Category Archives: Free Software

Articles about Free Software.

Interoperability my arse!

Windows XP Running On Linux
Image by paradoxperfect via Flickr

Roy says it best about the new Windows 7 installation. Once more, for all their rhetoric, Microsoft’s actions show yet again that they don’t care about interoperability or playing nice with anyone else. All they care is maintaining their desktop monopoly and part of that tactic is not making it easy at all to setup a dual boot setup.

While in 2001, when XP came out the excuse “Only hardcore geeks use GNU/Linux so why should MS even consider them” might have had some basis, 8 years later, when desktop GNU/Linux is more than viable through distros like Ubuntu and where it is quite likely that people might consider trying this other OS while wanting to keep the Windows option open, it fails to convince.

This is nothing other than the same ol’ spiteful, monopolistic tactics on behalf of MS. This capability, to install multiple OS’ without screwing up each other has existed for ages so it’s obviously not rocket science. As such, MS’ refusal to implement it can be nothing but deliberate.

And if that’s not enough, we now have GNU/Linux users defending such actions! So now, among the atheist appeasers, Women “feminist” appeasers we have to add GNU/Linux appeasers as well. If Microsoft apologists were not enough. Of course, that there are those who would sell-out to MS in order to get ahead in the marketplace is nothing new, but plain users? Those who are the ones getting the most annoyance out of such tactics? Why do they feel the need to apologise  for MS?!

Here’s some of the classic excuses (and my counter) you’ll see on why this isn’t really a problem, move along, nothing to see here:

GNU/Linux users are a small minority. Most desktops will be Windows only so why should MS even implement a dual-boot consideration?

Because even though GNU/Linux is small, it is also showing accelerating growth and even a small percentage of desktop users, when seen on a global scale means quite a few million people. People who will all be inconvenienced when they need to upgrade their installation or repair/reinstall it when it will (eventually) break down.

Because MS has been blabbing about “interoperability” for the last few years and they need to be called on their bullshit at some point. Their rhetoric has never been honest and their actions prove it again and again.

They didn’t really make it hard to install Windows 7. It could have been far worse.

Gee thanks…

Should  we be thankful that Microsoft doesn’t go out of their way to prevent GNU/Linux installations now? Should we praise MS for not making our task more difficult than it already is? What kind of fucking stupid slave-mentality is this? “Golly thanks for using lube while screwing me in the ass, sir!”

And you know what? They did make it harder than Windows XP. Slightly so but nevertheless true.

You don’t stop criticizing someone when they act less evil than they could have been. You stop criticizing people and corporations when they stop being evil.

Pfah!

All you need to do is hack #1, #2 and #3.

Which is obviously something all people who’d like to try out the system can do right? No, of course not. And MS knows this and they know it will further reinforce the perception that GNU/Linux is only for hardcore geeks. You know what the regular user will say when you mention hacking the goddamn boot loader? “Huh wut? No thanks”. Which will mean that it will always require a power user (and perhaps more than that) to simply set it up (and then again and again when Windows invariably breaks down and requires reinstallation).

Compared to the possible scenario where Windows acted like an OS of its generation and recognised that “hey, there are other OS’ out there, perhaps we should be considerate to those of our users who might be dual-booting”, and have Windows autorecognise the MBR is taken, and provide sensible options on how to work with it that a simple user can follow, you know, like GNU/Linux has been doing for what, 8 years now?

Of course it is better to make it seem as if only IT nerds can setup and maintain a GNU/Linux installation alongside Windows 7, even when they difficulty has nothing to do with GNU/Linux and everything to do with MS’ refusal to play fair. Thus they can keep their ignorant audience locked in and happily continue spreading their FUD, only they have some appeasers from the GNU/Linux camp on their side as well who will make their point for them by saying stuff like “Oh it’s easy. Just reinstall Grub and then hack the bootloader“.

Other OS’ and even some particular GNU/Linux distros are worse than that.

A Tu Quoque is a logical fallacy. If other OS’ are doing even worse, then they are worthy of even heavier condemnation. And about those GNU/Linux distros that do it (see Moblin, IPCop etc), you do know they are meant for a single OS installation right? You do know that Moblin is for netbooks which are unlikely to have a dual-boot while IpCop is a firewall right? Don’t you think it’s just a tad intellectually dishonest to bring those up as examples of such faults?

You wouldn’t would you?

So while there can be other who can be just as bad, if not worse than MS, this does not constitute an excuse of any kind, especially since they hold most of the desktop market and their actions are clearly deliberate. And if Free Software OS’ are doing this without having a reason to do so, then you can always change it by contributing or even convincing the developers of the errors of their ways.

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If someone fights unfairly and you nevertheless win, it doesn't mean they don't deserve condemnation

Image representing Mozilla as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

I have been a fan of Techdirt for a few years now but as Masnick becomes more and more rabidly pro-“Free” Market Capitalism,  I start to reconsider. I keep seeing articles which seem critical of one action only because it opposes the free market, not because of any utilitarian argument.

The latest post commenting on the recent siding of Mozilla with the EU anti-trust action against Microsoft is the latest such example of this trend. Within, the author complains that such a move is obviously wrong as well as misguided as obviously there isn’t a monopoly since Firefox has managed to gain market share. In the same breath however, he also mentions that the original instigator, Opera is an “also-ran”.

Basically what Masnick is saying is that if a complaint is made by someone who cannot gain any market share, it’s because they are not good enough. But if it’s made by someone who managed to gain a foothold, it’s disingenuous. Whatever happens, there can’t be a monopoly issue brought up at all.

Anyone can easily see the fallacious reasoning here. The truth of course is that Microsoft is not simply abusing its market position to stiffle innovation on the browser space ((mainly because it was in their best interest to have apps based on the OS or an OS-locked browser instead of a multiplatform browser)) but it has been doing so aggressively and for a very long and well documented time.

Firefox managed to achieve market acceptance despite Microsoft’s monopoly on the space. When the new browser came out, it didn’t even register on the radar until the first major grass root advertising and word-of-mouth campaigns started. Even though it was vastly superior to any of MS’ offerings, its growth was slow and tortured, owning mostly to the fact that most webpages were “optimized” for IE and flat-out refused to work with Mozilla based browsers.

Not only that but the fact that MS bundled IE with their OS ((After they hastily made it an “integral part” of the OS during the Netscape anti-trust case, in order to claim that they couldn’t remove it)) made any viable alternative difficult to discover. Why would most normal users even consider looking for an alternative browser which most of the time couldn’t access their banking portals? Many times. even when you put an alternative browser on one’s desktop and advised them to use it, they wouldn’t because it was not what they were used to. This is how deep the IE conditioning had gone.

There is no more striking example than what Techdirt dismisses quickly: Opera. Almost everyone will tell you that for a long time before even Firefox got conceived, Opera was the undeniable leader in features, standards-implementation, speed and basically all there was in a browser. And yet, it didn’t even make a dent in the market share of MS. Techdirt, the stalwart defender of innovation for some reason does not even wonder why Opera didn’t make it but rather assumes that it must have been because they were not good enough or something. In other words the classic  selective view of reality that annoys me so much about Free Marketeers.

Of course Firefox managed to compete, in the same way that GNU/Linux managed to compete, by being adopted immidiately by the Free Software movement who then went had to fight uphill for every percentile of market share. The reason they achieved it is because of their distributed nature, philosophical backing and knowledge of technology which allowed them to be unaffected or quickly overcome many of the hurdles in their way. Does that mean that the competition was fair? Not at all. It was stacked against them on every turn. But they persevered.

Opera unfortunately had neither a huge community behind them, nor the budget required to raise awareness of its existence which is why then, and still now, it still can’t get market share, even though it is still considered by many as one of the better browsers. However, were MS Windows to come bundled with Opera and IE and ask the user which one they wanted to use, then things would have been much much different. Most people who didn’t know either, would give a try to each and stick with Opera overwhelmingly.

The author also brings as examples of competition Google’s Chrome and Safari, both of which don’t sustain his argument in the slightest. The only reason either of those managed to achieve any market share is not because of any innovation but because of the popularity of their respective distributors. Apple has a well known fanatic fanbase and a considerable market share in the OS, for which they also bundled their own product. Google did a smart marketing campaign but overall Chrome, even though an inferior product from all others, gained share because it’s suggested in the front page of the most popular search engine.

And with all this, IE still stands at ~70% even though it’s the worse of them all and Microsoft has done practically no marketing whatsoever about it and only a half-arsed effort to improve their own offering (mainly by copying popular features). If that does not give you a very clear hint that something is amiss, then I do not know what will. Everyone must strive infinitely more to achieve even a single market share percentile while MS without doing anything can still enjoy a monopolistic percentage.

So yes, Firefox has managed to crack MS iron grip on the browser but that is not because a monopoly “obviously” doesn’t exist but rather despite this very clear, for all but the Free marketeers, monopoly. Just because they have managed to a degree to overcome the mountain of challenges posed by the anti-competitive business practices of MS does not mean that these practices should be left unpunished.

If you play a game and you opponent is obviously cheating but you nevertheless manage to defeat him by playing fair, does it mean that they do not deserve condemnation and punishment? Of course they do. You do not punish them only when you lose, you do it regardless – not out of spite or revenge – but as a lesson and a warning for the future. Leaving them unpunished simply gives the incentive to cheat the next time as well.

But the view of Techdirt is more inane than that. When you play with a cheater and you lose, you’re just a sore loser. If you win, then they couldn’t possibly have been cheating could they?

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This is why I love GNU/Linux

(7:16:50 PM) Viola: I have installed an update and now my firefox does not work anymore
(7:17:04 PM) Viola: chchchchilfä!
(7:17:07 PM) db0: what happens?
(7:17:13 PM) Viola: dead
(7:17:18 PM) Viola: It doesn’t talk to me
(7:17:38 PM) Viola: I can’t start it anymore
(7:17:55 PM) db0: ok, open a terminal and try the following
(7:18:02 PM) db0: sudo killall firefox
(7:18:21 PM) Viola: ok
(7:18:27 PM) Viola: un jetz?
(7:18:30 PM) db0: done?
(7:18:32 PM) Viola: jepp
(7:18:37 PM) db0: OK, try to open it again
(7:18:58 PM) Viola: aaaaaaah
(7:19:02 PM) Viola: schibby
(7:19:03 PM) Viola: danke
(7:19:06 PM) db0: 😉
(7:19:23 PM) db0: I love GNU/Linux 🙂
(7:19:31 PM) Viola: ich auch!

In windows I’d still be explaining how to open the task manager 🙂

Begging the Software Gods

Kneel before your (Greek) God
Image by Dave Smith via Flickr

There is a frustrating phenomenon that I notice amongst many technology enthusiasts and general users, the conditioning to pathetically expect new progress from the software companies. All too often I see someone claiming to be a fan, asking, pleading, begging, wishing, warning or even threatening any software company so that they would implement a feature that they wish for.

This is the mentality of a slave. It shows that one is happy simply wait for the enlightened elite to provide them with what they believe they need. The only difference exists in how much that elite listen to their “peasants'” voices. You have many web2.0 companies which are very open to their community and you have others which are so absolutely haughty and elite that what they give you, they expect you to like.

But why do people willingly put themselves in this situation? I guess it is it they do not wish to trouble themselves too much. All that a software company requires of them is their continuous supply of money (or presence & support, in the case of web2.0 ones) and they promise to take care of everything you ever wished for. You just rest your little heads..

One wonders, would these same people willingly put themselves under “socialist” dictatorship? If not, why? Doesn’t that work in the same way as any of those software companies? Wouldn’t these dictators work with your own best interests in mind, if only you gave them your money? Wouldn’t it be possible to even modify their actions if you begged, pleased, warned or threatened enough?

‘Aha’ you will say ‘But I can at any point switch software with ease. I can vote with my wallet I can! If those companies don’t listen to my wishes I can just choose another piece of software instead. I don’t need them, they need me!’

So tell me, are you truly free, when all you have is a freedom to choose between masters? Won’t any other company be like this as well? Perhaps a bit more “consoling” to your betrayed soul, but ultimately the same? Would you be any more free if you could at any point leave your “socialist” dictatorship if there were only more of them to select from?

And what if there isn’t anywhere to go to? What if your continued support all these years has made that dictatorship so big that it has swallowed all others and now it’s either that, go live alone or start your own little commune and have only the bare basics compared to what you had before?

And what if they won’t even let you leave? What if the borders are closed and your property simply licensed to you? What if the only way to leave an oppressive dictatorship like that is to simply discard all your earthly belongings and simply leave with just the clothes on your back?

But this is what a propriertary software will try to do. Either it will be so unique that you simply cannot chose something else and you must continue paying like a good little worker or They will not let you take anything with you because of closed formats and the like.

  • Until Open Office came around, what alternative was there if one wished to move away from MS Office, say because it lacked a certain feature and MS refused to implement it or because it was simply too expensive?
  • When you leave facebook, can you take anything with you?
  • Can’t Google cancel your account at any point, without having to give you any excuse or letting you take anything back?
  • Isn’t Photoshop basically your only option as a professional graphic designer?

It is especially worrying to see people not only gladly place their own shackles but to excitedly support some of the most oppressive companies ever. Apple and its fanboys are the one that perplex me the most. There is truly here a cult of personality the kind of which any fascism regime would be proud off. The supporters will blindly trust in the wisdom of Jobs and Apple and buy and swallow any junk they throw their way, as if it were nectar. The fact that their shackles are the strongest and most numerous of them all does not matter, simply because they are also the most shiny.

But what are the alternatives? Well, like any dictatorship has its antonym in free democracy, so does proprietary software has it’s antonym in Free/Libre Software.
Do you remember my example of that little group of people who wished to escape from the dictatorship they lived under? They did. They did leave everything behind and went on to create their own little community. But they were wise, for they knew that it was only a matter of time until their society ended up like the one they fled from.
Thus, they created a constitution, a manifesto, call it what you like, which prevented them and their successors from doing just that.

That manifesto was the GNU General Public License and while they started only with their hands and the clothes on their back, their little community grew and prospered and started to draw freedom-loving people who fled from proprietary dictatorships all over the world.

Whereas a software company decides what you will have with varying degrees of input from you, the GPL community does not decide at all. Any member can have what he wants, provided that they work to get it. It is simply not possible to stop anyone from making the software do what he wants if he really wants it, unlike a proprietary software which you cannot change unless allowed to (through begging, asking, pleading etc).

Is this a harder road? Most definitely. But it is the only road that preserves your freedom. And nobody ever said that freedom is easy. Quite the contrary, freedom has always required hard work and struggle to sustain from the people comprising. From the bottom-up. But the fruits of it are always much sweeter.

The only thing you get easy, from people who make all the choices for you, is simply the illusion of freedom. And this is exactly what you get with proprietary software. And even that goes away eventually.

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Why Socialists must learn from the Free Software movement

redtux
Image by redtux2000 via Flickr

Socialism is a very difficult thing to achieve. Up until now there have been two attempted paths towards reaching that goal: Revolution and Reformism. Neither has succeeded. The first path (usually) fell victim to counter-revolution and nowadays lacks enough traction in its necessary base, the working class. The second path always gets corrupted and sidetracked too much and simply ends up perpetuating the status quo while keeping the name.

There is however one method which not only has not been attempted yet but also shows considerable promise of success. The peer-organised, distributed, lead-by-example method of Free Software.

For those not familiar with the history of the Free Software movement, the basic thing you need to be aware of is that it was initiated in a completely hostile environment (of propriertary software), without any help “from-above”. It was simply based on a simple ruleset that ensured that the fruits of this effort would not be corrupted or misappropriated and thus lead to fragmentation. The GPL.

Thus, there was no need for leaders ((While there are some recognisable figures in the movement, they are no more leaders than Marx or Engels were)) or sponsors.

This result-oriented method has been a tremendous and monumental success. From an obscure hacker’s hobby in universities and basements, in 20 short years it has become a force to be reckoned with, respected and supported by major software players while still ensuring that they cannot abuse it for their own ends.

I believe there is here a method that not only has not yet been attempted but perhaps might be the key to finally breaking the stranglehold of Capitalism.

The method is simply to work within the system. Show people how much better Socialism can work and then, once they have given it a try for practical reasons, introduce them to the ideology behind it.

Now do not be alarmed. I am not talking about reformism but about subversion. Let me explain:

The Free Software movement is based on Copyright law. It gains power and utility by using the same system it was created to oppose! How does it achieve this? By placing additional terms and restrictions on its supporters in order to ensure that the effort they put towards the movement will always remain with the movement and not leave with them. Like a Judo master, it uses the considerable power of the system to defeat it.

Supporters come because the development method of Open Source is simply superior, it is easy to join, progressive and free. Then, not all of them, but a sufficient amount get to hear about the philosophy behind it, adopt it and continue spreading it. And guess what. It not only worked but this socialistic culture has spread outside of Software (See Wikipedia, Creative Commons etc).

To put things into perspective, lets see how the current two paths to Socialism would have worked when attempting to achieve a Free Software world.

  • Revolution: The Software developers would forcibly or simply arbitrarily take the source code of the programs they had been hired to write and distribute it to their peers. This would of course trigger a “counter-revolution” where the software bourgeois would attempt to stop such a unaccepted distribution.
  • Reformism: The Software developers would attempt to become company executives or shareholders with the purpose in mind to liberate the source code to their peers when they had enough power. Unfortunately, not only power corrupts but the people in charge would never allow one who is incorruptible to achieve power.

Not only would it have been extremely difficult for either of these methods to succeed (as has been the case with similar Socialist movements) but without having a GPL to back them up, simply releasing the source into public domain would allow the effort to be subverted by the remaining active forces, thereby giving them a competitive advantage over our (alternative universe) free software movement.

I hope you’re still with me.

So how can socialism use a similar method? How about working within Capitalism? Here’s a rough idea

  • Create a constitution of similar ideals to the GPL that is a legally binding contract. The whole point of this constitution would be to prevent the labour put into Socialism to be turned against it. For example, have the clause that once a person becomes a member, he agrees to redirect all wealth acquired as a member back to the group. He retains previous wealth (so if at any point he decides to leave, he can be as when he first joined). Thus while a member, he eschews private property.
  • Create a commune based on this constitution. People joining this commune will have their future acquired wealth redirected back to this commune which should then ensure that individual members have a much higher standard of living on the bottom end than any other system. If the commune has rules such a direct democracy and the like, based on Socialist ideology, it should also ensure that it is not corrupted.
  • Because of the superior bottom level of the commune, more people living in the bottom end of the current society will wish to join. Such individuals can easily then be monitored to make sure that they follow the constitution and rules and slowly bring them into the ideology so that they follow the rules on their own volition.
  • To preserve direct democracy, Communes that become too large should be able to split and create smaller ones. A clause in the constitution could be that any number of people can leave the commune with a direct percentage of the current wealth provided they create a new commune under the same constitution. Thus the number of people living in such communes could increase without necessitating the formation of a state system within.

Slowly, though such a system more and more communes would form until it becomes the obvious choice for the proletariat to belong in one for their own security. People could still choose to stay outside, but they would be at a competitive disadvantage. Once these communes start owning enterprises and reap their own surplus value, they will be capable of stealing the lifeblood of Capitalism. Labour.

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So Youtube decided to start censoring Atheists? I say fuck 'em!

Comedian Pat Condell
Image via Wikipedia

First it was the Eucharist videos being pulled and now they’ve removed Pat Condell‘s latest video about Sharia law in the UK. Well this is getting ridiculous and I don’t like it one bit.

If there’s one thing that online services like this provide is a voice for all the people who’s opinions would never be presented in the traditional media. When those online services take our voices away because they just feel like it, I say that it’s time to move on. They already have a shaky relationship with Atheists but this should be the last straw for many of us.

Like so many things in life, they need us, we do not need them.

Without people using Youtube, it wouldn’t be the online power it is today. I can already foresee that many people will say that Youtube is what everyone is using and thus you don’t have a choice if you want audience. Well, like partisan politics, this is only in your head and it hurts you when you do not realise it. You do have a choice, you just have to use it.

At the moment, many users are protesting the latest ban by reposting the removed video. This is all well and good but, and I hope to be proved wrong, Google is too big, you made them too big. They don’t give a toss. Especially for a few dozen vocal atheists.

Do you want to protest? Take your ball and go home. Make a public statement and invite your subscribers to join you. If there’s anything Youtube is taking note, that is market share. If they were to lose 50k users overnight, they might stand up and take notice.

But where should one go? Well, there are of course dozens of youtube clones out there (many of them considerably better than) but that’s also a problem by itself, for who’s to say that tomorrow that service is not going to start banning your videos as well?

This is why I’m proposing you use something a bit different. Namely Vuze

Image representing Vuze as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

What is Vuze

Once upon a time, there was a BiTtorrent client called Azureus. It was the best of the bunch. Eventually they decided that P2P can also serve as a great way to serve content without having the immense costs associated with hosting everything on your own server.

They became Vuze

Now you have a service where the content is not held by them but rather by everyone who is using it. They only handle the portal/library and that’s about it. When you publish something to Vuze, you get to keep it as does anyone else who has seen it.

Yes, Vuze does retain the right to remove content from the portal as well but looking from where they started, I believe they will not be as trigger happy as Youtube, plus if things get out of hand.

Other than that, there are a few other very solid benefits to using Vuze.

  • You are not limited to posting Videos. You can post any kind of file you wish.
  • You can upload at any quality you wish, at any size you wish, at any length you wish. No need to split in 10 minute segments.
  • Did I mention that Vuze is a full fledged BitTorrent application? That means that you don’t have to use Vuze only but can use, say, The Pirate Bay as well 😉
  • Friends and stuff but with quite a lot of extras. One of these extras is that you can share interesting torrents with your friends over a secure connection. I.e. torrents that you found in the aforementioned Pirate bay, or even your own homemade torrents for files you have on your disk.
  • It’s free software. This means that it’s more ethical and it gets very fast improvements. Plus whatever happens, it will never go away.

So there you have one proposal. I’m certain others will have other services that are good as well but I tend to always side with the ones who have Free Software roots. Better for everyone that way.

Youtube has dropped the ball on Atheist heads one too many times now and unless people take a definite action, they’ll just keep doing it, similar to politicians who get elected no matter what.

And that’s my two cents on this.

UPDATE: It seems youtube has reinstated the Video. Apparently it was organised muslim activists who flagged the video for removal. If that is indeed the case, then Youtube needs to, at the least, give a warning to the ones that flagged it and, my personal suggestion would be to dissalow flagging from those people in the future. They’ve already proved that they abuse the system for their own agendas.

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Convincing Intense Debate to liberate their source

open source gift guide
Image by pt via Flickr

After the recent exciting events I thought it is time to attempt and convince the guys behind Intense Debate to open up their code to the Free Software community and as a result reap all the known benefits such an action will produce.

I’ve been thinking of proposing something like this to them for a while but with all the recent alpha testing, convention-going and all the rest they were doing, I thought it might just fall through the cracks. However their acquisition from Automattic embolded me to go ahead and propose it.

I absolutely think that such a move will be an extreme success, both in terms of popularity and development.  Currently they are being outfeatured by their main competitor, Disqus who has already managed to rollout the version 2 of their wordpress plugin and also have various other necessary features like trackbacks (including trackback agnostic platforms like blogger).

Opening the source will also allow all the ideas that are currently waiting on the backburner to be worked on by anyone interested to have them. IDC can then just keep control of the commits and with two or three dedicated developers totally outrun everyone else.

There are of course more benefits other than fast development. For one, they will finally be able to put their wordpress plugin in the Plugin Codex so that we can get automatic upgrades. It will also open up the system to people with very specific needs who cannot currently use it. Those people could simply install it locally and tweak it for their own uses without taking up valuable support time.

So if you like this idea, go ahead and vote it up. All you need is a Get Satisfaction account and to click a button. Show them how popular this will be.

I would also love to hear any other ways you can think of that liberating the source will help. We can then use those as extra reasons for them to switch. Of course, if you have reasons why this would not be a good idea, also speak up. Lets discuss it 😉

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The 31 definite reasons why you should be self-hosting WordPress

While I was presenting the arguments against the most popular reasons people have for not self-hosting their own blog,  I’ve been proposing WordPress as the software people should be using for that purpose. However I haven’t actually explained what’s so great about WordPress in the first place nor have I specificed the benefits self-hosting provides over free hosting like WordPress.com or Blogger.

Of course one can just look at the features as given by the devs themselves or check what popular blogs on blogging have to say but I thought that since you’re with me until now, you might be interested in my personal take on it.

Disclaimer: Some of these may look obvious or be already available for your free blogging platform of choice but that does not mean they are available for all. As an example: Blogger does not support trackbacks while WordPress.com does not allow ads.

For simple or casual bloggers

1. Having your own domain name means that if you ever change your mind about how popular you want to be, you don’t have to go through the hassle of redirecting your readers to a new location.

2. You have hundreds, if not thousands, of possible themes to choose from. Practically a guarantee that your blog will look fresh and unique to visitors without any effort on your part.

3. The WordPress software is gratis and will always stay that way. As a result the only costs you have, is your web host which generally provides you with much more benefits over simply having a blog.

4. You can have pages that exist outside of your blog timeline. No need to have your “about page” be a normal blogpost you need to link to, or other workarounds like that.

5. You’ve got free stats integrated into your blog. No need to go through the hassle of opening, verifying and installing google analytics or any other third party software.

6. It takes just 38 minutes to set up, including registering with a new host.

7. Installing new themes of plugins is as simple as it gets. A one click process.

8. Autosaves and revisioning so that your sanity and nerves are spared from both PC crashes and wrong saves.

9. With the widgets setup, you can easily change the layout of your sidebars or add custom and obscure scripts with two clicks, without editing any files.

10. You don’t have to be technical. You don’t have to know anything about dns, ips, mysql or apache to install and maintain it on most popular hosts

For the Technical and Web2.0 oriented bloggers:

11. You can have your OpenID being your own domain name and know you won’t have to change it in the future.

12. You can customize your theme as much or as little as you want and this is made much easier by the modular design of wordpress themes.

13. Where in other platforms you can only use whatever plugins or gadgets they provide or allow, in wordpress you have a choice of hundreds of plugins for almost any purpose your might think off.

14. You also have a choice of Categories and Tags. None of that googly “labels” that no-one else uses. Having both categories and tags allows better categorization and tag clouds 😉

15. With so much anti-spam you can pretty much say goodbye to everyone’s favourite canned meat. And that is without annoying your commenters with captchas and the like.

16. A comment system that is not a pain in the ass and actually recognises blockquotes.

17. Pretty much all services related to blogging support wordpress first and best. Even if that service has not, for some reason, implemented any way to integrate with blogs or wordpress, sooner or later,  someone will make a plugin for it.

18. Supports Google Gears and offline/faster use.

19. The amount of information about wordpress out there is staggering. If you want to play with the system or simply optimize it as much as possible, you easily can.

For popular or Pro-Bloggers (and wannabes)

20. You have your own domain name which allows you more authority and visibility. Not having this, especially when you have big plans for your blog, is a big mistake.

21. You can use adverts if you wish.

22. Has great SEO out of the box that you can make it even better with plugins. If you’re going to write articles and don’t have many people to link to you, you’ll need this to be discovered.

23. With any number of plugins you get the option to show similar posts which is great for making  scrappers work for you and keeping visitors engaged.

24. You have trackbacks. ‘Nuff said.

Other great capabilities and options

25. You have a great built-in media library which gives you not only the ability upload your own files but to also easily find them in your server, with the same settings you used them before if you wish to.

26. Supports the iPhone for the fanbois.

27. You setup collaborative weblog without having to make people register with a specific provider. You can even avoid registering altogether by using OpenIDs once more. Hell, you can set it up as a little social club if you want to 😉

28. Being Open Source, you have the certain knowledge that you platform will never go stale or out of development. Indeed, the more people that use it, the faster and better it becomes.
It is already on the bleeding edge of blogging and it shows no signs of slowing down.

29. It is easy to integrate with other software that you might use like gallery or forum software.

30. Being on your own host means that you can now easily help your friends escape the limited free hosting by taking them on your own server, with little cost to yourself.

And finally

31. As Free Software, wordpress is the most ethical choice of platform. By using it and showing your support, you not only retain your freedoms but also support people who might not otherwise have an online voice (say due to costs). It also means that most of the plugins and tools created for it are also probably free software which allows you or anyone else to take and customize them for your own use or join to make them better.

It means that, even just a bit, you promote a culture of shared reciprocation and freedom.

What other reasons can you think on why one should self-host and use Wordress?