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Divide et Impera

Today I took the time to open a couple of articles related to Linux and to LibreOffice. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, because this makes me feeling engaged in a battle that I have lost the wish it will ever been won.

The first article, In Search of Linux’s Greatest Moment, looks to me the typical product of someone who is very proud of what he/she likes. I do not think there is any doubt about the revolution that Linux made possible in the IT world of today. This is true at enterprise level but, also, at consumer level. Anytime (or most of the times) in which there is an intelligent device, Linux is powering it. This is imho one of the Linux’s greatest moment.
The second one, as it appears in the article, is around Android.
But the author seems to look to where Linux did great on the desktop. And it is here that, imho, we do not have any great moment. The great moment will be when people will choose a Linux desktop instead of a Mac or instead of Windows. Not speaking about geeks or not speaking about people who do not like MS or not speaking about people who want to save money. I am speaking about my children for instance. They would love to have a Mac. They love to have an Android or an iOS. But they would never ever go and use Ubuntu or RedHat unless they would be forced to.
The strange thing is that the Mac UI (and the iOS UI also) are built on the top of a Unix derivative…. But in the Linux world there is too much separation between the Gnome and the KDE camps that this prevents forces to join and to create a seducing interface. Seducing for non-IT people.

And now to the second article, LibreOffice 4 review. Getting better but… , I understand that Sun before and, especially, Oracle after made things difficult with OpenOffice. But now the time is over. Oracle decided that they will not be able to make money out of OpenOffice and left it to its destiny. And the destiny is not that unknown… it is the Apache foundation. There are companies that put money and means in the Apache Foundation…. So, please, tell me what the need is to have LibreOffice if not the one of reproducing the battle bewteen KDE and Gnome that prevented innovation to spur on the Linux desktop…..

Apparently, instead than focussing on the real objective (make an free OS alternative to commercial OSes and make a free Office alternative to MS Office), people prefer to split the efforts, concentrate on one camp’s best idea instead than on what users will like….. Romans 2000 years ago said “Divide et Impera”. Perhaps 2000 years later we still need to prove that this sentence holds true.

Google strikes back

So, here it is, the long awaited “Google Browser” (called Google Chrome, but the site should go online only tomorrow) has been unveiled in an unconventional announcement in the guise of a comic book.

For the moment, I hold any new comment. I read my old post (from last August). Let’s see if this move will actually make the battleground more free ( by removing the artificial obstacles that an evolution of the Browser technology found because of the war between IE and Firefox) or it will simply be a vehicle by which Google will transform its “presents” (GMail, GCalendar, G<something else>…) into “de-facto” standards.

The initial announcements explicitly thanks what Firefox and Apple Safari did and, more important, commits Google to open-source the innovations that are certainly present in the new Browser.

I suggest people to start reading this post from John Paczkowski, especially what he says at the end:

with its view of the Web as a Web of applications and its multi-process/multi-application design, Chrome almost seems more an operating system than a browser, doesn’t it? Funny, isn’t it. Google’s long been rumored to have been developing a browser and an OS. Who would have known they’d be the same thing ?.

Without having seen and tried yet the Google Chrome browser, I tend to agree with John on the fact that Google is probably shooting towards something that is more an RIA platform than a simple browser.

I would only ask a question. Given the “open source” nature of Firefox, why Google deployed another open-source initiative instead of joining the forces around Firefox ?

Let see when we will better understand how Google Browser is done.

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