[svlug] Files That Will Not Delete

Rick Moen rick at svlug.org
Thu Nov 6 06:53:40 PST 2014


Scott wrote:

> Eh, I read them with a "grain of salt" since I can neither deny nor
> confirm the poster's _real_ experience with said process or product.

There's a saying in science circles:  Data is not the plural of anecdote.

Gathering testimonials is an extremely common and extremely unreliable and
misleading way of attempting to learn about the world (but will garner you a
fine collection of Bass-o-Matics).

> However, I have some familiarity with those who would make claims
> against any product that is not open source. 

The only thing that can be said with complete confidence about any product
that is not open source is that (tautologically) it may not be lawfully
forked without separate permission.  

Logically, proprietary code divides into two classes: codebases with public
access to sourcecode ('viewable source') and codebases without.  (The
much-beloved old graphics utiilty 'xv', long a Linux standby, was an example
of the former.  Gibson's SpinRite is in the latter category, whose
consequences include it being something of a black box.  In contrast to open
source and viewable source, it can be inspected only from the outside.  (In
that regard, it doesn't help that Gibson and GRC's technical descriptions 
tend to be more than a little vague.)

Getting back to 'some familiarity with those who would make claims against
any product that is not open source', don't forget that deciding particular
speakers are merely biased and should be disregarded is yet another
extremely common and extremely unreliable and misleading way of attempting
to learn about the world (that might garner you a fine collection of
anti-authority suspicions).


Angling back to the point:  In comparing dd_rescue with SpinRite (for
example), the user can have total control over the former, and you know
exactly what it's doing.  With SpinRite, all we have is vague marketing
materials and Gibson's surrounding aerosol of handwavium.





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