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Old 12-17-2006, 07:35 PM   #1
xjlittle
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DISCUSSION: Free and Non-Free, Developers and Users


This thread is to discuss the article titled:
Free and Non-Free, Developers and Users

Quote:
Free and Non-Free, Developers and Users What do Linux users want? What do Linux developers want? What do all Linux distributions want? Let's examine the first question. What does any user of any technology product want? They want it to do what everyone else's will do: play music whether it's streaming or on their local hard disk, play videos in the same manner as music, read email, browse the web, generate photo albums and so on. And they don't want to read a book or search for hours on the web about how to install the software, deal with dependencies and all of the other things we frequently see when trying to get an application to work.
 
Old 12-17-2006, 08:11 PM   #2
osor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjlittle
What does any user of any technology product want? They want it to do what everyone else's will do
I just wanted to point out that developers, often want the product to do whatever they need it to do. Stability and user-friendliness is sometimes secondary.

Another thing I’d like to point out is that we are developing completely free/open and easy methods for most of was previously is in the “non-free software arena” (e.g., codecs: wmv9, mp4; drivers: nvidia-3d is in infancy, ntfs write is reliable/stable, open drivers for loads of wireless chipsets, including atheros, conextant, broadcom, intel, and others have either been reversed engineered or petitioned for or both). The primary job of the distro is to implement these in an unobtrusive way. That said, as new patent-encumbered technologies arise, free/reverse-engineered implementations will always be at least a small step behind.
 
Old 12-17-2006, 08:24 PM   #3
rickh
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I wish there was a way to force distributions which include prepackaged non-free modules to pay the owners of that code.

Distros like Xandros and Linspire should have no problem with that since they can pass the cost on to their customers. End users should be able to install them if the owners are willing to grant them free (as in beer).

The "free" distros should concentrate on making it easy for end users to insert them, but they should not be including them in their packages.
 
Old 12-17-2006, 09:20 PM   #4
xjlittle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osor
I just wanted to point out that developers, often want the product to do whatever they need it to do. Stability and user-friendliness is sometimes secondary.

Another thing I’d like to point out is that we are developing completely free/open and easy methods for most of was previously is in the “non-free software arena” (e.g., codecs: wmv9, mp4; drivers: nvidia-3d is in infancy, ntfs write is reliable/stable, open drivers for loads of wireless chipsets, including atheros, conextant, broadcom, intel, and others have either been reversed engineered or petitioned for or both). The primary job of the distro is to implement these in an unobtrusive way. That said, as new patent-encumbered technologies arise, free/reverse-engineered implementations will always be at least a small step behind.

You are correct-things are much easier in many ways than what they used to be. A heartfelt thanks to the maintainers and the people who setup the repositories so that most and in many cases all of the dependencies are readily available. However finding or knowing what you need sometimes is not so easy. The ipw2200 driver is a good example of this. There are two pieces to this-a module and firmware. The module is included in the kernel. I've read several posts though where users were frustrated at trying to figure out what was missing and how to get it.

I did not mean to imply the Linux developers are in any way behind with the development of drivers free or non-free. Frankly I think that they do an execellent job of staying up with newly released hardware.
 
Old 12-17-2006, 09:28 PM   #5
xjlittle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickh
I wish there was a way to force distributions which include prepackaged non-free modules to pay the owners of that code.

Distros like Xandros and Linspire should have no problem with that since they can pass the cost on to their customers. End users should be able to install them if the owners are willing to grant them free (as in beer).

The "free" distros should concentrate on making it easy for end users to insert them, but they should not be including them in their packages.
Your last paragraph was and is the whole intent of my post. I think Linux distributions in general would gain many users which in turn would push hardware vendors to open their drivers to the community.
 
Old 06-25-2013, 11:13 AM   #6
jamison20000e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osor View Post
That said, as new patent-encumbered technologies arise, free/reverse-engineered implementations will always be at least a small step behind.
Not always++. Imagine a world where we(\more) are smarter than they, thanks to "freedom" no K1-25 for ALL...
 
Old 08-15-2013, 09:07 AM   #7
sundialsvcs
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Face it, there will always be both "proprietary" things and "collaboratively developed" things, working side by side. (The mere fact that you have been given all the source-code to something does not mean that the GPL (say ...) copyright license does not apply to it in a legally-enforceable way ... it does. The mere fact that you did not pay currency does not mean that you did not enter into a legally-defined contractual agreement. All of this is now Accepted Precedent.)

I would prefer that, if a particular piece of open-source software (a driver, say) requires another proprietary piece (firmware, a closed-source interface layer, say), then that combination ought not be included in a "distro." It only creates confusion to do that. The owner of the closed piece should provide, and should be willing to maintain, the open piece, because he's the one to benefit from the sales/furnishing of both. ("Take and Give Back.")

I don't like the term, "free and open," because computer software is not "free." In fact, it's probably the most-expensive thing in the world ... so expensive, in fact, that no one could make a business justification for providing enough of it in a "proprietary" fashion. I much prefer the term, collaborative development, because that's the Magic Key that finally unlocked the door that we all needed to have opened. That is what all of us are actually doing here. We introduced a concept of collaboration, and buttressed it with a legally-enforceable license concept that has since been tested and sustained in courtrooms around the world, and thus demonstrated that Everyone could go, together, where No One could (profitably, at least) go alone.

It's probably the best example of that fancy-pants popular buzzword of this day: "Disruptive Change" (that worked).

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-15-2013 at 09:11 AM.
 
Old 08-18-2013, 01:34 AM   #8
jamison20000e
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so free the firmware\hardware and buy that++! [Some close and others all the way!]-This needs a link for every word but i'm lazy right now...

Last edited by jamison20000e; 08-18-2013 at 01:53 AM.
 
  


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