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January 18, 2007

Linux video clips of Linux creator Linus Torvalds – but for whom?

Filed under: linux — tuxicity @ 10:50 am

iTWire – Linux video – but for whom? >>>

Builder AU, the official media organ for the Australian Linux conference, which is underway in Sydney, has released video clips of Linux creator Linus Torvalds talking about kernel development.

But GNU/Linux users, the intended target audience, are finding it difficult to view the same.

The videos apparently need to be viewed using version 8 of the proprietary Macromedia Flash player or above. Fact is there has never been a Flash 8 for GNU/Linux. After 7, Macromedia chose to release version 9 – on January 16, six months after it was released for Windows.

Hence few GNU/Linux users have version 9 on their systems. Those who have a player installed have version 7.

The videos are linked off both Builder AU and its sister publication ZDNet.

Those who have moved up from the x86 platform are in a more difficult bind. There is no way of playing Flash videos on 64-bit Linux apart from using a fork of the Firefox browser known as Swiftfox. But videos made in Flash 8 are a no-go.

A link to one video was posted to the tech website Slashdot late last night but users were understandably unimpressed. “How difficult is it to release a video about linux kernel development in a format that is easy to watch by people running linux? At least use flash 7… no need to blow their minds talking about ogg/theora,” one obviously irritated poster wrote.

Theora is an open video codec; Ogg is a wrapper. Both are developed under the same licence as the Linux kernel. Another well-known open video codec is Vorbis. Other video formats such as MPEG4 and .wav can be viewed under GNU/Linux.

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