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Re: [hackers-il] Are we stressing the free software ideology too much?

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  • Shlomi Fish
    ... I never said the open-souce nature of a software is not a technical advantage. It is, in a way. However, it is not always enough to make it more superior,
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 1, 2003
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      On Sat, 1 Nov 2003, Orna Agmon wrote:

      > On Sat, 1 Nov 2003, Gabor Szabo wrote:
      >
      > > [Long message by Gabor snipped]


      >
      > If I have the choice between using two identical softwares, one GPLed and
      > the other propraitory, I would choose the GPLed I would even choose the
      > GPLed when it is slightly inferior.
      >

      I never said the open-souce nature of a software is not a technical
      advantage. It is, in a way. However, it is not always enough to make it
      more superior, at present, to its closed source equivalents. (at least not
      in the eyes and needs of many people).

      > That is because I do not measure programs only by their features, but by
      > their bugs. I know I may find a bug someday, or need a feature, or need it
      > to work on a new platform. I do not want to find myself with a hole inside
      > my chain of tools, in a couple of years. But of course, if someone does
      > not mind throwing away all one has written[1], to be replaced by another
      > program...
      >

      Of course, this is one reason a person may wish not to use a proprietary
      solution. Of course, this is a generalization. Some proprietary vendors
      listen to their customers needs, fix bug quickly, release often, and also
      implement new features that these customers wish for. OTOH, some open
      source developers are very anti-pathic, do nothing with bug reports, and
      are reluctant to implementing new features in their software on their
      user's request. It even happened to me once that a patch I sent to a
      software which added some essential features, was rejected on the spot by
      its developer and maintainer. (and I'm sure it did not cause it to be much
      slower or whatever).

      I don't know if the situation is better among open source developers or
      among proprietary vendors. But of course, in open source you can always
      fork the code, which is not possible in proprietary software.

      > Orna.
      >
      > [1] I write scientific programs. I intend them to last years. In a certain
      > speech, on January 9th 2003, In the IBM GNU/LINUX day, some lecturer said
      > that scientists write program for single use only.
      >

      Heh heh. With Shrinkwrap software like the open source software I write,
      the intention for them is to last forever, or at least until the
      underlying technologies below them are replaced by something completely
      different. Some software in the UNIX world is already a few decades old,
      and is still actively used a lot.

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

      An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
      doctors away.

      Falk Fish
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