Dear Google,

Yesterday you announced Picasa for Linux. But I'm a bit confused. I don't find it. All I see is a Windows binary installation and a Wine installation. Is that what you call a Linux version? I call that a Wine version. But I'm sure you have you reasons after all, and it is good enough for some people to congratulate you.

I also see that you benefited from Marcus' wonder hack about libgphoto2 support in Wine 0.9.13. Marcus is one of our[1] most dedicated hackers, and I wish myself to publicly thank him for the tremendous work he put in gphoto. He saved you a few bucks in contracting with a pure random coincidence, so maybe you could share the reward, no? Putting is in the FAQ will juste get us more support work, support we manage to provide ourself without any help but the user and some external companies that end up going the Open Source way by contribution back patches and fixes. Even some lobbying to get us support from manufacturers would be something we would appreciate, even if I'm sure you just don't care.

So what can you do to make this better? I see three things:

  • caring more about Linux by stopping this Wine hack and releasing a real Linux port. Even something using winelib at first would be nicer. Or modify an existing GPL program, in collaboration with their maintainer, to provide a Picasa experience.
  • caring more about Open Source by release Picasa as Open Source. I know the last part is more difficult because you probably did by choices by tying yourself to some obscure bad software vendor or just because you still don't believe in Open Source unless they helps you provide nice tax breaks or publicity.
  • at least not insult Linux user by providing them bad quality "ports" like that. You might find that last request a bit rude, but I believe that these bad quality Linux versions harm Linux more than they do good. Listen to this: "Linux sucks because Picasa on Linux is largely inferior to the Windows version." Hell yeah. I have heard that a while back about a different software on a different platform. You are just repeating history.

Maybe listening to the community is the first thing to do.

Yours, sincerely,


Update May 30th: I'm not the only one.

Update2 June 1st: Read The Inquirer and APC Magazine

Update3 June 2nd: one more


[1] the gphoto project