On 16.09.2010 18:35, Michael Snow wrote:
Whether it's the file format or the viewer, I
don't see that much
difference and I think the question has pretty much been asked and
answered already. Part of the issue is that we're committed not just to
freedom of access, but also freedom of reproduction, so that mirrors or
downstream users should be able to freely recreate the experience if
I have some understanding for that argument. However mirrors etc. would
still have the alternative of using the free but bad quality viewers if
they don't want to spend the 90$.
If the Wikimedia Foundation tried to absorb the costs
software as suggested, there are a couple problems. The first problem is
that the foundation can only absorb some, not all, of the social impacts
of such a choice, no matter how much it tries to pick up the full
logistical and financial costs. The second problem is what else the
foundation would start to absorb, in the sense of cultural connections
and obligations, as a result of making such a choice.
Those are very weak arguments: social impact... cultural connections...
We live in a world of competition between open source and proprietary
software. This competition has blossomed into products like Firefox or
Windows 7. When we /a priori/ exclude one or the other we will miss the
chance of using the really best software. I'm disappointed to see
Wikimedia being trapped in it's own philosophy.
Given this situation the only alternative we have is to actively let
somebody program the requested feature or to wait until somebody does it
spontaneously. Both ways it may take years to have a satisfactory result.