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Is Open-Source all about choices? Part I

Manik Chand Patnaik
Thu Jan 05 10:19:15 2006

It is since years that I am researching on open-source products. It is not just a hobby-work of sort but it has entrenched in to every probable field of my computing experience. It started as an additional interest which I pursued and what I see now is that it has become an inseparable part of me. The philosophy of giving out has prevailed upon every other thought which I had ever thought of during my involvement with computers.

As Open-Tech products became part and parcel of my day to day work, I found very real problems in order to get my task done. Problems which are very real and daunting. There were several others which were very small and some other which were not problems in the true sence but it was some sort of a nagging thing. I have an endless saga to tell but I will emphasize on some very generic problems which are way too common and which most of my readers from the open community encounter every-day.

Any Choices?

The discussion starts with a task oriented approach and more specific to desktop application. The server-side is lurking in the back of my mind but probably most won't be interested in discussing; that I presume. The most basic task on a personal computer is probably the task of browsing, email and document creation.


The players in this area are Microsoft's IE (Not Open-source and with Leading Market Share), The rapidly catching up Open-source browser with gecko engine Firefox, Opera (Not Open-source and available for Win, Lin and handhelds) and the Kde file manager Konqueror. I don't consider Konqueror a browser. It is a container. It can be used as a File-viewer, Media-player, File-manager and Browser as said earlier. The KHTML part is utilised for browser purposes. KHTML finds its place in Mac-Safari. With pop-up blocking, sane use of browser cache, tabs and extensions FireFox is the most feature-rich browser available today. In Open-source browsers between FFox and Konq, FFox is the more usable. Personally I get much of the work done in Konq too but mainly it is because I am very reluctant wait for FFox to start up and utilise open Konq windows. But It is not a good experience all the times. When I do it again with FFox it is altogether a different experience. As I would have my machine running Linux most of the time, for browsing sake I won't boot again to Windows. So, I will stick to FFox and Konq. Did I get choice? consider for yourself. Quick and manageable or a Full-featured system that does not fully integrate into my system.


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