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abishur
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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:16 pm

[Moderation by Abishur] I deleted a couple posts because they were off topic and personally attacking each other rather than discussing the issue. As Gold Five from Star Wars said, "Stay on target"
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:27 pm

MrBunsy. If I buy a computer then I can do anything I like to the hardware. I can poke around inside it to see how it works, I can over-clock and water-cool it. I can solder in some new memory or some Heath-Robinson peripherals, I can even make it into a plant pot if I like, and nobody thinks any the worse of me for doing so. But if I try to do the same with the software, I am instantly a criminal. Is that not an inconsistency? We have been trained for thirty years not see such an inconstancy. When we buy a book then we own that expression of those words. We can write notes in the margin and sell it on. We can take the pages and make art from them. We can count the number of times the word "honking" is used. We can lend it to a friend to read. And most telling of all, we can read it analytically and learn how to write stories. With software we can do none of that. Is that immoral? The answer depends on if it is a human right to do those things. Stallman believes that it is. I would choose a lesser charge myself.

Without the FSF, Linux could not have been the success it was, and BSD almost certainly would be much less of a contender. Without BSD, Apple may have folded; it was pretty dodgy going there until they regrouped with OS/X. A huge number of consumer goods use open source components, without which they would be more expensive. So I think we owe Stallman some degree of respect.

Without open-source we could be living in a Microsoft vs. Oracle world with no alternative mainstream OS. While the Raspberry Pi could have been built, it would have had to use a proprietary OS without the huge amount of available software it has now. It would have less chance of success.

Think back to the golden age of microcomputers where most of us got started. Programs that worked on the Spectrum had to be entirely rewritten to run on the BBC Micro. Games for the Atari did not run on the Amiga. Software companies had to choose which of the dozens of home micros they would support, and home micros without that support disappeared as their manufacturers went out of business. Now we have fewer platforms, but many more companies making a healthy profit off them. Openness both in software (Linux, FSF) and hardware (IBM's PC spec.) made that possible.

To put up a straw-man of my own, if it was illegal not to charge for software, then how would a teenager learn to program? How much software could the foundation afford to load onto the Raspberry Pi, and how much more would it cost? How many compilers and interpreters would it ship with? Just Scratch and Python? Just C? Could there be a rational argument for including an assembler? How would university research fair?

Similarly, if it was illegal to charge for software, then Microsoft would not exist, and nor would a huge amount of niche software that would not work as open-source, including the stuff I make my living from. But just maybe it would exist because it was needed, profit or not, and everyone would make a living off other things. Maybe, as Richard Stallman believes, the world would be different but no worse. It would certainly be very different.

But in either case, I struggle to see it as immoral, other than the immorality of having any law that says "thou shalt not." for a subject many see as their right. But equally I don't see either world as one in which I want to live.

And therefore I believe that there is a place in the world for both open- and closed-source software.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:02 pm

rurwin wrote:When we buy a book then we own that expression of those words. We can write notes in the margin and sell it on. We can take the pages and make art from them. We can count the number of times the word "honking" is used. We can lend it to a friend to read. And most telling of all, we can read it analytically and learn how to write stories.
However, we cant use those words exactly in something else, a derivative work if you will, without running into issues.

We do have certain rights that people would try to deny, such as the US courts agreeing that 'jailbreaking' iPhones wasn't illegal (although wasn't chipping PS3s found wrong?).
rurwin wrote:With software we can do none of that. Is that immoral? The answer depends on if it is a human right to do those things. Stallman believes that it is. I would choose a lesser charge myself.
I think that is where I have issues with these things. Software isn't a human right, computers aren't a human right (although I suppose they will need to be some day, I don't think we are there) and I feel that quite a lot of things Stallman comes up with actually holds us back rather than moves us forward, in the way that a lot of extreme views do.

I can concede that the extreme views do have the advantage of pushing the average that way and making some of the more rational views in that direction more tolerable.
rurwin wrote:Without BSD, Apple may have folded; it was pretty dodgy going there until they regrouped with OS/X. A huge number of consumer goods use open source components, without which they would be more expensive. So I think we owe Stallman some degree of respect.
I would actually add on this point Stallman is a critic of open source, and thus BSD (which has nothing to do with him or his organisation, and exists without him). But then he also called Steve Jobs evil on the day after he died so not much of a fan there either!
rurwin wrote:To put up a straw-man of my own, if it was illegal not to charge for software, then how would a teenager learn to program? How much software could the foundation afford to load onto the Raspberry Pi, and how much more would it cost? How many compilers and interpreters would it ship with? Just Scratch and Python? Just C? Could there be a rational argument for including an assembler? How would university research fair?
Actually universities would fare quite well, as they always had languages given to them (I remember java and C it was always borland giving away their old systems for free).
The first C compiler I had cost money (for the atari), the same as basic. The first C++ compiler (symantec C++) cost a lot of money for the apple. The Sun C compiler cost a lot of money, none of this stuff was free.

However, assembler was, if you did it yourself.

rurwin wrote: But in either case, I struggle to see it as immoral, other than the immorality of having any law that says "thou shalt not." for a subject many see as their right. But equally I don't see either world as one in which I want to live.

And therefore I believe that there is a place in the world for both open- and closed-source software.
Agreed. I fail to see it as a moral argument at all

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:04 pm

I was aways on the side of open source, all my work was open source, but i am now moving towards closed source.
This may seem strange, but open or not maybe to do with what language you use to code your project.
C seems to be a good language for open source, assembly does not seem to work has well.
That maybe because theres a lot more C programmers.
This is not just a case of me being unlucky, other full asm projects have found open source a problem.
Example: MenuetOS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MenuetOS
See the difference between 32bit and 64bit source

Solar OS http://www.oby.ro/os/index.html
Was open source, now closed source.

There may even be a advantage has far as software patents go.

Now they are moving onto open hardware, but this does not have the same effect, as you still need to get things made.
So the one man (or woman) software Co, must now move onto hardware to make a living and software is given away as part of the hardware package.

In fact the main reason that kids are not taking up software is because theres no money in it.
People usually follow the money, as far as careers go.
Batteries not included, Some assembly required.

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MrBunsy
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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:07 pm

(just noticed I've been getting the free software foundation and open source institute muddled up)
rurwin wrote:MrBunsy. If I buy a computer then I can do anything I like to the hardware. I can over-clock and water-cool it. I can solder in some new memory or some Heath-Robinson peripherals, I can even make it into a plant pot if I like, and nobody thinks any the worse of me for doing so. But if I try to do the same with the software, I am instantly a criminal. Is that not an inconsistency? We have been trained for thirty years not see such an inconstancy. When we buy a book then we own that expression of those words. We can write notes in the margin and sell it on. We can take the pages and make art from them. We can count the number of times the word "honking" is used. We can lend it to a friend to read. And most of all, we can read it analytically and learn how to write stories.
Hmm, in what sense is tinkering with software criminal?

It's very hard with only a binary, but not impossible to change things, and I'm not aware of this being illegal for your own use. And I think a book is a good example of how our freedom is very much limited outside of the software world too: although you can do many things with the book, you're not allowed to edit the text and then publish it without the original author/publisher's permission.
rurwin wrote: With software we can do none of that. Is that immoral? The answer depends on if it is a human right to do those things. Stallman believes that it is. I would choose a lesser charge myself.
Okay, I can see that if you thought that the ability to edit any software you've got was a human right then denying it would be fairly immoral. Seems like an odd thing to choose as a right personally! But it looks like I've narrowed it down to the bit I don't understand.
rurwin wrote: Without the FSF, Linux could not have been the success it was, and BSD almost certainly would be much less of a contender. Without BSD, Apple may have folded; it was pretty dodgy going there until they regrouped with OS/X. A huge number of consumer goods use open source components, without which they would be more expensive. So I think we owe Stallman some degree of respect.
I don't deny this! Still think he's slightly batty though :P
rurwin wrote: And therefore I believe that there is a place in the world for both open- and closed-source software.
Definitely agreed there, and I massively see the usefulness of open source software, but I personally see it as a "that's cool and handy" rather than a fundamental right.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:27 pm

MrBunsy wrote:Hmm, in what sense is tinkering with software criminal?
You're right. There are moves afoot to make a criminal offence of copyright infringement, but as it stands it is only a civil offence.
MrBunsy wrote:It's very hard with only a binary, but not impossible to change things, and I'm not aware of this being illegal for your own use. And I think a book is a good example of how our freedom is very much limited outside of the software world too: although you can do many things with the book, you're not allowed to edit the text and then publish it without the original author/publisher's permission.
And I was very careful to avoid saying you could. There are still many things you can do with a book that you cannot do with software.

Read any EULA, for example the Sony PS3 one:
Sony wrote:...To the fullest extent permitted by law, you may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble any portion of the System Software, or create any derivative works, or otherwise attempt to create System Software source code from its object code. You may not (i) use any unauthorized, illegal, counterfeit, or modified hardware or software in connection with the System Software, including use of tools to bypass, disable, or circumvent any encryption, security, or authentication mechanism for the PS3™ system; (ii) violate any laws, regulations or statutes, or rights of SCE, its affiliated companies, or third parties in connection with your access to or use of the System Software, including the access, use, or distribution of any software or hardware that you know or should have known to be infringing or pirated; (iii) use any hardware or software to cause the System Software to accept or use unauthorized, illegal, or pirated software or hardware; (iv) obtain the System Software in any manner other than through SCE's authorized distribution methods; or (v) exploit the System Software in any manner other than to use it in your PS3™ system in accordance with the accompanying documentation and with authorized software or hardware, including use of the System Software to design, develop, update, or distribute unauthorized software or hardware for use in connection with the PS3™ system for any reason...
Some of those prevent the use of the PS3 for illegal means in which case they are protecting Sony, others for denying copyright infringement in which case they are redundant, but most of the restrictions in that paragraph would not apply to a book.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:40 pm

rurwin wrote:And I was very careful to avoid saying you could. There are still many things you can do with a book that you cannot do with software.
I'm not quite sure I get your point, there are a few things you can do with a book that you can't with software, but these largely boil down to it being printed on paper. The little copyright notice in the front of, for example, The Bridge by Iain Banks forbids it from being "circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published" which makes me wonder if technically you'd even be allowed to make art out of it.

Looking at this and the EULA - are these not specific conditions that publishers/manufacturers have decided to impose on top of what the law does, rather than inherent restrictions with software?

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:58 pm

DexOS wrote:In fact the main reason that kids are not taking up software is because theres no money in it.
People usually follow the money, as far as careers go.
I don't make as much as a doctor, but I make as much as a teacher, and I'm not particularly highly paid as the industry goes. There is a huge skills shortage in software, witness the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and where there is a shortage there's money. You paint the software industry as dead, yet thousands of people make a good living in it. Your rhetoric does not appear to match the real world.

I can see that you may personally, in your chosen niche of operating systems, have a problem with open-source. However I would hold that it is not a problem in the wider community.
MrBunsy wrote:Looking at this and the EULA - are these not specific conditions that publishers/manufacturers have decided to impose on top of what the law does, rather than inherent restrictions with software?
Yes, absolutely. However they are ubiquitous and unavoidable. Richard Stallman has a laptop with an open-source BIOS and open hardware. I doubt it is as powerful as Dell's latest, and probably cost more. Most of us buckle under and agree to whatever Microsoft, Apple, Sony and the rest foist on us. The copyright system itself is not evil; the GPL depends on it. It is the EULAs that take from us rights that we would otherwise have. The right to the source-code flows from that, since Stallman does not see why he should have to go to the effort of decompiling.

Now if one were to argue in the American way, one could say that the rights granted by the constitution for copyright were the ones that the founding fathers thought we should have and who are Microsoft, Apple, Sony and the rest to change them? Since we are not American the affair is more murky.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:40 pm

rurwin wrote:Yes, absolutely. However they are ubiquitous and unavoidable. Richard Stallman has a laptop with an open-source BIOS and open hardware. I doubt it is as powerful as Dell's latest, and probably cost more. Most of us buckle under and agree to whatever Microsoft, Apple, Sony and the rest foist on us. The copyright system itself is not evil; the GPL depends on it. It is the EULAs that take from us rights that we would otherwise have. The right to the source-code flows from that, since Stallman does not see why he should have to go to the effort of decompiling.
Even without EULAs, why would we have a right to the source code?

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:00 pm

I am having difficulty here, because I don't want to put words into anyone's mouth and, as I said above, I don't believe it is a right.

The right to source-code is an issue that seems to have arrived fully formed in Stallman's mind when he was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. It is the seed that led to all of the rest, so asking for its derivation is to ask for some justification after the fact. To really get a handle on his thinking at the time, read the GNU Manifesto, but you'll have to try to get into his head before it makes sense.
Stallman wrote:... I consider that the Golden Rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it. ...
And here is a rather more developed line of reasoning.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:15 pm

abishur wrote:[Moderation by Abishur] I deleted a couple posts because they were off topic and personally attacking each other rather than discussing the issue. As Gold Five from Star Wars said, "Stay on target"
abishur, if you are going to delete insulting posts, then please do it properly.
The original offending post by tufty is still there.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:58 pm

woodinblack wrote: But then [RMS] also called Steve Jobs evil on the day after he died so not much of a fan there either!
I don't think RMS called Steve Jobs evil. If you have a quote to that effect, please supply a link. RMS did accuse Jobs of evil things, such as turning computers into "digital handcuffs" and using software patents as weapons. Here's the exact 6 Oct 2011 quote from RMS' personal blog: http://stallman.org/archives/2011-jul-o ... ve_Jobs%29:
Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died.

As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone." Nobody deserves to have to die - not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs' malign influence on people's computing.

Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.

Copyright (C) 2011 Richard Stallman
Saying someone has done evil things is not the same as calling someone evil. RMS expands on his remarks in this blog entry: http://stallman.org/archives/2011-jul-o ... ve_Jobs%29, which is well worth reading.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:06 pm

rurwin wrote:I am having difficulty here, because I don't want to put words into anyone's mouth and, as I said above, I don't believe it is a right.

The right to source-code is an issue that seems to have arrived fully formed in Stallman's mind when he was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. It is the seed that led to all of the rest, so asking for its derivation is to ask for some justification after the fact. To really get a handle on his thinking at the time, read the GNU Manifesto, but you'll have to try to get into his head before it makes sense.
Stallman wrote:... I consider that the Golden Rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it. ...
And here is a rather more developed line of reasoning.
Interesting reading! Well, I think that does make a little more sense. Stallman seems to think that sharing software is the morally right thing to do, and anyone attempting to restrict that is doing wrong.

I feel slightly more informed now, even if I still don't entirely understand how Stallman arrived at his conclusions. His software tax idea, and discounting of any economic argument for propriety software make him seem to be very utopian and, frankly, not really on the real world.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:34 pm

MrBunsy wrote:
johnbeetem wrote:Perhaps proprietary software is not inherently immoral, but it certainly can lead to immoral behavior. Free (libre) software protects you from this.
However we have law enforcement to protect ourselves from companies producing software which breaks the law, and there's nothing actually stopping someone writing open-source software which does illegal or immoral things too. I think the debian openssl debacle shows that people don't actually read the source to check things are secure.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who guards the guardians?)

Ah, but can we trust governments to protect the rights of citizens to privacy, when the technology is there to monitor them so easily? It's awfully tempting for governments to short-cut constitutional safeguards, such as in this recent USA case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Sta ... %282012%29. Who knows how much of this is going on?

Sure, open source software can be used for illegal and immoral things, and if the software is complicated enough it can be very hard to find out. However, it is indeed possible to find out with enough eyeballs looking at the code, and when the problem is found you can remove it. It also destroys the reputation of the developers who put it in, so they have a huge incentive not do do it. With proprietary software you don't have this.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:36 pm

johnbeetem wrote:
woodinblack wrote: But then [RMS] also called Steve Jobs evil on the day after he died so not much of a fan there either!
I don't think RMS called Steve Jobs evil.
No, you are correct, he just made the implication that he had created a great evil.
johnbeetem wrote:Saying someone has done evil things is not the same as calling someone evil. RMS expands on his remarks in this blog entry: http://stallman.org/archives/2011-jul-o ... ve_Jobs%29, which is well worth reading.
This is true. However, having read many many articles by stallman, I can happily not bother reading more on the basis that I really don't agree with his beliefs or conclusions (not the Jobs / Apple thing, his general beliefs).

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:57 pm

tufty wrote:I'm of two minds about Stallman. On the one hand he can appear to be seriously over-the-top, and yet on the other he's visionary, not only predicting the way things would turn, but also providing a mindset to avert a danger nobody else had spotted.

Simon
RMS is sui generis. He is probably the most intellectually honest person I've ever met. In a world with so much pragmatism, compromise, hypocrisy, and self-delusion, RMS almost seems like he's from another planet. To understand RMS better, I recommend seeing Luis Buñuel's Simon of the Desert. I'm not saying RMS is a saint, but Simón in the movie shares the traits of asceticism, uncompromising fanaticism, and rejection of temptation. (Silvia Pinal plays proprietary software wonderfully). Like RMS, Simón is adept at making people uncomfortable when they see the limits of their own faith and honesty.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:48 pm

MrBunsy wrote:I feel slightly more informed now, even if I still don't entirely understand how Stallman arrived at his conclusions. His software tax idea, and discounting of any economic argument for propriety software make him seem to be very utopian and, frankly, not really on the real world.
I would tend to agree with you there.

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:04 pm

Now this looks like that my post spinned an unwanted but necessary discussion about open source. I could say my say on the topic.

My obsession to open source stems from emotional basis. It's builded in my identity because of what I've experienced.

Long time ago, I started my programming hobby with Visual Basic v.5 and C++, when I got some books and student edition of Visual Studio from my big sister, who had finished from school. Shortly after that I wrote my first programs. The key thing here is that I did not paid for microsoft products, anyway my parents wouldn't have had money to pay for my programming education anyway. From that I slowly slid to open source programming environments and linux. It took quite lot of time to banish the bad habits and helplessness that I had gotten from using visual studio for years.

Certain sort of software, particularly programming environments and operating systems, are so valuable that nobody can pay for what they're worth. Potential of such software may even become exposed only if their sources stay free for anyone to study, review and change. I also, would never deny tools from those who can't purchase them due to golden rule of societies - do what you'd like to be done for yourself.

Besides children not getting what they deserve, there's going to be particular potential for future of computing to stagnate if you close the source of particular software such as kernels, compilers, modelling suites. People will become dependent to your tool, yet they cannot look inside it or change it!

Now at least to the learning aspect you could say kids could just pirate the software. Though that'd be hypocritical statement as the same sort of people who want closed source also want to prevent piracy to increase their profits! Besides, great learners will always need to go and analyse their tools when they get to that. Eventually the tool doesn't do enough, what you want or you are otherwise interested to see how a real programming environment works internally.

I also think piracy is an laudable and praiseworthy act. It deprives hopeless idiots of their 'intellectual property', helps things preserve for future generations, make people happy, spreads information (by definition), ensures freedom of speech (if there ever become a valid way to stop piracy then it'll be subsequently gamed for sinister deeds).

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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:39 am

cheery wrote: Besides children not getting what they deserve, there's going to be particular potential for future of computing to stagnate if you close the source of particular software such as kernels, compilers, modelling suites. People will become dependent to your tool, yet they cannot look inside it or change it!

Now at least to the learning aspect you could say kids could just pirate the software. Though that'd be hypocritical statement as the same sort of people who want closed source also want to prevent piracy to increase their profits! Besides, great learners will always need to go and analyse their tools when they get to that. Eventually the tool doesn't do enough, what you want or you are otherwise interested to see how a real programming environment works internally.

I also think piracy is an laudable and praiseworthy act. It deprives hopeless idiots of their 'intellectual property', helps things preserve for future generations, make people happy, spreads information (by definition), ensures freedom of speech (if there ever become a valid way to stop piracy then it'll be subsequently gamed for sinister deeds).
Crumbs! If only the arguments were so simple then the whole issue would have been wrapped up long ago...

For every Microsoft, Adobe, Apple et al there are thousands of individuals and small companies out there innovating, filling niches, performing research and at the same time trying to pay off student debt / pay the rent / buy hardware for testing and development etc. I absolutely defend their right to guard their intellectual property - it's their livelihoods and if software development becomes financially untenable for them their knowledge and innovation will be lost. Nobody has gained except the freeloaders who stole ther work. Eventually only the the most ruthless big guys may remain - the cartels, the thugs with the best lawyers and the guys with politician friends who are looking for an excuse to introduce draconian anti-piracy laws.

I'm acquainted with a few audio software developers. These are small businesses (one or two people with maybe a spouse handling the accounts, web design, etc), yet they are influencial players within the community. They don't give their source code away, but they do typically provide free (as in beer) tools, share snippets of research / design philosophy, and even help newbies code their first dsp biquad filter. Remember also that a piece of great software isn't just about the algorithm under the hood (which may well be pretty generic), it's about the user interface, stability, prompt updates to those ever-changing architectures, the openness of the developer to feature requests and quality of after-sales support. Obviously, not every small dev. excels at every one of these aspects, but the market is a great leveller / educator here.

I'll also grudgingly suggest that there is a place for the big guys too. Industry standards don't tend to happen without them and standards are important. Proprietary formats are a pita, they create reliance on a particular application (which may become abandonware at any time) and make the free exchange of information more difficult. Sometimes it does go horribly wrong though - I don't thing that anyone (except Adobe) would miss the passing of Flash, yet it's another of the "bad guys" (Apple) that has provided the greatest pressure for change because they didn't want that hoggy pos. on their mobile devices. The ultimate irony really, as Apple is the king of the proprietary format.

So, open source. If the open source community didn't exist then someone would have to create it. Part knowledge repository, part force for change, part social conscience. However, the lack of leadership and any sort of roadmap (no matter how impractical that may seem) is a huge weakness. I guess the term "community" is a misnomer - it's far more nebulous than that. Another weakness is that that too many open-sourcers treat constructive criticism as heresy. If an application doesn't work as it should then say so. It's called a bug report! Surely it's better that something is fixed at source rather than every user having to apply a hack? Bodging causes a huge duplication of effort, the original developer learns nothing and the application undergoes no evolutionary pressure to evolve (or to die and make way for something better).

"Yeah, but we like fiddling around with stuff that doesn't work!"

Fine, if you have the technical ability, the time, the mindset and an independent income. Then the whole computer thing becomes an end in itself. For those who do the computing thing as a means to an end the computer (and the software on it) is a tool. Most people just don't care if e.g. their hardware drivers are open source or not. Functionality is all that matters. There's a possibility that if what you're doing is really niche then you will have to "roll your own", but handing out the source code for your app is no excuse for not writing the app properly in the first place. Always consider the end user!

I tend to judge a piece of hardware / software by what it can do now, not what it may be able to do at some unspecified point in the future. Experience has taught me this. There's obviously a bit of leeway, but be aware that stuff can get abandoned / be made obsolete at any time, or go in an unwanted direction. The track record of the creator is a big factor for me here.

Finally, open source tools for education are a_good_thing for the reasons that you give, but the whole nebulous / lack of support / mend and make do situation has to be dealt with - and that is what the Foundation seem to me to be trying to address. Anyone who disapproves because of the involvement of Broadcom and their closed drivers is entitled to their opinion, but a completely open source solution will never happen. Ever.

hippy
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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:38 am

cheery wrote:I also think piracy is an laudable and praiseworthy act. It deprives hopeless idiots of their 'intellectual property'
Your claimed belief is morally and ethically weak as it fails to recognise any notion of equability or fairness. In fact it's downright offensive towards anyone who believes they should expect rewards for what they produce or recompense for what they have invested in doing that.

It's a brash claim that many will see as equating pirates with simple thieves; you might not be stealing the actual work, just taking copies of it, but you are depriving the owner of that work of the rewards they would have received if legitimately obtained.

It's also quite offensive to me that you believe you have the right to dictate how a work shall be propagated rather than the owner or creator of that work having the right to decide.

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cheery
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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:53 pm

hippy wrote:
cheery wrote:I also think piracy is an laudable and praiseworthy act. It deprives hopeless idiots of their 'intellectual property'
Your claimed belief is morally and ethically weak as it fails to recognise any notion of equability or fairness. In fact it's downright offensive towards anyone who believes they should expect rewards for what they produce or recompense for what they have invested in doing that.
Anyone who believes they should expect rewards for what they produce or recompense is a hopeless idiot. Capitalistic forces are driven by other factors as in what you can get sold and to whom. There's recompensation only from things you trade successfully. Every investment doesn't shed gold. Also, there's many other things than gold in this world.
hippy wrote:It's a brash claim that many will see as equating pirates with simple thieves; you might not be stealing the actual work, just taking copies of it, but you are depriving the owner of that work of the rewards they would have received if legitimately obtained.
You could equate open source enthusiast with simple thieves as well; you might not be stealing the actual work, just making it useless in the first place, and the owner is deprived from rewards he might have otherwise retrieved if there were no people creating freed software.

There are many things in copyright that help you at catching profits. Though it's pretty much fighting against windmills and societies if you try to apply it in web to piracy and derived works.
hippy wrote:It's also quite offensive to me that you believe you have the right to dictate how a work shall be propagated rather than the owner or creator of that work having the right to decide.
Should a third party have control over what my computer can and can't copy? That'd be huge opportunity for all sort of control freaks and hegemony seekers. So huge in fact that I find it highly offensive. It's not about who dictates but about whether there should be control over it in the first place.

hippy
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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:53 pm

cheery wrote:It's not about who dictates but about whether there should be control over it in the first place.
And that's decided collective by society and enshrined in laws. I'm all for people arguing society has got it wrong, that the law is an ass, but that doesn't make your own position or solution necessarily right.

Beyond that we have rules; we are heading into the deeply philosophical and fundamental issues of societies and their natures. That's all good for debate but we have the societies and laws that we have and that's the framework we currently all have to exist within.

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cheery
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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:29 pm

Actually, I don't feel society has it wrong. It's a mix-up of opinions and viewpoints. The law and society are both in inconsistency about copyright. So much of a mess that I rather ignore it all mostly.

I tend to think of the internet as a world-wide-library when it comes to piracy. Now would it be good that corporations would tear down libraries because it's bad for their business? I keep gravitating towards the opinion that sharing is caring, even despite the fact that people are sharing so much information these days that they can't decipher it all.

I keep thinking these things will change in future. Big companies are pushing it towards more restrictions and lack of freedom. The society in whole seems to be doing the polar opposite. You can easily guess which side is stronger here. There's been crisis in democracy before but they have turned out somewhat okay always. You don't get to build perfect monopolies/dictatorships because there's always someone pissing in your plans.

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abishur
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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:38 pm

cheery wrote:I also think piracy is an laudable and praiseworthy act. It deprives hopeless idiots of their 'intellectual property'
Without commenting on open/closed source, I will say that we've taken a very strong anti-breaking the law stance when it comes to the use of the R-pi. While I hold no illusions that *any* computer device can and eventually will be use for illegal purposes, I do ask that you don't actively promote the breaking of laws on the forums.

It is possible to discuss the real lunacy of certain anti-piracy laws without actively encouraging piracy ;-)
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

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DexOS
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Re: Open/Closed or Somewhere-in-between source?

Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:00 pm

abishur wrote:
cheery wrote:I also think piracy is an laudable and praiseworthy act. It deprives hopeless idiots of their 'intellectual property'
Without commenting on open/closed source, I will say that we've taken a very strong anti-breaking the law stance when it comes to the use of the R-pi. While I hold no illusions that *any* computer device can and eventually will be use for illegal purposes, I do ask that you don't actively promote the breaking of laws on the forums.

It is possible to discuss the real lunacy of certain anti-piracy laws without actively encouraging piracy ;-)
My understanding from hearing Eben’s talk from Hacker News London, is that the Open source hardware movement promotes breaking the law, because every electronic product needs CE compliance.
How much Open source hardware is ? and are not the original designers of the schematics responsible for CE compliance, this is yet to be tested.

Also it would not of been mist, by the darkside that the R-PI would make a very cheap portable penetration testing box, that could be left in place gathering information.
Batteries not included, Some assembly required.

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