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open source (to be or not to be)?
Posted by mrnorman [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 12:46:30 AM I'm just making this topic so people can voice their opinions on open source software. I personally think that software should be completely open source because it would be continuously improved upon.
Posted by mrnorman [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 04:24:41 AM It would also encourage more effective education by providing the most up-to-date examples available.
Posted by metamorphic [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 07:14:46 AM Open source and the even better format of open source, free software i think are great. As you said, it allows the software to be continually worked on. Also allows people that want to learn about a certain program, do so easily becasue they can see how it works.
Posted by vladimir_l [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 08:35:46 AM Well this is something we are not (near future) going to see - obviously. Althought however good and honest opensource software seems some software will still be better and will be avalible for a paid price. I like the policy of Sun Java , althought it is noy opensource , it provides a huge amount of downgraded software as "standard edition". Really I too think that opensource is good - but it will almost never happen , as if it was avalible to the public that use computers for gaming/word processing/office purposes would not have enought knowledge to use it. Most opensource software is aimed at people with half a brain and a working linux/unix system. I think that we are going to see more and more free software in the linux sector / a little more in the windows.
-Vlad ( this is a hard question )
Posted by gian [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 04:10:56 PM Free software is the way to go. Opensource will kill itself quickly, whilst free software is like sustainable forestry... it will go on and on and on until some conservationists shut it down :-)
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 04:30:20 PM I agree with gian: Open Source isn't good. Free Software, however is. The problem with Open Source is that it lacks a political reason for existing--the only mantra the Open Source movement has is "it's better!" That isn't something that will stand the test of time. The Free Software movement, however, is more political. It doesn't matter if the software is better or not--what matters is that the user using it is Free to do as he or she pleases with the software (except for making it non-Free). This political motivation is what the Open Source movement lacks. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/philosophy.html has a lot of great information on the philosophy of the Free Software movement.
Posted by RedX [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 05:32:04 PM I think open source has to be put in the right context. Open source is great for building a game or a cool program together in a online community. But I don't think any company will ever use open source programs to handle their administration or other critical information.
As good as Linux can be, being open source imposes a major security risk for a company (having the source code, makes cracking it very easy).
Posted by taubz [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 07:01:30 PM It also prevents staying a step ahead of the competition. There would be no way that the software company that I work for could survive open source (and if we go, so does the best software in our market!). As for free software, our software costs more than many people make in a year.
Open source software has its place...
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 07:28:44 PM Well, the beauty of Free Software is that if your product was Free and you went under, the product lives on. See what is happening with blender now (the original author is having to pay $100,000 to get the source!).
As for your opinion RedX...which is more secure: Windows or a GNU/Linux (assuming both are properly configured). Last time I checked, that was GNU/Linux. Security through obscurity doesn't work anymore. Having the source code available to everyone makes it _more_ secure--if security really matters to your company, they can examine the source code and be sure it is secure. Also, once a vunerability is found, the patch for a Free Software program is usually released within hours--not the days or weeks usual with proprietary software.
And just because software is Free doesn't mean it has to be free. RMS used to sell emacs for about 150 bucks a tape (it was a long time ago!) and the FSF still sells it software. If I could get the money I would start up a "we download and burn Free Software for you" service. Redhat, SusSE, Caldera, Mandrake, etc all sell Free Software and make money doing it (RedHat is now breaking even every quarter i.e. really small profits that are growing).
If the game is played by the current rules, proprietary software is the way to go if you want to make lots of money. But what if the rules changed (like they did around the time RMS started the GNU project)? Free Software predates proprietary software (Free Software just didn't have a name before proprietary software came along; it was the way things were). What happens when users start demanding Freedom...?
Posted by mrnorman [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 09:31:40 PM I agree with unknown_lamer that open source would not propose too much of a security risk because it's a game of who knows more anyway. Besides, the truely dedicated hackers/crackers will find the necessary means to crack your program with or without the source code. If security has bad flaws, it's only a matter of time anyway. So it basically boils down to a question of ethics. What's more important, education and improvement or money and politics?
Posted by gian [send private reply] at July 07, 2002, 09:58:21 PM You don't actually agree with unknown_lamer, as he used the term "free" not "open source".
Posted by AngelOD [send private reply] at July 08, 2002, 04:17:11 AM "What's more important, education and improvement or money and politics?"
To us? Or to a company? In the case of it being us, then of course education and improvement is best, but in the case of it being a company, the answer is definately that it's money and politics.
The company I work for is quite scared that someone will take our software, and publish it as their own, which they could, as they could just change the GUI. There's no way for us to detect it if they did. We could suspect it, but not prove it, and even if we thought we could, it would be too expensive to have a trial.
Besides, I still haven't found a license that allows the original company to publish and sell the software, yet prevents others from doing the same.. And that's what puts companies off, and keeps them away from Free Software.
Posted by RedX [send private reply] at July 08, 2002, 05:32:07 AM Unknown_lamer: Not every company has it's own team of programmers or is willing to develop their own security means. In most cases a company will buy their software and hardware as it is extremely expencive to develop something that is not part of the companies normal production. e.g. It's cheaper to buy a program than to hire the programmers and have them develop one themselfs.
The exception on this are very specific applications. That what the company can't buy. e.g. An application to calculate particle impact effects on a material, that has to use the companies network to divide the calculations.
Posted by DragonWolf [send private reply] at July 08, 2002, 08:01:10 AM My view is Open source should be supported for hobbists but it can't really be used by commercial companies, unless they charge money for the use of their open source (as many are already doing with licencing).
So the most sourcecode your going to see available to yourself will probably be all hobbist though it won't be far from the quality of commercial products (sometimes even surpass it)
As for free software. I would love for all software to be free. But I think the general solution is offer a product with limited features. This will tend towards commercial companies paying the money since they may well need all the features. While homeusers can make do with the limited version.
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 08, 2002, 12:36:23 PM "Besides, I still haven't found a license that allows the original company to publish and sell the software, yet prevents others from doing the same.. And that's what puts companies off, and keeps them away from Free Software. "
The License that SuSE's YaST does this...but a license that did that would not be a Free Software license (which is one reason no one should use SuSE).
As for the security problems--I didn't say a company would _have_ to audit the code for security issues, just that they could if the wanted/needed to. If security is _really_ important to an application and you don't have programmers you can always pay someone else to audit the code, or buy the program from someone that gives you a guarantee against security flaws in their version of the program (Free Software is great like that--the GPL doesn't guarantee anything, but you can add your own warranty/guarantee if you'd like to). Of course, if security really wasn't a huge issue you wouldn't have to audit your code (all you'd have to do to maintain a decent level of security was to make sure to install the latest security fixes when they are released--something that isn't a problem if you are using e.g. Debian).
And "limited versions"... Well, that wouldn't be Free Software at
all. Yes, you can dual license your code under a Free and proprietary
license, but then your software won't really be Free because you need
to pay for the proprietary version. What is wrong with just releasing
a Free version and making people pay for it? You know, the GPL only
says you have to make the source available to people that you can
distributed binaries too, so you can just sell people a binary/source
cd with a nice printed manual. You don't have to make it available for
download. Sure, if it gets used enough some users will probably post
the source somewhere public, but would corporation foo really want to
use an unsupported source tarball from Random J. User? No! They would
pay the money for the supported copy.
Besides, if you released a Free version with limited features and
someone found the software important enough, they would simple add the
features to the Free version and then you couldn't use them. Which
would probably eventually lead to the elimination of your proprietary
version when the Free version started to get features that were
better. It is much better to embrace Free Software than to divide your
user base into Free users and Proprietary Users.
As a final note: commercial != proprietary. Free Software can be
commercial. And Open Source IS NOT THE SAME AS Free Software. See
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html for a
good explanation of the differences.
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at July 08, 2002, 07:11:53 PM In my opinion, I don't think there is a place for open source or free software.
In my opinion, if and when I ever get round to programming any half useful thing(I doubt I'll ever make something useful), I would want money for it. No one sits down and does something for nothing. In fact, I wouldn't mind private individuals using anything I made for free, but I would want companies, who would make money or save money from using it to pay for it.
The same goes for open source. I wouldn't give a damn if private hobbyists used the source code for their own little projects, but I wouldnt want the source to be used by a commercial company. Where would you draw the line? How do you define a home business from a hobbyist? How could you control what happened to the source?
We live in a world, in which the driving force is money, not good will. Philosiphys are all well and good, but in the real world, we can't and shouldn't attempt to implement them, because we'll simply loose out.
Posted by gian [send private reply] at July 08, 2002, 08:00:35 PM A little credit and a little recognition is pay enough for me! That is the very basis of opensource/free software. You still get recognition for your acheivements.
Posted by mrnorman [send private reply] at July 08, 2002, 08:10:28 PM Well, I disagree about having no place for open source and free software. Not all programmers are out to write software that's headed for the commercial world. I, for instance, will eventually (when I finish college) be writing software to model processes in the atmosphere to provide numerical guidence for meteorologists. This kind of software won't be sold on the market, but rather run on government computers where the output will be sent to meteorologists (or whoever else wants it, lol). The point is that this particular software (along with other types I'm sure) is generally free and/or open source, so there is a place for open source/free software, but probably not with the bulk of areas that programmers go into. By the way, money is not what drives this world. Money would have no place in society if it weren't for the greed and unconcern that keeps it going, but that's a whole other thread for a whole other message board.
Posted by AngelOD [send private reply] at July 08, 2002, 09:36:27 PM Personally, the software I write for in relation to my work, is covered by the rules and regulations of the company, but the software I work on in my spare time is usually Freeware (and once I decide on the License it'll be Free Software as well).
I support the FSF completely.. Just can't do it with my work, because of the rules there.
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 09, 2002, 09:42:43 AM "...I would want money for it."
Did you even read my post before that? People do get paid for writing Free Software. Companies like RedHat, SuSE, Mandrake, TurboLinux, Connectivia, and Progeny all hire and pay Free Software developers to work on their software. The Perl foundation pays for the main Perl hackers; Zope Corp sells and makes a profit selling Zope; the Python Foundation pays the main python writers, a large number of the Mozilla developers are AOL/Netscape employees being paid for work on Mozilla; the list goes on and on. You can always ask for donations too; this has worked for e.g. the gaim project. If anyone uses your software, you can find a way to get paid for it. If no one uses it but you, try listing it on freshmeat so people can find it.
Posted by vladimir_l [send private reply] at July 09, 2002, 04:51:55 PM Well the sources are open so why whould we care if they are paid or not ... really its better if they are paid as open source is usually not free but a great innovation and much of free software is well written. I have to say Gecko is still not as good as IE. Konq KDE browser is also not very powerful.
Well the other thing about open source is you can make install it yourself on your computer.
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 09, 2002, 05:16:01 PM What? Gecko is an amazing rendering engine. The only problem it has is its slow redraw speed if you don't have lots of ram...and Konqueror 3 is a very powerful browser. 3.1 will be even more powerful with the addition of browser tabs. With the crossover plugin, you can use Windows netscape plugins and IE ActiveX controls if you want, as well as konqueror's "native" support of netscape/mozilla plugins and its own plugin system (using KParts). Name one thing that IE can do that Konqueror or Mozilla can't. Now name one thing that Mozilla or Konqueror can do that IE can't (I can name one--tabs).
Posted by AnyoneEB [send private reply] at July 19, 2002, 09:56:23 PM "Name one thing that IE can do that Konqueror or Mozilla can't."
Easy, correctly parse Microsoft "HTML" (note that HTML is in quotes).
On Free Software/Open Source/Whatever you want to call it I've yet to write anything for money so I allow people to look at my source code for educational purposes, but if they want to write a program and want to use my code... no, I want credit and don't expect to get it if my programs are redistubted (none of them have an About window).
Personnally, I think the only program you should have to pay for is a game or a program written specifially for you/your company (Note that they're are likely exceptions I haven't thoguht of AND I KNOW ABOUT THE FREE CIV CLONE). With a game you're paying for entertainment, with an OS you're paying for your computer to work.
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 21, 2002, 10:15:19 PM The Konqueror renderer is written so that it acts like IE when it encounters crap html.
If you pay for your OS to work, why have people been paying Microsoft money for the last twenty years (I don't care if win2k/XP are now stable, what about the last twenty years of releases)?
As for paying for games...you will probably never find a Free FPS (except for the old id games). Why not? Because you play a FPS once and forget about it. Go to http://www.linuxgames.com. There are tons of games that have high replay value that are Free (e.g. nethack, frozen bubble, freeciv, bzflag, armagetron, crack attack, etc). So you only pay for crappy games that look pretty but you only play once.
Posted by AnyoneEB [send private reply] at July 21, 2002, 10:49:52 PM Actually, I mostly pay for console games and a really good computer game every once in a while. Of course, I have pirated computer games... none dated past 1993, but...
"If you pay for your OS to work, why have people been paying Microsoft money for the last twenty years (I don't care if win2k/XP are now stable, what about the last twenty years of releases)?"
Wait... some people pay money for Windows? Getting it for free feels like a rip-off!
My mom won't let me run Linux on my computer because she's afraid I'll completely mess up my computer (which I came close to doing when I tried to install Linux).
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 21, 2002, 10:52:50 PM Why can't you install GNU/Linux on _your_ computer (unless you mean the family machine).
Just call me a nazi so I can win.
Posted by vladimir_l [send private reply] at July 22, 2002, 01:44:39 AM Well I would mind there being an IE for linux even if I had to pay ( or not .... warez ) which would be good. Mozilla is still in its early stages , but it will eventually turn out better than IE. Has anyone read about the browser wars of the past ( BW 1 & BW 2 ) here we are seeing BW 3 unfolding. :-(
Posted by AnyoneEB [send private reply] at July 22, 2002, 07:21:37 AM "Why can't you install GNU/Linux on _your_ computer (unless you mean the family machine)."
It _IS_ my computer, my mom just doesn't want me to completely mess it up, NOTE: I've had to install Windows on it 7 times, 2 installs were the fault of Windows.
Posted by diegoeskryptic [send private reply] at July 22, 2002, 08:05:17 AM yea I have had to reinstall my WIN Me a few times.... and this computer is brand new!!... i dont understand it.... and there are many times when I cant even connect to a website... I always get that error message "This site may be experiencing difficulties, try again later".... why is WIndows like that... ughhhhhhh
Posted by vladimir_l [send private reply] at July 22, 2002, 10:03:38 AM You can run some GNU type programs under Windows like Vim and XEmacs ( that a relief ) so its not that bad. However windows would be a pile of shite without applications like XEmacs ( for me ).
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 22, 2002, 10:17:19 AM If it's your machine, install GNU/Linux on it. If it screws up, oh well. Just reinstall Windows. Just back up anything important and no one will care (even if they do, it doesn't matter).
Posted by AnyoneEB [send private reply] at July 23, 2002, 12:39:24 PM It isn't backing up data, it's just the annonance of having to reinstall Windows many times. As soon as I have a spare hard drive I'll install Linux on that with my other hard drive dissconnected. (I still have the Mandrake 8.2 install CDs right next to my computer)
Posted by AngelOD [send private reply] at July 23, 2002, 12:53:52 PM /me takes unknown_lamer's AntiMandrake bullet for AnyoneEB!
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 23, 2002, 02:03:01 PM Heh. Use Debian instead....(Mandrake seems ok when you first start, but it'll end up being a bitch to maintain because of the RPMs). And _yes_ Debian _does_ have a graphical installer! See http://www.debianplanet.org/node.php?id=699&cid=9421.
Posted by AnyoneEB [send private reply] at July 23, 2002, 04:39:05 PM I tried Mandrake first because it's supposed to be the easiest to use, and FOR _LINUX_ I'm a n00b.
Posted by diegoeskryptic [send private reply] at July 23, 2002, 08:38:25 PM I thought Redhat was... or is that the easiest to install?
Posted by Linux_Penguin [send private reply] at July 25, 2002, 02:06:53 AM Well back to the topic of opensource... in this months issue of Popular Science, there was an article about a programmer that developed free programs for Sony's Ibo (or whatever its called (the dog you know)). It turns out that he had much much better stuff than Sony had. In the end Sony ignores the mystery writer and copies his stuff (and the stuff that Sony is turning is NOT as good as the mystery mans).
Posted by Zandalf [send private reply] at July 25, 2002, 02:11:32 AM not only that, they're selling his stuff for outrageous prices, while his stuff is still free
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 25, 2002, 09:24:15 AM Actually, Sony sued the Aibo guy. But then they decided it wasn't worth it. IIRC, he is also an active member of the psx2linux community.
Posted by Linux_Penguin [send private reply] at July 25, 2002, 11:53:05 AM Yes I did leave out the part of him getting sued...
Posted by diegoeskryptic [send private reply] at July 25, 2002, 04:14:46 PM so let me get this straight... They hire a guy... take his ideas... sell his product... then sue him?
Posted by Linux_Penguin [send private reply] at July 25, 2002, 07:55:31 PM They didn't hire him, he just did it on his own.
Posted by Zandalf [send private reply] at July 26, 2002, 06:03:18 PM At least MS bothers to offer to buy up companies with competing technologies ^_^
Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at July 26, 2002, 07:14:20 PM You must not have seen the Simpson's Episode when Bill Gates bought Homer's company. "What, you think I got rich by writing a bunch of checks?"
Posted by Linux_Penguin [send private reply] at July 26, 2002, 10:18:36 PM Really funny ,unknown_lamer, really funny.
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