So, in the end, the Mono hackers have worked overnight to make it possible to watch the official Obama inauguration on Moonlight, the free software implementation of Microsoft’s response to Adobe Flash. Good or bad, I don’t really know. I pity the hacker that had to work overnight to overcome the bad choice of the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) to use Microsoft’s proprietary tools.
What is really annoying though is this sentence from Ars report of the night of Novell’s employees:
Monday night’s collaborative effort by Microsoft and Novell on defies the assessments of these critics and provides some compelling evidence of the need for an open source Silverlight implementation.
No, dude, that’s not what we need. We need HTML5, we need an open standard to handle multimedia on the web. We don’t need yet another poor’s man implementation of a proprietary non-standard that copies other proprietary non-standards like Adobe Flash. Cloning Silverlight may make sense only for Novell, but for anybody else it’s a waste of time. Hacker’s energy is better spent on GNASH, the free software Flash implementation because at least that’s the dominant player and on Firefox 3.1. And advocacy energy should go on finalizing the specs of HTML5, removing all patent traps. Get it right.