Windows fluxus & politics

A release of fluxus for windows:

Which should run after unzipping – no need to install anything else. Most of the functionality is there, but you need to use alt-number keys for switching workspaces, and there is no load dialogue yet, or audio/osc/midi or fluxa.

A windows version of fluxus has quite a lot of uses, the present one being a game distribution method for the groworld project. The other, which is also very important to me, is making fluxus easier to use in a workshop context. I’ve had a lot of problems getting fluxus into places run by local government (e.g. libraries) who are managed by IT companies scared witless by bootable linux CD’s (let alone actually installing a new operating system!). For me, reaching people in such situations is more important than forcing the free software party line on the OS.

The purist in me would like to stick to Linux, obviously – but this seems to be a route towards Linux in similar cases (such as Pd). In this sense, I can’t really see any political difference between Windows and OSX, so I might as well work towards full cross platform support.

3 thoughts on “Windows fluxus & politics

  1. I can see good reasons to be scared of live CD’s in those contexts; if you are managing such a network you are likely locking down most of the computer’s functionality and severely limiting privileges or there will be a mess. Having users boot anything else would defeat all of that; people would have write access to bits of the HD they shouldn’t be able to touch.

    As for politics; I too prefer free software but for me practicality trumps. A stripped down and quarantined version of XP isn’t that bad for some purposes and I even have to run some closed source programs under Linux (Skype and Flash). I’d like to see those replaced by open ones (particularly ones that don’t crash!) but I’m not going to sit here and deny myself rather useful functionality for political reasons.

    As long as the codebase is as compatible as possible I do think that cross-platform programs will benefit from being cross-platform; a talented and driven lead designer is one thing, code donations are another but where would we be without bug reports? More platforms should lead to more bug reports and so a better program. There are more nuanced advantages as well; I think something like Open Office is more viable on Linux exactly *because* it is also available to Mac and Windows users. VLC is another interesting case; many OSX and Windows users prefer it over the bundled offerings for convenience which has the added benefit of making people who may not otherwise see that point aware of the importance of open formats. In the end that should benefit everyone.

  2. The deal in the case I was eluding to with the live CD’s was a little more complicated than I made out, the IT guy was quite happy with it, and although the library owned the machines, he couldn’t get permission from the big government contracted IT company to get the bios passwords to enable CD boot on his own computers.

    In the end we got hold of some laptops and did the workshop on them, but now it should be much easier to smuggle in this dangerous and provocative free software :)

    And, yup I think the OS angle is slightly misleading, the more people get access to free software the better – the operating system is just one part of it. In openlab for instance, although being total linux heads we’ve also had people doing performances using free software running in windows – I see no problems with that myself.

  3. Thank you very much for making this available for Win32!! Its an excellent way to play with Scheme.

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