[svlug] Fwd: Open Sesame: The Rise and Acceptance of Open Source Solutions

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat Jul 18 14:55:23 PDT 2009

Quoting Don Marti (dmarti at zgp.org):

[Some webinar broadcast using "GoToMeeting" software.]

> Practical recommendation 1: Don't do open source if
> you want to participate in "webinars!"

If you dig determinedly into their documentation, you find this only
_somewhat_ misleading information about system requirements for
"attending a meeting" on https://www1.gotomeeting.com/en_US/pre/faq.tmpl :

  Internet Explorer 6.0 or newer, Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or newer
  (JavaScript and Java enabled)


  Safari 3.0 or newer, Firefox 2.0 or newer (JavaScript
  and Java enabled)  

So, it's basically some proprietary Java app that Citrix's "Citrix
Online, LLC" subsidiary developed and is selling to customers on the
streaming-out side.  And they certainly _could_ have offered a variant
of the codebase without gratuitous dependency on proprietary OSes, but
unfortunately they've instead bundled it with "launcher" apps such as
"g2m_download.exe" for the Win32 variant.

It's undoubtedly possible to pull that apart and undo the corporate
brain damage, but frankly it's not in my experience worth the payoff.

> Online meetings/conferencing is certainly up there
> on the list of deal-killers, along  with Intuit
> QuickBooks and vertical applications.

When I've had to use online meeting/conferencing software in the past
(usually GoToMeeting or WebEx), it's always been as part of some
mandatory corporate deathmarch, and the most practical workaround has
been to just run virtualised WinXP in a VM environment, to keep the 
ugliness at least contained within that.

But, aside from that, I'm wondering if anyone else here has ever found
"webinars" to be worth the time.  Personally, I've never gotten enought
out of them that I didn't want my time back.

> Anyone know of an online meeting platform or site
> that works for everyone?

I' haven't tried it personally, but I'd have a look at WebHuddle (Java,
open source):  http://sourceforge.net/projects/webhuddle/

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