Why KDE4 is called KDE?

Martin (KDE) kde at fahrendorf.de
Wed Dec 9 08:50:17 GMT 2009

Am Mittwoch, 9. Dezember 2009 schrieb Eyolf Ă˜strem:
> On 08.12.2009 (06:36), Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:
> > On Monday 07 December 2009 23:44:25 Thierry de Coulon wrote:
> > > May I ask what changes with free programs as long as you are no
> > > programer? I love this affirmation but it's very theoretical
> > > for the average user....
> >
> > No, it's not.
> >
> > With free software any programmer with the necessary skills can
> > modify the program; even if you lack the skills there are a
> > number of ways to get the modifications you would like done.  It
> > might not be without cost, but it is available.
> However much I agree with the principle of open source/free
>  software, this argument stays for the most part in the "principle"
>  area. In PRACTICE (which is what the OP implied with the "average
>  user"), there is little or no difference between open and closed
>  software. Sure, you can see the source code, but how many do? I
>  usually don't, because I'm not a programmer, and mostly it doesn't
>  mean anything to me anyway. And I would NEVER dare to tinker with
>  source code for anything bigger than a bash script (well, I have,
>  and it turned out horribly...).

I have to disagree. OpenSource (as I understand it) is more than free 
available software. It is a concept to give back the control of 
software to the society. Even a average user with no interest in 
programming gets the benefit of it (XFree -> Xorg and similar).

> So, in sum, the "you can see the source code and do anything you
>  like with it" is a meaningless statement to anyone who is not a
>  programmer: NO, I can't do anything I like with it -- I can't do
>  anything AT ALL with it. Ideologically, it may be a valid point,
>  but in practice it's not.

You can do everything with it you want to. At least you can improve 
your programming skills (If you want to). This may be a very smal part 
of your freedom, but it is a part.

> Besides, what you describe is in effect a fork -- a one-person or
> one-organization fork, but a fork all the same. Unless the changes
>  are trivial or the application is very modular, chances are that
>  it will be a dead end: for every upgrade of the source code,
>  you'll have to incorporate the changes, hoping that they don't
>  break something. If I am a big corporation with enough money to
>  spend to pay a developer to implement my wishes, I would still be
>  caught in this trap. And since I'm not, it's still just a dream
>  scenario.
> What I CAN do something about is configuration, i.e. the
>  practicalities of how I interact with the program: keybindings,
>  interface choices, etc. Which is why I would have wished
>  customization options to be on the top of the list for any
>  developer. I spend a considerable amount of time every day in
>  front of a midnight commander window; half of that time, I wish
>  the developers had devised a way to customize the keyboard
>  bindings. Can I change it in the source code? Probably -- I just
>  don't have a clue how.
> Eyolf

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