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Open soul software

02/16/05

Permalink 09:45:29 am, by fumanchu Email , 240 words   English (US)
Categories: IT

Open soul software

I just found the killer plugin for the Firefox browser: Adblock. Get it. Get it now. It's the greatest thing since sliced bread, because it blocks ads and is easy to use.

But the real reason it's wonderful is that Firefox is free. Developers of "Open Source" software like to talk about Free Software, noting that "free" has two different meanings, either free from payment (as in "free beer"), or free to examine (as in "free speech"), because the source code is publically available. But there's a third meaning: free from compromise or control (free will?). Adblock not only blocks downloads of images from advertising websites, it completely removes images and even iframes from the document.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer, on the other hand, has no such plugin, and never will. Removing ads is something which users may desire to a moderate extent; businesses, on the other hand, must assure their website ads are displayed. It's fundamental to their bottom line. Those businesses include some very big names (not to mention Microsoft itself), and you can bet your bottom dollar they put a large amount of pressure on MS. They have a vested interest in not building Adblock into IE. Further, they cannot allow any other developer to build such technology; therefore, the architecture of IE must remain less open than that of Firefox. Microsoft is beholden to advertising; it must therefore compromise, and loses "free will".

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