Thursday, February 12, 2009
Linux, Moonlight, and MLB.com
The state of the Linux desktop has been improving quickly over the last few years, but was still never quite there. I'm a big Texas Rangers fan. (can't accuse me of being a bandwagoner!) One thing I really hated was I couldn't watch MLB.tv on Linux. If I was able to get it to work, it stunk, and then they switched to Silverlight which I really had issues with.
Well, with the baseball season revving up, I headed over to TexasRangers.com to see whats going on. Usually, I just check it out on my Blackberry during the offseason. Well, I run a dual boot at home. Ubuntu and Windows XP Pro. XP Pro when I run Windows only software or visit websites that just don't function in Linux. (ie, any MLB website when I wanted to watch video) Well, I clicked on a video and it said I needed Silverlight and ask if I wanted to install it. Sure, I said, and it started installing Moonlight which is Linux's Silverlight counterpart. Once it completed, the video ran perfectly! There was no moving plugin files, no symbolic links, no tweaking of anything, and best of all. No pop-out video player!
I can't tell you how excited I was when this happen. Combine this with Compiz / Beryl / Compiz Fusion looking like they are going to settle their issues and work together not to mention what exist looking pretty good as it stands now. I am very excited with progress of the Linux desktop. Sometimes I still have issues with sound in Linux. Not that it doesn't work, but with apps locking up during operation and locking out all sound until I kill the frozen process with the kill -9 command. That is something that must improve along with 3D on Linux. It's a shame OpenGL failed to keep pace with DirectX especially since it was created and released well before DirectX existed. Yes, you can run DirectX on Wine, but Wine is a stopgap for a bigger problem, not the answer to the problem.