We have heard from a lot of users and prospective users that there’s interest in getting Buzzword onto Linux. Rest assured that Linux, in at least some of its forms and browsers, is on our list of things to do. Not only are the ranks of Linux users swelling, the platform itself is consistent with everything Buzzword stands for – free, ubiquitous and high quality software for everyone.
More Browser Challenges
But, you’re thinking, since Buzzword runs in Firefox on Windows and Mac, it should just work automatically in Firefox/Linux, right? Unfortunately, the Linux version of Firefox isn’t an exact replica of other Firefox versions, so we’ll have to create a Linux/Firefox specific version of Buzzword.
We’ve posted a little on the blog about the tradeoffs of working on supporting additional browsers and operating systems, vs. getting core features up and running.
Flash Player on Linux
An important side note is that in order to operate Buzzword on Linux, we need the Flash Player there. The Adobe web site dedicated to Flash Player support lists the platforms and browsers where Flash is available.
Note: the actual number of Linux versions that support Flash 9 is probably greater than this. For example, we have reports from users successfully using Buzzword on Ubuntu, with Firefox 22.214.171.124 (with the workaround mentioned below).
When we do get Linux support running, our initial focus will be on Firefox. Other browsers will follow based on market demand.
If You Just Can’t Wait…
Many Linux users have experienced our “unsupported browser” error message. This is because we do a browser check when you launch Buzzword, and won’t start Buzzword if you’re not using a browser we have targeted in our development and testing.
If you’re willing to use Buzzword without a clipboard and with some keyboard handling limitations, you can bypass the browser check. You can start Buzzword without the browser check by using the following URL: http://preview.getbuzzword.com/?skipBrowserCheck=true.
Insert here every imaginable caution you’ve ever seen from a software developer – but suffice to say that when you need to bypass our browser check, it means you’re going into uncharted waters and we haven’t tested that configuration at all.
If you’re not so adventurous, or you actually use the clipboard when writing, we are committed to bringing Buzzword to Linux as soon as possible. For now, things like Spell Check and stability on Mac and Windows have trumped Linux on our feature prioritization list (it’s coming very soon), but we expect to add Linux in the near future.