonable the way to run
>it at the moment. I agree that there is an opportunity for ISVs here,
>and it is one that I do support. But it is not one I can control.
>My company by itself is simply too small to have any muscle in the
>marketplace, and in the meanwhile, there are certain things I need to
>get done. I'll choose the tools that best suit those needs. If that
>means getting some desktop Windows applications to run on BSD, then
>that's what I will do.
I think you would be better served running those Windows desktop apps on
>Even with these sorts of specialized applications you mention, you do
>need routine sorts of software, and right now those are available
>as consumer-level desktop tools. I just don't see the OSS community
>filling the needs people have in these areas, and practical alternatives
>of the sorts you are suggesting just not available. At least, I'm not
>aware of them, and even if they were, they probably would not make sense
>for me at the moment.
I think Red Hat is interested in providing this under Linux but you are
right in that their stuff isn't OSS.
The thing is that there's 3 issues here your stirring together:
1) The support and growth of OSS. And keep in mind OSS encompasses both
UNIX apps and OSS Windows apps.
2) The support and growth of FreeBSD and Linux as an operating system.
(Linux, BSD, etc.)
3) The support and growth of commercial apps on FreeBSD and Linux.
There are actions you can take that help all three goals, or help just
one or two
But what we don't really want to do is support choices that help one or
of these goals at the EXPENSE of another. Because, ultimately in the
analysis, all 3 of these goals are intertwined.
Using FreeBSD as a platform to run commercial apps that are ported to
supports goal 2&3 but it is benign to goal 1, it neither harms or hurts
But supporting an emulator for FreeBSD to run commercial apps, while it
help goal 2 initially, it does so at the expense of goal 1 and 3. A
emulator harms commercial ISVs that want to port to FreeBSD and Linux
it steals sales from them and gives it to their competitors who do not
porting from Windows. Thus it harms goal 3. And an emulator also steals
interest away from OSS alternatives to Windows applications so it harms
And since FreeBSD and Linux are supported by goal 1 and 3, ultimately it
What you have to realize is that the computer app market is in a classic
catch-22 with Microsoft. Microsoft is a monopoly and because it's a
it gets all the sales, all the money, and pays enormous sums to stay that
way. Microsoft claims it is #1 because all the customers prefer it's
over FreeBSD and Linux. How could they not? Since Microsoft gets all
money it can afford to buy out everyone else and maintain itself as a
That is what monopolies do. Ultimately this harms the consumer because a
monopoly does not have competitive price pressure - that is why Microsoft
Office still costs $500 a copy for a full license.
In all other industries we have laws that break up monopolies but these
aren't currently applied to Microsoft. Ultimately they will be applied,
all Bell Telephone existed as a monopoly for decades as well. But until
the only way to get out of the catch-22 is to support alternatives other
Microsoft. Apple is one, FreeBSD and Linux are others. And you must
that if you do this that your going to have to put up with applications
aren't as good as the Microsoft ones insofar that they don't have as many
bells and whistles and might be a little harder to use. Ultimately
this will pay off later on because if you persist you will get better
and cheaper ones. That is fundamental delayed gratification that any
should be familiar with. If you don't want to participate then your
off going back to the other side of the wall and be counted with the
people. Then at least you won't be diverting our attention from
to develop those native FreeBSD and Linux apps, into some dead-end like a
Ask yourself - you say:
" and in the meanwhile, there are certain things I need to get done.
choose the tools that best suit those needs."
When does "meanwhile" ever end? Sounds to me like never. What kind of
does that paint for FreeBSD? Is it to be nothing more than a platform to
run emulators on that can run Windows apps?
If you were saying things like "I just need an emulator so I can run IE
another year, and by then Firefox will be able to do what I need and I
dump the emulator and IE" that would tell me that you do have a vision
the future. But your not saying that, your saying that your never going
stop using the emulator unless things get better on this side of the
among the applications. But your not understanding that they won't get
unless people like you start using the applications on this side of the
because that is what community software development is all about.
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