Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 6th Aug 2006 17:30 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Plenty of loud argument has ensued over whether binary-only drivers belong in an operating system based on open source philosophies. David Chisnall examines the reasoning on both sides.
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The attitude towards closed source made me consider Linux less of an alternative to Windows. I don't think an OS should be so limiting, and I certainly don't like the attitude: the source is there, tweak it to your needs. Not all people are programmers, or even if they are maybe they don't feel like developing, don't know how, or don't have the time.

First I was inclined to be very vehement about the Open Source philosophy, but than I've come to terms with the fact that it's not my bussines to judge what some people do with their spare time. It's generous of them to make the software available for me to use if I find it suitable to my needs.

I believe that core Linux developers are more interested by ethics that market share. If you look at it in this light you can decide for yourself if you care more about ideals or about pragmatism. I, for one, have chosen the latter, because I can't afford the time to tweak my Linux system just to get some basic stuff done. It's harsh, but true.

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jaylaa Member since:

Why do people act like the ability to hack, code and tweak their system is only a benifit to programmers or others who know the ins and outs of their system?

If those core Linux developers weren't so adamant about all aspects of the code being free then neither they nor the other programmers of the world would be able to freely hack, code and tweak software for your or my computer. The more stuff that stays closed the worse it is for us because it means many less developers working on it for us.

And when choosing an open solution that doesn't work so well over something closed that works now it only seems like an ethical choice. But years from now when that closed code is no longer around, or is no longer free (as in beer) and the free code has been perfected and is steadily improving, the decision to go with Free software will be seen for the pragmatic choice that it is.

Maybe for you it's practical to go with what works now, on your personal computer (I admit, I do it too), but it is not practical for any of us for the developers to just go with the working closed source solution.

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