Cam I get a witness ?

Video blogging and video comment sites are getting as much buzz as the current trend in Social Networking sites. As a result I find that yet again I am having to spend time in a Windows Platform in order to participate. Its amazing how much traction Ubuntu and Open source has in the conversations I am having on-line in the social networks so it will be disappointing to see the trouble that arises when Webcams are plugged in.

Webcam support within many linux distributions is not as ubiquitous as printers or mice or monitors. Given the growth in interest for Video sites, I am hoping that Webcam manufacturers and lets be honest here “Logitech” will look to work with the community to improve camera support.

I am aware that there is a significant number of cameras that are supported by Linux and several good projects are already in progress and I can only keep my fingers crossed that my cameras , a Logitech Orb and Logitecg 5000v, will get support soon enough. Currently searching on Google for answers shows that Logitech and Philips support is still not at the plug and go experience that Ubuntu is synonymous .

The other aspect to be resolved here is the ( some part of the  ) communities dissatisfaction with Adobe Flash as  playback and video delivery device. From my perspective I cannot think of a better time to embrace and extend our enthusiasm and commitment to supporting a software supplier. Adobe will be facing increasing competition from Microsofts Silverlight format. If we as a community can find ways to support, encourage and aid Adobe with its integration and accommodation of open source development communities we will win far more than we could lose.  I certainly hope ( and hey I can hope ) that smart partnership builders in Dell , IBM and Canonical and Adobe will see an opportunity here to add to a market share.

If that does come about then I for one will video about it here first.

Thanks for reading ( and watching )

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9 Comments on “Cam I get a witness ?

  1. Hey Nik,

    Have you tried PWC? PWC support is included in the Ubuntu kernel and works with quite a few Philips based webcams. I use it with CamStream (available in the standard Ubuntu repos) which is written by the same chap who wrote pwc so you might find it worth checking out. I use a Logitech QuickCam for Notebooks Pro ccd webcam as you can see on my blog, it works pretty well although I haven’t figured out how to get the webcam’s microphone working yet.


  2. What exactly is Adobes “integration and accommodation of open source development communities” that we should be “supporting, encouraging and aiding”?

    I haven’t been following very closely so I might be wrong, but I certainly have seen any integration or accomodation towards the free software / open source community…. As far as I know Adobe
    A) tries to prevent free software flash players from becoming viable alternatives (by keeping the specs closed)
    B) prevents distributions from distributing Adobes own flash player (even in binary form).

  3. Nik, my question was related to Flash specifically (sorry for not saying that in the beginning).

    I believe your second link makes my case quite well:
    1. Adobe GoLive has never been open source
    2. although a few years back (when the linked article was written) they did offer a linux version, that is not the case today. See

    Open sourcing Flex was great news (and I totally support Adobe in this field) but it really has no relation to Flash. I don’t see why I should support Adobe Flash player just because I support an open source SDK for rich web apps produced by the same company…

    Pretty much the same can be said about the the Source Libraries — it may be a great collection component libraries but it’s not related to Flash in any way (AFAIK, I’m not too familiar with it).

  4. Which is the more effective way to get Linux better accepted?

    1: To try to work with people and meet them half-way

    2: To refuse to work with anyone who won’t commit, 100% to your point of view

    I am not surprised that Linux is dominating the server world, but losing the desktop wars.

  5. I’d be most interested in getting drivers for the higher end webcams. The ones with better optics (to get rid of horrible picture noise) and better cell (to get high pure resolutions). There are a few HD webcams on the market and they are really poorly supported 🙁

    Microsoft’s webcam ironically having perhaps the best money/quality ratio.

  6. I’d love to see an application which allows me to capture, make simple cuts/edits etc… and create a video blog rather than caring too much about drivers. My macbook’s camera works pretty well in ekiga so >bovvered

  7. Mark, I assume your response was for me. For me this has nothing to do with ‘linux acceptance’, it has everything to do with a functioning internet.

    In many issues I’d agree with you, but I won’t do that with web standards. Not anymore, not after seeing so many examples of total disregard for common good. Not after seeing so much wasted work because we’ve accepted a half-assed proprietary protocol or format become a standard…

    Internet protocols and formats should be open. This would not prevent companies like Adobe from making money, but it would make the web a better place.

  8. You’ve just hit what is the only issue I have with ubuntu – if it were not for the adobe shockwave issues/ soundcard issues and webcam problems i’d be using ubuntu practically all the time, as it is i’m still at the playing around stage and likely to be there for some time if creative don’t get their collective fingers out..