You spend

You spend $0 to get some semi-working software with limited functionality and really lousy documentation. This is okay for an end-user with too much time of his hands (read: basement geek), but for companies you might end up spending silly amounts of money on support. No wonder, if you're not earning money from your software, it makes sense to cripple it enough that people will have to buy support from you.


Except for the ?$0?, you could be talking about Microsoft software in general. Microsoft was not an innovator; they were copycats that sold (rushed and therefore buggy) software with less functionality but lower prices. GPL?d software is in general the same, minus the bugs, and free.


Yay, the wonderful "read the source" mentality. Try figuring out a non-trivial XML format without any proper documentation of it... Not that XML is a bad thing, it just isn't the holy grail. Especially not for huge data sets...


Well, when you live in a world where people upgrade to the newest version of Microsoft Word, just so their documents can be compatible, XML is very important for a developer that would even consider trying to compete with any Office application.


I think they would. It's nice being able to run on other architectures than just IA-32.
to get some semi-working software with limited functionality and really lousy documentation. This is okay for an end-user with too much time of his hands (read: basement geek), but for companies you might end up spending silly amounts of money on support. No wonder, if you're not earning money from your software, it makes sense to cripple it enough that people will have to buy support from you.


Except for the ?

You spend $0 to get some semi-working software with limited functionality and really lousy documentation. This is okay for an end-user with too much time of his hands (read: basement geek), but for companies you might end up spending silly amounts of money on support. No wonder, if you're not earning money from your software, it makes sense to cripple it enough that people will have to buy support from you.


Except for the ?$0?, you could be talking about Microsoft software in general. Microsoft was not an innovator; they were copycats that sold (rushed and therefore buggy) software with less functionality but lower prices. GPL?d software is in general the same, minus the bugs, and free.


Yay, the wonderful "read the source" mentality. Try figuring out a non-trivial XML format without any proper documentation of it... Not that XML is a bad thing, it just isn't the holy grail. Especially not for huge data sets...


Well, when you live in a world where people upgrade to the newest version of Microsoft Word, just so their documents can be compatible, XML is very important for a developer that would even consider trying to compete with any Office application.


I think they would. It's nice being able to run on other architectures than just IA-32.
?, you could be talking about Microsoft software in general. Microsoft was not an innovator; they were copycats that sold (rushed and therefore buggy) software with less functionality but lower prices. GPL?d software is in general the same, minus the bugs, and free.


Yay, the wonderful "read the source" mentality. Try figuring out a non-trivial XML format without any proper documentation of it... Not that XML is a bad thing, it just isn't the holy grail. Especially not for huge data sets...


Well, when you live in a world where people upgrade to the newest version of Microsoft Word, just so their documents can be compatible, XML is very important for a developer that would even consider trying to compete with any Office application.


I think they would. It's nice being able to run on other architectures than just IA-32.


Without changes, C and C++ programs can easily be recompiled for any windows platform. Programs ported in such a manner can easily be made to run on any windows system. Obviously Microsoft?s agenda with .NET isn?t solely to do with Windows -> Windows ports. .NET, because it is interpreted, allows one to write programs that can (potentially) run on any system, without even recompilation.

All I?m saying is that a bit of competition is a good thing. Microsoft has no competition and this enables them to release software that is inferior. How do you compete with such a large company? If you try to develop commercial software that takes revenue (or control of the industry) away from Microsoft, you will most likely fail (Netscape). Free software (GPL or not) has been the only recent competitor to Microsoft.

The fact is that most of the feasible alternatives to Microsoft software have been under the GPL, and people have selected to work under the GPL for many good reasons. One of those reasons being because it allows software to be extended by the community as a whole.

This community benefit of GPL makes it perfect for large projects, such as operating systems and office suites, where an individual, or small group of individuals cannot possibly produce results that can satisfy the majority of users.

Of course there are many areas where GPL is a bad thing. I agree that there should be a choice for any developer to stay away from GPL.
Posted on 2004-02-29 06:00:10 by nullvoid

Except for the ?

Except for the ?$0?, you could be talking about Microsoft software in general. Microsoft was not an innovator; they were copycats that sold (rushed and therefore buggy) software with less functionality but lower prices. GPL?d software is in general the same, minus the bugs, and free.

microsoft has less functionality and more bugs? *grin*. While the bug thing might be semi-true, the bugs that are around today usually aren't too bad. Compare that to the linux world where there's often trouble getting even large packages like berkely db to build properly... 'make' process shitting itself on db-4.2.52 if configured with --enable-dump185, and not producing the header files stuff like the subversion version control system requires. So much for the joys and benefits of open sores.

A fun little article that shows both how lame ESR and linux are: http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horror.html


Well, when you live in a world where people upgrade to the newest version of Microsoft Word, just so their documents can be compatible, XML is very important for a developer that would even consider trying to compete with any Office application.

I'm not saying XML is a bad thing, just that a lot of open-source programmers are going to use it as an excuse to write even less documentation. For an office application, XML can do reasonably well since you probably aren't working with *huge* datasets - I still prefer a decent binary format where only changes are written to disk, though. And consider a thing like medical data formats - like the 'voxel' information used in CAT scans whose datasets are huge enough without being in ASCII representation.


Without changes, C and C++ programs can easily be recompiled for any windows platform.

If they're well-written. Most aren't, and there's a lot of code out there that isn't 64-bit clean. .NET makes this a lot easier. Besides, it's not interpreted, it's JITed - and can (theoretically, at least) be stored in native form on the target system.


All I?m saying is that a bit of competition is a good thing. Microsoft has no competition and this enables them to release software that is inferior.

Competition is good, but the reason Microsoft has no competition is that everybody *else* releases software that is inferior. When faced with utther crap like the Real player, is it any wonder people stick with media player?

Again, I'm not really opposed to free/open software, but I think the GPL license is an evil thing from hell. GPL is not the only free/open license, and linux is not the only alternative to windows.


I agree that there should be a choice for any developer to stay away from GPL.
?, you could be talking about Microsoft software in general. Microsoft was not an innovator; they were copycats that sold (rushed and therefore buggy) software with less functionality but lower prices. GPL?d software is in general the same, minus the bugs, and free.

microsoft has less functionality and more bugs? *grin*. While the bug thing might be semi-true, the bugs that are around today usually aren't too bad. Compare that to the linux world where there's often trouble getting even large packages like berkely db to build properly... 'make' process shitting itself on db-4.2.52 if configured with --enable-dump185, and not producing the header files stuff like the subversion version control system requires. So much for the joys and benefits of open sores.

A fun little article that shows both how lame ESR and linux are: http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horror.html


Well, when you live in a world where people upgrade to the newest version of Microsoft Word, just so their documents can be compatible, XML is very important for a developer that would even consider trying to compete with any Office application.

I'm not saying XML is a bad thing, just that a lot of open-source programmers are going to use it as an excuse to write even less documentation. For an office application, XML can do reasonably well since you probably aren't working with *huge* datasets - I still prefer a decent binary format where only changes are written to disk, though. And consider a thing like medical data formats - like the 'voxel' information used in CAT scans whose datasets are huge enough without being in ASCII representation.


Without changes, C and C++ programs can easily be recompiled for any windows platform.

If they're well-written. Most aren't, and there's a lot of code out there that isn't 64-bit clean. .NET makes this a lot easier. Besides, it's not interpreted, it's JITed - and can (theoretically, at least) be stored in native form on the target system.


All I?m saying is that a bit of competition is a good thing. Microsoft has no competition and this enables them to release software that is inferior.

Competition is good, but the reason Microsoft has no competition is that everybody *else* releases software that is inferior. When faced with utther crap like the Real player, is it any wonder people stick with media player?

Again, I'm not really opposed to free/open software, but I think the GPL license is an evil thing from hell. GPL is not the only free/open license, and linux is not the only alternative to windows.


I agree that there should be a choice for any developer to stay away from GPL.

That's very hard, due to the infectuous nature of GPL. A lot of developers seem to use it because "It's cool", "We hate micro$oft", "I need an open license and urm, GPL is open" - ie, not understanding the consequences of GPL.

Btw, it's funny how a lot of the really anti-MS pro-linux people seem to not know *anything* about windows versions after 9x... I have enough linux experience to know that it has it's uses, but damned if I want to be stuck on an OS where I spend a lot of time getting stuff running, instead of getting actual work done.
Posted on 2004-02-29 09:27:41 by f0dder
You spend
You spend $0 to get some semi-working software with limited functionality and really lousy documentation.
to get some semi-working software with limited functionality and really lousy documentation.


Well wasting $0 for good documented flaws is better than $500 for documented "user friendlyness" and undocumented bugs...

That's very hard, due to the infectuous nature of GPL./quote]
As a programmer you have the choice not not use/interface with GPL'd code -- GPL doesn't infect (spread with out intervetation), it's selected (the programmer chooses to use it directly or use libs wich has a license that states that GPL must be used - if you don't like it, don't use that lib (period) )
Posted on 2004-03-01 04:20:37 by scientica
Don't put User Friendlyness in quotes, because that's what you get with windows - and, as things have been for a while, not with linux. I can have my 12-year-old kid brother install applications and games under windows. Hell, he could even install windows himself. Ask an average non-tech user to do the same thing with linux? :rolleyes:


Well wasting

Well wasting $0 for good documented flaws is better than $500 for documented "user friendlyness" and undocumented bugs...

Ahem, linux is largely undocumented. And in some cases, the documentation is almost worse than no documentation, since it's often incorrect. The software quality is worse than microsoft products most of the time. And as for "undocumented bugs"? Ever heard of the knowledge base? Centralized descriptions of a lot of bugs and shortcomings, and often how to fix or workaround.


As a programmer you have the choice not not use/interface with GPL'd code -- GPL doesn't infect (spread with out intervetation), it's selected (the programmer chooses to use it directly or use libs wich has a license that states that GPL must be used - if you don't like it, don't use that lib (period) )
for good documented flaws is better than 0 for documented "user friendlyness" and undocumented bugs...

Ahem, linux is largely undocumented. And in some cases, the documentation is almost worse than no documentation, since it's often incorrect. The software quality is worse than microsoft products most of the time. And as for "undocumented bugs"? Ever heard of the knowledge base? Centralized descriptions of a lot of bugs and shortcomings, and often how to fix or workaround.


As a programmer you have the choice not not use/interface with GPL'd code -- GPL doesn't infect (spread with out intervetation), it's selected (the programmer chooses to use it directly or use libs wich has a license that states that GPL must be used - if you don't like it, don't use that lib (period) )

You don't really HAVE a choice when programming for linux. Except if you're going to write everything from scratch, but that's not exactly very productive. GPL is tyranny. The ultimate goal of it is, of course, to eventually force all software to be 'free' (free as in freeloaders paradise). If I'm going to spend five years getting a comp.sci. degree, do you think I want to make a living doing customer support? No, I want to make a living writing code.

As for infectuous, it sure as hell is. Once your program touches any GPL'ed code, it's tainted, and will carry the disease with it.

What do you think the public reaction would have been if microsoft had forced all programs using the WIN32 API to be freeware? Or similar silly restrictions? There's a lot more freedom developing for windows, than operating systems where you are largely forced to use GPL libraries.
Posted on 2004-03-01 09:12:55 by f0dder
Ah... Neverending GPL/linux holy war.

I just hope that linux newbies are informed rather than indoctrinated. If people know the viral intention of GPL and still use it, it is OK. That would be their political statement in the form of licensing. At least, I don't have a problem with that. I just don't use them. (I'd rather pay money than my freedom with my code.) But, it is simply wrong when someone says GPL is "free" and "not viral". Quoting Hiroshimator in this thread, "Maybe you should actually read the license once?"

Reparaphrasing f0dder, GPL and commercial lincenses result in the same thing. They both make others to rewrite from scratch if the source code should be free. How does GPL benefit the "community" when it forces the reinvention of the wheel? Fortunately, there has not been any innovative (and/or interesting) GPL'ed code that forces others to reinvent the wheel, yet. But, who knows? Companies may release their (currently binary-free or even sold at price) linux kernel module under GPL as they are supposed to. Embedded linux companies may release the modification as they are supposed to. GCC may be the best C compiler in the world in the near future.

Quoting JMZ (of XEmacs/Netscape/Mozilla fame), "Linux is free as long as your time is worth nothing." He's been flamed for this, but it seems that linux cannot convince him otherwise after several years.
Posted on 2004-03-02 18:57:17 by Starless

GCC may be the best C compiler in the world in the near future.

I want to see that before I belive it ;) - on x86 anyway. Would be nice though, a decent free compiler. With an advanced linker. Then again, it's probably the IDE+documentation+support you pay most for with stuff like vs.net, and those suck under linux.

Nice quote by JMZ btw, great to see an opensource coder admit this ;)
Posted on 2004-03-07 15:32:47 by f0dder
I want to see that before I belive it ;) - on x86 anyway.

:sweat: Maybe I needed to add <sarcasm> tag to clarify what I meant. GPL people let non-GPL linux kernel modification slide and bark at others. If they want to be license cops, they should be thorough like Theo. (I'm not saying Theo is right, but I respect his enthusiasm for free software.) Oh, BTW, GCC is the best on 386, not because it improved itself tremendously over time, but because nobody else supports 386 now. I believe GCC will become the best on Pentium (original) in 10 years. No doubt about it. But, do I want to keep my already almost 10-year old Pentium another 10 years to prove that? :grin:

Would be nice though, a decent free compiler.

Well, Intel's linux binary is excellent and free (for non-commercial use). You know that. Yet, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Watcom had been released free before 2000.

Nice quote by JMZ btw, great to see an opensource coder admit this ;)

It is fairly well-known. It dates back to the mid-late 90's linux boom days. But, you may be more careful not to equate open source to linux. That is one of undesirable side effects of the linux boom. "Open source" is a tradition in Unix world (sometimes even extended to VMS world), not something invented by linux. I would say, he commented on linux as a long time Unix user. He has nothing to admit because he has never been involved in linux, except for several trial installation which led to the quote. :)
Posted on 2004-03-08 01:29:49 by Starless

Well, Intel's linux binary is excellent and free (for non-commercial use). You know that. Yet, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Watcom had been released free before 2000.

Yep, but non-commercial and linux-only doesn't really do the trick for me ;). I believe the compiler has a fair & affordable price though... 9 might seem a bit "ouch", but it's not very bad if you do coding for a living. 0 for a student license, but since that's for noncommercial use only, you might as well use GCC or something else.

As for Watcom... have any major improvements been done on it since the opensource release? Otherwise, it's a compiler with very lacking C++ support and a poor optimizer (by todays standards).


But, you may be more careful not to equate open source to linux.

Yes, sorry - and not to equate opensource and GPL, or free software and GPL (which is an even worse equation, as it's plainly incorrect).
Posted on 2004-03-08 07:55:21 by f0dder