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Canvas 7.0 Coming To Linux! 85

Rockhead writes: "Just saw this over at MacWeek. It looks like Deneba will be porting Canvas, their graphics, layout and kitchen-sink program, to Linux. The free beta is expected on the Deneba Web site early next month. Whoopee!" Let's hope that the release of free-beer proprietary vector programs spurs, rather than impedes, progress on KIllustrator and Sketch, both of which look great but incomplete at this point, but hold great promise in expanding Linux's meager selection of vector-drawing tools. Canvas also has some page-layout abilities -- looks like Deneba is seeing Adobe's free FrameMaker download for Linux, and raising.
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Canvas 7.0 Coming To Linux!

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    QCad []
  • I'd really like to have a good 2D CAD/drafting tool for Linux. I sure hope Deneba ports their CAD software to Linux. I'd even pay for it.


  • Seems like sometimes people lost touch of the "Free" thing.

    Yes, it's a "free download", but it's a beta software.

    Would it be still free if it is not beta anymore?

    It is also a proprietor program, ie, no souce is available. How to do debugging and send in patches if no source is available?

    Doesn't that defeat the whole idea of Open Source?

    I just wonder.

  • The article also mentions that Distiller will be available for free (beer), which would have been GREAT about a year ago when I needed to convert .ps->.pdf for every one of my essays.

    I wonder why so few people know about ps2pdf? It comes with Ghostscript, and works great. It's been around since version 5.xx -- in other words, for years. This saved my life in college...

  • Got an aquaitance who used to program/sell mac utilities. His opinion of Deneba is quite low.
    Software sweatshop.
    Fix it in the upgrade
    fixed in the major upgrade

    Canvas 2 was superpaint* on steroids.
    Canvas 3 was a late buggy fucking product. But it was 200% easier to figure out than Illustrator88.
    canvas 3.54 was a final stable wonderful product.
    Canvas 5 was a late buggy slow product.
    Canvas 6 was a bloated product, that refused to read 3.0 and earlier files.

    *Superpaint, the first vector and paint program by Silicon beach software (bought by aldus, who was bought by adobe).
    * Great interface
    Head of Silicon beach, Charlie Jackson, went on to create futuresketch and futuresketch animator. futuresketch animator went on to become flash.
  • When Canvas first switched from the Mac to the PC it came out with several flakey versions. That seems to have been fixed now, and Canvas is again my favorite graphics program.
    OTOH, bloat it's got. They try to include everything in one box rather than making you buy several to get the tools you need, as Aldus does. The cost is that you get less choice, and all of the tools always load. The bonus is that the tools work together, and they're ready to hand when you need them. But you do get bloat. You do get a slow start-up. (And I still ended up needing to buy PageMaker.)
    Don't expect this one to stay free, or to ever be open source. Deneba makes their money selling software.
  • They are not now profitting from their software. These are companies in business to make money. After the bugs are out, expect an upgrade that you will need to pay for. They may have a different model in mind than just selling the software, but the do expect to make money. Borland ships a free compiler, and expects to sell the IDE (my guess). They have some idea of how to earn their cash. They are (IANAL) legally required to.
  • It makes sense when you read for example the explanation why MySQL is free (personal use only) for Linux, and not for Windows. The reason is that you pay much more to be able to develop anything on Windows. Your OS costs money, the compiler, debugger and all other development tools usually cost something so developing free (beer) software for Windows could be qualified perhaps as sponsoring Microsoft.
  • While Canvas does come with an awesome number of tools, most all of them are there as plug-ins, and there is a tool loader that lets you pick just that set of tools you need for the job you're doing at the moment.

    It's not really bloatware - at least not because of the number of tools it supplies. It's pretty much what a feature rich program should be. It's modular, and gives the user quite a bit of control over how big its disk or memory footprint is.

    Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation

  • Does the ps2pdf has "security" features of PDF? This is the main feature of PDF in the opinion of many people. They want to protect their document against print/copy. Of course this protections are limited, but people don't know that, and that is the point. If ps2pdf has those features then it is a winner and could be used by those people I mentioned, otherwise there still a need for a distiler for linux.

    By the way I am not an expert in PDF, so how secure are those features anyway? Is the information encripted in any any way in the PDF file? Or is this simply a bit in a fixed position tha says "can copy" and other "can print".

    "take the red pill and you stay in wonderland and I'll show you how deep the rabitt hole goes"
  • Did it occur to you that the Mac release of Canvas 7 is already running on PowerPC hardware?

    That's true, but doesn't invalidate any of the previous points. As long as the software is written in a high-level language (e.g. not ASM) the CPU architecture makes little difference.

    Porting from Mac and Windows will be the far more difficult task -- replacing all Mac/Win OS calls with Linux/X calls, etc. How the software is designed also makes a difference here, but it is more how the software is structured (are all of the OS-specific poritons well isolated) than the language it is written in.

    Once that is done, the software can easily be made to work on multiple Linux/Unix CPU architectures by recompiling. If the source is not available, it is basically an issue of whether there is enough demand for a PPCLinux version for Deneba to compile and maintain it.

  • This is a pretty cool web page that will do what you want if you are sitting at a machine with a web browser but you dont have the aformentioned ps2pdf utility. []

  • The article also mentions that Distiller will be available for free (beer), which would have been GREAT about a year ago when I needed to convert .ps->.pdf for every one of my essays. I could have stayed at home instead of facing lineups at the computer lab at school to do it :)

    Anyway, I wonder: how does Adobe plan to make any money off their PDF format now that distiller will be free (beer)?
  • In case anyone's interested, Deneba has picked up on Corel's lead and is the second major app vendor to use WINE to port their apps. Check out the winehq mailing lists for more info - they've been asking a fair number of questions but have so far contributed no code of their own.

  • I have been using it since v1 on the mac and have used every version for the PC. They did take a *big* step backwards with v5 but they regained most of that with v6. V7 cleaned things up even more. I do, however, only use the vector portion of the program so YMMV.
  • I would like to vent my rage at the fact that companies think that just because Linux is not a major platform, discriminating against users of other platforms is okay. I don't really like Linux for graphics work. It is too much of a kludge with X. Yet if I choose to use Windows for my work, I have to pay for the same product that Linux users get for free?!! You do realize why Denba is only making this product free for Linux users, don't you? They can cuddle up the the Linux movement, while not really losing any sales in the process. (Really, how many graphics shops will switch to Linux just because they save a few dollars on the software? In the real world, $500 for a graphics package is nothing compared to the outlay for the artists them selves. The small, 2 person shops might, but nobody major.) If, however, Linux does become a major OS, then they will probably introduce the next version without the free license. On a related not, have you taken a look at all the companies that have jumped onto this OSS/Free software thing? 99% of them are dying companies, or companies that stand to lose nothing. Take, for example, SGI. Why in the world would the Open Source so much of their stuff? Because they are hemmoraging money, can't make it into the Windows NT market, and are thus trying to jump onto the Linux market in hopes of gaining a competitive advantage should it become big. Same thing for ATI. They are loosing dozens of OEMs to nVidia. Aside from the dying companies, there are the companies who stand to lose no money from support Linux. Take IBM and its efforts to port Linux to its computers. What are they losing? Nothing, they make money on the hardware, not AIX licenses! Same goes for SUN, Solaris really doesn't make them any money. I think that a lot of people are going to get a cold dose of reality when they realize that the Linux business model really doesn't work. Sure the OS vendors may make a few shillings from support, but nothing major. Software vendors are even worse off. Why would I pay for support on a graphics package? Has anyone every seriously called into Adobe and asked them for help? Then there are home users. Very few home users ever call a software company for help. (Pay calls of course.) If they are advanced enough, they can look on the internet, otherwise they call their system vendor. Have you looked at Redhat's financial status lately? Its once massive stock price has halved, and it is still losing money? Not to good for a company that dominates the corporate Linux market.
  • ...but because it has working clipboard...

    Haha, ok, I missed that. Still, that, in my mind, is a part of the desktop environment. And when I said A desktop environment that can look like a Mac I off course meant look and work like a mac (minus the crashes please).

    After all they fixed Mac font rendering...

    Pleeeaze pretty please Adobe do the same on linux... and provide some nice (free) fonts to render. (Disclaimer: I haven't tried XF86 4.0 yet, with TrueType support).

    (your sig is cool :-)
  • (RANT)

    Yes, I like this. I really hope Linux gains marketshare in this area. Hell, I even thought about starting a special distribution for media/press/graphics work (but I'm not quite skilled enough to do that :-). I sometimes talk to photographers about their computer choice. The discussion tends to end in something like "ok... keep the Mac.". But, I'm appaled at the state of the software and OS on that platform. It makes my overclocked AMD/VIA Super7 system with broken drivers and win95 seem stable. Linux/*BSD stability would be a godsend for these people.

    So what does Linux need for this market? Photoshop. Xpress. A desktop environment that can look like a Mac. The latter we pretty much have. The former two are just a port away, and at least Adobe has shown interest in Linux. Further, I think good versions of PPC linux would be usefull, so people can keep their hardware. Of course, half the purpose of this switch is to let them buy cheap fast x86 hardware...

    Of course, there is a kind of Unix coming to the Mac platform. MacOS X. (The desktop version, I know Server is out already.) Aqua sure is purty, but it worries me when the GUI of the OS is more graphics intensive than most computergames...



  • I agree on some aspects on the business part - Companies won't make much money on software in the future. But users will have more money that they probably spend on specialized software or better hardware.

    It's just a matter of time before free beer catch up with the commercial software in quality. Since everything is open it's faster & easiers to develop.

    Free beer never die (unlike commercial) and I think that's the reason why we'll catch up
  • You're right in that they took a big step backwards with version 5, but I don't feel that they've made it up.

    When they went to the cross platform toolkit that allowed them to make the Windows version, the biggest thing they gave up when they was the Apple Event support.

    I forget the name of the cross platform GUI library that they build their products on. I believe it is from some company that has long since gone out of business. Unfortunatly for Deneba, they've spent so much time writing code to the this abstraction API, they are really prevented from creating anything that takes any advantage of any OS they are porting to.
  • [offtopic]
    A desktop environment that can look like a Mac. The latter we pretty much have. The former two are just a port away, and at least Adobe has shown interest in Linux.

    You are missing the point that people like to use MacOS not only because of it's looks but because it has working clipboard - something linux cannot provide today.

    I'm wondering if Adobe is able to fix this. After all they fixed Mac font rendering with their ATM (Adobe Type Manager)...

  • the developers of emacs said that they are looking forward into integrating Canvas into their project
  • 2. My mug: /bin/more You say this jokingly I endeavored in a similar project once upon a time Here is what I did. Bought some of the X10 Plug n Power stuff from radioshack and found a decent Interface for them to the parallel port ( IE one that explains what all the pins do etc. )

    They Had example drivers in DOS and *nix which was sweet.

    I wrote a small daemon in FreeBSD that was *real* simple. on or off and only for one X10 unit. Okay.. I plugged in of course my Coffee pot!

    From there as a big *heh heh this will be fun* I used PHP3 to talk to the daemon and have coffee from the web AND IT WORKED! rofl

    Most of this was inspired from the 'java' howto. lol it was all so much fun to do


  • Running C++ code originally written for PowerPC on a Linux Platform? Great, let's do that but only if using Big Iron: inuxplanet/reports/1532/1/ []
  • Corel has been showing impressive support for Linux lately. As a company that is presumably motivated by profit, I'm trying to understand how freely distributing a product (which they sell on other platforms) fits in with this motivation.

    It seems clear that Corel wishes to bolster the usage of Linux. Given equivalent versions of Canvas 7, it is not hard to imagine users of the program running Linux, with its superior price/stability/performance, in more traditional business environments.

    As the user base grows, Corel would be able to spend more time developing for Linux. Linux could be a better platform to develop on: aside from the obvious wins, Corel could develop products that compete with, say, Microsoft, without Microsoft screwing with the OS to hinder that competition.

    And when the user base is large, and major development efforst are levied on Linux, does Corel abandon free-as-in-beer distribution and charge for its software like it used to on other OSes?. Kind of like a crack dealer, giving out the first few tries for free?

    just a thought.

  • Way to get Linux some real fast market share amongst professionals.

    Now I haven't checked this for viability (sorry but this is off the top of my head) but what if RedHat or someone could BUY a big Graphics firm such as Adobe, then give a linux version of Photoshop for free.

    Cost of my Adobe licenses well exceeds the cost of *nice* linux boxen plus my time to retool my brain to get comfortable under KDE or Gnome.

    How many would convert?

    If this could happen then someone should work out a way of *legally* requiring Apple to GPL Colorsync. Maybe Apple would do this just 'cos it might blow away windoze in a whole market area? What do you think?

  • It appears that the release will not be open-sourced (to retain the competetive advantage on the profit Mac & Win versions), so does anyone want to comment on Hsu's implication that porting to PPC should be relatively easy?

    Sure. I've done fixups for various apps running on the PPC (Macintosh) platform. Every single problem I have seen falls into one of two categories:

    1. Endianness issues: the program assumed that some data stream would be little endian where on the PPC it is big endian.
    2. The assumption that the program would only run on an i386 anyway.
    3. Typos.
    In short, porting to PPC is relatively easy. If you aren't talking to the network, or directly to a piece of hardware, then it should be painless.

    The main thing that Deneba will have to worry about in porting this is that they have serialized their internal objects correctly to account for endianness issues. (In other words, no writing of structs directly to/fron disk!) Since most well-designed C++ programs take care of this already, I expect it would be pretty painless.

  • Try Varicad We use it often and it is quite good.
  • yeah we know, and there is a qt for PPC, otherwise KDE would have a bit of trouble running on my ibook
  • cool how l33t, another unix clone for X86
  • I loved this program. I'm really glad that there will be a linux release. I still have a version of it on my parents' mac back home.
  • article: Corel to offer free Linux image editor [] article: Canvas moves to Linux []

    PC Mag Review: Canvas 7 []
  • Related links:

    Deneba Canvas 7.0 [] (March) review at MacWorld

    Deneba Canvas 7 [] (Feb 1) at The Internet

    Velocity Engine [] (Jan 17) MacCentral article on G4 Acceleration for Canvas 7

    Another Review [] (12 Jan) at

    Yes, to AC above; Did it occur to you that the Windows release of Canvas 7 runs on x86 hardware?

    As a follow-up, would velocity engine acceleration be easy to add to a Linux PPC version of Canvas or would it require a lot more coding?
  • To avoid competition that reuses Canvas 7 source code from competing with Deneba's profitable Mac/Win versions or taking away mindshare on Linux. They can't make money if they don't sell their for-profit versions. Opening the source would effectively put them out of business with their current business model. And, initially, the Linux port adds to the growth of another windOS competitor. I'm sure that if Linux catches on as much as windOS has, then Deneba will have to change it's business plan to profit. For now, the promise of another market where Microsoft will not dominate everything is very lucrative. Onward to the future!
  • Corel recently announced they'd release a free (beer not speech of course) version of photo-paint 9 this summer...
  • >Anyway, I wonder: how does Adobe plan to make any money off their PDF format now that distiller will be free (beer)?

    I wonder how they make any money off of it now. It's just some fancy zipped postscript. Maybe I'll come up with a new, smaller document format that's just zipped ASCII, and bundle pico with bzip2 and make lots of money...?

  • First off, it is wonderful to hear that big Co's such as these support the open os community by offering free0 apps, but not making them open source is like kissing and stabbing someone at the same time.
    They should follow the GPL like Linux, where companies can sell as long as they open source, etc.
    It would seem their support for open source is lukewarm and one should question their intentions like wise of REAL.

  • While this is a cynical interpretation, it may be that the reason companies are releasing programs free for Linux while still selling the Windows/Mac counterparts has nothing to do with building market share at all--in Linux.

    It suggests, perhaps, that they don't think there's any money to be made under Linux because people won't pay for products. Given a choice between a commercial product that does 95% of what one wants and an open source product that does 50% of it, many Linux users will go for the open source product. These companies are saying, in effect, "for all the talk about free speech, you guys really want free beer," and betting that if they release something that does 70% of what you want that's closed-source but "free for non-commercial use," you'll use that.

    What's the advantage of that? Chiefly, word of mouth. It's a program you may get to be familiar with, even if you end up using the open source equivalent. If Linux takes off in the business market, perhaps that "free for noncommercial use" will get them money because you'll recommend the non-free version to your boss. And, of course, if Linux doesn't take off in the business market, no big deal. They weren't planning to give away the Windows NT version anyway, were they?

    The interesting question is: are they right? As people have pointed out before, Linux may be the number two server platform behind NT, but some of the commercial OSes it leads in seats are still whomping it in profits. The reason behind this is at least guessable: people are installing Linux because it's cheap. They can buy one box and put it on a hundred machines. And despite all the companies that say they're going to make money selling service (Red Hat? Linuxcare?), Linux proponents often point to the great technical support you can get for free on the net.

    In other words, many of Linux's best "selling points" for users may be big gaping pits of doom when it comes to making a profit, both for Linux OS vendors and for application vendors.

  • Hmmm -

    I have been a Canvas user for many years, well, at least up until version 5. Early on it was a nice vector drawing program, but then it got delusions of granduer. Version 5 especially. I was quite disappointed in the bugginess and bloat of version 5, so I switched to other programs. I'm glad to hear that the Linux version is going to be free beer, because I don't think I'd want to wrestle with a non-free version of Canvas again.

  • but not making them open source is like kissing and stabbing someone at the same time

    How is it like stabbing you? If you don't want to use non-opensourced software, then don't use it, and your life will continue to be the same (as opposed to getting stabbed, where your life will be significantly worse). They haven't taken anything away from you by not opensourcing it. Do you feel that every closed-source company out there has stabbed you?

    They should follow the GPL like Linux, where companies can sell as long as they open source

    They are a company who's goal is to make money, if they GPL'd it, there would be five dollar cd's on cheapbytes, and they would make less money.

    It would seem their support for open source is lukewarm

    Their support for opensource isn't lukewarm, it's non-existant.

    one should question their intentions like wise of REAL

    They intend to make as much money as they can, their first step in the linux market is to gain as much marketshare as possible.
  • Open Source software is nice, but isn't necessary. An end user should not have to debug software. They can submit bug reports, they don't have to write patches. OpenSourcing an expensive piece of software like this is ridiculous. Notice that only the Linux version is free. The real cash machine, the Windows version, still requires payment. This isn't like GNOME or something, that people do on their free time. People go to work each day and write this code. They get paid, and millions have been invested in this code. Sure, if you don't like it, you can code it yourself. But if you want to use this, then you have to recognize that it takes money to create professional software, which is recouped when the software is sold. You don't have to use it, no one is making you. I suspect, however, that you really want to because your Open Source apps don't meet your needs. Say what you will, but I have yet to see an Open Source app that rivals its propriotory counterpart.
  • I got news for you. Sad news, but true.
    NO COMPANY CARES ABOUT THE LINUX MOVEMENT'S IDEALS. They are all in it to make the money. Thats the whole core of a business. They could like nothing better than to be able to release only closed source, non-free apps if the Linux market would stand for it. You can't blame them. Aside for the people involved in the movement, no one really cares about the ideal behind the GPL. Why should they? A company isn't there to make life nicer for the user, if they do, thats a nice benefit, but they're in it to make money. Take nVidia. Great company. The users (aside from the Linux fundementalists) love them, they make good products at nice prices. Their primary goal, however, is not to advance accelerator technology, or make 3D a nicer experiance for the user. Their primary purpose is to make money. Sure the engineers involved probably take a great deal of pride in their work, but the company as a whole could care less. Thats life.
  • Ha, a UNIX user talking about overhead? UNIX has the most overhead of any OS available, (aside from maybe windows and the old MacOS. Still, even NT's graphics system is a ton faster than X's) And hand holding and ease of use is not inversly proportional to power and flexibility. Take a look at BeOS. It has the overhead of a embedded system (okay, a bit of a strech, but its pretty close) and is as easy to use as a Mac. Yet it gives up very little of the flexibility of a UNIX. If you poke in, /etc is still there, you can use most Linux CLI apps. In fact, it is probably even more flexible because apps can be easily scripted. Sure you can't change the window manager, but thats about the extent of it.
  • If the source isn't going to come with it, there really isn't much point to it -- Canvas has always been known as the "jack of all trades, master of none" compared to Adobe/Macromedia/Corel. Free beer is kind of nice, but not if it's skunky.

    One valuable thing I can see from this is that Canvas is a somewhat major end user commmercial application entering a space that actually isn't covered too badly by free equivalents. I'd like to see how the free programs will stack up against it.

  • Sure. I've done fixups for various apps running on the PPC (Macintosh) platform. Every single problem I have seen falls into one of two categories:

    1. Endianness issues: the program assumed that some data stream would be little endian where on the PPC it is big endian.
    2. The assumption that the program would only run on an i386 anyway.
    3. Typos.

    Umm, that's three -- very funny, though I maintain that the only good Endian is a dead Endian...

  • They can charge you money for the software because they know you will pay for it, just like you will pay for your OS. You have no choice (or that's what you believe), and you'll do it. It's the same reason that DVDs cost more here than they do in India.

    Also, to address your theme of "dying or no-loss companies" (which you posted yesterday, too), there are a lot of places that are very big on IRIX and SGI hardware (my Uni. is one of those places). I don't think that SGI is truly about to get flushed. And OF COURSE most of the companies are not risking anything big on Linux at the moment; it's new, and it's got a philosophy behind it which is strange and unusual to them, something they couldn't have imagined a few years ago. Not long ago, almost no companies were doing give it time.

    Lastly, I don't really care about a "business model". Would it be nice to have all the applications for Linux that we do for Windows? Well, sort of...I wouldn't mind the audio stuff ported over, but as it stands, I can _right_now_ use GPLd software for almost all of my needs. Sure, I'd like to not ever have to worry about doing Windows tech. support any more, but thanks to the nature of GNU, I'll always go home to a great OS, whether RedHat exists tomorrow or not.

    If you want proof that OSS will eventually overcome, I point to SCO as an example. Today, if you wanted a UNIX to run on x86 hardware, what would you use? Linux or *BSD, I think.

  • Deneba [] Software ... plans to offer a free Linux version of Canvas 7 ... graphics software ... [which] will work only with Linux releases designed for Intel hardware, but Deneba left the door open to a PowerPC version if there is sufficient user demand.


    However, porting the Intel version to the PowerPC shouldn't be difficult, [Peters] said, as long as the software is written in a high-level language such as C++ and limits direct interactions with hardware. Hsu said that Canvas is written in C++.

    It appears that the release will not be open-sourced (to retain the competetive advantage on the profit Mac & Win versions), so does anyone want to comment on Hsu's implication that porting to PPC should be relatively easy?
  • I know this has been said over and over, but I'll say it again. The reason why linux is not ready for everybody's desktop is its lack of End User apps. There.

    There was another ./ story [] a while ago about gnucash, a quicken-like program for linux. Many of the comments touted this as the kind of thing (thing=end user apps) that linux needs more of before it can become a desktop OS. After using it for a while I got to wondering if this is really what we want. The program is great, and useful, and the interfaces are mostly intuitive for somebody like me. So then it put it to the ultimate test, my mother. It failed, miserably. But then again, she couldn't use quicken at first sight either. Also, most people probably aren't going to want to learn a new OS, but once they see the light and thing about switching, they are definetly going to be discourage by the lack of applications that they know how to use.

    This brings me to my next point. While it is a good thing in terms of getting more users to have apps that people already recognize not only by brand name but by the interface, is it all that good in terms of open souce? Lets say, for example, that whoever makes quicken decides to port it to linux. I don't know this for sure, but I'm willing to bet that they won't make it open source, but will instead to something a la Adobe, and release "Limited Trial Versions". What is more important for Linux, a higher installed (desktop) user base, or 100% open source?

    I have more to say, but I'm tired so I'll stop now. Please let me know what your opinions on this are.

  • Did anybody else notice the conspicuous difference between the Linux version of Canvas 7.0 and the Windows version? Namely, the version for Linux version will be free, and the Windows/Mac version is definately not, weighing in at $375. At first I thought it was only the beta version that was going to be free, but this is apparently not the case. According to the article, "At present, Hsu said, Deneba has no intention of charging for the software. "

    It's amazing to me how companies appear to be compartmentalizing themselves. On one hand, they seem to be very interested in pursuing the free and open software movement when it comes to Linux, but when it comes to old platforms, like windows, the regular marketing rules prevail. This clearly shows that these companies are not interested in the movement behind Linux, but rather simply on capitalizing in a new market. I've got news for Deneba and other companies with Linux strategies, free and open software is good for any platform, not just Linux. In fact, free and open software is needed more on the Windows platform now than ever, if we have any hope of convincing Microsoft to consider similar behavior.

    In my estimation, there are three possibilities here concerning Deneba. Either they don't understand the free software movement, or think Linux is to small a market to lose money on by giving away free software, or think Windows and Mac users are too stupid to notice that they're shelling out mucho dinero for a program that is completely free on another platform. In any case, that's no good strategy.

  • Nice post, zaius

    I hope Linux never becomes the average desktop OS. The average Joe (or possibly in your case, Mom) needs a lot of handholding and overhead when it comes to computers. Folks who don't want to see what's happening under the hood, don't care that they can tweak and update to their heart's content. They want, as my wife says, "push play, Yay!" Linux is amazingly configurable, and I do hope it becomes the average business or cubical OS. If Linux gets so bogged down with the 'point and click' mentality, it'll end up being another bloatware. I'd personally rather it were a goodly percentage of the market (say 30%). We'd get the ports needed to keep us happy.

    As for the folks who shell out the bucks for Win apps and the Linux guys get freebies, I think that they're testing the waters. If a huge sum of folks download it, it's a good indication that they'd want to buy the 'new-and-improved' version when it came out. If it were used heavily, and if the update had new features that I needed, I'd update by buying.

    I think that the Linux average will go for the easy and quick higher user base, then bemoan the lack of open source. I think it'll hurt the open source versions in development. Why work on a Linux version of Quicken when Intuit does it for you? Why put out a vector graphics program when Canvas is available, and it's free (beer)? Maybe that's their goal, to discourage open source projects in their areas of expertise.

    Again, good post zaius.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 11, 2000 @07:38PM (#1209100)
    5. My cassette player
    4. My stove, coffee machine, laundry machine
    3. That darn humidifier. Imagine my crontab entry:
    0 0,8,16 * * * /usr/bin/rsh humid -c /usr/local/bin/recharge -h 2 -o
    2. My mug: /bin/more

    and finally

    1. My african violet:
    while ($stillAlive){
    open MY,"courtain" if (time() > "8:00am");
    mkdir "upward";
    foreach $sisterPlant (@nearby){


  • by Analog ( 564 ) on Saturday March 11, 2000 @09:08PM (#1209101)
    You're missing the point. They're giving it away on Linux to build market share on that platform.

    Say Linux goes on to explode on the desktop the way it has on the server market. When Joe graphics artist leaves Windows behind and goes to ask his Linux using buddy what graphics program he recommends, his buddy will tell him he uses Canvas (which he got for free several months ago) and it's awesome. So Joe goes to pick up Canvas, which is now $375. Also, when Joe's buddy goes to upgrade, he will most likely stick with Canvas, the program he knows, and pick up the new version at the upgrade price. So one copy of the program given away early on can translate into several copies sold down the road (or so goes the theory).

    It's actually a very common strategy, and often quite successful. Whether it will be successful on Linux where there may be several 'good enough' free competitors will be interesting to see.

  • by imac.usr ( 58845 ) on Saturday March 11, 2000 @09:39PM (#1209102) Homepage
    > from the gimme-some-vectors-victor dept.

    To pick at nits, the actual quote is "What's our Vector, Victor?"

    (Oh how I love that movie. I pray nightly for Paramount to release a 20th anniversary DVD edition.)

    To remain semi-on-topic: I support a couple of Mac Canvas users at my job (version 3.5 and 5 only, as NHLBI decided not to spring for the upgrade to 7). It's a fairly decent example of the genre, and bringing it to Linux represents a Good Thing.

    "Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern