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Yahoo Keeps Offering Real; Fox Now Allows Linux 135

Jason Shindler writes "Looks like Yahoo! is back on the "real" bandwagon -- they will continue offering Real as an option to customers. Slashdot earlier reported that they were switching exclusively to Windows Media Player (yuck!)" story here. Another quick followup: Fox got lambasted here on Slashdot earlier this month for denying access to people who don't use Windows or Mac operating systems. Later they apologized and said they'd fix the problem. They have kept their word. Thanks, Fox people!
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Yahoo Keeps Offering Real; Fox Now Allows Linux

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  • Worth a read, anyway!
  • It's nice to see that The Big Guys(TM) do listen to the community once in a while.

    May other corporations follow this precedent!

  • I'm glad that someone remembers those of us using Lynx, Palmscape, AvantGo, etc....
    First post??
  • Aww, shoot... Maybe next time...
  • by jfunk ( 33224 ) <> on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @07:26PM (#1437373) Homepage
    Well, they managed to fix their javascript to allow Netscape for Linux get in.

    One more problem. I usually leave javascript off to avoid popups, which I hate. No javascript == blank page.

    I just checked in Lynx and got the same thing.

    Yet again, many blind and low bandwith are locked out of a site.

    I hate "web designers."
  • I've been doing my best to keep all
    of Real Networks crap off of my computer
    since they like to scan my mp3's and
    track other info of mine and steathly
    send it to them.

    Plus their software crashes all the time
    and I'm tired of seeing ad's when I run
    the player.

  • The obvious ethical question being:
    Is bundling Netshow free with NT Server (which costs more than NT workstation because its license allows you to 'serve') tantamount to forcing users to buy Netshow even if they would rather buy RealServer?

    This sounds too much like Micros~1's arguments for using IIS. IMHO this is the most blatant anti-competitiveness of M$, and yet, so few people outside the technical circles even think about it.

  • Wow. I'm glad FOX capitulated. It's really great that proponents of non-( Mac | Win ) platforms finally hold enough sway to bring something like this about.

    Now, let's all behave like the grownups we are: everyone who sent them an harrassing email after the "fox hates linux" story, send them a very nice email now thanking them for considering our suggestions.


  • They may not be 100% yet, but at least they're giving it a try. They have said that they want to have content for all known browsers, and I'm sure Fox will get to the remaining case (text only) in the course of the redesign.

    Of course, if they don't, we ought to let them know Slashdot en masse fashion. I'll be setting a cron entry for the middle of January to check their progress. I suggest several of us do it; We can't make the 'net bearable again without a little work..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Contact information:

    1) Fox Network main phone = 310-369-1000
    2) News Corp. (parent company) = 212-852-7017
    3) e-mail
    4) e-mail
  • As soon as they make a decent compile for anything other than x86, I'll be happy. Unlikely for MSFT, and RealNetworks has proven w/ the DVD fiasco that they can't program worth shit either.

    QT4 is great, just no content.

    Work together for the Common Geek Good:
  • If you just bought NT w/Netshow, you paid out the ass for it. Six months ago, if you bought NT w/o Netshow, you paid out the ass for it. The pricing scheme hasn't changed, only the total value you get for bending over and winking at Ballmer. Besides, it is the MS way.

    Embrace, extend, eradicate. Clone, bundle, annihilate.

    In Microsoft's defense, Media Player appears to do a better job than Real most of the time. If they weren't 'bundling' the server software, I'd say they'd get a fair bit of the action anyway, not only from brand-name syndrome.
  • Visit the Campaign for a Non-Browser Specific WWW [] and put an end to this "best viewed with ..." or "... browser required" or requiring shockwave, java, cookies, etc.
  • Yeah, it works for FreeBSD with netscape 4.7 with javascript == on. Told mrs.quasi to ctl-alt-kp+ until she gets 640x4xx. I can't yell to loud, they are working on it. At least the box no longer gets rebooted to win98 just to check 'Ali Mcbeal' [sp?] by the *other user*. -d
  • Well, a few days ago, I visited to see if they managed to fix the problem. It appears to have been fixed for at least three or four days. It's really nice to see that Linux is actually getting attention and people are recognizing us as a driving force.
  • No longer can people who obviously dont know a thing about linux or have ignored it because it seemed unimportant at the time (fox webdesigners, ahem) continue to IGNORE linux.

    This is just one of many signals that linux is
    being accepted into the mainstream, EVEN if its
    by force. It supposedly has a larged market share
    than Mac, but alot of people still dont know anything about it. This is obviously changing.

    We've reached critical mass people! Time to let everyone know Linux is HERE and CANT BE ignored.

    This will mean simul. releases for linux and other OSes of software and hardware, and more and more support.

    About time.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Aren't organizations out there starting to sue web site proprietors who don't provide equal access to the blind and vision impaired?
  • by dustpuppy ( 5260 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @08:26PM (#1437393)
    Mathboy, it's great to see that you obviously love linux, but have a read of the article and then what you wrote.

    No longer can people who obviously dont know a thing about linux or have ignored it because it seemed unimportant at the time (fox webdesigners, ahem) continue to IGNORE linux. never ignored Linux - right from the start they wanted to make their site accessible by every browser and every platform - they simply needed time to get to that stage (at least that's what it says in the article).

    This is just one of many signals that linux is being accepted into the mainstream, EVEN if its by force.

    No it isn't - as Fox said, they wanted accessibility by everyone. Linux supporters had zero impact on fox's decision since they were already going to support Linux in the first place. Nobody forced anyone to do anything.

    The reason I'm having a go at you (in a friendly way ;) is that while it is great that you are an avid Linux supporter, you sound like one with a big inferiority complex.

    Relax, Linux is destined to take it's place amongst the big guns of the OS marketplace - you don't do the Linux camp any favours by sounding fanatical.


  • You would see that kinda stuff on Linux if they decided to port it. If they're going to make their own format, they should AT LEAST make it portable, or only people under Windows/Mac will be able to use it. That's exactly what they want.

    I've noticed a lot of places that offered RealAudio streaming now converted to Windows Media Player (i.e. a local radio station), which means that I wouldn't be able to listen to it unless I use Windows (or Mac, if they do have such a port -- note they have money invested into Apple). That's why it's wrong. Plus, RealPlayer works well under NATs, which WMP could hardly stream @28.8Kbps on Cable.

    I haven't seen anything about MPEG-4, but nevertheless it's an open standard and will most likely have an open source library with support for it, if there isn't one already. Lastly, the Windows Media Player Features [] page doesn't mention anything about MPEG-4, either.

  • Thank you for the well reasoned response. Often the mindful are drowned by the mindless here on Slashdot.

    Post more often! Hopefully it will raise the collective IQ back up into the triple-digits!
  • Great. Now we're not forced into using a crappy product from the MS monopoly. Instead, we can use a crappy trojan horse from a DIFFERENT lying, contract-breaking, spamming sleazball company.


    As long as I've got a MS OS on any of my computers, I'll use their product. I will never let RealAnything near one of my systems again, now that they've proven to be a bunch of thieving criminals.

    Anyone want to write a good, robust, multi-platform streaming audio player? I'd pay money (yes, cash!) for that.

  • by poopie ( 35416 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @08:43PM (#1437398) Journal
    There are far too many "web programmers" who just graduated from a Macromedia course, just installed Frontpage 2000, or just purchased Javascript for dummies that are working on high profile sites. Sometimes I like flash and flair, but when done right it should not hinder non-graphical browsing of a site. IT CAN BE DONE - you just need to know more about text and graphic html rendering and know when to NOT add yet another spinning whirlygig and when not to use javascript or java

    If the site doesn't work under lynx, there's a problem. The main page should at least properly autodetect browser type or offer different content options.

    Better yet, don't use features that would require a particular browser version, or at least don't use feature that only work in the latest verison on $BROWSER with latest version of $PLUGIN

    There's going to be significantly less flash, flair, and graphics on sites in the upcoming future to support mobile users using WAP on PDAs to access the internet wirelessly over low speed connections and displaying on small screens.

    Render your non-portable html on that!
  • How to attract a whole bunch of people to your corporate web site:

    1) Block Linux users, calling them "garbage".
    2) Tell Slashdot you've done this.
    3) Give the Slashdot readers time to stew.
    4) Stop blocking Linux users.
    5) Let Slashdot know of the change.

    Wow! Look at all those hits! ;-)
  • Why would they want to buy either when they could get the open source QuickTime Streaming Server for $0, and serve from Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X Server, or NT?

  • Well, this makes me really mad. WFMU is a good [public] free form radio station, one of the few in the country. I give them money so that they can keep up the good work. In return, they pay to have Yahoo(!) have a real feed so we can listen in Boston. When yahoo announced the switch, I was really mad. I was going to lose what I really love.

    Now it turn out that it was a Hoax designed to help yahoo reduce costs. I am so very sorry for yahoo and there high costs (HA!) but I am getting really mad they they played around with loyal listers to solve there problum. Stressing out loyal listers is not the way to solve problums. Yahoo could have solved this problum a number of way, with this being the worst.

    Personaly, I hope WFMU gets a differnt stream like they were planning on when this whole "problum" broke out. I don't like dealing with anyone who throws around the "consumer" when dealing with B to B problums. Becides, if yahoo really wanted to decrese costs *and* get more listeners, they only need to switch to the FREE streaming mp3 format.

    Sorry for the rant and bad spelling. It happens.

  • My main gripe about WMP is well, it's Windows only which sucks when I'm in Linux, and I think it looks butt ugly. Other than that, I don't really differentiate between the two. Also, WMP does TOO much. It tries to take over every type of media file, while I want Sonique to play my MP3's, not WMP. Real Player just does .ra and .ram files, nothing else.
  • You know, they probably copied that code piece from somewhere else. The "garbage" was someone's way of saying, "the variable hasn't been set".
  • by Skinka ( 15767 )
    This has been addressed many times before, but apparently with no result.. You don't have call every Microsoft product a piece of crap just be because it has been made by that, you know, evil company. That is one the biggest reasons that makes Linux and whole OSS community look like a bunch of hippies to many people. Going open source (even if not fully GPL compliant) is huge leap of faith to companies, why make it any harder?
  • I have the technology needed, the only problem is that my browser doesnt run under macos or windows. In their javascript they specificly ask for either netscape or IE, everything else is stopped, no matter how advanced.

    Get it?

  • Whether or not you agree with the Department of Justice, their accusations only pertain to desktop computing, not servers. There's absolutely no way that anyone could accuse Microsoft of having a server monopoly.

    The hypocrisy around here about Microsoft's bundling things with NT/2000 Server is pretty astounding. One minute, Slashdotters are telling us that NT Server is a horrible value. The next minute, they bitch whenever Microsoft adds something to increase the value of NT Server. Make up your minds, please.

    Just as Sun can decide to add anything they want to their operating systems, so can Microsoft with NT/2000 Server. If they want, they can make it so that it has zero compatibility with any Unix out there. If the customer or developer decides they don't like it, they can pick a different OS to use or develop for. In case anyone hasn't noticed, Microsoft has a pretty good track record of getting people to choose theirs.

    Ya know, for telling everyone that GNU/Linux is going to dominate the world, an awful lot of you sure seem concerned whenever Microsoft gives away something to its customers. I guess only the holy apostles of the GNU movement are supposed to ever get anything for free.

    Stop the presses and call in the DoJ!!


  • Wasn't this the issue that was specifically resolved? Am I completely confused or is it you?
  • I dont know about anyone else but on i am able to get on now. i upgraded to flash4 and i got on just fine. Other people might try that and see if they get the same results as me, else my computer is just weird. I did this about 3 days agio.
  • Exactly. It is amazing the amount of people who have posted to this thread enthusiastically claiming some sort of "victory" over indeed, the article itself favors this skewed version of reality. When I check out in lynx, I get a blank screen. So much for new, improved, now 100% Linux-compatible Oh, well: another big corporate website sucks big-time; film at eleven. I guess we could look on the bright side, and say that if the intent of the Web is to communicate information via hypertext, then whether I can see's site or not isn't very important, because they've got fuck-all to communicate.
  • As of the end of September, Linux accounted for 0.22% of all web users worldwide. (Source: Statmarket [], 1999/09/29).

    FOX wanted everyone to be able to view their site -- Linux users just happened to be part of "everyone." This has absolutely zilch to do with that silly critical mass thing you're talking about.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    One of the comments [] on the LinuxToday Story [] mentioned the the Dept of Education's FAFSA site [] has similar browser issues. For those of you that aren't US college students, FAFSA is the federal student aid form required for almost any kind of financial assistance. I'm home for winter break and don't have access to my linux box right now so could someone verify if this is still the case? If so, this is an infinitly more important cause than Fox's site.
  • I love WFMU. Even though I live in Manhattan, I just can't get it over the air in my particular apartment. Their website [] has some interesting hints about how they've been getting jacked around with this... without naming names or making any accusations, of course.

    WFMU may not be big enough to have clout, but sooner or later the content producers are going to get wise to how the folks at Yahoo! and RBN and Broadcast etc. use the format wars to jerk them around as well... With any luck, this will result in a universal client and a quality open source server than can play to it... Then, and only then, will streaming media have the universality necessary to break out bigtime.

  • Basically, people just don't like QuickTime. Most people are fairly neutral about Real Player and Windows Media Player, but I've yet to meet one single non-Mac user who actually likes using QuickTime. In fact, the most common reaction is a strong dislike for it. Unless QTSS can serve up ASFs or RA files (I'm guessing that it can't, is that correct?), I don't think it has much chance.


  • They too are sucking very badly, ie:

    "To experience, you'll need a more recent version (version 4.0 or higher) of your Web browser."

    And the code they use:

    function checkBrow(){
    var vers = parseInt(navigator.appVersion);
    var agt = navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();
    if (agt.indexOf("win")!=-1) {
    var plat = "pc";
    } else if (agt.indexOf("mac")!=-1) {
    var plat = "mac";
    if ( (vers == 3) || (vers == 2) ) {
    location.href = "/bcom/upgrade";

    What *INSANE* person wrote this? Basically it says that whatever browser you have, if it reports version two or three, then it's not good enough! I'm running Opera and it works just fine, when one disables scripting or hack the executable to present itself as version '4'.

    Another way around this is to query their database 'directly', something like this:

    <form method="get" action=" esults/1,5843,,00.html" name="BasicSearch" onsubmit="return submitBasicSearch()"> <input type="hidden" name="chooseSearch" value="0"></input> Encyclopæda Britannica: <input type="text" name="p_query0" size="35"></input> <input type=submit value="Find"></input> </form>

  • Everyone is singing and rejoicing as if this is incredibly good news. However, in reality, all that happened was that Yahoo! switched from one proprietory and lame protocol to another proprietory and lame protocol. However, this proprietory and lame protocol also has a proprietory and lame player for Linux as well as Windows and the Mac. Is this really good news? Are there no non-proprietory protocols out there that can be used for this?


  • by Mascot ( 120795 )
    This seems to apply to all Fox sites, btw. is now Opera browseable too :) -- Mas
  • I highly recommend that you email this to the maintainer of the site, or possibly the company president. Shit like this has to stop, and there are people out there who know how to do it right, for example, yourself.
  • by Chasuk ( 62477 ) <> on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @12:01AM (#1437421)
    I agree and disagree simultaneously. I agree that web designers should strive for cross-browser compatibility, but not: "If the site doesn't work under lynx, there's a problem." Compatibility can be stretched to the point of irrelevancy.

    In actual numbers, I'll bet that there are more Internet Explorer-using Croatians than the entire web-browsing Linux community. If some question that assumption, pick Italians instead. Hell, pick the Chinese or even the Finnish. The same ratio probably applies. It seems to me rather pathetic that we whine when the trivial content of a single website is inaccessible to a tiny fraction of the web-browsing world, and yet we don't even consider it worth our notice that millions of users can't access the content of the majority of arguably more important sites.

    We can't design for everybody, and I don't believe that we should try. We should design for the majority, yes, but it is obstinate to insist that we should design for all. If that is part of your credo, bless you, but don't expect everyone to share your religion.

    Slashdot uses JavaScript, which means that it isn't accessible to everyone, but I don't think many of us rue the extra capabilities that this provides. As for as the aesthetics versus functionality argument, I think that both can be achieved. When the two behemoths in the browser war are entirely CSS and XML compliant, then that dual nature should be easy, or at least much-simplified.

    One final point: I'm seen very few websites with essential or non-duplicable information. If people really don't like the "flashy" extensions, stop visiting the sites that use them. When the numbers drop, so will the extensions. However, personally, given the choice between an aesthetically-pleasing site which provides the same information as a dull or unimaginatively presented site, I'll choose the former every time. I'm not talking about the garish, how-many-fonts-can-I-fit-on-one-page, midi-music playing, banner-scrolling, dark blue letters on black background travesty. And, yes, I know that one person's aesthetic dream is another's design nightmare. Still, I believe that reasonable compromises can be reached, and will satisfy a far larger audience.
  • by dustpuppy ( 5260 ) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @12:15AM (#1437422)
    Poopie, once upon a time I used to agree with your sentiments and I too used to throw my hands up in despair at the web programmers who just graduated from a Macromedia course ....

    That was before I realised I was trapped in the past. In the past, the HTML was just a markup language and the Internet merely a big library of text documents ... sorry, documents with hyperlinks.

    Most things evolve over time and that is what has happened with the Internet. Sure, non-graphical browser compatible pages have a place, but for entertainment sites (that is the business fox is in), plain non-graphic sites are about as entertaining as ... well ... as plain text documents.

    So if a site doesn't render properly in a text browser - who cares?!? Times have moved on - the Internet isn't about text anymore, it is about entertainment, aesthetics, convenience and ease of use. To the common person, text is (for the most part) the exact opposite of these values.

    I also disagree with your point about WAP on PDA's. They will be no less flash or flair when WAP takes off (and it will take off). I predict that most sites will optimise certain sections of their sites for WAP and leave the rest with all the gee-wiz graphic/Javascript stuff.

    For example, a movie site will have a sections which contains the movie sessions times and is optimised for WAP. The rest of the site with movie trailers, reviews etc. will be the same as it is now.

    Let's take a reality check: If I wanted to watch Seinfeld, I wouldn't choose to watch it on a small portable handheld TV if I could watch it on a 20" TV. Similary, most people would prefer to surf the Net on a computer/TV screen rather than a 3" by 4" Palm V screen - people will choose the most appropriate tool for the application.

    Anyway, to get to the end of my long-winded spiel, my point is that to design a purely 'flash and flair' site is no crime. It is simply catering to what the markets wants and making use of the technology in it's current evolved state.

    Those that complain that sites should be viewable in a text browser all the time simply show that they haven't understood the transformation that the Internet has undergone since it first went 'public' (and I mean that in the nicest possible way :)!


  • I'll say that RealNetworks dodged a major bullet over this one.

    If Yahoo! had dropped RealPlayer support, that could have been a deadly blow against Real. That's because by far, it is the most popular site for streaming media on the Internet, and losing the support of would have dramatically reduced the demand for Real's products.

    Why do I have this feeling that RealNetworks cut a very sweetheart deal for streaming media servers that supports the Real G2 format?
  • Please turn off the so-called MS ?smart quotes?. They?re very annoying to read, if you get my drift.
  • You've gotta love the dark-on-dark text too! I've even seen Linux-related sites with that. ( I forget which ones. Hint: I haven't been back.)

    Maybe something need to be done to reach the people who are teaching this nonsense.
  • Slashdot uses JavaScript, which means that it isn't accessible to everyone, but I don't think many of us rue the extra capabilities that this provides.

    Slashdot uses JavaScript, but it doesn't REQUIRE it. Actually, it renders quite fine on Lynx (I use it from time to time).

    The problem here is reaching what UI people call "graceful degradation". Ok, so the page won't have all the spiffy features on Lynx/Palm/Other resource-starved environment, but the basic info should be available.

    I've done it at my job, and it's not that hard. Checking the User-Agent and customizing the content to it (or actually, major families, as Text-only/Old browser/Modern browser) is something every major site should do.

  • This is from a story I submitted that was rejected, maybe this is a better place for it. (It would be nice if the could say just one word about the reason for rejection, so that I may learn how to write better submissions.)

    "I was working at my box [] and listening to CNN []. A subordinate clause spoken there [] indicated that Microsoft intends to push Windows Media Player over mp3 because of the copyright protections it affords. I tried to find a press release on [], but found very little []. What I did find were claims [] to compression superiority over mp3 and general references to pay-per-view media formats [] and the like []. The compressi on stats [] were based on conversions of WAV's and PCM's to both formats with Microsoft claiming 50% greater compression at the same quality level. The pay-per-view idea reminds me of RMS []'s 'Right to Read' [] essay. Regardless of what happens with Yahoo! and Real Networks [], if an open source competitor doesn't appear, this [] could threaten the viability of free software in the desktop market."

    When I cut, pasted and previewed just now, I found errors in what was displayed. Such as the failure to acknowledge the closing tag at 'claims'. I kluged it for this post. There was also a stray caret-M which MS uses for EOL. I wonder why we haven't seen recent sources for slashdot. ;)
  • I think the problem with most corporate big media sites is that they use flashy graphics, javascript, shockwave, etc, to compensate for a lack of real content.

    Having just spent a few minutes browsing around the now accessible, I'm glad they decided to let users of non-monopoly platforms in, but find the site woefully lacking in information that's worth reading. Certainly not anything I want to wade through 10 minutes of frame-ridden, bandwidth hogging animations to get to.

    If I want to read about The X Files, there are dozens of fan sites with better information delivered in a more efficient manner. Image galleries, episode summaries, audio and video clips, cast and crew bios, and guess what? Users aren't required to traverse through piles of junk to get to it.

    Javascript is fine in limited doses, when used well, but the glut of it at sites such as makes me want to leave and never come back.

    I suspect the real reason Fox continues to harrass their biggest supporters [] is that they are jealous of fan sites getting more traffic than they do. Maybe instead of trying to suppress people, they should look at why amateurs are more popular than they are, and try to learn something from it. Don't put down others; improve yourself! They'd be better off if they did.

    Well, at least their web designers are trying, and I can't fault them for that. Their lawyers, on the other hand... grrr.

  • ..if you wrote a letter asking Fox to support Linux/Unix browsing remember to write and say thank you. Even if you didn't I suggest you do so to try and show the depth of suupport there is for Linux out there
  • I am a big believer in rewarding a company that accomodates those of us using Linux. So I visited Fox's site, a click that I usually wouldn't have made. When I got there, the splash page loaded normally, but after the Javascript razzle-dazzle, it caused Netscape to open a new window. That was it. Both browser windows reported that they had finished loading, with the splash page sitting there, and the other browser window empty.

    I checked the page source, found the URL it was supposed to have sent me to, and entered it by hand. It gave me the page, and opened yet another window for the site's navigation bar. Then the main window puked: Not Found. Apparently the Nav Ticker calls on some command URL: d:check_time [] that gives the retrieval error. I'm not up on Javascript. Anybody know what this is supposed to be doing?

    For the record, I'm using Netscape 4.61 on a Mandrake 6.1 installation.

  • Back before most people had even heard of the Internet (and before the web was widely known) I was doing a lot more than text on it. Such as playing chess in real time, and playing a (now defunct) Mac game called bolo.

    Of course there was a huge text focus, think Usenet, but it has not been strictly text for a very long time.

  • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Wednesday December 29, 1999 @02:42AM (#1437437) Homepage
    Besides the all the errors with thinking the web is the internet, you also forgot that someone who is blind or uses some kind of audio "reader" to browse web pages needs a certin amount of text in the page.

    Here is another news flash, a page can contain all the flashy, tastless, macromedia crap you want, and still have text support.

    And you are wrong on the point about FOX catering to the needs of their customers. Appearently they recieved enough complaints that they decided to change the accessibility of their site so that everyone can view it. Same rational you gave, with the opposite result.

  • I don't know about the rest of you, but I am at work right now, where I run on Alpha hardware with Tru64 Unix 5.0. I run Netscape Communicator 4.7 and it crashes every time I bring up the Fox page.
  • Besides the all the errors with thinking the web is the internet, you also forgot that someone who is blind or uses some kind of audio "reader" to browse web pages needs a certin amount of text in the page.

    I never said that all text should be removed from a web page - I was merely commenting that the argument that web pages should be just as accessible for text browsers is bunk.

    A balance is needed in everything and a site purely composed of "Macromedia crap" as you put would indeed be just that ... crap.

    But just like a blind person may listen to the TV and glean some information from the shows, they still miss the whole experience. Yet no-one complains that all TV shows should be fully 'backward' compatible so that blind people don't miss out.

    And you are wrong on the point about FOX catering to the needs of their customers. Appearently they recieved enough complaints that they decided to change the accessibility of their site so that everyone can view it.

    If you read the article, always intended to make their site accessible by any browser on any platform. It was simply that they had time constraints and so released the site initially with only IE and Netscape support. So changed nothing as a result of the complaints.


  • Besides the all the errors with thinking the web is the internet ...

    Oh yeah, oops ... my terminology starts getting loose after a day at the office - be grateful I didn't start referring to it as 'the thingy', or 'you know, that thing' ;)

  • If you read the article, always intended to make their site accessible by any browser on any platform. It was simply that they had time constraints and so released the site initially with only IE and Netscape support. So changed nothing as a result of the complaints.

    Sure, I'd say that too if I just pissed off a huge customer base. We'll never know if that's the case or not. Either way, an improvement was brought about, whether it would have been anyway is anyone's guess.

    A balance IS needed. Simply including alt tags on pictures and (if necessary) making sure there is a "low bandwith" or even plain text version available is not difficult at all.


  • It works on Netscape for Solaris also... =)
  • If you are not careful when installing RealPlayer, it will grab all sorts of non-native file types too. It also tries to sign you up for all sorts of spam lists, tracks your viewing habits from a central server, and is generally shoves much more advertising in your face than any other player. On top of that, installing RealPlayer for Windows also installs "RealJukebox" which automatically grabs the *.MP3 and other audio file types. Real has just become a sad company trying to squeeze every last bit of revenue out of it's shrinking customer base.

    (Of course the real problem is MS Windows' crappy file type association mechinism, but all of these media players have gotten in the habit of smashing everyone else's file types for political reasons.)
  • The problem might be Netscape. Netscape doesn't recognize stylesheets unless JavaScript is turned on. It's the number one problem as far as I'm concerned.

    Good question about the CD's. Why do they have to mix the data and software?

    On a related note, I keep wondering what kind of crap Gates is going to pull with Corbis. Who ever heard of such a thing as exclusive rights to digital reproductions of great works of art? Talk about claiming to own things you didn't create, hmph!
  • AOL has already been sued; people who insist on developing significant content in Flash, JavaScript, etc., will be opening their clients (if they are not individuals) up to lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    I'm not advocating this; it's just something people need to think about, because it's starting to happen. Lynx compliance is the wave of the future. You can still do your fancy stuff; but you had better supply "equivalent" content that can be viewed in lynx.

  • No. They won't. They'll just use a browser redirect to deliver optimized code. This is the wave of the future and the way to go for corporate sites.

    Non dynamic sites can accomplish the same thing by having a plain vanilla front with links to different versions.

    That's basically what fox did, it sounds like. But they didn't include LInux. I wonder if we'll run into problems like this where minority browsers/platforms aren't supported. Then it becomes harder for new classes of web-enabled devices to get support....
  • Just as Sun can decide to add anything they want to their operating systems, so can Microsoft with NT/2000 Server.

    Yes. Good point. The DoJ didn't sue Microsoft for bundling IE with Windows. There is not problem with add value to your product. There's no problem with giving away products either. Many companies do.

    The problem is, of course, using a monopoly in one market to force people to use a different product. Microsoft violated anti-trust law, because they tried to force IE on consumers by denying Windows Licenses to OEM's that felt that consumers wanted Netscape.

    If Microsoft were to not allow customers to use NT if they also used Real, then the situation would be the same. Of course, because Microsoft has very little share in the server world, this would be foolish for them, since then people just wouldn't use NT. So they can add value to their product, and aren't violating anti-trust laws.

    And there's no problems.

  • I'm having a similar problem right now with Wells Fargo online banking (I'm actually a Norwest customer). What's really irritating is that they used to let me view my account history in Netscape for Linux, and now they don't. It's not that complicated - 40 bit encryption and a big old table with 4 columns (date, description, amount and running balance) - I fail to see why they are validating the browser at all.
  • 1. They didn't allow us into the site.

    2. We complained.

    3. They promised a fix.

    4. A fix was mad.

    5. People are complaining about this being a wa to "use the /. community" and other such things.

    This last part sucks big time. Sure it's probably true but you need to be responsible. If you make a threat of force with accompanying demands then once those demands are met the argument has essentially ended.

  • You're passing that off as some kind of universal statistic; that is a number generated by a particular company with a particular traffic monitor with a particular group of customers. It means nothing in the real world. It is not a representative sample.

    Is Linux 50% of the market? Of course not, but it is positively absurd to try to claim that it is less than a quarter percent.

  • You are correct that people's attitudes about 'targeting' their web sites to a relatively small pool of specific browsers is going to have to change.

    Right now web design is easy because you can write crappy HTML and let it through as long as it tests OK on (Windows | Mac) & (Netscape | IE) & Version 4 or better with default configuration. A small minded approach, but one that currently gets you to 95% of your audience without thinking too hard.

    But, this is going to change fast. Even without special formats like WAP and AvantGo, we are already seeing an explosion of alternative browsers: iCab, Opera, KDE, WebTV, Sega Dreamcast, Playstation 2 and so on. When Mozilla goes gold, it's going to be ported to virtually every device from a wristwatch to a Buick, with slightly different capabilities on every platform. IE shops are already universally disabling Internet JavaScript and ActiveX. The If-Then-Else = "Garbage" approach is going to have to disappear very quickly, and people are going to have to start writing common HTML and forgetting about the little differences.

    What happens when Fox starts pushing "Enhanced TV", and those embedded enhanced TV viewers can't get to their web site? Big fuck-up. These embedded browsers are going to far out number the Unix users very soon (if they haven't already), but the Unix users will benifit from a more open and less client-dependant web.

  • Just thought it was funny that Linux/Unix is an everyone else. I would think that the difference between the number computers out there with Linux/Unix than Macs is lil to none. just my 2 cents // windows if (n.indexOf("win") != -1) { ...} // mac else if (n.indexOf("mac") != -1) { ...} //everyone else else if (a.indexOf("microsoft") != -1) { ...}
  • funny you mention that theory, it worked out for Coka-Cola(tm) in the 80's with "New Coke", when everyone despised it they decided to re-release the old sk00l
    coke under the handle "Cola-Cola Classic". in the end the Coka-Cola corporation looked the like good guys.

    personally i don't think enough people give a damm about this to compare the two however.

    the fox site looks awful foxy, such fanfare, etc.. i'm kind of suprised they even got it to work under netscape, Y2k is coming up and i'm really wondering if slashdot
    is going to have a headline like, "linux is Y2k compliant, apparently....". oh and the only reason i use X is to browse the web, i wish i didn't have to load the fat
    bastard just to wank off to some pics or read the news. if mozzila would have X statically linked or something, that would rule..... oh and if any of you use a sblive
    the latest CRV from creative is pretty darn good, 4 speaker and mixer support... yum..

  • Probably not, as doesn't allow lynx users. I don't think it ever has.
  • We bitched and got our way. It would be a very positive gesture from the community if were now to thank Fox for their attention to this issue, and to commend them for making their site accessable to more [even if it is far from perfect].

    I have had a quick look at their website, and the only relevant address I can seem to find is send a quick, polite email to this address, and you will go far. :)
  • It's too bad Microsoft stopped updating their Media Player for Linux. It's the best streamer I've ever tried.

    Real has always SUCKED on each of my Linux systems. It makes Art Bell sound like Aquaman broadcasting live from a bowl of Jello.

  • mp3 can be used in a streaming mode, though not over UDP afaik.

    Winamp (For windows) and mpg123 (for *ix) both have support for streaming urls.

  • I think it's funny that the 'flash and flair' stuff is somehow interpreted as being more modern "technology" than HTML.

    All this plugin stuff is really just a web programmer's way of executing code on your machine. Of course, no one really wants to download and execute binaries, so there's pressure to settle on a relatively small number on binary libraries (plugins), and higher-level ways of calling them, like scripting languages. (And then there's the Microsoft camp with ActiveX who actually does want to just send you binary code.) But what it comes down to is that they want to run a "demo" type program on your computer.

    That isn't "technology in it's current evolved state" -- it's retro! You could (and people did) do that back in the 80s BBS scene. Just zmodem the program down to your machine and run it. If Fox wanted to do their current "web site" with 1988-level technology, they easily could (except for bandwidth issues). Just tell people the Fox BBS phone number instead of the URL, and then have them download specialized binaries that play X-Files animations or whatever.

    The technological breakthrough was that someone realized that we didn't need to do things like that anymore. Users just need one binary that can serve as a viewer for content that is stored in a universal and standardized form. The power and benefits of this approach (performance, security, platform independence, etc) turned out to be immense.

    I see the stereotypical Macromedia "web programmers" as luddites who have rejected this level of technology, because they just couldn't figure out a way to make it work for them. They think back to how cool the Amiga "EuroDemoes" of the 80s were, and want to recreate the phenomenon. Their web sites are actually quite sparse and boring places, whose purpose is really just to give people a place to download their demo from.

  • But just like a blind person may listen to the TV and glean some information from the shows, they still miss the whole experience. Yet no-one complains that all TV shows should be fully 'backward' compatible so that blind people don't miss out.

    TVs render both video and audio (even text, if you have closed captioning on). But text-based browsers rely nearly exclusively on the text that you seem so fond to throw out in favor of more "advancced" methods of presentation. So you can't exactly have some "glearning" of information if the site doesn't include some sort of textual content. Ergo, text is necessary and as long as you have some on your page, you might as well go to the trouble of making your site look purty to everything.

  • [] supports not only linux, but Irix too!

    It would have been a damn shame if all of us Irix users had been blocked out just because we don't run Linux... I mean how else would I have gotten all of the "hot" and late breaking information about such hits as Worlds Wildest Police Videos?


  • Checking with Netscape 4.7 on RedHat Linux 6.1, the FAFSA pages I checked came up fine. I didn't go into the online aid application secion.

    It appears that they've fixed it.
  • If indeed FAFSA on the web refuses to allow all 4.x versions of Netscape for Linux, I suggest writing to the U.S. Department of Education through the web form at [].

    The Department of Education, along with other Federal agencies, is putting a great deal of effort into electronic access to government services. You can see the education piece of this at [], the Access America for students page. There are links from there to other agencies including the IRS and the Department of State.

    Given this situation, I think the Department of Education will be value and act upon suggestions for improvement from technically savvy Linux users who happen to be up and coming college students (and thus, customers).
  • What many people are forgetting to realize is what POWER the linux community is putting over the internet. Slashdot has been very prominent in this as well. I'm sure many of you readers E-Mailed fox and yahoo just like I did. And it worked!

    We should keep this trend up, and keep mentioning sites where this community is being hurt. Slashdot will cause an uproar and we WILL get our way becuase *nix owns the internet!
    - Mike Roberto
    --- AOL IM: MicroBerto
  • No, they're not blocking 'Linux' users, they're blocking non MS/Apple users.

    If you want financial services that don't care what browser you use, use Charles Schwab, I do trading there with Netscape 4.61 and FreeBSD and NetBSD. They're a much better organization IMHO.
  • Well, all I can say is that I'm not getting in, even when I let my browsers spoof as mozilla4.5 for windows. It might be they are checking for flash plugin as well? I also have that, but it might very well be that my browsers dont answer "correctly" on that request.
  • The question I was attempting to raise is an ethical one, not a legal one, and I'm not commenting on DoJ rulings or whether Microsoft has any monopolies.

    Regardless of law, is it ethical to subsidize development of a program designed to compete directly with another company's primary product with the cost of the operating system on which they both run? There is no free lunch. All NT Server licensees are paying for the development of the extra little widgets that ship with it, whether they use them or pay more money for competitive products.

  • Yes, it's just as ethical as Apple including the CyberDog web browser with MacOS for free, as ethical as Sun including the HotJava web browser with Solaris for free, etc. It's completely ethical. A company that makes an operating system should have the ability to define what comes with it, and if customers don't like it, they have the freedom to leave.

    And yes, Virginia, there is a free lunch. For example, our friendly BeOS user downloads Mozilla. What are the hidden costs to him involved with this?

    And actually, the cost of Netshow Server is mortgaged by the potential income and power that will be there for Microsoft if they're able to spread their particular media solution far and wide.


  • They'd always planned to have their site accessible to all browsers & platforms, they just hadn't finished the entrance page yet.

    I don't know why people think that Fox gave in to the 'pressure' from the community, unless, maybe, people haven't been reading the articles.

    The other bit about realplayer/windows media might be another case, but having not read those articles I know I'm not in a position to comment.


10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.