Linked by David Adams on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 03:53 UTC, submitted by fsmag
GNU, GPL, Open Source We are heading towards a world where we no longer own the hardware we buy -- and there is no point in having free software if you can't own your hardware.
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RE: Is it good or bad?
by Zifre on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 17:23 UTC in reply to "Is it good or bad?"
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

First, whenever I say free software in this post, I mean as in beer.

But I'm also happy software is less and less free as beer.

I don't think this is true. I'm pretty sure that more software is becoming free. Either way, it doesn't really matter how many projects are free, just what amount of software usage is free software. I'm pretty sure that people are getting more software for free now than before. Even on the iPhone, I think that the vast majority of purchases are free apps (and very few purchases are greater than $5).

And if software really is getting more expensive, maybe that explains the increases in piracy?

but it makes no sense at all to share it with end users.

It may not make sense to you, because you want to make money. But the user wants to get as good quality software as possible for as little price as possible. Thus, users prefer free software, unless it is bad quality. And in a world were free software is abundant, selling your software is often (but certainly not always) a great way to make sure that nobody ever uses it.

Also, all of those developers were "just" end users at one point. If they couldn't freely experiment with software development, how many of them do you think would be programmers today?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Is it good or bad?
by vivainio on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 19:46 in reply to "RE: Is it good or bad?"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

If they couldn't freely experiment with software development, how many of them do you think would be programmers today?


Being able to freely experiment with software development is a new phenomenon, that mostly started in the 90`s (for normal people).

I had to pirate my Turbo Pascal, you insensitive clod ;-).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Is it good or bad?
by westlake on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 20:35 in reply to "RE[2]: Is it good or bad?"
westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

Being able to freely experiment with software development is a new phenomenon, that mostly started in the 90`s (for normal people).

Normal people were writing - and publishing - software for the eight bit micro in the late-seventies and early eighties.

Atari even had an "app store" for hobbyists writing commercially viable games in Atari BASIC and assembly.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Is it good or bad?
by nt_jerkface on Tue 3rd Aug 2010 02:33 in reply to "RE: Is it good or bad?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Thus, users prefer free software, unless it is bad quality. And in a world were free software is abundant, selling your software is often (but certainly not always) a great way to make sure that nobody ever uses it.


You're focusing too much on mobile and even on the iphone the best games are 1 or 2 bucks. Only a total lame ass has a problem with coughing up a few bucks for a game. People in NA and Europe have no problem paying 3 bucks for an espresso so I think we need some pricing context here.


Also, all of those developers were "just" end users at one point. If they couldn't freely experiment with software development, how many of them do you think would be programmers today?


Mobile devices can be locked down and desktops can be used for development. Most developers would likely prefer it this way if it meant having proper DRM that eliminated piracy like the PS3. FSF demands are out of alignment with most users and developers. And by FSF I really mean Stallman.
http://www.jfplayhouse.com/2010/07/richard-stallman-answers-your-qu...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Is it good or bad?
by Zifre on Tue 3rd Aug 2010 12:24 in reply to "RE[2]: Is it good or bad?"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Only a total lame ass has a problem with coughing up a few bucks for a game.

True, but that describes 90% of the population. I've paid for many games on my iPod Touch, but most of my friends with iOS devices have 100s of free apps and 2-10 paid apps. So my guess is that the average purchase price for an app in the App Store is ~$.05.

Mobile devices can be locked down and desktops can be used for development.

Why do we need this dichotomy?

Most developers would likely prefer it this way if it meant having proper DRM that eliminated piracy like the PS3.

By most developers I think you mean you. You do realize that the PS3 is pretty much the only DRM that has worked, and I really hope you aren't suggesting that is a good model to follow. I really don't want to see a world where you have to pay big money just to develop a little game (or even $100...).

FSF demands are out of alignment with most users and developers. And by FSF I really mean Stallman.

True. RMS sometimes reminds me of the fundamentalist Christians.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Is it good or bad?
by lemur2 on Tue 3rd Aug 2010 12:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Is it good or bad?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

FSF demands are out of alignment with most users and developers.


Here is the only demand that FSF actually makes:
http://www.fsf.org/working-together/demand/
"We demand software freedom now".

Here is what they mean by their term "software freedom":
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program's users have the four essential freedoms:

The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

A program is free software if users have all of these freedoms.


What user could possibly object to this?

As for developers ... the FSF makes absolutely no demand that developers must make free software. Their only demand is that developers are ALLOWED to make free software if those said developers want to.

And by FSF I really mean Stallman.


Stallman is not the FSF.

Here is the website of the FSF, check it out:
http://www.fsf.org/

Here is who they are:
http://www.fsf.org/about/
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users.

As our society grows more dependent on computers, the software we run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology we use in our homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for our individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us.


It is about defending the rights of computer users, nothing else.



I just thought I would quote some URLs bring a bit of reality, sanity and balance to the picture.

Here are some Free Software programs that everyone can enjoy:
http://www.fsf.org/working-together/gang/
and here is more:
http://directory.fsf.org/

Fill your boots. Enjoy the benefits of Free Software. It won't bite you.

Edited 2010-08-03 12:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4