[svlug] Re: Open Source Criticism Questions

Jeffrey Siegal jbs at quiotix.com
Thu Aug 21 15:40:04 PDT 2003


Daniel Howard wrote:
>>find on Freshmeat.  But then, most proprietary
>>software is also crappy, it's just that the crap
>>tends to show up in different areas.
> 
> Is this fair?  VMWare seems like a pretty good product
> to me.  Partition Magic seems pretty good.  Adobe
> Acrobat.  Dreamweaver.  SoftICE.  Purify.

I think it is fair.  Most of everything is crap.  Most food is crap. 
Most music, movies, etc. is crap.  It is a lot easier to produce crap 
than something good.  And I don't disagere that at least some of the 
products you mentioned are pretty good.

To be sure, according to this reasoning, most free (lunch) open source 
software is crap, too, and in some sense that is the case.  However, 
there are two reasons this is different from proprietary software:  1) 
When you get something for free, you don't have a right to expect any 
particular level of quality, and 2) for the msot part, there is nobody 
promoting crappy open source projects -- word-of-mouth promotion means 
if they don't accomplish something of value, or at least have the 
promise of doing so, you'll probably never hear of them (as opposed to 
something like _Gigli_)






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