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

Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
From: Steven Rice (
Date: Sun Nov 13 2005 - 14:05:46 EST


To take the example of microsoft office vs. OpenOffice, I've used both
also, and I'd summarize the difference between the two by saying that
Microsoft crashes constantly, and openoffice doesn't.

While I've only used OO for a year and a half or so, MS Word is one of
those programs that crashes every other time you use it, because it's
a memory hog (when are they going top fix it? It's only been.... what,
10/15 years?), and OO has yet to crash even once for me. In terms of
features, as far as I can tell the do exactly the same things, though
OO has some trivial options that microsoft doesn't. Furthermore, MO
has compatability problems cross-platform (by design), and open office

But, to digital audio: There certainly are bad open source programs,
as well as commerical ones, and MAX/MSP vs. PD perhaps is a good
example of your take on open source. Audacity and Ardour are buggy,
also. But as far as _advances_ in the digital audio world, how many
have come out of IRCAM, and various other public insitutions, and how
many come from corporations? As far as I can tell, most important
things have their inception with bright individuals and then get
picked up but corporations (like MAX). However, as far as I can see
the only thing that corporations have been able to do well is take an
idea that has been floating around and take the time to remove bugs,
like ProTools, DP, Logic and MAX/MSP.

It would be something if a bunch of people in their spare time could
come up with something close to what commercial programmers work for
years on, but the most hilarious thing is that a bunch of so-called
programmer's sandtraps sometimes even function better than the
commerical alternative. It's a testament to the inefficiency of the
commerical programming world. Because (Microsoft Office and Pro Tools
are a good example of this) corporations become preoccupied with how
to hide things from users and make sure that people don't copy their
software, how to choke out their competitors,etc., none of which do
anything for the quality of the program. So, these programs invariably
go downhill at a certain point. It feels like ProTools is trending
this way now, with all of their recent soundcard garbage.


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