[svlug] Open Source Criticism Questions

Linuxcpa@netscape.net Linuxcpa at netscape.net
Thu Aug 21 15:53:59 PDT 2003

Daniel Howard <dan_howard at yahoo.com> wrote:

>> answers that are just as asinine as the question.
>> Some of your questions are laid out that way and
>> border upon asinine in my opinion.
>This seems unnecessary insulting.

The motivation behind this question was to determine if closed source advocates welcome the same mistreatment that open source programers do.


> Although you may have found my questions insulting on some level,
> the aggressiveness served a purpose

We all have our motivations and various means by which to accomplish our goals. :D

>and applied equally to both open source and commercial software.  It was
>meant to test the limits of acceptable criticism, not the average or desired >level of criticism.

What other questions do you have about your world of make believe ?

Please, share with us.

>> In my opinion, if you have no connection with the
>> Open Source Community, but you pay for Open Source
>> software, and that software does not fit your needs
>> - but you were deceived into believing that the
>> software had features that you desire, then it is
>> fair to criticise whoever deceived you and sold it
>> to you.
>This is implying facts from questions.

This is implying that the decision making process does not lie outside your world of make believe.

>> If you are part of the Community and have the
>> ability to merely modify  - and therefore not create
>> or purchase an existing program to fit your needs, -
>> then the criticism is unfair, and only a reflection
>> upon one's lack of initiative.
>Part of my doubts has been my experience with this

> Making a patch and getting it into an open
>source project is not simple and is time-consuming.

You've done this ?

>You have to get the maintainer's attention and jump
>through his hoops; some legitimate but some not.
>Dictatorships, even benevolent ones, have their

That's not very specific, but then again, it is your modus operandi.

>> I will say that this is a political issue, so in
>> fairness, I refer you to two sources of basic
>> information that you need to make an educated
>Thank you for the info but I've know about the Open
>Source Initiative and GNU for years.  I've also
>extensively read about them.  I'm quite aware of ESR's
>site and Stallman's free-as-in-speech-not-as-in-beer

Dogma ?  

I _bought_ the version of Linux I am using now....what DOGMA?

Are we back in the world of make believe ?

>Sadly, my practical experience with open source simply
>doesn't jive with ESR's theories.

Who said anything about ESR ?

>The theories sound great and I sure wish that they worked.  
>Stallman tends to fall more under terminology and
>dogma.  I'm not sure how that applies here.

Freedom may be petty dogma to you, but to me, it is something I will fight for.

>> 1. Core functionality in which there is no dispute
>> as to what is better
>> 2. Graphical User Interfaces that do not add to core
>> functionality.
>I'd have no problem rating a program better if a
>command line interface was more natural and useful
>than its GUI.  Perhaps if I say that I only call
>something a feature if it provides value; minor
>features provide minor value and major features
>provide major value.  A GUI might be a major, a minor
>or not a feature at all.  I'm not sure what we get by
>making such a distinction.

Well that's the trick, you aren't very specific about your world of make believe.

>> I have found that most of the open source
>> programmers I have been in contact with are very
>> kind people who do not hesitate to offer
>> help, or correct a problem.
>I agree but that doesn't make open source any better
>than closed source.

Yeah but it still is.

> Lots of closed source people are nice people, too.

>Most open source people work at
>closed source companies in their day jobs.  Still,
>being nice does not indicate a good model for
>development nor does it indicate quality source code.

Yeah, but its still better.

>If open source programmers are not accountable for
>their work, that's fine and good to know.  But, it
>does raise doubts in my mind.

Lets see you claim to be well versed in Open Source and GNU, but you didn't know this very basic piece of information prior to now ?

You sound credible.

>> Can you hire someone instead? Yes
>> Can this hired person make the software exactly like
>> you want it? In theory yes.
>In theory, yes.  Again, I like the theory.  In
>practice, I'd probably switch to different software or
>live with defect, rather than do this.

So why are you asking us questions ?

>Even Google runs standard Red Hat, not their own custom Linux and
>they have 1000s of machines.  (They used to have their
>own Linux but they gave it up.)  Customization isn't
>realistic for most people or businesses, I think.

Not if a professional organization backs up the customization.

>> They do this stuff to challenge themselves to a new
>> level of greatness.
>No problem.  I don't have anything against open source
>although I feel that I've given it too much credit in
>the past and should be more skeptical going forward.
>I'm most interested in forming a policy that fits with
>open source provides.  3 months ago, I had a different
>opinion about what open source provides than I have now.

I feel sorry for your readers.

James Leone

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