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 Post subject: Re: Stand-alone workstations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:29 am 
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iansjack wrote:
alexfru wrote:
And we have some odd psychology (or is it culture?) as well. If something costs us nothing or nearly nothing, we often don't take it seriously enough. We don't consider the effort or the cost (material or emotional) of the provider of that (nearly) free thing or service nor the effect of us not returning a favor (in form of returning borrowed things, attending free events that we promised we would or actually studying and practicing when receiving free instruction). Things become sadder when you next realize two things. One, you have to charge people something to make them think a bit further ahead and weigh the losses against the gains. Another, you now owe taxes and the relevant paperwork for something you would've gladly done for free had it not been for the quirks of our reasoning about free stuff. As if you didn't try hard enough and dreamed of this extra responsibility and lost time.

If I read you right you seem to be saying that public libraries and open source software shouldn't work. And yet - both do!


LOL! But I don't think you're correctly generalizing or transferring what I said to those different areas.

Nonetheless, open source software often enough to notice doesn't work or works poorly (just as non-open source software!). It has its own specific problems among the others.

You could also consider the "giver's" side of the problem. Some think thusly and not without a reason: "I do what I want to and I'm willing to share it. If anybody doesn't like it, they're free to contribute improvements or make their own (or fork). They are in no position to demand or force me do something. They're not my employer, I'm not their employee, there are no obligations or incentives and I've only got so much time to work on the project. Therefore, *I* decide the what, the when and the how." IOW, just because someone got free software they won't necessarily get free bugfixes or free features they want when they want (if ever).

And then there's fragmentation of open source (those forks when people decide to make their own). I can't say it's great to have to track, port and backport changes or have, for example, a bunch of incompatible distros of Linux, BSDs and so on.


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 Post subject: Re: Stand-alone workstations
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:15 pm 
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alexfru wrote:
And then there's fragmentation of open source (those forks when people decide to make their own). I can't say it's great to have to track, port and backport changes or have, for example, a bunch of incompatible distros of Linux, BSDs and so on.

This is a problem I once talked about a long time ago in a blog. With open source, there's often a lack of direction. It's difficult to simply tell people, "no". Everyone has there own ideas about how something should work; a lot of them really great ideas, but they're incompatible. Part of the reason audio on GNU/Linux is such a mess is that people refuse to port things and instead make wrappers implementing things the way they feel they should be. As a result, the implementation becomes fragmented across several projects, or the project itself becomes a mess of hacks trying to get incompatible things working together.

IMO, wrappers are fine for personal projects, but they should never be part of a public library. It makes everything crufty and introduces painful dependency chains.


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