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When Linux interoperable incompatibilities frustrate

I have grumbled about the lack of Linux compatibility for certain tools and apps before now. Probably top of my wish list is some sort of Skype compatibility for the rather unusual Linux variant that my Acer netbook shipped with.
Written by Adrian Bridgwater, Contributor on

I have grumbled about the lack of Linux compatibility for certain tools and apps before now. Probably top of my wish list is some sort of Skype compatibility for the rather unusual Linux variant that my Acer netbook shipped with.

It seems that dependencies and interoperable incompatibilities mean that I am destined to be Skypeless (is that a word?) even though my smart little netbook of course shipped with a web cam.

I know I should strip the whole thing down and start again, but my other half has the wildly popular Evince PDF reader installed on it, which we need for testing Adobe CS4 pre-flight rendering of InDesign files before they go to print on a project that we shoulder together. Our client is a Linux purist and wants to ensure people can use Evince as nobody uses Acrobat, right?

Regular readers of the ZDNetUK blogs section will already have seen Jamie's on-the-spot tracking of openSUSE, Ubuntu and Opera, which were especially vibrant throughout last month as we have been enjoying the latest 10.5 releases of Opera for both Mac and Windows.

So just when I was about to bemoan, grumble and lament the fact that Linux compatibility seems to have come behind the PC and OS X versions I wake up this bright Tuesday morning to two emails from Oslo…

Email 1: There's snow in May in Oslo!

Email 2: The Opera 10.53 beta for Linux is now available for download.

I know, I know, we're all excited about the snow too. But we had better concentrate on the browser and, best of all, the Opera Dragonfly web developer debugging environment has moved from BSD to the Apache 2.0 license. Opera says that this is evidence that the company is focused on 'compatibility and platform building activities'.

One can only hope that this genuinely will help spread the wider proliferation of the browser as it is really very nice indeed to use. The human-like momentum drag of the vertical scroll function is deeply pleasant. The one mouse click touch to highlight a whole URL is just so very sensible. Safari and Explorer will no doubt emulate these functions during 2010.

So great tech developments here – yes indeed. May snow in Oslo to put another fly in the ointment for the global warming debate – sure, why not? Skype on my netbook – not a chance.

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