19 January 2010

Right Royal Society Scandal

People are getting excited about the news that William Stukeley's Life of Newton is now available online, apple-falling tales inclusive. Just one problem: the super-duper groovy page-turning version only works with Microsoft technology - the same one that infects the British Library's holdings too.

It is really scandalous that world-famous and once-glorious bodies theoretically devoted to the spread of knowledge should be in cahoots with Microsoft to lock away that knowledge in proprietary technologies. Not so much apples falling as the mighty falling...


Unknown said...

Scandalous true. However Microsoft spends a lot of money trying to keep things locked up so that only Windows users can access them, and they are going to have some successes.

EFF UK should launch lawsuits against any publicly funded organizations that disenfranchise the public through the use of closed standards.

Michael Stocking said...

Just as a correction to the above comment, there are three versions available. The WPF version is Windows-only, as you state, the Silverlight one works on Windows, Mac and Linux, and the Accessible one on all platforms.

Glyn Moody said...

@Michael: indeed; but the key point here is that the other versions are inferior (at least nominally) to the one locked into Windows.

Unknown said...


Silverlight doesn't work well on a Mac or Linux OS computer, it's designed to be a part of the Windows OS, and doesn't translate well. And of course you have the issue that I stopped using Microsoft software for a reason - and I 'DO NOT WANT THEIR SHIT ON MY COMPUTER' ever again.

The other consideration is that HTML5 is superior to Silverlight for content delivery, and can easily be implemented on any browser, including Internet Explorer (there's already a plug-in devised by Google which I am told works well). And of course avoiding Internet Explorer is a good idea, it being the most insecure browser in existence.