Is Adobe Flash critical to the future of Linux?
In today's open source roundup: Flash won't work with Chromium in Linux. Plus: Why use Linux? And Google offers CoreOS as part of its cloud services
Adobe Flash has long held sway over a large swathe of web content. Now it will no longer function in Chromium for Linux, and TechRepublic thinks that Linux really needs Flash (among other things). But is that really true? Is Flash really all that important to the future of Linux?
According to TechRepublic:
The big Flash debacle is simple: the old way of handling Flash (within a browser) is insecure. It was driven by the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) -- an architecture that dates back to Netscape Navigator 2.0. NPAI that's insecure, obsolete, and doesn't work well on smartphones and tablets -- which is a death knell in and of itself.
But there's a problem. The Chromium browser (the browser that many die-hard open source fans use) will not be able to enjoy the new PPAPI architecture without extracting it from Chrome. This should be a do-able tasks for users familiar to tinkering with Linux. However, for new users (or users who simply don't have time to spend on such endeavors), this will be a deal breaker.
I've loathed Flash for a long time, I barked about it in a column a while back. Frankly, I'm glad to see it gone from Chromium though I do recognize that that will cause problems for some Linux users. But its really not the end of the world, eventually the web will move on from Flash anyway.
And let's remember that not everybody wants Flash on their computers anyway. It can be a huge resource hog that can cause a lot of power management problems on mobile devices and laptops as it tends to drain battery power fairly quickly. Some people simply prefer to avoid Flash as much as possible.
Perhaps Linux needs to take a page from Apple's iOS playbook and begin phasing out Flash support altogether. iOS has never supported Flash and it's doing just fine without it. The sooner other platforms follow suit, the better off we'll all be as Flash eventually vanishes from the web landscape.
Why use Linux?
A user on Reddit asked why people use Linux, and some of the answers are quite interesting.
According to Reddit:
It's a simple question. I know Linux has a decent user base. I know its known for being a open source/free. But my question is why do people chose to use it? I'm not to familiar and was a bit curious.
I think many people choose Linux for the freedom it offers them from the restraints of proprietary operating systems. Once you get your feet wet with Linux, you can take it and make it your own in a way that simply is not possible with Windows or OS X. You can even roll your own Linux distribution if you really want to do it. Plus there are so many different options available for Linux users, there truly is a distribution for everybody out there.
Google offers CoreOS distro
InfoWorld reports that Google has begun offering CoreOS as part of its cloud services.
According to InfoWorld:
CoreOS, a new lightweight Linux distribution customized for massive server deployments, has found a home on the Google Cloud Platform, giving organizations an easy way to test and use the software for their clusters and distributed computer programs.
The average CoreOS instance consumes only 161MB of working memory, less than half of what other distributions typically consume.
The distribution can be updated more quickly due to its novel use of two partitions. One can contain the current version of the OS while the OS is being updated in the other. That means the software can be updated all at once instead of package by package. Users can also elect to have the distribution update itself automatically.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.
The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.