Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...


Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
From: Richard Wentk (richard@skydancer.com)
Date: Sun Nov 13 2005 - 09:49:29 EST


At 11:31 13/11/2005, you wrote:
>Absolutely - as far as software is concerned, open-source is invaribly the
>better way, both ethically and pragmatically.

Except that open source is mostly just a synonym for a collection of
programmer's sand pits that are rarely even half as good as the
professionally produced products they're supposed to be replacing.

PD is an excellent case in point. It offers about 25% of Max/MSP. The
'free' part is nice, but really - you're missing out on a lot by not
getting the real thing.

Besides, a rather frightening number of OpenSource projects do what PD did,
which is stall once the original designer and innovator loses interest in
them. Also the 'free' ethic has contributed in a significant way to beliefs
about how software and IP should be 'liberated' from huge corporations.
Which is nonsensical, because for a project like Max/MSP, the only
'corporation' that's suffering is a small one that's more a labour of love
than a headline business with some lumbering moron as a CEO.

So while I'm no fan of huge corporations, I've yet to see any evidence that
OpenSource projects offer *users* - not programmers or web geeks, but end
users - a realistic alternative on the desktop. If there is an ethical and
pragmatic alternative, OpenSource doesn't seem to be it.

Richard



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