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Skype To Open Its Linux Client?

Posted on | November 3, 2009 | No Comments

I came across this while reading my e-mail this morning and almost lost a mouth full of coffee. The last time that happened, Microsoft had just sent patches to the Linux kernel mailing list. It appears that soon (as in very soon), I’ll be able to actually get rid of the only copy of Windows that I own, on my net book. Why do I have it? I need Skype, since the world insists on using it and the Linux version sucks.

I doubt that we’re going to get a look at the nice, juicy p2p codec that Skype uses, if memory serves they are still in a dispute regarding their right to use it themselves.  I’m not interested in their codec, I’m interested only in making that confounded user interface actually work.

We’ll probably see most of the code opened under an Apache or BSD style license, the GPL won’t work for them since they’ll have to ship pre compiled static objects to link against the codec magic.  This is also an indication that Skype sees the value of letting distributions maintain their own versions. 

I don’t want to encourage anyone to use Skype if they do not already, its always a bad idea to become dependent on proprietary stuff. But, if you have no choice but to use it (i.e. work mandates it), at least you can soon fix all of the irritating problems in the Linux version.

I’ve also added a new category, “Open Source”, as this clearly demonstrates the difference between ‘free’ and ‘open’.


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